For me the worst thing about taking clothes to the cleaners is trying to fit it into my schedule. I recently gave Gate Cleaners a try just because they are close to where I live. However I signed up for the automated drop-off and pick-up (all you need to do to sign up is have a credit card on file) and I've never looked back. I use them way more than I ever used my previous cleaners because of the convenience. I can drop-off clothes before or after work, when most cleaners are closed. It's amazing that it works--I'm a bit of a Luddite on all this new fangled technology stuff--but it does. The computerized retrieval system always finds my stuff.
Between frequent author events and being able to browse a wide selection of books in order to choose, there's nothing like shopping at a good brick and mortar book store. And Kepler's is the best of the best. Unfortunately in the age of Amazon that's barely good enough.
Without a huge corporate chain to prop it up, Kepler's almost closed for good recently until the community rallied to arrange funding and a new business structure.
See the web site for a packed list of author visits and family events.
Their store on El Camino near Fry's is crammed with pallets of alll the high-end and healthy foods for your pet, as well as all the toys and accessories you need. I especially like that there is usually a cat or two lounging on the counter by the register.
All of the ice cream is made in the back of the shop. They have a wide selection of flavors from your all usual favorites to unusual ones like chocolate ginger, which is pretty self explanatory, and Kulfi, an Indian flavor with rose, saffron and pistachios.
Perennial winner of the Palo Alto Weekly "Best Of" competition.
For a smalll store they pack in an amazing selection. I think the secret is that they know their community and they know their products. When I go in looking for something, whether it's balls, or shoes, or mitts, or swim gear they always have exactly what I'm looking for with a selection to choose from. They excel in both toys and sporting goods.
They are a perenniel winner of the Palo Alto Weekly's "Best Of" competition. They're a friendly, family-run, community oriented business. It's always a pleasure to shop there.
The only things they don't really have are large items that take up too much space. I"ll go to Big 5 for those.
PROS: great selection of toys and sporting gear
CONS: small store, can't have everything
They have a great selection of pens, mechanical pencils, stationery, and journals. They seem to specialize in Japanese products so you'll find an interesting mix of products that you won't find anywhere else.
Camp Galileo runs week long summer camps for kids all over the Bay Area, not just in Palo Alto. My kids have attended the one in Palo Alto several times. Each summer they have about 3 different weeks worth of subject matter repeated over the summer so you can sign up for more than one week and do different things.
The counselors are one of the best things about the camp: they find really great people who really make the camp special. My kids had a great time, even my son who doesn't always like the whole camp thing.
See the web site: http://www.campgalileo.com for more information.
We love Klutz books. They're more than just books. They come with everything you need to do a project or learn a skill. This all in one style makes them great for travel and fun for birthday presents. You'll find small selections in most toystores and some book stores but for the best selection, visit the Klutz Store in Palo Alto.
And don't miss they're Annual School Benefit Day, usually in May each year. They give 101% of all sales to a local school of your choice. That's right: they give everything they take in plus some more to the schools. They are a very community minded company.
If you've tried a soccer program like Kidz Love Soccer or AYSO and you're child likes soccer and wants to get more of it, this is the next step. The PASC has programs for all ages starting at age 5, although the team play starts at the U9 level. They have teams that play in the Fall, Winter (including indoor Futsal) and Spring. The teams hire professional coaches, the play is more competitive and everything is more professionally run.
When you're ready to move up to the next level of soccer, check out the web site. Note that they have tryouts in the winter and sometimes spring to form teams, so you need to think about this a little bit ahead of time.
I get my hair cut here because I get a better cut that at the cheaper SuperCuts places yet it's still very convenient. I also take my kids here when I don't feel like going all the way to Just Kids Cuts in Burlingame.