Happy Trails! Get outside and enjoy the Bay Area’s beautiful trails

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Looking to enjoy the great outdoors with your family? Check out our recommendations for a family outing along some of the bay area’s most beautiful trails and nature centers.

Loch Lomond Recreation area (100 Loch Lomond Way, Felton, CA)
COST: $8/car; Rentals: Motor boats are $15/hr; Kayaks, pedal or row boats are $7.5/hr, 2 hour minimum in the weekends.

About an hour drive from the bay area, this is the most tranquil place around. There are many hiking trails to explore, and the popular one is Loch trail. The trail is about 3 miles long, mostly in the shade which makes it perfect for summertime, and at the peak you get an amazing view of the lake, and lots of spots to stop along the trail, hidden BBQ spots and picnic tables everywhere. Renting boats and kayaks is inexpensive, and they have lots of options available. Get here early if you want to rent a motor boat, as they go out fast. View our photos and read more about our visit here.

Ladybugs Hotel - Redwood Regional Park
WHEN TO VISIT: Late September through early March.

Coyote Hills Regional Park 
COST: $5/car, $2/dog.

Start at the Visitor Center, where you can find an educational display and a small nature store. The exhibits portray the Ohlone way of life, and include a tule reed boat constructed by park staff and volunteers using Native American methods. Other exhibits cover the park's natural history and wildlife. On weekends you can join a hands-on exploration or crafts the whole family.
Don't miss the adjacent Nectar Garden and the Ohlone Village (guided tours only).
Our favorite hike is the Chochenyo Trail. It is fun and easy trail for kids. The trail is a network of paved, gravel, and rustic trail, including a boardwalk that meanders through a marsh. Look for birds, geese and ducks, and follow deer tracks. View our photos and read more about our visit here.

What are your favorite outdoor walking spots? Share with us and inspire other families to visit new places and enjoy the fresh air!

Spring Fruit Picking - Bay Area & Beyond

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Pick your own natural and organic fruit, have fun with family and friends, and enjoy the amazing taste of fresh fruit.

The farms listed below are local farms, owned by local families that believe in providing healthier options to the community. Information about seasonal fruit picking gathered from their websites, so please check the calendar prior to your visit.

Don't forget your hats and sunscreen for protection from the sun, bring bottled water to stay hydrated and wear comfortable cloths and shoes!

If you visited one of the farms or orchards, and you would like to share your photos, please email us at ReloMomSV@gmail.com. If you know about an orchard which is not listed below, please send us the details and we will update the list.

Come back for more updates throughout the season, as many orchards will start fruit picking later in May and early June

πŸ’ Andy's Orchard - This is not a traditional U-Pick. Picking is limited to specific dates, and include a tour. A guide will lead you on your Harvest Walk through the orchard.  You’re welcome to savor firsthand the various fruits that are ripe at the time.  You’ll receive a bucket to pick your favorites.  The bucket is then carried back to our farm stand for weighing and purchase (fruit is priced per pound).
(All tours begin at 10:00 am) 2018 DATES ARE NOW AVAILABLE, UPDATED 5/23/2018
Sunday, June 17 - Over 30 varieties of cherries plus other stone fruits.
Saturday, June 30 - Late cherries , apricots, plus other stone fruits.
Sunday, July 8 - Apricots plus other stone fruits.
Saturday, July 21 - Apricots, peaches, nectarines & plums.
Sunday, August 5 - Peaches, nectarines, plums & pluots.
1615 Half Rd. Morgan Hill, CA
Tel: 408-782-7600

πŸ“ Jacobs Farm at Martial Cottle Park - Jam makers, pie enthusiasts and berry lovers...black berry harvest is here! Tractor rides to the U-Pick blackberry field will run at 12pm and 3pm on Monday 5/28/2018.  
5283 Snell Ave, San Jose, CA
Tel: 408-622-8834

πŸ“ Live Earth Farm - A U-Pick featuring organic blackberries, raspberries and strawberries! Blackerries - $6/lb, Raspberries - $8/lb, Strawberries - $2/lb. Bring containers to pick in, hats, sunscreen + your kids!  Refreshments will be for sale at the farm stand where you can also buy fresh organic produce.
1275 Green Valley Road, Watsonville, CA
Tel: 831-763-2448


