Blog 9 of SF Bay Area Mom Blogs

Frog Mom by Laure Latham 

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The Best Part of Living in the San Francisco Bay Area

I love that I can find great bread and food in the Mission next to a pirate store, enjoy the amazing children's collection at the Main Library, take my girls to the free Friday Nights at the De Young, eat ice cream and see an urban farm in Hayes Valley, walk down paper streets to hanging gardens in North Beach, spy flashlight fishes at the Cal Academy, bike along Ocean Beach, see bakers shape sourdough crabs at Fisherman's Wharf or find a pumpkin patch in Cole Valley. How diverse! I love discovering new adventures for my kids. If that's not enough, San Francisco is an incredible base for day trips. Think the ancient redwoods of Muir Woods, the bunker-studded hills of the Marin Headlands, the goat farm in Pescadero, the aviation museum in San Carlos, the dragon playground at Coyote Point, the Chabot Space Center in Oakland, and the lighthouse in Point Reyes. What I love most though, is the "Yes we can" attitude and I hope my girls grow up learning that the world is theirs if they want it.

My Favorite Kid-friendly Activity in the Bay Area

Hiking is what we do most as a family but more than that, nature activities are what I prefer in the Bay Area. There are so many free parks programs for kids that we could spend our weekdays and weekends just enjoying those. In San Francisco, the Parks Conservancy organizes awesome programs at Crissy Field or in the Presidio. In the East Bay, the East Bay Regional Park District is literally a fun agent for all ages and my girls' hands-down favorite is Ardenwood Historic Farm. It doesn't matter what time of the year we visit, there's always a pioneer outdoors cooking class, a Victorian or Scottish period reenactment or a butterfly naturalist program. That place rocks!

Some Say It's Hard to Raise a Child in the Bay Area...

I'll say: find me another place in the country where kids are offered crayons and drawing paper in every restaurant, where being different is okay, where kids can go to the beach and a world-class museum on the same day, or where kids can sort their recycling before they know their alphabet. As the San Francisco Tourism Authority says: Only in San Francisco! On a more down-to-earth note: yes, living in San Francisco is expensive and it comes with the disadvantages of a metropolitan area such as crime, poverty and thorny parking. However, the city is unique in that it combines a city feel and education with unparalleled outdoors opportunities. In a way, it's a "rural" big city and to me that makes it very family-friendly. Plus, I like to think the school system raises generations of free-thinkers and entrepreneurs that care for the earth and know their technology inside out — a great combo for tomorrow.

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