Kids Around Town

Yellow Bird Music

Yellow Bird Music (courtesy photo)

Yellow Bird Music (courtesy photo)

Starting as young as three months, at Yellow Bird Music children up to 12 years old can explore the world in brand new ways through a variety of music, movement and art classes. Musical exploration, art, yoga, piano, choir, drum lessons, and summer camps are available at Yellow Bird. Owner Alexandra Adams-Arreguin combines a Kindermusik-based curriculum–which includes whimsically-titled classes such as “Do-Si-Do” and “Hello Weather, Let’s Play Together”–with innovative additions including performances by local musicians, giving children an up-close and personal opportunity to view musical expression by professionals.

“I just love working with kids,” says Adams-Arreguin. “The effect that music has on a child is one of the most positive and creative methods for them to discover themselves. I truly believe that every child has something to give and a song to share.”

YELLOW BIRD MUSIC 2726 De La Vina Street, Santa Barbara, 805-898-9070,

Arts Alive Creativity Center

Where else in town but Arts Alive Creativity Center can you find a Brownie troop doing ceramics, preschool-age thespians picking our costumes for a play, and teenagers popping their way through a hip-hop class? Arts Alive offers a panoply of creative pursuits for the young and young-at-heart. Past classes have included comic book making, fashion illustration, sewing, photography, drama, fiber art, painting, knitting, digital creations, harmonica lessons, creative clay, and singing.

New owner Laura Eliseo, who took over the space in January with partner Anthony Parisi, says she plans to continue with Arts Alive’s eclectic children’s curriculum and camp program, as well as incorporate new classes such as recycled glass creations and additional dance classes to complement those offered by Santa Barbara Dance Arts (formerly known as Santa Barbara Jazz Dance Academy), which shares the space and offers children’s classes in jazz, ballet, tap, hip-hop and more.

ARTS ALIVE CREATIVITY CENTER 1 North Calle Cesar Chavez, Suite 100, Santa Barbara, 805-963-2ART,

More Great Stuff For Kids

KINDERMUSIK WITH KATHY 1213 State Street, Suite I, Santa Barbara, 805-884-4009,

Kindermusik, the world’s leader in music and movement curricula for parents and children ages newborn to 7 years old, uses research in child development to provide developmentally appropriate music and movement experiences.

MY GYM 3888 State Street, Santa Barbara, 805-563-7336,

An award-winning program designed to help children aged three months thru 13 years develop strength, balance, coordination, flexibility and social skills through music, dance, games, and gymnastics.

BEACH STAR GYMNASTICS 4193 Carpinteria Ave., Suite 7,

Carpinteria, 805-684-9900,

A “recreational” gymnastics facility, focusing on the fun aspects of gymnastics for children from 18 months to 16 years old.

SBPARENT.COM P.O. Box 60135, Santa Barbara, 805-448-2426

An easy-to-access central location for all the information that parents need, including listings and links to camps, activities, childcare, preschool, party planning and more.

SBPEP.ORG P.O. Box 6154, Santa Barbara, 805-564-3888

The nonprofit volunteer-run PEP (Postpartum Education for Parents) offers numerous programs to help parents and families thrive with their new children.

Originally published in Santa Barbara Magazine in 2008.

Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara Grants $600,000 to Local Nonprofits

Women's Fund of Santa Barbara“Collaborative efforts are part of the future of philanthropy,” said Natalie Orfalea, addressing the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara’s annual luncheon on Jan. 28.

As chairwoman of the Orfalea Fund and co-founder of the Orfalea Family Foundation, Orfalea is an expert on collaborative giving, and was instrumental in developing her foundation’s partnership with the Women’s Fund. With Orfalea matching all of the money raised by the Women’s Fund, it was able to award $600,000 to support the work of eight local nonprofit organizations: Angels Foster Care of Santa Barbara, Casa Pacifica, Family Service Agency, Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara, Isla Vista Youth Projects, People’s Self-Help Housing, Storyteller Children’s Center and Transition House.

