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……

Jun 10

Dining Out With Kids Survival Guide

Gone are the days of late, lingering dinners at the latest hot spots, but we haven’t given up on our love of eating out just because we have a toddler in tow. We eat earlier, and frequent more casual spots, but we still manage to indulge our passion for great food while keeping our sanity.

My criteria has changed of course. Now I deeply appreciate places that can accommodate strollers and friendly staff that don’t sweat the inevitable spills. And a little preparation by us parents doesn’t hurt either. By preempting the dinner rush, being ready to order quickly when you’re seated and having some emergency crayons or ‘quiet toys” tucked away in your purse, you can often avert meltdown and actually enjoy a family night out.

And here’s more sage advice from other parents who’ve been there:

  • 7 Mistakes Not to Make When Dining Out with Kids (Fodors)
  • How to dine out with kids … and enjoy it! (ages 2 to 4) (BabyCenter)
  • Sanity Tips for Eating Out With the Kids (Keep Kids Healthy via clubmom.com)
  • Dining out with Kids in Restaurants (non-chain, non family) or Tales of Training a Future Restaurant Critic (Fork and Bottle)
  • Eating out with Young Children – Practical Advice for Parents (as well as Waiters, Chefs, and Restaurateurs) (Tasting Menu)
  • But none of this matters if the food doesn’t make the cut. Why go to all this effort and trouble for just so-so grub? And this is where getting the inside scoop makes all the difference. Ask all your foodie friends about their favorite family dining spots and you’re guaranteed to find out-of-the-way neighborhood gems that welcome families and serve up tasty fare. You can also browse Mom Maps online or with your iPhone to find hundreds of restaurants (as well as parks, museums and playgrounds) mapped and reviewed by other parents. A great resource to find something new where you live or to locate primo spots while you’re on the road. Best yet, share some of your own favorites!

    This post was written by Stacie Dong, also a contributor to A Little Yumminess.