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April 2017

Camp Fair!

Garden with Kids Tips for success

Egg Hunts

CAMP GUIDE 123 area programs

See you March 31

5 local events

Choose from Bowling, Trampolines, Sports, Laser Tag, Arcade Games & More!



MAKE YOUR CHILD’S NEXT BIRTHDAY AN EPIC CELEBRATION! With so many fun and exciting attractions under one roof, nobody in Sonoma County throws a birthday party like Epicenter!

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3215 Coffey Lane, Santa Rosa


Summer Camp & Fun Fair


westminster woods camp ministry




outdoor school








retreat center

April 2017

Every Issue

12 Features


Dear Reader


Bits and Pieces Latin Magic Old Time Fun The Alphabet Gets a Makeover Time to Bloom A Life Interrupted Piece-By-Piece

30 Crafting with Kids Egg-stra Special Easter

31 Cooking with Kids

10 Growing Memories Plant a garden with your kids.

12 Getting to Know Me How camp helps kids learn about themselves.

Creative with Cauliflower

32 Calendar of Events Clown Around

42 Humor Break A as in Awkward

14 Summer Camp Adventure Guide Get the scoop on 123 terrific local camps.

33 Egg Craze


Local spots for Easter fun.

32 4 SonomaFamilyLife

April 2017



A Doctor’s ConfessiontotoPetaluma Petaluma Doctor’s Confession

Dear Friend, I wanted Dear Friend,to let everyone know what happened while I was in college. was a I wanted to let everyone know It what moment that changed my life forever. But happened while I was in college. It was a before I tell about my my life experience, moment thatyou changed forever. IBut wanted tellyou youabout my story from the start. before Itotell my experience, I Let me start by explaining the photo wanted to tell you my story from thein start. this letter. amexplaining the guy inthe thephoto middle, Dr Let me startI by in this Taatjes. You when I meet people letter. I am theknow guy in the middle, Dr. Taatjes. in town and theyI usually say, in “Oh yeah, You know when meet people town andI know you, you’re Dr. Taatjes. You’ve been they usually say, “Oh yeah, I know you, you’re on and Ross years…” Well, Dr.McDowell Taatjes. You’ve been for serving the commuthat’s nity forme. twenty-four years! Well that’s me. We years agoinsomething hapareTwenty-six now centrally located our beautiful new pened me that my life forever. office totobetter servechanged the community. LetTwenty-seven me tell you my story. years ago something I was studying pre-Med in college, happened to me that changed my lifein hopes of becoming a medical forever. Let me tell you my doctor. story. Things looking up, andinlife was good, Dr. with his sons, Hayden (left) and Henry (right). I waswere studying pre-Med college, in Dr.Taatjes Taatjes with his sons, Hayden (left) and Henry (right). until things took a turn for the worse. hopes of becoming a medical doctor. whole ball of wax. This exam could cost practic, we don’t add anything to the body I began to looking have terrible back Things were up, and lifeand wasstomgood, you $350 elsewhere. Great care at a great or take anything from it. We find interferach For a young guy,worse. I felt pretty ence but that simply isn’t system the case.and With chiroa lesser amount for chiropractic. When untilproblems. things took a turn for the fee… in the nervous remove it, rotten. Mytoback so badly thatstomach I had a practic, we don’tthe addhealing anything to the body or youPlease, bring in this article by April 30, 2017, I began havehurt terrible back and I hope that there’s no misunderthus enhancing capacities of the hard time even in pretty class. rotten. I was body. take anything it. We results…it find interference you will receive my entire new patient exam problems. For aconcentrating young guy, I felt about quality of care, just because We get from tremendous really standing miserable. The in the nervous system and remove it, thus for $27. That’s with x-rays, exam, report of My back hurt so medical badly thatdoctors I had atried hard differtime I have a lower exam fee. You’ll get great is as simple as that. ent but theyin only made memiserable. feel like I enhancing the healing of thehad body. care findings…the ball of wax. This exam evendrugs, concentrating class. I was at a great whole fee. My qualifications… Here’s what some capacities of my patients was in a “cloud.” not getting Wesay: get tremendous results…it really is as could cost you of $350 elsewhere. College Great care The medical doctorsI was triedjust different drugs, betbut I’m a graduate Northwestern of to ter. friend of mine convinced give a simple as that. at a great fee… theyAonly made me feel like I wasme in ato“cloud.” Chiropractic who regularly goes to monthly “I have had a problem with migraines chiropractor try. The chiropractor an Here’s whatback some of my patients had Please, I hope that there’s no misunderI was just not agetting better. A friend ofdid mine educational chiropractic seminars. I’ve as well as low pain. Even after seeing exam, took some films and then “adjusted” to say: standing about quality care, just because convinced me to give a chiropractor a try. The doctors and other health professionals, the been entrusted to take of care of tiny babies toI my spine. The didn’t hurt -- it “I have had a problem with migraines have a lower exam You’ll getI great care at chiropractor didadjustment an exam, took some films neighbors that youfee. may know. just have pains remained. After coming to Dr. Joel, actually good. my I gotspine. relief,The andadjustI soon as well as low back pain. Even after seeing a great fee. My qualifications…I’m a graduate and then felt “adjusted” that low exam fee to help more people who they have helped me tremendously. They was all medication. It worked so well doctors and othermy health professionals, of Northwestern College of Chiropractic who mentoff didn’t hurt — it actually felt good. I got need care. even take away migraines. They’rethe that to become pains remained. regularly goes to monthly educational chirorelief,I decided, and I soonthen wasand off there, all medication. It a My associates, Dr. Rose, Dr. Truong and great!” (Judy E.) After coming to Dr. Joel, chiropractor myself. they“Ihave helped me tremendously. They practic seminars. I’ve been entrusted to take worked so well that I decided, then and there, I are ready to see if we can help you. Our came in pending laser surgery for Now fora my kids, Hayden and Henry. evenherniated take awaydiscs. my migraines. They’re care of tiny babies to neighbors that you to become chiropractor myself. offices are both friendly and warm andmay we two Over a few months They have been under chiropractic care their great!” (Judy E.) know. just have that you low exam to helpWe Now for my kids, Hayden and Henry. They try ourI best to make feel atfee home. here the need for surgery subsided, and the entire lives. And, unlike most other in came in pending laser discomfort surgery for with two more apeople who need an exceptional have been under chiropractic care theirkids entire have wonderful service, pain“Ihas subsided to a mild their never thekids “common” herniated discs. Over a few months hereI associate, James Rogers, and ICHIare lives. class, And, they unlike mostget other in their fee.My Our office isDr. called REDWOOD occasional morning stiffness. Over all, childhood illnesses like“common” ear infections, the need surgery the pain ready to see if weand canwe help you. Ourtwo office is class, they never get the childhood ROPRACTIC now have locafeel betterforvisit after subsided, visit. It’sand a gradual asthma and allergies. In fact, they have has subsided to a mild discomfort with ocboth friendly and warm and we try our best illnesses like ear infections, asthma and allertions. Our main office is located at 1225 N. process.” (Jaime O.) never taken drughave in their they casional morning Overthank all, I me feel to make youBlvd., feel atPetaluma, home. Wephone have wondergies. In fact,athey neverlives. takenAnd a drug in McDowell number Several times astiffness. day patients are 17And and they 18! are now 17 and 19! better visit after gradualproblems. process.” is ful763-8910. service, atDr. anTaatjes exceptional Our theirnow lives. wouldfee. love to office help for helping themvisit. with It’s theira health It’s strange strangehow howlife lifeis,is,because becausenow now (Jaime O.) really take credit. is called REDWOOD It’s people But you at this location.OurCHIROPRACTIC. second location I can’t people to with see me with their back probSeveral a day patients thank me for is Weatare at 937 Lakeville Street Petcome tocome see me their back problems and 225located N. McDowell Blvd., Petaluma, Find outtimes for yourself and benefit from lems andproblems. stomach problems. helping them with their health problems. But with aluma, our phone number 763-8910. stomach They comeThey to mecome with to Dr.and Truong, and the phone isnumber is an AMAZING OFFER. Look, it shouldn’t me their headaches, chronic cost I can’t really takeand credit. Call Alex, Call Phoebe or Wendy, Christine for an theirwith headaches, migraines,migraines, chronic pain, 775-2545. Alex, or today Chauntel you an arm a leg to correct your pain, neck shoulder/arm pain, shoulder/arm pain, whipFindYou out are forgoing yourself and benefit appointment. We can help you. Thank neck pain, pain, whiplash from today for an appointment. We can helpyou. you. health. to write a check to lash from car asthma, accidents, asthma,numbness allergies,in from an AMAZING OFFER. Look, you Thank -Dr. Joel Taatjes car accidents, allergies, you. someone for your health care expenses, numbness in limbs, athletic just to it shouldn’t youone an for arma and a leg to P.S. When accompanied by this I am also limbs, athletic injuries, just toinjuries, name a few. Joel Taatjes may as wellcost write lesser amount name a few. correct your health. You are going to write offering the second family member this same If drugs make people well, then those P.S. When accompanied by this first I am for chiropractic. When you bring in this drugs then those a checkbytoJuly someone for your care examination $ member this whoIf take themake mostpeople shouldwell, be the healthiest, also offering for theonly second article 31, 2012, you health will receive who take the most should be the healthiest, expenses, you may as exam well write oneThat’s for same examination for only $15. my entire new patient for $27. but that simply isn’t the case. With chirowith x-rays, exam, report of findings…the


April 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 5

Dear Reader


elcome to our camp issue, featuring our Summer Camp Adventure Guide (page 14), Sharon Gowan Publisher/Editor which lists 123 terrific programs. No matter what interests your child—art, sports, science, dance, language, animals, computers— there’s a camp for it. Day camps are a great way for children to explore themselves more deeply outside of the confines of home and school. And this may be even truer of overnight camps. Find out other benefits of sleep-away camps in “Getting to Know Me” (page 12).

If you want a chance to talk to camp directors and staff firsthand, come to our Camp Fair at Coddingtown Mall in Santa Rosa on March 31, 3–7 p.m.

Office Manager Patricia Ramos

Looking for a way to share special time together now? Try gardening. “Growing Memories” (page 10) offers several tips for involving children in everything from shopping for seeds to gathering the harvest. For even more ways to have fun with your kids, see our Calendar of Events (page 32). Want Easter entertainment? Check out “Egg Craze” (page 33) for local egg hunts. However you choose to spend your spring, we hope your family flowers.

Business Marketing Renee Nutcher Marie Anderson Natalie Bruzon

Features Editor Melissa Chianta

Production Manager Donna Bogener

Web and Social Media Jean Flint

Contributing Writers Holly Hester Kerrie McLoughlin Jill Morgenstern Karen Nochimowski Denise Morrison Yearian

Billing Jan Wasson-Smith

Publishing Office 134 Lystra Court, Suite A Santa Rosa, CA 95403 Tel (707) 586-9562 Fax (707) 586-9571

6 SonomaFamilyLife

April 2017

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Bits & Pieces Presto Mambo!

