Living in San Francisco
In San Francisco, the Glen Park neighborhood has that close knit and progressive vibe especially the closer you are to Chenery. Walkable. Mission Terrace nbrhd too. (Of the two nbrhds, Glen Park is less diverse but probably still more diverse than the areas you mentioned.) SF has public schools that are racially and socioeconomically diverse, you can rank those schools at the top of your list. (Not all schools are equally diverse but it’s easy to check.)
If you are working in Mission Bay, you may seriously want to consider living in the city, particularly in neighborhoods like Dog Patch, Potrero Hill or the Mission. The issue with commuting to Mission Bay from Berkeley or Oakland is that BART or Transbay Bus will drop you off either at Market Street or the bus terminal, both of which are some distance from Mission Bay. You'd have to then get on a Muni bus or train or scooter or have a longish walk. Your door to door commute will probably be about an hour and a half. Those neighborhoods are also similarly gritty like Temescal if that's your cup of tea. If the East Bay is where you have to live, another option is to buy or lease an electric vehicle which will allow you use of the carpool lane on the Bay Bridge and will be the fastest way to work. Yet another option is Casual Carpool, which you'll be dropped off just off the highway exit in SOMA. This would slice a third to half the distance to get to Mission Bay compared to Market Street. Plus it's free. You'd have to return to Market Street or the bus terminal to return to the East Bay. If you happen to live near Jack London or Alameda, you could also take a ferry to The Ferry Building in the city, then take a Muni train to Mission Bay. Depending on how close you are to the ferry terminal it might be the "best" way to commute.
Bernal heights, Glen Park, Daly City areas are very family friendly. There is a sweet preschool, Room to Grow, in Bernal Heights. UCSF area is also very family friendly. Note that Daly City and Richmond/Sunset neighborhoods are colder and foggier than bernal heights, which has a nice sunnier weather.
Re the downtown hospital, which as others reported is confusing as there isn't one, at least that I know, maybe you mean St Francis in Nob Hill - regardless - the thing I wanted to caution you on is that although it may appear only a short walk from "downtown" (ie the bart stops at Union Square or the Financial district) it is up a very big hill so unless your husband likes to walk that, he'll need to transfer from bart to a bus. Which is fine, just keep it in mind that when looking at SF maps, the distances are misleading due to the hills.
Here are a few SF neighborhoods to consider -
1. Potrero Hill - easy access to downtown areas and you see lots of kids and families walking around- which is unusual in many neighborhoods in SF
2. South Beach - I love this neighbor and it would work great if you have toddlers but not sure once kids become school age.
3. The Marina is also family friendly.
I am sure there are other areas out in the avenues that are more family (the sunset or richmond). As everyone says, these are very expensive. You could consider Alameda and have him commute by ferry. Alameda is definitely kid friendly and somewhat more affordable than some other places.
Wish you the best of luck!
Since most (all) of the responses you have gotten recommend living outside SF, I thought I would put in a vote for living in the city. (Disclosure: We live in Berkeley, within walking distance of a BART station, which is great, but I grew up in SF, in the outer Richmond.) I think you can find something affordable (in Bay Area-adjusted terms) in the western part of the city: Sunset, Richmond, etc. It will ease your husband's commute to not have to cross the Bay to get to work (I think that is also a psychological advantage). There are simply more things to do in SF for families from museums to beaches; the great outdoors (Marin, San Mateo coast, East Bay hills) are just a short drive away. Many of the playgrounds in SF are new and fantastic, while in Berkeley we have hardly any. If you are only planning on living in the Bay Area temporarily, I think you will get more out of your time to live in SF rather than a suburb, which might not be too different from where you are coming from. My two cents.
Archived Q&A and Reviews
RE: Leave Silicon Valley for San Francisco or Portland?
I can't speak to living in Portland, but we are family who 'stuck it out' in San Francisco. Our oldest is in 7th and the younger in 4th now. We nearly moved to Portland when they were little. I mean, very nearly! Got into school up there, got a job offer, looked at (cheap! and huge!) houses etc. I got cold feet due to the weather and being away from family, but honestly, it would have been a really smart financial decision.
Living in SF with a family is hard unless you have TONS of money. It's not just the housing costs, but the cost of everything else. Preschool, camps, private school (if you don't want large classes of 35 in middle school, for example), aftercare, babysitters etc.
And then there is this air of super competitiveness about everything. Getting up at 5am to wait in line for camp signups, getting on preschool waitlists when you're pregnant, touring highschools when your kids are in 7th grade and hiring special tutors to ace the highschool entrance tests etc. I'm not naturally a super competitive person, so that has been hard for me. (I think this a probably true throughout the Bay Area, but especially in moneyed SF.)
We are city people, too, and had only lived in much larger cities than SF before moving here, so the slow pace of SF felt suburban to us. We liked SF when they were little due to all the parks, museums, and restaurants in walking distance, but as they grow up, they aren't really interested in those things and I instead spend hours shuttling them around in the car to school, friends across the city, chorus, soccer etc. Muni is pretty unreliable and doesn't work to get them to afterschool activities. I may drive more than people in the burbs.
SF is a great place for toddlers, and if you can afford private high school, a great place for teens. I think the school years are a bit tough, however, as kids scatter to schools across the city and/or move out of the city frequently, so it's sometimes hard to make lasting friendships. That is not everyone's experience, to be sure, some people do get a neighborhood school and end up loving it, we didn't however. We're still here, but are moving to Marin for high school! In a city with the lowest population of kids in the nation, there are very few kids in our immediate neighborhood.
Have you considered the Sunset or the Richmond in San Francisco? These are the two neighborhoods lining Golden Gate Park and sloping down all the way to the ocean. These neighborhoods get a bad rap, especially from East Bay dwellers, because they are foggy. However, if I were in your situation, I would definitely consider those neighborhoods; there are many Chinese families in these neighborhoods (you hear both Cantonese and Mandarin). We lived in the Sunset for 5 years, including the time when my son was 0-3 and my daughter was an infant; I loved the neighborhood, despite the fog. I know less about the Richmond because we never lived there, but it has a similar feel -- lots of Chinese families, though maybe a bit more diverse. We lived in the Outer Sunset (on 25th, very near the park) -- great walkable neighborhood, for in-laws who don't drive. Right on the corner of 25th and Irving is an amazing Chinese supermarket. I loved shopping there...Great Chinese restaurants (and other Asian restaurants as well) -- I miss the Chinese bakery and take-out dim sum! The inner Sunset (away from the ocean) is somewhat dominated by UCSF and also is more expensive. The middle and outer Sunset is more 'Chinese/Asian' (for lack of a better description), more affordable (bigger houses, lots of single-family homes), and quieter. Golden Gate Park is an amazing resource to have with young children -- great playgrounds, great walking paths, a beautiful lake, the Academy of Sciences, etc. We moved to the East Bay (my husband wanted to get out of the fog) before our kids started school, although I did spend a lot of time learning about the schools while we lived there and have friends in the schools now. The SF public schools are a mixed bag. But the Sunset and the Richmond have some of the better neighborhood schools in the city. Our local school would have been Jefferson, and I have friends who are very happy with the school. There are also several Mandarin immersion schools in the city; if your children are bilingual (Mandarin/English), I believe this would increase their chances of getting into one of the Mandarin immersion programs. That said, the Mandarin immersion schools are highly ranked and highly sought after, so there's no guarantee you'd get in. And there's no guarantee on your neighborhood school, either. SF has a complicated algorithm that determines school assignment. I'd read up on it, certainly, before I bought a house there. There is also the Chinese American International School, if money is no object -- that school is supposed to be amazing. All in all, I have lovely memories of living 'in the Avenues' (as we call the two neighborhoods) and probably would have stayed if it had been up to me. I don't mean to downplay the fog, however; it can really drive some people crazy during a bad summer. And the uncertainty re: school assignments would be anxiety provoking. But I have to say, every single one of my friends in the City has landed at a school they are happy with. Some of them had to white-knuckle it through a couple of rounds of wait-listing, but those who stuck it out have been very happy so far (these are all elementary school aged families). Sunset Booster
Re: Relocating to the Bay Area, looking for a walkable neighborhood
Hi- You didn't say where your husband will be working but you did express some interest in the Sunset or Richmond area of SF. If you are looking for a family friendly and walkable area in SF I highly recommend the Laurel Heights nieghborhood. It is flat and very walkable to everything you'll need and I do mean everything! The only issue is the public school situation. If you're kids are going to be in elementary school soon that is something to consider. Definitely research the SFUSD process to see if you can stomach dealing with the lottery. We just moved to the East Bay from Laurel Heights in SF because we didn't want to deal with the public school situation there. Other than that, it is heaven! Good luck with your move. Former city girl
Re: Job in SF but I must have sun
have you looked at Noe Valley. It's a fabulous family friendly neighborhood. We used to live on 22nd st at Church. It was sunny most of the year. We watched the fog roll in to the right and left eventually meeting in Potrero and never quite make it to us. Ah, I miss those days. miss those sunny days
Noe Valley is relatively sunny for the city (as is the Mission, but you said you were concerned about safety - probably not the best area for you). Potrero Hill would be another option. Anything south of the city, too. (Just don't go west!)
Re: Moving to SF - Gay-friendly family neighborhood with easy commute?
Check out the Bernal Heights neighborhood in San Francisco. Cheaper than Noe and lots of Lesbian families/couples. Very family oriented too -- lots of kids activities, beautiful playground/park, story and music time at local cafes, lovely library, etc. Love our gay-friendly city
Well your partner could easily commute on BART to downtown SF from Berkeley under 45 minutes, but that Palo Alto day would be 'trying'. Yes, Noe Valley is fantastic, I rented there for several years, but the prices have gone crazy. Probably the same is true for the Castro and Eureka Valley (which are right next door), but then it depends on your money. You might try Bernal Heights. It's gay friendly, about 8 minutes from Noe Valley (if that) and its main drag, Cortland Ave, has turned into quite the place for food and hanging out. Also VERY dog friendly. There is also Potreto Hill at the other end of the Mission....and then there is the Mission. The Mission connects with Noe Valley and has some wonderful homes, as does most of the city. It does have its areas that 'might not be so safe', but again, it depends where you are at. The outer communities like the Sunset and Richmond are alright. Inner Sunset, which is next to Golden Gate Park is friendly, the outer Sunset a tad more conservative, as is the Richmond, of course they are close to the ocean, but also get that fog. Lastly, there is the Haight, a very mix and match area, some areas delightful, others 'less' delightful. San Franciscos a great town, but you might want to vist and take the BART ride and see if its doable. Ex-SF, now East Bay
Commuting to the financial district from Berkeley is actually quite easy, and depending on where your start from takes about 35 min on BART, a bit longer on a commuter bus. Palo Alto is another matter -- it takes 45 min if there's no traffic, but can take up to 1-1/2 hours. In SF, you might want to look at Glen Park -- more friendly than Noe Valley. San Francisco has a very complex school assignment policy, so you should research that before choosing where to look. There are many lesbian families with children in Berkeley and Oakland, and a few gay male families with children. anon
Bernal Heights is a great neighborhood. There are LOTS of moms, gay and straight. Look at the website for Bernal Hill Realty. It tells a lot about the neighborhood. I live in the East Bay now. There are a lot of lesbians in Oakland and Berkeley. It would take about an hr. to get to Palo Alto, but if you hop on the BART it would take only about 15 minutes to get to the Financial District. Good luck.
Re: Neighborhoods for car-free life with a toddler?
You didn't mention whether you were renting or owning. For safety though, if you wish to stay in the city there's some good places to be found in the Russian Hill/Pacific Heights/Marina neighborhoods. The child density depends on the neighborhood/building. We're few blocks west of Van Ness, which is safe but not outrageously priced and importantly, we never use our car. We bus/BART to work in the East Bay, walk to get groceries, there's tons of parks around, libraries, Post Offices, anything you need. The East Bay is great too. Regardless of your choice, I would walk around the neighborhood of the place you're considering at various times of day, afternoon, and night before deciding, to see how it feels for you. Different streets can feel different, depending on high school traffic, proximity to shelters etc., as you know, moreover different people have a differing sense of what's safe. Good luck! anon
Well, this isn't Berkeley but I would like to make a plug for the Richmond District in San Francisco. We're car free with a toddler and we love it here. There are tons of toddlers and it is very safe. The 38 Geary Limited can get you to a BART station in 20 minutes. This neighborhood has everything you are looking for except for being in Berkeley. bikermom
Hi. Any suggestions out there for family-friendly neighorhoods (ones that have parks as well as rental apartments or houses with easy parking) and daycare/pre-school/nanny arrangments for a family with a two-year old? Any suggestons for reliable and affordable realtors who deal with rentals? We are considering moving from Rockridge to San Francisco for a couple of years to experience more of an urban life before our child begins kindergarten (at which point we'll probably move back to the Bay Area). One of us will be commuting to UC-Berkeley, and the other to SFSU. Has anyone out there done this type of move with a young child? Any regrets or success stories? Any advice would be very welcome! Thank you! Anon
We live in Noe Valley. We don't have kids (one on the way). It is a bit on the expensive side, but a very kid friendly neighborhood. The restaurants are always full of kids of all ages, there are some nice parks with playgrounds and 24th Street (the main drag) is stroller central! It also really feels like a neighborhood, not like you are living right in the middle of the city.
We have three kids (9,6, and 2) - with the older two being born in Berkeley. We've lived in SF for 6 years, and are moving out this summer. I love SF as a city, but to live with kids? NO WAY. The littlest things are completely what kill you - and start adding up. Like not being able to find a parking place at Safeway when all you need is a carton of milk for the baby; having a homeless guy pee on your car, and having to explain that to your kids; not allowing your kids to even go out on the front porch to play; public school lottery; private school tuition? Again, SF is a city that's amazing, but I think it's much better to try to find a home with a view of the city, and take a long weekend if you wish. There is a reason SF has the highest rate of families fleeing it each year, and lowest ratio of children in a urban population.
Been there, done that, GONE!
We live in the Richmond district with our 2 year old. There are lots of kids and good parks and it looks like a lot of childcare places though our son stays at home so we don't have any specific recommendations. SFSU is an easy busride down 19th ave. and the 38 geary limited will get you to a bart station in 20 minutes. sfmom
SF with one kid and two incomes or one pretty large income? Doable. More than one kid? Would not recommend it unless money is no object. If you can afford private school (I think about $20K a year to start at most, if you can get into one) it's less of a worry. If you can afford someone to watch your kids while you sit in your car in line for 20 minutes waiting for a parking spot at Trader Joe's, life will be less stressful. If you have a parking spot and don't have to worry about moving your car at 7:55 AM for street cleaning and driving around the block for 20 minutes while your 2-year-old is in the middle of breakfast, well you have achieved rock-star status! I guess what I am saying is, if you have plenty of money to get the kind of home and help you need and pay for a decent school if you lose out on the lottery, you are fine. That was not our situation, so we relocated to a fixer in Montclair and are hanging in there on one income. We are surrounded by young families over here and don't miss most of the places we could never manage anyhow with two kids under age 4 in tow (parking, waiting for a table, not stroller accessible, no bathrooms, etc). However, if you can pay for all the childcare you need, you can live it up in a world class city. That's how I see it!
Much Happier in Montclair
We live in the East Bay and are considering moving to San Francisco next summer. I am not very familiar with the city in terms of what neighborhoods to live in, and especially in terms of preschools for our two children, who will be 3 and nearly 2. We will most likely start off renting in hopes of buying soon (someday?!) if we can afford it.
There is little advice about this in the archives. Any advice on where to live? We would hope to have some sort of parking (at least off street), and not pay an arm and a leg for rent. We would love to be near some shops/restaurants or park (and who wouldn't).
Regarding schools, does anyone know of a resource in SF similar to Berkeley Parents Network? Is there any source which would help us choose a quality preschool? Our son is currently attending a Reggio Emilia based school and we would hope to find a similar program in SF.
Thanks for any advice - it is greatly needed and appreciated! hoping to make it in SF
Try West Portal or Cole Valley both are nice places with walkable shopping districts. Noe Valley is also nice. JM
Why on earth would you want to move to the city with a 3 year old and a 1 year old?! Do you or your partner work in the city and don't want to commute? Do you not like where you are living now? I have to know why someone who can't afford to pay high rent or buy a house would choose to move there with two small children.
We lived in the city for ten years and loved the first eight. Then we started planning for a family and realized how hard it was just to be physically comfortable in a densely populated city with lots of stairs and hills, limited parking, traffic,etc. So we gave up our rent controlled flat and moved to the east bay. Here we have a yard, on and off street parking at all times, polite neighbors that don't urinate on our sidewalk, and very little crime. And we pay less rent for a lot more space.
Ok, with that said I will share with you my opinions on some of the neighborhoods I am familiar with. If I were going to move back I would probably look at the following neighborhoods: Inner Sunset, Inner and Outer Richmond, Cole Valley, Noe Valley, and northslope Potrero Hill. I would also consider parts of the Mission and parts of the Excelsior. Keep in mind that some of the neighborhoods in the city can have several very nice blocks that are right next to some not so nice blocks. Speaking as a parent I would probably not choose to live in the Haight-Ashbury, Hayes Valley, Bernal Heights, or Bay View neighborhoods.
You definitely want parking because you do not want to be circling the block searching for a spot with kids crying and groceries melting. A detached single family home is probably best with kids but might be more expensive and harder to find. There are some wonderful big flats in two and three unit buildings. Check out the neighbors before renting as you may be sharing yard and garage. There are pros and cons to renting on the first floor. You have fewer stairs to contend with but you may have more street noise and neighbors walking above you.
I would go to various playgrounds and socialize with other parents to get advice on preschools and elementary schools. Check out Jackson playground on Potrero Hill and Julius Kahn playground near the presidio. There is an organization called the Childrens Council of San Francisco that does child care referral. They may have information on schools or can tell you where to look. Happy East Bay Mom
I'd suggest checking the outer sunset or the outer richmond. Both have reasonably good access to public transit, are affordable because of the fog, and are very safe and have lots of playgrounds and other kids. Our son isn't in preschool yet so we haven't had to look for preschools, though I do see a lot of them around. I do know that there is a big shortage of childcare in the city for kids under 2 (which is why our son stays at home now) but I've heard it gets much easier after they turn 2. I think parking is easier to find in the sunset and richmond than other parts of the city (though we don't own a car). We rent in the richmond now, and we love it. There are tons of cool restaurants and things to do. We always figured that if we stayed here and tried to buy a house we'd try the sunset/parkside close to the zoo and the beach. Citymom
I recommend you check out the Outer Richmond, a little known treasure in the city. We lived there for several years and it had a lot of what the rest of SF don't offer - parking, Golden Gate Park a block away, the ocean/beach a few blocks away, quiet from street noise (as long as you don't live on Fulton St. or Balboa St. or Geary Blvd.), easy bus access on Fulton and Balboa and Geary, incredible clear weather in the winter/fall/spring. The downside: it's foggy and gray and cold in the summer months - June-August. That was the hardest part. But you get more for your money out there, including gardens and more space. Parking is rarely an issue, whereas it is a huge issue everywhere else in SF. There are families out there, it's diverse (Asian, Russian families). Lots of schools, too, including some good ones like Washington High. I used to call it the suburbs of the city. We LOVED our walks in the park or along the beach on a Saturday morning. Lots of great Asian and Indian take- out food in the area, a great cafe on Balboa called Simple Pleasures (there are others, but this is a neighborhood classic), even the little Balboa movie theater with uncomfortable seats and good movies. Good luck.
We're wondering if anybody could help us find an informal parent's group in San Francisco. We're not looking for workshops or classes or child development seminars. My husband would just like to try hanging out with some other dads during the day. Craigs list didn't really seem to have anything, and I couldn't find anything on the Parents Place website that seemed appropriate (there was something about father's support, but the description seemed to be aimed more at fathers who are financially supporting their new families, which is not our situation).
Check out the Golden Gate Mothers Group at www.ggmg.org. When I lived in the city I joined a GGMG playgroup, and I suspect they will be helpful on the daddy front for you. Best of luck! Sooz
My husband just got a job in South SF and we're looking to move closer. Right now we live in N. Berkeley and love walking to lots of shops, restaurants, etc. Our ideal place would be Noe Valley for the obvious reasons (shops, restaurants, families, safe neighborhood, etc.). We've seen lots of 2 bedroom apts. in Noe but just haven't found the right one yet and I'm wondering if we should consider other neighborhoods near South SF or on the Peninsula? We've also looked some in Glen Park but does anyone have any other suggestions? We have a 4 mo and we want somewhere safe, kid-friendly but walking distance to lots of stuff. We're struggling with wanting to live in the city but also wanting suburban comforts like washer/dryer in the apartment, lots of space, storage, dishwaser, etc. The apartments we've been looking at are around 1700-1800. Thanks for any help.
Bernal Heights is also a nice neighborhood and close to 280 and 101, which makes commuting easy. Cortland Ave. is the main street there with shops, cafes, etc. It is a very family oriented neighborhood. dianne
We are a family with 3yr old and infant and love Glen Park. It has a great park, decent library and some friendly village shops. BART is easily accesible. The village doesn't have everything you need and driving to close by Noe Valley or West Portal is easy. It will likely be an easier commute to South South SF than Noe. Good Luck. margaret
We live in Bernal Heights, which is right next to Glen Park & Noe Valley and is very kid-friendly. If you've never been it's got a great little commercial strip with restaurants, shops, a bookstore, a library and a natural food supermarket. It's also got an excellent and popular playground, a hilltop for views and walking/running dogs, and a big farmers' market on Saturdays, plus sunny weather. There are also bus lines that run to BART. The only drawback for renters is that it's mostly small single- family homes, but there are some apts., duplexes and in-law units, as well as houses for rent. Stop by to check it out & be sure to hit the playground behind the library to check out the kiddie activity. valerie
I grew up in SSF, and I'd say if you're looking for and enjoy an urban environment, it's not for you. It's MUCH different than, say, Noe Valley. It's very suburban, even though it's grown quite a bit in the last 20 yrs. You'll probably be driving anywhere you go, unless you live in a couple of areas. And almost everywhere it's extremely cold, windy, foggy all summer. You'll have only a couple of days of warm weather per year. The good sides are that it's really never too hot, it's pretty safe, you probably can get to know your neighbors, it's close to most everything (really not hard to get to SF, for example, especially if you live near transit), you can drive to warmer weather, it's easy to get to the beach (20 min, over the hill), and all the shopping you could ever want is basically at your fingertips, unless you're looking for lots of cute, yuppie, unique shops. Oh, and you can probably find a place with a yard. janet
Does anyone know of new mom's groups - either structured or informal - in San Francisco?
I had a baby in January in SF and went to 2 mothers' groups. Day One on California offers multiple groups throughout the week which are specific for age ranges of your child/ren (e.g. 0-2 months). As Day One is a for-profit business, there was a charge...I think it was $10 per meeting but you could get them cheaper in a package or if you became a Day One ''member'' (which I should have done from the start because you get a discount on purchases in their store and I ALWAYS found something to buy when I was there). Even just hanging out in the ''store'' is a great place to talk to other mothers and get support, advice, and recommendations. I was referred to Day One initially by my pediatrician because they have lactation consultants on staff. The other group I attended was at Newborn Connections at CPMC, also on California. It's Monday afternoons, free, and while technically a ''breastfeeding support group'', they take a different topic weekly (e.g. pediatricians, returning to work). I had a serious milk supply problem and only felt mildly uncomfortable pulling out a bottle to feed my daughter. I hadn't really thought of myself as a ''mothers' group kind of person'' but attending these really helped my mood in the first few months. The Day One group was probably more helpful because it was more free form, i.e. when we went around the group and introduced ourselves, we could bring up any area of concern for us, and since we were grouped according to baby's age, everyone was having similar experiences. The CPMC group was good as well and again, a place to hang out and talk to other moms before and after the group. I have recently moved to Oakland and wish I knew of mothers' groups in the East Bay?! Another New Mom
I had my baby in SF and went to a new moms' group in the winter of 2002 at Natural Resources on Castro St at 24th (Noe Valley). I believe they meet every Wednesday morning at 10 and I think it costs $10 each time. The meetings are facilitated, but you can talk about whatever issues you may be having at the time. I really enjoyed these meetings, but one drawback is that they are ''drop-in'' so you never get the same group twice. I would have liked the continuity of the same group of women each week (which I subsequently found when we moved to Berkeley). Anyway, I would definitely look into Natural Resources (415-550-2611; they also have a website). I also found the staff there to be very supportive of new motherhood, and I would frequently just come to the store to browse. Good luck! Allyson
The two mom's groups I know of in SF are Golden Gate Mother's Group (www.ggmg.org) and Mom's Club SF (www.momsclubsf.8m.com/index.html).
There's also a great, free exercise group at Stonestown Mall every Monday and Wednesday morning at 8:45. (www.fitnessformothers.com/classes/stonestown.html).
Finally, www.noestrolls.com has a listing of all sorts of groups and activities all around SF. It's worth checking out. - Kat
Try Natural Resources on Castro and 24th streets in Noe Valley or Day One in the Richmond District. I joined a facilitated new mothers' group at Natural Resources after the birth of my first child eight years ago, and it absolutely saved my life. In fact, a few of the women in that original group are still among my closest friends, and their kids still play with my kids! Back then, the Natural Resources groups were slightly ''crunchy'' (absolutely everyone breastfed, a few didn't vaccinate, there was lots of interest in and discussion of yoga and alternative remedies), but that may have changed with the neighborhood demographic getting so yuppiefied in the last several years. I understand from friends that Day One is equally great, but slightly less groovy. Good luck! Leah
I found a great new mom's group through Parents Place in SF. I don't have the website handy, but you could find it with a quick Google search. They start new groups about every 6 weeks. The facilitator is good and everyone I know has enjoyed the process. My group is still meeting and our kids are 2 1/2 now. Good luck! Whitney
I can not recommend DayOne strongly enough. DayOne is a center for new and expectant parents. They offer scales for weighing your baby, really nice changing stations, gliders for breastfeeding and a comfortable room where they offer moderated meetings with other mothers. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable and caring.I was there three or four times a week during the first nine moonths of my son's life and I met some great moms. We formed our own ''mommy group'' after we weaned ourselves from the incredibly nurturing environment of DayOne. They are located just across from Laurel Village. Call for directions, it can be a little difficult to find. Connellan