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:

Oct 10

Featured Video: Family Vacation in Portland, Oregon!

Our friends at Family Travel Forum / Travel Bigo have put together a great video which will give you a flavor for the incredible variety of family-friendly attractions and activities that await in Portland, OR. From fabulous eateries to the nearby natural splendor of the Oregon Coast and Columbia River Gorge, skiing Mount Hood and eclectic city sights. It’ll make you want to grab the family and jump on the next flight out.

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

Have Kids, Still Travel” – Family Travel Forum is a great first resource for planning your next family vacation:

Oct 10

Featured Mapper: Family Travel Forum

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 Family Travel Forum, one of the most most  comprehensive guides to fun family vacations on the web.

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Family Travel Forum’s motto is: “have kids, still travel“. They feature thousands of expert and family-written articles with tips and real world advice about what to see and do, including content for specific ages (tiny travelers, kids 5-12, teens, etc). When you’re planning a trip with your family, this is a great first resource to check out. We love it because the information is written by families for families, so you know you’ll get some great tips and ideas.

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

Follow Family Travel Forum

  • http://www.familytravelforum.com/
  • @FamilyTravel4um (on twitter)
  • Facebook: Family Travel Forum

Sep 10

Family Travel: 5 to Follow on Facebook

Mom Maps is dedicated to helping you find kid-friendly places at home and on the road as well as reviews and recommendations for parents, by parents through our iPhone app and on our website. We love discovering new places!

If you love to travel with your family as much as we do – or even if you just enjoy being an arm chair traveler – here’s a list of some of our favorite people to follow on Facebook. It’s a great way to get your daily dose of practical tips, discussion threads on family travel, news, gear and cool places to visit.

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1. Family Tavel Forum  – Their tagline is “Have Kids, Still Travel” which says it all. They provide regular Facebook updates packed with links, upcoming events and deals. Recent posts:

  • October Events for Families at the King Tut Exhibition
  • Haunted House: The ScareHouse in Pittsburgh, PA
  • Massachusetts Calling All Leaf Peekers!

2. Travels with Baby – Practical tips for traveling with little one, travel ideas and giveaways. Recent posts

  • Check out this great diner we found in Vancouver – lots of character & perfect for dining with tots.
  • See my tips for finding kid-friendly hotels online at Nickelodeon’s parentsconnect.com
  • I am travelling overseas with my 8 month old daughter to south America. Any suggestions for a travel car sear that is safe? Is the Go hybrid for older babies

3. Trekaroo – Plays host to a large community of family travelers. Great for location-specific events and activities, contests & discussion threads. Recent posts:

  • The Texas State Fair is coming to Dallas this week! Check out what other fun attractions there are for kids.
  • Excellent Guest Post today about finding peace out in nature. This family found theirs in the Great Smokey Mountains in a special valley called Cataloochee
  • Trekaroo’s picks for great places to see fall foliage in California.

4. Travel Savvy Mom – A great resource on domestic and international travel, where to stay and what to do when you get there. Tips and gear, too. This is real world advice from a team of moms. Recent posts:

  • How to get your kids interested in ancient history? Take them to see the mummy of a boy who became a king at 9 years. Visit the King Tut exhibition in Denver.
  • Take your family to Jardin des Glaciers, Quebec and explore the beauty and history of Planet Earth in this gorgeous 40-square-kilometer park.
  • Shopping for a tough, lightweight travel stroller? You’ve come to the right place. Kayt ran over her Maclaren Volo *with her car* and it still worked great.

5. Travel for Kids – Lots of international travel ideas for adventurous families or those with a bad case of wanderlust. Recommendations for travel-related book picks for kids, too. Recent posts:

  • Alaska! Where else can kids promise to stay up until it gets dark, and it’s still light at midnight? Explore the Inside Passage in southeast Alaska, including a visit to Juneau, look for caribou and grizzlies in Denali National Park, and more. Get the scoop on all our first hand tips – ice worm safari, sled dog rides, moose in Anchorage, and glacier treks.
  • Travel tip – In Switzerland, in summer on the Great St. Bernard Pass (Col du Grand Saint Bernard), be sure to stop to meet the St. Bernard dogs (kids love this). The monastery that bred the dogs for rescue is now a foundation that runs a museum and the kennels.
  • Staff book pick for September is Tortilla Sun. A young girl spends her summer with her grandmother in a rustic village in New Mexico. There, she learns to listen for the wind’s voice, find herbs in the moonlight, and make tortillas round like the sun.


Mom Maps – While we’re at it, we invite you to follow Mom Maps on Facebook. We share kid-friendly places and events, news and articles from the world of family travel and our ever-growing community of Mom Mappers, and the best of the best in family-friendly mobile apps. Recent posts:

  • Featured Kid-friendly place: Waterfront Park, Louisville KY (video by @roadtripsfeedme)
  • Family Day Kite Festival Sat/Sun. Marina Green, San Francisco. Free kites for kids, too! (via sfkids.org)
  • Fun & Free for the iPhone! Create your own Snow Globe for FREE this appfriday by @snowglobemaker

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.