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……


12
Jul 10

Summertime Adventures & Deals: California Water Parks

Now’s the time for some cool summertime fun and splashing for kids big and small. You might just love a day at the water park as much as your kids. Our round-up of California water parks:


Thrills and Splashes at Raging Waters in San Jose

Recently on Father’s Day, I treated myself and two children to an afternoon at the Raging Waters water park in San Jose.  Raging Waters is a large water park located in Lake Cunningham Regional Park.  The park has many rides and amusements, all of which are a great way to cool down during hot summer days. The park has several water slides of varying heights and thrills, as well as a wave pool for older kids and water-based playgrounds and wading pools for younger kids.

My 3-year old daughter’s favorite activities were playing in the little dipper bubble pool and floating down the endless river with me on an inner tube.  My 6-year old son enjoyed Slide Creek Falls and the activity pools.   The park is easy to visit, offering convenient parking, changing rooms and lockers to store your valuables, as well as several on site food and concession stands.

– by Michael Coleman, San Francisco Bay Area dad


Deals from Southern California Water Parks

Wild Rivers, Irvine (8770 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine CA 92618-4200)

Get a discount of $5 dollars on general admission tickets. Click here for a coupon: www.wildriversfun.com/fun2 or enter the promo code: FUN2 when you purchase the ticket online.

Raging Waters, San Dimas (111 Raging Waters Drive, San Dimas CA 91773)

Get a discount of $7 on general admission tickets purchased online purchase, or $5 off a general admission ticket purchase at the park. Click here for a coupon http://myragingwaters.com/rw1067. Enter coupon code 1067 for online purchase.

Top 10 Water Parks in SF Bay Area

* Raging Waters, San Jose

* Aqua Adventure, Fremont

* San Ramon Water Park, San Ramon

* Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area/The Rapids Waterslides at Shadow Cliffs, Pleasanton

* Antioch Water Park, Antioch

Top Water Parks Southern California

* Wild Rivers, Irvine

* Raging Waters, San Dimas

* Knott’s Soak City – 3 locations: Palm Springs, Bueno Park & San Diego

* Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, Valencia

* Splash Canyon, Temecula

Have tips, advice and recommendations? We invite you to share your favorite water parks and summer adventure spots with other parents, by adding a kid spot, review or picture on www.kidsplayguide.com. Download the Free Mom Maps iPhone app and bring 20,000 kid-friendly places and parent reviews with you on the go!


30
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.

BUY TICKETS

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.


24
Apr 10

Planning for summer travel? Mom Maps features great travel blogs.

Planning a stay-cation or taking it on the road? Summer is just around the corner and Mom Maps has teamed up with Family Travel Forum and some great bloggers to share hundreds of tips and reviews to jumpstart your vacation/stay-cation plans.

I have always loved to travel. Maybe it is all those road trips I took as a kid, but I just can’t wait to go off and explore. My travels have taken me to Borneo, Amazon, Japan, Indonesia, Belize, and all over Europe and the US. The places I have visited have given me a new appreciation for the world outside my door. Now that I have two small children, my travels have taken me to less exotic locations but have presented some of the most exciting travel challenges yet:

* How to find the nearest bathroom in the moments before the accident happens!
* Getting to the nearest kid friendly restaurant or coffee shop before the kids get too hungry and pandemonium breaks out!
* Finding the nearest park or playground – one with working swings – before the wiggles completely take over!

I began to think about how useful it would be to have some spots mapped out on my phone so I could find them when I am out and about. While building Mom Maps, I discovered a vibrant community of family travelers who have traveled the road less traveled with children and who have lived to blog about it. These bloggers all are adventurous parents with invaluable advice on how to get around with kids and find the best places to take kids along with tips for each visit. Here are some some of my favorites:

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Family Travel Forum

Family Travel Forum has served a global network of travelers with children since 1996. FTF brings print and online publications, trip-planning consultation and a vast library of destination research together for some of the most extensive coverage of family friendly destinations around the world. Their site contains expert and family-written stories, including first-hand reviews of tropical and ski resorts, reunion destinations, attractions, holiday weekends, family festivals, cruises, and all kinds of vacation ideas. FTF expertise has been recognized with several National Parenting Center Seals of Approval and ‘Best of the Web’ awards from both Forbes and Condé Nast Traveler magazines, as well as by CNN, ABC, Time, USA Today, Wall St. Journal, and many others.

