The best hidden museums of the 650

The Peninsula’s lesser-known museums are hiding in some delightfully unexpected places. Sure, they’re smaller, but they have plenty to offer in eye-catching exhibits and intriguing historical displays.

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Palo Alto’s kiddie zoo just reopened! Here are 8 animals that zookeepers think you shouldn’t miss on your first visit back.

After two years and $33 million, the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo is twice the size, with 50 species and a two-story treehouse. (Photo courtesy Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo) When the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo outgrew its clunky 1940s architecture (including concrete bathtub-shaped exhibits), the beloved family staple closed to undergo a two-year makeover. Now it’s back at nearly double the size with a Loose-in-the-Zoo theme that ...

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It’s reading cats and dogs: How Peninsula shelters are improving literacy on the Peninsula

Kittens, cockatoos and lizards are stepping into virtual learning (and they’re available for adoption too — see our local list of shelters) (Image via Pets In Need) One topic weighing on many Bay Area parents’ minds has been engaging squirrely kids through, often monotonous, online learning sessions. But what if the next time they checked in on little Timmy, they found him reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar to a bearded dragon? This whimsical circumstance is ...

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Homegrown Hollywood: Meet Silicon Valley’s spirited filmmakers

They learned cinematography on YouTube, “borrowed” equipment from UC Santa Cruz and now they’re bringing movie magic to the Peninsula. Tony Gapastione, far left, chats with his actors while filming a proof of concept trailer to raise funds for his feature The Thorns We Live With. (Image via Evan Ajuria) A dysfunctional family is having a fight during dinner. Nothing new there. But if you take a step back, you’ll find a boom ...

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Blue trees & recycled labyrinths: talking art with the curator behind Palo Alto’s outdoor exhibits

Elise DeMarzo takes us behind-the-scenes to explain the nuances of orchestrating public art. Elise DeMarzo walks the the Bucolic Labyrinth in King Plaza at Palo Alto’s City Hall. (Photo by Magali Gauthier) There’s an art to executing public art well. “[It’s] who we are as a community and what we aspire to be,” describes Elise DeMarzo, current Public Art Program Director for the City of Palo Alto. If public art is an orchestra, ...

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Meet the international artist behind Palo Alto’s mysterious new garage-door murals

Map out your tour of the streetside seascapes and portals to paradise The shelter-in-place life might mean containment for many things, but imagination isn’t one of them. Creativity doesn’t need a gallery space. Neighbors strolling the tree-lined Triple El neighborhood of Palo Alto have recently discovered al fresco art cropping up on house exteriors and across garage doors. Behind these pleasantly unexpected sights is international artist Martha Sakellariou and a fascinating dialogue on “home.” After ...

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Peninsula-based Paint the Town introduces a new kind of party — Bob Ross style

Local artist and teacher Celia Ma thought outside the box while stuck indoors, and the result is cause for celebration Landscapes… because can you ever really tire of a gorgeous view? (Image via Paint the Town’s FB page) Sure. The first virtual wine night or two were great. But how many “Zinfandel and Zoom” sessions can we stomach? When COVID-19 hit, Celia Ma, San Mateo resident and owner of Paint the Town (a paint ...

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The Pavement Picasso: Talking sidewalk murals with the Bay Area’s chalk art guru

Peninsula native Marlon Yanes gives us insider info on chalking like a street art pro Marlon Yanes blends the oranges and yellows in his chalk mural during the Palo Alto Festival of the Arts in 2018. (Photo by Adam Pardee) Have you noticed? Lately, our sidewalks have transformed into one very long art collaboration. If you’ve taken to stretching your legs for long neighborhood walks during the shelter-in-place, you might have noticed chalk art cropping ...

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15 Bay Area-focused documentaries to watch during the shutdown

Meet the locals who would die for Mavericks, kidnap for revolution and rob banks for Batkid via these stranger-than-fiction docs. (Image via Getty) We get it. These days you want to escape reality. When your routine takes on the repetition of Groundhog Day and you feel trapped in the same day over and over, it’s tempting to check out. Why settle for the banality of reality, when fiction offers 31 flavors of larger-than-life? Whether it’s ...

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Take a break from the Corona-verse via a tour of HMB’s carnivorous plant emporium

Some Venus flytraps wait patiently for a tasty fly lunch. (Image via Johanna Hickle) Take a break from the Corona-verse via a tour of Half Moon Bay’s best (& only) carnivorous plant emporium Josh Brown’s plants have needles, teeth and tentacles, and he loves them all (except the Venus fly trap) As an underclassman at Stanford University, Josh Brown cultivated a thriving terrarium with LED lights under his dorm room bed. “People thought I was growing ...

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