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With February being Black History Month, let’s get in the habit of shopping local and supporting our Black-owned Bay Area businesses. Below you’ll find a slew of businesses that families love, from vegan pizza to bookstores to DJ lessons. Snag some gift cards, buy yourself a cupcake and support these businesses now and always!

1. CanDid Art Kids

CanDid Art makes beautiful reversible quilted jackets and quilts for kids using sustainable materials. Their textiles are ethically sourced from African vendors and dyed using natural and organic dyes and processes. They also make stunning jewelery, home decor and original artwork. Purchase online only.



IG @candid_art

2. Mission Bowling Club

Mission Bowling Club is a boutique bowling alley that departs from tradition by uniting culinary excellence with a casual ambience. Their kitchen offers a versatile menu that features locally sourced, seasonal ingredients transformed into elevated comfort food at its best. They also serve brunch on the weekends and are currently open for pick-up. Check their IG for updates on their additional pick up options like produce boxes. The bowling family hours are Saturday and Sunday between 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

3176 17th St.
San Francisco


IG @missionbowlingclub

3. Ashay by the Bay Books

Ashay by the Bay specializes in reselling African American and Multicultural Children’s Books (Preschool to High School), adult books and other educational products. They also provide online and onsite book fairs.



IG @ashaybythebay

You can find other Black-owned bookstores here

4. The EM's Barbershop

This barber shop has been around for over 8 years and you'll find that it is one of the most professional, elite and convenient barbershops in San Francisco. Their goal is to make you a happy life-long client. The EM's Barbershop is here to provide excellent quality service, specializing in all grades of hair. The EM's Barbershop takes pride in their customers' grooming! 

San Francisco

IG: @_mrhands


5. Red Bay Coffee

Red Bay is a beautiful cafe and roastery in the heart of Fruitvale. It was funded to promote diversity and inclusivity in the coffee industry. It has a lovely patio which is perfect for the little ones to play while you sip your delicious coffee or enjoy one of their many pastries. They are open for pick up or delivery.

3098 E 10th St.


IG: @redbaycoffee

6. Dayfyah

Dayfyah (day-fy-yah) is the premier home-grown streetwear apparel boutique in San Francisco. The co-owners combined efforts to establish themselves in the city’s Tenderloin neighborhood as the go-to spot for fashion kids, hip-hop heads, skaters, and anybody with an interest in urban culture. The store has continued to bring their community the best in fashion, music, art and culture ever since opening in 2019. 

IG: @dayfyah



7. Vegan Mob

Vegan Mob is one of the few Vegan BBQ places in the whole Bay Area. Their passion is to help surrounding communities by empowering them with food they love and enjoy, while also supporting a healthy life-style. Be sure to check out their plant-based brisket or ribs, and their gumbo bread bowl. They also have personal mini pies! Open for pick-up or delivery.

500 Lake Park Ave.


IG: @officialveganmob

8. The Sip

Ship the celebration right to those you love with the oh-so-cute mini champagne bottles from The Sip. This Oakland-based company was created by two moms who have been friends for over 15 years! You can choose a one-time shipment or up the ante and go for the bi-monthly subscription service to say "I'm Grateful for You" over and over. 



9. Cupcakin’ Bakery

With stores in both Berkeley and Oakland, Cupckakin’ has been delighting customers with delicious and beautiful cupcakes made with high quality and sustainable ingredients since 2014. Check their IG account and website to order their daily specials for pick up as they sell out fast!

2391 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley 

9070 E Washington St, Oakland


IG @cupcakingbakeshop


10. Peaches Patties

Check out Peaches Patties for delicious authentic Jamaican food for pick up or delivery. They have Jamaican delicacies available every day but their specialty is their famous and succulent patties which change weekly. A favorite is the lentil and Berbere spice or their traditional beef patties. Go to their website to see their stunning pictures and place an order!

2948 Folson St.
San Francisco


IG @peachespatties


11. Sugar Sweet

Sugar Sweet’s mission is to provide baking that is real, traditional and uncomplicated. They stay true to scratch baking traditions, never using chemicals or preservatives.  Everything they serve is handmade in their own kitchen and designed by the talented and creative pastry chefs. Check out their IG account to see some of their beautiful and original creations. You can order online for pick up or delivery.

5855 Mac Arthur Blvd.


IG: @sugarsweetoak


12. Dimond Slice

The owners of Dimond Slice in Oakland are alumni of The Cheese Board and they bring fresh and different vegetarian and vegan pizza every day. They use only the freshest local ingredients and mostly organic products for their surprising and delicious combinations.

2208 MacArthur Blvd.


IG: @dimondslicepizza 


13. Yvone’s Southern Sweets

Based in Bay View, San Francisco, Yvonne began her business by making her famous pralines and expanded her offerings to include other specialty desserts such as ol’ school butter cookies, sweet potato pies, peach cobblers, and cakes for small parties and social gatherings at the request of family. Check out her IG or website to place orders for pick up or delivery.