This brings the total amount given to the community by the Women’s Fund to $1,425,000, in just four short years of existence. The grassroots group was founded by a small group of women — chairwoman Carol Palladini and Perri Harcourt, Shirley Ann Hurley, Jean Kaplan, Dale Kern, Joanne Rapp, Elna Scheinfeld, Meredith Scott, Kay Stern, Anne Smith Towbes, Marsha Wayne and Fritzie Yamin — who were interested in contributing to the community without having to sell tickets, make decorations, solicit auction items or spend valuable resources to bring in funding for nonprofit organizations.

It’s a simple, yet powerful, idea that’s growing in the philanthropic community: Why not take the time, energy and money spent on producing and attending elaborate fund-raisers and write a single check once a year to put that money where it’s most needed.

The concept of giving circles — pooling resources with other donors to have a bigger impact — is catching on, too, not just with the Women’s Fund but within the Women’s Fund as well. To become a member of the Women’s Fund, a woman simply writes a tax-deductible check for $2,500 once a year and in return receives one vote to decide where the funds will be distributed. When the group started in 2004, it targeted women who could easily make the $2,500 donation required to participate.

In recent years, the circle of giving has widened to include group members — often younger women in the community who can’t afford the entire $2,500 donation — who pool their money and share one vote. has put together two of these groups, and there are 28 other sets of women who are neighbors, coworkers, friends and acquaintances who also contributed to the fund as group members, with anywhere from two to 12 members pooling their funds to come up with the required $2,500.

The idea of the money donated going directly to help people, rather than being spent on events or fund-raising expenses appealed to SBParent’s Julie Sorenson and Rachael Steidl. Other members said they joined the group to meet like-minded women or to learn more about the nonprofit organizations serving the community. Assisted by the Santa Barbara Foundation, the research committee does all the legwork to identify causes that align with the Women’s Fund goal of giving to meaningful projects affecting women, children and families.

The largest gift awarded by the Women’s Fund this year was a $150,000 leadership grant to Storyteller Children’s Center, for its $2.5 million expansion campaign that will be launched in 2008. Storyteller, which provides high-quality free preschool for homeless and at-risk children, will use the funds to help establish a second center on De la Vina Street. The organization will serve 1,000 homeless and at-risk children and their families in the next decade, said executive director Terri Allison.

“One in every five children in Santa Barbara County lives in poverty,” Allison said. And while these funds will greatly expand the availability of services, “for every child who joins Storyteller, we must place one on our waiting list.”

Family Service Agency’s 211 Human Services Helpline was awarded $95,000, an amount that will provide one-third of the funding needed to carry on the operation of the helpline when government funds expire in 2008.

Angels Foster Care of Santa Barbara was awarded $85,000 to pay for a licensed social worker to recruit, screen, train and support 20 foster families, doubling the number of infants and toddlers that were placed in foster care in 2007.

“These parents risk their own broken hearts,” said executive director Meichelle Arntz, “and this money allows us to provide them with additional support.”

Isla Vista Youth Projects, which lost state funds in 2007, received $60,000 for a family advocate and counselor for one year. This gap funding will restore programs to keep low-income families healthy through regular medical and dental care.

Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara was awarded $55,000 for its Teen Mentoring Program. Thise program expansion will allow girls 13 to 18 years old to participate in Girls Inc. for the first time locally. In the past the agency only served girls up to age 12.

Casa Pacifica received $55,000 to purchase three cars to enable caseworkers and mental health professionals to deliver 24/7 mobile emergency services for youth in immediate psychiatric crisis and to provide assistance for families with youth who are at risk for being placed in foster care.

People’s Self-Help Housing was granted $50,000 to fund a third educator for its year-round specialized mentoring learning program that serves school-aged children in low-income families.

