Clutter-free gifts for East Bay families aka Gifts for People Who Live in Small Houses


Thanks to Annika Dukes, a 510Families contributor, for helping me with this clever list of holiday gift ideas for East Bay families. My commentary is in italics. Most of the working parents I know lament about the hectic pace of our lives, and how we wish we had more time. I often hear people complain […]

2013 Shop local gift guide

kangaroo stitches home decor to make you happy

When you want to keep your dollars in the East Bay, where do you shop? There are so many wonderful places to shop, play, and eat in the Berkeley-Oakland area that creating a specific gift guide for East Bay families was tricky. Like raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, here are a few of […]

Win a bundle of toys from Five Little Monkeys

Holiday giveaway of toys from 5 Little Monkeys

Last week, Five Little Monkeys toy store shared an epic list of hot toys for kids from baby on up through grown-ups! I hope you’ve checked it out as you build your shopping list. Today, I’m thrilled to announce a toy bundle giveaway for fans of Five Little Monkeys and {510} Families! There are two […]

Lovely children’s book store now at Mr. Mopps

Mr Mopps bookstore in Berkeley

North Berkeley has a new children’s bookstore near the intersection of Rose and MLK, near Fatapple’s, but if you’re not paying attention, you could miss it: Mr. Mopps Children’s Books! The store is long and narrow with a cozy reading chair in the back and some seating in the middle. I was impressed by the […]

Drop-in craft projects at Michael’s stores (Emeryville)


My first-grader and I attended a drop-in craft session at Michael’s craft store in Emeryville on Saturday, and she loved it. I loved it because it cost $2 and she was extremely engaged. With rainy weather upon us, it seems like a good time to spread the word about this low-cost, low-commitment activity. Every Saturday, […]

Overwhelmed by holiday cards? Yeah, me too.

Two bad pictures can make a cute series

Find your photos The past couple years, I’ve completely lucked out and had that one (or even two!) perfect family photos for holiday cards, uploaded the image, chosen my card design quickly (or had Whitney choose for me), then had Tiny Prints send all the cards for me over Thanksgiving weekend. I ordered a few […]

2013 Hottest Toys by Five Little Monkeys

5 little monkeys bay area toystore

This 510Families guide to the 2013 holiday season’s hottest toys is sponsored and written by Five Little Monkeys BEST BABY TOYS 1) Sophie the Giraffe by Calisson Vulli’s Sophie the Giraffe has been amusing babies for 50 years. Made of 100% natural rubber and food paint, the BPA- and phthalate-free Sophie is soothing and safe […]

A visit to the Palo Alto American Girl Store

Bistro at The American Girl Store in Palo Alto

There is a new American Girl store in Palo Alto!  Is it worth the drive for (510) folks?  The previously used exclamation mark is your answer: a big YES! Let’s just get it out of the way: schedule your drive to avoid high-traffic times.  And have snacks and entertainment options on hand in case you […]

East Bay family photographers: Reader’s favorites


photo: Laura Turbow We asked you guys what Bay Area family photographer you recommend for capturing your kids. Wow, was it fun to click through all the websites of these talented folks.  Here are the photographers you all shared with us. Top Five Bay Area Family Photographers These are the names that were mentioned numerous […]

Parents’ Guide to Solano Avenue

Halloween costumes

Ten kid-friendly spots between The Alameda and San Pablo Avenue.

Lose yourself at IKEA

Lose yourself at Emeryville's IKEA

The Emeryville monster store, Ikea, is a colorful and fascinating place for a child (just make sure you don’t have too much on your shopping list!). Take advantage of the little-known family parking lot past the big parking structure and back toward the store.

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 […]

New kid on the block: Keeka baby clothes and art studio


In a tiny retail space in the upper part of Solano Avenue, for just a few months, Kee-ka organics has opened a pop-up shop. I love the modern striped one piece outfits and brought home one for my nephew-to-be. In addition to their own line of supercute organic baby clothes, the husband and wife owners, […]

Dinner on the table: Instacart grocery delivery


When Instacart, food shopping and delivery service, arrived in the East Bay, I had already heard many positive reviews from my City friends. Once I tried ordering groceries from their app myself, I was hooked. Save $10 when you try Instacart. Right now, orders over $75 include free delivery, but they seem to be always messing […]

Back-to-school checklist


Back-to-school prep in the East Bay: hair, shoes, backpack, lunchbox, clothes, what else do you need?

4 Places to Buy Lunch Packing Supplies (in the 510)

Lunchbox packing in the {510}

Make lunches more fun with *out of the box* accessories.

Used kids clothes and consignment sales in the East Bay

Ruby's Garden in Temescal, resale shop for kids

Here are ten local opportunities besides Craig’s List to become part of the used kids clothes and gear ecosystem.