The Tulip Grove nurtures an educated support community of local moms for new and expecting mothers with professionally led classes and a comprehensive supply of safe baby gear, clothing, and toys. The resource center's workshops fill parents' noggins with know-how in breastfeeding, postpartum and newborn care, and infant massage for babies stressed by their new surroundings and piles of postbirth paperwork. In addition, The Tulip Grove gathers new and expecting parents for peer support groups and provides a lending library for nursery necessities. With daily classes available at each location, parents continually learn childcare skills such as proper nutrition, infant and child CPR, baby sign language, and how to win arguments with babies in sign language.
Family owned since 1969, Montclair Toyhouse has served Oakland and Piedmont area families for over 40 years. The owners have searched for the best toys available from the domestic and international toy markets and currently offer over 8,000 top quality, educational and creative play products.
A frequent winner of Diablo magazine’s Best Maternity Couture Shop in the East Bay award, Stork’s Nest delivers a chic bundle of maternity and baby clothes and nursery accessories. Maternity clothes in a variety of styles, from seersucker dresses ($96) to vertigo pants ($64), snuggle up to their baby-size offspring. In addition to chromosome-specific Baby Brother onesies ($33) and Toni Tierney bluebird dresses ($51), gender-neutral clothes such as Trumpette knit hoodies ($27) keep both boys and girls stylish and un-naked. Stork's Nest also carries a cozy collection of nursery accessories from chenille baby blankets ($32–$64) to mobiles that sing nightly Metallica lullabies.
The Preschool Prep Company's award-winning line of DVD's and books are designed to teach children basic concepts such as letters, numbers, shapes, and colors. Founder Kathy Oxley has good reason to believe that toddlers’ can easily learn these concepts. After exposure to the alphabet, Oxley’s 14-month-old daughter began to recognize letters on signs and in books. Within a year, the two-year-old could read simple words on her own. Preschool Prep aims to provide children with a basic set of tools they'll be able to use when they're ready to learn how to read. In the end, it's a philosophy very similar to other educational approaches. "We teach toddlers to identify dogs, elephants, unicorns and dinosaurs," Oxley said in an interview with EW.com. "Letters are no different. They are just animals of a different kind."
The comfy couch-laden Call Tag serves casual gamers and hard-core enthusiasts with hours of thumb-flexing entertainment. This next-generation game room charts the evolution of the console, starting with a nostalgic assembly of sentimental machines such as the Atari 2600, Intellivision, Nintendo NES, and Sega Master System, which put smiles on the stoniest of Pac-men and -women. Modern incarnations include Xbox and Playstation 2 and 3, allowing plush-cushion warriors to band together in multiplayer Call of Duty melees on a 120-inch screen or jam together on Guitar Hero or Rock Band with pro gear in a fully equipped studio. Realistic racing chairs enhance the experience of full-throttle car games, and wireless Internet connects PC gamers embarking on dragon-slaying quests. The studio is the perfect place to host a private party. Up to 10 gamers can indulge in two hours of unobstructed birthday celebrations and Mario Kart retirement toasts.