Latin Magic


ymphonic music can be a big snooze for little kids. But add a little theatrical drama, and their ears perk up. Presto Mambo!, an interactive program put on by Platypus Theatre and the Santa Rosa Symphony, implements such a strategy. The show features Max, an energetic but impulsive young boy, whose efforts to “help” the orchestra lead him to foreign lands where he discovers dynamic Latin rhythms. The concert will be held on April 30 at 3 p.m. in Weill Hall in the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park. (An instrument petting zoo will be held at 2 p.m.) Tickets are $12–$17 and may be purchased at or by calling 546-8742. ¶

Old Time Fun


iddlers’ fast fingers get many toes tapping. Let your feet in on the fun at the Cloverdale Oldtime Fiddle Festival. Listen to local kids and grown-ups vie for top fiddling honors, or go see professionals perform bluegrass and old time music. The festival will be held on April 1 at the Citrus Fairgrounds in Cloverdale. Contestants begin playing at 9:45 a.m. with judges performing at noon. Meanwhile, acts such as Blithedale Canyon, Debby McClatchy, and Antioch Strolling Strings will run 11 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Tickets are $15–$19; children under 6 get in free. See for a complete schedule of activities. ¶

Blithedale Canyon

DC & Genevieve of Disney’s Choo Choo Soul

8 SonomaFamilyLife

The Alphabet Gets a Makeover


his may be impossible to believe, but there is more than one “ABC song.” The one Genevieve of Disney’s Choo Choo Soul belts out has decidedly more sass than the simple refrain most of us learned in nursery school. See her and her beat-boxing, breakdancing TV cohost, DC, perform funky hip-hop kids’ tunes on April 15 at noon in Weill Hall at Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center in Rohnert Park. Tickets are $10–$20 and may be purchased at gmc. ¶ April 2017

Time to Bloom


hey may be tiny, but apple blossoms carry big news: It’s spring! To celebrate, Sebastopol puts on a huge party—the Apple Blossom Festival, which will be held April 22–23. A parade at 10 a.m. on April 22 in downtown Sebastopol kicks off the event. Meanwhile, exhibits and blues music performers will pack Ives Park noon–6 p.m. on Saturday and noon–5 p.m. on Sunday. Hear the likes of the Tim Hurley Band, Faith McKenna, and Mark Hummel’s Golden State/Lone Star Revue with Anson Funderburgh while you browse through the work of local artists, find out about community resources, or just chow down on corn dogs and Hawaiian shaved ice. Tickets are $10–$12 per day; kids ages 10 and under get in free. There’s a discount for tickets purchased in advance at the Chamber of Commerce in Sebastopol. For more information, see ¶

Tim Hurley

A Life Interrupted


n spite of everything, I still believe people are really good at heart,” Anne Frank wrote in her diary while she and her family were in hiding from the Nazis during World War II. After the war was over and the teen had died in a concentration camp, her diary was published as a book and then turned into a Pulitzer Prize–winning play, The Diary of Anne Frank. You can see a revised version of the original drama performed at Raven Performing Arts Theater in Healdsburg April 7–23, with shows at 8 p.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $10 for students with IDs. On April 13, tickets for adults and seniors will be specially marked at $12. Find out more information and purchase tickets at ¶



unctional and artful, quilts have historically been a way for parents to channel their creativity while answering the instinct to keep their children warm. Even while the latter may be less compelling in this age of central heating, quilting is still an art form that captures the imagination of artist and consumer alike. You can see more than 200 quilts from four area counties at the Sixth Annual Quilt and Doll Show on April 1, 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m., at Healdsburg Senior Living in Healdsburg. Fuel up with a mimosa and continental breakfast, 9:30–11:30 a.m., or later a lunch buffet and wine tasting, then peruse the textiles or buy wares from doll and quilt vendors. Maybe you’ll even win a raffle or door prize. A $5 suggested entry donation benefits the Quilt Guild. See or call 433-4877 for more information. ¶

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SonomaFamilyLife 9

can make the entire garden a compost pile in the off-season, and if you like you can leave a section for composting year-round. Use appropriate tools. Make sure you have kid-size tools available for your budding gardener to keep her or him interested. For Small Hands

Growing Memories I

Gardening with Kids

By Kerrie McLoughlin

’ll never forget the first time I picked a beautiful, ripe, red tomato that I helped grow. I had watered and weeded the plant with love, and I was so proud of that tomato. And, because I wasn’t interested in gardening when I was a kid, this memorable gardening experience happened the summer I turned 40! 10 SonomaFamilyLife

This made me determined to share the joy of gardening with my own kids. I’m already learning that gardening alongside your kids provides valuable opportunities for them to learn, to get some exercise and fresh air, and to spend some time connecting with you. Check out these tips and ideas for gardening success, as well as a few reasons why gardening is one cool hobby.

Be eco-friendly. There’s nothing greener than growing your own food. Composting is another fun, green aspect of gardening because kids get to toss “trash” into the garden (egg shells, coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable shavings and rinds, etc.). You

Gardening alongside your kids provides valuable opportunities for them to learn, to get some exercise and fresh air, and to spend some time connecting with you. ( offers child-size gardening tools, such as gloves, shovels, watering cans, kneeling pads, small buckets for weeds, small aprons and totes for tools, and more. Teach responsibility. Consider planting most of the plot as a family garden, but save one entire section for your children’s own garden and make them responsible for it. If they don’t fall in love with gardening, give them an allowance for chores, such as watering and weed pulling. And be sure to relax your own standards. For instance, who cares if the rows are not planted perfectly? Decorate. Spiff up plant markers with the kids. Make stepping-stones using a kit. We have a lattice screen that my husband cut and the kids painted to make a short fence to keep animals out of the garden. Educate. How much will it cost to buy enough tomato plants to fill half

April 2017

of our space? How many feet by how many feet is our garden, and how many different things can I plant in it? Could we plant an ABC garden—one plant for each letter in the alphabet—if we have room for 26 small plants? Eat up. Have a garden-to-table pizza party where the toppings come from your own garden. Learn how to can your goodies at so you can save them for another day, and give some as holiday gifts. Can fruits and vegetables as-is or doctor them up to make salsa, pie filling, jam—get creative. Learn about insects. Which bugs are bad (Japanese beetles) and which are beneficial? Which plants attract butterflies (hint: wild plants)? Buy some ladybugs,

let them loose, and see how long they stay to eat up aphids. Head to, search “insects,” and have fun reading about different bugs and the work they do. Save space. Try square-foot gardening (, which is a great system for beginners

There’s nothing greener than growing your own food. that saves time, work, water, and money. You can start as small as 1’x1’ and grow from there. It’s on a raised-bed system, so weeds are kept to a minimum, and you can even bring in your small garden if a frost is on the horizon. Or think up by

growing pole beans or gourds so you can plant more stuff below. Grow herbs in a pot inside. And if you have no backyard, community gardens are all the rage these days. Visit to locate one near you or learn how to start one. Go seed shopping. Take the kids along to pick out seeds at the garden store or spend an afternoon poring over a seed catalog before making final decisions on what to plant. Their faces will light up when they get to pick green beans for dinner or grab some mint for their lemonade. Soft lamb’s ear, fragrant lavender, and basil make a great addition to a fruit and veggie garden. ¶ Kerrie McLoughlin is the mom of five budding gardeners. Check out their progress at

YOUR FAMILY’S SAFETY IS OUR TOP PRIORITY Please be alert and aware near all railroad tracks and crossings and remember these important safety tips: • Never stop your car on the tracks. Cross only when you are certain there is enough room to make it to the other side. • Never rush through a railroad crossing — saving a few minutes is not worth the safety risk to you or your family. • Never walk on the tracks, walking on the tracks is both dangerous and illegal.

Visit us online at

April 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 11

hired them have known them since they were small, occasionally see my kids outside of camp, and definitely know their strengths and weaknesses. 3. Independence When my daughter went off to college, I was certain she could operate without me at least for a time. She already had and so had

Getting to Know Me 7 Ways Sleep-Away Camp Is Great for Kids By Jill Morgenstern


ne of the great luxuries of my teaching career was spending summertime with my children. My kids took field trips as part of their everyday lives, spending the lazy days of summer in museums as often as swimming pools. But as my children grew, I always forfeited some of this special season to sleep-away camp.

The benefits of camp go far beyond a simple vacation for Mom and Dad. While it might be nice to have a break from parenting duties, there are many ways camp can help children grow: 1. Exploration Kids get access to a smorgasbord of activities that would be nearly impossible to explore at home. Although there are some camps that specialize in certain areas, most offer kids chances to participate in a wide variety of experiences. As a kid, I loved riflery but hated archery. 12 SonomaFamilyLife

I would never have known that had it not been for camp. 2. Leadership As campers grow older, they can focus on the activities they enjoy most and eventually help teach them to younger participants. When I first sent my kids to camp, I researched the establishment’s hiring practices to ensure I was sending them somewhere safe. I was told that the camp had to do very little in the way of getting to know their hires: Most of the counselors were former campers. Now that my older kids are on staff, I know what they mean. The people who

Camp makes learning painless, fun even. my son. The transition to college is a big one no matter what, but children who have been to camp have the advantage that they’ve successfully been away from home for extended periods of time. The best camps offer children increasing independence with enough supervision to maintain the children’s safety. 4. Values The truly great thing about camp is that it encourages independence while supporting the parents’ ideals. When my kids were in elementary school, I was a single parent. I relied heavily on my family and community to help me. Camp was part of that community, reinforcing the lessons I tried to teach my children at home. And every time I hear someone say that my son or daughter is a “good kid,” I know that it is in part because their camp helped me raise them. Not only that, but camp makes learning painless, fun even. Finding a camp that reinforces your values may be as easy as choosing one that reflects your religious beliefs, or other factors may come into play. Often

April 2017


camps offer shorter school-year programming (such as a family weekend over spring break) so that you can get to know the camp before summer arrives.


5. The Great Outdoors Hiking, biking, swimming, or even boating or horseback riding might be on the camp agenda. These can be new experiences for children who

• Robotics Institute • Comedy Improv Theatre • Drivers Ed/Skills of the Road • Basketball • Tennis • Golf • Wrestling • Girls Lacrosse • Cheerleading

Every time I hear someone say that my son or daughter is a “good kid,” I know that it is in part because their camp helped me raise them. spend a lot of time indoors, or they can reinforce the love kids already have for these activities. 6. Community, Bonding, Lifelong Friends Last year, as I delivered my daughter to camp, we were all treated to a great surprise as one camp alumni proposed to another. Romantic interests aside, when my daughter visits new places, it is often her camp friends she looks up. 7. Time Unplugged Time at camp allows kids relief from keeping up with their virtual world, be it friendly or dramatic. It fosters real life relationships. For some children, especially those who have had difficult online relationships, camp can be a welcome respite. ¶ Jill Morgenstern is a wife, mother to four, and teacher. She has 13 years of teaching experience and a master’s degree in teaching reading. She writes at

n a o D c M anchld R

Summer Day Camps

HORSE & FARM CAMP Weekly Session 8am-5pm June through Mid August • Horseback Riding • Swimming • Archery • Counselor-In-Training • Farm Animals • Camp Cooking and more! Shuttles from Santa Rosa, Petaluma, & Rohnert Park Camps Held at Sky Tree Ranch in Santa Rosa • 707 583-6711 April 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 13


Summer Camp Adventure Guide 1

Start here in the 2017 Summer Camp Adventure Guide! Sonoma Family Life’s got the scoop on 123 camps to get your summer planning off to a great start.


Visit in person with camp staff at our Camp Fair on March 31, 3–7 p.m., at Coddingtown Mall in Santa Rosa. Get info on more than 100 camps, travel destinations, and kids’ activities as you browse fun booths staffed with representatives ready to answer your questions.

3 Ways to Plan an Awesome Summer


Want to figure out which camps and programs you should check out? Go to and check out our Virtual Summer Camp Fair. Or visit us at our Family Life booth at the real-time fair, and we’ll guide you through the exhibits ourselves. Let us help you prepare for a great summer! With so many amazing activities to choose from, you’ll never hear your kids say, “I’m bored.”


Explore Sonoma County Parks • Amphibian Amble - April 2 • Walk on the Wild Side - April 9, May 13 • Family Nature Hikes - April 15, May 20 • Trail-Gating Pop-Up Park - April 22 • Earth Day Campfire - April 22 • Day of the Child - April 29 • Tide Pooling! - April 30 • Castles and Kites - May 6 • Wildlife Tracking for Kids - May 7

Get Your Free Spring Activities Guide at

14 SonomaFamilyLife



Hairspray, Jr. Lion King, Kids! June 12–July 20. Shows on July 21, 22 & 23

June 19–July 27. Shows July 28, 29 & 30

Call (707) 523-4185 Today! April 2017

Summer Camp Adventure Guide CLOVERDALE Boys & Girls Clubs of Cloverdale. Campers take field trips, play games & develop positive relationships in a safe environment. Ages 6–18. 8 a.m.–3 p.m. M–F. June 5–Aug. 4. 894-5063.


COTATI City of Cotati Summer Camps. Games, crafts & daily outdoor fun, with weekly themes. Gymnastics, Spanish summer immersion, soccer, Play-Well TEKnologies intro. to STEM with LEGO. Ages 7–12. 665-4222. Visit web site for schedule/rates. GUERNEVILLE Boys & Girls Clubs of Guerneville. Campers take field trips, play games & develop positive relationships in a safe environment. Ages 6–18. 8 a.m.–4 p.m. M–F. June 7–July 14. 528-7977. HEALDSBURG Boys & Girls Clubs of Healdsburg. Campers take field trips, play games & develop positive relationships in a safe environment. Ages 6–18. 8 a.m.–5 p.m. M–F. June 12–Aug. 4. 433-4479. Camp HBG: California Dreamin’. Ages 5–10. 8 a.m.–5:30 p.m. M–F. June 14–Aug. 11. Full day: $130/wk. Half day: $75/wk. Healdsburg Community Center. 431-3301. Fitch Mountain Summer Day Camp. Children are provided with a safe, compassionate setting where they can have fun, be physically fit & learn community values. Arts, crafts, swimming & sports. Grades K–7. 7:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m. M–F. Starts June 12. 431-1412. Healdsburg Ballet. Not Just Ballet. Offering classes in princess-ballerina, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, choreography, pointe & variations. Ages 3–adult. 9:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m. M–F. $60–$400. 431-7617. Healdsburg Center for the Arts Summer Art Camp. Weekly day camps & half-day camps will include mixed media, drawing & painting, gardening & cooking & much more. Ages 6–18. June 12–July 28. $170–$280/wk. 344-2248. YAS Summer Drama Camp. Immerse yourself in an intensive summer theater training program. Students study acting, voice, movement & participate in games & exercises. The session ends with a

Give your child a dream...