5128 3rd St.
San Francisco


IG: @yvonnessouthernsweets

14. New Eritrea Restaurant

New Eritrea is an authentic Eritrean Restaurant in San Francisco’s Inner Sunset. Kids usually love Ethiopian and Eritrean chicken and bean stews (try the lentil or split pea stews) with mild spices and their spongy and unique bread is always a favorite. Order online for pick up or delivery!

907 Irving St.
San Francisco


15. Eko Kitchen

Eko Kitchen was born from the owner's love of food from her home country of Nigeria. By partnering with local vendors and using recipes from her mother and two grandmother's repertoires, Eko’s chef and owner has brought the first Nigerian restaurant to the Bay Area. Order online for pick up or delivery!

67 11th St.
San Francisco


IG: @EkoKitchen

photo: Tammy Foxx

16. Eden Fitness Studio & Bridal Fitness Coach

Tammy Foxx the proud owner of two Black-owned businesses that have been hit especially hard during the current pandemic, Eden Fitness Studio and Bridal Fitness Coach. Eden Fitness Studio is a female-focused personal training studio located in Lower Pacific Heights that provide a clean and safe environment for female personal trainers and their private clients. 

Since 2009, Bridal Fitness Coach has sculpted the bodies of scores of happy brides.  They provide custom training programs for brides all over the world with BFC Fitness App while also providing personal training in a private studio or virtually via Zoom or Facetime. 

Eden Fitness Studio:
IG: @edenfit.sf

Bridal Fitness Coach:
IG:  @bridalfitnesscoach

17. Fingersnaps Media Art

Head to Fingersnaps, in the heart of the Mission District to spin with San Francisco’s DJ Lamont, in private or group sessions to learn the traditions and fundamental skills of music theory, learn to count beats, bars, and timing and blend & beatmix, sample, edit, scratch, and create tricks. Fingersnaps Media Art is a creative, educational and artistic DJ-Studio where you can learn to DJ, record a mix and also attend workshops. Classes for kids age 5 and up, and adults.

3527 20th St.
San Francisco


IG: @ fingersnapsmediaarts

18. Teranga Juices and Organic Meals

Teranga is a food and beverage company that uses the baobab superfood and other ingredients and spices as the base for most of its prepared meals, snacks, drinks, and popsicles. They offer delicious organic meals and nutritious juices. Place your order online for pick up or delivery.

2948 Folsom St.
San Francisco


IG: @terangalife

19. Satori Yoga Studio

Satori provides a wide variety of Yoga and meditation classes for practitioners of all levels including Vinyasa, Iyengar Restorative, Yin Yoga and more. Their mission is to give students an opportunity to look within, refocus, and regain a sometimes lost sense of perspective. They offer streaming online classes!

110 Sutter Street, Suite 100
San Francisco


IG: @satoriyogastudio

20. Prideful Patchez

Prideful Patchez, the online boutique specializing in custom Afrocentric Patches and Statement Clothing. In 2018, Regina introduced a variety of custom designed Statement Coats and clothing at festivals, trade shows and online. 


IG: @pridefulpatchez

21. Yellowcake Dessert

Baker Lasondra Wilson is a self-taught baker and her passion for food has evolved over the years. She loves creating flavor combinations that are different and play on desserts and food that she loves. More importantly, she loves creating flavors that YOU love; that represent who you are and your special events. 



IG: @yellowcake_desserts

22. Nivana Soul Coffee

The first Black Owned coffee shop in San Jose, CA has arrived! Jeronica and Be’Anka—Sisters, bffs, and co-founders. Since they were little girls, coffee has held a special, calming place in their hearts. For as long as they can remember, they have dreamed of creating a space that feeds their souls and makes people happy. That's where Nirvana Soul was born.

San Jose


IG: @nirvanasoulcoffee

23. Soyful Aromas

Soyful Aromas is handmade in the San Francisco Bay Area. Their delightful candles are birthed out of a love for self-care and aromatherapy. Often we forget about our sense of smell and the power of aromatherapy. Various aromas have the ability to help us unwind and relax, enhance our mood, and so much more.



IG: @soyfularomas


TERANGA is a food and beverage company whose mission is to create refreshing and healthy food, drinks, snacks and prepared meals. All items are handcrafted in small batches using unique organic and wild ingredients like Baobab Fruit Pulp, Moringa, Hibiscus, Millet, Fonio, bringing flavors from Africa and around the world directly to your table.

