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

Darn, life has changed. It seems but a flash ago when satin gathered to mind the kinky hushes of French lingerie, while linen was of stylish summer garb for strolls in sandy sunsets.

In the world of mamma, satin, the heavier the better, or “it just doesn’t drape right, mamma”, is for a floor length hooded Jedi cape, while with linen I am to fabricate a small apron “so when I carve a pumpkin with my best friend it doesn’t muck my Jedi cape, mamma”.

Apparently, the reason I am taking the fabulous Cutting and Sewing Class at City College this fall, is so that my darling heart of a child can have mock French seams on his Halloween garments.

I believe that the language a family develops around holidays is a significant tile in the building of memories and belonging, not to mention a meaningful way to explore the traditions of cultures different than our own – no Halloween in my Italian childhood. So, I go along, but often with the nagging feeling that the weight of satin is a rarefied quandary.

I often struggle to keep the balance between enjoying our gifts and sharing them with our brethren. How do we acknowledge those whose gifts are fewer and further in between, yet not feel unease with where we are?

In other words, how do I empower my boy to strive for a more equal and wise use of resources, without making him feel that he must forego the Jedi cape?

I have no answer, at all. I just keep trying my best. And in that spirit, I will honor both these often conflicting parenting principles by acknowledging that this is not only the weekend before Halloween, but also the one that marks the 6th anniversary of Make a Difference Day.

This week’s picks are ways to celebrate while giving back, they all are fun and they all support our community. And they all give me the small hope that I might, one day, strike my coveted balance.


Halloween Fun, Near and Far
This Halloween, get your pumpkins locally. SF Community School is launching their First Pumpkin Patch and Pancake Breakfast on Saturday morning. Grab your jack-o’-lantern and a delicious breakfast on the way to this whirlwind weekend. The event, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., will also feature live music by The Melee and a jumpy house. By the way, the pumpkins, donated by Veritable Vegetable, are organic and sustainably cultivated. The proceeds for this event will go to supporting project based learning and other programs at SF Community School.

On Friday afternoon, bundle up and head to Stern Grove. Starting at 4 p.m., Parks and Recreation will stage Scaregrove, a family Halloween extravaganza with hay rides, arts and crafts, inflatables and even a haunted house! The fee is $8/person for an all access pass and the fun will last until 9 p.m.

Defend for the Environment
Children 12 and up can participate in Twin Peaks habitat restoration on Saturday morning. The volunteer group will “clean up litter, plant native seedlings, and restore the natural habitat of the endangered Mission Blue Butterfly.”

Fight Hunger
This Sunday the Crop Hunger Annual Walk will start at 2 p.m. at Lake Merced. Whole families are encouraged to participate and you can easily sign up online.

Support Local and Organic
This is a yearly appointment not to miss: the Alemany Farm Harvest Festival. The day will start at 11 a.m. around a garlic bed that needs tending and continue into the afternoon with kids’ activities and a potluck BBQ. The farm team will provide main dishes and are asking that one bring a side dish or dessert to share. While the event is free, donations are greatly appreciated. Goodbyes will be at 5 p.m.

The weekly Mission Community Market has a character so uniquely Mission. Every Thursday on Bartlett and 22nd Street, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., you can enjoy this delightful alternative to an afterschool trip to the playground, while supporting local emerging businesses, sustainable farmers and youth and arts programs.

Music, Books, Education, the City
Sunday sees the end of this year’s Tricycle Music Fest West, with an artist revue starting at 11 a.m. and continuing into the afternoon. This “rollicking block party” will include performances of several kindie rock favorites, including The Devil-Ettes and The Sippy Cups.

The Main Stage Event will rock the Larkin Street Steps of the Main Library and is in conjunction with Sunday Streets, which will transform the area into a pedestrian paradise for families to walk, bike, skate, scoot and engage in many other activities for all ages.

Be a Part of Public Education
This isn’t exactly a family activity, but if you are a parent looking to enroll your kindergartner in public school in September you will want to know that Parents for Public Schools San Francisco is holding an elementary enrollment workshop at the Potrero Hill Library on Tuesday 10/26 at 6:30 p.m.

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A native Italian, US-based professional with 30 years of multifaceted experience in the field of Italian food, Viola transitioned to teaching 10 years ago, with the goal of getting home cooks to gather daily around the stove and table. She believes that from our kitchens, we can make the world a better place. By cooking good food at the intersection of Italian table culture and local agriculture, she teaches people to enjoy and value good food, and understand its critical role to the overall well being of our communities. For more details on registering for Viola’s classes and other food-related activities go to her website.
For more details on registering for Viola’s classes and other food-related activities click here.

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