Aug 10

From Coast to Coast: Hot Spots for Cool Treats

(Image by iMax)

It hasn’t escaped our notice that artisan  ice cream and other frozen treats are among the hottest trends across the country. Think local ingredients, classic and adventurous flavors — traditional ice cream, bubble tea, frozen yogurt, frozen custard, shave ice, popsicles and other cool treats. Yes, we’re enthusiastic supporters of this trend! As summer heads into the home stretch, here are hot spots for cool treats from the SF Bay to the ATL – hand-picked from the growing list of kid-friendly places mapped on Mom Maps by our great community of moms and dads, family travel experts and parent bloggers. Just say yum!

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A Visit to Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream in San Francisco’s Mission District

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Atlanta: Sarah Jean’s Ice Cream (Marietta), Morelli’s Gourmet Ice Cream (Atlanta), The Yogurt Tap (Decatur)

Austin: Amy’s Ice Creams, Spoons Yogurt (College Station), Marble Slab Creamery (Sunset Valley)

Boston: Lizzy’s (Waltham), Bedford Farms (Bedford), Mad Maggie’s (North Reading)

Chicago: Bobtail Ice Cream, Paciugo Gelato, Scooter’s Frozen Custard

Grand Rapids, MI: Jersey Junction Ice Cream Parlor

Hawaii: Aoki’s Shave Ice (Haleiwa/Oahu), Papalani Gelato (Koloa/Kauai), Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice (Lahaina/Maui)

Minneapolis: Izzy’s Ice Cream (St. Paul), Pumphouse Creamery, Sebastian Joe’s Ice Cream

New York City: Chinatown Ice Cream Factory (Manhattan), Yogurtland (Manhattan), Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory

Pacific Northwest: Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream (Seattle), Theno’s Dairy / Vivian’s Pride Ice Cream (Redmond),  Cool Moon Ice Cream (Portland, OR)

Phoenix: Aloha Yogurt (Tempe), Grateful Spoon Gelato, Mary Coyle Ol’ Fashion Ice Cream

San Francisco Bay Area: Tucker’s Super Creamed Ice Cream (Alameda), Ici Ice Cream (Berkeley), Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream (San Francisco), Bi-Rite Creamery

Southern California: CeFiore Frozen Yogurt (Los Angeles), Mariposa Homemade Ice Cream (San Diego), Italia Vito’s Pasticceria (Laguna HIlls)

Washington DC: Boccato Gelato & Espresso (Arlington), Max’s Best Ice Cream, Tangysweet Frozen Yogurt

Sweet treat lovers unite! Have you been to one of these tasty stops? Got a hot tip you’d love to share? We love to hear about your favorites – comment, add a review on Mom Maps or Tweet us @mommaps.

Aug 10

Parents Pick: Shira’s Favorite Manhattan Playgrounds (and Discount on NYC Babysitting Services)

Mom Maps has now mapped more than 2,000 kid-friendly spots in the greater New York City area (and 23,000 across the US, and counting!). Find something new in your neighborhood or feel like a local when you’re just visiting — Find parks, playgrounds, museums, indoor play places and restaurants.

Of course, we couldn’t find all these great places without our wonderful community of Mappers: moms and dads, family travel experts, parent bloggers who love to share their favorite places for family fun. Shira, a NYC mom (and Mom Mapper), shares 3 of her favorite Manhattan playgrounds (find these and more NYC play places on the Mom Maps website .

Bryant Park: “A great park with a large lawn, an awesome carousel ($2 a ride) and a kids reading area (open spring through fall). All at the back of the main New York Public Library.”

Tompkins Square Playground: “A newly renovated playground with swings, sandbox, and everything a kid needs… within a nice large square/park.”

Union Square Playground: “A great large playground in the north side of Union Square. divided to a younger toddlers area with sandbox and swings and a wide space for bigger toddlers/kids. Brand new playground with cool facilities.”

(Photos: Bryant Park by ktylerconk, Tompkins Square by edenpictures, Union Square by timstock_nyc)

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AND… when you’re in need of a sitter in the Big Apple, we recommend Creative Sitters. They focus on weaving creativity through your child’s everyday routine in order for them to have a positive and happier childcare experience. Serving the New York City and Hoboken areas. Mention “Mom Maps” when you book a sitter and you’ll receive a 15% discount on your first sitting.