Category Archives: What’s Going On

Witches, Skeletons, Goblins–Oh, My!

For kids big and small, the San Francisco Peninsula offers some great Halloween fun.  My favorites:

Redwood City: Halloween Spooktacular

If your family is looking for some Halloween fun, then you’ll want to know about this Saturday’s 15th annual Halloween Spooktakular! It takes place on Saturday, October 22nd from noon to 3 pm at Red Morton Community Center, 1120 Roosevelt Avenue in Redwood City. You and your kids will enjoy carnival games, Costume Parade, mysterious Monster Maze, arts and crafts, prizes, and other fun activities. Redwood City’s Halloween Spooktakular is suitable for kids up to age ten. Admission is just $5 per child.

Menlo Park: Halloween Parade and Carnival

Halloween Parade and Carnival – Parade from Burgess Park to Fremont Park. Participants will receive a trick or treat bag. After the parade, trick or treat your way back to Burgess Park through Downtown Menlo Park at participating stores. The Arrillaga Family Recreation Center will then open for a carnival for children ages 12 and under. Activities are co-sponsored by the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce. Saturday, October 29th, 2011. Menlo Park, CA 94025.

Santa Clara County Fairgrounds: Dead Time Dreams
Haunted house that includes a new attraction, a meat factory. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Oct 7th, 2011 through Oct 31st, 2011. 344 Tully Rd. San Jose, CA 95111.

Have fun!

San Carlos Art and Wine Faire

San Carlos Art & Wine FaireOne of the mid-Peninsula’s favorite traditions returns Saturday Oct. 8 and Sunday Oct. 9 (2011).  The San Carlos Art and Wine Faire comes late in the outdoor festival season, as the weather is starting to cool down, but you would never know that from the crowds that it enjoys.  The Faire brings to town not only a rich array of arts and crafts booths, food vendors, and entertainers on the stage, but also California vineyard and microbrewery offerings and kids activities.

The Faire spreads out on both sides of San Carlos Avenue (just off El Camino Real and the CalTrain station) and down Laurel Street (from San Carlos to Arroyo).   It’s a “don’t miss” it kind of event.  How can you lose?

This Weekend Only: R.C. PortFest

Last year Redwood City inaugurated a day of family fun at the Port of Redwood City to draw attention to the City’s waterfront.  I’m happy to see that the City is following through on their hope of making this an annual event.

PortFestThis Saturday, October 1, the PortFest promises to be even more fun than last year.  It starts with a pancake breakfast and includes music by one of the area’s favorite bands (The Groove Kings), a rowing race, sailboat rides, a beer and wine garden, and a kids’ activity area.  Check it out at the Port of Redwood City, 675 Seaport Boulevard.

Admission and parking are free.  For more information:

2011 Mountain View Art & Wine Festival

Saturday, Sep 10 and Sunday, Sep 11
Castro Street, Mountain View

Art FairsThis weekend, in the heart of Silicon Valley, you might want to catch the end-of-summer unique celebration that is the Mountain View Art & Wine Festival.  This will be the 40th annual festival in Mountain View, but this town has sure changed in that time, becoming the heart of Silicon Valley.  From the 1950s, when William Shockley (inventor of the transistor) moved to Mountain View to establish the Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory, to the present day, the downtown district, especially Castro Street, has transformed itself into a mecca for creative and technology types, thriving with cafes, restaurants of all kinds, bookstores, and a performing arts center.

The Festival features 600 professional artists and craftmakers displaying and selling handcrafted wares, live music with headliners The Groove Kings, Cream of Clapton, The House Rockers and Department of Rock, the Comcast Pigskin Party Lounge with giant screen TV, festive food and drink, premium wines, microbrews, sangria, mojitos and margaritas, an organic and green products showcase, health and wellness displays, the cool new Cuda Lounge with comfy couches, multiple flat screen TVs and free schwag, a special remembrance ceremony to honor the heroes from 9/11, and action-packed Kids’ Park with stopping performances on the Community Stage, a climbing wall, hula hooping, carnival rides and super cool body art.