San Francisco


IG: @terangalife 

25. Wanda's Cooking

Wanda's Cooking is a pop-up restaurant, fulfilling pickup orders of traditional dishes like gumbo and cornbread in the Bay Area. Her signature item, a versatile and classic Southern condiment "Pepper Chowchow," is sold on her website. Pepper Chowchow has a history of enhancing flavors and Wanda took that history and expanded on the texture, versatility and visual appeal.



IG: @wandas_cooking 

Got a business you’d like to see included? Email us at

—Sonia Gandiaga & Kate Loweth

Featured photo: iStock


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If your little one dreams of kick flips, mastering the 50-50 grind and dropping in to a massive bowl, then you likely have a skater on your hands. While this distinctly California hobby has been around since our childhood, these days there are more sweet spots than ever to practice sick tricks. We’ve narrowed down our favorites below. So gear up your grom with a helmet, knee and elbow pads, and wrist guards and say L8TR SK8TR!

photo: Chris Goldberg via flickr

San Francisco

Playland at 43rd Ave. 
This teeny community-built skatepark is the perfect spot for little ones, and also features a community garden and play space. It’s maintained by neighbors who pitch in to perform everything from routine maintenace to paint new murals, making it a real gem.

1360 43rd Ave.
San Francisco, Ca

SoMa West Skate Park
Skateboard legend Tony Hawk helped to build this park (score!), with plenty of opps for (literally) dropping in, or just hanging out to watch.

Beneath the Central Freeway, Valencia and Duboce Streets
San Francisco, Ca

Hilltop Park
When you’ve reached the giant 70-foot sundial, you’ll know you’re there. This is the city’s first public skateboard park, with a large skating bowl, hilltop views, and even cement slides (so bring the cardboard).

La Salle & Whitney Young Cir.
San Francisco, Ca

photo: latteda via flickr

Balboa Skatepark
This newer, all wooden skate park in Mission Terrace is calling all kiddos to get off the screens and skate into full-action mode.

San Jose Ave and Ocean Ave.
San Francisco, Ca

La Raza Park /Potrero del Sol
As San Francisco’s largest skate park, this is the place to be. It has a Greek-style temple and colorful murals, and the weekend mornings draws lots of parents and younger kids.

Utah Streets
San Francisco, Ca

photo: Thomas Park via flickr

East Bay

City View Skate Park
This park has the coolest setting of the old Alameda Navy Base—plus miles of beautiful water views.  Big bonus (more for you than them): lots of antique flea market shopping nearby.

1177 W Redline Ave.
Alameda, CA

Braille House and Skatepark 
On weekdays, the Braille House functions as a studio for filming YouTube videos but come spring, summer and winter break they open the doors for skate camps. Private lessons are also available on select weekends and occasionally the crew opens the door for open skate.

14684 Washington Ave, San Leandro

Fremont Skate Park
A spacious park means there’s everything from stairs to rails to benches. Lots of options here for kids to practice popping those ollies.

40500 Paseo Padre Pkwy.
Fremont, CA

Kennelly Skate Park
From ramps to classes, this park can take the kiddos from newbie to full-fledged skater. Even BMX riders can use the park on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3–4:30 p.m., and Sundays from 1–2:30 p.m.

898 Red Rock Rd.
Piedmont, CA

photo: Kelly O. via yelp

Berkeley Skate Park
Get ready for massive: 18,000-square-feet, complete with beginner-friendly areas plus classes, a skate club—and even scholarships. Park closed during events and rainy days.

Harrison St. (skatepark is located at Harrison Park)
Berkeley, CA

Joseph Emery Skate Spot
Located behind a CVS between Park and 45th Street, this park is also famously situated just outside Pixar Studios. The park is narrow, but spans the length of two city blocks and features plenty of skateable paths for little ones, mini ramps and a bowl for advanced skaters.

Off of San Pablo Avenue between 45th Street and Park Avenue
Emeryville, CA

Jack Holland Skate Park
This skate park may be small but it’s varying ramps and rails offer tons of potential, espeically for beginners. The park features shaded, stadium seating and a restroom. Bonus: It’s located right next to a playground just incase every little member of your family isn’t into allies (yet).

16301 E 14th St.
San Leandro, CA

San Ramon Central Park
This park is especially perfect for the youngest skaters. On weekends the priority usage is reserved for kids 11 and under. There’s also 40 more acres surrounding the skate park to explore, including a maze of water features, lots of trails, and picnicking galore.

12501 Alcosta Blvd.
San Ramon, CA

photo: Victor Salanoy via flickr

Peninsula/South Bay

Lake Cunningham Regional Skate Park
This one wins the award for largest skate park in California with some of the biggest and bestest features in the world (read: world’s biggest cradle, tallest vert wall, and largest full pipe . . . how cool is that?!). Also check out their birthday packages, lessons, rentals, camps and live music in the summer.