Transition House also received $50,000, which will provide gap funding for the salary of one case manager for a year. Transition House case managers meet one-on-one with at-risk families to craft solutions to help them restore self-sufficiency.

As if helping these worthy organizations weren’t reward enough, oversight committee chairwoman Jo Gifford told the crowd of approximately 150 women that she recently learned that givers are happier than nongivers, less depressed, and full of the hormones that reduce stress.

“So with that in mind, I stand before the happiest, least depressed and least stressed women in Santa Barbara,” she said.

For more information about the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara visit or contact Jo Gifford at 805.969.3320 or

Originally published in Noozhawk and on January 30, 2008.

One on one with Rachael Steidl

Rachael Steidl (courtesy photo)

Rachael Steidl (courtesy photo)

Recognizing the need for a centralized place for parenting information in Santa Barbara, Rachel Steidl created, which quickly became an indispensable resource for parents when it launched in 2002. Part Internet portal, part calendar and part bulletin board, today her business not only serves locals, it’s also the model for 18 other cities that have licensed the technology.

Leslie Dinaberg: How did SBParent start?

Rachael Steidl: I was watching the frustration of how much work it was for parents to find resources. When I looked into it and tried to find out why it was so hard to get information, one of the things I realized was that advertising is so expensive and most businesses can’t afford to do it. My goal was to bring all of that word-of-mouth information under one central spot by making it affordable for businesses and nonprofits.

LD: How is ParentClick different than SBParent?

RS: Prior to (starting ParentClick) we were getting a lot of inquiries from people wanting to know how to get something like this going in their community. So we looked at what we had done over the last three years and decided that we could help fast forward them getting to where SBParent has gotten to by not having to do so much of the learning. So we created ParentClick. What we do is provide service agreements to these territory owners, which builds the technology for them, the website, gives them training and ongoing support, but they are in actuality their own business.

LD: So is it a franchise?

RS: It’s not a franchise in the sense that they have their own business name, their own business model, they set their own pricing. … We’ve also expanded services … for people who don’t have it in their city …we added travel with kids, children’s book and movie reviews, the recipe club and articles.

LD: Have you found that the other sites are different from Santa Barbara?

RS: It’s up to each territory whether they want it to make money and if they’re going to do sales, but to me, no matter what–and I have committed to this since the day I started, whether I was getting a check or not–is there will always be information for parents so that it’s not a waste of their time. Some territories are definitely stronger than others in terms of the consistency with which they are posting information.

But on SBParent, new information is going up every single day. When I was in Greece this summer I was posting information … we just don’t ever stop, because to me it’s a business, but we always look at it from the parent perspective.

… I would rather talk a potential owner out of doing the site than take a check from them for the wrong reasons.

LD: Is it still mostly a solo operation?

RS: Locally Julie Sorenson helps me, and she is really a huge, huge part of SBParent. But ParentClick has been solo. But we’re hiring.

… My daughter said to me the other day, “Mommy,” because she always told me she’s going to do my site when she grows up. She says, “I don’t know if I’m going to do when I grow up. I just think it’s too much work.”

LD: How and when do you work?

RS: My standard working hours, now that all my kids are in school, are really 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. I’ve gotten really disciplined, even though I still work out of the home, at not working on anything going on in the home–just working.

From 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. are my mom hours and then from 8 p.m. to midnight are usually work hours again. … My kids’ biggest complaint is my pulling up to pick them up from school on my cell phone, because I am literally doing calls until I pick them up. One of the things I tell a lot of the territory owners, as wonderful as it is working from home and as wonderful as it is being your own boss, it’s no less work–actually I think it’s a lot more juggling–it’s just that you get to control what those hours are.

I would not change it for the world because I get to be at all my kids’ things. … To me it’s worth working at night to be able to have that time with the kids during the day.

LD: Do you ever think it would be easier to have a job with set hours?

RS: Sure, but the funny thing is that even on my worst day where I’ll look at the big picture and go, did I make a mistake growing the company, did I make a mistake starting a business, I look at how it’s affected people and the emails we get or the great conversations with some of our territories, and I think you know what–I love what I do.

