Introducing The Crowden School (new sponsor)

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I’ve lived across the street from The Crowden School for more than a decade, so the sight of grade school-aged children hustling up the sidewalk, carrying the telltale black cases of classical instruments, is a familiar one to me. From my living room window, I see these students playing soccer and running around during recess […]

Birthday party venue: Playland Not-At-The-Beach

playland

Playland Not-At-The-Beach, a “Museum of Fun” in El Cerrito, was the perfect venue for my son’s 10th birthday party. The schedule kept the kids so busy having fun, they really didn’t want to stop for the snack or cake breaks we had planned for. Parents pay $15 per kid, which gives you three hours of […]

Westside Art Studio has classes, workshops, and camps for young artists

Young artists from Westside Studio

Thanks to Westside Art Studio for sponsoring 510Families.com this week. Jennifer Burke’s art classes in the Berkeley area are legendary in my community of parent friends. “Her art classes are unbelievable,” my extremely opinionated friend Sabrina once told me. She cited these classes as one of the East Bay’s best kept secrets. Another trusted friend, […]

Shuddle: The service for parents who cannot be two places at once (Sponsored)

What is Shuddle? Ridesharing for kids.

Thanks to Shuddle for sponsoring 510Families.com this week. Rides are currently $10, regardless of distance. Like you, I cannot be two places at the same time. That’s why I’m intrigued by Shuddle, which is essentially Uber for kids who are old enough to ride without car seats, but with a few important distinctions. The drivers […]

Lunar New Year events are family-friendly and fun

Oakland Museum Lunar New Year Celebration is family-friendly

As the Year of the Sheep (or Ram) approaches, a handful of Lunar New Year celebrations are scheduled around the Bay Area. Here are some places to take your children to celebrate the cultures of many local families.   The Incredible Peking Acrobats at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley -  January 24th and 25th This exciting […]

Ticket Alert: Monster Jam brings monster truck action to the Coliseum

Monster Trucks in Oakland, Coliseum

For one night only, monster trucks will battle it out in the ultimate event of intense speed, racing and destruction as Monster Jam® returns to the O.co Coliseum. Sixteen massive trucks will be part of the dirt-flying, car-crushin’ action, during which, similar to professional wrestling, spectators will cheer on their favorite aggressive “personalities”. Tickets for […]

14+ ways to volunteer with kids in the Bay Area

Urban Releaf and other volunteer opportunities for kids in the Bay Area

A lot of you have been asking about hands-on volunteer opportunities that you can do with your children. You don’t want to simply write a check for a beloved organization, you want your kids to get involved and really pay attention to helping others. Awesome! Here are my best ideas for you. Please add more in […]

Reader Tip: Ragged Wing Youth Ensemble

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Ragged Wing Youth Theater Ensemble, a devised theater group for middle and high school students in downtown Oakland. Youth are trained in physical theater, writing, directing, producing and performing an original play. Performances will be in Performances will be held May 12 and 13, 2015. Registration is due by January 21 for High School students […]

Best East Bay destinations and tips for train lovers

Trains you can ride: Train Town Train

Can we talk about trains? My little boys are all about trains. When my oldest was one, the best way to get him out of the house was to talk about the choo choos we would see: real train, BART train, train table, it didn’t matter (but there had to be trains). I could easily […]

Rainy day activities for a hellastorm

SpotIt! from the Games your whole family will love, selected by 5 Little Monkeys toys

When you have to hunker down with sandbags, it is not the best day to head to your favorite indoor playspace. Right? So instead of sending you OUT to the best places to go on a rainy day, we want to help you at home today. Stay safe! My kids are upstairs making LEGO creations […]

Best New Year’s Eve destinations for kids in the East Bay

New Years Eve for children

Kid-centered New Year’s parties that don’t blur into the next morning.

Must-see holiday lights: Alameda’s Christmas Tree Lane

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Somehow I just wasn’t sure it would be worth the drive. Well it is.

Christmas Tea: the 2014 round-up (Pinkies up!)

The Sir Francis Drake Hotel is offering a Be a Kid Again Holiday Tea. (Photo courtesy Sir Francis Drake Hotel)

When my son and I experienced our first Christmas Tea last year, we had so much fun that we vowed to make it a yearly event. This year’s 510Families Christmas Tea edition takes you to some new San Francisco Bay Area locations — from a small-town eatery with homemade scones and Astroturf carpeting, to an elegant […]

LHS membership: is it worth it?

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How many times would I have to go to Lawrence Hall of Science to pay off my membership?

It’s that time of year: Winter Camps for East Bay kids

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Call it childcare or call it camp: sometimes we need to give kids a fun place to go during school vacation days. Here are some options, along with pricing for a la carte days. 4cats art studio offers two-day long projects in which kids create paintings and sculptures in a 3-hour session Location: 379 Colusa […]

Our holiday traditions start with high tea

Christmas tea in the Bay Area

Thanks to Berkeley mom Lisa Fontaine for contributing her holiday tea traditions today. Over the years, our family has built many traditions around the holiday season. We like to chop down our own tree, walk down Christmas Tree Lane in Alameda, visit Santa and his reindeer at the carousel in Tilden park, and make a […]

2014 Holiday tree lightings in the East Bay & San Francisco

Ghirardelli Square tree lighting in San Francisco

I have such romantic ideas about public tree lightings. In my imagination, the children are bundled up all cozy and snug from a chilly evening staying up a bit past bedtime; we all countdown to the ignition; we celebrate a glorious sight. Twinkling Christmas Magic! But really? I’ve been to a few of these and […]