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Events Keeping Kids Active, Healthy + Engaged Parenting Resources

5 Tips for Fun & Safe Trick-or-Treating

Social distancing remains present in our new normal. As we head into the holiday season, let’s strike a balance between safely revisiting older favorite customs and finding new family traditions this Halloween.

Written by Sarah Antrim

Halloween means a lot of things: carving pumpkins, decorating the house, dressing up. But for kids, Halloween means one thing — CANDY.

Trick-or-treating is clearly the highlight of this holiday for most kids, I know it was for me when I was that age! To make the most of the holiday, here’s a few tips to keep in mind when getting ready to head out for treats:

1. Let the kids pick their costumes.

As adorable as a family with coordinating costumes can be, the kids usually don’t get quite as excited if they can’t pick their own costumes. This is the one chance of the year that kids get the freedom to be whoever and whatever they want! As a compromise, you could consider having the kids dress up with the family for pictures then change into their desired costume before trick-or-treating. And heck, if you’ve still got a little one toddling around, go ahead and milk that for all it’s worth!

2. Research neighborhoods and events ahead of time.

Since Halloween falls on a weekday this year, many towns have events planned for the weekend or days prior to the actual holiday. Contact your village hall and local businesses to see what sort of special events they have planned. Get some mileage out of that costume and make sure the kids get their candy fix!

3. Prepare for tired legs.

Bring a wagon, toddler carrier, or be prepared to be put on piggy back duty; especially if you have a kids of different ages. Be a good sport–Halloween is supposed to be fun, kids are supposed to wear themselves out!

4. Remember that it’s about the journey, not the destination.

Nothing can ever be perfect–they may not get their favorite candy bar, the weather might be yucky, the doorbells might not be answered–and that’s okay. Play games along the way, like who can guess what the next piece of candy is coming next, to make the experience more fun for everyone.

5. Hold off on the sugar overdose.

It’s tempting to tear into that sack of goodies as soon as it starts to pile up, but try to get them to hold off for a bit. Sugar highs are followed by crashes which will not make the night enjoyable for anyone. Making sure everyone has a hearty meal or big snack before hitting the pavement can help curb the urge to indulge. Just remember to be reasonable, having a few pieces throughout the night won’t hurt anyone!

kids-eating-halloween-candy

Remember to keep it light-hearted and fun. Kids don’t want the perfect holiday, they just want a real one. So relax, have fun, and stay safe!

>>Find more in-person or socially distant friendly Halloween themed activities and adventures on ActivityHero.com

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Events Keeping Kids Active, Healthy + Engaged

San Francisco Bay Area Summer Camp Sale






Deal-hunters, this is for you: last-minute savings (20 to 50% off!) on top summer camps in the San Francisco Bay Area. But they won’t last long.

By ActivityHero Staff

laughing & swimming at camp

School’s out and summertime is here — which means it’s time to finalize those summer camp plans.

We know how tough summer camp planning can be. You’ve got to factor in work schedules, out-of-town guests, holidays, family vacations, and tons of other details. Add to that the challenges of balancing the family’s summer budget and it’s no wonder that many of us are making summer camp decisions well after the last day of school.

Here’s a bit of good news that should make your planning and your budgeting a little bit easier this summer: The ActivityHero Bay Area Summer Camp Sale is here!

When you shop ActivityHero, you’ll find exclusive deals and sale prices you won’t find anywhere else. We’re amazed at some of these deals, too — camps are offering 20% off, 30% off, and (for a few) 50% off their last few spots!

Act fast: The sale lasts only until June 30, 2016, or whenever these popular camps fill up, whichever comes first.

Help your kids pursue new interests or further existing skills with camps focused on:

  • Robots
  • Jewelry making
  • Spanish immersion
  • LEGOs
  • Minecraft
  • Adventure sports
  • Cooking
  • Photography
  • And so much more!

Shop the Bay Area Summer Camp Sale now >>

Below you’ll find a partial list of camps on sale — but be sure to visit our Summer Camp Sale Page so you can see all of the offerings filtered by age, city, date, and subject matter. There, you’ll also find helpful reviews from families who have participated in these camps … so you an learn what they and their kids think of them.

Summer Camps on Sale with Multiple Locations

San Francisco Summer Camps on Sale

South San Francisco Summer Camps on Sale

San Mateo Summer Camps on Sale

San Carlos Summer Camps on Sale

Palo Alto Summer Camps on Sale

South Bay Summer Camps on Sale

East Bay Summer Camps on Sale

Los Angeles Area Summer Camps on Sale

Camp EDMO Summer Camps are on sale through January 31

Categories
After-School Activities Events Sports Super Activities for Super Kids

San Francisco Camps to Keep Your Kids Active Over the Winter Holidays






Are the kids looking for something fun to do during the holiday break over Christmas and New Years? Check out some of these fun winter camps for kids in the San Francisco area!

