Profile: Adventure Playground

Berkeley's Adventure Playground

Kids can imagine, build, and decorate their own play structures with saws, hammers, nails, and paint. They earn the right to use these tools by collecting hazards like loose nails…

Carnivorous plants go CHOMP! at the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco

Conservatory of Flowers - Carnivorous Plants

Thanks to The Conservatory of Flowers for their sponsorship of The Conservatory of Flowers, one of the most wondrous spots in Golden Gate Park, opens a new exhibit on April 11: CHOMP! They Came from the Swamp. “Carnivorous plants are one of the sure fire ways to get people excited about plants kids especially,” […]

Ticket Alert: Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy


A favorite book in my anti-princess household is Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy, a picture-driven story about an active little girl who discovers the art of compromise on the playground when she and a playmate negotiate how to play together. {affiliate link: click to order this book on amazon} Bay Area Children’s Theatre brings this […]

See you at Cal Day?

visting the bug doctor

There really is something for everyone as UC Berkeley, AKA Cal, opens its doors to the families of the East Bay for Cal Day. My husband and second grader have their eyes on auditing another physics class while my kindergartner and toddler want to run around the grounds making slime and looking for doggies and […]

{510} Family Faves with Hip Mama, Airial Clark

{510} Family Faves: Airial is a Hip Mama

We’re going strong on a very cool project profiling different contributors to two Bay Area-based parenting magazines, Rad Dad & Hip Mama. Visit the respective websites to purchase and read everything from sex-positive parenting tips to childcare swaps. This is the fifth in our continuing series. Today’s guest is Airial Clark, MA, a writer, storyteller and sexuality educator […]

Weekend Planner (Apr 5 + 6)


  Build a birdbath at Home Depot’s free do-it-yourself workshop – all ages welcome. Become a chemists at Lawrence Hall of Science’s “Mixing Up Science” series for young explorers. Berkeley Playhouse presents The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee - sounds F-U-N. It’s going to be a crafting party at North Berkeley Library’s Makerspace – sewing machines, clay, […]

12 things to do during a Spring Break staycation in the Bay Area

Things to do with Bay Area kids

How many of these day trips and adventures for grade school-age children can you squeeze into one week? A very low-budget shopping trip to spend one’s “own money” at the East Bay Depot for Creative Re-use. Tip: Used 3-ring binders and empty photo albums seem to keep my kids busy for hours. A day trip […]

East Oakland Sports Center: Pool Party!

Indoor Pool Party Oakland Sports Center

Not far from the Oakland Airport is a glossy new recreation center that is part of the city’s network of public facilities, and it’s a great place to have a kids birthday party. The indoor swimming pool has an adjacent party room with tables, chairs, and a sink. We attended a party there and loved […]

Birthday Party Place: Oakland Ice Rink

Ice skating birthday party

The cool thing about an indoor ice rink (see what I did there?) is that you can enjoy it year-round. An invitation to a birthday party at Oakland Ice Center reminded me that ice skating is a fun family activity, especially if you go frequently enough to stop being terrible at it. Side note: My […]

{Giveaway} One week of TechKnowHow camp at any Bay Area site

TechKnowHow Camp

Here’s something awesome: TechKnowHow® Summer Computer and LEGO® Camps are giving away a week of any regularly priced camp at any of their 20 Bay Area locations, which include El Cerrito, Berkeley, Oakland Hills, and more. TechKnowHow® Summer Camp classes include LEGO® projects with motors, K’NEX®, NXT® Robotics, Arduino, iPad® Movie Making and Game Design, […]

Renting an Airstream near Monterey — or Camping for Dummies

Airstream at KOA campground

I hate to be cold, which means as much as I’ve tried, I don’t truly love camping in Northern California. Or, let’s be honest, anywhere. But a few months ago, I reserved an Airstream at the KOA campground in Watsonville, CA, and my family and I had a fantastic — and fantastically cheap — getaway. […]

New Parkway, Baby Brigade & family movie updates

Concession at new Parkway

After several months of family movie programming, the New Parkway is mixing things up. Here’s the nutshell version of what you need to know: Baby Brigade The 4:30 Monday Baby Brigade showing was recently dropped because of poor attendance. This is not surprising to us because co-parents can’t get home from work in time for […]

{510} Family Faves with Rad Dad Tomas Moniz

{510} Family Faves: Tomas Moniz is a Rad Dad

For the next few weeks, we’ll be profiling different contributors to the two Bay Area-based parenting magazines, Rad Dad & Hip Mama. Visit the respective websites to purchase and read everything from childcare swaps to sex-positive parenting tips. Tomas Moniz is the founder, editor, and a writer for the award winning zine, book and now […]

Vacation inspiration: Moss Landing

Moss Landing - Bay Area Road Trip

My brood just spent a lovely three-day weekend in Moss Landing with extended family and I thought it might inspire some of you who are seeking Bay Area road trip vacation ideas. A group of 120 rental houses sit along a stretch of coast about two hours from the Bay Bridge. Each home has a […]

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!


While our raincoats and boots are drying in the entryway, there is some snow in Tahoe (like only 20% of normal — eek!). Here are a few places that might be worth the drive: Leland snow play, tubing for all ages has been open off-and-on this season Tahoe Donner, affordable for kids and beginners, is […]

Valentine’s Day Deals and Activities


Here are some fun and free things that we have spotted on local calendars for Valentine’s Day. Make Valentine’s Day buttons. Free activity at Lakeview library on Friday 2/7 Michael’s store drop-in workshop. Make cards on Saturday 2/8. (See my 2013 review of this experience.) Make a heart-themed painting at Michael’s on Saturday 2/15. Barnes […]

Reader tip: free ice skating events


In the spirit of the Winter Games, Sharks Ice is hosting several free skating events at Oakland Ice and Fremont in February. Oakland Ice Give Hockey a Try: Saturday, 2/15 @ 9:15 Give Speed Skating a Try: Saturday, 2/15 @ 10:15 Give Skating a Try: Saturday, 2/15 @ noon There are also a Mini Mite […]