Vital Stats: Rachael Ross Steidl

Birthdate and place: 7/17/70, Los Angeles

Family: Twins Ashley and Whitney (9) and Emily (5); husband Jamie.

Civic Involvement: Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, Board President; Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara, Oversight Committee; Santa Barbara Foundation, Katherine Harvey Fellows; Junior Philanthropists, Fund for Santa Barbara; Hope School PTA.

Professional Accomplishments: Goleta Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year, 2007; 40 under 40, Pacific Coast Business Times; is now licensed in 18 cities, with more on the way.

Little known fact: Rachael’s parents had a great cookware store in Santa Barbara in the late 70s-80s called D. Crosby Ross, which was a cross between a Pottery Barn and a Williams Sonoma.

Originally published in Noozhawk

Parents Choice Awards

When one person gives advice, you can take it or leave it. But when hundreds of people chime in on the best places to spend your time, and your money … well, it just makes sense to perk up your ears.

So listen up — and even take notes if you need to — these are the first annual Parent’s Choice Award winners, brought to you by, N.E.W. (Network of Enterprising Women), and the South Coast Beacon.

Birthday and Shower Invitations

Winner: Paper Ink

3325 State St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93105


Honorable Mention: Glenda’s Party Cove

3319 State St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93105


Whether you’re looking to create your own invitations, or buy them off the rack, Paper Ink has everything you could possibly need to announce the festivities. And honorable mention winner Glenda’s Party Cove is just a few steps away.

Holiday Cards

Winner: Costco

7095 Market Place Drive

Goleta, CA 93117


With bargain prices on both photo cards and traditional boxed sets, it’s no wonder that Costco’s a local favorite.

Honorable Mention: P J’s Hallmark Shop

6990 Market Place Dr.

Goleta, CA 93117


Birthday Supplies and Favors

Glenda’s Party Cove and Pacific Company were tied for first place. Luckily for you, they’re both located in Loreto Plaza, just a few doors down from one another.

Winner: Glenda’s Party Cove

3319 State St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93105


Winner: Pacific Company

3309 State St. #A

Santa Barbara, CA 93105


Place to Host a Birthday

Winner: My Gym, Children’s Fitness Center

3888 State St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93105


With an all-inclusive package that provides everything but the cake, My Gym is a great choice for busy parents with active kids.

Honorable Mention: local parks

Visit for information on facilities and rental availability for Santa Barbara City Parks and for Santa Barbara County Parks information.

Best Birthday Cakes

Winner: Costco

7095 Market Place Drive

Goleta, CA 93117


Honorable Mention: Anna’s Bakery

7018 Market Place Dr.

Goleta, CA 93117


For a big party, there’s no better value in town than Parent’s Choice winning Costco cake. Honorable Mention winner Anna’s Bakery, just across the parking lot at Camino Real Marketplace) is known for its creative decorations (the big wave surfing cake is a favorite) and having a wide variety of confections.


Grandma and Grandpa were the winners in this category, hands-down. However, if you’re not lucky enough to have grandparents in town, some of the other sitters mentioned were: Christin Allrich, Yolanda Espinoza, Erin Feeney, Jessica Fink , Kayla Howard-Anderson, Lauren Klapp, Caitlin Leff, Sara Martinovich , Christina Palacio, Pamela Palacio, Sloan Pettersen, Stacy Radujko, Nicole Richardson, Corrigan Speicher , Christina Villalovos, Sierra Young, Kristi Ware and Beth Williams.


Winner: Circle of Friends Children’s Center

400 Puente Drive

Santa Barbara, CA 93110


A perennial favorite among local parents, Circle of Friends is also known for having really fun fundraisers.

