StrollerHikes moms and dads recommend cool stuff for other parents and families…
La Leche League recommended by Charity
La Leche League is an international organization supporting women in their efforts to breastfeed. La Leche League offers publications, support groups, and telephone support. See California La Leche League Groups to find the group closest to you.
Las Madresrecommended by Melissa, Liza, and Leana:
Las Madres is a large organization with branches often classified by geography and year of birth for infants. Groups are run by their members with guidance from the Northern California office. We recommend checking out a group before paying to join; some groups are active and awesome, and others much more irregular with events. To find a Las Madres group that is in your area or is appropriate for your child’s birth year, see Las Madres Webpage.
Bay Area Babywearers recommended by Kristen:
This group dicusses the Nine-in-nine-out (NINO) philosophy, presenting attachment parenting ideas and techniques including baby wearing. New slings and carriers are presented regularly. Join the yahoo group at Yahoo BayAreaBabywearers.
Sara Russell, PCD (DONA):
Sara offers doula support to families primarily along the coast and Santa Cruz Mountains region. For more information, see Mama to Mama.
Sunnyvale Trails Group and NorCal Bike Forum recommended by Fritz:
Want to share your ideas or hear from others about trail use and maintenance in Sunnyvale? Sunnyvale Trails is a Yahoo Group made up of community members eager to dialog about trail use and associated things including family-friendly outings. To join, visit the Sunnyvale Trails Group Website.
Exercise Resources for Parents or Families
Sierra Club Family Outings recommended by Charity:
Sonya Bradski offers family-friendly hikes and camping trips to Sierra Club members. Hikes are child and baby-friendly; the pace is reasonable for children to walk, and babies can be worn or pushed in a Baby Jogger. Sonya has led these hikes for over ten years as a way to exercise and share nature with her children, who join her. To get more information on hers and other hikes, see the San Francisco Bay Sierra Club Chapter.
Yoga Source – Mara Cohen’s Mom & Baby Classes recommended by Julia:
Mara is a doula and fitness professional, and really knows how to get moms back in shape AND keep babies active and entertained in these Mom and Baby Classes. Yoga Source offers her classes in Palo Alto. For information, see Peninsula Yoga Studio Association Page for Yoga Source.
Betty Wright Swim Center recommended by Darth:
Betty Wright not only offers great prenatal exercise courses, but their mom and tot courses come highly recommended. Betty Wright Swim Center’s mom and tot classes are fun and encourage infant and toddler comfort in their heated pool. Classes are offered several times each week and parents and babies can drop in rather than sticking to a rigid class schedule (but there is a risk of classes filling). For more information, see Abilities United Webpage for Betty Wright Swim Center.
Blossom Birth Prenatal Yoga recommended by Debbie and Maya:
Blossom Birth Services offers a wide range of classes, a library, and other
resources of “growing a family.” Prenatal yoga and mom and baby yoga classes are fun, spiritually uplifting, empowering, and good workouts. For more information, see Blossom’s Webpage.
Natural Resources is a San Francisco resource for support, classes (CPR, new parents, breastfeeding, etc), and supplies (clothing and toys). For more information, see The Natural Resources Website.
Mommy and Me Yoga recommended by Debbie:
Mommy and Me Yoga (also known as Mom and Baby Yoga) at Blossom Birth Services, in Palo Alto as well as Harmony Birth Services in Campbell are great places to get a workout, relax, and support other moms and babies. Julianne Rice teaches at both sites. Julianne is very supportive, positive, knows a lot about soothing babies, and can also encourage a really nice workout. Learn more about Julianne’s yoga classes and background at www.juliannerice.com, or click on her photo to go to her website.
Kim Gustavson recommended by Kim:
Kim is a mom and licensed personal trainer and group exercise instructor. You may have met her at Day One Fitness in Palo Alto. She began a blog in 2012 called Focus On Family Fitness as a way to reach out to the community and inspire families to be active for FREE!
Holli M. Dare, Personal Fitness Trainer and Triathalon Coach recommended by Holli:
Holli is a mom and licensed trainer and coach, who has taught Stroller Fitness Courses in the past and understands what it takes to go from new mama to fit mama. She posts inspirational blogs and instructions for workouts for moms for FREE at Real Mama Fitness or you can e-mail Holli.
Bay Area Hiker Website recommended by Kristen:
If you are looking for new hikes that don’t need to be stroller-friendly, Bay Area Hiker provides a comprehensive list with photos and thorough descriptions including wild plants and history of each area. See the website at Bay Area Hiker Website.
Gilroy Gardens recommended by Liza and Michelle:
Formerly Bonfante Gardens, Gilroy Gardens in a non-profit theme park with a focus on botany and education / entertainment of toddlers to elementary age children. The park was founded by former owners of Nob Hill Foods, who wanted to broaden interest and exposure to horticulture. The park includes rides, gardens, and activities. Admission is expensive, but an annual pass is well worth it if you visit often. Put aside your concern about the chaos of conventional theme parks; Gilroy Gardens is relatively stress-free and mild, without the loud music and product promotion that Disneyland and Great America have. For more information, see Gilroy Gardens Webpage.
Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary recommended by Barbara and Darth:
This unique zoo is populated by wild animals that are being rehabilitated after being kept illegally as pets or being found orphaned or injured in the wild. The zoo teaches responsibility towards all animals, by example. Cost is low ($4 or less as of 2006) and the zoo is all days of the week except Monday. A steam train runs through the park. The zoo is located in Folsom, near Sacramento. For more information, see Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary Webpage.
