Super Run 5K at Almaden Lake Park

Super Run 5K at Almaden Lake Park – Saturday, February 18, 2017

Super Run 5KThe San Jose Super Run 5K kicks off at Almaden Lake Park on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 8:00 am.

Don your cape and be a superhero for the day! Run, volunteer, or invite your friends to this fun event while supporting your favorite charity.

The Super Run is a series of superhero themed national running events. It partners with non-profit organizations to raise funds and create awareness for their causes.

You can purchase Super Run 5K tickets at http://sanjose.eventful.com/venues/almaden-lake-park-/V0-001-000561394-1

Charitable organization the walk supports include The Children’s Heart Foundation, American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and Playworks, to name a few. To learn more about the Super Run 5K and the charities they support, go to http://thesuperrun.com/

Family Holiday Traditions near Almaden Valley

The holidays are upon us, and here are some favorite family holiday traditions happening near Almaden Valley…

Family Holiday Traditions Fantasy of LightsVasona Lake Park Fantasy of Lights Spectacular – December 6-30

If you are looking for special holiday displays close to Almaden, you cannot miss the Fantasy of Lights spectacular at Vasona Lake Park. Take your family on a magical drive through the 1.5 mile long holiday lights display. It is a spectacular extravaganza to be enjoyed by both young and young-at-heart alike.

Driving through the park in the cozy comfort of your car, you will pass through over 50 exciting exhibits and themed displays like the Dinosaur Den with the sights and sounds of an erupting volcano, a playful pen of penguins, Santa shooting hoops, pirate cannons blazing and tunnels of moving lights. At the center of it all is a 90-foot twinkling tree for you to gaze at.

Important: Remember to purchase your tickets in advance to attend the Fantasy of Lights 2016. The park will not admit any cars without a prior ticket. For more information, visit: https://www.sccgov.org/sites/parks/fol/Pages/AnnualFoL.aspx.

Family Holiday Traditions Foxworthy Baptist ChurchBroadway Style Christmas Musical at the Foxworthy Baptist Church – December 9-11

The Foxworthy Baptist Church of San Jose presents a Broadway style Christmas Musical during the holiday season. It has been doing so since 1984, and as a holiday gift to all attendees, the show is presented entirely free.

This year, the Church will be presenting six free shows, two on each day between December 9 and 11. The 90-minute show features 30 singers in a fully staged and choreographed Broadway style production. It includes many favorite Christmas songs and special guests including Rudolf, Frosty, SpongeBob, the Grinch and Olaf. They’ll also gather around the manger to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Reason for the Season, and the Savior of the world. The musical is directed by Don and Diann Fugate. Performances are December 9-11, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 2.00pm and 7 pm. For more information, visit: http://www.foxworthy.org/upcoming-events.html.

Family Holiday Traditions Christmas in the ParkChristmas in the Park in Downtown San Jose – Now until January 1

If you and your family would like to enjoy a free and fun holiday event near Almaden Valley, the Christmas in the Park celebration at downtown San Jose is a must do. In December, the two-acre Plaza de Cesar Chavez at downtown San Jose turns into a winter wonderland.

At the heart of the festivities is a majestic 60-foot Community Giving tree. Attractions include over 40 animated exhibits with glittering lights and music, a toy train ride and a mini park of Christmas trees decorated by children of San Jose schools. Additionally, there are a host of other rides, games and a variety of foods from local vendors to be savored. You can enjoy free arts and crafts activities every Saturday.

Christmas in the Park is open now through January 1. For more information, visit: http://www.christmasinthepark.com/.

Internet Safety Reminder for Winter Break

Internet safetyInternet Safety – The holidays are about to begin and your children will very likely spend a lot of time online with multiple devices. Now is a good time to educate or remind them about Internet safety, and to reinforce the need for caution while browsing or posting on social media.

Surfing and Social Media Internet Safety

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 requires that websites aimed at children under 13 must get parental consent. According to the Library of Congress, in the US, three among four children have access to smartphones and social media apps like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Vine and Tumblr. And while they are using these apps, most kids never customize the privacy restrictions on their profiles, and many of them even publicly post their address and/or phone number.