2305 S. White Rd.
San Jose, CA

Greer Skate Park
Greer is a 70’s style bowl park with fast flowing lines and a rounded lip that allows for fast and easy rollins/outs. The volcano in the center of the medium bowl has rough grindable lip.

1098 Armarillo Ave.
Palo Alto, CA

photo: Mae Respicio


Mill Valley Skate Park
Recently totally renovated in Spring 2019 and sitting adjacent to the Bay Trail and Mill Valley Middle School, this pristine new skatepark already has a loyal following amongst Mill Valley’s young skaters. The upgraded park features smooth, new concrete and plenty of ramps for beginners to advanced (though local residents urge parents to limit use to actual skateboarders and not little tikes on scooters). Most weekends you’ll find Hot Diggity food cart serving up snacks, drinks and hot dogs.

425 Sycamore Avenue (Mill Valley Middle School)
Mill Valley, CA

McInnis County Skate Park
You haven’t experienced a skate park until you’ve seen this gigantic sea of bowls, ramps, and half-pipes, and all surrounded by a beautiful landscape of rolling hills. Scooters are allowed in the park each day until 1 p.m. and there are lots of hiking trails for before and after.

10 Smith Ranch Rd.
San Rafael, CA

Proof Lab
Easy means one-stop shop! They have gear, indoor ramp time, art, and even a cool cafe. Here’s their list of local instructors (check with Proof Lab for the most updated indoor ramp hours):

54/244 Shoreline Hwy.
Mill Valley, CA

Corte Madera Skatepark
This one’s not the biggest, baddest of the bunch, but because of its sweet size it’s for the mini-shredders in your life. Bonus: ice cream truck on hot days, and a huge playground right next door.

Tamalpais Dr. and Pixley Ave.
Corte Madera, CA

—Chantal Lamers, Sonia Gandiaga and Mae Respicio

Featured photo: Bob_Dmyt via pixabay



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If you are looking for original, high-quality and sustainable clothes for your kids up to age eight, head to this recently-opened gem of a store. Whoa Dude! is a new children clothing store, where customers can find beautiful clothes from curated designer brands that both parents and kids will love.

European funky roots and American cool vibes

Whoa Dude! Is the dream project of Almu, a marketing specialist from Spain, and Greg, an e-commerce pioneer. Almu and Greg’s worlds collided in Barcelona where they fell in love, married and had their son Tomás, who is the inspiration for this adventure.

Their new environment inspired Almu and Greg to embark on another adventure and make one of their dreams come true: creating their own kids’ clothing store offering high quality, comfortable clothes with a cool and funky vibe.

The trendiest brands all under one roof

All their brands are curated with care and made with love in Europe and the USA, except for one, “Milk and Biscuits.” which is proudly made in China as their label suggests, because Kate, their British designer, wants to make people aware that in China they can also be environmentally conscious.

Their boho chic brands include “Tocoto Vintage” (which comes from Formentera, a little island in the Mediterranean Sea in Spain) and “Rylee Cru”, from San Diego, a brand inspired by the Pacific Ocean. If you like cool and funky brands don’t forget to check out “Beau Loves” from UK or “Hugo Loves Tiki” from Indiana. Both are made in Portugal, because Portuguese cotton is one of the best in the world. Sophistication is the word that defines “Little Creative Factory,” a brand from Barcelona created by an architect reinvented as a designer.

Gifts for the wee ones

If you have a baby or are invited to a baby shower don’t forget to check out “1+ more in the family” and “My little Cozmo,” two brands from Barcelona that perfectly know what babies need to feel comfortable and stylish. All kids love Swedish “Mini Rodini”  because of their creative and fun prints.

In July they will also welcome “Bobo Choses” and “Animals Observatory,” two favorite brands to people who love original and unique kids clothing. Whoa Dude’s brands have one thing in common: they always have a story to tell.

The Details

Whoa Dude! is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Whoa Dude!
3255 Sacramento St.
San Francisco, CA

Hours: Tue to Sun 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

—Sonia Gandiaga

All photos courtesy of  Whoa Dude!

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Nestled in the central California coast in San Luis Obispo County, the Highway 1 Discovery Route (H1DR) spans from Ragged Point to the dunes of Nipomo. This region has breathtaking natural beauty, amazing outdoor adventure and delicious restaurants. There is so much to see, taste and discover—come along and check out our favorite spots!


The Blue Dolphin Inn
The Blue Dolphin Inn in Cambria is directly on Moonstone Beach, offering spectacular ocean views and beautiful trails to explore just steps away from your room. Even though this is a relaxing environment they are also super child-friendly and accommodating. Their breakfast is included and delivered to your room in the morning. Your little ones will enjoy choosing what they want to eat for breakfast as they play by the fireplace with the decorative starfish and shells.