πŸ“ Gizdich Ranch - Organic Strawberry U-pick is currently open. Bring your own containers or purchase boxes for a small fee. Experience the most fun part of growing fruits at the Ranch! Combined with fresh air, sunshine and a little sweat, it's a whole lot of fun for the kids and the entire family.Strawberries are $1.90/lb.
55 Peckham Rd, Watsonville, CA
Tel: 831-722-1056
Meiri family visiting Gizdich Farm 5/7/2016
πŸ’ Borello Family Farms - A unique experience for cherry lovers. Bring your family and friends and spend the day in the orchard picking your own delicious Coral Champagne cherries. 
2017 is the first year the orchard will be ready to pick, so the quality of the fruit will be at its highest.
8990 Marcella Ave, Gilroy, CA
Tel: 831-673-0733
Borello Family Farms in Gilroy - 2017 crop
πŸ“ Swanton Berry Farm - U-Pick is now open on weekends. Check in the farm stand to get started, grab some boxes and pick some delicious organic fruit! The organic strawberries are $4.50/lb for 1-10lbs. if you pick 10 or more pounds they are $3.50/lb. The weather on the coast is quite variable so wear layers, sturdy shoes, and farm appropriate clothing. Cash and check only. 
25 Swanton Rd., Davenport, CA

πŸ’ Mike U-Pick - Low trees for convenient cherry picking, no children’s strollers or animals of any kind are allowed in the orchards. Cash only.
611 Payne Ave, Brentwood, CA
Tel: 925-698-7459

πŸ“ Coastways Ranch U-Pick - Organic Strawberry U-pick is currently open on weekends. The organic strawberries are $4.50/lb for 1-10lbs. if you pick 10 or more pounds they are $3.50/lb. The weather on the coast is quite variable so wear layers, sturdy shoes, and farm appropriate clothing. Cash and check only.  
640 Highway 1, Pescadero, CA 

πŸ’ Pease Ranch - Low trees for convenient cherry picking. Open Wednesday thru Friday 8am-5pm and Saturday and Sunday 8am-4:30pm. Cash only.
 25175 Marsh Creek Road, Brentwood, CA
Tel: 925-634-4646

πŸ“ Berry Best Farm - Strawberries, Artichokes, Asparagus, Sugar snap peas, and fava beans. 
7450 Balfour Rd. Brentwood, CA

πŸ“ Webb Ranch - Webb Ranch is located just a little north off the 280 at Alpine Road, there is signage and plenty of free parking. 
Open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for organic blackberries and raspberries picking from 8am-1pm. 
Entry fee is $4, free for kids four and under. Baskets provided and berries are $5/lb. 
There is not a lot of shade, so try to get there earlier in the morning, and be prepared for some time in the sun. 
We had fun picking our berried, eating them and learning where the berries come from (No, not from Trader Joe's :) ). A ripe berry will come off the vine easily, so make sure you only get the good ones. Be careful, the bushes are thorny. It is not a bad idea to have tweezers in your bag, I saw one mama today who could really use it :( 
At the end of the lot there is a small bridge, and right after the bridge there is a fun big bounce house and shade for parents to chill. 
We ended up getting to the exit with no berries in our baskets, because we ate it all, so we bought some boysenberries from the stand at the entrance. 
Fun and healthy activity for all ages! 
U-PICK FIELD WILL BE OPEN MAY 31ST, Updated 5/9/2018
Raspberries at Webb Ranch 2016
Boysenberries at Webb Ranch 2016

πŸ’ Chavez U-Pick Cherries - 35 Acres of low trees for convenient cherry picking, Free entry, free parking, free buckets with no minimum purchase. Cash only. No food or animals allowed in the orchard.  
2018 SEASON OPEN DATES: MAY 17-20 AND 24-28, Updated 5/14/2018
23800 Marsh Creek Road  Brentwood, CA
Tel: 925-625-3994

πŸ“ Crystal Bay Farms - Organic Strawberry U-pick is currently open, Wednesdays & Sundays from 10-4pm. $2 Entrance fee, $4/lb. 
40 Zils Rd, Watsonville, CA
Tel: 831-724-4137  

πŸ‘ Bacchini's Fruit Tree - Currently offering apricots and sweet red cherries picking. White peaches, blackberries, plums, nectarines and more coming soon. Free parking. Pay for what you pick. Low trees, ladders not needed. No pets/animals allowed in orchard.
2010 Walnut Blvd. Brentwood, CA

πŸ‘ Peter Wolfe Ranch - Currently offering apricots, cherries and white peaches picking.
700 Creek Road, Brentwood, CA
Tel: 925-634-1308

πŸ‘ Canciamilla Ranch - Currently offering apricots, white peaches, yellow and white nectarines picking.
Tel: 925-263-6080


DIY Family Board Games

Saturday, March 24, 2018

I love games. All kinds of games. Really. Card games, board games, puzzles…you name it, if it is fun and creates family time, I’m down.   