Open Houses: April 23rd May 21st

They just can’t do it anywhere else


ive your child the dream that only camp can offer. A dream of awakening. The dream of discovering the world around and inside them. Cloverleaf isn’t just riding, swimming, soccer and zip-lining. It’s learning about people, communication, responsibility.

Children don’t discover themselves watching television or sitting in the classroom. They find it on their own, with the right help. We’ve been giving them that help for almost seventy years. This year, let’s make the dream come true for your child. • 707.545.5906 April 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 15

Summer Camp Adventure Guide public performance. Ages 6–15. 9 a.m.–3 p.m. M–F. July. Visit website for schedule. $550. Luther Burbank Center, Santa Rosa. 955-5759. KENWOOD Sonoma Ecology Center Sugarloaf Camps. Introductory Backpacking Adventure. 3-day/2-night program. Ages 8–16. June 13–30. $420–$460. 996-0712. summer-science-camp. PETALUMA Art-rageous & Baking-rageous Camps. Weekly themes. 9 a.m.–noon. June–July. $45/day, $200/wk. Extended hours & pricing avail. Anna B’s Kitchen. 688-7143. 415-269-4381. Boys & Girls Club of Marin & Petaluma. Lucchesi Park Clubhouse Summer Camp. Various programs ranging from sports & fitness to science & arts. Visit website for schedule & rates. 769-5322 x17. Cherry Valley Summer Camp. Open space for children to ride their bikes & scooters. Different fun activities each day. Ages 5–12.

8 a.m.–6 p.m. M–F. Full day: $40. Half day: $30. North Bay Children’s Center. 763-6222. Christie Johnson Learning Center Summer Tutoring. Remedial & enrichment tutoring as well as 8-week seminars for junior high & high school students. Ages 5–18. 10 a.m.–6:30 p.m. M–Th. Tutoring: $45–$75/ hr. Seminars: $350/session. 775-2480. Cinnabar Theater Camp. Musical theater acting camp, with productions of Disney’s The Lion King Jr. Grades 1–6: 9 a.m.–1 p.m. M–F. July 3–28. Grades 6 & up: 1:30–5:30 p.m. M–F. July 10–Aug. 4. $600/4 wks. 763-8920. Colors of Spanish Summer Language Immersion Camp. Students will be engaged in age-appropriate, fun activities that expose them to the Spanish language thru games, rhymes, stories, acting, songs, music & art. Ages 4–8. M–F. June–Aug. $270/wk. 782-1084. summer-immersion. FLAG Football Summer League. All games & practices are on Sunday. Grades K–7.

April 30–July 30. $200. Casa Grande High School. 322-6558. Kinder Kickz Soccer Camps. Soccer games & activities for children geared toward improving motor, social & soccer skills in a fun & positive environment. Campers will be divided by age groups. Ages 3–8. 9 a.m.–noon. M–Th. June 5–8 & July 24–27. $135. Leghorns Park. 953-2603. LearningRX Brain Camp. A cognitive enrichment program using fun activities that work on core brain skills, such as attention, memory & logic. Ages 6–14. 10 a.m.–3 p.m. M–F. June 26–30, July 10–14, July 17–21. $299/wk., 15% sibling discount. 781-7373. Petaluma Parks & Recreation Summer Camps. Camp Sunshine: Ages 3–TK. Weekly sessions. Campers have 1 swim day per week. Kids Klub: Grades 1–5. Weekly sessions. Campers have 2 swim days & 1 field trip per week. Camp K2: Grades 6–8. Weekly sessions. Campers have 2 swim days & 2 field trips per week. Visit website for schedule & rates. 778-4380. teencenter.html.

Santa Rosa Symphony’s SUMMER MUSIC ACADEMY

JULY 10-29

For beginning & experienced students Full-day (9am-3pm) & A La Carte Classes Available! Strings, Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion, Guitar and more!

546-7097 x219 16 SonomaFamilyLife

April 2017

Summer Camp Adventure Guide Petaluma School of Ballet Summer Dance Camps. Aloha, Summer! Dance Camp: Ages 3–6, June 26–29. Once Upon a Time Dance Camp: Ages 3–6, July 10–13. Summer Dance Intensive: Ages 2– adult, June 26–29. Visit website for rates. 762-3972.

Family Portraits

Petaluma School of Music Summer Programs. Our goal is to provide a haven of music discovery in Petaluma. Vocal & instrumental instruction, songwriting & composition. All ages welcome. Visit website for summer class schedules & rates. 775-3655.

Individuals • Families • Events • (707)245-5321

Petaluma Wildlife Museum. Campers can look forward to a fun week of animals, insects, educational games & special guests. Ages 6–12. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. M–F. June 12–Aug. 4. $300/wk. 10% sibling discount avail. 778-4787. Redwood Empire Gymnastics Summer Camp. Summer day camps take full advantage of the 16,000 sq. ft. facility. Ages 5–12. 9 a.m.–4 p.m. M–F. June–Aug. Pre-care & after care avail. Visit website for rates. 763-5010. Santa Rosa Scottish Dancers Youth & Family Classes. New members welcome at any time. Ages 6 & up. 5–5:45 p.m. Mondays. $9–$16/one person, $13–$22/two people, $16–$27/three people. Hermann Son’s Hall. 860 Western Ave., Petaluma. 318-5660. She’z Moto Camp. We build confidence & teach females of all ages that they can do anything. She’z Moto Camps are led by Professional Racer Shelina Moreda. Families can sign up for our Family Camp. Visit website for schedules. $535/2-day camp, starting price. Spring Hill School Elementary Summer Camp. Inspiring creativity, helping young people learn Spanish & having all kinds of fun. We also offer arts, crafts, sports, makers- & STEAM-related sessions. Grades 1–6. 8 a.m.–3 p.m. M–F. June 19–Aug. 11. $685/2 wks. 763-9222. Strides Riding Academy Summer Camp. Each day includes a riding lesson, horse-themed games & crafts & summer camp fun. Campers also learn about general safety around horses & proper care & grooming. (Experienced riders, see our Summer Intensive.) Ages 6–11. 9

SAVE $ 125

GIVE THEM A SUMMER OF FUN! Offer ends 4-24-17


Saturday & Sunday April 22nd & 23rd 1-6pm CALL TODAY FOR MORE INFORMATION WWW.WIKIUPCLUB.COM 707-544-2330 April 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 17

Summer Camp Adventure Guide a.m.–3 p.m. M–F. $450/wk. 953-2678. Summer Arts Camp. 8 weeks of 4-day arts camps in a variety of mediums. Ages 6–16. June 6–Aug. 7. $125/wk. 762-5600. Synergy Health Club Petaluma Summer Day Camp. Ages 5–12. M–F. June 5–Aug. 11. No camp July 4. Members: $180–$225/ wk., $90/2 days, or $135/3 days. Non-members: $220–$275/wk., $110/2 days, or $165/3 days. 5% sibling discount. 559-2936. Thompson Quarter Horses Day Camp. Horsemanship, horse care, everything horses. Ages 5–18. Visit website for schedule & rates. 280-4513. ROHNERT PARK Boys & Girls Clubs of Rohnert Park. Campers take field trips, play games & develop positive relationships in a safe environment. Ages 6–18. 8 a.m.–4 p.m. M–F. June 5–Aug. 4. 528-7977. rohnertpark.


DAY CAMPS Camp Wa-Tam Camp Yu-Chi Doyle Adventure Camp Kamp Kennedy UCP Camp Kaos Cloverleaf Ranch Camp

Cal Skate Summer Classes & Lessons. Instruction for beginners to National Competitors. Quad Beginner’s Classes: 9:40 a.m.–noon. Saturdays. $14/wk. or $40/mo., includes Quad skate rental. No advance reservation required. Inline Speed Beginner Classes: 4:30–6 p.m. Wednesdays. $10/ class. No advance reservation required. Private Lessons: Inquire for schedule & rates. 585-0500. Camp Burton. Projects, crazy games, wet ’n wild swim days & Friday fun days. Ages 5–12. 9 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Extended care avail. June–Aug. 588-3456. Classical & Contemporary Dance Summer Programs. Dancing Tots Camp: Ages 4–6. Fitness Dance Camp: Ages 7–11. Musical Dance Camp: Ages 8–10. T–Th. June–July. $90–$324/session. $25 registration fee, includes materials & camp t-shirt. 585-1137. Cross & Crown Lutheran School. Weekly themes, including arts & crafts, science, cooking, games, music, field trips & more. Ages 2–12. June–Aug. Extended care avail. Visit website for schedule & rates. 795-7863.

Driven Raceway Race Camps. Learn new kart techniques, play mini-golf, arcade & mini-bowling. Each camp is 3 consecutive weekdays. Required height 48” & up. 12–3 p.m. Mon.–Fri. June–Aug. $125/ members, $135/nonmembers. 585-3748. EXCEL for Youth Program. Unique academic enrichment program offers over 60 classes in science, technology, engineering, the arts & math (STEAM). Ages 9–14. 9 a.m.–4 p.m. June 12–July 21. $185–$380. 664-2645. Flying Frog Academy Summer Camp. Campers spend the summer being physically active & will run, jump, climb, swing, flip & play games in our one-of-a-kind indoor park. Ages 6–14. 9 a.m.–noon or 9 a.m.–3 p.m. M–F. June 5–Aug. 18. Half day: $45/day or $200/wk. Full day: $65/day or $280/wk. 292-8201. Fundemonium Summer Camps. Bot Bash Summer Camp: Build a combat robot & compete in a Bot Bash Tournament with coaching from robot-fighting professionals.

SUMMER CAMPS SPORTS CAMPS Basketball Camp Tennis Camp Gymnastics Camp Camp Vertical Sailing Camp Boating Camp Horse Camp Fencing Camp

SPECIALTY CAMPS KidScience Adventure Engineering Camp Camp Tiny Tots Animal Vet Camp Speech Writing Camp Public Speaking Camp Debate Camp Personal Finance Camp

ARTS CAMPS Painting Camp Drawing Camp A Fairy’s Life Camp Mixed Media Camp Dance Camp Drama Camp Sewing Camp


April 2017





Join Us for the Rebounderz Rohnert Park Signature Summer Camp 2017! 3 Days a Week, Every Other Week, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday


8:30am - 3pm (Full-Day) $68 per day or 8:30am - Noon (Half-Day) $38 per half day $25 off if you sign up for the full-day, 3 day week June 13 - 15, 27 - 29 | July 11 - 13, 25 - 27 | August 8 - 10 Give your kids the gift of Fitness and Fun this summer!


Kids will participate in all our activities and play organized games with our Counselors! Full-Day Campers, please bring a lunch Tuesday and Wednesday and each Thursday we will have a pizza party and provide arcade game cards to each child! Fresh fruit and t-shirts included.

Sign-up NOW!

NINJA WARRIOR • 707-416-4445

Spend your Summer with REBOUNDERZ!!





Summer Camp Adventure Guide Ages 7–14. 10 a.m.–2:30 p.m. June 12–16, July 24–28, Aug. 7–11. $400/wk. RC Car Camp: Build & decorate a buggy with our help. You get an RC buggy worth over $170 & you know how to keep it running. Ages 8 & up. 10 a.m.–1 p.m. June 19–23, July 10–14. $349/wk. Science Camp: 5 days of fun & educational science experiments, including rockets, solar power, chemistry & Lego building. Ages 7–11. 10 a.m.–1 p.m. June 26–30, July 17–21. $179/wk. 540-0701.

800-645-3226. 100 Golf Course Dr., Rohnert Park. Scribbles & Giggles Creative Art Adventure. A fun, art-filled week with many projects & masterpieces to create. Ages 4–12. 9.a.m.–noon or 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Extended care avail. See website for camp schedules. $50–$75/day. $225–$350/wk. Sibling & multiple camp discounts avail. 285-2002.

Kidz ’n Critters Summer Camp. Learn about animals & care thru arts & crafts, guest speakers & hands-on time with the shelter animals. Each 1-week session is specially geared to a particular grade level. Grades 2–7. 8:30 a.m.–1 p.m. M–F. June–July. $125/ wk., t-shirt included. $25 sibling discount. Scholarships avail. Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. 584-1582.

