El Cerrito mom Lily Jones is the creator of Curiosity Pack, a tool kit for preschool literacy activities at home. She blogs for Teaching Channel and several other sites for parents. Today she's sharing her tips for fun things to do with kids in the East Bay.
Tell us about your family.
I have a daughter who is 3 and a half and a son who is 6 months. We live in the El Cerrito Plaza neighborhood. Our neighborhood is known for it's close proximity to El Cerrito Plaza (read: Trader Joe's), BART, and Fat Apple's.
What's your family's Saturday morning routine?
Walking up the street to Fat Apple's for delicious pumpkin pancakes.
What's your go-to activity for killing some time with the kids on your own?
Go to Flowerland (also on Solano in Albany) and get an iced coffee, wander the gardens, then walk up to the tot lot at Solano and Peralta. If we're feeling really ambitious, we'll even get lunch at Taqueria Talavera (right next to the tot lot).
What's your favorite playground?
I love Arlington Park in El Cerrito. Though it's just a short trip uphill from our house, I always feel like I'm on vacation when I'm there. It has giant stretches of grass, two playgrounds, picnic table, and a pond.
Do you have a date night tip for other parents?
Solano Cellars has a great little wine bar. Head there for a nice glass of wine (Mondays are 1/2 off) then hit up one of the many delicious restaurants on Solano Ave. Our favorite is Ajanta, which has delicious Indian food.
What family-friendly restaurant do you pick when your parents or in-laws are around?
Farm Burger! The food is yummy and there's something for everyone, plus the kids can run wild in the play area.
What East Bay destination should every new-to-town family learn about?
You should be happy that you have a kid that can get you into Fairyland! So much crazy magic to explore there.
What's your favor family dinner out?
Benchmark Pizzeria in Kensington. Yummy pizza plus super family friendly atmosphere. There are always lots of kids there, especially if you go early.
Cactus or Picante?
Cactus for burritos, Picante for tacos
What's your favorite independent local toy store?
Mr. Mopps! I grew up going there and love taking my kids there. The train table in the back is always a big hit. We now love to hit up the book store too!
Thanks for stopping by, Lily!
Lily Jones created Curiosity Pack after becoming a parent and realizing how big a role parents play in their kids' education. She's used her background as a teacher to create products that provide kids with fun learning experiences while teaching parents how to best help their kids learn.
The first Curiosity Pack focuses on learning the alphabet through inquiry. Through this pack (designed for ages 3-6), kids are inspired to love learning while gaining important literacy skills. Check out all Curiosity Pack products here: www.curiositypack.com/catalog.