Monitoring children’s online activities can be overwhelming and time consuming, but some basic steps should be taken to ensure their protection. Here are some guidelines for both parents and children.

For parents:

  • Educate your children about Internet safety – Include Internet safety and privacy in all “growing up” discussions with your children.
  • Follow and be a ‘friend’ on social media – Your children might be reluctant to let you into their virtual world, but get an agreement on this before allowing them to use social media. Having you on their accounts will make them careful about what they post. It will also help you weed out people who may not really be friends. However, keep some distance and avoid stalking them.
  • Adjust privacy and parental control settings – This should be done on each device before you let them use it.
  • Install monitoring software – There are various software and apps available to track browsing history and block dubious sites from baiting and preying on your children through advertising.
  • Make kids anonymous on the Internet – Avoid posting pictures of your children on social media sites and the Internet. If posted by friends and family, un-tag as much as possible. Ask family and friends to seek your consent before they post any pictures of your children.

It is very important that children understand the reasons behind the rules to ensure compliance. So talk about the risks and keep that dialogue going.

For children:

  • Protect your passwords – Create strong and unique passwords, and don’t share them with your friends. If you think someone has gained access to your password, change it immediately. Use different passwords for email and social media.
  • Select online friends carefully – Do not add anyone as a friend on your social media if you do not know him/her well, and in person. You may be tempted to have more social media friends than others in your peer group, but think carefully before you add people on. Someone doesn’t qualify to be a friend just because you have other friends in common.
  • Privacy Settings – Set your privacy settings to “friends only”.
  • Every post is permanent – Your social media posts, including pictures, remain on the Internet even after you remove them. Increasingly, social media sites are screened by colleges and employers for admissions and jobs. What you post today could impact your future.
  • Be kind and sensitive online – Don’t post anything that might be hurtful to others. Avoid anything that might seem like cyber bullying, which is not just wrong but could also get you into big trouble. A rule to follow is this: if you can’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it online.

For more information on Internet safety and protecting your child’s privacy, go to:

https://www.comparitech.com/blog/vpn-privacy/protecting-childrens-privacy

Almaden Valley Thanksgiving Events 2016

Almaden Valley ThanksgivingIt’s November, and there are a number of Almaden Valley Thanksgiving events happening throughout the month. Here’s a round-up…

Almaden Community Center Senior Association Thanksgiving feast, Nov. 16, 2016

The Almaden Community Center Senior Association is sponsoring a Thanksgiving feast on Wednesday, Nov. 16 between 2pm and 4pm at the Almaden Community Club. Come join in with family and friends for a sumptuous meal of traditional turkey, stuffing, potatoes, green beans, bread and dessert. Tickets are $12 for members and $15 for non-members, available at the Almaden Community Center. For more information, call 408-268-1133.

Almaden Country School Thanksgiving feast, Nov. 22, 2016

The Almaden Country School’s annual Thanksgiving feast is a tradition of long standing. On Monday Nov. 21, parents and children will gather in school to prep and cook up a dish to serve at the feast the next day, Nov. 22. No prior cooking experience required. Come with a turkey and an oven bag. Happy cooking! For more information, visit https://www.almadencountryschool.org/appleseed/index.aspx.

Turkey Trot, Nov. 23, 2016

Castillero Middle School is doing its bit to give back to the community and the school during Thanksgiving. Castillero’s PE department is sponsoring its 2nd Annual Turkey Trot on Wednesday Nov. 23. During the Turkey Trot, students will have a choice of trotting through two events – a competitive mile lap and a non-competitive track lap. Spirit t-shirts will be sold for $10 each and all funds will go towards the Castillero Middle School PE department. Those who sign up will also donate one item of canned food for the Second Harvest Food Bank Thanksgiving donation. For more information, visit http://sjusd.org/castillero.

Run Turkey Run 5K / 10K, Nov. 24, 2016

On Thanksgiving morning, hundreds of Almaden families will gather at Leland High School to participate in the Run Turkey Run 5K / 10K. This annual Thanksgiving event is organized by the Bret Harte Booster Club.