Spreckels Youth In Arts Summer Camp. Join us this summer for a 4-Week Intensive Theater Arts Program of “Sleeping Beauty Kids” focusing on musical theater performance, singing, dancing & movement. Culminates in a main stage Spreckels performance. Call or e-mail to schedule an audition or for more info. Ages 10–17. Auditions: June 16. Rehearsals begin: July 16. Performances: Aug. 11–20. $450. 588-3419.

Nike Junior Golf Camp. This 5-full-day camp is geared to young players with playing experience. Campers receive 3 hours of instruction each day as well as 9 holes of playing & competition. Lunch is provided. Ages 10–15. June 19–23, July 10–24. $465.

Summer Camp at Rebounderz. Give your kids the gift of Fitness & Fun this summer. Trampolines, Ninja Warrior, Foam Pit, organized games & more. Each Thurs. ends with a pizza party & arcade time. Ages 5–12. 8:30 a.m.–noon or 8:30 a.m.–3 p.m. T–Th.

June 13–15, 27–29; July 11–13; 25–27; Aug. 8–10. Half day: $38. Full day: $68. $25 off if you sign up for full 3-day wk. 426-4445. Super Kids Camp at Sonoma State University (SSU). Offers a variety of lesson-plan–based activities, such as sports, arts, drama & science. Also uses SSU’s climbing wall & pool facilities. Ages 5–11. M–F. June 5–Aug. 11. $30–$46/ day. 664-4326. programs/skc. SANTA ROSA A.S.A.P. at the Cove. 10 special theme camps. Grades K–6. 8 a.m.–6 p.m. M–F. June 7–Aug. 11. Full day: $40–$50. Half day: $20–$30. 528-3795. Animal Vet Camp for Kids. Campers explore veterinary medicine in a fun & imaginative setting. Ages 8–12. 9 a.m.–2 p.m. M–Th. June 20–23, July 17–20. $233/ wk. (res), $243/wk. (non-res). Steele Lane Community Center. 293-9976. Art & Music Specialty Camps. Specialty half-day art camps & music camps thru the summer, with 16 different options

CAMP EPIC Sports & Entertainment Camp SUMMER CAMP: JUNE 12–AUGUST 4 NON-STOP FUN FOR KIDS AGES 4–12 Including Soccer Trampolines Entertainment Basketball Bowling Attractions at Flag Football Laser Tag Dodgeball & More FLEXIBLE REGISTRATION OPTIONS



April 2017

Summer Camp Adventure Guide to choose from over 4 weeks. Morning & afternoon sessions avail. Ages 3–12. 9:30 a.m.–noon & 12:30–3 p.m. M–Th. Weeks of June 19, July 10, July 24 & Aug. 7. $225/camp. Multiple camp discount avail. Art & Soul Music School. 575-7701. Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Santa Rosa. Campers take field trips, play games & develop positive relationships in a safe environment. Ages 6–18. North Santa Rosa: 8 a.m.–4 p.m. M–F. June 5–Aug. 4. East Santa Rosa: 8 a.m.–4 p.m. M–F. June 5– July 28. Roseland Club: 8 a.m.–5 p.m. M–F. June 5–July 28. 528-7977. British Soccer & TetraBrazil Soccer Camps. Soccer camps with programs for all ages, delivered by our professional coaching staff from the UK & Brazil. Visit website for all camp locations. Ages 3–18. 8 a.m.–4 p.m. M–F. June–Aug. $85–$200. 916-596-1694. content/search. Brush Creek Montessori Summer Session. Activities & materials presented in a Montessori environment with an emphasis

on outdoor play & work. Ages 2–6. 8 a.m.–4 p.m. M–F. June–Aug. Half day: $225/wk. Full day: $275/wk. 539-7980. Camp Kennedy. This day camp is for children & teens with developmental disabilities. Boating, crafts, songs, story time, games & outdoor cooking. Ages 6–18. T–Th: 10 a.m.–3 p.m. F: 2–7 p.m. July 25–28. $135/4 days. 543-3737. Cardinal Newman Summer Camps. Men’s Basketball Camp: June 12 –15. Grades 4–7, 9 a.m.–noon. Grades 8–12, 1 p.m.–4 p.m. Women’s Basketball Camp: Grades 3–8. 9 a.m.–noon. June 19–22. Baseball School: June 19–23. Ages 5–8, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Ages 9–12, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Football Camp: Frosh, Grade 9, 3–6 p.m., W–F, June 14–16. Prep Camp, Grades 9–12, 3 –6 p.m., M–Th, July 24–27. Men’s Summer Weights: June 1–July 31. Varsity, 8:30–10:30 a.m., M W F. Junior Varsity, 4–6 p.m., T–Th. Frosh, 5–7 p.m., M W Th. Co-ed Speed Training Camp: 8–11 a.m. June 26–28. Co-ed Tennis Camp: Ages 12 & up. 9 a.m.–noon. June

26–30. Women’s Volleyball Camp: July 24 –27. Grades 6–8, 9 a.m.–noon. Grades 9–12, 1–4 p.m. Women’s Soccer Camp: Grades 9–12. 5–7:30 p.m. Aug. 7–11. Co-ed Soccer Camp: Grades 4–8. 4–7 p.m. June 26–29. $50–$250. 546-6470 x115. Charles M. Schulz Museum Summer Camps. Classes avail. in art, cartooning, LEGO-animation, iPad movie-making & even ice-skating. Children ages 12–13 can join our Junior Volunteer Program & become junior volunteer helpers in our summer classes. Ages 3–15. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. June 5–Aug. 11. $80–$245. 284-1272. Cloverleaf Ranch. A traditional camp experience with activities such as horseback riding, zip lining, swimming, sports, archery, riflery, crafts & more. Ages 5–17. Residential camp avail. for ages 7 & up. 8:15 a.m.–5 p.m. June–Aug. Starting $310/week. 545-5906. Creative Cake/Candy Decorating for Kids. Basic decorating techniques to create

Make Music This Summer! BE A KUNG FU Now Enrolling 4 week Kindermusik classes with exciting Summer themes. Infant, toddler, preschool & family classes. 15-50% sibling discount. Unlimited makeup classes, home materials included. Group & private ukulele & piano lessons for ages 6 to adult.



Authentic Kung Fu Training • Chinese Language & Painting Acrobatics • Games & Fun Summer Activities

Sonoma County Children’s Music 867 Third St., Santa Rosa 707-527-7900

707-338-2233 • 1880 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa April 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 21

Summer Camp Adventure Guide unique treats. Visit website for schedule & rates. 546-2253.

p.m. M–Th. 3 sessions, June–July. $225. 568-0533.

Program. Financial aid avail. Finley Community Center Park. 528-2549.

En Garde Fencing Summer Camp. Campers learn the rules & history of fencing, learn footwork & play games to develop skills. Great for beginners. Ages 7–12. Santa Rosa: 8:30 a.m.–noon, M–F, June 26–30, July 31–Aug. 4. $150–$160/wk. Visit website for camp schedules in Windsor, Petaluma, Rohnert Park & Sebastopol. 443-8102.

FLAG Summer Football League. All games & practices are on Sunday. Grades K–7. April 30–July 30. $200.

Julie Nation Academy Summer Camps. Self-Improvement Summer Boot Camp: confidence, communication skills, etiquette, visual poise, skin care, makeup artistry, wardrobe, hair care & styling & more. Includes a professional headshot photo shoot. TV & Film Acting Summer Boot Camp: auditioning skills, TV commercial acting, camera workshops, improvisation & more. Includes a professional acting headshot photo shoot. Professional Modeling Summer Boot Camp: 2 weeks, 1 of Self-Improvement & 1 of Modeling. Includes 2 professional photo shoots & an in-house fashion show. Ages 10–17. 12:30 p.m.–5 p.m. M–F. $995–$1,995. 575-8585.

Family Martial Arts Center Summer Camps. All camps include a daily themed movie & organic snacks & drinks. Also crafts & toy-building activities. Space is limited. 9 a.m.–2 p.m. M–Th. Ninja Turtle Camp: June 12–15. Jade Palace Camp: July 10–13. Star Wars Camp: Aug. 7–10. Early Bird: $185/Ninja Turtle & Jade Palace Camps, $205/Star Wars Camp. After May 19: $250/camp. 528-4910. Farm Camp at The Goat Farm. Kids interact with our farm animals, garden, cook, make soaps, candles, other arts & crafts & much more. Ages 6–10. 9 a.m.–2

iD Tech Camp. Code, game & create at the world’s #1 summer technology camp. Students learn to code apps, design video games, engineer robots, build websites, print 3D models & more. Ages 7–17. M–F. June 12–16, 19–23 & 26–30. Starting $899–$949/wk. Sonoma Country Day School. 844-788-1858. In His Image Day Camp. Fun activities in a Christ-centered setting. Ages 6–12. M–F. June 6–Aug. 12. Inquire for rates. Rincon Valley Christian School. programs. Jewish Community Center’s Camp Chai. Active games, arts & crafts, recreational swim, singing, weekly BBQ lunches, Jewish traditions & great leadership. Campers of all faiths welcome. Grades K–7. (CIT Program: Grades 8–9.) 9 a.m.–3 p.m. M–F. June 19–23, June 26–30. $295/wk. 50% off for CIT

Kids & Teens 5-Day Summer Cooking Series. Young chefs will practice essential kitchen skills while mastering the fundamentals of cooking or exploring the world of baking. M–F. June–Aug. Ages 8–12: 9–11 a.m. Ages 13–17: 12–2 p.m. $250/wk. Sur La Table. 800-243-0852.

The REACH School Serving Transitional Kindergarten through 8th Grade

• Project Based Academic Program

Join the Y for active games, crafts, demonstrations, community resources, healthy snacks, and more! Free event for the community!

Saturday April 29 11am-2pm Sonoma County Family YMCA Call or visit us for more details 707.545.9622

Sonoma County Family Y  1111 College Avenue  Santa Rosa 707-545-9622  The Y is a non-profit community based organization. Financial assistance is available.

22 SonomaFamilyLife

• Social Emotional Learning Focus • Small Class Sizes • Expressive Arts Integration • Focus on collaborative and activity driven learning Pre-Enrollment Information for 2017-18 is available at


487 Watertrough Rd, Sebastopol, 95472 April 2017

Summer Camp Adventure Guide Kidscience Adventures. 6 unique weekly themes combining science, art & games. Choose from Engineering Lab, Stretchy Science, Simple Machines, Survival Science & more. Ages 6–13. 9 a.m.–3 p.m. M–F. June–July. $258/wk., includes materials. Rincon Valley Area School. 793-2251. Kinder Kickz Soccer Camps. Soccer games & activities for children geared toward improving motor, social & soccer skills in a fun & positive environment. Campers will be divided by age groups. Ages 3–8: June 12–15. Ages 3–11: July 17–20. 9 a.m.–noon. M–Th. $135. Galvin Park. 953-2603. Kiwi Camp. Art, hikes, tennis, soccer, water play & games. Ages 4–8. M–F. July–Aug. $160/wk. 539-6232. La Cantera Summer Camps & Lessons. Tennis Camps: Ages 8–15, 9–11 a.m. or 4–6 p.m., M–Th, $180; Ages 4–7, 11 a.m.–noon, M W & F, $75. Swim Lessons: Ages 3–14, 8 a.m.– noon, groups are $68/2 wks. Call for pricing on private lessons & swim team. June–Aug. 544-9494. LandPaths’ Owl Camp. A place for children to explore the natural world, test out new ideas & experience the freedom of child-directed, open-ended learning thru nature exploration & play guided in small groups by expert educators. Children work thru how to build a fort, engage in a theater production, or discover native plants & animals. Ages 5–13. 9 a.m.–3 p.m. M–F. July–Aug. 4 (1-week) sessions. $260–$450. 544-7284 x110.

playing games. Ages 7–12. Half day: 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Full day: 9 a.m.–5 p.m. $350–$450. 538-2000. McDonald Ranch Summer Camp. Horseback riding, swimming, archery, ropes, farm animals, kitten love, cooking, arts & crafts, field trips & more. Ages 5–16. 8 a.m.–5 p.m. M–F. June 5–Aug. 11. $175–$405. 583-6711. MH Kids Camp. Campers are introduced to a variety of sports & activities in a

Missoula Children’s Theatre. Children are welcome to audition for the upcoming production of Alice in Wonderland. No advance preparation or experience necessary. Auditions: 10 a.m.–noon,

SUMMER CAMPS AT SONOMA ACADEMY Week long sessions June 12–August 11 5th-8th graders Half & full day camps

LearningRX Summer Sessions. Personalized one-on-one brain training can help struggling readers, kids who have a hard time focusing, accelerated learners & athletes. Ages 5–18. 890-3200.

