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Your Parenting Guide to Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is literally days away and Parenthoods is all abuzz with ideas on how to celebrate and survive the holiday. Leave it to the community to come up with these handy suggestions.

Give back

Show the kids how to give thanks by giving back. The Parenthoods community voted Glide and Meals on Wheels as the top spots for Thanksgiving Day volunteering.

If it stresses you out, outsource it!

Thanksgiving is meant to be spent having a good time with your family, so if the thought of cooking Turkey dinner is stressing you out, make it easier on yourself. Hooders suggest buying Turkey breasts instead of a whole bird and getting sides from your local delicatessen.

Busy hands are happy hands

Activities are essential for this four day holiday that calls for rain. A few winning activities recently shared on Parenthoods include A Thankful Heart coloring activity, A Thanks Book, and the Mess-Free Fingerpainting Project.

Let’s make a deal

It isn’t Thanksgiving weekend without a few good deals. Parents are sharing their killer finds as they see them. Keep checking back for the latest and greatest!

 

This Weekend’s Activities in the Bay Area

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If Costco can start selling holiday decorations already, then getting into the warm and fuzzy spirit is fair game, right? Here are a few events this weekend to get you started.

Pier 39 Tree Lighting Celebration

Experience the holiday magic at Pier 39 – sing songs, hear choral performances, enjoy laughs with holiday-themed comedy, and welcome the season with two days of magic and merriment for the whole family. Festivities start at 12pm this Saturday and Sunday, and tree lighting begins at 6pm every night at Pier 39 in San Francisco.

Building Lighting Ceremony and Carnival

This Friday, November 21st,  kick off the weekend with the 28th annual Building Lighting at Embarcadero Center. At 4:00pm, there will be carnival games, face painting and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. We hear there will even be a special appearance by Mickey Mouse! At 6:00pm, gather for ice skating and the lighting of the office towers.

Free San Francisco Chamber Orchestra Family Concerts

Listen to a family friendly folktale accompanied by music with Joel ben Izzy. The concert takes place Saturday, November 22nd at 2pm at the Calvary Presbyterian Church located at 2515 Fillmore St, San Francisco. Admission is free to all, and donations are gladly accepted. Seating is first come, first served. Concerts are generally 45 to 60 minutes in length. Doors open 30 minutes before concert time.

 

Santa’s Photo Shop: Play While You Wait!

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Does the thought of standing in line for Santa pictures, trying to keep your little ones from running off and destroying the giant holiday display, just to get a few $40 5×7 glossies stress you out?

Well you don’t have to worry this year. Parenthoods & Obebe Organic have teamed up to make the Santa experience a fun and easy one. We’re giving away free digital photos with old Saint Nick!

While you wait for your turn with the man in red, the kids can play in SF’s Recess romp room or make an ornament with the UrbanSitters, while the parents enjoy a few appetizers and a glass of wine provided by Kampala Wines. Someone just pressed the easy button!

With a few more goodies in tow from Sprogs and others, this is the perfect way to get the holiday season started right.

Space is limited, so please only RSVP if you know you for sure can make it.

Details: December 6th from 1:30pm to 3:30pm

This Weekend’s Activities in the Bay Area

Friday Nights at Oakland Museum of California

Are you looking to shake things up this Friday? Get your Oakland groove on at Friday Nights at OMCA with Off the Grid food trucks, music, and a free hands-on workshop for all ages! This family-friendly take on a festive night market is this Friday, November 14th from 5pm to 9pm. Half-price gallery admission for adults. Ages 18 and under are free! Food trunk prices vary.

Give & Take: Monthly Kid Stuff Swap, Oakland

This swap is a great way to get rid of all those toys before a new round arrives for the holidays. Bring your gently-used kids clothes, books and toys to trade with others on Saturday, November 15th from 11:15am to 12:00pm at the Lakeview Branch Library in Oakland. Arrive a half-hour early for library storytime!

Story Time at the SF Botanical Gardens: Legends of the Americas

Fun, free and kid-sized! Learn about the Americas during story time at the Botanical Gardens, then get some outdoor time while strolling through the Forest Cloud Bloom. Held this Sunday, November 16th from 10:30am to 11:30am. Story Time lasts approximately 30 minutes and is free for all ages.

 

Holiday Ice Skating in San Francisco

Are you looking to get in the holiday spirit? Take the kids for a spin at one of these local ice skating rinks.

Union Square Holiday Ice Rink

This outdoor ice rink is perfect if you plan to do a bit of shopping in between your time on the ice. With hours from 10:00am to 11:30pm, and running until January 18th, 2015, there are plenty of options to fit any schedule. $11 general admission, $7 for kids 8 yrs and under. Skate rentals are $6.

Embarcadero Ice Rink

Set in the financial district and away from the shoppers, the Embarcadero Ice Rink is perfect for a slightly less busy experience. With views of the Bay Bridge you can enjoy the ice between the hours of 10:00am and 9:30pm on weekdays and 10:00am and 11:30pm on weekends. This outdoor rink is open until January, 4th, 2015. $10 general admission, $6 for kids 7 yrs and under. Skate rentals are $4.

