Unaccompanied minors in the air

Kids flying alone on Southwest Airlines

My children, 7 and 9, flew Southwest to Los Angeles yesterday without a chaperone. Here’s how it works: My mom, the person on the receiving end of my most valuable air mail ever, purchased the tickets over the phone. It costs a non-refundable $50 per child per ticket ($100 round trip each) in addition to […]

Vacation Inspiration: Renting an RV

rv-kitchen-kit

“Whatever this vacation cost,” said my husband, who had almost nothing to do with the itinerary and reservations, “it was worth it.” That’s how I knew our family’s maiden RV voyage was a success. Yes, Arizona and Utah are uncomfortably hot in July, and yes, our real dream was to travel in Spain this summer, […]

Oakland Art & Soul festival this weekend

Art + Soul Festival in Oakland

Easily accessed by BART, the Oakland Art & Soul Festival will take over downtown Oakland this weekend with live music, food, artist’s booths and a kid zone. Free attended bike parking and ferry access are also rounding out the transit options. Children under 12 are free while adult admission costs $10. (Teens and seniors cost […]

Mama’s little helper: Postmates

Some of my neighborhood choices on the Postmates app

Have you ever been lying prone, on the couch, telling your throw pillows that you would pay any amount of money if they could bring you chicken noodle soup from Saul’s? Or perhaps you wanted to deliver Summer Kitchen to your friend who just had a baby, but you are getting off the BART after […]

Free online positive parenting class

Get kids to listen without nagging

Update: This class has already occurred, but you can sign up for the next one through the same links. I have taken a free online parenting class with Amy McCready twice and each time felt refreshed with new ideas for positive discipline solutions. We have partnered with Amy’s company Positive Parenting Solutions to bring a […]

Kids eat free Tuesdays at IKEA

ikea-dining-room

Last month I wrote about why IKEA is so family-friendly on Rookie Moms, and readers were in serious agreement. One thing people like about the giant furniture retailer is the store’s cafe where kids eat FREE on Tuesdays. The cafe is a cafeteria-style layout, and preschoolers will love selecting a metal tray pusher to move […]

Coming soon: Berkeley Kite Festival

Berkeley Kite Festival in the Berkeley Marina

The Berkeley Kite Festival, the most gigantic non-concert outdoor event I’ve ever been to, takes place in the Berkeley Marina every July. This year, the dates are Jul 26 and 27th. The largest kites, about the size of a full-sized school bus, can be seen from the top of the Berkeley Hills. The festival is […]

5 cheap and fun summer family activities in Alameda

Alameda Festival

Thanks to Leslie Harvey from Trips with Tykes for being our guest blogger today. Alameda is one of the East Bay’s best kept secrets.  My neighbors often joke that “we like it that way!”  But I love Alameda too much not to share the fun it has to offer with friends who live nearby. In […]

Color Me Mine Alameda birthday party {Giveaway}

color-me-mine-alameda

One of the venues included on our East Bay Kids Birthday Party Guide, Color Me Mine of Alameda is sponsoring this giveaway of a birthday party worth $168. Located in the South Shore Center in Alameda, Color Me Mine is a pottery painting studio that brings creative fun to kids, with no mess for parents. […]

Would you like to foster kittens for a few weeks?

Foster Kitten from Oakland shelter

My family has hosted a long list of cats and kittens in our home, without committing to keeping any of them. My children love having these furry little guests; I love that their presence doesn’t last forever; and Hopalong, the Oakland shelter that works to place animals in their “forever homes”, loves that we are […]

Drop-in day camps for East Bay kids

Head over Heels camp or PNO

When our summer vacation schedule doesn’t require full weeks of day camp, it’s nice to be able to use a day or two here and there. East Bay camps that offer day rates are: Steve and Kate’s (Berkeley at The Berkeley School; Oakland at Park Day School) This multi-disciplinary camp has a unique kid-driven agenda, […]

10 places to go on the 4th of July

east-bay-4th-july

Here’s what’s happening around the East Bay on Friday, July 4, 2014: Lawrence Hall of Science – main exhibit area, animal discovery room and planetarium show are all open on Thursday, July 4. Alameda County Fair – in Pleasanton you’ll find the fairgrounds open from 10 am to 9 pm for the holiday. Visit the […]

When to go to the Alameda County Fair

Things to do with kids at the Alameda County Fair

The Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton is a traditional state fair format: carnival rides and games, award-winning quilts and pigs, and booths offering treats like funnel cakes and deep-fried pickles. I took my children on opening day which was the smartest move I could have made, because admission for all three of us was three […]

Michael’s stores offer 2-hour craft sessions for $2 each

Michael's Stores offer craft sessions three times per week

In addition to the drop-in craft classes Michael’s stores (Pinole, Emeryville, and San Leandro) offer, the Passport to Imagination program that kicks off June 16th offers even more low-cost interactive kid fun. For seven weeks, on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, at 10 am the stores will host a 2-hour program whose theme is Museums around […]

Instagram with @510families

Studio Grow Berkeley

Do you ever think, “Oh man, this place is so cool! 510Families should know about it.” We’d love it if you submit a tip, but if you’re out and about and want to be quick about it, just take a photo and hashtag it #510families.com. Or, send it to the @510Families profile. If you follow […]

{510} Family faves from Berkeley mom & city council candidate, Lori Droste

lori-droste-family

  I met Lori Droste (right) at a cafe on Sacramento Street to learn more about what a City Council member does. She had her younger child, Cora June, in tow, and we chatted about what makes Berkeley special.  “No one bats an eye at a two-mom household,” for example, she says. Here are some […]

East Bay Summer Outdoor Movie Round-Up

free-summer-east-bay-outdoor-movies

Though we rarely see short-sleeves-in-the-evening temperatures in the Bay Area, summer is the best chance we’ve got for outdoor movies that aren’t at the Concord drive-in. (Which is totally worth doing, by the way.) If your kids can stay up past 9 pm, there are a few opportunities to set up camp and watch a […]