Have fun, be challenged, learn new skills, & make new friends!

Maker Fun Factory 2017. Calling all VBS Campers. Take part in powerful hands-on Bible stories from both the Old & New Testaments, music, crafts, games, a mission project & more. Ages 3 (& potty trained)–grade 5. Adults & youths ages 12 & up are encouraged to volunteer. 9 a.m.– noon. T–F. June 27–30. Closing Ceremony: 5:30–7 p.m., June 30. $35. Scholarships avail. 545-3863 x206. elizabeth.

Essay Writing • Introduction to Robotics Scratch Programming • Storytelling Policy Debate • Basketball Lego Robotics • Sport-A-Palooza! Arduino Robotics • Olympic Sports Outdoor Camping & Backpacking Skills Soccer & STEM • Javascript Programming Woodworking • Inventing • Baseball

Mark West Stables Summer Camp. Campers will receive instruction on riding, grooming, horse & equipment care, in addition to

non-competitive, safe & fun environment thru age-& ability-appropriate games. Ages 5–12. 8:30 a.m.–3 p.m. M–Th. June 12–15, 19–22, 26–29; July 10–13, 24–27. Extended hours avail. $10–$15/ half hour or $210–$260/wk. 526-0529.

Visit for more information and to register. April 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 23

Summer Camp Adventure Guide June 21. Grades 1–12. Camp: M–Sat. Performances: 2 p.m. & 4:30 p.m., June 24. Free. Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. 800-7520. summer-camps.

great golf instruction & fun. All skill levels welcome. Ages 5–10. 9 a.m.–noon. M–F. June 5–9, July 24–28. $215/wk. Bennett Valley Golf Course. 800-NIKE-CAMP.

National Academy of Athletics Camps. All Sorts of Sports: Campers build motor skills, hand-eye coordination, agility, teamwork & other sports-specific skills. Games include baseball, basketball, soccer, flag football, races & more. Ages 7–13. 9 a.m.–3 p.m. M–F. June–Aug. Visit website for rates & all locations. 541-2365. nationalacademy

Oakmont Junior Golf Summer Camps. Campers improve technical skills & develop course management skills. All abilities welcome. Ages 7–17. 9 a.m.–noon or 9 a.m.–4 p.m. M–F. June 12–16, July 10–14, July 31–Aug. 4. Half day: $225. Full day: $400. 408-616-0226. oakmontjunior

New Song Music Camp. Participants will explore music thru hands-on experience with a wide variety of traditional & percussion instruments, then make an instrument to take home, cut an original CD recording, sing, play & receive a t-shirt as a souvenir. Grades 3–6. 9 a.m.–3 p.m. June 12–16. $230/wk. & $25 supply fee. Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. 800-7529. Nike Junior Golf Camp. Join our staff of teaching pros, led by Sonoma State Head Coach Val Verhunce, for a week of

One to One Learning Summer Workshops. Reading comprehension, pre-algebra, algebra, writing & study skills, preparation for first grade reading & math. Ages Pre-K & up. 539-0675. Peace Camp. Daily swimming (fees included). Peace & conflict-resolution activities. Call the director to discuss your special needs child. Ages 7–11. 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Aug. 1–5. $99/wk. 510-845-8417. Play Well TEKnologies—Engineering & Robotics Camp. Campers will develop &

enhance problem-solving & critical-thinking skills, while also learning concepts & vocabulary of engineering, architecture & physics. Grades K–6. Visit website or contact Justin Smith for all camp locations, schedules & rates. Private Summer Music Immersions. Anyone can learn & improve upon their instrument(s), drums & singing. All ages & abilities. 326-8797. St. Luke Camp. Themed-based VBS. Grades PK–5. 9 a.m.–noon. M–F. Call for schedule & rates. 545-0512. Santa Rosa Recreation & Parks Summer Camps. Camp Wa-Tam: Camp activities & swimming at Spring Lake. Special Thurs. night parents’ program & camper overnight. Ages 6–12. $185/wk. Camp Yu-Chi: Camp activities, swimming & more. A Friday BBQ & parents program with camper songs & skit to end week. Ages 6–12. $175/wk. (Sign up by June 3 & receive $15 off for early-bird registration.) Doyle Adventure Camp: 3–4 city bus excursions to local destinations plus games, crafts & special events. Ages 6–12. $175/wk. (Sign up by June 3 & receive $15 off for early-bird


L E C X E th For You

SPRING & SUMMER CAMPS SPRING CAMP April: 10-14 SUMMER CAMP THEMES June: Pirates 5-9, Circus 12-16, Luau 19-23, Patriotic 26-30 July: Medieval 10-14, Jungle 17-21, Character 24-28 August: Gymnastics Warrior 31-4, How It’s Made 7-11

SUMMER UNIVERSITY FOR KIDS a unique enrichment program for grades 4-9

CELEBRATING 35 YEARS AT SSU! JUNE 12–JULY 21, 2017 Visit us at:

707.343.1402 • 1620 Carneros Meadows Way, Ste. 108 • Sonoma

24 SonomaFamilyLife

April 2017

Summer Camp Adventure Guide registration.) Camp Kaos, hosted by North Bay’s United Cerebral Palsy: Fun camp activities include arts & crafts, music, adapted sports, games & train rides. Ages 6–17. $200/4 days. Cloverleaf Ranch Camp: Ages 5–12. $309/wk. Kidscience Camp: Ages 6–13. $258/wk. Engineering Camps: Ages 5–12. $153–$190/wk. Camp Tiny Tots: Ages 3 ½–5. $89/4 days. Animal Vet Camp: Ages 8–12. $243/4 days. Speech Writing, Public Speaking & Debate Camps: Ages 6–14. $269/wk. Personal Finance Camp: Ages 10–14. $269/wk. Paint & Draw Camp: Ages 7–12. $241/4 days. A Fairy’s Life Camp: Ages 7–12. $241/4 days. Mixed Media Camp: Ages 7–12. Dance Camp: Ages 5–8. $137/wk. $241/4 days. Drama Camp: Ages 7–13. $385/11 days. Sewing Camp: Ages 7–12. $280/wk. Basketball Camp (Coed): Ages 8–14. $109/wk. Youth Tennis (Coed): Ages 6–14. $100/4 days. Gymnastics: Ages 5–14. $200/wk. Camp Vertical: Ages 7–14. $215/wk. Boating: Ages 8–16. $65/4 days. Sailing: Ages 11–16. $80/4 days. Horsemanship: Ages 6–12. $285/4 days. Fencing: Ages 7–12. $170/wk. 543-3737.

Santa Rosa United Summer Camps. Skills: June 12–16, July 31–Aug. 4. GK/ST: July 10–14. Visit website for more info or contact Roy Gmitter. Ages 5–14. Half day: $125/wk. Full day: $200/wk. Trione Soccer Complex. 508-5403.

activities with the exciting attractions at Epicenter. Snack & lunch options avail. Ages 4–12. 8 a.m.–4 p.m. M–F. June 12–Aug. 4. Half day: $48. Full day: $88. Weekly & sibling discounts avail. 708-4625.

Shotokan Karate Leadership School Summer Sessions. Karate leadership training. Ages 3–14. M–Th. June–Aug. $187–$247/mo. 575-1681.

Steve & Kate’s Camp. We give kids the freedom to choose what they want to do, whether that’s music, bread-making, fashion, filmmaking, coding, sports, or pie-throwing. Ages 4–12. 7:30 a.m.–6 p.m. M–F. June 12–Aug. 18. Starting at $75/ day. Full summer membership & financial aid avail. Sonoma Country Day School. 415-604-0082.

Sonoma Academy Summer Camps. Camps offered include: robotics, computer programming, storytelling, policy debate, basketball, baseball, soccer, STEM & multi-sport camps. Grades 5–8. 8 a.m.–3 p.m. M–F. June–Aug. $300/wk. 545-1770. summer-programs.

6th Street Playhouse Summer Theatre Camps. Teen Summer Musical: The Broadway hit Hairspray, Jr. Experience master classes in acting, dance & singing. Ages 13–19. 10 a.m.–3 p.m. M–F. June 12–July 23. $650/full session. Some scholarships avail. Youth Summer Musical: Disney’s The Lion King Experience, Kids Edition. Training in acting, dancing & singing from master instructors. Ages 8–13. 9:30 a.m.–3 p.m. M–F. June 19–July 30.

Sonoma Humane Society Animal Adventure & Education Camp. Kids learn to care for rescued animals. Farming, gardening, field trips & much more. Grades 2–12. 9 a.m.–3 p.m. M–F. June–Aug. $300. 577-1902. Sports City Camp Epic. Kids love the action-packed days that combine sports


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Schedule a Sylvan Insight Skills April 2017 SonomaFamilyLife 25 Assessment and save $55. Offer valid at Santa Rosa location only. Expires 5/20/17.

Summer Camp Adventure Guide $650/full session. Some scholarships avail. 523-4185. Summer Music Academy. Students can learn to play an instrument for the first time or enrich their music studies. Enjoy workshops & ensembles led by professional musicians, including members of the Santa Rosa Symphony. Ages 5 & up. July 10–29. $285–$700. $25 off before April 1. Financial aid avail. Sonoma Country Day School. 546-7097 x225. Summer Music Camps. 6 to 1 student/ teacher ratio & licensed teachers for camps. Kindermusik Adventures: Ages infant–6. Piano, Ukulele, Drumming, Voice, Dance, Art & World Music Camps: Ages 6 & up. Weekly sessions & classes. June–Aug. Visit our website for schedule & rates. Financial aid avail. 527-7900. Summerfield Waldorf Summer Programs. Circus Camp: Learn clowning, juggling, tightrope, trapeze & acrobatics, with a free performance at the end of each week. Ages 6 & up. Trapeze Camp: Individualized lessons on a full-size flying trapeze rig. Ages 8 & up. Earth Ecology Camp: Learn life skills in ecology that can be applied

to our edible food forest permaculture garden. Ages 10–14. Farm Camp: Children connect with the natural world while living the rhythms of a working farm. Ages 4–10. June–July. Visit website for schedules & rates. 575-7194. summerprograms. Summer Theater Camp. Actors, singers & dancers star in the lovable comedy The Wedding Singer. Auditions held at the end of the first week of rehearsals. Ages 11–20. 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. June 12–July 16. $695/5 wks. Roustabout Theater. 527-7006. Sylvan Learning Center Summer Sessions. Catch up, keep up, get ahead & avoid summer learning loss with Sylvan’s individualized academic programs. Reading, math, writing, study skills & more. Flexible scheduling M–Th (a.m. & p.m.) & Sat. (a.m.). Starting $168/mo. 528-6000. us/santa-rosa-ca. Vertex Climbing Center Camp Vertical. A whole week of climbing & fun at Vertex Climbing Center, with Thurs. spent climbing all day outside at Sunset Boulders. Ages



Summer Classes Art, crafts, cartooning, LEGO Animation, and even ice skating at the Charles M. Schulz Museum!

June 5–August 11 Reserve your space online or call

(707) 284-1272 26 SonomaFamilyLife

Take a walk on the wild side! An Educational Adventure

Meet all of our animal ambassadors SCHOOLS • PARTIES • EVENTS

Choose from VIP, Standard, or Reptile Join us March 31 at Sonoma Family Life’s Summer Camp Fair


7–15. M–W, 9 a.m.–noon. Th, 9 a.m.– 4 p.m. $205. 573-1608. Wikiup Tennis & Swim Club Summer Camps & Lessons. Tennis Lessons Wednesdays: Hour-long group tennis classes for youth & adults. Tennis Camps: Half-day, weeklong camp thru the summer. 12–4 p.m. Swim Lessons: Offered with 2-week, 1-week, evening & Saturday options. Private lessons: Avail. for both tennis & swimming. 544-2330. Windsor Dance Academy Camp. Dancers learn routines in ballet, hip-hop, jazz & acrobatics for a studio performance last day of camp. Also included are games, crafts, dance history & dance videos. Ages 6–12. 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. M–F. June 26–30, July 31–Aug. 4. Full day: $300/wk. Half day: $150/wk. Single day: $65. 578-3217. Wonder Camp at the Children’s Museum. Campers experience a variety of different activities ranging from art, science, construction, music, drama & more. Each day of camp is tailored to what inspires campers individually. Ages 5–8. 9 a.m.–3 p.m. M–F. Early & after care avail. $300–$350. 546-4069. summer-camps. Woodside West Big Kids Club. Arts, crafts, sports & field trips. Ages 6–12. Call for schedule. 528-6666. woodsidewest Wu Academy Summer Camp. Campers will enjoy Kung Fu, Chinese language & painting, acrobatics, games & other activities. Ages 7–13. Visit website for schedule & rates. 338-2233. YMCA Summer Camps. Adventure Camp: Age-appropriate games, crafts & theme- related activities. Ages 6–12. Kids Club: Traditional camp fun, just a bit shorter. Ages 6–12. Lil’ Campsters: Exploration, free choice, art & music activities & special events in a nurturing environment. Ages 2–5. Moving-On Teen Camp: A theme-based adventure camp with day-trip activities & one overnight camping experience. Ages 11–13. Sports Camp: Build skills, fitness & self-esteem, with special emphasis on specific sports each session. Ages 6–12. Super Science Camp: Explore STEM themes, including marine biology, archaeology, chemistry, physics & more. Ages 7–12. Fine Arts Camp: Campers learn new skills with song, dance & acting. Ages 7–12. 544-1829.

