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!

* * * * *

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:


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……


18
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:


14
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.

* * * * *

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

09
Oct 10

Parents Pick: Favorite Pumpkin Patches and Places for Halloween Fun

Fall is in the air. While we’re sad to say goodbye to summer, we’re looking forward to cozy sweaters, autumn leaves, hot chocolate and probably our favorite of all  — some good old fashioned Halloween fun. Of course Halloween wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a pumpkin patch. From simple pumpkin fields to elaborate corn mazes and festivals, here’s a round up of some of our favorite pumpkin patches.

San Francisco Bay Area

  • Arata Pumpkin Farm (Half Moon Bay): A Halloween fun bonanza with 6 acre corn field, Minotaur Maze, Hay and Train Rides, Picnicking and more.
  • Peterson’s Farm Pumpkin Patch (Petaluma) – Rated in the top 5 best pumpkin patches in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2010. Praised as a good place to take small children for pumpkin picking for pumpkin picking by the Marin Mommies’ site.
  • Web Ranch (Portola Valley) – Organically grown U-Pick pumpkins, haunted house, corn stalks and indian corn. Attractions on weekends: Jumpy House, Pony Rides, Petting Zoo, Face Paint, Hay Rides
  • Pastorino Farms (Half Moon Bay) – A big field of pumpkins to choose from, gifts, food, hay rides, train rides, ponies, pet and feed farm animals, giant slides and jumpers. Weekend activities include  haunted house and face painting.
  • Clayton Valley Pumpkin Farm (Concord)- Halloween fun for 30 years. Giant Tube tunnel, a giant tic-tac-toe board, bean bag toss, pyramid of straw, the “Ball Return”, duck races and train ride.
  • Spring Hill Farm (Petaluma) “Peter Pumpkin Patch” :  U-Pick pumpkins,  fresh made cheese, dig for potatoes, homemade ice cream
  • Grandma’s Pumpkin Patch (Healdsburg) – Halloween crafts, picnicking, hay fort, a corn maze and tractors  to climb on. Handicap accessible.
  • Fisher Farm (Sebastopol) – U-Pick pumpkins (choose and cut Christmas trees too)

Chicago Area

  • Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm (Crest Hill) – Huge maze (17 acres and 5.5 miles of winding paths), climbing on Fort Cottonwood, barnyard playland, veggieland, haunted barn and petting zoo.
  • Butterprint Farm Pumpkin Patch (Monee) – U-Pick pumpkins, 3/4 mile round trip hayride, scarecrow maze, squash and gourds, local farm honey, Indian corn, hardy winter mums, straw, and cornstalks.
  • Jonamac Orchard (Malta) A family-owned apple orchard and pick-your-own pumpkin patch. Hayrides and a corn maze, country store featuring one-of-a-kind apple donuts and fudge.

Seattle-Portland

  • Sauvie Island – Pumpkins haunted maze, corn maze, cow train, market, free hay rides!
  • Stocker Farms (Snohomish) – pumpkins, haunted “field of screams”, duck races, trout fishing, barrel train.
  • Remingler Farms (Carnation) – U-Pick pumpkins, 2 mazes, farm theater, kettle corn.
  • Fall City Farms (Issaquah) – U-pick pumpkins (Christmas trees too), chickens, goats, live jazz and bluegrass music.
  • Cravens Farm (Snohomish) – Halloween fun for more than 27 years. Pumpkin scenes with a harvest twist, 15 acre corn maze, pumpkin slinger, face painting, kettle corn, tractor pulled hay ride, farm animals, gift shop and espresso.

Washington DC

  • Homestead Farm (Poolesville) – pumpkin and apple picking, hay rides, maze.
  • Gaver Pumpkin Patch (Mt. Airy) pumpkins, corn maze, large farm animals, straw mountain, pedal bike track, giant slides, pirate ship, bale mazes, toddler corn maze, and play areas.

——————

Kids Play Guide: Find Kid-Friendly Fun at Home or the Road

Kids Play Guide was created by a San Francisco mom to help parents share and review their favorite places for kid-friendly fun. Our great community of parents and family travel experts have mapped more than 24,000 parks and playgrounds, indoors play places, museums and kid-friendly restaurants across the US.

Log onto www.kidsplayguide.com to browse thousands of kid spots, reviews and photos for parents, by parents. Take Kids Play Guide on the go with our Kids Play Guide: Mom Maps iPhone app. Using your phone’s GPS, you’ll find what’s nearby and how to get there.


27
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.

* * * * *

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.

Bonus!

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

23
Sep 10

Featured Mom Mapper: Fun Orange County Parks

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 Fun Orange County Parks and Michele Whiteaker. She’s a KaBOOM.org Playmaker and self-proclaimed playground blogger who considers it her community service to share the scoop on outdoor play in Orange County.

* * * * *

We love Fun Orange County Parks! It’s an incredible resource for outdoor play covering playgrounds and parks from Anaheim to Fullerton, Newport Beach San Clemente and everywhere in between. The best part is that the the information comes straight from parents who live and play in Orange County . What we also love about the site are the sections that feature ideas for nature-based play, kids activities, and family road trips — and even some music playlists to keep you going. You won’t want to miss the “Super Search” section where you’ll find handpicked lists in categories ranging from Park Birthdays, to Sand-Free Parks, Water (Puddles), and Beat the Heat.

We’re thrilled to team up with Fun Orange County Parks to enable you to browse hundreds of their Orange County park and playground recommendations and photos on-the-go using our Mom Maps iPhone app.

Now get out there and play!

Follow Fun Orange County Parks

  • www.funorangecountyparks.com
  • @OCPlayParks (on twitter)
  • Facebook: Fun Orange County Parks
  • If you’re a Twitter fan you may also want to check out the great hastag “#playoutdoors” where you can get your daily dose of links and resources for outdoor play culled from around the Twitter-sphere.

Download the Mom Maps iPhone app or search our library of kid-friendly places online.


22
Sep 10

Featured Kid-Friendly Place: Waterfront Park, Louisvile KY

Mom Mapper Julie Henning, Feed Me and Geocaching Editor for Road trips for Families and expert on kid-friendly Milwaukee and Madison, brings us a great kid-friendly spot for the whole family in Louisville, KY. Waterfront Park is a relatively new addition to Louisville — an 85 acre park that unites the waterfront along the Ohio River with the city. Think multiple playgrounds (with water play area in summer), picnic areas, walking trails, expansive lawns, outdoor concerts and events, and river views. Whether you’re out for a day at the playground, kicking the ball, going for run or just taking time to stop and smell the flowers, there’s something for everyone. Julie and her family give this one a thumbs up!

Thanks Julie!!