Family game night can be educational, teach your child problem solving, develop motor skills, promote family bonding, and it is a fun family tradition.

While there's a good variety of family games out there, there is nothing like making your own board game. Just imagine buying your first house all over again in Monopoly, or playing memory game with family member pictures - it's fun and unique, and you're going to love making it, playing with it, and creating new family tradition.

1. Family Board Game
All you need is white cardstocks, markers, stickers and a few pictures. Create and decorate the board game together, and think about fun questions to add. This would be a great gift to grandparents, too!
Check it out here --> http://www.potholesandpantyhose.com/2011/12/diy-family-board-game/
2. Guess Who
Yes, this DIY is not as simple, but if you'll follow the instructions - you should be good. Simple wood projects are really great with young children, just let them help!
It will be a lot of fun and you will have hours of laughs. 

Find the instructions here --> http://almostmakesperfect.com/2015/01/07/diy-guess-who/
3. Family Monopoly
If you like Monopoly, but kind of bored, try this one - from the locations, to the houses, to the colors – everything can be customized! Involve the kids - add your favorite restaurants, places you visited in previous vacations and more. Plan everything together and either make it as a family, or make it after bed time, as parents screen-free quality time. 
While there are lots of ideas online, I loved this one most --> http://thecraftables.com/diy-personalised-monopoly/
If you really like the idea, but don't want to make it yourself, check out the personalized Monopoly on Amazon, Target and other places online --> https://amzn.to/2G2N0HP
4. Family Match Game
You can use pictures of family members (or even let your kids draw them themselves - just scan and print so you have 2 copies), pictures you took in previous family vacations, and pretty much anything your family is in to --> http://eighteen25.com/2012/11/family-match-game/
What is your family's favorite game? Can you make a personalized version? Please share! :-)

Make Your Own Family Portrait

Monday, March 19, 2018

Usually, it's either the kids are crafting, or we do our DIY projects after they fall asleep, but why not scheduling a fun Family Art Night? Put it on the calendar! Let everyone get excited, prepare a fun snack together and sit down to craft, as a family! 

And what could be better than creating your own family portrait? Here are a few fun ideas:

Sitting Pretties are a great project for a Family Art Night! These figures are created on metal roof flashing with collage fabric and paint. Once folded, they can sit on a mantle or bookshelf. 

This is a unique and whimsical way to display your family photos.

Check out the tutorial at The Martha Stewart Show: https://www.marthastewart.com/267614/sitting-pretties
Family Rocks! Everyone knows that, so why not paint your family portrait on rocks? There are so many inspiration projects out there, and material list is simple and short - rocks (you can go on a hike and collect yourself, or buy a small bag at your local dollar store) and paint (I personally like the markers, but any acrylic paint will do the job).

Frame it!
Frame your wood dolly pegs family portrait! This is super easy and great for families with younger kids, who will enjoy painting and decorating the frame, and placing the dolly pegs inside. Check out the tutorial here: https://www.bakerross.co.uk/craft-ideas/kids/family-portrait/
Spooning Around - Draw your family on wooden spoons! Such an easy to find and inexpensive material, and so much fun! I think this is my favorite now.

I would love to add to this mini collection more ideas, so please share your projects!

If you missed it, this post is a series of posts preparing for Screen-Free Week. All details here: https://www.facebook.com/relomom/posts/983432191825462

Screen-Free Week Bay Area

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Screen-Free Week is an annual, international celebration when schools, families, and community groups pledge to spend seven days without digital entertainment. Instead of watching TV, surfing the web, or playing video games, they read, play, think, create, get physically active, and spend more time with friends and family.  

Screen-Free Week is a fun and innovative opportunity to reduce our dependence on entertainment screen media, including television, video games, computers, and hand-held devices. It’s a chance for children - and adults - to rediscover the joys of life beyond the screen.  

The next SFW event is April 30-May 6, 2018, and ReloMom Bay Area is taking part! We will be here every day, with lots of suggestions for great family screen-free activities, including a screen-free event and other surprises for our readers.