April 2017

Summer Camp Adventure Guide SEBASTOPOL Applecreek Horseback Riding Camp. Learn about horses & styles of riding, from basic horsemanship to intermediate riding. Drinks & snacks provided. 9 a.m.–1 p.m. M–F. June–Aug. Extended care avail. Visit website for schedule & rates. 829-2804. Camp Castle. Fun, active, action-packed, affordable adventure at Park Side school in Sebastopol. Weekly field trips & swimming, visiting artists, enrichment & more. Grades K–6. 7 a.m.–6 p.m. M–F. June 7–Aug. 11. $25–$165/wk. 829-4578. FANWAR LARP Training & Day Camp. Live Action Role Playing Camp where kids learn to act out stories & adventures in an imaginary world. Kids do battles with safe prop weaponry & rescue friends from an ever-evolving plot of monsters, magical items & mythological creatures. Ages 8–18. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. M–F. June 12–16, July 3–7. $250/wk. 569-4859. Janboree Summer Camp. Experience a busy, active schedule of field trips, crafts, swimming, hiking, gymnastics, fairs & other outings

this summer. Ages 5–10. 7 a.m.–6 p.m. M–F. June 5–Aug. 15. $35/day, includes most activity admissions, meals/snacks & materials. 795-8568. Rock Band Camp. Campers assume a position in a rock band for the week, rehearse a short set, make a live recording & perform live. Strengthen musical skills & connect with other skilled players. Ages 10–17. 9 a.m.–2 p.m. June–Aug. $445/ wk. The Great Burro Studios. 327-7572. Sebastopol Community Cultural Center Summer Camps. Gymnastics Camp: Ages 5–9. 9 a.m.–1 p.m. M–F. Session 1: July 10–14. Session 2: Aug. 14–18. $250/wk. 953-2524. Fencing Adventure for Kids: All equipment provided. Ages 7–12. 10:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. M–F. Aug. 7–11. $160/ wk. 433-8102. Sebastopol Skate Camp: Learn how to ollie, drop in, kick-flip & other skateboard basics. Ages 5–15. 9 a.m.–1 p.m. M–F. Session 1: July 24–28. Session 2: July 31–Aug. 4. Session 3: Aug. 7–11. $250/wk. 396-1969. classes. Tennis Camp. Learn volleys, ground strokes & serves. Students

For your next


need tennis shoes & racket. Ages 10–14. 9–11 a.m. M–F. Session 1 (Beg.): June 12–16. Session 2 (Int.): June 18–23. Analy High School. 479-0509. class/3176648-tennis-camp. Vixens & Villains Drama Camp. Young actors will rehearse for 3 weeks with professional stage & film actors to create a unique performance. The theme this year is Villains & Vixens: From Shakespeare to Comics & Beyond. Ages 8–15. M–F. July 12–Aug. 6. Performances on final weekend at Main Stage West. $500. 823-0177. SONOMA Flying Trapeze Camp. Learn new skills in flying trapeze, juggling, acrobatics, tightrope, stilts, trampoline, aerial arts & other circus skills. Ages 9 & up. 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Visit website for schedule & rates. 510-435-7359. National Academy of Athletics Camps. All Sorts of Sports: Campers build motor skills, hand-eye coordination, agility, teamwork & other sports-specific skills. Games include baseball, basketball, soccer, flag football, races & more. Ages 7–13. 9 a.m.–3 p.m.


Birthday Parties Baseball Teams Soccer Teams Fundraisers

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April 2017

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SonomaFamilyLife 27

Summer Camp Adventure Guide

La Cantera


Training & Day Camp

Racquet & Swim Club

Live Action Role Playing!

Summer & Afterschool Junior Tennis Programs

Super Kids Camp At Sonoma State University

An exciting, recreational & educational experience for campers, ages 5-11. Fun weekly themes, field trips, swimming, rock wall climbing & so much more!

kids learn to act out stories & adventures in an imaginary world. Ages 8–18 707-569-4859 Sebastopol

A full week of camp Call, email, or check out our website for details.

Afterschool Mon. & Wed. 4 Classes - $50


Summer Tennis Camps and Summer Swim Lessons Call or go online for our brochure!

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Painting • Drawing Cartooning Mask Making Glass Staining Silk Painting Wood Burning Mosaic • Clay

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A BETTER WORLD STARTS AT CAMP In the Sebastopol Redwoods

Summer Overnight Camps for Kids and Teens ages 7-15 925-455-7975

Camp C ASTLE Teaching the art of the sword Sign up for our summer camps today! Santa Rosa


28 SonomaFamilyLife

Affordable Summer Camp in Sebastopol

Weekly field trips & swimming, visiting artists, enrichment, and more


2017 summer camp science! art! Games!

Engineering Lab Stretchy Science Simple Machines Survival Science Ideas Into Action Mix O’Science Santa Rosa, Rincon Valley 6/12–7/28; M–F; 9am–3pm siGn up: Santa Rosa Rec. Parks & Cmnty Srvcs: (707) 543-3737 Questions: (707) 793-2251

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Sign up online for our weekly enews featuring the best family friendly weekend events.


Classes • Camps Birthday Parties

April 2017

Summer Camp Adventure Guide M–F. June–Aug. Visit website for rates & all locations. 541-2365. nationalacademy Sonoma Ecology Center Harry Potter Camps. Sorcerer’s Stone Camp: Study Herbology, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Care of Magical Creatures & Potions. Campers will play Quidditch, explore the Forbidden Forest, tackle the Sorcerer’s Stone challenge & more. Ages 6–12. July 10–14. Goblet of Fire Camp: Ages 6–12. July 31–Aug. 4. Deathly Hallows Camp: Ages 8–12. July 17–21. All Camps: 9 a.m.–3 p.m. daily. $260–$300. 996-0712. summer-science-camp. Sonoma Gymnastics Academy Summer Camps. 9 weeks of themed camps. Pirates: June 5–9. Circus: June 12–16. Luau: June 19–23. Patriotic: June 26–30. Medieval: July 10–14. Jungle: July 17–21. Character: July 24–28. Gymnastics Warrior: July 31–Aug. 4. How It’s Made: Aug. 6–10. Ages 3–12. Yearly Members: $250/wk., $50 sibling discount. Non-members: $300/wk. 343-1402. WINDSOR Boys & Girls Clubs of Windsor. Campers take field trips, play games & develop positive relationships in a safe environment. Ages 6–18. 8 a.m.–6 p.m. M–F. June 5–Aug. 12. 838-1959. Skyhawks Camps. Mini-Hawks Sports: Multi-sport program tailored to age & skill level. Ages 4–7. June 5–9. Flag Football: Boys & girls learn core components of passing, catching & defense. Ages 6–12. July 17–21. Lacrosse Camp: Learn fundamentals of stick handling, cradling, passing & shooting. Ages 10–15. Aug. 7–11. All Camps: 9 a.m.–noon. M–F. $125–$135. Hiram Lewis Park. 838-1260.

MARIN COUNTY The Buck Science Camps. Brain Camp: Designed to educate & inspire students about the brain & sensory system, immersing them in brain art, puzzles & poetry. Cellify Camp: Hands-on activities, cell culture, microscopy & 3D modeling & printing to gain a basic overview of the inner workings of the cell. Ages 10–14. 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Visit website for schedules. $400/wk. Patxi Pizza Learning Center, Novato. 415-209-2000 x6161. buckinstitute. org/content/buck-brain-camp. iD Tech Camp San Anselmo. Code, game & create at the world’s #1 summer technology camp. Students learn to code apps, design video games, engineer robots, build websites, print 3D models & more. Ages 7–17. M–F. July 10–14, 17–21 & 24–28. Starting $849–$949/wk. San Domenico School. 844-788-1858. NAPA COUNTY Justin-Siena Summer Camps. Expansive camp offerings in sports, engineering & the arts. Something for everyone. Grades 3–8. June 12–July 24. Visit website for schedules. $150–$350. 255-0950.

Come to Sonoma Family Life’s Camp Fair on March 31 at Coddingtown Mall!

It’s not just

Enrolling for Summer Camps


It’s confidence for a lifetime! • Tumblebug Program for preschool-aged children • Boys & Girls Classes Recreation 6–12 • Camps and Birthday Parties!



redwood empire gymnastics

All Riding Levels * Ages 7 & Up Full Day & Half Day Camps Open


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Located in Rincon Valley, Santa Rosa


Town of Windsor Summer Camps. 2-week Theme Camps: Art, story time, outside play, science, cooking & more. Themes include Dino-Mite Dinosaurs, Pirates & Princesses, Ocean Commotion & Buggin’ Out. Ages 3–5. M W F. June 12–Aug. 4. $129–$139. Video Production for YouTube: Students will write, act & direct a 1-minute video designed for uploading to YouTube. Ages 10–13. July 10–Aug. 7. $150–$160. All Camps: 9 a.m.–noon. 838-1260. registration.

April 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 29

Crafting with Kids

Egg-stra Special Easter Creative Decorating Ideas

By Denise Morrison Yearian


pring is a time to celebrate the renewal of life and nature. This year Easter falls on April 16. Before the month slips away, crack open your calendar and peel away some time for these “egg-stra” special activities. Earthy Egg Heads Items needed: egg shells; permanent markers; dirt or potting soil; grass seed; toilet paper roll; stickers. Crack a raw egg around the upper section of the shell. Peel the opening and remove the egg. Rinse the shell and let it dry. Carefully draw a face on the front of the egg. Now fill it half full with dirt. Sprinkle grass seed on top and cover with a little more dirt. To make a base for your egghead, cut off a small section of the toilet paper roll and decorate with markers and/ or stickers. Place the egg on the base. Every day sprinkle a little water over the dirt. Within a week or so “hair” will begin to grow. Edible Egg Dye Items needed: natural dyes (purple grape juice [purple], blueberries [blue], spinach leaves [green], lemon peel or ground cumin [yellow], yellow onion 30 SonomaFamilyLife

skins [orange], cranberries [pink]); water; six pans; empty eggshells; white vinegar. Add one natural dye ingredient, along with water, to each pan and bring to a boil. Let cool. Strain the dye ingredient so only liquid is left. Place egg shells in each pan along with the colored dye. Add enough water and two teaspoons of white vinegar to cover the eggs. (Note: Do not add vinegar to the pan that had onion skins.) Bring each pot to boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Let the eggs sit until they reach the desired color, then remove from the pans and let dry. Cascarone Craze Items needed: empty egg shells; egg cartons; dye; funnel; confetti; glue; scissors; 2 ½-inch square pieces of tissue paper.

Cascarones, also known as confetti eggs, are popular in Mexico. Several weeks in advance, begin saving eggshells. When cracking open a raw egg, break around the upper section of the shell. Peel the opening so the hole is no more than 1-inch around. Remove the egg. Rinse the shell, let it dry hole side down, then store it in an empty carton. When you have a dozen empty eggshells, dye them using the conventional or natural method (see Edible Egg Dye). When dry, place the eggs back into the carton with the hole side up. Use a funnel to fill each egg about half full with confetti. Apply glue to the outer edges of a 2 ½-inch square piece of tissue paper and cover the holes. On Easter give everyone a confetti-filled egg, and then follow tradition by chasing each other around and cracking the egg on one another’s heads for good luck. Better yet, use them for egg tosses, relay races, and other games. ¶ Denise Morrison Yearian is the former editor of two parenting magazines and the mother of three children and four grandchildren.

