07
Dec 10

Featured Mapper: Big Blue Trunk

So how did we find the more than 26,000 kid-friendly places mapped in our Mom Maps iPhone app? We’ve been building  a vibrant community of parent Mappers who love to share their favorite picks and places for family travel, outdoor and indoor play, learning places, family dining and more. We’d like to introduce you to Big Blue Trunk, a great new online community and resource for family travel.

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On Big Blue Trunk, you can find family travel articles with practical tips and expert advice on destinations ranging from estinations ranging from Carmel, Yosemite and Tahoe in Northern California to New York City and Hawaii. Big Blue Trunk also features reviews on hotels, restaurants, things to do and products.

We’re proud to team up with Big Blue Trunk to map some of their favorite kid-friendly destinations. So now you can take their family travel picks and recommendations “on the go” using the Mom Maps iPhone app (or browse kid-friendly places online at www.kidsplayguide.com.)

Follow Big Blue Trunk


02
Dec 10

Good Day Sacramento and Good Family Fun!

We’ve just added Sacramento!

A big thank you to Julissa Ortiz and the whole crew at  Good Day Sacramento for inviting me to share Mom Maps on air last week. It was so exciting to see the enthusiastic response from local moms and dads. After the segment aired, Good Day Sacramento invited parents to share their favorite local kid-friendly places on their Facebook page. With more than 50 comments, we have been busy making sure everything gets mapped in Mom Maps so you can find these picks next time you make the trip to California’s capitol.

While in Sacramento, we had a great time visiting the ArtBeast Studio. What a fabulous place for kids to explore a whole range of classes and drop-in creative activities. If I lived in Sacramento, I know this would be a favorite for my family. Mom Mapper Shayla and her daughter Kali came along and took this great video.  Little Kali even had the chance to make her  very first painting! (And do check out Shayla’s blog, Me Turned Mom.)

Sacramento is just the latest city to be added to Mom Maps. We now support 27 metro areas and we’re adding more each week with the help of our growing community of moms and dads who love to share their favorite places for kid-friendly fun as well as the many parent bloggers and family travel experts who contribute to our app. It’s a truly collaborative effort. Together we’ve mapped more than 26,000 kid spots and captured thousands of reviews for parents, by parents. Mom Maps has come a long way since I created this app when my family moved to San Francisco and I was inspired to create a tool to find cool things to do with my two year old.

Thanks to the many Sacramento parents who provided their picks and feedback on their favorite kid spots….  and to you, for joining with me to create this great resource for families!

Happy Holidays,

Jill Seman, Founder, Mom Maps

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Download the Mom Maps iPhone app and take all of our kid-friendly picks for Sacramento (and more than 25 other metro areas) on the go, or search online at www.kidsplayguide.com.


23
Nov 10

Get Outside! Tip Sheet for Kid-Friendly, Cold Weather Fun

Photo by Tony the Misfit (Flickr Creative Commons)

Even when the weather turns cold and wet, there’s no end to the activities and places you can explore with kids. You can, of course, opt for staying warm and toasty by browsing our growing list of indoor play areas on the Mom Maps iPhone app or on the Kids Play Guide website. (Also be sure to check out our recent post: “Kid-Friendly Fun on Rainy or Cold Days: Our Favorite Places to Get the Wiggles Out“.).

If, however, your family is up for braving the elements, this just might be the time to discover a new place to explore. Our community of mom and dad mappers has made it easy to find kid-friendly places for outdoor fun in your area and on the road. Browse the “Parks” and “Playground” categories on our iPhone App or website, and you’re sure to find a great new family destination.

To add to the fun, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite links and resources for winter and cold weather activities. Now bundle up, get outside and play!