Week 1 (March 19-23) - Family Art Projects 

Week 2 (March 26-30) - Science Experiments for kids 
Week 3 (April 2-6) - Family Outings, stay tuned for lots of giveaways this week! 
Week 4 (9-13) - National Library Week - Library wonders, and lots of reading tips and ideas! 
Week 5 (16-20) - Play with Food 
Week 6 (23-27) - The Active Family  

I will have lots of guests, surprises and giveaways, and I can't wait to share it with you all!

If you would like to share a project, donate a giveaway or write a post, email me (relomomsv@gmail.com)!
I'll love to feature bay area professionals and small businesses!  

I will also post a schedule of events including a few ReloMom events, so stay tuned, it's going to be so awesome, it will make you make you turn off the TV!

Purim in the Bay Area - 2018

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

With lots of Purim celebrations and Megillah reading events, you will sure find the perfect outing for your family! 

February 24, 2018
Purim-Themed Tot Shabbat Service (Los Altos)
Purim-themed Shabbat service for families with children ages 0-5 years. Be sure to come in costume for the costume parade. Following the service, enjoy grape juice, challah and hamentaschen, as well as arts and crafts. 
FREE, RSVP Required!

February 25, 2018
Purim Storytime (San Francisco)
In Habrew. FREE.  

Purim: Through the Looking Glass (Berkeley)
Enter a fantastical world as we climb through a mirror and rappel into a peculiar and animated world. Unlock the door to all shapes and sizes. Trick your senses, experience live magic with Magical Nathaniel, and transform your face with your very own mask. Snap some pictures at the photo booth and nosh on delicious hamantaschen. Dress up in your best costume and become part of the dream yourself.
In advance online: $6; at the door: $8.
Purim Carnival for Families (Los Gatos)
Fun-filled Purim carnival for families.
Tickets: $5.

Purim Shpiel and Carnival (San Jose)
Carnival games and prizes, jumpy house, BBQ lunch and more.
Tickets: $30.

Purim Unmasked (SF)
Live music, belly dancing, puppet show, and more. Dress up in your costumed best to go undercover and over the top. 

Purim ETZtravaganza (Palo Alto)
Ride a horse like Mordechai, visit Queen Esther in her palace, feast with King Ahashuerus, bake hamantaschen in the Shushan Bakery, and more. A perfect Purim plan for children 12 and under.

Purim Palooza Costume Party (Foster City)
Costumes, interactive Purim story, songs, crafts, Purim snacks, playtime and goody bags.

February 26, 2018
Purim Kids Show (Sunnyvale)
Come dressed up in costumes and join us for a new and funny Purim kids show.  
For ages 3-9, in Hebrew, tickets: $18.

February 28, 2018
Purim Extravaganza (San Jose)
Featuring live music performance plus the complete Megillah reading. Musical bands will be performing. Wanna-be Mordechais and Esthers encouraged. Music, groggers, libations and hamentashen provided.

Persian Nights (SF)
Fun activities for all ages.
Tickets: $13-20
March 1, 2018
Purim in the Circus (Palo Alto)
Megillah reading, activities and show for the all family.

Purim in Africa with Chabad of Contra Costa (Walnut Creek)
Interactive Megilah reading, authentic African cuisine, music, Mishalach Manot, African jungle masquerade, animal show, drum circle, and More.
$10/Person or $36/Family.

iPurim (Chabad Palo Alto) 
Megillah, festive dinner, music & dancing, crafts, games, giveaways & raffles.

Purim at Mollie Stone's (Palo Alto)
Hamantaschen, Mishloach Manot, charity for the poor and crafts for the kids.

Cirque De Purim (Fremont)
Jeremy the Fire Juggler, delicious dinner, photo booth, multimedia Megillah, fun for the kids, desserts & drinks.
$10/child, $22/adult.

Black & White Purim (Redwood City)
Megillah, masquerade, Purim Feast, photo ops, charades, bingo, activities for the Kids, and more.
$20-25/adult, $15-18/child, $72-85/family.

Purim Festival (Santa Clara)
Delicious feast, fire Show, facepainting, , mask decorating, Megillah, Hamentash/Oznei Haman baking.
Suggested Donation: Individual: $18, Family: $54.

Purim with Chabad (Los Altos)
Megillah reading, delicious dinner, interactive family game show, kids crafts & activities. Come in costume! Prize for every child that comes in costume.
$25/Adult, $20/Child.

Family Friendly Megillah Reading (Sunnyvale)
Street shows and activities for the all family.