The run/walk event begins at Leland High School at 8.30 am. Both the 5K and 10K sprints will be done on level terrain on the paved trails along the Los Alamitos Creek trail, and will end in a loop at Leland High.

Registration is $15 for kids 12 and under and $20 for adults. You can also purchase Run Turkey Run spirit t-shirts for $15 at the time of packet pick-up and on race morning. All proceeds go towards supporting Bret Harte Booster Club activities. For additional information, visit http://sjusd.org/bretharte/clubs/booster-club-athletics.

Happy Thanksgiving!

An Almaden Valley Halloween: In Search of the Perfect Scare

Almaden Valley HalloweenAn Almaden Valley Halloween … Are pumpkin patches or trick or treating down the block during Halloween too tame for you? If you have a taste for the gothic, maybe a trip to a haunted house in search of ghosts is just the thing for you.

In the South Bay, near Almaden Valley, the most legendary and elaborate haunted house attraction is, without a doubt, the Winchester Mystery House. Up until Halloween night, visitors can enjoy Candlelight tours through 110 rooms of the massive estate. Tickets are available online or at the door. http://winchestermysteryhouse.com/

A bit closer to home, there are a number of other chilling attractions certain to give you a scare, but you may want to check out their websites before taking small children:

⇒ The Bernal Scream: Westfield Oakridge mall http://www.thebernalscream.com/

⇒ Dead Time Dreams Haunted Attractions: 2501 Tully Rd. at East Capitol Expressway http://www.deadtimedreams.com/

⇒ Rebel Yell: 1577 Rebel Way, San Jose http://www.rebelyell.info/rebelyell.html

⇒ World’s Largest Haunted House: County Fairgrounds, 344 Tully Rd., San Jose http://www.worldslargesthauntedhouse.com/

When you’ve had your fill of haunted houses and are ready to look for the real thing, give me a call!

Happy haunting!

Leland Dandiya Raas Night

Leland Dandiya RaasLeland Dandiya Raas Night – Celebrate an Evening of Ethnic Music and Dance!

Skirts swirling, sticks clashing, Almaden Valley’s Indian community is getting ready to swing and groove to the beats of ethnic Indian folk music. On Saturday, October 22, 2016, neighborhood families, all decked out in richly patterned and colorful, traditional Indian attire, will gather in hundreds at Leland High School, for the community’s biggest festive event of the year, the annual Leland Dandiya Raas night.

Dandiya Raas, literally meaning “dances with sticks” is a traditional dance performed during the Navaratri (nine nights) festival. Almaden’s Leland Dandiya Raas Night, an annual event for almost a decade, is organized by the Leland Parent’s Club. All proceeds from this event go towards supporting Leland High School’s academic enrichment programs, capital improvements and supplies.

Over the years, the Leland Dandiya has evolved as one of the biggest fund-raising events for the school. To this end, it also draws Almaden families from other communities who mingle with friends and dance to live music and drum beats. I am proud to be a sponsor of this wonderful event.

So, come out in your ethnic best for an evening of music, dance color and gaiety at Leland High School, 6677, Camden Avenue, San Jose, CA 95120, on Saturday, October 22, 2016, 7 pm to 11 pm. Food is available for purchase at the venue, and tickets ($20 each) are sold at the gate.

New Almaden Day Jump-In Parade 2016

New Almaden DayMark your calendars for this year’s New Almaden Day Jump-In Parade! The event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 10th in celebration of the 36th Annual New Almaden Day. The parade will begin at the New Almaden Community House on Bertram Road at 11am. The route will continue along Bertram Road and through the intersection of Almaden Road. Arrive early and get a parking spot at the Hacienda entrance to Almaden Quicksilver County Park, because the streets will be busy and parking will be tough. The parade will feature convertibles, antique cars, floats, equestrians and more. After the parade, awards will be presented for the “Best of Show” and a barbecue will start right after. There will also be live music, kids games, a raffle, a cake walk, and a bake sale. Come join New Almaden and Almaden residents in this fun Almaden Valley community event. For more information contact Kitty Monahan at 1-408-268-6541.

