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This Weekend’s Activities in the Bay Area

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Dragon Boat Festival

Head over to Treasure Island for the boat racing or just for Dragon Land – a children’s activity pavilion filled with so many cool things you won’t need to go anywhere else. The fun lasts all weekend from 10am to 5pm.

Oktoberfest

Throw the babe in some lederhosen and grab your stein, Oktoberfest is here! Held at Pier 48, children are welcome to this event on both Saturday and Sunday, September 20th and 21st. $25 for adults and $5 for children.

Lafayette Art & Wine Festival

Parents can go for the art and wine, and kids can go for the Kid Zone stage and activities. That’s right, they get their own stage full of kid-centric entertainment! Saturday and Sunday, September 20th and 21st from 10am to 5pm in Lafayette. Admission is free. Kid Zone activities range from $1 – $5 each.

Parenthoods Swap

Fellow Hooder, Tymeflyr, has invited us over to her home in Twin Peaks. Come for coffee, tea, company and to swap your goods! Kids of all ages are welcome. Visit the events section in Parenthoods for more details.

photo by David Yu

Parenthoods is in the news!

People are digging Parenthoods, and so are a few noteworthy sites. See what Kimono Labs, Brit+Co, and Mama’s Guide have to say about us.

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Are parents the next big thing in tech? Kimono Labs seems to think so. They took a look at YCombinator’s investment trends and their ability to spot winning companies, which is outlined in their current portfolio valued over $30b, and saw Millennial Parents being a lucrative customer segment.

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Parenthoods was named one of five apps that you must download. In the same company with Hanks Writer, Brit+Co highlighted Parenthoods anonymity function and names us as a place to get “worthy, real life advice.”

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Local Blogger, Lesly Simmons of Mama’s Guide, known for her expertise on exploring the city with baby, joined the Parenthoods community and wrote about us!  She said:

“I enjoy the idea of having a space separate from the other social networks like Facebook and Twitter to talk JUST to other mamas and papas.”

This Weekend’s Activities in the Bay Area

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Sunday Streets – Western Addition & Alamo Square Flea Market

This Sunday, September 14th, double the fun in the Western Addition with Sunday Streets and the Alamo Square Flea Market. The streets will be closed, with plenty of room for the kids to run around. Make your way through the neighborhood and visit all of the stops, including Mo’ Magic, Bubblegirl, and AcroSports. Then head to Alamo Square for some hidden treasures. Starting at 11am and ending at 4pm, your day will be be packed with goodness and goodies!

Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival

Uh oh – did someone say FREE chocolate!? Over 30 vendors donate sample size chocolate to help raise money for Project Open Hand. All weekend from 12pm to 5pm take part in this indulgence with wine pairings, chef demonstrations and chocolate school.

Sea Music Festival

Ahoy! Head to Hyde Street Pier on September 13th from 9:30am to 5pm for traditional music from around the world. But what’s really cool is you can climb aboard historic vessels Balclutha and Eureka. Perfect for the little ones with a little pirate in them.

 

photo by Bryan

Parenthoods Meetup – September 11th

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Join Parenthoods for a family date night! This Thursday, September 11th, starting at 4pm, we will be at the Park Chalet. Bring a blanket to sit on, toys for the kids, and some layers, just in case the fog rolls in. Come meet fellow ‘Hooders, and let the little ones run the lawn and climb the amazing trees while we grab a bite to eat and a few drinks.

photo by Alejandro De La Cruz

 

This Weekend’s Activities in the Bay Area

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Chinatown Moon Festival

Saturday and Sunday, September 6th and 7th, visit Chinatown from 11am to 6pm for the Moon Festival. There will be several parades, colorful dragons, dance reviews and music – and it’s all free.

Neptune Beach Celebration

Head to Alameda this weekend for the Neptune Beach Celebration. All day, September 6th and 7th there will be games, rides, music, food and a lot more. The best part, it’s free!

Friday Nights at the de Young

Have a family date night this Friday, September 5th at the de Young. Fun drop-in workshops for the kids, music and an awesome water exhibit. $10 for adults and children under 12 are free.

