Christmas in the Park 2017

Once again Plaza de Cesar Chavez in San Jose is transformed into Christmas in the Park from the day after Thanksgiving through New Years Day.

The free event includes more than 550 decorated Christmas trees, over 40 animated displays/exhibits, visits with Santa, nightly entertainment and more.

Special areas of Christmas in the Park include Reindeer Ranch, Snowflake Falls, North Pole Plaza, Gingerbread Village, Candy Cane Lane and Mistletoe Row. There is also Adoption Alley where you can adopt a cat or dog to take home.

Christmas in the Park kicks off at 6:00pm on Friday, November 24 with the lighting of the 60-foot Christmas tree. Christmas in the Park is then open daily 9:00am to midnight.

Christmas in the Park is expensive to produce and operate. Thus, they ask you to visit their food court. All of the proceeds go directly toward bringing this event free.

Plaza de César Chávez
1 Paseo De San Antonio
San Jose, 95113

Admission: Free

From the day after Thanksgiving (11/24/2017) through New Years Day (1/1/2018).
From 11/25/2017 open daily 9:00am to midnight.

Parking

Closest facilities to Christmas in the Park are:
Fairmont Plaza Garage, 50 W. San Fernando St., under the ice rink
Pavilion Garage at Second and San Fernando streets
Central Place Garage and Lot between Second and Third streets at San Fernando
Surface lots at Second and San Fernando and San Carlos and South Market streets
CityView Plaza Garage, 115 S. Market St.
95 S. Market Garage

 

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Fall Back 2017

clock_fall_back_animated
This Sunday at 2:00 am, November 5, we turn our clocks back an hour as we return to Standard Time.

Remember, bars actually stop serving alcohol at 1:59 am, one minute before the clocks are set back one hour.

This is also a good time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors.

Year Spring Forward Fall Back
2017 November 5
2018 March 11 November 4
2019 March 10 November 3
2020 March 8 November 1
2021 March 14 November 7
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Lunchtime Lego

Wednesday, November 15 from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm is Lego Time at the Mountain View Public Library. All ages are welcome in the Children’s Room. There will also be Duplos for toddlers.

This free event takes place on every third Wednesday of the month.

Mountain View Public Library
585 Franklin Street
Mountain View, 94041
(650) 903-6887

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Autumn Lights Festival


Thursday, October 19 thru Saturday, October 21 is the 6th Anniversary Autumn Lights Festival at the Gardens at Lake Merritt in Lakeside Park. The event is from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

Local artists create gigantic and small works of art using light. The event will blend larger-than-life art and lighting installations, live music, art, fire dancers, food and drink (food and drink available for purchase).

Advance Tickets suggested:

$20 advance/$25 event day for adults
$7 advance/$10 event day for youth (ages 6-17)
Children aged 5 and younger enter free

Lakeside Park Garden Center
666 Bellevue Ave
Oakland, 94610

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Final $1 Steps Sales of the Season


Wednesday, October 25, 2017, is the last book and media Steps Sales at the San Francisco Main Library.

Books and media are $1 or less each. All proceeds from Steps Sales benefit the San Francisco Public Library.

Steps Sales is located at the Larkin Street entrance to the Main Library.

San Francisco Main Public Library
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, 94102
(415) 557-4400

Wednesdays from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm (last Wed. 10/25/2017)

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Fear Overload Scream Park


Fear Overload Scream Park offers 2 haunted houses on select dates in San Leandro.
The 2 haunted houses include The Plastic Surgeon and Static Noise.
“The attractions are not recommended for children under the age of 12.”

The Plastic Surgeon
“The Plastic Surgeon was a bullied, neglected child tormented for having hideous facial deformities. Grown up, he became more than a man, he became a leviathan of pain, dabbling in the methods of bodily torture, mainly to the face. If he couldn’t have the face he wanted, no one could.”

Static Noise
“A little white noise is good to put you to sleep but static noise will probably just drag you to depths of the underworld. Inhabited by a ghastly girl, the warehouse full of useless TVs will come to life whenever flesh is in the vicinities. Beware the grasp of the girl who watched too much TV as a child and eventually died as a cause. Built to keep the spirit at bay, the girl inhabits any television set she can get her hands on in the warehouse but be warned, if you enter the house and stare too long at the set, you may find something reaching out for you. And it is not because of the 3D gimmicks.”

Admission varies: General Admission $25 – $30; Fast Pass Admission $32 – $40; VIP Admission $40 – $50; VIP Bundle Event Ticket $80. Online processing fee varies $2.25 – $5.00 per ticket.

Tickets available online here.

Fear Overload Scream Park
Bayfair Center (across from Century Theaters)
15555 E 14th Street
San Leandro, 94578
(510) 730-2221

Park at the Century Theaters Parking Lot and enter the mall. Next to the Davita Dialysis. Parking is free.

