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. […]

Backpack picks for a new school year

preschool-backpacks

this post contains affiliate links. When I started to write this post, deal-of-the-day site Zulily had a bunch of backpacks with great patterns and even better prices. Then, I identified the best choices in quality and sized for little ones (preschool thru 1st grade) on Amazon.  Here are my favorites that, by not being sold […]

Use GemShare to exchange recommendations with those you trust

Join the 510 families GemShare community to share recommendations

Gemshare sponsored this post, but we’re really using it as described below. Read on. The iOS (and soon-to-be Android) app called Gemshare was designed to crowd-source the best resources from the people you trust. We created a 510 families group so we can ask and answer each other’s burning questions about the best resources (people […]

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 […]

Win a copy of Everyday Bento!

Everyday Bento (cookbook)

Local author and blogger, Wendy Copley, wrote and photographed my children’s current favorite book: Everyday Bento: 50 Cute and Yummy Lunches To Go. My sons love to pour over the pictures and invite me to create their favorite designs. Wendy is very realistic and specific walking you through each of the creations step-by-step. Stuffed with ideas […]

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, […]

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 […]

Urban gardening in the Bay Area

Gardening in the Bay Area with kids

No yard? No problem. This guest post was provided by Karolina Willson from Castro Valley, who wanted to share some of her discoveries for urban gardening with children. Our first big harvest I always thought that I had a black thumb, so I’m not sure what possessed me to make an attempt at gardening early […]

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 […]

Music Together: East Bay baby and toddler class

music together image

Families with little ones, have you heard of Music Together? The answer is probably “yes,” although, if you are like me, you may not have gotten around to taking a class yet despite all the parent hype. Henry and I finally took the plunge, meaning that mama finally got her act together to register, and […]

Day trip to the Fitzgerald Tide Pools

Fitzgerald Tidepools near Moss Beach

I want to thank Keira Armstrong for sharing her experience at the Fitzgerald Tidepools with us today. She’s the Berkeley mother of two elementary-school-aged boys. The Fitzgerald tide pools are are really accessible (only 1 hour drive from Berkeley with normal traffic), parking is easy and access to the beach is relatively easy for all […]

6 East Bay Parents’ Night Out (PNO) options

Playing at Habitot

Parents Night Out events are fantastic excuses for a drop-off kid party hosted by a local venue in which children eat pizza, have dessert (gasp!), watch movies, and play with other kids of a similar age until way past their bedtimes. The formula varies depending on which organization is playing host. In some cases, your […]

East Bay baby classes at Gymboree

Gymboree Lafayette

In search of indoor activities for my baby, Henry, we went to check out two different Gymboree* classes. Henry and I had previously completed the entire Touch Blue Sky Baby Sign Language program and now my cruiser needed a space where he could move his entire body. The first class we sampled was “Family Gymboree […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]