Monthly Archives

October 2015

San Mateo On Ice Logo
Community, Community Events, Downtown, Parks and Recreation

San Mateo on Ice

Tree  Lighting and Ice Rink Celebration

Kick-off the holiday season in Central Park on Friday, November 13th !

The City of San Mateo and the San Mateo United Homeowners Association invite the San Mateo community to a magical tree lighting ceremony and the opening celebration of San Mateo on Ice.

Enjoy a performance by the Nazareth Ice Oasis Production group and figure skating performances by Olympic skater Polina Edmunds, National skater Sarah Zhang, and rising stars Alain Sandraz, Lily Sun, and Maria Yang. The ice dance team, Jeffery Chen and Layla Karnes, will also perform.

Shot of ice skater's legsThis spectacular event is taking place on Fitzgerald Field in San Mateo Central Park, located on 5th Avenue and El Camino Real. Don’t miss out! Save the date for Friday, November 13th! The event begins at 6:00 PM.

San Mateo on Ice will open to the public on Saturday, November 14th.  From this date on the rink will be open daily (including holidays!) through Sunday, January 10th.

When the rink does open it will feature 9,000 square feet of REAL ice for all ages to enjoy, the largest outdoor skating rink in the Bay Area. .

For more information and for tickets, please visit


Community, Local Election

Remember to Vote!

In the November 3rd All-Mail Ballot Election

From open Council seats to a school bond measure and a local revenue measure, there are a number of initiatives on the San Mateo ballot that will impact our community for the next several years. Voting is a way to let your voice be heard, but too often than not many do not take the time to vote.

In an off-year election, voter turnout is traditionally lower. According to an article appearing in the Washington Post on November 10, 2014, last year’s midterm election saw the lowest voter turnout since World War II with only 36.4% of registered voters voting. Choosing to vote or not to vote is a personal decision and the reasons provided are infinite.

In an effort to increase voter turnout as well as to reduce election costs and produce faster results, San Mateo County is one of two California counties piloting an all-mail ballot this election cycle.  During a press conference held in early October and covered by the San Mateo Daily Journal on October 9th, Assemblyman Kevin Mullin stated, “If participation increases, as we are hoping, it could be a model for the state.”

Every voter in San Mateo County has received a ballot and the County Office of Elections has set-up a number of systems to make voting easy. Whether you have already submitted your ballot or are still deciding how to vote here are some helpful tips about how you can participate in this November’s election.

Vote_3Put your ballot in the mail or drop it off at a voting center

Returned ballots postmarked on or before Election Day, November 3rd, will be accepted provided ballots are received by November 6th, 2015. You can take your envelope with the ballot sealed inside to the US Postal Service and get it postmarked. You may also drop off your completed ballot at any official Ballot Drop Box at any City or Town in San Mateo County through November 3rd. The Drop Box locations will be open until 8:00 pm on Election Day. You may also drop off your ballot at the two Voting Centers in the County.

Local Drop-off Location

  • San Mateo City Hall, 330 W. 20th Avenue, San Mateo, 94403

Vote EarlyVote_4

California law allows voters to cast their ballot any time during the 29 day period prior to Election Day. You may vote in person with your mailed ballot or on the electronic voting machine (eSlate) at either of the San Mateo County’s two Voting Centers.

County Voting Center Locations

  • San Mateo County Elections Office: 40 Tower Road, San Mateo CA 94402
  • Office of the Accessor-County Clerk-Recorder: 555 County Center, 1st Floor, Redwood City, CA 94063

Vote_6Vote in Person on Election Day

On Election Day, thirty-two accessible Universal Polling Places will be open throughout San Mateo County. At any of these Polling Places, any San Mateo County registered voter will be able to vote in person, request a replacement ballot or drop off his or her voted ballot. Personnel will be on hand to help voters requesting assistance.

In San Mateo County, 57% of registered voters are permanent absentee voters and during the 2013 general election, 77% of voters voted by mail. With most voters already familiar with the vote by mail process, there is reason to believe that turnout will be higher during this election cycle. And that could lead to an entirely new voting process for the state.

For more information about the November 3rd All-Mail Ballot Election, please visit For more information about the San Mateo Council Election and Measure S, please visit

Friends enjoying a San Mateo Event together
Community, Community Events

San Mateo Events Update

Oct. 30 – Nov. 4

Check out this week’s events in San Mateo! Still looking for something to do on Halloween? No problem! There are a number of frightfully fun events happening throughout the weekend that the entire family will enjoy. Don’t forget to check out the listing of other events and activities taking place in San Mateo. There’s something for everyone.

