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


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.

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

Oct 10

Cool Places, Mobile Apps (and more!) for Kids Who Love Science

If you have a budding Einstein at home, or just love to learn about the world around you, here are some of our favorite kid-friendly places, mobile apps and other cool resources that will appeal to the scientist in us all.

20 of Our Favorite Kid-Friendly Places for Hands-On ScienceBrowse these and lots more kid-friendly places for fun and learning online at Kids Play Guide or take it “on the go” with our Mom Maps iPhone app. Check out reviews from other parents and share your own.

  • Jagger Museum and Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (Volcanoes National Park, Big Island, HI): stop here on your tour of Volcanoes National Park to learn more about lava, volcanic eruptions and the history of the Kiluea vacano.
  • National Museum of Natural History (Washington DC): a great place to explore mammals, oceans, skeletons, and dinosaurs. Don’t forget to visit the insect zoo!
  • National Air and Space Museum (Washington DC): check out the amazing collection of space craft and historical airplanes (Lindbergh, the Wright Brothers among the most famous)
  • Liberty Science Center (Jersey City, NJ): three floors of interactive science exhibits located in Liberty State Park, including the country’s largest IMAX dome theater
  • Sony Wonder Technology Lab (New York City), a free technology and entertainment experience for all ages
  • Boston Museum of Science (Boston, MA), features a revolving schedule of IMAX films, temporary exhibitions and planetarium shows
  • Space and Rocket Center (Huntsville, AL), home to Space Camp, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center is recognized as one of the most comprehensive U.S. manned space flight hardware museums in the world
  • Louisville Science Center (Louisville, KY): the largest hands-on science center in Kentucky, with 150 interactive exhibits and activity stations, and a four-story IMAX theatre.
  • Orlando Science Center (Orlando, FL): lots of hands on exhibits for science lovers of all ages
  • Adventure Science Center (Nashville, TN) planetarium, preschool fun, birthday parties, camps, and the “Science Cafe” lecture series
  • La Brea Tar Pits / Page Museum (Los Angeles, CA): take a trip back in time when saber-toothed cats and mammoths roamed Los Angeles!
  • Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Center (San Diego, CA): located in Balboa Park, this museum includes San Diego’s only IMAX theater, an observatory and offers interactive exhibits, classes, camps and birthday parties
  • Discovery Science Center (Orange County, CA): over 100 hands-on exhibits to educate and entertain the whole family
  • Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, CO): IMAX, planetarium, workshops, hands-on exhibits — mummies and dinosaurs too!
  • Exploratorium (San Francisco, CA): hundreds of hands-on exhibits that mix science and art, offering a variety of ways to explore and understand the world around you
  • Tech Museum of Innovation (San Jose, CA): get hands on with science and technology in the heart of Silicon Valley
  • California Academy of Sciences (San Francisco): the only place on the planet with an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum, and a 4-story rainforest all under one roof
  • Chabot Space and Science Center (Oakland, CA): observatory and learning center focusing on astronomy and the space sciences
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium (Monterey, CA): one of the country’s best aquariums. Check out 200 exhibits, including majestic jellyfish, 2-story kelp forest and local sea otters — all in the heart of Monterey’s historic Cannery Row
  • Hands On Children’s Museum (Olympia, WA): hands-on science fun for younger children, families and school groups. Birthday parties, preschool programs and camps too.

Kid-Friendly and Educational Science Apps for Kids

  • Apps for Learning, from Moms with Apps: a great list of mobile apps that will help kids learn about math, the solar system, animals and more.
  • Star Map, explore the stars with this virtual planetarium
  • BrainPop, learn something new everyday. Great for 3rd to 5th graders
  • Space Images, from NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Other Cool and Kid-Friendly Science Resources

Jun 10

Summer in San Francisco: Family Fun and Discounts

Music Videos, Pirates, They Might Be Giants and more San Francisco Summer Fun for Families!