  • From The Grass Stain Guru: Try a fall color walk or check out some other ideas from her Fall Play video
  • Try these winter nature activities for kids on eHow
  • Download this free Winter Activity Guide from Nature Rocks, chock full of games, activities and safety tips.
  • Our friend Erin (@AKontheGo) recently shared this great article from Wild Backpacker on Staying Warm While Backpacking the the Coldest Weather
  • Did you know? Winter can be the best time of year from some outdoor activities, like exploring tidepools. Here’s a good round up of theBest Tidepools for Kids in California from Trekaroo
  • If you find yourself in the San Francisco Bay Area (where Mom Maps/Kids Play Guide is based), ready the rain shield for your stroller and find a great place to a walk on the Stroller Hikes website.
  • We like this list compiled by National Wildlife Foundation/Wildlife Promise on favorite Outdoor Blogs by Parents.
  • Our friends at Fun Orange County Parks have created the first and last resource you need for outdoor fun in Orange County from beaches to parks to playgrounds.
  • For all you Twitter fans, the #PlayOutdoors hashtag is one of our favorites for the best news on outdoor family fun, year round.

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Take Our Skinny Scoop Poll: “When the weather turns cold, what activities get you outside with your kids?”


15
Nov 10

Video: Featured Kid-Friendly Place, Hapuna Beach (Big Island, Hawaii)

Kids Play Guide Mapper Stacie shares this video from a recent trip to the Big Island of Hawaii. This is one of the best (and only) big sandy beaches on the island. It’s on the Kohala Coast which home to many resorts (Hapuna Beach adjacent to the Hapuna Prince and Mauna Kea Hotels). Hapuna Beach has lots of amenities: big parking lot, lifeguard on duty, bathrooms, picnic areas, grills, snack shack.  It’s a great place for boogie boarding, although (beware!) the conditions can be rough at times. Overall, a great place to spend the day with the family.


In addition to mapping some of her favorite kid-friendly places on the Mom Maps iPhone app and Kids Play Guide website, Stacie writes a blog called “A Little Yumminess“, which covers family recipes and kid-friendly food adventures in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. And… if you’re interested in kid-friendly food on the Big Island, click here to view her “Big Island Food Adventure” video post.

Looking for more kid-friendly fun from parks, to playgrounds, museums to indoor play places and restaurants? Click over to www.kidsplayguide.com and browse our growing list of more than 25,000 kid spots or take Mom Maps on the go with our iPhone app. It’s quick and easy to map and review your own favorites, too.


09
Nov 10

Featured Mom Mapper: Road Trips for Families

So how did we find the more than 24,000 kid-friendly places mapped in our Mom Maps iPhone app? We’ve been building  a vibrant community of parent Mappers who love to share their favorite picks and places for outdoor and indoor play, learning places, family dining and more. We’d like to introduce you to Road Trips for Families, and in particular, their “Feed Me” and “Geocaching” editor, Julie Henning. Julie is also the creator of the the very handy Milwaukee Love Kids and Madison Loves Kids iPhone apps.

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Road Trips for Families brings you travel information and advice from real families who love to hit the road every chance they get. It’s a great resource for planning your next family road trip because you’ll find expert itineraries, information on what’s along the way, gadgets — plus a whole lot more. Julie’s specialty is dining out with kids — and as a mother of three she can appreciate that this is no small task, especially when you’re on the road. You need convenience, clean bathrooms, and a place to burn off energy—not to mention prices that don’t break your travel budget on the first day. Julie loves to venture little off the beaten path to find and share unique, family-friendly restaurants that feed your appetite and your sense of adventure . She’s also a great resource for geocaching, “the nation’s high-tech treasure hunt”.

We’re proud to team up with Julie Henning and Road Trips for Families to map some of their favorite roadside attractions and kid-friendly destinations. So now you can take Road Trips for Families’ kid-friendly travel picks and recommendations “on the go” using the Mom Maps iPhone app (or browse online at www.kidsplayguide.com.)

Follow Julie and Road Trips for Families

  • www.roadtripsforfamilies.com
  • @RoadTripsEditor (Road Trips for Families on Twitter)
  • @roadtripsfeedme (Julie Henning on Twitter)
  • Facebook: Road Trips for Families
  • Find out more about Geocaching

05
Nov 10

Featured Video: Totland (Berkeley, CA)

Mom Mapper Shayla shares this video from a recent trip to the Totland Playground in North Berkeley, CA. Totland has the goods from sand to swings to lots of “donated” toddler toys — shade, water and tables aplenty, too. It’s totally fenced in which parents of wee ones will appreciate and pssst… we’ve heard it’s a good place for a park birthday party or play date.