Halloween Bash 

Friday, Oct. 30 4:30pm-6:30pm

Dress your kids in costume and bring them to the Junior Gym for a fun-filled Halloween Bash. Check out the haunted house, and enjoy face painting, craft activities and more! Tickets usually sell out and are $10 for children and free for adults. To get a ticket, call (650) 548-9901 or visit the Junior Gym.

Bike Building Party Child's bicycle

Saturday, Oct. 31 8:00am

Help the children affected by the Valley Fire. Many families impacted by this devastating fire in Lake County lost their homes, belongings and in some cases loved ones. The San Mateo Firefighters’ Association in conjunction with Local 2400 is sponsoring and hosting a Bike Building Party to replace what was lost or damaged by the fire. Bring your families and work with the San Mateo community to help those in need. Donations are also appreciated. Please make checks out to “The San Mateo Firefighters Toys for Tots”.

Halloween Event at King Center

Saturday, Oct. 31 11:00am-2:00pm

Celebrate Halloween with a costume contest, games, crafts, and a walk through an enchanted forest! This event at the King Center is free and is suited for pre-school and elementary aged children.

Off the Grid: Hillsdale Caltrain Station

Saturday, Oct. 31 11:00am-3:00pm

Come out for great food and live music! Choose from one of these tasty food vendors: Naked Chorizo, Me So Hungry Too, Oaxacan Kitchen Mobile, Ark Grill, Izzy’s Cheesesteaks, Don Pablo, and Moonraker Food Truck. Off the Grid is at the Hillsdale Caltrain Station every Saturday from 11:00am-3:00pm.

Halloween carved pumpkinsScary Scavenger Hunt in Downtown San Mateo

Saturday, Oct. 31 1:00pm-4:00pm

Explore downtown with a scavenger hunt! Kids will start at Scandinavian Designs to pick up a scavenger hunt game card and goodie bag for treats. Then visit downtown shops and restaurants, earning treats along the way. Don’t forget to wear your costume! Face painting and crafts will be available as well. No RSVP necessary.

Halloween Spook-Tacular

Saturday, Oct. 31 4:00pm-6:00pm

Kids, dress up and come trick-or-treat at the Hillsdale Shopping Center! After trick-or-treating watch the juggling act and balloon artist, play in some “slime,” decorate cookies, make crafts, and more. The event is free to attend and suited for children under 12.

Halloween Party

Saturday Oct. 31 7:00pm-10:00pm

Join your friends at the Pied Piper Players for a Halloween costume party and dance. This co-ed event geared towards tweens and tweens  also includes movies, snacks, and loads of fun! The fee to attend is $25.

Man and woman gardeningMaster Gardener Plant Clinic

Sunday, Nov. 1 11:00am-1:30pm

Chat with a Master Gardener about your plants. Master Gardeners will be able to give general information and help with more specific plant problems. Bring a sample of your plant, if you wish. This event is free and held at the Kohl Pumphouse. For more information click here.

Movie: Paper Towns

Wednesday, Nov. 4 4:00pm-6:00pm

Come for a free viewing of Paper Towns at the San Mateo Main Library, popcorn will be served!

Subscribe to the San Mateo City Insider to receive event announcements and informative articles from the City of San Mateo directly to your inbox.

Photo model of what 450 Concar will look like when completed
Community, Community Development

San Mateo Transit Oriented Development Series

San Mateo’s Rail Corridor, located within a half-mile radius of the Hayward Park and Hillsdale Caltrain station areas, is undergoing a great deal of development activity at the 92 and Delaware Street interchange and within Bay Meadows. These projects are part of the vision established in the City’s Rail Corridor Transit Oriented Development Plan adopted by the San Mateo City Council in 2005. The plan identified development goals that would help to maintain the quality of life for those living and working in San Mateo while providing additional opportunities for high density affordable and market rate housing and class ’A’ office space.

These improvements help to maintain San Mateo’s stature as a premiere city throughout the Bay Area while creating new employment and housing opportunities for those wanting to live and work near transit.

San Mateo is undergoing a significant transformation and it is important to share this information with those living and working in the community. This is the first of a three part series that will feature and provide updates on development projects currently underway. This includes 400|450 Concar, Station Park Green and Bay Meadows. We hope you find these updates informative and are excited about the new opportunities coming to San Mateo.