Honorable Mention: The Oaks Parent-Child Workshop

Director – Marilyn Statucki

605 W. Junipero St.

Santa Barbara. CA 93105


Elementary School

Winner: Foothill Elementary School

711 Ribera Drive

Santa Barbara, CA 93111


Honorable Mention: Hope Elementary School

3970 La Colina Road

Santa Barbara, CA 93110



Not unexpectedly, given their longevity in town, the Children’s Medical Clinic dominated this category, with Dr. David Abbott (father) and Dr. Steven Abbott (son) coming out in first and second places. Sometimes it pays to go into the family business.

Winner: Dr. David Abbott

Children’s Medical Clinic

15 E. Arrellaga St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Honorable Mention: Dr. Steven Abbott

Children’s Medical Clinic

15 E. Arrellaga St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Honorable Mention: Dr. Gerard Brewer

2421 Bath St., Suite B

Santa Barbara, 93105


Pediatric Dentist

Winner: Dr. Robert Ruby & Dr. Yvonne Rochon

15 E. Arrellaga St. Suite 4

Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Honorable Mention: Dr. Steven Mascagno

2780 State St., Suite 5

Santa Barbara, CA 93105


The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a child’s first dental visit be by the time he is a year old. By age 3, the average child has three decayed teeth — and that is with only 50% of children seeing a dentist — so the earlier the better to prevent problems before they occur, said Dr. Marc Grossman.


Winner: Dr. Margaret Echt

2329 Oak Park Lane

Santa Barbara, CA 93105


Honorable Mention: Dr. Susanne Ramos

Sansum-Santa Barbara Medical Foundation Clinic

515 W. Pueblo St.

Santa Barbara, 93105


Honorable Mention: Dr. Ayesha Shaikh

2323 Oak Park Lane, Suite 202

Santa Barbara, 93105


Occupational/Physical Therapist

Winner: Dr. Mark Brisby

5638 Hollister Ave., Suite 301

Goleta, CA 93117


Family Therapist/Psychologist

Winner: Michael Madden

23 W. Mission St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Holistic Health Care

Winner: Maes Center for Natural Health Care

9 E. Mission St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Honorable Mention: Santa Barbara Center for Natural Medicine

34 E. Sola St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Child Friendly Restaurants

Winner: California Pizza Kitchen

719 Paseo Nuevo (on Chapala St.)

Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Honorable Mention: Beach Grill at Padaro

3765 Santa Claus Lane

Carpinteria, CA 93013


Honorable Mention: Red Robin

3825 State St. (in La Cumbre Plaza)

Santa Barbara, CA 93105

California Pizza Kitchen has great kids meals, with sundaes as a special treat. You can’t beat the view – or the sandbox – at the Beach Grill at Padaro, and you can’t beat the bar at Red Robin.

Grocery Store

A lot of people discovered Trader Joe’s when the big chains went on strike last year, and apparently the appetite for well-priced, high-quality, health-conscious food has stuck.

Winner: Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s (Goleta)

5767 Calle Real

Goleta, CA 93117


Trader Joe’s (Santa Barbara North)

3025 De La Vina

Santa Barbara, CA 93103


Trader Joe’s (Santa Barbara South)

29 South Milpas St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93103

(805) 564-7878

Honorable Mention: Vons

1040 Coast Village Road (Montecito)

34 W. Victoria St. (Santa Barbara)

163 S. Turnpike Rd. (Santa Barbara)

3855 State St. (Santa Barbara)

165 N. Fairview Ave. (Goleta)

850 Linden Ave. (Carpinteria)

Grocery Delivery

A godsend for new parents who often have a hard time getting into the shower in those early weeks, let alone getting into the car, grocery delivery is fast becoming a way of life for many on the South Coast.