 

Parenthoods Meetup – September 5th

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This Friday we’re heading to the Richmond Recreation Center from 10:00am to 11:30am for playtime and baby karaoke. For those who have it in them, afterwards we’ll stroll over to Royal Ground Coffee so the parents can partake in their own playtime with a second infusion of much needed caffeine.

Feel free to join us at any time. Cost for Richmond Recreation Center is $7.50 per child. Babes under 1 are free!

This Weekend’s Activities in the Bay Area

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Treasure Island Flea

August 30th to 31st, from 10am to 4pm, head to the Treasure Island Flea for good deals, food trucks and an awesome kids zone. All weekend there will be face painting, a bouncy house, bungee jump, a spider wall and petty zoo. $3 per person, 12 and under are free!

Komodo Karnival at the SF Zoo

The San Francisco Zoo says farewell to summer with a Komodo Karnival. Lasting all weekend, enjoy the rides, games and prizes. Don’t forget to visit Big Daddy Bahasa, SF Zoo’s own Komodo dragon. Free with zoo entrance.

San Francisco Mime Troupe

Sunday, August 31st and Monday, September 1st, the San Francisco Mime Troupe is closing their summer run at Dolores Park. Starting at 1:30pm both days on 19th and Dolores, these amazing entertainers will help you celebrate Labor Day Weekend. Free with suggested donation.

 

Parenthoods launches local events!

Parenthoods, which launched on July 18th, has been the place for parents in San Francisco to connect, share a few laughs, and get advice in a supportive and welcoming environment. Now we’re helping our community take these relationships offline through our new events tab.

Going to the park or storytime at the library? Parents can now share an event, inviting other ‘Hooders to come along. (To share an event, email hi@parenthoods.co for now; it will be in the app in a couple weeks.)

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This is our next step towards being your go-to app for parenting questions, community and resources.

Come, get your parent on!

This Weekend’s Activities in the Bay Area

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The Zombies at Stern Grove

Sunday, August 24th starting at 2pm, check out The Zombies with local band, Vetiver. It’s the Time of the Season to expose the little ones to great music, with the added perk of getting home before bedtime.

NoPa Block Party

Saturday, August 23rd, from 10am to 6pm, bring your kids to Lyon St, between Hayes and Grove. There will be live music and a ton of kid activities – including a bouncy castle, face painting, crafts and clowns.

Sunday Streets – Mission

Have a little hipster in the family? Sunday, August 24th, from 11am to 4pm, the Mission district is also having a block party. On Valencia between 24th and 25th visit the Puddle Jumpers workshop, do some arts and crafts, and hop in the photo booth. What’s ice cold? Henna tattoos for kids and pregnant mamas!

 

 

Baby Hits the Town: A Conversation with Lesly Simmons of Mama’s Guide

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Today’s chat is with Lesly Simmons, the blogger behind Mama’s Guide. She and her husband, Jole, scout out baby-friendly spots in San Francisco and share their finds with other moms and dads who aren’t going to let parenthood get in the way of all the city has to offer.

7 Questions with Lesly Simmons

1) Tell us about you.

I’ve been living in San Francisco for four years this fall. I went to George Washington University for my undergraduate degree and studied at Georgetown for my masters. That’s also where I met my husband. He’s originally from Maryland and his name’s Jole. We were both building our careers in DC—he’s a designer, and I started my career as a journalist before transferring into public relations and community relations work—but we both really felt the tug of California.

Once we arrived we quickly settled into the city and all the things San Francisco has to offer. We found restaurants that we loved and bars that we loved and places that we really enjoyed visiting together. Fast forward a couple of years and we’re about to start a family. It wasn’t something that we planned, but we were very excited once we found out that I was pregnant.

2) What gave you the idea for Mama’s Guide?

Friends were always calling saying that they’d be in town for a conference or a meeting. That happened several times when Mia was relatively young. People wanted me to bring her out and I had no clue where I could go with a baby. I started putting out feelers. I’d call places and ask if it was okay if I brought a stroller. Nine times out of ten they would say ‘absolutely!’

Talking with other parents I found that this is a common question people have, and I realized I could do something with it. That’s the reason I started Mama’s Guide.