Mom Maps is proud to announce that we now provide mobile access to Family Travel Forums incredible library of kid friendly activities! For the summer travel season, we logged over 500 locations with reviews from FTF in Mom Maps, so you can get the best access to family travel content from your iPhone. A full list of locations world wide – well over a thousand of them – will be on Mom Maps soon. Some of our favorite Family Travel Forum favorites are listed below:

Seattle’s REI: “Kids climbing the walls? Scale a 65’ wall at REI on Yale Ave in Seattle.”
Orlando’s Dinosaur World “Little ones will feel like they’re walking through a prehistoric picture book at Orlando’s Dinosaur World.”
Las Vegas’ Liberace Museum “Take in the jeweled costumes of “Mr. Showmanship” himself at the Liberace Museum.”
Maui’s Surfing Goat Dairy “Eat cheese on Haleakala & feed the goats that made it possible.”
Monterey’s Seal Rock Center “Picnic with seals and otters at the Seal Rock Picnic Center.”

Kids play spots for San Francisco

Kids play spots for San Francisco

Kelly Tirman

Kelly Tirman is a San Francisco mom who is fond of eco friendly goods, public libraries and the new playgrounds in Mission district. Here’s some our favorite posts for San Francisco:

Yoga Tree ” … official volunteer baby holders at every class to comfort any upset babies so mommies can easily focus on their practice…”
Bi-right Creamery “The best creamery in San Francisco partly due to their use of organic and local ingredients”
Giorgio’s “…They also provide balls of pizza dough for the kids to play with which helps keeps the kids entertained.”

Pit Stops for Kids Pit Stops for Kids

Amy Whitely has amassed an amazing array of kid friendly attractions along most major highways, hotels, and airports. And if you’ve heard, “Are we there yet?!”, you need Pit Stops for Kids! At Pitstops, you’ll find real parent reviews on all the road-side attractions, restaurants, motels, parks, and airport playspaces you’ll need along the way during your family vacation. Here are some of my favorite kid friendly locations from Pit Stops for kids on the Oregon Coast:

Olympic Game Farm “The Olympic Game Farm is a great place to get face-to-face with a wide range of exotic animals…”
Tillamook Cheese Factory “You can take a self-guided tour of the production floor (viewed from above), then sample all the cheese you want (yes you read that right!)”
Umpqua Discovery Center “As you enter the exhibits, you hear the sounds of the river rushing and feel nature surround you”

See Jane Fly

See Jane Fly

See Jane Fly is a team of time-starved moms, travel junkies, twenty-something trendsetters, on-the-go executives, brides-to-be and seasoned solo travelers are devoted to simplifying travel for women everywhere. They have set out to become the concierge I always dreamed of, and they have gathered a network of travel experts and savvy insiders to help when it is most needed. They then serve up the information in a fresh, bite-size, easy-to-access format – giving readers exactly what they need, when they need it. Perfect for Mom Maps and the iPhone. See Jane Fly features kid friendly locations in Chicago, San Francsico, San Diego, Los Angeles and beyond. Here’s some of our favorite kid friendly travel recommendations from See Jane Fly for Los Angeles & Santa Monica:

Santa Monica Surf School “Get in the curl, and go surfing with these laid-back experts…”
Scribble Press “Great activities abound–make books, note cards, holiday cards and gifts with your kid’s art..”
Douglas Park “…duck ponds loaded with quackers who like to be fed and an amazing wet area with sprinklers..”

TravelMamas Travel Mamas

Colleen Lanin, the creator, is the head Travel Mama. She got her start by writing for Babytalk and San Diego Family, and became a regular contributor to 101 Things to do in San Diego. Colleen’s travels vary from road trips, cruises, family visits, and tropical vacations to foreign tours, amusement park adventures, and more. Her site not only presents great family travel destinations, but it contains packing lists and invaluable travel tips like travel/parenting articles, resources, and websites. Here is a couple of Colleen’s favorite places to go in San Diego.