Health Food Store

Winner: Lazy Acres Market

302 Meigs Road

Santa Barbara, CA 93109


Honorable Mention: Lassen’s Health Foods

5154 Hollister Ave,

Goleta, CA 93117


Take-out Meals

Winner: Santa Barbara Chicken Ranch

Santa Barbara Chicken Ranch (Santa Barbara)

2618 De La Vina St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93105


Santa Barbara Chicken Ranch (Goleta)

63 North Fairview Ave. (in the Fairview Shopping Center)

Goleta, CA 93117


Honorable Mention: Fresco

3987 State St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93105


Childbirth Classes

Winner: Cottage Health System

Both Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital (682.7111) and Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital (967.3411) childbirth classes had plenty of fans.

New Parent Classes

Winner: PEP- Baby Basics

Postpartum Education for Parents


Honorable Mention: Infant Times

Taught by Laura Sobell

Santa Barbara City College Adult Education

300 N. Turnpike Rd.

Santa Barbara, CA 93111


Parent Support Groups

Winner: PEP (Postpartum Education for Parents)


Honorable Mention: Santa Barbara Parents of Multiples

Diaper Services

Winner: Enviro-Baby

2445 Murrell Rd.

Santa Barbara, CA 93109


Advertising that they’ve saved more than 574,276 diapers from Santa Barbara landfills as of Feb. 1, Enviro-Baby provides weekly pickup and delivery of cotton diapers, as well as odorless diaper pails.

Doulas and Nurses

Winner: Kitty Maxwell


Art Supplies

Winner: Art Essentials

32 E. Victoria St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Honorable Mention: Michaels Arts and Crafts

187 North Fairview Ave.

Goleta, CA 93117



Winner: Kernohans

Kernohans (Goleta) 5739 Calle Real

Goleta, CA 93117


Kernohans (Santa Barbara)1324 State St. (in La Cumbre Plaza)

Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Honorable Mention: KB Toys

136 S. Hope Ave #47 (in La Cumbre Plaza)

Santa Barbara, CA 93105


Honorable Mention: Toyland

3821 Santa Claus Lane

Carpinteria, CA 93013


Educational Materials

Winner: Bennett’s Educational Materials

5130 Hollister Ave.

Santa Barbara, CA 93111


Maternity Clothes

Winner: Due Maternity

1223 State St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Honorable Mention: Motherhood Maternity

121 S. Hope Ave. (in La Cumbre Plaza)

Santa Barbara, CA 93105


Kid’s Clothes

Winner: Gymboree Clothing

3815 State St. (in La Cumbre Plaza)

Santa Barbara, CA 93105


Honorable Mention: The Gap Kids

617 Paseo Nuevo

Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Kid’s Shoes

Winner: Nordstrom

17 W. Canon Perdido St. (in Paseo Nuevo)

Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Honorable Mention: Payless Shoe Stores

627 State St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93101


197 S. Turnpike Road

Santa Barbara, CA 93111


Used Kid’s Clothes and Toys

Winner: Polar Bear

726 Anacapa St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Honorable Mention: Replay

2945 De La Vina St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93105


Kid’s Sports Equipment

Winner: Play it Again Sports

4850 Hollister Ave.

Santa Barbara, CA 93111


Honorable Mention: Sportmart

7035 Marketplace Dr.

Goleta, CA 93117


Baby Furniture/Equipment

Winner: Baby Furniture & Accessories Santa Barbara

1936 De La Vina St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Honorable Mention: Chicken Little

1236 State St.

Santa Barbara, 93101


Children’s Furniture

Winner: Hopscotch Fine Furnishings

110 South Hope Road (in La Cumbre Plaza)

Santa Barbara, CA 93105


Honorable Mention: Baby Furniture & Accessories Santa Barbara

1936 De La Vina St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Bookstore for Kids

Winner: Chaucer’s Books

3321 State St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93105


Honorable Mention: Border’s Books, Music & Café

900 State St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93101


7000 Marketplace Dr.

Goleta, CA 93117


Kid’s Haircuts

Winner: Kids Cuts

4317 State St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93101


With a child’s dream playroom full of toys and videos, there’s no need to be nervous about your baby’s first haircut. The only difficult thing about Kids Cuts is getting your kids to leave.

