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

“Will you take me as I am, strung out on another man….” Joni Mitchell’s echoing in my head, and I haven’t even left yet.

Summer has come and gone without stringing together two good (warm) weekends in a row. We made it out to Tilden twice, and swam. Met up with cousins at the Oakland Zoo (half-price if you’re an SF Zoo member, and it has an extensive children’s play area) for another dose of sun. But really, Jasper has spent way too many days at the Randall Museum this summer, and I’ve come up with far too many synonyms for overcast, gray and foggy.

So it’s time for me to go, for now, just for a few weeks. We’re getting on a plane next week and heading east. To sunshine, to water warm enough to swim in, to wading pools, to canoes, to lightning bugs, to beers on the front steps at the end of the day without a sweater on.

I’m already missing our weekly stop at Humphrey Slocombe on the way to Parque Ninos, working it off in Bikram, my too-often stop at Tonayense for a torta al pastor. I’m so sad to miss the Street Food Festival and the next Letterpress class, and I haven’t even made it to Mission Chinese yet. I know why Tony Bennett sings.

Jasper and Rex, trying to keep warm at the SF Zoo

But I know I can rely on San Francisco, our modern-day eternal city, unvanquished by earthquake, fire or recession, to stick it out for a few weeks. And I’ll be back in time to watch my friends recover from Burning Man, for free opera in Golden Gate Park, for PARK(ing) day; back in time for it to get warm here (if not, I’m first in line for developing Islais).

Enjoy the weather!

Start Them Out Right
This Friday brings a unique opportunity to start your kids out as locavores at a very tender age: 18 Reasons is hosting a homemade babyfood swap. I made all of Jasper’s food, and I bet he got sick of it sometimes. I hope this becomes a tradition!
Babyfood Swap. Friday, August 13, 11 a.m.-noon. All ages. $5. To RSVP by e-mail: info@18reasons.org. 18 Reasons, 593 Guerrero Street at 18th.

Just Add Water
I am really very sorry to be missing Paxton Gate’s latest offering, terrarium building. I wonder which microclimate they’ll emulate?
My Very Own Ecosystem! Saturday, August 14, 2-2:45 p.m. and 3-3:45 p.m. All ages. $6-$8 sliding scale donation to cover cost of supplies. Call 415-252-9990 to register. Curiosities for Kids, 766 Valencia Street at 19th.

Some Inspiration
Southern Exposure’s exhibits are a constant source of aesthetic and functional inspiration for me—I’ve made more than one project at home with Jasper after seeing the latest exhibit. Next week the tables are turned, and local youth show off what they’ve been up to all summer, when Echo Echoes Echoed opens.
Echo Echoes Echoed. Grito de la Mision Celebration Wednesday, August 18, 6-8 p.m. All ages. Free. Southern Exposure, 3030 20th Street at Alabama.

Give Back
Daniel Webster School in Potrero Hill needs to raise approximately $15,000 to continue funding a reading program that’s had a marked success with their students—”a proven difference.” They’ve managed to secure a 2-for-1 matching grant, which means if they raise $5,000 from the community by September 1, they’ll have the funding they need. Click here to donate via Paypal (even a dollar helps!), or contact Sharon at stetlow@gmail.com for more information.

At Home
Summer always means swimming to me, and I guess I’ve passed that along to Jasper, but now it’s morphed into all things “fishie.” I never thought I’d be able to draw so many different types of fish. Leo Lionni and Eric Carle both have lovely books about sea creatures, tons of fun to read and look at, and also good starting points for at-home crafts. I’m getting really adventurous, though, and think we might try this next, only perhaps in the shape of a Humboldt squid.