Bay Area Kid-Friendly Events January 15-17

Already our first three-day weekend is here. But unlike other long weekends, MLK Day is now about service rather than sloth. There are some great MLK events around the Bay this weekend: Monday sees  the Bay Area Discovery Museum open, with a concert from SoVoSo (gospel and R&B fusion) in celebration of Dr. King’s work. This show is also part of the World on Stage series at BADM featuring ethnic performances from around the globe (series ends Feb. 27). For more musical tribute to MLK, Oakland offers their 8th annual “In the Name of Love.” ( East Bay Parks invites you to put your back into it with a work day at Martin Luther King, Jr. Regional Shoreline. And the JCC of Palo Alto provides some mitzvah mania with over 20 service projects to “make this world a better place.”

San Francisco:

Working Towards the Dream

Birds do it, bees do it, even the Obamas do it. provides a database of volunteer opportunities available on MLK day. Take a look and involve your family in something great on this awesome holiday. And consider dropping by Grace Cathedral where they’re holding a “Nightwatch” overnight event for teens to discuss topics like racism and form new friendships with kids from around the Bay. Sun., 5:00 p.m. – Mon., 3:00 p.m., Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, free.

Dive Into Wonder!

Go “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” with the Disney version of this classic Verne tale. The kids might giggle at some of the “old school” effects but the imagination of the story will get them thinking about what does live in The Deep. They might also think twice before ordering the calamari. Through Jan. 31, 1:00 & 4:00 p.m., Disney Museum, Presidio, $7/adult, $5/child (0-12).

Marin/North Bay:

Books for the Budget

Pick up some new (well, new to you) hardbacks for the littles at the San Rafael Public Library Book Sale. Library book sales are great for stocking kids’ at-home libraries, while chipping in for a worthy cause (especially in light of California’s ever-shrinking public services’ budget). Sat., 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., San Rafael, free.

Lifeboat Livin’

For a quick little jaunt through history, visit the lifeboat station at Point Reyes. The US Life-Saving Service and Lifeboat Stations were started to help shipwrecked boats and crews land and later became part of today’s Coast Guard. At the open house, kids can take a peek at where the lifeboat team lived and worked, much like modern day firehouses. Through mid-March, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Point Reyes, free.

East Bay:

Move and Groove!

Abby and the Pipsqueaks light up Berkeley’s La Peña this weekend with their award-winning brand of music and mayhem. A guaranteed good time for the babes, bring them by for some singing and dancing, jokes and story. Though, make sure they know—this show is strictly for those about to rock. Sat., 10:30 a.m., Berkeley, $5/adults, $4/pipsqueaks

Start Your Own 3-Ring

Think your family’s a bunch of clowns? Make them prove it at Family Circus Day. Skilly Circus teaches clown tricks and other circus skills all day long, so bring the troupe for some fun under the big top. Sun., 1:30 – 4:00 p.m., Rhythmix, Alameda, $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

South Bay/Peninsula

What’s in a Name?

Spin some straw into gold this weekend with Palo Alto Children’s Theatre’s production of “Rumpelstilskin.” Show your kids that breaking out “the full name smackdown” (“Charlotte Rachel Kenner!”) when they’re acting up is universal. Sat., 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Palo Alto, $10/adults, $5/children.


Let’s Go to the Movies!

Been a while since you’ve seen a big screen flick, but don’t want to break the bank for a sitter? Camera Cinemas’s got you covered with their Diaper Days date night where kids 4 and under are not only welcomed, but free! (But you have to chase them up and down the aisles yourself.) 2nd and 4th Tues. of each month in Cupertino, 2nd and 4th Thurs. of each month in Los Gatos, 6:45 p.m., $7.

—Nicole Cooksey Voytenko