Honorable Mention: Tortoise and the Hare

1221 State St. #4 in Victoria Court

Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Scrapbook Supplies

Winner: Santa Barbara Scrapbooks

918 Chapala St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Not only does Santa Barbara Scrapbooks offer everything you need to preserve your family’s memories, it now offers free Mommy and Me memory classes as well as kid’s scrapbooking classes for a nominal fee.

Honorable Mention: Michaels Arts and Crafts

187 North Fairview Ave.

Goleta, CA 93117


Family Photographer

Winner: Brad Elliot


Place to get Car Seat Checked

Winner: California Highway Patrol

6465 Calle Real

Goleta, CA 93117


Outdoor Fitness / Health Clubs

Winner: YMCA

Santa Barbara Family YMCA

36 Hitchcock Way

Santa Barbara, CA 93105


Montecito Family YMCA

591 Santa Rosa Ln.

Santa Barbara, CA 93108


Honorable Mention: Moms in Motion

HOME Countdown

Place to Volunteer with Kids

Winner: Unity Shoppe

1219 State St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Kids Parade

Winner: Fiesta Children’s Parade

Honorable Mention: PEP Halloween Parade

Hiking Trail with Kids

Winner: Rattlesnake Canyon

To reach the trailhead for the Rattlesnake Canyon Trial, exit the 101 Freeway at Mission in Santa Barbara. Follow the signs to the Mission and from there, proceed north on Mission Canyon Road to Foothill Road and turn right. Make a quick left, once again onto Mission Canyon Road, and take it to Las Canoas Road and turn right. Take Las Canoas about 1-1/2 miles, look for a wide turnout near the second stone bridge and park your car along side the road.

Honorable Mention: Jesusita Trail

To reach the top of the trail, exit the 101 Freeway at Mission Street, head northeast to Foothill Road and turn right. Turn left on Tunnel Road and take it to the trailhead. Beyond the gate look for signage for Inspiration Point and Jesusita Trail.

Annual Family Event

Winner: Old Spanish Days Fiesta

Get ready for this year’s festivities at the annual costume sale on May 7 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Carriage Museum. For more information call Mally Sneddon at 964.7650.

Honorable Mention: Summer Solstice

Places to Take a Field Trip

Winner: Santa Barbara Zoo

500 Ninos Drive

Santa Barbara, CA 93103

962.5339 x26

Honorable Mention: Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

2559 Puesta del Sol Rd.

Santa Barbara, CA 93105


Honorable Mention: UCSB Marine Science Institute



Winner: Goleta Beach Park

5986 Sandspit Road

Goleta, CA 93117


Park/Playground: TODDLER

Winner: Hidden Valley

This park, at Calle de Los Amigos and Torino Drive, is tailor-made for toddlers, with lawn, barbeque facilities and a great little playground, plus over 15 acres of creekside foliage and wildlife accessed by a walking path. The only downside: there’s no bathroom.

Honorable Mention: Willowglen Park

600 Willowglen Road

Honorable Mention: La Mesa Park

At Cliff Drive and Meigs Road

Honorable Mention: Chase Palm Park

East Cabrillo Boulevard at Garden Street

Honorable Mention: Hilda McIntyre Ray Neighborhood Park

1400 Kenwood Dr.

Honorable Mention: Goleta Beach Park

5986 Sandspit Road
Goleta, CA 93117


Park/Playground: PRESCHOOL

Winner: Kids World

Located in downtown Santa Barbara at Garden and Micheltorena Streets, this park is a favorite for elementary school kids too, with whimsical community art contributions throughout the playground.

Honorable Mention: Chase Palm Park

This 10-acre facility on East Cabrillo Boulevard features fountains, creeks, a lagoon, carousel, snack bar and a Shipwreck Playground modeled after an ocean schooner from the turn of the century. The city-sponsored free Summer Concert series is also a favorite for families.