400|450 ConcarConstruction at the development site

Construction of 400|450 Concar, developed by Hines, began on March 2, 2015. When complete the project will include two four-story buildings of class ‘A’ office space. The underground parking, which will provide parking for future office tenants, is currently under construction. The underground parking for 400 Concar will be complete in approximately two weeks. It is anticipated that the parking at 450 Concar Drive will be complete within four to six weeks after that.

“People will start to see more progress once it hits ground level. To the public it will be more noticeable as the building structures become visible, particularly from Highway 92.” said Sam Cheikh, Director at Hines.

Constructino at the development siteThe project is on track to finish during the summer of 2016.

“The end goal of the project is to finish on time and have it leased…We are confident about the market, confident about the good location, because it’s transit oriented and freeway adjacent with easy access to Highway 92 and 101. These types of buildings, newly built to the highest quality and environmental standards, are in high demand. We are very excited about the project.” said Cheikh.

Interested in projects and information such as this? Stay tuned for more development updates by subscribing to the San Mateo Insider.

Happy Halloween graphic with pumpkins, spiders, and a cat.
Community, Community Events

Happy Halloween!

Have fun and Stay Safe!

Halloween is right around the corner and San Mateo is the place to be for kids! Our Library and Parks and Recreation department are putting on great, safe, events for kids of all ages. Make sure your young ones don’t miss out! We also have some great tips from our Police Department that will help you stay safe this Halloween.

Halloween Fun at the Library

The Library is hosting a variety of Halloween events beginning with “Crafternoon,” a Halloween story time, on Wednesday, October 28th.  Children will hear Halloween stories and make a Halloween themed craft. The event at 4:00pm and is free to attend. Don’t forget to wear your costume!

Children pumpkin carvingJoin the Library’s Latino Cultural Advisory Committee on Thursday October 29th for a Dia De Los Muertos event that is geared towards adults but all ages are welcome. There will be live music by the group “Cascada de Flores” in honor of the day. This event is free to attend and takes place in the Oak Room of San Mateo Main Library.

Tweens get after-hours access to the Library on Friday, October 30th from 5:00 to 7:00 PM to solve a Halloween murder mystery. Everyone will be given roles and will interact with each other while trying to solve this case of “who done it.” Pizza and refreshments will be served. The event is free but registration is required. To register call (650) 522-7838 or sign up at the Children’s Reference Desk at the Main Library.

Halloween at the King Center

Family fun is taking place at the King Center on Halloween. Enjoy a costume contest, prizes, games, crafts, and an enchanted forest. This event takes place from 11:00am-2:00pm and is primarily for pre-school and elementary school children.

Stay Safe!

To make sure you are safe this Halloween follow these tips from our Police Department:

-Hem your costumes so you don’t fall

– Apply reflective tape to your costumeChalkboard surrounded by candy with a reminder to check your candy before you eat it.

– Carry a flashlight

– Trick-or-treat in groups

– Stop at well light houses, not dark ones

– Stay on the sidewalk

– Keep your costume away from candles and flaming jack-o-lanterns

– Watch out for children when driving

A special San Mateo police patrol will be out on Halloween to ensure community safety while kids and families are trick-or-treating. If you see any suspicious or criminal behavior, report it to the police. For more Halloween safety tips visit the San Mateo PD website.

Take part in the City’s Halloween activities this year and have a fun, safe night with your family and friends. We hope your Halloween is Spooktacular!

People at an event dancing at a San Mateo Park
Community, Community Events

San Mateo Events Update

Oct. 23 – Oct. 28

Many new and fun events are taking place in San Mateo this week. Check out our weekly event listing, grab your friends or family and attend some of the exciting activities taking place throughout the community. There is something for everyone and we hope you can make it to some of these events.

Teens Friday Night Fun- World Record Night 

Friday, Oct. 23 6:30pm-8:45pm

Teens! Come play games, make crafts, and now set a world record at the King Center! This free night will be full of adventure and excitement. Don’t forget to bring your friends.

Exhibition Opening and BIG SurpriseCuriOdyssey Sign

Saturday, Oct. 24 9:30am-5:00pm

CuriOdyssey is getting a BIG Surprise to go along with their new exhibition, Reflections & Perceptions. The unveiling of the surprise  takes place at 9:30am, don’t miss out! Stick around for the day for other fun activities including: crafts, animal encounters, giant bubbles, food trucks (11:00am-3:00pm), and more.

Tiny & Tot Expo

Sunday, Oct. 25 12:00pm-4:00pm

An informative and educational event for expecting, new, and veteran parents. Experts will share information focusing on children’s programs such as education, health care, and will showcase new products for raising children.  If you already have kids, bring them! There will be crafts and a photo opportunity for your child. This event is free and located at the Hillsdale Shopping Center.