Check out this video from Shayla of “Me Turned Mom“, where she blogs about parenting, cool stuff, and interesting places….. and find more kid-friendly places in Berkeley and beyond using the Mom Maps iPhone app, or by browsing www.kidsplayguide.com.

Now get out there and play!


03
Nov 10

Featured Mapper: Travel Mamas

So how did we find the more than 24,000 kid-friendly places mapped in our Mom Maps iPhone app? We’ve been building  a vibrant community of parent Mappers who love to share their favorite picks and places for outdoor and indoor play, learning places, family dining and more. We’d like to introduce you to Travel Mamas, a fantastic site for anyone who wants to travel with children…and stay sane!

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Since 2009, Travel Mamas has been offering insightful tips and resources for family travel written for parents, by parents: from packing lists, to air travel and road trip tips, to destination guides covering the globe, and lots, lots more. Colleen, the original Travel Mama, began this endeavor when she found herself looking for “tell-it-like-it-is advice from real moms” while planning her own family travels. Not finding the kind of content she was looking for, she created the Travel Mamas website.

We’re proud to team up with Travel Mamas to map some of their favorite kid-friendly places. So now you can take the Travel Mamas’ kid-friendly travel picks and recommendations “on the go” using the Mom Maps iPhone app (or browse online at www.kidsplayguide.com.)

Follow Travel Mamas


01
Nov 10

Featured Video: Video Postcard from San Francisco

We might be biased in our affection for San Francisco because Mom Maps happens to be based in the lovely City by the Bay, but it’s always fun to get a visitor’s perspective! This travel video postcard courtesy of Travel Bigo / Family Travel Forum will give  you a flavor of some not-to-be-missed sights in and around San Francisco that will appeal to the whole family

…. and while you’re visiting, make sure to grab the Mom Maps iPhone app and you can find lots more family fun places while you’re on the go from restaurants to playgrounds, museums and indoor fun, and access photos and reviews form other parents, too (or browse online at kidsplayguide.com).

Thanks again to the good folks at Travel Bigo / Family Travel Forum! We’re proud to team up to map thousands of Family Travel Forum’s favorite kid-friendly places and reviews so you can take their incredible library of family friendly travel content “on the go” using the Mom Maps iPhone app (or browse online at www.kidsplayguide.com.)

Family Travel Forum is a great first resource for planning your next family vacation:


25
Oct 10

Featured Video: Lynn’s Paradise Cafe, Louisville, KY

Taking a trip to Louisville? Julie, “Feed Me” editor of the family travel site Road Trips for Families and creator of the Kid-Friendly Madison iPhone app, recommends stopping by at Lynn’s Paradise cafe, which Julie describes as “a bit off the beaten track, but kid-friendly with some authentic food.” Sign us up!

Thanks again to Julie for her video pick. We’re proud to team up with moms and dads everywhere and family travel experts like Julie, to map and review thousands of kid-friendly places so you can find great places to play, learn and eat “on the go” using the Mom Maps iPhone app (or browse online at www.kidsplayguide.com.)

Follow Julie and Road Trips for Families:


20
Oct 10

Halloween Tip Sheet for Parents: Pumpkin Patches, Last-Minute Costumes, Safety Tips and Activities

Do you love Halloween as much as we do? We’ve been mapping kid-freindly places for Halloween and fall fun which you can browse at www.kidsplayguide.com or take on the go using the Mom Maps iPhone app. We’ve also been scouring the web for the handiest links and resources, our essential reading list for parents, to give you a leg up on your Halloween planning.

First up, check out our own Kids Play Guide round upParents Pick: Favorite Pumpkin Patches and Places for Halloween Fun covering the San Francisco Bay Area, Portland-Seattle, Chicago, and Washington DC. Next check out these other great links for events, activities and crafts, last minute costumes, safety tips and other general spookiness.

and last but not least……