Friday, March 26, 2010


Vacation time is among us, and we, as parents, may be wondering, "What are we going to do during Spring Break?"  Some of you may be traveling to exciting places, but for those of us staying home here in San Diego, we don't want to feel short-changed.  Keep in mind, San Diego is a destination spot for millions, so there are plenty of wonderful adventures we can experience right in our "own backyard." Here is a handful of fantastic activities that may not have come to mind when planning your spring break here in San Diego!

The San Diego Botanical Gardens (formerly The Quail Botanical Gardens), located in Encinitas, has two gardens specifically designed for kids.  The Seeds of Wonder Garden is an interactive garden designed for preschool age children.  It features a dinosaur garden, playhouse, topiary, and miniature garden railroad.  The Hamilton Children's Garden is geared for kids of all ages. Here you can climb Toni's Tree House in a jungle canopy, hop through an elephant foot tree forest, see live quail, play in a mountain steam, make music, and so much more.  
Kayak La Jolla Shores.  Ready for a real adventure?  Rent a kayak or take a kayak tour at La Jolla Kayak and head out to La Jolla Shores to explore the caves.  Bring your mask and snorkel, too!  (or you can rent them.) You will see seals, girabaldi, and leopard sharks!  (Don't worry, the sharks are harmless to humans.)  It  is an incredible adventure - you shouldn't miss it!  When you get home, your child can do "research" on the wildlife they experienced.  
San Diego is home to thousands of miles of hiking trails and parks.  Spend a day with nature in our great city.  During, your visit, pay homage to mother nature.  Let your child choose a tree to sit under.  He or she can draw a picture of the tree, write a story about the tree, or make tree rubbings from the bark.  Since Earth Day is just around the corner, this 
The New Children's Museum located in downtown San Diego is a great place for kids to create.  The environmentally sustainable building provides a dynamic playful space and community center for children and families.  It is one of the most unique children's museums in the country in that is truly a "hybrid of a children's museum and an art museum."  The artists' work comes alive as children explore and create.  The space supports unstructured play, and if you let yourself, you may have just as much fun as your kids.  The mattress room, as I call it, is one of my favorites.  A room filled entirely with mattresses, kids get to literally, "bounce off the walls!"  The museum extends outdoors, as across the street is a quaint park.  Oh, and bring your chalk!  The park's concrete is a great place to bring out your inner Picasso!  If you want to add to your adventure, you could take the trolley!
Try MonArt!  North San Diego MonArt holds ongoing classes for kids and families.  Some of your children may participate in MonArt at school.  Now they can share this activity with you! What a wonderful way to spend the afternoon with your child - you can both take the class!
Visit one of San Diego's beautiful art museums, and bring along a sketch book and pencils. Both you and your child can choose a painting or sculpture you adore and bring it to life on your own page.  
The World Beat Cultural Center in Balboa Park presents a Children's West African Drumming Class every Tuesday.  (3-3:30 for 6 months-6 years, 3:30-4:15 for 7-12 year old.)  Parents are welcome to get involved.  I highly recommend this one!  The classes are led by Nana Yew Asiedu.  He is a wonderful storyteller!  The kids feel the rhythms as they use djembes and other West African instruments, they sing, they dance - it is a magical experience!
How about a cooking class?  Check out these local schools for hands-on cooking classes for your kids and your family!  Or, if you love to cook, invite a small group of your child's friends over for a kid friendly class at home!   
Jodi Komitor, founder of Next Generation Yoga,  teaches yoga in a beautiful way to children and families all over San Diego.  She has a unique talent to "connect families' gifts of harmony, love, laughter and fitness through the ancient practice of yoga." Check out the website for locations and times.  After my son's first class (when he was 3), he remarked that "he felt such peace inside him."  


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