6470 Moonstone Beach Drive, Cambria, CA

photo: Linn’s Fruit Bin Facebook Page


Linn’s Restaurant
Linn’s began as a farm fruit stand and over time has grown into a favorite destination for locals and visitors alike. Linn’s serves perfectly-executed comfort food with really high quality and fresh ingredients. Try their beautiful home-made soups, original seafood dishes, locally-sourced meats, or their famous pot-pies. And be sure to save room after your meal as they boast one of the most extensive dessert menus in the region. You must try the olallieberry pie. It’s so good and not too sweet.

Linn’s Restaurant
2277 Main Street, Cambria, CA

Robin’s Restaurant
For more than 25 years, this local favorite has been serving amazing food in its vine-covered patio and cozy interior. Robin’s features eclectic choices as Vietnamese spring rolls, Portobello and spinach lasagna and peach-glazed pork baby back ribs. The curries are Thai-influenced and simply delicious.

4095 Burton Drive, Cambria, CA

Sebastian’s and Hearst Ranch Winery
This awesome lunch spot is across the street from Hearst Castle and located in the historic Sebastian Brother’s General Store. Built in 1852 at the peak of the whaling industry, the Sebastian Brothers provided goods and services to whalers, fishermen, miners and neighboring ranches. The interior walls are covered in interesting artifacts from that area and the sunny patio offers expansive views. Try their hamburgers made from their own cattle or flaky fish and chips with homemade sauce.

442 San Simeon Road, San Simeon, CA


Elephant Seal Rookery
The Northern Elephant Seal migrates thousands of miles twice each year, from the open oceans to a land-based rookery, where it breeds, births, molts and rests between trips. The Piedras Blancas rookery, on HWY 1, north of San Simeon is home to about 15,000 animals. The area is open for viewing every day of the year and docents are on site daily from 10 a.m. to 4 pm. Come see these magnificent marine mammals up close on one of the prettiest coastlines in California.

Highway 1 north of San Simeon, CA

The Coastal Discovery Center at San Simeon Cove
The Center offers interactive exhibits and education programs which highlight the cultural and natural history of San Simeon, California State Parks and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Bonus: Free Admission! Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m-5 p.m.

CA-1 Slo San Simeon Rd, San Simeon, CA
(805) 927-2145

The Hearst Castle
Take the family on a tour of this impressive California castle where William Hearst entertained the rich and famous of his time. View the magnificent ground floor rooms of La Casa Grande (big house) and enjoy the amazing art Hearst acquired from all around the world.

750 Hearst Castle Road, San Simeon, CA

The Highway 1 Discovery Route
Located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the H1DR is made up of ten diverse artisan towns and seaside villages starting just south of Big Sur. Through the end of February, the H1DR offers special programming to celebrate the fifth annual Coastal Discovery & Stewardship Celebration. Immerse yourself in the local marine life, coastal heritage and natural attractions along the iconic CA Highway 1 Discovery Route. Watch a movie at Hearst Castle, tour the Piedras Blancas Light Station, explore Monarch Butterfly migration and more. Plan your trip south during this time to take advantage of all that is offered.

What are your favorite spots in The Highway 1 Discovery Route? Please let us know in the comment section.

—Sonia Gandiaga

All photos are by the author unless noted.


Note: This trip was paid for by the Highway 1 Discovery Route but all opinions expressed here belong to the writer.



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7 San Francisco Dim Sum Spots to Bring the Kids

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Fun, soft, small and delicious—dim sum is perfect food for kids. They can gobble them up with their little fingers, no silverware required. San Francisco boasts the oldest and largest Chinatown in the country and we’ve rounded up seven of our favorite spots there, from fancy and modern to small hole-in-the-wall dim sum bakeries. Try one out for Lunar New Year with your next generation xiao long bao aficionado!

Dragon Beaux

This is for sure one of the most sophisticated dim sum spots around. At lunchtime, you can enjoy some of the most creative dim sum in San Francisco like the delicious squid ink dumplings. At night they also offer hot pot with an extensive selection of meats, seafood, veggies, house-made noodles, and around 10 house-made sauces. If you are not sure of which dim sum to try, order the sampler and get the most colorful selection of dumplings in the Bay.

5700 Geary Blvd.
San Francisco, CA

Good Mong Kok Bakery

Good Mong Kok is an excellent and affordable bakery for when you want your dumplings on the go. Try their steamed pork, shu mai, har gow, steamed chive dumpling and beef shu mai. The dumplings are plump and generous and packed with flavor. There is no sitting, but you can have a dim sum picnic at Washington Square park nearby.

1039 Stockton Street
San Francisco, CA
(415) 397-2688

Dumpling Time

This trendy, modern and affordable dumpling restaurant makes its home in Mission Bay. They make amazing xiao long baos (soup dumplings!) and focus on local and fresh ingredients to create their traditional dumplings. An added plus is their heated outdoor patio. Keep the kids occupied while you wait by watching the dumplings being made fresh before your eyes.