Cooking ‘Round the World Winter Camp, Oakland & Alameda.
Kids discover America’s deliciously different regions by cooking & eating! Campers go home with a binder of recipes, a new apron & perhaps a yearning for travel!

 

 

 

Spring Down Equestrian Center, Portola Valley.  Horseback Riding during the holidays! They have two, one week sessions of camp scheduled during the holiday break. Campers will learn everything about horses from the hoof up: safety,  grooming & tacking up, riding, how horses think, taking care of horses and much, much more.

 

 

 

Spartan’s Sports Camp, Mountain View. Basketball players in 5th-8th Grade get to learn valuable skills from Mountain View High School coaches and alumni in this half-day camp. Shooting, ball-handling, and defense will be among some of the skills covered in a high-energy, fast-paced environment. This is a great opportunity to tune-up skills prior to the winter youth basketball leagues.

All Star Baseball, Santa Clara. Great for beginning and intermediate players. These camps emphasize individual skills with basic fundamentals, team play, and overall fitness while experiencing the joy of the game.

If these camps aren’t near you, search for the latest schedules on ActivityHero using our date search.

Do you know of a great camp that is not listed here? Leave a comment!

Categories
Events Keeping Kids Active, Healthy + Engaged Parenting Resources

5 Gratitude Activities for Kids on Veterans Day –






To some it’s just another holiday on the calendar like Presidents Day or Memorial Day: we put out the flag and maybe have a barbecue celebrating our freedom from the office or school for the day. But to some families like ours, Veterans Day is a big deal.

By Sarah Antrim

Veterans Day
My husband is an Iraq war veteran that served two tours overseas with the US Marine Corps. We are thankful every day that he arrived home safely and proud of the service he paid for our freedom. Making kids aware of the sacrifice that our veterans have given for our freedom and safety is extremely important, and the pride-filled look in a child’s eyes as he looks up to a hero is priceless. Here are some ways to teach kids how to show their gratitude on Veterans Day:

 

1. Send a message or donation through your local USO center.

The USO provides veterans and their families with great programs such as “United Through Reading,” which allows deployed parents to record a bedtime story onto a DVD for their children. The USO is always accepting donations of your time or monetary value. Services and opportunities vary by center and some USO centers have a minimum age requirement of 18 years of age to volunteer, so be sure to contact your local center beforehand. If you are unable to make it to a center, kids can also volunteer virtually by sending a personal instant message to the family of a veteran at USO.org.

Editor’s note: You can also mail a letter or child’s drawing to A Million Thanks. Over 9 million letters have been sent to active, reserve and retired military members through this organization.

2. Visit your local American Legion or VFW post.

A regular hangout for many veterans, the VFW and American Legion posts are open to the public. Many local posts have special events for Veterans Day such as picnics or pancake breakfasts. Contact your local VFW or American Legion to see what sorts of events they have planned for the holiday weekend, and encourage your kids to interact with veterans in their area.

3. Decorate the memorial of a fallen service member.

Most states have established cemeteries reserved for veterans. Many are regularly open to the public for visitation. Have your child pick some flowers and decorate a thank you card for a veteran. Explain to your child the importance of sacrifice and courage that military members exhibit on a daily basis. Visit the National Cemetery Administration at cem.va.gov for a complete listing of veterans cemeteries and contact information.

4. Make a care package for “Adopt a Platoon.”

Founded in 1998, the AdoptaPlatoon program strives to improve the quality of life for deployed service members by ensuring they are not forgotten by their country. Kids can express their gratitude for our servicemen away from home by putting together a care package or sending cards and letters. Some of the most highly anticipated treats are hard candy that can withstand extreme heat, powdered drink mixes, air fresheners, small pillows with pillow cases, playing cards, small hand-held fans and disposable cameras. Your child can put together a thoughtful package and include a personal drawing or letter thanking the platoon for their dedicated service. Check out AdoptaPlatoon for more details and guidelines on how to get involved.

5. Pay homage at a local veterans hospital or retired veterans home.

No matter what age, a veteran always appreciates a word of thanks for their service. Some wounded soldiers may not have the opportunity to interact with the public often because of injuries or disabilities. Take your children to a veterans home or hospital and encourage them to shake hands and thank the residents. If they feel comfortable enough, they can even ask questions and learn a thing or two about the retired servicemen and their duties. If you are unsure of the nearest veterans hospital or are looking for another way to get involved, contact AMVETS to see what sort of assistance you can provide to help veterans in your area.

