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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Field trip this weekend: Sunset Celebration Festival

Celebration Weekend 2012 gardens

This guest post was written by Dana Smith, Berkeley mom to a third grader and sixth grader, and head of PR for Sunset Magazine. For the past six years, my family and I have spent the first weekend of June in Menlo Park at Sunset Celebration Weekend, the annual weekend-long party that Sunset magazine hosts throughout […]

{510} Family Faves with Hip Mama, Jessie Susannah

{510} Family Faves with Hip Mama, Jessie Susannah

I’m excited to bring you one more in our series project profiling contributors to Bay Area-based parenting magazines, Rad Dad & Hip Mama. Visit the respective websites to purchase and read everything from childcare swaps tips to sex-positive parenting. Jessie Susanna is the seventh (and final maybe!) in our continuing series. Jessie wears many hats: Ima to Avi Grace; single parent healing […]

Treebones Resort, kid-free vacation inspiration

Treebones Resort south of Big Sur, yurt glamping

For my birthday last year, I enjoyed the luxury of a few kid-free days driving down the coast with my husband. With only three days to be wild and free, we discovered Treebones Resort, a collection of deluxe yurts with ocean views and a killer restaurant somewhere south of Big Sur. With no in-unit toilets or […]

Renting an Airstream near Monterey — or Camping for Dummies

Airstream at KOA campground

I hate to be cold, which means as much as I’ve tried, I don’t truly love camping in Northern California. Or, let’s be honest, anywhere. But a few months ago, I reserved an Airstream at the KOA campground in Watsonville, CA, and my family and I had a fantastic — and fantastically cheap — getaway. […]

Vacation inspiration: Moss Beach (not Moss Landing)

Moss Beach Playground

Thanks to Jennifer Saranow Schultz, a Bay Area mom and writer of HintMama.com, for this piece about Moss Beach, a super close and toddler-friendly getaway. If you would like to share your Bay Area road trip ideas with us, please send them to info@510families.com. As my husband and I learned last year on a three-hour […]

Registration now open for Berkeley Sierra Family Camp

readertip

Following last year’s complete destruction of Berkeley’s Tuolomne Family Camp, arrangements have been made to offer a similar experience at Echo Lake in the Tahoe region. Berkeley residents can sign up for select weeks of family camp programming beginning TODAY and non-residents may sign up beginning February 19th. Walk-in registrations at the Parks Department {1947 […]

Vacation inspiration: Moss Landing

Moss Landing - Bay Area Road Trip

My brood just spent a lovely three-day weekend in Moss Landing with extended family and I thought it might inspire some of you who are seeking Bay Area road trip vacation ideas. A group of 120 rental houses sit along a stretch of coast about two hours from the Bay Bridge. Each home has a […]

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

snow-park-sierras

While our raincoats and boots are drying in the entryway, there is some snow in Tahoe (like only 20% of normal — eek!). Here are a few places that might be worth the drive: Leland snow play, tubing for all ages has been open off-and-on this season Tahoe Donner, affordable for kids and beginners, is […]

Where do you take guests from out-of-town?

fentons

To show off the East Bay to your friends from back home, where do you go? When I lived in San Francisco, I always drove to the top of Twin Peaks and parked so we could look down on everything. I haven’t done that in years. Sigh… We asked our hecka fine Facebook community, “Where […]

Safari West: An Oakland family surprises the kids with a mystery trip

safari-west-intro

Thanks to Oakland writer Nancy Davis Kho for sharing her story with us today. When I was a kid in Upstate New York, my parents surprised my older siblings and me one day by taking us on a Mystery Overnight. They only told us to pack pajamas and a change of clothes. Then they drove […]

Disneyland tips for holiday visitors

Jedi Training and other non-ride favorite features of Disneyland

During Thanksgiving week, my husband and I took our son to Disneyland, and it was as magical as only Disneyland at Christmastime can be. But we are a family of four, which brings me right to the first bit of info I want to share: My daughter opted out of our special day. “WHAT?!” That’s […]

Santa Cruz: Vacation meets Staycation

santacruz

A family-friendly destination that costs a lot less than Hawaii.

A great time for camping at Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay

This guest post was submitted by Peggy, who has lived all over the Bay Area but now calls El Cerrito home. Since having her son, Lucas, over two years ago, her focus has turned to fun events and activities that they can do together as a family. Thanks, Peggy! An easy weekend family camping getaway […]