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Roadworks Steamroller Printing Festival


The free San Francisco Center for the Book’s 14th Annual Roadworks Steamroller Printing Festival is Sunday, September 17, from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.
The Roadworks Steamroller Printing Festival includes public printmaking and book arts extravaganza that includes free hands-on printmaking and book arts activities, demonstrations, art gallery and studio tours, and more.
Steamroller Printing: relief printing — a process where a protruding surface is inked and brought into contact with paper — using a steamroller on the road surface of Rhode Island Street as a humongous makeshift printing press.
The resulting “Featured Artists Roadworks” prints are then sold for $500 (3’x3′) and $250 (18″x18″) and Roadworks “Roadworks ‘Personal Prints’ Artists'” prints are sold for $40 each.

SF Center for the Book
375 Rhode Island Street
San Francisco, 94103
(415) 565-0545

Sunday, September 17, 2017
1:00 am to 4:00 pm

Admission: free

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Free Drive-In Movie Night in Concord


Sunday, September 3, 2017, Solano 2 Drive-In presents Customer Appreciation Night. Gates open at 6:00 pm, there will be activities/events and live music. Movies then start 8:00 pm. All free.

Scheduled movies include:
Despicable Me 2
Guardians Of The Galaxy 2
Spider-Man: Homecoming
Pirates Of The Caribbean
Transformers
War Of The Planet Of The Apes

Solano 2 Drive-In
1611 Solano Way
Concord, 94520

Sunday, September 3, 2017
Gates open 6:00 pm

Admission: Free

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Summer Reading Celebration For Kids at OMCA

Summer Reading Celebration: Explore, Connect, & Grow! is Sunday, August 6, 2017, from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
Held in the Oakland Museum of California Gardens. Many activities for kids including a magic show, games, a bounce house, and face painting. Also, 7-year-old author Sadiya Tyler-Laws reads from her book Princess Escape during story time.

Program schedule here (PDF).

Sunday, August 6 is a Free First Sunday at the Oakland Museum of California (Suggested donation: $5 per person — helps to provide access to other visitors in the community).

Oakland Museum of California
1000 Oak St
Oakland, 94607

Parking: a parking garage is on Oak Street between 10th and 12th streets. Parking fees are $1 per hour for Museum visitors with validation and $2.50 per hour without validation. Get your ticket validated at the Ticketing booth on Level 2 any time during your visit.

Public Transit: AC Transit

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Total/Partial Eclipse of the Sun

The eclipse is August 21, 2017 (see below for times).

A solar eclipse in which the moon passes between the sun and us.  Those of us in California will see a partial eclipse.  If you wish to see a total eclipse, head on up to Salem, Oregon.

Never look directly at the sun without appropriate eye protection. One way to safely view an eclipse of the sun including direct viewing is with eclipse glasses. Eclipse glasses are available from Amazon from about $8.00 to $18.00; also from Walmart online.

Partial eclipse in San Francisco begins 9:01 am and ends 11:38 am with maximum 10:15 am.
Total eclipse in Salem, Oregon begins 9:05 am and ends 11:37 am with maximum 10:18 am.

Check out NASA’s Eyes Eclipse 2017 Web Application. “In this interactive, web-based 3D simulation, you can click anywhere on the Earth to preview your view of the August 21st, 2017 total eclipse.” On the right under Explore the 2017 Solar Eclipse click Launch Interactive.

Watch online with NASA’s Eclipse Live Streaming.

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Friday Night Bands on Santa Cruz Beach


This summer from June 16 through September 1, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk presents bands from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s to play free concerts on the beach Friday nights. There will be two shows at 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm.

Schedule:

June 16 — Eddie Money
June 23 — Brian Howe (Bad Company)
June 30 — Great White
July 7 —  Quiet Riot
July 14 — Blue Öyster Cult
July 21 — Eric Burdon and The Animals
July 28 — Los Lobos
Aug 4 —  Y & T
Aug 11 — Pablo Cruise
Aug 18 — Gin Blossoms
Aug 25 — Band To Be Announced
Sept 1 — Papa Doo Run Run

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
400 Beach Street
Santa Cruz, 95060

Fridays June 16 through September 1, 2017 at 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm

Important Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk information:
“Access to the prime seating area begins at 4pm; no blankets or chairs are permitted in the roped-off areas before 4pm. The line formed on the beach will be given first priority for access to prime seating area.

Please limit blanket size to 3×5 feet per person, about the size of a beach towel. Only low-back chairs are allowed; high-back chairs will be required to move to the back of the beach area. Please allow others space and a good view.

Smoking is not permitted on the beach or Boardwalk. Alcohol and glass are prohibited on the beach. Recording of concerts is not allowed.

Please keep walkways and stairs clear; dancing permitted in front of the stage only.

Accommodations for guests with disabilities at the Friday Night Concerts are provided on a “first-come, first-served” basis in two locations. One section is reserved for guests who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. The other section is reserved for mobility-impaired guests plus one companion. If you require other special accommodations, please contact the Manager on Duty at least 48 hours in advance of the concert at (831) 423-5590. “

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20th Annual Bay Area Classic Yo Yo Contest

Over 100 of the top yo-yo competitors will compete in the 20th Annual Bay Area Classic Yo Yo Contest on Saturday, June 3, 2017, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. The free to view Contest will be held at the Children’s Discovery Museum in San Jose.

Contest Schedule:
9:00 AM – 12:30: Prelims
12:30 – 1:00 PM: Break / On Stage Demo’s
1:00 – 4:00 PM: Finals, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A, 1A (in this order)
4:00 – 5:00 PM: Awards

Bay Area Classic Yo-Yo Contest 2017
Children’s Discovery Museum
180 Woz Way
San Jose, 95110

Admission to the contest is free

Admission to the museum is $15.00

Museum hours:
Tuesday – Saturday
10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Sunday
12:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Public parking ($5-$7) available in lots on Woz Way, Auzerais Street, and Almaden Boulevard. Additional downtown parking information.

Public Transit information.

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Häagen-Dazs Free Cone Day 2017

Free Häagen-Dazs kid size scoop of your favorite flavor in either a cup, sugar cone, or cake cone on Tuesday, May 9 from 4:00pm to 8:00pm; limit one kid scoop per guest.

Participating Häagen-Dazs Shops:

Häagen-Dazs Shop
San Francisco Premium Outlets
2774 Livermore Outlets Drive
Livermore, 94551
(925) 243-9908

Häagen-Dazs Shop
Stoneridge Mall
1144 Stoneridge Mall Rd
Pleasanton, 94588
(925) 468-0293

Häagen-Dazs Shop
Santa Rosa Plaza
1071 Santa Rosa Plaza
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
(707) 545-2722

Häagen-Dazs Shop
Valley Fair Mall
2855 Stevens Creek Blvd., Suite 2458
Santa Clara, 95050-6709
(408) 260-8882

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Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower 2017

On May 5 and 6 (peak), 2017 before dawn, is the Eta Aquariids meteor shower.

The Eta Aquariids meteor shower is debris from Halley’s Comet.

The best time to watch these meteors is in the early morning hours, before the beginning of morning twilight (see below).

Give yourself at least an hour of viewing time for watching as there will be lulls. Remember that it may take up to 20 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark.

Some meteors may fly in the dark hour before dawn for a few days before and after May 5/6.

May 4 — morning twilight: 4:31 AM
May 5 — morning twilight: 4:29 AM
May 6 — morning twilight: 4:28 AM
May 7 — morning twilight: 4:26 AM

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Record Store Day 2017

Saturday, April 22 is Record Store Day.

“This is a day for the people who make up the world of the record store—the staff, the customers, and the artists—to come together and celebrate the unique culture of a record store and the special role these independently owned stores play in their communities. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day. Festivities include performances, cook-outs, body painting, meet & greets with artists, parades, DJs spinning records.”

The artists releasing special vinyls include Madonna, John Coltrane, Bob Dylan, The Kinks, Willie Nelson, David Bowie, and others.

Participating Stores (Not all of the stores will choose to participate in all promotions, or carry all releases. Call store!):

1-2-3-4 Go! Records
1034 Valencia Street
San Francisco, 94110
415-550-7865

Amoeba Music
1855 Haight St.
San Francisco, 94117
415-831-1200

Groove Merchant Records
687 Haight St.
San Francisco, 94117
415-252-5766

Grooves
1797 Market St.
San Francisco, 94117
415- 436 9933

Noise Records
3427 Balboa Street
San Francisco, 94121
415-702-6006

Rasputin Music and DVDs
1672 Haight St.
San Francisco, 94117
415-863-2448

Rasputin Music and DVDs
2401 Telegraph Ave
Berkeley, CA 94720
510-704-1146

Recycled Records
1377 Haight St.
San Francisco, 94117
415-626-4075

Stranded
1055 Valencia Street
San Francisco, 94110
415-647-2272

The Explorist International
3174 24th Street
San Francisco, 94110
415-678-5691

The Music Store
66 West Portal Ave
San Francisco, 94127
415-664-0408

Thrillhouse Records
3422 Mission Street
San Francisco, 94110
415-308-1353

Vinyl Dreams
593 Haight St.
San Francisco, 94117
415-379-0974

Western Relics
1400 Irving St.
San Francisco, 94122
415-759-5567

1-2-3-4 Go! Records
420 40th Street #5
Oakland, 94609
510 985-0325

Econo Jam Records
2519 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, 94612
510-465-2559

Groove Yard
5555 Claremont Ave.
Oakland, 94618
510-655-8400

Park Blvd Records
2014 Park Blvd
Oakland, 94606
510-879-7952

Amoeba Music
2455 Telegraph Ave.
Berkeley, 94704
510-549-1125

Hercules Records
1734 Alcatraz Ave
Berkeley, 94703
415-999-1139

Bedrock Music & Video
2226 4th Street
San Rafael, 94901
415-258-9745

Red Devil Records
894 Fourth Street
San Rafael, 94915
415-457-8999

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