11 Division Street
San Francisco, CA

Shanghai Dumpling King

This San Francisco staple has been preparing some of the most authentic dim sum for over ten years. There are not a lot of tables and if you come on the weekend be prepared to wait. But, the wait is so worth it. Feast on spicy pork and chive dumplings, plump and delicious shrimp and soup dumplings, and make sure to order their famous green beans!

3319 Balboa Street
San Francisco, CA

Good Luck Dim Sum

Good Luck Dim Sum is known to be one of the most consistent and affordable dim sum spots in the city. Try their siu mai and shrimp dumplings—so juicy and delicious! And their pork buns are to die for (and a kid fave). There are a few tables in the back but most people take their dim sum to go.

736 Clement Street
San Francisco, CA

Hong Kong Lounge II

High quality and a very large dim sum selection is offered in one of the city's favorite dim sum weekend spots. It always has great service and a lovely atmosphere so it tends to be full, but don't dispair, they accept reservations! Wonderful for groups and to bring guests (and kids!) from out of town. They offer an a la carte menu in lieu of the traditional dim sum cart. Don't forget to try their turnip cake dim sum.

3300 Geary Blvd.
San Francisco, CA

Wing Lee Bakery

Wing Lee is a classic Clement Street take out dim sum spot. What they lack in ambiance they make up for in tasty food. The shrimp and leek dumplings are outrageous—large shrimp pieces, tender, crunchy and so fresh. Also try their siu mai, pot stickers and bbq pork buns. So good, simple and inexpensive. Bonus: they are super fast, great for feeding those hungry little mouths that can surely not wait.

503 Clement Street
San Francisco, CA

Have we missed any of your favorite dim sum spots? Please let us know in the comments section!

—Sonia Gandiaga

How to Train for a Race with Kids

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You are probably already running after your kids every day, but have you ever considered making it official and signing up for a family-friendly race? Depending on their age and skill level, kids can make the perfect running buddies, whether in the stroller, on the sidelines cheering up a storm, or even running along right beside you. We’ve collected some training tips whether you want to run solo or with kids, and have also rounded up some of our favorite family-friendly races across the country. There’s nothing better than crossing the finish line as a family!

Image courtesy of Giant Race Facebook Page


1. Pick a race date far enough in advance to give yourself time to achieve your goals. It could be a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon or more! You’ll be surprised with what you can accomplish with time and planning.

2. Build up miles slowly. The hardest thing to do while training is avoiding getting injured. You need to progress very slowly, and add 1 mile to your long run per week tops.

3. Run at least 3 times per week and leave the long run for Saturday or Sunday mornings. The other two runs can be done when your schedule allows. Get up extra early during the week, or fit in that run while your kids eat dinner, watch a movie, or after they fall asleep.

4. If you plan to race with a stroller, train with a stroller. Plan your short runs to they end at a playground where the kids can get out and do their own running around while you stretch it out. (check out our list of stroller-friendly routes right here.) Long weekend runs can coincide with nap time. Don’t stop running until they wake up!

5. Stock your smart phone. Prepare a fun playlist to keep you pumped and motivated and download an app like Runkeeper, Nike Running or Strava to track your progress.

6. For your little running buddies, bring snacks they can much on the go and plenty of water for both of you. Get a small portable speaker so you can all jam out!

7. Plan your routes ahead of time. Run through parks or neighborhoods you enjoy, or maybe end the run at a special café or bookstore.

8. Reward yourself after every run; a piece of dark chocolate or perhaps a nice scrub in the shower.

9. Talk with your kids about your runs and milestones. They will be so proud of you! And it may inspire them to skip the stroller and run right along side you. Many races have mini versions for kids.

10. If you are running solo (sans kids), make sure they come and cheer you on from the sidelines. Besides giving you the push you’ll need to keep going, they will never look at mom or dad the same again: Super hero status for life!


Image courtesy of Koloa Plantation Family Run



Now it’s time to pick a race (or two!). These are some of our faves from all around the country:

Splash Dash 5K in Mansfield, TX

When: July 22, 2017

Where: Mansfield, TX

Details: This water-themed run for kids of all ages combines running with a water balloon fight at the end. A prize also goes to the best costume in 3 categories…Adult, Group, and Child.


Koloa Plantation Family Run & Walk

When: July 30, 2017

Where: Kauai, Hawaii

Details: Run or walk along four different course lengths for you to choose from while enjoying some of the most beautiful ocean views on Kauai’s South Shore. Special awards will be given to all youth 12 years and under who participate!