Rinconada Pool recommended by Amy:
Rinconada Pool offers large pools for older swimmers, but its big draw for families is their toddler and young child pool. Shaped like a flower, it has kinetic sculptures that kids can enjoy, and the shallow petals of the pool are perfect for introducing toddlers to water. For more information on location and hours, see Water Fun Recommendations for more information.
Habitot Children’s Museum recommended by Maya:
This is a resource for infants to school-age children! Habitot offers classes including cool safety-related events (like free car seat inspections), educational programs, a venue for birthday parties, and plenty of hands-on art events for all ages. For more information, see Habitot Webpage. Habitot Children’s Museum is located in Berkeley.
Menlo Swim & Sport Center at Burgess Park recommended by Melissa:
The pool here is a recent (2006), toddler-friendly (1.5 feet deep) addition that is clean and inviting. Park facilities include picnic tables and grassy areas. For one adult and child, admission was $6 for non-residents as of September 2007, and the area is open daily beginning in the late morning. A large fence keeps toddlers contained to their area; there are two larger pools here for older swimmers. Located off Ravenswood near Middlefield and El Camino in Menlo Park. For more information, see Water Fun Recommendations for more information.
Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito recommended by Noelle and Julie:
This is akin to the great San Jose Children’s Museum, which also has some excellent exhibits. The museum is geared towards children of toddler age on up to early primary school age. There are a range of activities to stimulate the senses and mind. Admission can be expensive if you don’t buy a season pass, but these museums have an open-door policy that does not turn away any families who cannot pay a full admission price (just ask them to invoke this open-door policy as you enter). For information about the Bay Area Discovery Museum, see The BADM Page and for information about the Children’s Discovery Museum, see The CDM Page.
Baby Loves Disco recommended by Maya:
Baby Loves Disco is a national movement to bring music and fun to families. Nightclubs are opened early and the ambiance modified (more lights, less noise, bubble machines and big toys) to make the venues child-safe and fun for the entire family. Look for a location near you at Baby Loves Disco Webpage.
Pump It Up – The Inflatable Party Zone recommended by Melissa:
You might first visit Pump It Up for a birthday party, but there is open-play time too. Tire out the toddlers and bigger kids with bouncy houses and other inflatable fun at this playground built for kids 1 and older. There are separate areas for toddlers and bigger kids. Located at 1165 N Fair Oaks Avenue in Sunnyvale. Call (408) 747-1740 or visit the Pump It Up Website for more information.
Sulphur Creek Nature Center recommended by Maya and Debbie:
This lovely center is tucked away on a hillside in Hayward amidst residences, secluded enough to make you feel like you’re miles from the city. See rescued animals of all kinds – especially birds and mammals. Reptiles often visit from a local organization. They have a wonderful loaning program where you can try out pet ownership for a week, with all supplies and food provided, along with well behaved pets. A monthly toddler program teaches parents and kids about animals, allowing toddlers to pet animals and feed them wholesome food. Picnic tables provided on the grounds just big enough for a short hiking trail amongst the eucalyptus trees. For more information, see The Sulphur Creek Website or call (510)881-6747. The park is just beyond downtown Hayward at 1801 D Street.
Fairyland recommended by Maya:
On the shore of Lake Merritt in Oakland is this small theme park based on children’s fairy tales. The park is geared towards toddlers and young children, with puppet shows, magic, costumed characters, slow and moderate rides, and similar activities. For more information, see The Fairyland Website.
Happy Hollow recommended by Joanne:
This park and zoo in San Jose is the perfect small size for toddlers and young children. It was recently completely renovated. For more information, call (408)277-3000 or visit the Happy Hollow Website. The zoo is located at 1300 Senter Road, San Jose.
Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo recommended by Megan:
This facility is geared towards toddlers and young children, with a small petting zoo, rotating exhibits, and interactive displays. Located at 1451 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto. Find out more through the Friends of the Museum Website or call (650)329-2111.
Dave Cortese, County Supervisor:
Dave Cortese and his staff (including policy aide Lara McCabe) have listed Stroller Hikes as well as numerous other family-friendly resources at his County Website. Check out lists of summer concerts, family outings, and ways to “green” your life at Supervisor Cortese’s Website.
Clothing and Baby-Ware
Sports Basement staff are so nice, with superb advice about gear, including sports equipment, balls, yoga mats, swim stuff, strollers, and bicycle trailers and seats for kids. They also sell baby backpacks and family camping tents, and even rent camping equipment. Sports Basement has a huge community area, where they offer information about tons of exercise groups, outdoor opportunities, and classes. Click on the Sports Basement logo for a link to their website. Stores tend to have more variety than the website, however. Mention Stroller Hikes’ Community Partnership at Sports Basement at the register and receive an ongoing 10% off your entire purchase.
The Portable Baby recommended by Mendy:
The Portable Baby offers baby-transport gear and advice, as well as a place to sell used, high-quality gear. Learn more at The Portable Baby Website.
Medical and Personal Health
Kid to Kid recommended by Debbie and Amy:
Kid to Kid is a child, maternity, and infant resale shop offering cash or store credit for clean, good condition clothing, toys, books, baby transport devices, and more. Visit their Santa Clara store at 2666 Homestead Road or call them at 408-244-2248.
Hope Flight Foundation:
Hope Flight Foundation provides free medical flights for children with cancer, from often remote areas of California without specialty care programs, to specialty cancer facilities. For more information, see The Hope Flight Foundation.
Kalee’s Links recommended by Kalee:
Take about a mom about town! There is a fantastic range of links at Kalee’s Website, nicely organized by topic and geographic region. Includes parenting groups, music and exercise classes, retail, and seasonal events.