The Festival take place on Castro Street between El Camino Real and Evelyn Avenue in downtown Mountain View, 10 am to 6 pm each day, September 10 and 11.

Helicopters, Food, and Wine: Fun at San Carlos Airport

Children investigating a helicopterAn event for kids of all ages is happening this weekend at the San Carlos AirportThe Hiller Aviation Museum, on the grounds of the San Carlos Airport, is sponsoring the HeliFest on Saturday and Sunday June 18-19.  For those who marvel at these machines that fly and hover in midair, Helifest will have a host of commercial and military helicopters on display, along with food and wine, and a kids’ area of rides and fun activities.

For many years, this annual helicopter festival has included an air show component and has been known as the Vertical Challenge.  The flying show has this year been abandoned in favor of changes that reflect some of our current Bay Area interests, such as specialty mobile food trucks, wine tasting, and microbrews. Yum!

HelicopterHelifest admission is $15 for adults, $10 for youth and seniors; children 4 and under enter free.  For further information:

Summer 2011: Time for Festivals and Celebrations

Art and Wine FestivalsWith the lengthening of daylight hours and the warmer evenings, summer in the San Francisco Peninsula seems to offer a virtual cornucopia of art and wine festivals, music and food festivals, and several downtown entertainment series sponsored by the area cities.  From June 4 to September 5, we can find something fun to do with friends and family from San Jose to San Francisco.  Most events have free admission, with the exception of Sunset Magazine’s Celebration Weekend, so let’s take advantage of some of these great opportunities:


4-5 Jun Art and Wine Festival
Sunnyvale & Washington Aves, Sunnyvale
4-5 Jun Sunset Magazine’s Celebration Weekend
80 Willow Rd, Menlo Park
$16; $12 srs; free 12 & younger
Jun-11 Dia de Portugal Festival
History Park, 1650 Senter Rd, San Jose
Free; $6 parking
18-19 Jun Juneteenth in the Park
Plaza de Cesar Chavez, Market & San Carlos streets, San Jose
Free. Noon-8 pm.
18-19 Jun North Beach festival
Washington Square Park, Grant Ave. near Columbus Ave, S.F.
Free. 10am-6pm.
19-Jun World Music Day
University Ave., downtown, Palo Alto
25-Jun Dancin’ on the Avenue
Lincoln Ave. between Willow and Minnesota, San Jose
25-Jun Festival in the Park
Hellyer County Park, 985 Hellyer Ave, San Jose
Free. 11am – 4 pm
9-10 Jul Arts & Wine Festival
Los Altos
16-17 Jul Connoisseurs’ Marketplace
Menlo Park
13-14 Aug ArtzFest
13-14 Aug Fiesta de Artes
Los Gatos
27-28 Aug Festival of the Arts
Palo Alto
3-4 Sep Art and Wine Festival
3-5 Sep Kings Mountain Art Fair

OthersCouple dancing

5 May- 15 Sep Hot Harvest Nights Farmer’s Market
700 block of Laurel St., downtown San Carlos
Free. Every Thurs 4pm-8pm.
6 May – 7 Oct Music on the Square
Courthouse Square, downtown, Redwood City
Free. Fridays 6pm-8pm.
2 Jun – 25 Aug Music in the Park
Plaza de Cesar Chavez, Market & San Carlos streets, San Jose
Free. Every Thurs., 5:30.
4 Jun – 30 Jul Vasona Vibrations Free Summer Concert Series
Vasona Lake County Park, 333 Blossom Hill Rd, Los Gatos
22 Jun – 31 Aug
Summer Series & Market
Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale
Free. Every Wed. 4:30-8:30pm
21 Jun – 20 Sep Dancing on the Square
Courthouse Square, downtown, Redwood City
Free. Tuesdays 6pm-8pm.
22 Jun – 10 Aug Music in the Park
Stafford Park, King and Hopkins Sts., Redwood City
7 Jul – 18 Aug Summer Concert Series
Downtown (Castro and Dana Sts.), Mountain View
Free. Thurs. 6:30pm-8:30pm.