Kids Race/Family Relay in San Francisco

When: August 26, 2017

Where: San Francisco AT&T Park

Details: A max of four relay members will be allowed per Family Relay (all ages), and the Kids Race is for children from 4 to 12 years old


Image from Spartan Kids Facebook Page

Spartan Kids

When: Various Dates

Where: Many locations

Details: The Spartan Kids Race is where kids as young as 4 are encouraged to jump, run, get muddy, help each other, and have a good time while conquering obstacles.


Image courtesy of Double Bubble

Double Bubble Run

When: September 10-11, 2017

Where: Frederick, Maryland

Details: This awesome race is specifically designed for families. You will be running through more than 13 stations which include Bubbles, Foam, Slides, Colors and Obstacles! A fun event for the whole family ages 2 and up.


Image courtesy of Color Run

The Color Run

When: Various Dates

Where: Many locations

Details: The most colorful run you’ll ever see! Dress in white and get ready to be splashed by every color of the rainbow in this happy race for everyone in the family.



Mini Mudder

When: Various Dates

Where: Many Locations

Details: Mini Mudder is a 1 mile obstacle course mud run designed specifically for adventure-seeking kids. The course gives kids the chance to work as a team, get muddy, and experience the thrill of adventure. Kids must be between 7-12 years old.


Image courtesy of Kids Rock

Rock ‘N’ Roll Nashville Marathon and Half Marathon

When: April 29, 2018

Where: Nashville, Tennessee

Details: This race includes KiDS ROCK, a training program for elementary- and middle-school runners that culminates with a one-mile race at Nissan Stadium and mini-cupcakes at the finish line.


Have we missed any of your favorite family-friendly races? Please tell us in the comments section!

—Sonia Gandiaga

featured photo: jona263d via pixabay

The Ultimate Family Clubhouse: The Bay Club

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Think private sports clubs are just for golf and tennis nuts? The Bay Club, with a brand new campus in South Bay is actually a kid-friendly wonderland. Spend the entire day with the family in the pool, fit in a glorious workout, or catch up with your girlfriends by the fire pit while the kids play in the kid zone or day care center. There are tons of clubs all over the Bay Area, and we’ve rounded up all the info here for you!

Image courtesy of The Bay Club Company


Are you into tennis, or have you always wanted to learn how to play golf? Kids of every age will love to swim and play in one of the many pools and water parks. Don’t forget to check out their beautiful gym, which offers tons of group classes, squash, yoga, and personal training. End the day savoring a delicious meal at one of the fantastic restaurants and cafes. And if you forgot something, don’t worry, their on-site shops have everything you and your family might need for fabulous resort living. For specific club amenities go to The Bay Club website to check out a desired location.

Image courtesy of The Bay Club Company

Summer Camps at Bay Clubs
They offer a wide variety of “big kid” and “little kid” camps, as well as specialty programs and childcare services for children ranging in age from 2 to 18. Each camp is tailored to a specific age group, providing activities that foster innovation and shared learning, carefully balanced with free periods and downtime. Extended care is also available.

Image courtesy of The Bay Club Company

On-Site Day Care
Most Bay Clubs offer a Children’s Center, designed for children six weeks to five years of age or more depending on the club. The Children’s Center is available to both members and guests, and included in the membership fee.

Bay Club Campuses in the Bay
A campus is made up of one or more Bay Club in the same region. Their basic campus membership allows you and your family to enjoy all of the various fitness facilities and amenities within the campus.

Marin Campus
Located north of the Golden Gate Bridge in Corte Madera, the 60,000-square-foot Bay Club Marin boasts premier indoor fitness facilities and amenities, including their signature Sanctuary Spa. A few miles north in Kentfield, Bay Club Ross Valley features a resort-style pool deck, US Open tennis courts, and amazing views of Mount Tamalpais. And now these locations are complemented by a wonderful new golf club in Novato, Bay Club StoneTree, featuring an 18-hole, Johnny Miller-designed course.

San Francisco Campus
Spanning four clubs in the City, the San Francisco Campus has everything you need to work and play. From the only downtown outdoor aquatic center to a 12 climate-controlled tennis courts, you’ll always be just a few steps away from happiness, thanks to their convenient complimentary shuttle service.

Image courtesy of The Bay Club Company

Redwood Shores Campus
Situated on 10 beautiful acres, Bay Club Redwood Shores features a 15,000-square-foot fitness center, Splash Landing water park, and the new Seventy Seven Bar & Lounge.

Silicon Valley Campus
The ultimate Silicon Valley lifestyle starts here. With three floors and 70,000 square feet, Bay Club Cupertino features comprehensive fitness facilities, a Mind & Body center, and mobile working spaces. At Bay Club Santa Clara, enjoy over 10 acres of resort-level health and wellness, in the heart of the South Bay.