 

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Contests Events Sports Super Activities for Super Kids

ProCamps Giveaway Winner Review






Last month we ran a contest to win a father and son weekend camp sponsored by ProCamps with NBA star Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors and his father, former NBA star Dell Curry. The weekend-long camp held in San Francisco gave attendees the chance to meet the stars and learn first-hand some basketball drills and how to work together as a team. Our winners, Dinesh Chandrasekhar and son Rishi, kindly offered their testimony about their experience with the camp.

What did you learn about your dad/son that you might not have known before?

Rishi: I never knew that he shoots so bad.
Dinesh: I didn’t know that he had energy to play basketball and workout for 4 hours straight!
If you were in the NBA, would you want your dad/son on your team?
Rishi: Probably because he is good at passing the ball.
Dinesh: Absolutely. He has the finest moves in the game. (Proud dad!)
What did Dell & Stephen teach you that you didn’t already know?
Rishi: They taught me to dribble around my body.
Dinesh: That I could actually be a good coach for him even though I don’t really play the game well.
If you could choose one word to describe your dad/son what would it be?
Rishi: Quick. He gets the ball around real quick.
Dinesh: Nimble. He is extremely fast and agile on the court.
How often do you play basketball together?
Rishi: Almost every day.
Dinesh: Wish it was every day but I try.
How did this camp change your view of the game?
Rishi: I like the game even more.
Dinesh: I can see how it can make my son more confident and strong.
How has this camp changed your relationship?
Rishi: Made it more fun.
Dinesh: I have more respect for him at the game after seeing what he could do in a totally new team. Our team was being thrashed by the other team for an entire ten minutes. At the start of the third quarter, Rishi goes in to play and his game uplifted our entire team. He scored two crucial points for us. Even though we lost as a team, I was still proud of him for playing his heart out there.
Thank you to Dinesh & Rishi for sharing their experience, and a HUGE thank you to ProCamps for sponsoring this incredible giveaway!
Categories
After-School Activities Contests Events Parenting Resources Sports

Be the Best–Learn from the Best!






Hey Dad, do you get so pumped for sports games that you can’t help but get your family excited too? Does your idea of a family outing include matching jerseys and hot dogs? We’ve got a treat for you!

We are giving away a weekend camp with NBA father and son stars Dell and Stephen Curry! The chosen father and their son or daughter will join star guard, Stephen Curry and his father, former shooting guard Dell Curry, for basketball instruction and fun at the Dell and Stephen Curry Basketball ProCamp in San Francisco, CA. Enter to win here!

image from wildcatspride.com

But that’s not all–we have a second giveaway for you too! Kids can enter to win a camp with All-Star Forward and Olympic Gold Medalist Kevin Love for basketball instruction and fun at the Kevin Love Basketball ProCamp in Eden Prairie, Minnesota! Enter to win here!

image from zimbio.com

Thanks to ProCamps for providing this awesome opportunity for ActivityHero users! Entries must be received by September 19, 2012. More details and entry form here!

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After-School Activities Events Parenting Resources

10 Summer Activities that will Satisfy Bored Kids AND your Wallet






Summer: the ultimate free-for-all.

Instead of being entertained and engaged for 5 to 8 straight hours every day, kids are now looking to you with those big eyes that say “I’m bored.”

Here’s some fun and thrifty ideas to beat summer boredom that will keep both your kids and wallet happy.

Make a tire swing

A simple summer classic, tire swings can easily be put up and taken down as often as you’d like. On the days that the park is too crowded or it’s too hot to make the walk, hop on the tire swing and let the fun begin!

Simply hang a tire from a sturdy branch with strong rope and you’ve got yourself a swing.

10 Thrifty Summer Ideas Guaranteed to Beat Boredom, not your Wallet
Photo by Flickr user twred

Have a cooking day

For those days that the air conditioning is more comforting than the wicked heat, rally the troops into the kitchen and come up with some fun recipes to make as a family.

On those especially hot days where turning on the oven is a no-no, check out this list of no-bake desserts that are sure to beat the heat.

Cooking with Kids

Backyard obstacle course

Who is the greatest obstacle warrior of them all?

Have a competition in your backyard that will be sure to keep kids busy for hours. Make an obstacle course out of wading pools, tires, and ropes to test kids’ balance and agility. For some great obstacle course ideas visit here.

