Hayden is the mama of two young children, Breccan (2.5 yrs) and Brolin (8 mo), and the co-founder of Mothership HackerMoms. I'm thrilled that she answered some of our questions about her favorite places in the East Bay and beyond.
HackerMoms combats the isolation of motherhood and the need to balance family, work and creativity. It's seriously more fun when you DIT (do it together).
What's something about your life as a parent in Oakland that you think is notable to your friends in other cities?
Oakland has everything. Beautiful people with interesting looks, great food with the freshest ingredients, live music at every turn, and parking. There's a good mix of single people , families, and dogs. Oaklanders are not pretentious. We don't look at graffiti as a community blight; it's Art. We value all aspects of creativity.
Where do you love to go for one on one time with your little ones?
We absolutely love the Exploratorium in SF. Even my infant. There's something for everyone.
What amazing kids' classes do you love?
Mothership Hackermoms (pictured below) have an amazing Hacker Sprouts kids program. We've taken the African music, LEGO pre-engineering, beatbox classes, and ice cream science and created something age-appropriate for 2- to 6-year olds. Each hands-on workshop aims to follow the STEAM curriculum in science, technology, engineering, arts and math. And it's fun!
What has been your most memorable kid birthday party?
I held my son's first birthday party at Habitot with an Eco-Super Hero theme. I made all of the super hero capes for the 20+ kids (I can be a crazy crafter sometimes). We asked our guests to make a charitable donation to Children's Hospital.
We felt extremely lucky to have a healthy and happy family and wanted to help those that may not be able to celebrate in such a way, but one day will have the chance.
What's your family's favorite way to spend Saturday morning?
We love being outdoors so our favorite Saturday morning ritual is tasting all of the produce at the Grand Lake farmers market, buying a roasted chicken for a picnic, and playing at the park until nap time.
What's your family's go-to for dinner out?
Harry's Hofbrau in San Leandro. Harry's is a no frills place with basic good food that's very similar one would expect from grandmas house. The staff is super kid friendly. No one is bothered if kids run around. They give balloons. As a bonus the kids are entertained by the rotisserie roasting the turkeys.
Do you have a favorite “treat yourself” outing?
The Alley in Grand Lake is a piano bar featuring Rod Dibble. Order a drink sit at the bar and sing classics with everyone all night. He can play anything before 1970 off the cuff. His wife is there every night right next to him singing along.
Do you have any favorite date nights?
We love Bocanova in Jack London Square for the excellent whiskey sours. Also the Exploratorium after dark Thursday nights. Who ever coordinates the event is amazing. Who ever thought science could be sexy?
What discovery you want to tell every new-in-town parent about?
- The Grand Lake Farmers Market
- ECE in El Cerrito has Messy Art Day in the spring. I suggest everyone attend at least once. It's the most fun I've had as a parent. Bring a change of clothes and hose.
- The San Leandro Family Aquatic Center has state of the art facility with water slide. Fantastic place for toddlers!
- Of course, Hackermoms hackersprout classes
What's your favorite Bay Area daytrip?
We just discovered Lake Del Valle in Livermore. We'd gone on an overnight camping trip there and it was fantastic. A short 30- 45 ride it feels like you're really out of town.
Thank you Hayden and HackerMoms for sharing your discoveries with us!
[Photos provided by Hayden and Hackermoms, all rights reserved]