A wide open day with nothing on the schedule? Bliss… unless you’ve got little ones. The role of caregiver feels more like cruise director some days, and nothing brings on the post-coffee dread quite like, “What are we going for the next 8 hours?” While there’s no shortage of kid activities in the Bay Area, getting memberships to every museum and enrolling in all the classes is not a realistic solution. Besides, you never know which activity is going to appeal to your kiddo. Enter LittleLane, a new website that lets you pay one monthly fee for access to museums, music and art classes, activity gyms, and more.
Photo courtesy of the Bay Area Discovery Museum
As a new mom, LittleLane CEO Maren Thomas Bannon found herself spending too much time searching for things to do and not enough time doing them. She imagined a one-stop online shop for kid activities in the Bay Area, and enlisted her siblings, Mark and Brooke Thomas, to help her build it. LittleLane (“Little” for kids and “Lane” to evoke the neighborhood feel) officially launched in late October as a pass subscription service for activities and classes around the Bay Area. While in beta earlier in 2016, the service initially focused in Marin and San Francisco, with most activities for babes and toddlers. But with the recent official launch, LittleLane has expanded throughout the Bay Area, and now includes thousands of activities for kids up to age 10 (or beyond—you’re never too old for mini golf, right?). Activities include music, art, language, and sports classes at places such as Little Artistas, San Jose Batting Cages and Music for Little Folkies zoo outings; admission to museums like the Cal Academy, Chabot Space and Science Center, Contemporary Jewish Museum and the Discovery Museum; and sessions at trampoline parks, rock climbing gyms, and other indoor play spaces—there are even mommy and me workout classes at Fit4Mom and Baby Boot Camp.
Photo courtesy of Little Folkies
How a Pass Subscription Service Works
There are three LittleLane subscription levels: $19–29 for two activity credits/month, $49 for 5 credits/month, or $79 for unlimited (the first month is currently discounted to $19 for all levels). Once you’re subscribed, simply search the site for an activity or outing, book it, and go. Filter your search by age level, distance, time, and day, so you only see the things that make sense for your family and schedule. You can book activities up to a week in advance, or with as little as two hours to spare. An hour before the activity is set to start, you’ll receive an email with your pass or admission ticket to present at your chosen venue. Some outings like museum trips use two credits, as booking includes admission for both kid and adult, but it’s still a savings over two general admission tickets.
Photo courtesy of Little Artistas
There are very few restrictions, but the activity page will let you know about any before you book it. You’ll also see reviews and tips offered by fellow LittleLane users to help you plan. If your plans change or your little one gets sick, you can cancel up to two hours in advance. Any unused credits roll over to the next month. Happy exploring!
Have you tried LittleLane? Tell us what you thought of it below!