Emoji Purim (San Mateo)
Live music, kids entertainer, Emoji themed menu, build your own Lego gragger, Emoji crafts, facepainting, masquerade, and more.
Tickets: $5 (max $15 per family). Food and drink for purchase: $7 for kids; $10 adults ($40 max per family).

Purim in the City (SF)
Megillah reading, dinner, graffiti art, and more activities. 
Suggested donation: $18/Adult and $10/Child or $40/Family.

March 2, 2018
Purim Extravaganza (Palo Alto)
Join us for a fun family Shabbat dinner, including a creative reading of the Megillah, dancing and a costume parade.
In Hebrew. $18/Adult, $9/Child, $48/Family.
March 3, 2018
Purim Celebration for Young Children (Berkeley)
Join other families in an open and welcoming environment to celebrate this joyful Jewish costume holiday. It's just right for young children, and a great place to connect with other families. Enjoy Purim songs and movement, a kid-friendly Purim story, a hands-on holiday project, yummy Purim treats, and more.
$13/Adult, $6/child. 

March 4, 2018
Purim Shushan-Style (Palo Alto)
Put on your costume and join the Oriental Bazaar at Shushan City for families with children 2–12 years old.
In Russian, $40/family.

Purimon Around the World (Sunnyvale)
Escape room, storytime, crafts, and more.

Lonar Year of the Dog Celebrations in the Bay Area

Ring in the new year and celebrate the Year of the Dog with lots of celebrations throughout the Bay Area! 

FREE Lunar New Year Fair (Main St. Cupertino) 
February 16-17, 2018 
Bring your family and join thousands of neighbors in celebrating 2018 Lunar New Year, the year of the Dog! Come participate in family-friendly activities, experience an authentic New Year’s marketplace, and enjoy cultural performances from renowned artists. 

FREE New Year-Tet Festival (Oakridge Mall, San Jose)
February 16-18, 2018 3pm-11pm
Live entertainment, lion dances, kids activities and more.

FREE Community Day: Lunar New Year (San Jose Museum of Art) 
February 17, 2018 11am-5pm
Welcome the Year of the Dog with art-making activities, lion dance, cultural demonstrations, and live performances. This contemporary celebration honors Lunar New Year traditions commemorated around the globe and here in San JosΓ©. Admission is free. Order online and print your tickets in advance to skip the line at the door --> https://goo.gl/b35Lxa

FREE Celebrate Chinese New Year at Pacific Commons (Fremont) 
February 17, 2018 1pm-3pm 
Live performance, photos with the lion, learn the lion dance, kid's craft activity, and more. 
Year of the Dog (Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose) 
February 17-18, 2018 12pm-4pm 
Calligraphic art, lion dances, 3-D Paper Art Towel/Origami Dogs, fireworks Painting, storytimes, and more! 

Chinese New Year Celebration (Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito) 
February 19, 2018 9am-4pm 
Celebrate the magic of the year of the dog with a full schedule of programming and performances. The day includes lion dancers, a Kung Fu demonstration, a chance to watch master calligraphers at work, lantern making in BADM’s Fab Lab and much more! https://goo.gl/7hJ1xL 

Chinese New Year Parade (SF)
February 24, 2018 5:30pm-8:30pm
The Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco is one of the few remaining night illuminated Parades in North America and the biggest parade celebrating the lunar new year outside of Asia. 
Gorgeous floats, elaborate costumes, ferocious lions, exploding firecrackers, and of course the newly crowned Miss Chinatown USA and her court. 

Lunar New Year Celebration (SF Zoo) 
February 24-25, 2018 10am-4pm 
Soak up the ambiance of the occasion and marvel at traditional Chinese lion and folk dance performances at 11:00 and 1:30 daily. Go on a Zodiac Scavenger Hunt through the Zoo to learn fun facts about the animals found on the Chinese calendar. Stop by Wolf Canyon to see our wolves to celebrate the Year of the Dog! 
Guests born in the Year of the Dog (1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018) will receive free Zoo admission on that day. 

Lunar New Year Celebration and Other Asian Traditions (Oakland Museum)
February 25, 2018 12pm-4:30pm
Lucky lion and dragon dances, magic show, martial arts demonstration, Chinese yo-yo tricks, cooking demonstrations, a visit from live farm animals and hands-on activities all day long. 

Lunar New Year Celebration (Hakone Gardens, Saratoga)
March 4, 2018, 11am-3pm 
Music performances, martial arts, Chinese food, face painting and more.