Cold and wet is great for the environment but not so great for littles. As Cat Stevens asked, “Where do the children play?” We’ve got some wonderful, indoor occasions for kids to have fun and take in some interesting sights. Be sure to catch the Bay Area International Children’s Film Festival in Alameda, and local kiddie faves, Charity and the Jamband celebrate the release of their double-CD “Party like a Twinkle Star!” with a big “after hours” concert at Recess Urban. And should the sun break for a few hours one of these afternoons, sprint over to SFZoo where littles are free all January. Good day, sunshine!

San Francisco:

Pick this Pickle!

Catch the Pickle Circus at the JCC and spend time with some of your favorite acrobats, jugglers, contortions, and aerialists. Show sells out fast so get those tix! Sat., 5:00 p.m., JCC, San Francisco, $20/members, $22/public, $16/children under 12. Read more.

Something’s Seriously Cooking

Have budding “Iron Chef” contenders in your family? Get them some early experience with Kids Course cooking class. These cooking classes are 3 hours of intensive, gourmet cooking, from produce tasting to journaling about their recipes.  Sat., session one (ages five-eight) 9:00 – 11:00 a.m., $375; session two 1:00 – 4:00 p.m., $475, San Francisco, Read more.

North Bay/ Marin:

Africa for USA

The African Children’s Choir is all about flying—or, rather singing—in the face of adversity. Watching these kids dance and sing proves that sometimes when you’re between a rock and a hard place, the best thing to do is bust a move. Fri., 8:00 p.m., Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, Santa Rosa, $25 – 35, Read more.

A Performance to Flip For

When this circus comes to town, you’ll want to warn the kids: don’t try this at home. Balancing on towers of chairs, flitting across high-wires, and airborne tumbling are some of the things the Peking Acrobats do best. Help your kids pick their jaws up off the floor after taking in the magic of these visitors from China. Friday, 8 p.m.,

Marin Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium, San Rafael, Read more. (Also in Berkeley on Saturday and Sunday)

East Bay:

Party like a Circus Star!

The Earthcapades team, using circus skills, song, dance, and acrobatics, teaches kids about the environment. Their show, like the environment, needs lots of audience participation. So bring the littles by for some fun about the sun. Sat., 10:30 a.m., La Peña, Berkeley, $5/adults, $4/kids, Read more.

Clearly the Best!

Now Ramona’s not just a pest in print, but on stage too. “Ramona Quimby” will introduce your kids to this literary favorite by Beverly Clearly, and hopefully whet their appetite for the series.  Jan. 23 – Feb. 7, Sat. and Sun., 2:00 p.m., Morgan Theatre, Berkeley, $18/adults, $14/children, Read more.

South Bay/Peninsula:

Acquaint with the Aquarium

The Marine Science Institute opens its doors to the public this Saturday for its new Aquarium Spotlight Days. Reserve a time to come see this showcase of creatures from the Bay and Pacific Ocean. Sat., see website for times available, Marine Science Institute, Redwood City, Read more.

Literary Families!

Bring Papa (and Mama and Nanny and Grampy too) to the library for the Dad & Me @ the Library puppet show, and stay for some quality family reading time. Sat., 2:00 p.m., South San Francisco Public Library, South San Francisco, Read more.

—Nicole Cooksey-Voytenko