Even in light drizzle and amongst more than a couple mud puddles, the annual Parent Connection Fall Harvest Festival is one of our favorite family traditions. But this post isn’t about all of the fun you might have missed today. It’s about the organization that hosts the festival and gives its members so much including a day of music, crafts, games, face painting, jumping and treats for only $5 per child.
When I was pregnant with Mallory, a friend handed me a Parent Connection membership registration form and encouraged me to sign up so that I could find a playgroup to join. Mind you, this was before Facebook and Meetup.com when it was a little harder to find moms with similar-aged children. For more than 30 years, the Parent Connection has been connecting families across San Diego.
In my case, the East County Moms playgroup was born just a few short months after my daughter, and within six months we had more than 10 members who gathered once a week at library story times, for picnics in the park, at Java Mama (when it was in La Mesa) and in each other’s homes. Seven years later, we’re still friends who see each other regularly and are grateful for the support our playgroup provided during those stressful early years.
Don’t need a playgroup? The Parent Connection also supports new moms with a number of complimentary classes and workshops. I’ve taken classes on improving infant sleep, toilet training, turing the terrible two’s into the “terrific two’s,” positive parenting and, more recently, when and how to introduce allowance. Because the Parent Connection is a program of Scripps Memorial Hospital, it has access to fantastic medical experts and professionals who know how to help you achieve your parenting goals.
And then there are the annual special events like today’s Fall Harvest Festival which featured a concert by Hullabaloo Band, face painting, cupcake decorating, craft making (thanks Art Soup!), jumpies, slides and games.
Although my kids are 7 and 5, I still enjoy my Parent Connection membership immensely. On a daily basis I access the group’s Yahoo! message boards, which is a terrific forum for anyone with kids. Need a new plumber? Want to know how to get poop stains out of clothes? Looking for a preschool? Pose your question to the more than 1,000 San Diego moms in the group, and you’re certain to get a few helpful answers.
We also take advantage of the discounts offered to members on special events and attractions like Seaworld, Legoland, the zoo and more.
Being at the Fall Harvest Festival today brought back many warm memories of my early years as a member. With so many new moms following this blog and The Mom’s Guide to San Diego on Facebook, I just wanted to share what this organization has meant to me.
Membership dues are a meager $20 per year. Can you believe it’s that cheap to get all of the fun, friendship and support that the Parent Connection offers? It still amazes me that every mom doesn’t sign up. Check them out at www.sandiegoparent.com for more information.