Scavenger hunt

Keep kids entertained and having fun by sending them on a scavenger hunt. Hide clues throughout the house and yard so that kids will have to follow clues to get to their final destination. Place clues underneath rocks, hide a message in a balloon, or even bury clues in the yard so kids will have to dig for them.

The final destination could be anything from a surprise ice cream cone to a special screening of their favorite movie.

geography for kids
photo by Flickr user artstreamstudios

Rainy day fort

What better place to set up camp than in the comfort of your own living room?

Grab some pillows and blankets and build a fort worth writing home about. Shut off all the lights and bring out the lanterns so kids feel like they’re really at camp. Kids can share ghost stories, eat s’mores, and play flashlight tag all just steps from their bedrooms.

Photo by Flickr user designerBrent
Photo by Flickr user designerBrent

Have a boat race

Toy boats can be made out of anything from wood to Tupperware—as long as it floats, it can be a boat!

Go to your local creek or simply fill up a pool in the backyard and let the races begin. Kids can use straws to set their ships sailing and see whose boat is the quickest. For some ideas on how to construct your own boat, check it out.

Photo by Flickr user Jon Olav Eikenes
Photo by Flickr user Jon Olav Eikenes

Tie dye

This is a great outdoor craft as it can get pretty messy!

Grab some white pieces of clothing such as socks, t-shirts, or dresses, and get ready to dye! Tie dye kits can be purchased at any craft store, or simple fabric dye will work just the same. Be sure to follow all the instructions provided to avoid too many stains.

Photo by Flickr user Karly Soldner
Photo by Flickr user Karly Soldner

Dress-up box

Kids love to pretend, and what better way to create a living story than with costumes.

Raid your closet for old bridesmaid dresses or bedazzled jean jackets that you knew would come in handy one day. Most thrift stores are a gold mine for dress-up boxes. Fancy hats, heels, and costume jewelry can be found at a fraction of their cost if you know where to look!

Photo by Flickr user mooshoo {littlepapoose}
Photo by Flickr user mooshoo {littlepapoose}

Backyard water wonderland

This is a great activity for those unbearably hot days. Drag out the inflatable pool, sprinkler, water guns, and even water balloons and have an all-out water blast–bored kids no more!

For an extra cool dip, float some ice cubes in the pool and call it the “cool off zone.” When kids get overheated from running around they’ll get a quick chill of relief.

Photo by Flickr user jennyhud
Photo by Flickr user jennyhud

Fly a kite

Check your local forecast and plan for the next windy day. If your kids have never flown a kite before, I recommend picking up a cheap starter kite. You can find them at any super store or even some dollar stores.

Keep in mind they probably won’t last long, but it will teach your kids the basics of kite flying. Once they’ve mastered it, consider purchasing a good kite that will last all summer.

Photo by Flickr user Vironevaeh
Photo by Flickr user Vironevaeh

Written by Sarah Antrim
Categories
Events

Cinco De Mayo for Kids: Celebrations Around the Bay Area






There’s plenty Cinco de Mayo for kids in the Bay Area this week. And with sunshine continuing through the weekend, a lot more fun is sure to be had!

Check out the events below if you’re looking for something to do with your kiddos as spring fever continues to go strong.

Cinco de Mayo Street Party – Pleasanton, May 2

Peruse the various community booths and enjoy food, music and fun.

Friday Night Music Jiggle Jam – Carmel Blue, San Francisco, May 4

Preschoolers and toddlers learn to make music and engage in interactive circle time with their parents and other little ones.

Camp Open House – Roughing It Day Camp, Lafayette Reservoir, May 5

Come test drive some camp activities and enjoy an open house complete with site tours and snacks.

May Fete Parade and Fair – Palo Alto, May 5

It’s the 90th anniversary of this annual parade with plenty of fun fair games and vintage vehicles for dad.

Bay Area Children’s Theatre – The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs – Berkeley, through May 6

Kids will love this interactive theatrical production where THEY get to decide if the wolf really is guilty.

Spartans Sports Camp Basketball Clinic – Mountain View, May 6

Join up with other aspiring NBA stars at this completely free clinic on Sunday, May 6.

Kids Game and Puzzle Night – Jigsaw Java, Redwood City, May 5

Enjoy a night away from the kids as they enjoy pizza, popcorn, hot chocolate and game/puzzle time. Ages 5-12 only.

Sunnyside Springfest – San Francisco, May 6

Come support this local elementary school as you enjoy live bands, dance performances, games and a raffle & art show.

Finally, with summer just around the corner, there are plenty of parades and festivals happening all around the bay.

