East Bay Momma

A Frugal Momma Providing a Rich Childhood

Free preschool event next weekend

Saw this FREE preschool event posted on 510families:

Preschool Frolic at Aurora School looks like fun!

Coming soon, Aurora School, will open its doors to young children for a frolicking good time. East Bay preschoolers and their families are invited to enjoy an art- and science-filled celebration of trees. The day’s events include apple tasting, leaf rubbing, and community tree art with a helping of healthy snacks and an obstacle course that will have your little one giggling.

The event schedule is designed to highlight the best of what Aurora has to offer:
10:15 Story Time with Aurora K/1 teacher Alexa Eurich
10:30 Sing and Dance with Aurora Music and Movement teacher Eve Decker
11:00 Woodn’t You Like to Play Instruments? with local music favorite Andy Fullington
11:15 Story Time with Aurora K/1 teacher Alexa Eurich
11:30 Sing and Dance with Aurora Music and Movement teacher Eve Decker
WHAT: A Celebration of Trees and Preschool Frolic
WHEN: Saturday, November 15, 2014 from 10:00am – noon
WHERE: Aurora School, 40 Dulwich Road, Oakland CA 94618
Find out more on our calendar or their blog.
Thanks to our advertiser and 510families friend, Aurora School, for sharing this event. Our coverage of it was not sponsored in case you’re keeping track.


Free Play on Election Day @ Habitot

Are you voting Tuesday? It’s a pretty heated race in my section of Oakland!

Over in Berkeley the toddler play space Habitot is having a free admission day, including play stations modeled as voting booths. We have been there once before. It was a blast! My big tip is to get there as early as possible because it gets really busy.

Happy Election Day! What a privilege to raise our kids in a democracy (no matter how imperfect).

Sunday free day at Oakland Museum

We haven’t been to the Oakland Museum but have heard through the mommy grapevine that it’s a good place for toddlers. Tomorrow it is free!

$2 off MOCHA admission for costume wearers

I don’t think I have posted about MOCHA (museum of children’s art) before because it doesn’t fall into my free or cheap category ordinarily. It is an amazing place in downtown Oakland! On Friday and Saturday they have open studios from 10-1 which means you pay $7 for yourself and for your kid to do a variety of different art projects. It is great, I would say, for two year olds and older.

Tomorrow and Saturday if you come in costume you get $2 off. The theme of the projects will be Day of the Dead. What a great way to celebrate this rainy weekend! Here’s more info from MOCHA’s website:

Open Studio
Create, explore and discover in our drop-in studio space!
Open Studio is a space where artists of all ages create, share and connect through art. At MOCHA we believe that art and art-making is for everyone and we have designed our Open Studio to operate under this philosophy. You and your child are free to explore whatever captivates your interest and the teaching artist will always be available to help you locate materials, provide technical instruction, and suggest age appropriate activities.

See more photos from Open Studio in our gallery.

Friday & Saturday
10:00am – 1:00pm

Learn more about visiting MOCHA and Open Studio.

$7 per person for adults & children (children 18 months and under are free)

For discounts and other benefits, purchase a Make @ MOCHA Package.

As of October 2013 MOCHA no longer accepts previously distributed “Free Studio Passes” for Open Studio admission. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is upon us so let’s celebrate! Learn about this Mexican holiday and create your own calavera (skull), Day of the Dead shrine, and more!

Ardenwood Farms Toddler Time

Ardenwood Farms Toddler Time is a must do on a Tuesday morning! It’s a bit of a drive for us (Fremont) but the rangers offer a sweet program. This Tuesday we learned how corn was crushed for sheep in the 19thc and got a chance to crank the crushing machine (official name for it, I am sure). Then we got to hand feed the extremely hungry and eager sheep!

The historic farm is part of the East Bay park system so if you have a membership (one of the best deals around, I think) then it is free. Otherwise general admission to the farm is $3 for adults and $1 for kids. The half hour toddler-focused program begins with a story time about the particular animal of the day. Next comes the food/feed prep activity and meet n greet with the animal of the day. Afterwards you can spend time seeing the other animals, walking the beautiful grounds, chasing (sigh…) the free range chickens and picnicking in the picnic grove or perhaps in the lovely gazebo. Bathrooms are clean. No other amenities offered, at least when we were there, so bring your own snacks and drinks.

There are a bunch of fun events at Ardenwood throughout the year that you might want to look up too from haunted train rides to holiday teas. It’s a great place to tire out a little one!









Awesome Free Parenting Workshop

I have heard great things about this workshop! I have read the handouts she gives out and they are extremely helpful. See below for the info:

“What Great Parents Do” Workshop
Join me this Wednesday at Bananas in Oakland for a free parenting workshop

I’ll be back at Bananas again this Wednesday, October 29 presenting my popular workshop What Great Parents Do.