Almaden Valley Art & Wine Festival 2016

Almaden Valley Art & Wine Festival 2016It’s that time of year again in the Almaden Valley! The 40th Annual Almaden Valley Art & Wine Festival 2016 will be held on Sunday, September 11, at Almaden Lake Park from 10am to 6pm. This year the community celebrates a milestone of four full decades of sponsoring the festival, which hosts over 90 vendor booths including a number of local artists and craftspersons selling their paintings, jewelry, sculptures, and much more.

The food at the festival will be local and diverse, including Indian specialties from Mayuri, pizza from Oak & Rye, Mexican cuisine from Carmen’s Taqueria, and Asian fusion from Cross Hatch Eatery. There will also be Gourmet Food Trucks offering even more variety, and of course you’ll find dessert favorites such as shave ice and kettle corn. The popular Premium Wine Tent will be offering selections from Rombauer Vineyard in Napa and Leal Vineyards in Hollister, along with selections from other local wineries. Not the wine connoisseur? Grab a beer from a beer truck and relax at the Beer Garden! Festival glasses with the Art and Wine Festival logo will be sold at local merchant booths.

The Kid’s Fun Zone will have a rock climbing wall, carnival games, and jump houses. The Fun Zone stage will feature performances by local school bands, dance groups, cheerleading squads, and professional entertainers. There will also be a Main Stage with performances by Joanne LeBlanc, Fog City Band, Big Mike and the HartBeats, Leland High School Cheer & Dance, and many more. The Main Stage and Kid’s Fun Zone entertainment schedules are available online at www.almadenwine.org/events. To top it all off, there will be a silent auction with items such as signed sports and entertainment collectibles, limited edition art, fabulous designer jewelry, and tickets to local attractions.

The Almaden Valley Art & Wine Festival is sponsored by the Almaden Valley Women’s Club, which raises funds for the festival every year. The festival is also made possible through the support of local sponsors as well as the City of San Jose. All proceeds from the festival are donated to non-profit organizations and local schools. As always, admission and parking are free, and a free shuttle service is available. Come join the Almaden Valley community in celebrating the 40th anniversary of this popular annual event!

Almaden Community Center Activity Guide – Fall 2016

Almaden Community Center Activity GuideCheck out the Almaden Community Center Activity Guide for Fall 2016! The guide contains classes and programs for children of all ages from dance and music to health and fitness and specialty camps. There are also a variety of new classes including 3D Cartoon Drawing, Fundamentals of Drawing, Intro to Pastels, Preschool Artist, Little Medical School, and many more. The Almaden Community Center even offers a recreation preschool and KinderCare to prepare children for elementary school.

Make note of some important dates mentioned in the guide, such as the 9th Annual Harvest Festival happening on Saturday, October 22, from 11am to 4pm. The Harvest Festival is an opportunity for residents to enjoy local art, eat good food, and pick pumpkins out of a pumpkin patch just in time for Halloween. The guide also highlights Breakfast with Santa on December 10 from 9:30am to 12pm. Additionally, there are Free Movie Fridays in the Community Room on September 30, October 28, and November 18.

There’s something for all ages in the Almaden Community Center Activity Guide. Fall registration has already begun. You can view the brochure by clicking here, then register directly at the Almaden Community Center (6445 Camden Ave., SJ 408.268.1133) or online at www.sjregistration.com.

Emerge 5K Run at Almaden Lake

5k run Almaden LakeThis Saturday, August 6, take part in the “Emerge 5K Country Redneck Run” at Almaden Lake. The run is for adults and children alike, with a special starting time for the more serious timed runners. Registration opens at 8:30am. Country line dancing warm-ups begin at 9am and the race starts at 9:30am. The event will conclude with a closing ceremony, featuring a prize for best costume as well as running awards. Emerge 5K is presented by Journey for Jessica in partnership with The International Brain Research FoundationFor more information, visit emergejfj.com.