Camp 3-6 year olds

Winner: Zoo Camp (Santa Barbara Zoo)

500 Ninos Drive

Santa Barbara, CA 93103

962.5339 x48

Honorable Mention: My Gym, Children’s Fitness Center

3888 State St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93105


Camp 6-12 year olds

Winner: Westmont Sports Camp (at Westmont College)

Westmont Summer Camps

955 La Paz Rd.

Santa Barbara, CA 93108


Honorable Mention: UCSB Camps

UCSB Department of Recreation


Overnight Camp

Winner: YMCA Camp Arbolado


Best Parent & Child Class

It was a tie between Kindermusik and My Gym, both of which offer great parent participation sessions for young children.

Winner: Kindermusik

1213 State St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Winner: My Gym, Children’s Fitness Center

3888 State St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93105


Afterschool Program

Winner: Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara

531 E. Ortega St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93103


Honorable Mention: Creative Arts Inc.


Sports Programs

Winner: AYSO Soccer

Goleta — 685.6806

Santa Barbara — 687.4134

Honorable Mention: Blaze Water Polo

Directors Beth Tompkins (637.0250) and Cathy Schreier (637.2040)

Tutoring Program

Winner: Dublin Learning Center

112 W. Cota St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Art Program

Arts Alive! a newcomer on the arts scene, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s Ridley-Tree education program tied for the best children’s art program. Both offer a wide variety of well-loved classes for budding artists.

Winner: Arts Alive! Dance and Creativity Center

1 N. Calle Cesar Chavez

Santa Barbara, CA 93103


Winner: Ridley-Tree Education Center at McCormick House

1600 Santa Barbara St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Cooking Classes for Kids

Winner: Healthy Cooking with Kids


Dance Classes

Winner: Gustafson Dance

322 State St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Honorable Mention: Santa Barbara Jazz & Dance Academy

Gymnastics Program

Winner: The Spirals Gymnastic Foundation

Robertson Gymnasium

University of California, Santa Barbara


Honorable Mention: My Gym, Children’s Fitness Center

3888 State St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93105


Science & Marine Program

Winner: Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

2559 Puesta del Sol Rd.

Santa Barbara, CA 93105


Etiquette Program

Winner: Mind Your Manners


Swim Lessons

Winner: Wendy Fereday Swim School


Honorable Mention: Wilson Swimming


Water Sports Program

Winner: Blaze Water Polo

Directors Beth Tompkins (637.0250) and Cathy Schreier (637.2040)

Honorable Mention: UCSB Surf & Kayak Camp


Tennis Programs

Winner: Cathedral Oaks Athletic Club

5800 Cathedral Oaks Rd.

Goleta, CA 93117


Honorable Mention: Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation classes

Best Travel Agent

Winner: AAA Travel Agency

3712 State St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93105


Best Local Hotel for Families

Winner: Four Seasons Biltmore Hotel

1260 Channel Dr.

Santa Barbara, CA 93108


Check out the “Kids for All Seasons Program,” a complimentary service, where you can leave your child with counselors to dine at “The Raft” (poolside cafe) and do arts and crafts, games, and swimming. Friday night date nights are also available, where parents can leave their children to watch movies.

Honorable Mention: Harbor View Inn

28 W. Cabrillo Blvd.

Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Honorable Mention: Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort

633 E. Cabrillo Blvd.

Santa Barbara, CA 93103


Can’t get enough? Look for more in-depth profiles of some of the Parent’s Choice Award-winning businesses in upcoming issues of the South Coast Beacon.

Did we miss anything? If there are categories you would like to see next year, or awards that you just plain disagree with, let us know by emailing

Special thanks to the following vendors who donated prizes for our drawing: This Little Piggy Wears Cotton – My Gym – SB Axxess Book – Ty Warner Sea Center – Books – Pizza Mizza – Jelly Photography – Due Maternity – Artesia Spa – Serafina

Originally published in South Coast Beacon on April 14, 2005.