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3) What has the response been from the moms and dads that use your site?

Unfortunately San Francisco has a reputation for not being family friendly, which I think is really far from the truth. There’s just this sense that there aren’t children here. I’ve had people visiting who were worried about bringing their baby because they didn’t know what to expect. They say, “I read your site and I realized that there is plenty of stuff for us to do and there’s nothing to worry about.” That makes me feel good, that I was able to dispel a myth about visiting San Francisco.

The response from local parents has been great too, especially my post on taking your baby to a Giants game. That has been my most popular post. I knew that the Giants had a lot of stuff geared towards kids but I didn’t know what they had geared towards babies. When I went to the game I was excited to see a ton of kids there, and other moms and dads with babies in carriers. We were all high-fiving and giving each other the thumbs up. There are actually breastfeeding rooms at the Giants stadium! If you weren’t looking for that you wouldn’t know it. I went to multiple games before I had a baby and I had no clue. It’s gratifying to be able to find that sort of information. It kind of goes back to my early days as a reporter, when I was digging up info. Now I’m digging it up for myself and sharing it with others.

I also just published a post on taking your baby to a music festival. I worked Outside Lands when I was pregnant and I saw a lot of families there. I remember thinking, “Would we bring our baby to this?” My husband said, “Initially I would’ve said no, but seeing all these other families here, yeah, maybe we should.”

We didn’t go this year but we did go to BottleRock up in Napa and there were tons of babies. So I wrote a post and that was another super popular one. There’s clearly a demand for this kind of information.

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4) You blog, do consulting on the side, and you’re a mother. How do you make it all work?

It’s harder than I thought it would be. One of my goals before I had a family was that I wanted to be in a position where I was working for myself, so that I could continue to manage my own schedule. I was able to do that prior to my daughter’s birth, so that after she arrived I was able to take some time off and put my career on pause without being concerned about losing a full time job. I come from a family of entrepreneurs, so that’s a personal goal for me regardless of my status as a mom.

I didn’t want to lose sight of my own goals when I became a mother. I think that it’s important for your children to see you continuing to pursue your passions. It hasn’t been easy but it’s forced me to think about things in different ways. One rule that I have is that I have to focus on my paying work before I focus on my passion work. Blogging is something that I love doing and am passionate about, but I still have to pay the bills.

My husband works for a technology firm and he can work from home when needed. Or he can come home early or go in a little late. We take advantage of that. He’s also really supportive of Mama’s Guide and of my work, and that’s huge. Having a supportive partner makes a really big difference.

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5) What was the biggest surprise about becoming a mom?

How much I love it. I just didn’t know what it would be like. Obviously, you can’t imagine the absolute gravity of the situation. It’s not something that you can wrap your head around until you experience it for yourself. I love being a mom so much. It’s just…everything.

I had a difficult pregnancy. I was hospitalized for a long time and on bed rest. I spent a lot of time reading and absorbing as much as I could about what my life would become and what my husband and I were venturing into. All the thinking, planning and reading in the world didn’t prepare me for all the excitement and joy of every little thing. My daughter’s new thing is to put on my shoes and walk around the house. That is so exciting to me. We’re parents now—we get excited about that little stuff.

6) What was the best piece of parenting advice you ever received?

Out of the blue I had this long conversation with my grandfather. I’m talking to him and still have a month before our due date, but it ends up being one of the last conversations I had before becoming a parent. My daughter was born early by emergency c-section.

He said to me, “You are your child’s mother. Everyone is going to have their thoughts and opinions on what you should do, but only you know what is best for you and your child.”

It was so empowering to hear him say that, to make me feel like I wasn’t going to screw it up. That I can trust my instincts. That even if I do make a mistake, my husband and I will figure it out.

7) Many years from now, what do you hope Mia remembers about the type of mom you are? 

I hope that she remembers that while we are doing everything for her, that we are enjoying it just as much as she is. I don’t want to be that parent who is so stressed out running around to 14 different classes that I no longer enjoy it. I just think about the type of parents that my parents were and the things they did for us. We had fun together as a family.

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