Business After Hours

Wednesday Oct. 28 5:30pm-7:00pm

Network and socialize with business professionals in a fun network of people at Viognier Restaurant & Draeger’s Market for free. If you would like to attend, RSVP to or (650) 401-2440. Don’t forget to bring plenty of business cards!

Community Choice Energy graphic showing how local energy aggregation worksCommunity Choice Energy (CCE)- Community Forum

Wednesday, Oct. 28 6:30pm-8:30pm

Attend this free workshop at the San Mateo Main Library to learn about the proposed Peninsula Clean Energy program. The event will be informational, feature an interactive portion, and attendees will be able to share their thoughts on the program. If interested RSVP here.

Like these events and want more? Good news! We have lots of enjoyable happenings every week. Subscribe to our blog to get updates about what’s going on in San Mateo and never miss out on the fun!

CoolCalifornia Challenge

Help San Mateo Win the CoolCalifornia Challenge!

Come on San Mateo! Let’s be the best at lowering our carbon footprint.

The CoolCalifornia Challenge pits SanMateo against 21 other California cities in a battle to see which one is the best at lowering their carbon emission footprint. Local competitors include Burlingame, Redwood City, and San Carlos. Residents and communities are encouraged to work together to achieve California’s energy reduction and climate change goals through a city-to-city competition involving cash prizes to the leading city.

San Mateo residents are invited to join the challenge and help  lead the city to victory. To join, simply visit to register, then start logging your information to earn points. Every point you earn helps bring San Mateo closer to victory and a lower carbon footprint. The CoolCalifornia Challenge runs from October 1, 2015 to March 30, 2016.

Although only one city will prevail, when we all reduce our energy and water use, everyone wins! Sign up today and help San Mateo get one step closer having a lower carbon footprint.


Community members enjoying a San Mateo outdoor event
Community, Community Events

San Mateo Events

October 15 – 22

Many exciting events are taking place throughout San Mateo this week! Bring your family and friends and join the fun. A number of San Mateo events are profiled here. You will be sure to find something of interest with all of the choices!

Women at a Breast Cander Awareness WalkBreast Cancer Walk

Friday, October 16 7:30am-10:00am

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month wear pink and come on a 1.8 mile walk from the Crystal Springs Golf Course clubhouse to Black Mountain Road and back. The participation fee is $15 and all proceeds go to breast cancer research, other donations are also welcome. Breakfast will be included.

Teens Friday Night Fun- Games at Central Park

Friday, October 16 6:30pm-8:45pm

Have a fun Friday night out and play some games at the King Center! Games range from tournaments, crafts, sports, drama, and more -including a walk to central park to play under the stars. It is free to attend so bring your friends!

Project Read Tutor Training

Saturday, October 17 10:00am-3:30pm

This is the second session or tutor training. To receive a certificate and be matched with a student you must have also attended the first session on October 10th. This event is held at the San Mateo Main Library, free to attend, and materials will be provided.

Talk to a Pharmacist DayPharmacist talking with clients

Saturday, October 17 11:00am-4:00pm

Pharmacists will be at Hillsdale Shopping Center for this event to provide free health screenings and talk with you about your medications. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!

Financial Planning Day @ San Mateo Public Library

Saturday, October 17 12:00pm-4:00pm

Schedule your own private session with a certified financial planner to consult on a variety of finance issues including retirement, investment, taxes, and more. Sessions are free and 30 minutes, financial planners will not be marketing services or selling products. Register here if interested.

Movies in the ParkPeople enjoying an outdoor movie

Saturday, October 17 6:00pm-10:00pm

Come out for a free movie in the park at the Coyote Point Recreation Area! Bring blankets and your family. A food truck will be on site so you can enjoy some food while you watch.

Movie: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Monday, October 19 4:00pm-5:45pm

The San Mateo Public Library will be hosting a showing of the movie “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” in the Oak Room at the San Mateo Main Library. Admission is free and popcorn will be served!

Finance and Savings Workshop for Teens: Overview of Insurances

Tuesday, October 20 4:00pm-5:00pm

7th-12th grade students- plan ahead for the future and come learn about insurance. Registration is encouraged, the event is free, and held at the San Mateo Main Library. To register, sign up at the library’s 2nd floor reference desk or call (650) 522-7818.

Volunteers cleaning up litterTeam Up to Clean Up: Anti-Litter Kick Off Forum

Tuesday, October 20 6:30pm-8:00pm

The City is looking to engage community members in cleaning up their streets. Come to this meeting located at the San Mateo Main Library to brainstorm solutions and meet others interested in this cause.