Zeum: Hands-On, Multimedia, Arts and Technology for Kids

If you haven’t experienced Zeum, July is great time to check it out. The exhibits explore animation, digital arts, special effects, music videos, and workshop activities and are designed to be fun while building media literacy, motor skills, problem solving, and teamwork.During the Month of July, they’re offering MomMaps users 25% off youth admission and $50 off Themed Birthday Parties.

For a preview of what’s in store at Zeum, check out their virtual tour:

Bay Area Discovery Museum: Come Play Until 8 Under the Golden Gate During Summer Sunsets 7/23 & 8/13

Get a $1 off each advance purchase ticket. Use discount code: mommaps

Open late by popular demand! This summer, stop by on select Fridays to enjoy an evening of fun for the whole family. The Museum will reopen from 5 – 8 p.m. for creative play in all of their exhibitions, plus special performers in one of three fun themes. Bring a blanket to picnic on in Festival Plaza while the performers entertain you. Enjoy a themed dinner purchased from our Cafe. Come in costume if you wish. Click here for more event details.

Meet our own Dread Pyrate Gregory and swap tales of the sea on July 23

Meet Dread Pyrate Gregory and Swap Tales of the Sea

Celebrate Space Travel with a Retro Evening of Fun

Members $5; General $8 (Includes Museum admission & performances). Get $1 off each advance ticket when you use the discount code: mommaps. Please note: this evening event requires a separate admission ticket. Same day admission during the regular 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. hours does not include admission to this evening event. Discount code is valid on advance ticket purchases only.


Stern Grove Festival: Free Summer Concerts 6/20 thru 8/22

Summer Sundays at 2pm, Stern Grove is the place to be. Enjoy picnicking and free music in a gorgeous outdoor setting. It’s been a San Francisco tradition since 1938, and it’s the oldest admission-free festival of its kind in America. 2010 season highlights include the San Francisco Symphony, Rickie Lee Jones, Maceo Parker and They might Be Giants. Click here for the full line up.

We recommend getting there early to claim your picnic space. They have bathrooms, wheelchair accessible shuttle service, and plenty of space for running around outside the concert area. More info including parking, and transportation: Stern Grove Festival Guide.

Find More Summer Fun and Deals on PlayPlanit

PlayPlanit was founded in January of 2010 by Laurel Kellam & Allison Howard, two San Francisco career women who found themselves as stay-at-home moms looking for things to do with their newborns. They knew there were tons of businesses out there that had fun events for moms to gather & babies to play — there just wasn’t an easy way to find or remember them. They created Playplanit.com to help parents find local happenings.

PlayPlanit’s initial focus is San Francisco for the five & younger crowd, but they are continuing to build a comprehensive calendar with the goal of serving moms everywhere with kids of every age.

May 10

Mother’s Day Round-up!

Our Mother’s Day round-up for kid spots that moms will love too!

CHICAGO for Arty Moms
A world class art collection awaits at The Art Institute of Chicago. Kids and moms alike will love the Thorne Miniature Rooms.

FLORIDA for Animal-Lover Moms
Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens focuses on conservation and features the state’s only an insect zoo.

LOUISVILLE AREA for Simple Pleasures Moms
Huber Orchard and Winery in Starlight, IN offers more mature family members cheese-making demonstrations, wine tasting. The whole family will enjoy pick-your-own produce, a petting zoo and fun hay rides.

SAN FRANCISCO for Sporty moms
Get zen! It’s Yoga Kids offers family classes, mom & baby classes, kids’ only classes, and more.

SEATTLE for Foodie Moms
Let mom settle in with a cup of tea and a sweet treat at The Crumpet Shop at Pikes Place Market.

April showers bring May flowers. Walk in a field of gold at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.

TORONTO for Style Moms
Shoe fanatics will drool over the Beta Shoe’s Museum’s> amazing collection of 12,500 shoe artifacts, including Marilyn Monroe’s read leather pumps and John Lenon’s Beatle Boot.

WASHINGTON D.C. for History Moms
Just outside our nation’s capital, the Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens takes you back in time amidst beautiful gardens and rolling hills