Annual family events herald spring & summer

/Town Crier Colorful sculptures and the work of nearly 200 artists fill Lincoln Park during the Rotary Club of Los Altos’ Fine Art in the Park event.

The end of the school year brings a lull to the hustle and bustle of daily life for parents and students alike as they have more time on their hands. What better way to spend it than outdoors. Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View offer a wide variety of family-friendly events, some of which are long-standing traditions.


Get your garden growing: Expert offers vegetable picks

LILA P30newNow that winter has passed, it’s time for the sun to come out, shorts to be worn and seeds to be planted.


Playing out loud: Local venues and events offer live music

/Town Crier An audience gathers to hear a musician perform at a First Friday event in downtown Los Altos. The city boasts a variety of venues that offer live music of many different genres.

Music legend and U2 frontman Bono once said that "music can change the world because it can change people."

For enthusiasts, music can encourage love, happiness, passion and devotion. It is a powerful unifier, bonding together seemingly disjointed groups of people in a shared experience. From jazz to ragtime, boogie-woogie and hip-hop, music offers something for every ear.


Welcome to Los Altos: A newcomer’s guide to life in the land of the apricots

/Town Crier Vibrant Chinese Pistache trees enhance downtown Los Altos streets in the fall, a welcome sight for newcomers accustomed to the change of seasons.

I moved to the Los Altos area from San Francisco years ago, largely because it felt right for my growing family. It’s not an unusual story for local transplants, as many relocate for their careers, the benefits of Peninsula living and/or the high-performing schools.


Food for thought: Hidden Villa programs offer teens training in sustainability on the farm

/Town Crier It’s not all cute and cuddly for teens participating in the eight-week Animal Husbandry Apprenticeship program at Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hills. Mia Mosing of Palo Alto, left, and Sophia Jackson of Los Altos clean the pigpens – one of many activities designed to teach them about caring for farm animals.

While many teens today can’t tear themselves away from computer games and cellphones, some are building confidence and learning to perform sustainable farming practices outdoors.

The local area, formerly known as the Valley of Hearts Delight, used to be covered with orchards. Today, most of that ground supports buildings hosting technical businesses, housing and shopping centers. Technology has surely advanced, but it seems that many local residents don’t know or care where their food comes from.


A Different Kind of Family

2.8.2015 MarianAiken BookSigning-2996-2
Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Marian Aiken shares a moment with her son, Alan – one of the Los Altos resident’s adopted sons. 

Los Altos resident Marian Aiken’s lifelong commitment to providing a secure home for foster and adopted children with physical disabilities began the minute she signed “I love you” to baby Derek and chose to give him a chance.

Like any new parent, Aiken was overwhelmed with happiness and anxiety when she welcomed her first child into her life in 1979. As Aiken cradled Derek – who was deaf and terminally ill – in her arms, a connection sparked.


Cooking with kids: Nachos Slow fast food

Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier
Making nachos in a slow cooker can be a fun and delicious cooking project for parents and children.

It’s Friday night. I fill a large bowl with dried black beans, cover them with cold tap water and call out, "I’m sorting beans," in the direction of my kids.


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