Good idea: personalized Father’s Day cards from Treat.com

Adorable personalized Father's Day cards from Treat

For Valentine’s Day, I ordered a card for my husband from Tiny Prints because I was seduced by their offer for me to customize the card. I used our names and a photo of the two of us, and I thought it looked pretty awesome. Hey, Tiny Prints, you’re not just for Christmas cards anymore!

East Bay Mother’s Day Guide

mamalion

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 11 — that’s this weekend. Here are the best Mother’s Day ideas for East Bay families we’ve seen announced for this year. Activities Want to help the kids make something, but don’t know where to start? Some local stores have set up workshops to help you. Saturday afternoon, May 10 […]

Free Comic Book Day is the first Saturday in May

Free comic book day

Designed to expose folks both to comic books as an art and entertainment form and also to their local independent comic book shops, Free Comic Book Day is being observed on Saturday, May 3rd by a handful of East Bay locations. The free books, designed especially for this promotion, will satisfy a variety of ages […]

Kid-friendly bookstore events on California Bookstore Day (Saturday, May 3)

california-bookstore-day

California Bookstore Day is a statewide event that rallies independent bookstores to host compelling events for their communities. Here are a few local events that might interest East Bay parents: Scavenger Huntat Books Inc. in Alameda 1344 Park St Alameda, CA 94501 Annie Barrows (Ivy and Bean author) meet and greet at Books Inc on […]

Valentine’s Day Deals and Activities

valentines-day

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 […]

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

goldstar-screen

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)

michaels-craft-class

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

laura-turbow-photography

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 […]