Yerba Buena Ice Rink

Yerba Buena’s year round indoor ice rink has sessions from 12:00pm to 11:00pm every day, and special hours during the little one’s winter break. $10 general admission, $8 for kids 6-12, $6 for kids 5 yrs and under. Skate rentals are $4, but every Wednesday skates are free!

This Weekend’s Activities in the Bay Area

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Take a deep breath. Hold. Exhale. You made it through Daylight Saving! Some of us, barely. If you happened to be living for the weekend we have just what you need – some fun activities for you and the little ones.

History for Half Pints: Family Music and Games

History for Half Pints is a monthly family day at the California Historical Society. This Saturday, November 8th, from 12pm until 4pm, you can make bear masks, paws, and claws and design your own “Keep Animals Wild” poster. Enjoy music, games, and history with the whole family. Free with an RSVP, or with your CHS membership.

Make a Toy at the Potrery Library

Did you know November is science month? The San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design honors this month with projects that explore the intersection of art and science. Saturday, November 8th, from 4pm to 5pm, kids ages 6-12 can craft simple yet ingenious toys at the Potrero Library. This event is free.

La Festa Del Libro

Bring the whole clan to enjoy more than 500 books for children from Italian publishers around the world. The event starts at 11am on Saturday and Sunday and goes until 5pm on Saturday, 3pm on Sunday. There will be Italian story times and a workshop with the 8 year-old author of The Girl With a Magical Unicorn, Michelle Longega Wilson. This event is for all ages and free.

Announcing Parenthoods’ Search

We’re thrilled to announce we’ve launched Search in Parenthoods. With this feature we move closer to delivering on our mission: making life easier for parents. Now parents can go back and search to get quick answers for those common questions. Install the updated version here: parenthoods.co/app

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This new feature is a perfect complement to our recently launched bookmarks, which allows parents to tag posts they want to keep an eye on and revisit later.

In addition, users can now “like” comments as well as posts. We’re surfacing these “likes” on parent’s profiles to ensure they get the cred they deserve.

And it’s not going to stop here. We’ve closed our seed round with some pretty stellar backers who all share our commitment to building a best-in-class, personalized, and simple way to connect with local parents. Check out what people are saying on TechCrunch and VentureBeat.

November Activities in the Bay Area

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November is here! It’s time to pull out those scarves and sweaters and explore what San Francisco has to offer in family-friendly activities. This week we’re kicking off November right with some fun, educational, and season-friendly events.

Free Museum Days

The first Tuesday of every month is Free Museum Days in San Francisco! Explore the Legion of Honor and de Young with the kids this Tuesday, November 4th from 9:30am to 5:15pm.

Adventures at Sea

Have you ever wanted to be a on a real live ship? We bet your kids have! Come and join a guided tour of the historic ship Balclutha and discover what life at sea was like during the Cape Horn passage. The ship is available for tours every day from 2:15pm to 3:00 pm

IMAGINUITY at SF Public Library

IMAGINUITY celebrates your child’s inner engineer with free science programming for youth at every San Francisco Public Library in the month of November. Check out the full list of events with activities for every age!

 

Photo by sneakerdog

Trick or Treating Hot Spots in San Francisco

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Most of us in San Francisco don’t live in trick or treating hot spots but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Here are three neighborhoods that will fit whatever level of Halloween you’re going for.

Clement Street

Put on by the Clement St Merchants Association, businesses along the street with special stencils in front of their stores will be handing out treats. This is the perfect spot for the itty bitties – not too crowded and with several watering holes for the parents. Festivities end at 6pm.

Noe Valley

This hood is known for decked out houses and tons of Halloween treats. Perfect for kids a little older who are serious about collecting an epic Halloween stash. But beware, parking is always difficult in this neighborhood and this Friday will be no different.

Belvedere Street in Cole Valley

You could call this the Burning Man of Halloween. Every year the houses on Belvedere street turn their homes into visual art, with costumed dancers in windows and a baby disco pumping the best old school funk. But just like the real party in the desert, this Halloween haunt gets packed. Keep the kids close and head there early!

 

Photo by Bettina Neuefeind

Trick or Treating: Four Ideas for the Halloween Haul

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Halloween is this Friday and Parenthoods is abuzz about costumes, candy and what to do with this year’s Halloween haul. Here are a few ideas from our community.

Make a lesson in nutrition

Working together with your child separate all the healthy treats like the peanuts, raisins, and granola bars. Save these for lunches or for a quick snack. Next, have your child pick out their absolute favorite candy from the less healthy pile. You can let them choose how much they want, or you can have a set amount.

Trade the candy in for a toy

Have your little one pick out a toy of their choice in exchange for their sugary loot. You can even get creative by having them leave the goods by their bed, and let the Switch Witch do the work for you in the middle of the night.

Teach the giving spirit

Give to a local charity like San Francisco’s At The Crossroads. They are taking candy donations to help with their youth outreach efforts. Does it get any better than that?

Go hog wild

Many Hooders recall their parents letting them go crazy over their candy – sorting, stacking, trading – and plan to do the same.

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