April 2017

Cooking with Kids

Creative with Cauliflower Shepherd’s Pie Gets a Makeover By Momma Chef


s a fellow busy parent, I know that time is a precious commodity for today’s families. You need to make dinner in a flash and with these recipes, each of which takes six minutes or less to prepare, you can. Skillet Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Mash This recipe was created when I was on one of the 10 different diets I’ve tried this year. This one suggested cutting carbs by substituting potatoes with cauliflower. Little did I know how much I would love the potato-free version of this dish! Ingredients • 1 12-ounce bag cauliflower florets • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 1 pound ground beef • 1 container Trader Joe’s mirepoix mix (contains chopped onions, carrots, and celery) • 2 tablespoons salt

Directions Preheat oven to 350°F. Steam cauliflower florets in a pot on the stove or in the microwave. While the cauliflower is steaming, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a separate oven-safe skillet over medium high heat. Add in ground meat and cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add in Trader Joe’s mirepoix mix, 1 tablespoon salt, and the chopped rosemary. Cook another 2 minutes, mixing everything together. When cauliflower is soft, mash with a fork and add in 1 tablespoon salt. Remove the meat from heat, spread the cauliflower mash over the mixture in the skillet, and bake for 25 minutes. Serves 6 or more. ¶

• 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary

April 2017

Tips • If you can’t find the mirepoix mix, you can use 1/2 onion, 3 carrots, and 3 celery stalks—all chopped. • If you prefer mashed potatoes over cauliflower mash, substitute 3 cups mashed potatoes. • I normally like to make my dishes in one pot, but this one is so ridiculously delicious that it’s worth using the extra pot! It is best made in a cast-iron skillet. If you don’t already own one, it’s worth buying. I got mine at a discount store, and I use it all the time. Karen Nochimowski, aka Momma Chef, is a mother of three active boys (ages 12, 8, and 5). Find her at and at

SonomaFamilyLife 31


Calendar of Events Clown Around


et yourself be a fool on date night. Get out the wild hats and crazy wigs and head off to the Third Annual April Foolery. Show off your costume while you boogie to the music of the Blues Defenders and other local artists such as Wendy DeWitt, Levi Lloyd, and Mandy Brooks. Maybe your get-up will even win a prize. The event—a 21-and-over affair—happens on April 2, 2–8 p.m., at Friar Tuck’s Pub in Cotati. The $10 cover benefits, a calendar of local dance events. If you want to indulge in some good jester fun with the kids, go to the free annual Occidental Fools Parade on April 1. Join the Hubbub Club marching band as it leads whimsically dressed revelers from downtown Occidental to the Occidental Center for the Arts. Parade starts at 1 p.m. but get there early to find parking. ¶ Nuestros Parques Hike. A bilingual

Saturday 1 Circus Waldissima. A Waldorf-inspired youth circus. Local youth perform in new show, Alchemy. 7 p.m. Apr. 2: 2 p.m. $10–$15. Circus Waldissima Circus Tent. 655 Willowside Rd., Santa Rosa. Art Spark. Every week there is a

different craft, from printing to felting to building cars. Saturdays. 2–3 p.m. Free with admission: $12. Children’s Museum of Sonoma County. 1835 W. Steele Ln., Santa Rosa.

Community Library. 779 Sebastopol Rd., Santa Rosa.

naturalist will lead this free family walk. Walk: 10 a.m.–noon. Potluck picnic: 1 p.m. Free. Parking: $7. Crane Creek Regional Park. 5000 Pressley Rd., Rohnert Park. parks.

FREE Kids Garden Workshop.

Gardening for kids & families. Learn about growing food & taking care of the Earth. 11 a.m.–noon. Sebastopol Regional Library. 7140 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol.

FREE Hora de Cuentos para Niños/ Bilingual Storytime. ¡Bienvenidos

Wildflowers Hike. Walk 2–3 miles on steep terrain & see spring wildflowers such as Diogenes’ lanterns, checker lilies, scarlet fritillary & other remarkable blooms. 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Walk: Free. Parking:

a la Hora de Cuentos para Niños en español e inglés! Vamos a leer cuentos en español e inglés. Para niños de 0–5 años ¡Gratis! 10:15 a.m. Roseland

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April 2017

Family Fun

Egg 5Hunts Local Craze for Kids One of Easter’s most beloved kid-rituals is the mad dash for eggs. Grab a basket and take your clan to one of these local festivities. Bodega Bay Search for eggs—and sea creatures—at the Easter Sunday Kids Low Tide Colorful Critter Hunt at Campbell Cove on April 16, 8:30–11 a.m. Kids can make crafts and play games before taking a guided tide-pool walk and then hunting for eggs, at 10 a.m. (Remember to bring baskets!) The marine education van will be available for exploration, too. The event is open to kids ages 10 and under; admission is a $10 sliding-scale donation per family. To ensure there are enough goodies for everyone, register via e-mail at jazzy@stewardscr. org or via Facebook at events/185929791906278. Bring beach towels and chairs, shoes you don’t mind getting wet, and, of course, baskets or pillowcases for collecting eggs.

Glen Ellen Go-getter egg gatherers get rewarded at the Glen Ellen Firefighters’ Association hunt, where five eggs garners a bag of candy. Spot the special prize egg and take home a chocolate fire truck. This year’s event is at Dunbar School on April 15 at 10 a.m. Make sure to bring a basket or sack to carry eggs. Want some pre-hunt fun? Help dye eggs at the Glen Ellen Fire Department on April 14 at 3:30 p.m. Petaluma About 5,000 eggs will be hidden for the hunt at the Adobe Christian Church. Kids can search to their hearts’ content 11 a.m.­–12:30 p.m. on April 15. And when the hunt has lost its allure, they can scoot down a giant slide, play on inflatables, and “Ooo” and “Ahh” at fire and police vehicles. Five bucks gets your family into the event; food will be available for an extra fee. For more information, see

April 2017

There’s some serious loot up for grabs at the Petaluma Sunrise Rotary egg hunt on April 8 at the Sonoma–Marin Fairgrounds. Some of the 12,000 scattered eggs will contain tickets for bikes, toys, and electronic gadgets, such as MP3 players and digital cameras. Children 12 and under will be divided in groups by age for the hunts, which start shortly after the gates open at 10 a.m. Santa Rosa Tap into artsy sensibilities at the History Museum of Sonoma County Egg Hunt and Family Day on April 15, 1:30–4 p.m. Kids ages 13 and under can look for eggs hidden in the museum’s sculpture garden, and then learn how to make hand or foot maps from artist Marc Katano or unique egg decorations from museum volunteers. Hunters must arrive before 1:30 p.m. to get the special admission price: $7 for kids and free for accompanying adults. Buy tickets online at

SonomaFamilyLife 33

$7. Meet at Pythian Rd. entrance. Hood Mountain Regional Park. 1450 Pythian Rd., Santa Rosa. Odd Couple. Weekends. Thru April 23. 8 p.m. Sundays: 2 p.m. $15–$30. Cinnabar Theatre. 3333 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma. Cloverdale Oldtime Fiddle Festival.

Performances start at 11 a.m.; last act at 4:30 p.m. $15–$19. Ages 6–12 free. Citrus Fairgrounds. 1 Citrus Fair Dr., Cloverdale. 6th Annual Quilt & Doll Show. More

than 200 quilts from 4 different counties on display. Lunch buffet, desserts, beverages & wine tasting. 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. $5 suggested donation. Healdsburg Senior Living. 725 Grove St., Healdsburg.

34 SonomaFamilyLife

FREE Occidental Fools Parade. A day of playful costumes, music & the Lunapillar ride. Parade starts at 1 p.m. in downtown Occidental & ends at the Occidental Center for the Arts.

by adult). 10 a.m.–noon. Walk: free. Parking: $7. Ragle Ranch Regional Park. 500 Ragle Rd., Sebastopol. parks.

FREE Spring Craft Table. Ages

FREE Sensory Friendly Family Day.

3 & up. 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Rohnert Park–Cotati Regional Library. 6250 Lynne Conde Way, Rohnert Park.

Sunday 2 Valley of the Moon Chamber Ensemble. Benefits Sonoma

Community Center. 3 p.m. $30. St. Andrew Presbyterian Church. 16290 Arnold Dr., Sonoma. Amphibian Amble. Seek out the

frogs & salamanders on a 2-mile guided hike. Ages 5–12 (accompanied

Tuesday 4 Explore the Schulz Museum at your own pace. Watch an animated Peanuts special with the lights up, engage in sensory activities & experiment with stop-motion movie-making. Sensory kits & noise-cancelling headphones will be available during this event. 3–6 p.m. Charles M. Schulz Museum. 2301 Hardies Ln., Santa Rosa.

Wednesday 5 Petaluma Film Series. Wednesdays. April 5: La La Land. April 12: The Jungle Book. April 19: Gun Crazy. April

April 2017

26: 20th Century Women. Pre-film lecture: 6 p.m. Film screening: 7 p.m. $5–$6. Parking: $4. Santa Rosa Junior College, Petaluma Campus. Carole L. Ellis Auditorium. 680 Sonoma Mountain Pkwy., Petaluma. FREE Tax-Aide. Help with tax form

preparation. Wednesdays. 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Healdsburg Regional Library. 139 Piper St., Healdsburg. See calendar on website for list of documents to bring: FREE CoderDojo. Learn to code,

develop websites & games. Beginners welcome. Ages 8–17. Wednesdays. 4:30 p.m. Petaluma Regional Library. 100 Fairgrounds Dr., Petaluma. Register: FREE Tinker Thinkers: Electricity & Magnetism. Explore electricity

while using magnets & circuits. Make your own batteries out of ice-cube trays, nails & vinegar. Ages 5–12. 4 p.m. Northwest Santa Rosa Regional Library. 150 Coddingtown Ctr., Santa Rosa.

Friday 7

County. 1835 W. Steele Ln., Santa Rosa. FREE Preschool Story Time. 11–

11:30 a.m. Petaluma Regional Library. 100 Fairgrounds Dr., Petaluma. The Diary of Anne Frank.

FREE First Friday Art Walk. Stroll through Santa Rosa’s downtown & SOFA (South A Street) neighborhoods. 5–8 p.m. Kalpana. Restored 1948 film by Uday Shankar, brother of sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar. 7 p.m. $20. Sonoma State University. Green Music Center. Schroeder Hall. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. Crazy, Awesome Science! Fridays. 2 p.m. $12 (admission to museum). Children’s Museum of Sonoma

Recommended for ages 12 & up. April 7–23. Fridays–Sundays & Apr. 13. 8 p.m. or 2 p.m. $10–$25. Raven Theater. 115 North St., Healdsburg.

Saturday 8 FREE Peaceful Warriors. Explore yoga, meditation, chakras & affirmations. Strengthen your body & mind. Ages 11–14. Limited to 12 participants. Register online, in person at the library, or by calling 433-3772. 2 p.m. Healdsburg Library. 139 Piper St., Healdsburg.

Little Heroes 5K of Santa Rosa Spring Lake Park Saturday, May 20, 2017 | 11 A.M. 5K (All Ages): $30 Registration Kids Fun Run: $15 Registration

Proceeds support research to find a cure for millions worldwide living with neurofibromatosis (NF). Register:

April 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 35

Leela Dance. Presents the exclusive premiere of Son of the Wind, a tour-de-force kathak dance drama that brings to life the Ramayana, an ancient Indian epic poem. 7:30 p.m. $35. Sonoma State University. Green Music Center. Weill Hall. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. gmc. FREE Family Ties: String-Making for All. Workshop on cordage-making

using a variety of native & garden plants. Hot drinks & light snacks will be provided. Ages 9 & up (children must be accompanied by an adult). 9:30 a.m.–1 p.m. Laguna Environmental Center. 900 Sanford Rd., Santa Rosa. Pre-register thru LandPaths: aspx?EventId=30990. FREE Healthy Living at the Library.

for a cooking demonstration using vegetables from local farmers markets. 2–3:30 p.m. Pre-registration is required. Call 869-9004. Guerneville Regional Library. 14107 Armstrong Woods Rd., Guerneville.

Sunday 9 SonoMusette. Ensemble recaptures

the moody, melancholic sound & spirit of mid-20th-century Paris. 7:30 p.m. $15–$25. Cinnabar Theater. A Year with Frog & Toad. 3 p.m.

$16–$21. Lap passes (for children 2 & under) are available for $5 on the day of the show only. Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. 50 Mark West Springs Rd., Santa Rosa. best-of-broadway.