We are very excited about all of the great events taking place this week! San Mateo has an awesome event calendar, so subscribe to our blog to stay up to date on what’s happening in the community. We can’t wait to see you!

Landscape architect's rendition of plans for Beresford Park
Community, Parks and Recreation

Beresford Park is Getting A New Look

The San Mateo Parks and Recreation Department plans to renovate the Beresford Park playground.

The playground is 23 years old and is in need of improvements. The City plans on improving the playground, surrounding pathways, and landscaping at Beresford Park located on 28th Avenue and Alameda. The renovation is planned to begin this fall and be completed by the spring of 2016.

Fucture Beresford Park drawing from an arial viewThe playground renovations are planned to include many fun new attractions for children including tower slides, net bridges, climbing walls, pendulum swings, monkey bars, and more.

Landscape improvements include the addition of a grotto, a commemorative brick walkway to recognize donors that have supported the renovation, and more.

The planned design of the park looks great but it is going to take some help from the community to ensure that everything in this plan becomes a reality. The City has set aside a majority of the necessary funds for this project but still needs the help of community members to ensure the whole goal is achieved.

The City of San Mateo Parks and Recreation Foundation will help us achieve this goal. The Foundation invites you to donate and leave a lasting impression. All proceeds will go towards playground renovations and will make a great Future Beresford Park playground drawing at eye leveldifference.

The Foundation is offering multiple ways to donate. One can show support by choosing a playground component and donating the amount of money that item costs. These items range from a $750 swing to a $10,000 tube slide. Every playground donor will be recognized with the placement of a personalized tile along the concrete seating wall in the park.

Another way to donate is through the Commemorative Brick Campaign. Contributors can make a donation of $250 for a personalized brick along the general pathway of the park or a $500 donation for a personalized brick at the main entrance to the playground.

Share in the joy of children and consider making your mark with donation to renovate this park loved and enjoyed by many. Your contribution will be greatly appreciated not only by the Foundation but also by the community, families, and children making memories at Beresford Park.

To donate online please visit:

City of San Mateo Parks & Rec logoDonation forms can also be picked up at San Mateo City Hall and be mailed to:
San Mateo City Park and Recreation Foundation
330 W. 20th Avenue
San Mateo, CA 94403

San Mateo City Parks and Recreation Foundation is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that works in collaboration with the City of San Mateo Parks and Recreation Department to support parks, recreation programs and capital projects that can be enjoyed by all San Mateo residents.

Three Friends at Wine Walk
Community, Community Events, Downtown, Local Business

San Mateo Wine Walk: A Great Way to Experience Downtown San Mateo

This past weekend was the 19th annual San Mateo Wine Walk sponsored by the Downtown San Mateo Association (DSMA).

This exciting event was a hit! Over 500 people from San Mateo and other Bay Area cities came to experience Downtown San Mateo and its local businesses in a fun and engaging way.

San Mateo Wine Walk tasting room“Every year has been very exciting.” said Rafat Haddad, owner of 3 Bees Coffee and DSMA board member. “In the past three years there have been some changes but it is a signature event. Personally, I love the event and we have good memories of it. It’s a good event to have; it encourages people to walk into businesses and this year there was a good number of people and they were having fun. We love participating.”

3 Bees Coffee participated with the restaurant Roti to serve wine pairings in the coffee shop.

“We had a lot of people who haven’t come into the store before and they tired a lot of the products we offer. It was a great marketing event for Baking Arts and all merchants.” said Richard Festen, owner of Baking Arts. “It brought a lot of people into Downtown, it was lively, and people were having a great time. It’s a great event for the community.

Executive Director, Ann Fienman, of the DSMA said, “There was great participation by merchants and visitors which made it a success. Visitors commented that they went into places that they weren’t aware of – that’s kind of the point of the Wine Walk. It was successful in drawing people to different parts of the downtown. This was the 19th year for the event and we are glad to carry on the tradition.”San Mateo Wine Walk Tasting Room

This wine walk featured 14 wineries that were hosted by 18 local businesses including restaurants. It was fun for the community to visit their favorite shops downtown reinvented into tasting rooms. Some businesses had participated in Wine Walk for many years and for others it was their first time, nonetheless everyone had a great time and it would not be a surprise to see them again next year.

Make sure you don’t miss out on the fun at next year’s 20th annual San Mateo Wine Walk! Until then have some fun at our other San Mateo events; keep up with all that is happening by subscribing to our blog and checking out our events calendar.