Noe Valley Voice May 2002

Family Adventures: A Day at the Races

By Janis Cooke Newman

Parents looking to plan their own family adventures will want to check out A Parent's Guide to San Francisco, published by Parent's Guide Press. This guidebook, written by San Franciscan Paul Otteson, lists more than 250 attractions, parks, zoos, and museums in the Bay Area-- everything from where to see a two-headed calf to visiting Papua New Guinea totems.

While savvy local parents will already be familiar with most of the sights listed in the guide, it's a valuable resource to have on hand when you can't remember if the Exploratorium is open on Mondays or you need directions to Tilden Park. It's also worth owning for the dozen or so new discoveries you'll make -- a trout farm in Bodega Bay, a movie theater that welcomes crying babies, a 100-foot-long wall of garbage in Milpitas.

A Parent's Guide to San Francisco includes a calendar of events, so you'll know exactly what month you can attend the Monterey Whalefest or the Sonoma Hot Air Balloon Classic, the Chinese New Year Parade, or the Stockton Asparagus Festival. There's also a handy index that sorts the attractions into categories, such as Beaches, Animal Experiences, Hands-on Museums, and one called Special or Strange.

A Parent's Guide to San Francisco costs $14.95 and is available at bookstores on 24th Street. Parent's Guide Press also publishes guides to other American cities, including Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and New York.

Janis Cooke Newman's memoir, The Russian Word for Snow, is available in paperback at Cover to Cover Booksellers on 24th Street.