Join Jill Nussinow, the Veggie Queen,

K-8th Grade Homeschool Home Study Program Now enrolling for 2017-18! Limited space available! What are the Benefits of Free Homeschooling with RVUSD? • Individualized support from our team of credentialed teachers. • Students progress at their own pace. • Curriculum and learning tools provided for free. • Access to classroom music, band, orchestra, art, science, PE, and other programs. • Weekly enrichment classes offered for all grades. • Networking, field trips, and community events. • Support to international traveling families. Find out more by calling Emily Davis, Home Study Coordinator at 707.546.6183 x4531 or emailing

36 SonomaFamilyLife

Walk on the Wild Side. 4-mile guided flat hike. 9 a.m.–noon. Individual: $3. Family: $5. Parking: $7. Tolay Lake Regional Park. 5869 Cannon Ln., Petaluma.

Thursday 13 FREE Mindful Minis. Kids yoga & meditation workshop. Playful yoga practice & exploration of mindfulness thru fun activities. Children will learn tools for home & school to increase awareness, self-esteem, balance & how to calm those busy minds. Ages 6–11. 4–5:30 p.m. Register by calling 838-1020. Windsor Regional Library. 9291 Old Redwood Hwy., Windsor.

Friday 14 FREE Cuentos y Cantos—Bilingual Story & Play Time. Exploraremos

cuentos, cantos y rimas en inglés y español. Explore books, songs & rhymes in both English & Spanish. Ages 0–5. 11 a.m.–noon. Sebastopol Regional Library. 7140 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol. Arlo Guthrie: Running Down the Road Tour. 7:30 p.m. $35–$85.

Sonoma State University. Green Music Center. Weill Hall. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. Whitney. 7 p.m. $37. Parking is free for motorcycles, full two-seaters, cars with 3 or more, or wine club members. Others: $10. Gundlach Bundschu Winery. 2000 Denmark St., Sonoma.

Saturday 15 Disney’s Choo Choo Soul with Genevieve! Noon. $10–$20. Sonoma

State University. Green Music Center. Weill Hall. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park.

April 2017

ONE COMMUNITY FREE Kids Day. 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Celebrate spring with hands-on crafts & free admission for children, when accompanied by an adult. Charles M. Schulz Museum. 2301 Hardies Ln., Santa Rosa. Family Nature Hike. 1–4 p.m. Parking: $7. 3 different hikes start on the hour: 1 p.m., 2 p.m. & 3 p.m. Spring Lake Regional Park. Environmental Discovery Center. 393 Violetti Rd., Santa Rosa.

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Wednesday 19 FREE Homework Help. Help with

all subjects on a drop-in basis. Grades K–12. Wednesdays. 5:30–7:30 p.m. Central Santa Rosa Library. 211 E St., Santa Rosa.


FREE Poetry & Music of Jonah Raskin & Steve Shain. Poet & author

Raskin performs along with Shain, a string bass player & founding member of the Rohnert Park Symphony. 7–8 p.m. Rohnert Park Cotati Regional Library. 6250 Lynne Conde Way, Rohnert Park.


Friday 21 Songs for a New World. A

contemporary song cycle by Tony Award–winner Jason Robert Brown weaves together characters & history, illuminating the timelessness of self-discovery. Thru May 4. Fridays & Saturdays: 8 p.m. Sundays: 2 p.m. May 4: 7:30 p.m. $26. Spreckels Performing Arts Center. 5409 Snyder Ln., Rohnert Park.

Saturday 22 Earth Day Campfire. A

leisurely night walk followed by games, poems, songs, stories & s’mores around the campfire. Come dressed in layers with comfortable walking shoes, a flashlight & a water bottle.

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This is a bilingual (Spanish/English) program. Meet at the Group Campsite from the Newanga Ave. entrance. 7–9:30 p.m. Free. Parking: $7. Spring Lake Regional Park. 5585 Newanga Ave., Santa Rosa. Earth Day on Stage. Voena Children’s Choir, Chalkboard Players (children’s theater), lion dance & martial arts, Native Youth Pomo Dancers, Sonoma County Taiko (Japanese drumming). Noon–4 p.m. Santa Rosa City Hall. 100 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa. Sebastopol Apple Blossom Festival & Parade. Thru Apr. 23. Apr. 22:

parade at 10 a.m. on Main St. Apr. 23: festival & blues music. Ives Park. 7400 Willow St., Sebastopol. Earth Day Celebration. 11 a.m.–3

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38 SonomaFamilyLife

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p.m. Admission: free. Parking: $10. Quarryhill Botanical Garden. 12841 CA-12, Glen Ellen. Songs of the Earth. Sonoma State University (SSU) Symphony Orchestra. Featuring Anatoly Liadov’s Eight Russian Folk Songs & Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, Pastoral. 7:30 p.m. $8. Free for SSU students. SSU. Green Music Center. Weill Hall. 1801 E. Cotati Ln., Rohnert Park. Bubbles & Blooms Festival.

Wine, food, flower art installations, sustainable gardening techniques, workshops, tours & flower market. Noon–4 p.m. $65. Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards. 23555 Arnold Dr., Sonoma.

Sunday 23 Mary Poppins Tea. Special guests

Mary Poppins & Bert will appear for tea & traditional English fare as well as instruction on the basics

April 2017

of tea etiquette. All ages. Noon–2 p.m. $47. Tudor Rose English Tea Room. 733 Fourth St., Santa Rosa.

Tuesday 25 Great Blue Heron Walk. 6–8 p.m. Free. Parking: $7. Riverfront Regional Park. 7821 Eastside Rd., Healdsburg.

FREE Windsor Earth Day & Wellness Festival. 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Windsor Town Green. 701 McLelland Dr., Windsor. earth-day-on-the-green.

Monday 24 Museum Mondays for Little Ones.

Stories, arts & crafts activities & movement games for children ages 1–5 & their caregivers. 10 a.m.–noon. $5 per child. Up to 2 adults per child are free before 11 a.m. After 11 a.m., regular museum admission ($8–$12) applies. Charles M. Schulz Museum. 2301 Hardies Ln., Santa Rosa.

Saturday 29 Che Malambo. Footwork, rhythmic

stomping & singing set the groundwork in the gaucho tradition. 7:30 p.m. $35–$85. Sonoma State University. Green Music Center. Weill Hall. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. Day of the Child/Día del Niño. Crafts, hikes, special exhibits, stories, music & other activities. Bilingual (Spanish/ English). 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Free. Parking: $7. Spring Lake Regional Park. Environmental Discovery Center.



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Rohnert Park: 360 Rohnert Park Expressway Santa Rosa: Coddingtown Mall 750 Farmers Ln. (by Ross) 2240 Mendocino Ave. (by Safeway) 750 Stony Pt. Rd. (by Starbucks) 1425 Fulton Rd. (by Raley’s) 2700 Yulupa Ave. (by CVS) ANY HAIRCUT ANY HAIRCUT Windsor: 9018 Brooks Rd. (by Mary’s Pizza) $ 99 $ 99 Healdsburg: 1017 Vineyard Plaza Sonoma: ANY HAIRCUT ANY HAIRCUT 19217 Sonoma Hwy. (Maxwell Village Center) $ 99 ANY $ 99 Terra Linda: HAIRCUT ANY HAIRCUT Northgate One Shopping Center 701 Sonoma $Mountain Parkway. $ Petaluma: 99 99

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a.m.–2 p.m. Sonoma County Family YMCA. 1111 College Ave., Santa Rosa.

Sunday 30 Tidepooling. 8:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m. Free. Parking $7.

Alexander Khan conducts the SSU Symphony Orchestra.

Gualala Point Regional Park. 42401 Hwy. 1, Gualala. parks. Presto Mambo! Family concert by Santa Rosa Symphony

& Platypus Theatre. An exploration of Latin American music. 3 p.m. Adults: $17. Kids: $12. Sonoma State University. Green Music Center. Weill Hall. 1801 E. Cotati Ln., Santa Rosa. Youth Ensembles Concert IV. Preparatory Orchestra &

Repertory Orchestra. 3 p.m. $5–$20. Sonoma Country Day School. Jackson Theater. 4400 Day School Pl., Santa Rosa. Bonnie Prince Billy. Solo show. $35. 6 p.m. Parking is free for motorcycles, full two-seaters, cars with 3 or more, or wine club members. Others: $10. Gundlach Bundschu Winery. 2000 Denmark St., Sonoma.



Songs of the Earth


abbling brooks, birdsong, wind—the earth’s aural marvels have been the subject of musical compositions across time and cultures. For instance, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, Pastoral, reflects the sights and sounds of the rural areas that the composer would visit. It is one of three pieces that will be performed on Earth Day by the Sonoma State University (SSU) Symphony Orchestra in its Songs of the Earth concert. In addition to Beethoven’s work, the symphony will also perform Lyadov’s Eight Russian Folk Songs as well as Moritûra Terra (Latin for “Dying Earth”), the winning entry of the SSU Composition Contest. The concert will be held on April 22 at 7:30 p.m. in Weill Hall at SSU’s Green Music Center in Rohnert Park. Tickets are $8; free for SSU students. See music for more information. ¶



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40 SonomaFamilyLife

Celebrate Gaia


s the weather warms and new life grows, we give special attention to our planetary home on Earth Day. The city of Santa Rosa is planning a family-friendly, multicultural celebration with a whole host of live entertainment. Listen to the VOENA children’s choir and dramatic Japanese Taiko drums; watch a colorful Chinese Lion Dance and a lively performance by the Native Youth Pomo Dance Group; and take in children’s theater by the Chalkboard Players. The event happens on April 22, noon–4 p.m., at city hall in Santa Rosa. Also check out the Earth Day Celebration on April 22, 11 a.m.–3 p.m., at the Quarryhill Botanical Garden in Glen Ellen (free admission, parking $10); and the free Windsor Earth Day and Wellness Festival on April 23, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., on the Town Green in Windsor. ¶

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SonomaFamilyLife 41

Humor Break

A as in Awkward

Now I’m making devil eyes and shaking my head at Buck and Emerson to not say a word when August chimed in— “She said, ‘How old are you?’”

When Kids Won’t Zip It By Holly Hester


his story could also be called “Children Make Awkward Situations More Awkward.”

Okay, so here we are at the feed store once again. There’s a woman that works here that is one of the toughest, most grizzled-looking “seniors” I’ve ever seen. She could give those old ladies in the last Mad Max movie a run for their money. She’s probably in her 60s, has a long, grey ponytail, the forearms of Popeye, and the gaze of Clint Eastwood. I imagine that she spends her free time wrestling alligators and throwing cement blocks through the windows of assisted-living facilities. I’ve often wondered how long I’d last in a fight with her. I’m taller and younger, but I bet she bites. She probably also has a knife in her boot. My only hope would be to wind her because, as you can probably guess, she’s a smoker. Anyway, this woman was helping us put chicks in a box, and we were talking about different types of chicks and feed, etc.—you know, feed-store banter. But I couldn’t stop staring at her, fascinated, wondering about her life. And I meant to say, “How old are the chicks?” Except 42 SonomaFamilyLife

I was so preoccupied with this woman’s possible history as a trick horse rider in an old-timey rodeo that instead I said— “How old are you?” There was stunned silence as I realized what I had said. My kids looked at me, shocked. The woman

August, being 5 years old, thinks everyone is 100. Either you’re a kid or you’re 100. didn’t answer. She just kept putting chicks in a box. I was hopeful for a moment that she hadn’t heard me. This is the part where children make awkward situations more awkward. Emerson said, “Momma, that’s rude.” I shook my head vigorously in a “please stop talking” motion. Emerson stopped talking, but apparently Buck did not see (or more likely, chose to ignore) the vigorous head shake, so he joined in. “Yeah, Mom, that’s so rude.”

I then made devil eyes at Buck, but it didn’t matter. The woman looked up and said, “What’s your mom being rude about?”

The woman fixed her Clint Eastwood gaze on me. Great. She’s going to kill me. She’s going to whip that knife out of her boot and shank me right in front of my children. There’s going to be blood all over those baby chicks. Then, to make matters worse, August added, “I think you’re about 100.” Now August, being 5 years old, thinks everyone is 100. Either you’re a kid or you’re 100. There’s no in between. August has inadvertently insulted scores of adults by asking them if they’re 100. I’ve watched the happy faces of people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s crumble after August gets through with them. The woman looked down at August. Then, much to my surprise, she burst out laughing—a loud, booming cackle of a belly laugh. Baby chicks scattered. Other feed-store shoppers turned. Her laugh eventually turned into a hacking smoker’s cough that scared everyone within a two-block radius, but still, it was a wonderful way to pull out of an awkward situation. With children around, you’re not always this lucky. I like this woman even more now, and I’m adding “saloon owner” to my list of her possible former occupations. ¶ Holly Hester lives in Sebastopol and writes about life on her blog, Riot Ranch. Find her book, Escape from Ugly Mom Island!, on Amazon.

April 2017


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Sonoma Family Life April 2017  
Sonoma Family Life April 2017