2022 Best of the East Bay: Kids |  persons

2022 Best of the East Bay: Kids | persons | Pro Club Bd







Imagine Playground is a favorite of the A Park a Day Bay Area to blog.




BEST RESOURCE FOR PARENTS

A Park a Day Bay Area to blog

While working from home alongside two young boys for their family business, Amanda (she prefers to use her first name) decided to share some confidence-building experiences her children have had with other families. Always on the lookout for new parks and playgrounds, she joked with friends that she should share her knowledge and recommended “one park a day” to others. Then she thought That’s actually a good idea.

2019, her blog, A Park a Day Bay Area, was born. Amanda and the boys visit new and new parks in the Bay Area, and she shares the details online: play structure specs, other fun features, and information on parking, restrooms, picnic tables, and shade shelters. The resource resonated with parents and gained traction, particularly on social media.

Your East Bay favorites? Topping the list is Dublin’s Imagine Playground, the Tri-Valley’s first all-ability park, with climbing domes and musical instruments. She also loves Sunset Park in Livermore, which has a climbing tower and high ropes course, and King School Park in Berkeley, with its 24-foot neon green DNA-inspired structure with nets inside.

“The boys are spoiled playground kids,” says Amanda, laughing. “I take them to the best in the whole Bay Area, and now when we visit a typical neighborhood park, they say, What is that?aparkadaybayarea.com.


READER’S CHOICE







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Roughing It Day Camp




WAREHOUSE

Adventure Day Camp, Moraga, adventuredaycamp.com; Roughing It Day Camp, Lafayette, roughingit.com.

runners-up | camp awesome, lafayette, lovelafayette.org; Camp Shine, Martinez, campshine.com.








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gray goods




KIDS CLOTHING

gray goods, Martinez, greygoods​mtz.com.

runners-up | Milk and Lily Portrait Co., Walnut Creek, milkandlily.shop; wish, walnut creek, wishwalnutcreek.com.


“Not only does Gray Goods have the cutest children’s clothing and accessories, but the shop owner is so sweet and genuinely cares about the community. Entering Gray Goods makes you feel like family. They have toys for the little ones to play with, making it an enjoyable shopping experience for everyone.” – Sarah Dowell, Benicia


FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER







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Gretchen Adams photography




Gretchen Adams Photography, Concord, gretchenadams.com.

runner-up | Lisette Loera Photography, Walnut Creek, lisetteloeraphotography​.com.


KIDS CLASSES

Gymboree Play and Music, Multiple Locations, gymboree​classes​.com.

runner-up | joy in motion, Moraga, joyinmotiondance.org.


CHILDREN’S HAIR SALON

cool tops for kids, Pleasant Hill, cooltopskidshaircut​pleasanthill.com.

runner-up | preparation, multiple locations, prepcuts.com.


SPORTS BEARING

Skyhawks Sports Academy, multiple locations, skyhawks.com.

runner-up | SMC Baseball Camps, Moraga, www.smcbaseballcamps.com.








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Five little monkeys




TOY STORE

Five Little Monkeys, Walnut Creek, 5littlemonkeys.com.

runner-up | Learning Express Toys and Gifts, Lafayette and San Ramon, Lernexpress.com.


“Five Little Monkeys always has the cutest toys, age-appropriate learning, and interactive games/books. [The employees are] so very helpful and responsive to any inquiries and willing to go the extra mile to keep customers happy!” –Shannon Magee, Benicia


BIRTHDAY PLACE

Gymboree Play and Music, Multiple Locations, gymboree​classes​.com.

runner-up | joy in motion, Moraga, joyinmotiondance.org.








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heather farm park




PLAYGROUND

Heather Farm Park, Walnut Creek, Walnut-Creek.org.

runner-up | Rancho San Ramon Community Park, San Ramon, san​ramon.ca.gov.


EDITORS FAVOURITES

THE BEST COOKING CAMPS FOR TEENAGERS

Kitchen on fire, Berkeley







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Teen chefs mix things up at Kitchen on Fire in Berkeley.




If your teens are the type who expect their meals to be served restaurant-style three times a day, maybe it’s time to let them learn to cook for themselves. Kitchen on Fire in Berkeley hosts summer cooking camps for teens ages 12-17. The in-person camps are held Monday through Thursday, with students learning to prepare a two-course dinner in the morning, eat lunch, and spend the remainder of the four-hour session preparing a dessert. Kitchen on Fire also offers a variety of in-person and virtual cooking classes that are great for teens, families, and adults. Courses tend to sell out quickly, so book early. kitchenonfire.com.


BEST PRESCHOOL PARTY PLACE

Peek-a-Boo Factory, Livermore

There are many places to celebrate with a crowd of elementary school students. But the Peek-a-Boo Factory in Livermore is a rare find: an intimate and genuinely fun place for preschoolers. At the indoor playground, kids over 3 years old race down a floor-to-ceiling multi-slide, admire their reflections in funhouse mirrors and climb a rock face. In a separate area, children under the age of 3 crawl over a rainbow and spin plastic gears. Then the party moves to another room where a princess or make-up artist can appear, and slices of pizza are quickly distributed in front of hungry faces. The best part? A party is not necessary. Get a weekday open play membership and enjoy free WiFi. www.peekaboofactory.com.


THE BEST WAY FOR KIDS TO ENGAGE THEIR INNER REBEL

Rebel Art School, Walnut Creek

Walnut Creek native Alexandra Harrison founded the Rebel Art School in her hometown to bring creative possibilities to those who were taught to always paint within the lines. Rebel Art School offers classes for all ages but is especially welcoming to children and teens, with year-round classes for homeschool students (as well as afternoon and weekend classes for teens ages 4-7, 8-11, and 12-17) . . The courses examine art through various mediums and also touch on art history from classical to contemporary. The school recently added ceramic classes for children and is offering half-day and full-day summer camp programs through mid-August. rebelartschool.com.


THE BEST PLACE TO SWINGING FOR THE FENCES

Payless Batting Cages, Concord

Located in Concord’s Willow Pass Community Park, these five covered cages feature baseball and softball pitching machines capable of multi-speed batting practice. Payless is open seven days a week and only charges $3 for a 20-pitch token, giving away two free tokens for every 10-cycle purchase. Cages can be reserved every half hour and hourly. Professional batting lessons and baseball and softball camps are available at an additional cost. paylessbattingcages.com.

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