This workshop offers insights for raising happy, kind and confident kids, and presents proven, research-tested methods for navigating the everyday challenges of life with kids. Get more information about my workshops or sign up for Wednesday’s workshop here.

The workshop is free, and Bananas offers free childcare for this workshop while space is available.

Sign-up for the workshop here. Or call Bananas at 510.658.7353.

What: What Great Parents Do
When: Wednesday, October 29 from 7.30 – 9 pm
Where: Bananas Inc., 5232 Claremont Ave, Oakland
Cost: Free

Free Flu Shots for kiddos

Our health provider is Kaiser so we receive free flu vaccinations already but if you don’t have Kaiser and want your kid to get a flu shot, check out the Oakland Shoo the Flu website.

Loving Lake Anza

I had never been to Lake Anza in Tilden (Berkeley) so on an extra warm Friday we went for a picnic and a splash. It is lovely! It “feels” less icky to me than Lake Temescal can “feel” (always check lake conditions on the East Bay park websites before you go). The setting is idyllic.

Getting there on the other hand can be a bit nutty! I tried my car GPS and google maps. I sure did get a nice tour of the surrounding neighborhoods… So, check out an old-school map or get directions from a friend (not me) before you head out.

When you get to the parking lot you can barely see the lake and you might think, after also getting lost for a half hour, that Lake Anza is just some sort of Nonexistent East Bay urban legend. Keep walking down the hill (or run if you are holding a toddler hand). You will soon see the entrance.

Because it is the off season right now there is no fee to swim or park.

Check out my pictures, I know they aren’t the best but hopefully they capture the beauty. You can choose to sit on sand or grass and there’s plenty of shade options for both. We were there on an extremely hot day and it wasn’t crowded at all. It was a workday but it was a Friday and I notice that other kid places fill up on Fridays with parents perhaps “working from home”?

There are bathrooms and it looks like there could be concessions during the summer.

It really is a beautiful spot and the toddlers were WORN out with all the sand fun and splashing about. I have a feeling this will be one of my daughter’s favorite childhood haunts 🙂




Free Saturday Halloween Toddler Fun

Looking for a free, toddler-friendly event with a Halloween theme this Saturday? Head over to Piedmont Ave in Oakland for a costume parade, trick or treating from the merchants and a pumpkin festival in the beautiful Mountain View Cemetery. Checkout the list of events here. Happy (not-so-spooky for the two year olds) Halloween!

The blog Red Tricycle listed a couple of other free East Bay Halloween toddler-friendly events:

Ponies and Pumpkins in the Pasture
A pumpkin patch for horse-lovers! Come support this non-profit organization by buying a pumpkin, plus have some fun decorating your pumpkin, decorating horseshoes, participating in the costume contests (for kids, dogs, and horses!) and entering the pumpkin dessert contest! There will also be a hot dog lunch, root beer floats, face painting, and pony petting! Sat., 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Moraga. Free. All Ages.

It’s the perfect way to kick off Halloween and Day of the Dead festivities. Come and create masks and funny, movable skeletons that capture the spirit of the season, enjoy colorful traditional paper cutting and make sugar skulls or a screen-printed skeleton T-shirt. Be the coolest ghoul in school and come in costume! Sat., 1-3 p.m. Richmond. Free. 3 and up.

And here is another free event:

The Annual Lakeshore Halloween Parade is this Saturday, October 25th.
People will meet at 10am at 3524 Lakeshore Avenue at the church for fun and refreshments.
Then leave from there at 11am for the trick or treat parade, rain or shine.

We have new and used costumes.

Silver Moon Kids
3233 Lakeshore Ave
Oakland CA 94610


Mon-Sat 10am-6pm
Sun 10am-4pm

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San Leandro Marina

Hi all! We are back from our family emergency. Still grieving but able to get back out there and enjoy this east bay we so love!

Today in an attempt to “get the wiggles out” of my toddler before a shopping trip, I swung by the San Leandro marina. I had heard that it is a great spot for walks, biking, etc. Because it was mid-morning during the week it was very deserted (a little too deserted for my tastes) but I can imagine it must be bustling on the weekends. The views were fabulous of San Fran all the way down to the San Mateo bridge and if you have airline enthusiasts in your family they will be thrilled by how close the Oakland airport runways are. Very cool spot for plane-watching action. The boats are beautiful, there are bathrooms and there seems to be plenty of room and paths for toddlers and dog walkers to roam. I probably won’t be going there alone again but definitely a fun aviation and nautical-inspired destination for a group outing.