Los Gatos Campus
Enjoy 10 acres of top-rated grounds and facilities in Los Gatos. Named “Best U.S. Facility, 2010” by the USTA, Bay Club Courtside is home to 3 indoor courts and 15 US Open DecoTurf outdoor courts.

Image courtesy of The Bay Club Company

How to Join
Family packages usually range from $200 to $500 for the whole family, depending on the amenities and campuses you want to have access to.

Commplete a request form to learn more about Bay Clubs near you, different packages and prices, and to arrange a tour.


Have you found bliss at one of the Bay Clubs? Please let us know in the comment section!

-Sonia Gandiaga

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Something very special has happened to a former school parking lot in the Outer Sunset. Playland is new urban garden, play space, and skate park created for all the neighborhood to enjoy. The whimsical space was built by local residents and a community of volunteers to prove that with a little love and lots of work you can turn an abandoned expanse of asphalt into an oasis for the neighborhood to enjoy.        IMG_3005

How it Happened: It’s Elementary!
The San Francisco Unified School District, which owns the Francis Scott Key Elementary School and the surrounding parking lot, issued a one-year permit to temporarily transform the annex’s concrete lot into Playland at 43rd Avenue, named in a nod to San Francisco’s beloved Playland-at-the-Beach amusement park that was torn down in 1972. The school has been abandonded for years, and it’s amazing to see the large parking lot finally getting some use. The school’s buidling is closed and used for storage. Major Lee suggested turning it into affordable housing for teachers but that plan is still up in the air.

Pavement to Parks
This project was made possible from a collaboration between Friends of Playland at 43rd Avenue, San Francisco Parks Alliance, SFUSD and Pavement to Parks, a program that seeks to test the possibilities of underused areas of land by quickly and inexpensively converting them into new public spaces for communities citywide.

The project is intended to be a public laboratory for the city to work with local communities to temporarily test new ideas. Materials and design interventions are meant to be temporary, and easily reversible as more feedback and ideas start to come in.


Play How You Want at Playland
The play space has many components, including a community garden, picnic area, bbq pits, hay bale labyrinth, basketball courts, art installations, ping-pong tables, climbing structures, an artists’ studio, and of course, the skate park. It’s awesome for kids aged 5 and up, but keep an eye on toddlers as there are a few rough spots, and the floor is still hard asphalt or concrete under some structures.

Skate Land
Playland’s crown jewel is definitely the skate park. The skate park is also all-volunteer built, fueled by the community’s love of skateboarding and the need for more skate parks for newbies in San Francisco’s neighborhoods. Your kids will love it.

Vision for the Future: A play-space by the Community for the Community
Several of the architects, artists and designers that participated in the project will continue to collaborate with Playland to improve it for the enjoyment of all. There are many planned projects if you want to check them out on their site. Also, if you have ideas or suggestions that you think could be a great addition to Playland, please contact them and let them know. This is a play space for the community by the community!

Where: 1360 43rd Avenue (between Judah and Irving Streets). San Francisco, CA

Have you visited Playland at 43rd Avenue yet? Please let us know what you would add or change in the comment section!

–Sonia Gandiaga

All images are by the author


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Calling all mac and cheese connoisseurs! There’s a brand new restaurant in Potrero specializing in the gooey, crispy, cheesy delicacy. Head over to Mac Daddy! With more than twelve different mac and cheese dishes to choose from, and gluten free options, anyone will find their favorite in this hip, family friendly, and affordable spot. Get your Mac Daddy on for an awesome lunch or dinner for the whole family!

Not Yo Mama’s Mac & Cheese
Mac Daddy boasts the most expansive and original mac and cheese menu in the city. They use the best and freshest ingredients, locally sourced and organic when possible. They take big pride in the food that they make. You can see and taste the love and care in the vibrant fresh pesto mac, south of the border mac and the beautiful quail egg dropped in the center of the carbonara mac. All dishes are covered in delightful panko breadcrumbs, which add a beautiful texture, bringing their mac and cheese to a different level.

Image courtesy of Mac Daddy

Life Beyond the Mac
They also offer their famous fried chicken, duck confit and fish and chips with a gourmet twist. For those getting ready for bathing suit season don’t despair. Their salad menu is just as impressive and mouth watering. Mac Daddy also offers an extensive wine menu, beers on tap, and refreshing champagne-based cocktails to pair with your fancy truffle mac.

Where is this Gem?
Head over to Potrero Hill to find this little piece of heaven. Grab a table inside or out, and if the wait is too long (space is very limited) take your mac to go. They will give you sturdy aluminum containers perfect to drop in the oven for a couple of minutes when you get home.

Mac Daddy

1453 18th St
San Francisco, CA
Phone: (415) 872-6670
Hours: Open Everyday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Have you been to Mac Daddy yet? Please let us know your favorite dish in the comment section!

–Sonia Gandiaga

All images by the author unless noted