San Diego Zoo “This zoo is huge … so I provide the location of each recommended attraction in parentheses…”
San Diego’s Birch Aquarium “The aquarium offers a wonderful, low-key alternative to its famous competitor…”

Alisa ShtombergAlisa Shtromberg

I met Alisa through her use of Mom Maps. Alisa hails from the southwest and she blogs about her adventures in Santa Fe and Albuquerque with her son. Some of our favorite kid friendly travel recommendations for Albuquerque.
Rio Grande Zoo “a little oasis in the middle of the desert” (w/ice cream!)
Explore “Here kids can touch, play, and even try to break with just about every exhibit which include toys and science exhibits…”
Slate Street Cafe “My husband and I just discovered this little piece of heaven…”

Kid food that adults will love

Kid food that adults will love

A Little Yumminess

Little Yumminess is written by two moms with a passion for cooking and eating & sharing fun food experiences with their kids in San Francisco. Some of their favorite kid-friendly dining picks:

Let’s Be Frank (Marina): “We love their organic, grass-fed beef dogs! They make us (and our kids) want to do the hot dog dance!”

Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream (Mission): “An ever-changing menu of flavors appealing to both ice cream traditionalists (mint chip) and the more adventurous (Pistachio-Bacon!).”

Little Star Pizza (Nopa, Mission): “You can’t go wrong with the daily special which invariably features the tastiest of local, seasonal ingredients.”

Keeps Me SmilingKeeps Me Smiling

Lorraine Akemann is a fellow iPhone developer who resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has two children about the same age as my kids and finds great local outdoor activities. She finds hikes and outdoor activities perfectly suited for both adults and young children. Here’s some of our favorites from Hawaii:

Hanauma Bay: “Famous snorkeling spot on Oahu. Amazingly beautiful but also very crowded…”
Kailua Beach Park: “Kids enjoyed mini body surfing in the little waves, and the white sandy beach…”

Mom Maps’ growing database of kid-friendly locations includes favorite places for playing, learning and dining from these and other bloggers as well as parents who enjoy sharing tips and recommendations with other parents. We’ve mapped 19,000+ kid spots so far — and we’re adding many more places and reviews every day. Download our free iPhone app to take Mom Maps on the go with you or visit our website to browse and plan your itinerary ahead of time.

During the week of April 26 we’re giving away a $50 Amazon gift card. To enter, just add a review some of your favorite kid friendly places.


29
Mar 10

Solving women’s biggest travel complaint: too many options, too little time.

SeeJaneFly SeeJaneFly.com is a team of time-starved moms, travel junkies, twenty-something trendsetters, on-the-go executives, brides-to-be and seasoned solo travelers are devoted to simplifying travel for women everywhere. They have set out to become the hip concierge every Jane always dreamed of, and they gathered a network of travel experts and savvy insiders to help us. Scattered across the country, their team visits every place that appears on the site, tracks down the latest in on-the-go accessories and gadgets, and digs up truly fabulous perks and deals that are way more enticing than your average rental car discount. They then serve up that goldmine of information in a fresh, bite-size, easy-to-access format – giving readers exactly what they need, when they need it.

Some of our favorite kid friendly travel recommendations from See Jane Fly:

San Francisco:

1. Chinatown Kite Shop
2. Paxton Gate Curiosities for kids
3. Kidrobot
4. Angel Island Park
5. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Los Angeles / Santa Monica:

1. Santa Monica Surf School
2. Scribble Press
3. El Matador Beach
4. Douglas Park
5. Venice Canals Walk
5. Santa Monica Puppetry Center

All locations accessible from Mom Maps with detail on www.SeeJaneFly.com.


02
Mar 10

San Francisco summer camp planning made easy!

Sign Up For Camp (http://www.signupforcamp.com/) is a new website
designed by local parents to make it easier to plan children’s summer
camps. Parents can search for camps by age, location, dates and
activities. There are over 400 SF Bay Area camps for all grades as
well as overnight camps. Camps can be saved to a summer calendar and
shared with friends. Create a free account to be notified by email of
early registration discounts and other timely information.
(http://www.signupforcamp.com)


15
Feb 10

Mom Maps Announces Version 4!

Mom Maps announces version 4 with embedded maps, search capability, pictures and the ability to add kid spots on the go! And best part is its now FREE. Click on above link to download a copy and let us know what you think. Please send us a note if you would like us to add locations near you.


26
Dec 09

Mom Maps goes to Rossi park in San Francisco