Annual Pet Parade in Redwood City

The very popuPet costumelar Annual Pet Parade will take place in downtown Redwood City this Saturday, May 21, 2011, starting at 11 am until 3 p.m.  This event has as its centerpiece the funny and quite entertaining pet parade and contest (at 12:00), but the festivities extend well beyond that.

The streets around Courthouse Square (where the Pet Parade actually happens) are closed to traffic so pedestrians and their four-legged friends can enjoy the surrounding festival-like atmosphere and visit the 90 or so booths offered by various rescue groups and service businesses that cater to pets.   This year the surrounding entertainment also includes pony rides, a petting zoo, the Monterey Bay Aquarium virtual aquarium builder, games, and other activities.

The Parade itself will be led by the famous (or now infamous?) Klepto the Cat and the community is invited to enter their dogs in the parade/contest.  For complete information, visit… and have fun!

Bike to Work Day is Thursday May 12th in the Bay Area

The celebration aims to encourage bicycling as a healthy, fun, and inexpensive form of transportation.  An estimated 100,000+ bicycle riders will participate in Bike to Work Day throughout the Bay Area.

Numerous “Energizer Stations” will be located along commute routes, offering bicyclists refreshments, bicycling information, and giveaways during the morning commute hours.  Some of the Energizer Stations will also be open during evening commute hours. []

While it is not necessary to register to take part in Bike to Work Day, participants who do become eligible to win prizes and help organizers to better calculate participation.  To register visit

For more information visit


2011 Chinese New Year Events in the Bay Area

Chinese New Year Dancers

The Bay Area celebrates the Lunar New Year with style, led primarily by the many events happening in San Francisco throughout the month of February and enriched by events elsewhere.

2011 marks the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit.  According to Chinese tradition, this is expected to be a relatively calm, cooperative year, particularly after the ferocious Year of the Tiger.  Good thing – the world can use a bit of diplomacy and peace.

Celebrations to enjoy include:

Saturday, Feb. 5, 11 am – 3 pm, Redwood City
Courthouse Square (downtown)

Chinese lion dancers, the Red Panda Acrobats, martial arts demonstrations, unique arts and crafts projects, great food, music, and more.  Free.

Sunday, Feb. 6, 11 am – 3 pm, Foster City
Recreation Center, 650 Shell Blvd.

Recreation of traditional village street fair, including acrobatic and lion dance performances, calligraphy demonstrations, and Chinese-opera style face painting. Free.

Chinese New YearSunday, Feb. 6, 12 – 4 pm, San Francisco
Asian Art Museum

Lion dance by Chinese American International School dancers, Lunar New Year stories, and hands-on activities for children. Free.

Events throughout the month of February, San Francisco

Events include: Chinese New Year Flower Fair, Miss Chinatown USA Pageant, Chinatown 10K and 5K runs, and a Community Street Fair.  Central event:  the famed Chinese New Year Parade, Feb 19 5:15 pm-8 pm.

Martin Luther King Event

Join together in the spirit of community for the 2011 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration and Freedom Train January 17 at the San Mateo Downtown Caltrain Station

8:30 am Art projects for all ages

9:00 am   Celebration
Continental breakfast
Honorary Chairperson, Honored Organization and Teachers
Joining in song

10:00 am Welcome the Freedom Train and ride to the San Francisco Celebration for a new array of programs:
The March to Yerba Buena Gardens nearby cultural museums free admission and special programs
Special musical event including Marcus Shelby Orchestra presenting segments from the original piece:
“Soul of the Movement: Meditations on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” commissioned by the San Mateo County MLK, Jr. Day Celebration for the 2009 10th Anniversary Celebration.

Freedom Train tickets available at the Celebration – FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED