Before the fog

Hey Kids! is a weekly feature looking at what’s coming up for families and kids of all ages.

You know it’s summer when even the Mission is foggy. This weather makes me think of the lazy mornings of a summer vacation many years ago that my father spent reading me Treasure Island, or perhaps it was Kidnapped!

My own son is too young to imagine ghosts, I think, or know what Pirates are, but if the fog keeps up it might be a perfect weekend to take an older one to Alcatraz, or the pirate supply store, pick up some Stevenson to read out loud, or take on a “ghost tour”, pay or just ad-hoc:

Mission Ghosts/ BART as ghost of sand dunes past.
BART takes a big swooping curve between Civic Center and 16th Street because Mission Street curves because Plank Road curved… to get past sand dunes (BurritoJustice).

Mission Ghosts/ The Ohlones
Very very little of the Ohlones– the original settlers of our fair neighborhood — is left. The 103 known words of Ramaytush inscribed on placques set in the sidewalk on the south side of King Street. The paint and plaster their hands touched in Mission Dolores. The graves they might have dug in the cemetary there. Maybe telling a ghost story in the Replica Hut could be a way to introduce a kid to these forefathers.

Make your own Treasure Map
This Saturday, Wired’s Geek Dad blog will be teaching Make Your Own Treasure Map (and Make Your Own Comic Strip, and hosting a Demolition Derby) at Paxton’s Gate Curiosities for Kids.
Saturday, June 26th, 12 pm to 3 pm. All Ages. Free. Curiosities for Kids, 766 Valencia St @ 18th.

Make your own Ghosts
To celebrate the latest installment in the Twilight franchise (“Eclipse”), the Public Library is hosting a vampire-themeed creative writing contest. All entries are due by July 1 and writers must be between the ages of 12 and 19. More information at

No More Ghosts!
Also known as the section of this column wherein we encourage you to “give back”….
McLaren Park is an amazing resource on this side of the city. At 320 acres, it’s the second largest park in the city (after Golden Gate).
“Perhaps the most surprising and lamentable features of the park are ones that no longer exist—there are five barren sandpits where original playgrounds used to stand. The dilapidated play structures were all removed over the years by RPD, when funding was not available to replace them. The reality is that the park has fallen victim to repeated budget cuts, as it is located in a neighborhood largely comprised of working families…” ( A new nonprofit started up last year to prevent the park from being “redeveloped”, and is now seeking to replace those missing playgrounds. Get involved with their Pancake Breakfast fundraiser this Sunday.
Sunday, June 27, 9 am to 1pm. All Ages. $5-$10. Help McLaren Park at the roundhouse at Louis Sutter Playground, University St @ Woolsey St.

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Kate Holland Holmes

Kate lives, eats, reads and daydreams on the edge of the Mission, just off of 24th St. She's been in San Francisco for 11 years and is the proud parent of a (2 year old) native.

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