Vintage Vehicles and Family Festival – Palo Alto, May 5

Cinco de Mayo Fiesta – San Francisco, May 5

Fit & Fun Fair – Sunnyvale, May 5

Cinco de Mayo Festival – Sausalito, May 6

Art and Fort Mason – San Francisco, May 6

Norway Day Festival – San Francisco, May 5 & 6

Categories
Events

Bay Area Moms: Things to do with your Kids this Weekend (April 6th- 8th)






Looking for something to do in the bay area this weekend? There are plenty of happening (or should we say “hop”pening?) events all around the bay with Easter just around the corner!

April 2-6

San Francisco

First Thursday Free Admission Day – come check out the Pez Museum in Burlingame, which includes plenty of oddities the older kids will love. When: April 5, 10am. Free.

Moonlight Hike – head on over to Oakland for a hike through the redwoods at twilight. Perfect for adults to experience with older children. When: 5pm at Chabot Space & Science Center.

East Bay

Hands-on Art – this drop in activity is ideal for kids aged 18 months and older. Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland – members are always free. When: Tues-Fri, 10am-3pm.

Zeum’s Lil Z Program – For kids 5 and under, your little ones will enjoy exploring music, stories and creativity-based activities in this one-hour educational play session. When: Fridays 10-11am.

South Bay

Friday Night Pajamarama Storytime – come in your favorite jammies and enjoy a storytime designed for kids of all ages. It takes place every Friday evening at the Eastridge Mall in San Jose. When: Fridays at 7pm. Call 408 270 9470 for details.

Baby StorytimeThe littlest ones of the family can enjoy a baby storytime just for them each week at the Campbell library. There are also special storytimes for toddlers, preschoolers and families. When: Times vary – see website or call 408 866-1991 for details.

Easter Weekend (April 7-8)

San Francisco

Union Street Spring Celebration & Easter Parade – local restaurants will roll out their best eats while kids enjoy everything from a climbing wall and bounce house to costumed characters and a petting zoo.  When: Sunday, April 8, 10-5. Free.

Beach Chalet Easter Concert & Egg Hunt – After a yoga session for the adults, stick around to meet the Easter bunny and enjoy an egg hunt. This is followed by the JamBand Family Festival. When: Sunday, April 8, 3-5:30pm. Hunt begins at 3:20.

North Bay

Belvedere Community Center Easter Bunny Brunch – music, face painting, games and of course an egg hunt. Take your own photos with the Easter Bunny. When: April 7, 10am-12pm. $15 per person, includes brunch. Infants are free.

San Anselmo Children’s Egg Hunt – Enjoy the hunt and then a modest fair and puppet show. It’s all happening at Memorial Park. When: April 7, 11am. For ages 7 and under only. Free.

Easter Bunny Breakfast – A $5 donation per person benefits Special Olympics Marin at this special breakfast
happening at the Cheesecake Factory. Children’s music and balloon animals will accompany the breakfast. When: April 7, 9-10am. $7 admission.  Reserved seating only – 415 924 8921

Strawberry Recreation District Spring Faire – designed for children aged 1-8, you can make your own Easter basket, enjoy carnival games and take your photo with the Easter bunny. When: April 7, 10a-12:30p. Children: $8.

East Bay

Children’s Fairyland Bunny Weekend – check out Tap Dancing Easter Bunnies and then meet plenty of other seasonal bunnies and storybook characters. Mother Goose will also be in attendance to show the kids around. When: April 7. Tap dancing at 11:30am. Meet bunnies 1pm, Arts & Crafts 12-3pm. $8 for all ages.

Eggster Hunt and Learning Festival– UC Berkeley is hosting their self-described “largest free egg hunt in Northern California” on the Valley Life Sciences Building lawn. Educational activity booths round out the day. When: 10am-3pm. Free.

South Bay

Los Altos Recreation Department Egg Hunt – find them at Hillview Soccer Field. Four different hunts are divided up by age groups and each include post-hunt activities.  Hunt at 10am, Activities run 9:30-11:30am. Ages 1-8 are free.

Gamble Garden Children’s Easter Party  – This Palo Alto event features arts & crafts, an egg hunt and even a mermaid-themed puppet show. When: April 7, 9:30am-1:30pm. Members: Adults $10, Kids $20. Non-members: Adults $15, Kids $25.

Annual Easter Egg Hunt in Santa Clara – located in Central Park, the hunt takes place in the softball field at 10am. The field is divided into 4 age divisions, and also features an area for those with special needs. Bring your own basket and stay for post-hunt events that run until 4pm. Call 408 615 2260 for details. Free.