Ping-pong tables in Albany

Where to play ping pong in Albany

I have driven by the iTable Tennis “club” on San Pablo Avenue many times, but never been inside.  El Cerrito mom Sunny checked it out with her 10-year old son Lucas, and here’s what they learned. Lucas and I love ping pong, but don’t love it enough to have a huge table in our home. […]

Exploring the USS Hornet with little ones

Alameda's USS Hornet with kids

Even kids too young for the engine room tour will have a blast. The flight deck features more aircraft, wide expanses of tarmac that little legs can use to run off energy and gorgeous views of San Francisco and the East Bay hills.

Kids’ theater classes in the East Bay

acting-classes

Registration is open for The Bay Area Children’s Theatre Youth Education Program, AKA YEP! fall semester musical performing arts classes in September. Children under age 10 will be putting together a production of Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark this Fall. Students are segmented by ages 5-6 and 7-10. Classes in Piedmont, Alameda, and Pleasanton. […]

FREE LEGO Build activities monthly in Pleasanton

Free LEGO building events at the Pleasanton Store

Worth the drive? You tell me! Join in the LEGO Store Monthly Mini Model Build at Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton open to children ages 6 to 14 only. One free per child. Obviously quantities are limited and offer is good while supplies last only. Visit our nearest LEGO Store on the first Tuesday of every month […]

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 […]

Archery in Oakland with Redwood Bowmen

Redwood Bowmen archery in Oakland

Our friend Lisa told us about a field archery range in the midst of redwoods in Oakland where kids and grown-ups can practice shooting arrows at outdoor targets. This is what she shared about her family’s experience. Redwood Bowmen is the kind of place where you can take your kid, and — if you know […]

Berkeley’s Little Farm, free and fun for all ages

Tilden's Little Farm

Do you (or your small child) have an attention span to short for the zoo? Are you prone to tantrums and meltdowns? The LIttle Farm welcomes all. And for $0.

Overnight camps for Bay Area kids

Cazadero Overnight Music Camp

Let’s talk about that special kind of Summer Camp that really makes memories (like of your first slow dance or time shaving your legs in a communal sink). I went to clown camp — true story — as a kid for a couple weeks at a time each summer. We marched in a town parade […]

Reader tip: Oakland makers get 3D carving machine

readertip

This new technology, 3D carving machine, is going to be available for families to learn and use, for making their own creative projects at Ace Monster Toys in Oakland. What does that mean? 3D carving, also commonly known as a CNC milling, is a powerful technology capable of creating precision parts and designs from real […]

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 […]

Dolphin Discovery in Vallejo is a special splurge

Dolphin Discovery in Vallejo is amazing but not cheap

The staff photographers captured this photo and I LOVE how the roller coasters rise up. Did you know that you and your family can ride and kiss a real Atlantic bottlenose dolphin about 20 minutes from Berkeley? I did not. My older children and I were treated to a hands-on learning session with dolphins and trainers […]

Tips for raising a reader

library

Two of my children are pretty avid readers so I want to share a few of the things we are doing (right, wrong, and otherwise) along with some professional tips. We do allow video games but we make time for reading books and magazines, too. Here’s some stuff we do that seems to work: Read every […]

Summertime reading games reward library visits

readertip

Does your child need incentive to pick up a book? If so, the various public libraries offer stickers, charts, bookmarks, and some cool kid-sized prizes for reading and stopping by the library. Berkeley Public Library Summer Reading Games offers a sticker and small prize (pencil, bookmark) at each library visit and a tracking chart to […]

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 […]

Alameda’s Sand Castle and Sculpture Contest is this weekend

Sand raccoons at the Alameda Sculpture Contest

This Saturday June 7th, grab your shovels, pails, and your children and head over to Crown Memorial Beach for fun in the sand. Register at the Crab Cove visitor’s center at 9am for this FREE program with viewing and judging at noon. Award presentation: 1pm. There are some serious sand castle builders there and some […]

Summer fun @ Lawrence Hall of Science

Eat ice cream you make at LHS

Summer Fun Days at Lawrence Hall of Science combine play with learning.

Cheap summer movies in Alameda

cheap-summer-movies-alameda

For $10 per person, you can go to every movie in the Kids Movie Series this summer hosted by The Alameda Theatre & Cineplex on Central Ave in Alameda. That’s about a dollar per movie, when you buy the movie “sheets” of tickets online. Showings are 10 am on both Tuesday and Wednesdays, and the […]