Kids are like tiny sponges, soaking in all the info, knowledge and knock-knock jokes they can get their wee hands on. Sure, when they're at school they're learning all sorts of useful stuff: geography, reading, cursive. (Can you believe they still teach cursive?!) But their afternoons and weekends are wide open for brain soakage and two Humboldt institutions — the Discovery Museum and the Sequoia Park Zoo — have done a fine job of feeding those adorably curious minds. These venues, like so many good things in this world, get a bulk of their funding from local donors and fundraisers. Now is your chance to contribute to their cause. But don't worry; there's booze.
The third annual Local Food Expo ($10) is at Mad River Brewery and Tap Room on Sunday, Aug. 17 from 1 to 4 p.m. Your ticket gets you entry into a magical world of live music from the Ultra Secret Good Guys Organization, delicious samples of locally made foods, activities to distract your kids and so much more. Proceeds from ticket sale and beverage purchases go directly to the Discovery Musuem.
The eighth annual Zootini Gala ($100, $85 advanced) is Saturday, Aug. 16 from 5 to 9 p.m. A nighttime visit to the zoo, with its new and updated exhibits, might be enough to spark your curiosity, but wait; there's more. The Jim Lahman Band provides the serenade while Cassaro's Catering brings the sustenance. Quench your thirst at the Monkey Bar with a "Hero-tini" or any of their delicious concoctions. All proceeds from ticket sales and beverage purchases benefit the zoo. Your weekend could be the most booze-filled act of altruism you've ever performed; just be sure to secure a sober driver.