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Posts Tagged ‘Carlsbad Public Library’

Library Adventures- Golf in the Library????

December 10th, 2010 by bsmith | No Comments | Filed in Library Adventures

Bridget at Golf Fore the Library, Carlsbad, Ca

Last month our family had the opportunity to do something completely out of the ordinary.  We played golf in the library!  Once a year the Dove Library in Carlsbad California is transformed into a minature golf course.  What is particularly clever about this transformation is every “hole” reflects local businesses and landmarks.  The fun setting, a challenging course including a  windmill, a spiral hole, and a hole that continues all the way down the steep library stairs makes this a unique mini-golf experience.  There is even a bonus hole, that for an additional donation could win you season passes to nearby Legoland.

Ken putts as a Carlsbad Public Library Volunteer Looks On

The event is a fundraiser for the Carlsbad Library Foundation and funds a the wide range of great kids and adult programs presented throughout the year.  It is staffed by a large group of kind and enthusiastic volunteers who keep patrons safe from flying balls and try not to laugh when your  ball shoots past the hole.

Jared Tackles the Spiral Hole, Carlsbad Public Library

The best part of the event is that it epitomizes family fun.  The boys, Ken and I participated together (Destiny was at a birthday party that day).  While Ken and eleven year old Justin engaged in serious competition,  five year old Jared and I were just happy to get the ball in the hole.  Jared wrapped up his library visit by heading out to the children’s garden where for an additional fee kids could get their faces painted, do crafts and get a personalized balloon animal.

Justin Putts Among the Stacks, Carlsbad Public Library

The price of this event is pretty affordable for a fundraiser.  Adults play for $10, kids for $5.  The children’s area, food, and LEGOLAND bonus hole are extra.  I would like to thank the Carlsbad Public library for hosting my family at this great fundraiser and give all the dedicated volunteers who made this event possible our special thanks.  Public Libraries and the programs they provide are a gift to all communities, but in Carlsbad we are especially lucky.  My kids are blessed to have the kind children’s library staff to help them discover the perfect book or patiently listen to their stories. (My son told the librarian that his mom is the best blogger ever, and she didn’t blink an eye ;) ).  The educational programs provide an affordable and educational way for families to spend time together.

If you live in Carlsbad be sure to check out what the library has to offer.  The Carlsbad Public  library has some great events coming up from exciting teen movies, to a visit from author Victor Villasenor, to a whale of a Science Saturday.  Be sure to stop by and tell them that Bridget sent you.

Happy Trails,


P.S. Family Adventure Guidebooks is proud to participate in Delicious Baby’s Photo Friday Blog Roundup.  Stop by to find out about other bloggers travel adventures.


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Armchair Adventures: Travels With Charley

April 21st, 2010 by bsmith | 2 Comments | Filed in Armchair Adventures

Here in Carlsbad our public library system does an annual “Carlsbad Reads Together” program.  The library orders multiple copies  of the same book and encourages the entire town to read it.  All the library book clubs read the book and there are other special events offered.  When I first heard that the John Steinbeck book Travels With Charley was chosen for 2010, I must confess that the hippie World Literature and Cultural Studies major in me wondered…why not something more “relevant” and multicultural to reflect today’s world.

Still, it was something of a travelougue, a  book about Steinbeck’s road trip around the country with his dog Charley.  I needed something light and fun for our family roadtrip to Tahoe so I checked it out.  After a few chapters Travels with Charley had me absolutely mesmorized.  The writing was vivid, the real Americans that Steinbeck encountered in his travels were quirky yet fascinating, and relevant???? It sure was! At certain moments I wondered if Steinbeck could have added time traveler to his resume.  Steinbeck predicted some modern realities with an accuracy that was absolutely eirie.

The book starts out in a rather light hearted way, but does have it’s dark moments.  In general, most of the content would be appropriate for tweens and teens, but there are a few moments that are too sophisticated.  I would recommend reading the book before listening to it in audio form on a family road trip.  You might be able fast forward through a few parts and still enjoy a rewarding road trip “read”. 

Since my kids are younger, I read Travels with Charleyon my own and  then shared the concept with them.  They were delighted by the idea that an author wrote a story about traveling with his dog.  The Carlsbad Public Library had a similiar approach.  They had kids write about where they would travel with Charley. 

One of Steinbeck’s last stops was in New Orleans where six year old Ruby Bridges was desegregating a school.  Steinbeck’s first hand account is very moving.  I firmly believe that this is a part of our nation’s history that should be shared as early as possible with our children if we are ever to overcome the racism that is still so prevalent in our culture.  When my oldest was a first grader he performed in a musical about Rosa Parks.  When asked why she was addressing such sophisticated subject, Justin’s teacher Ms. Flora replied, “Six year olds can relate to what Rosa experienced.  Fairness is very important to them.” So true!

Even if you don’t read Travels with Charley , I recommend that you share the book The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles with your children.  It’s another first hand account of Ruby’s experiences desegrating a school in the deep south that is written for children.  The Story of Ruby Bridges is a beautifully written and illustrated book, and can be a great jumping off point for talking about fairness and racism with your kids.

If you are in the San Diego area this Saturday April 24th , The Carlsbad Public Library is having Thomas Steinbeck, son of John Steinbeck as well as noted Steinbeck scholar  Dr. Susan Shillinglaw discuss John Steinbeck’s life and work.  For more information click here.  On April 26, The Carlsbad Playreaders  are performing The Grapes of Wrath.  Ticket prices are very affordable $5 general public and $1 for students. 

If you are interested in reading Travels With Charley and The Story of Ruby Bridges please consider purchasing them below.

Travels with Charley in Search of America: (Centennial Edition)

The Story Of Ruby Bridges (Scholastic Bookshelf) Photobucket

Looking forward to sharing more Armchair Adventures!

Happy Trails,



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Photo Friday: Library Adventures

May 1st, 2009 by bsmith | 8 Comments | Filed in San Diego Day Trips, Smith Family Misadventures
Jared's Favorite Painting @ Canon Art Gallery, Carlsbad California

Jared's Favorite Painting @ Canon Art Gallery, Carlsbad California

Lately I have had several library adventures with and without preschoolers.  At first, this may not seem like an unlikely subject for family travel.  Usually travelers with children don’t head to the library when the reach their destination, but perhaps they should.

I became one of the most voracious readers the world  has ever seen because a kind librarian in Hawaii.  When my family spent a summer sabbatical in Hawaii the year after I finished second grade, she took the time to  find interesting books at my reading level.   I don’t rember too much about snorkeling or sandy beaches from my Hawaiian getaway.  What I do remember  are cracking coconuts with my Dad and the books about Blaze the valiant horse and his young owner that I read on my own summer.

Here in Carlsbad we are blessed with two great libraries.  Year round they offer puppet shows and story times.  The Dove Library also houses a small art gallery.  In the summer there are fun special events including an overnight campout in the library , magic shows, and a visit from lots of crazy critters.  Now that the kids are old enough to enjoy it all, I plan to spend the summer playing tourist in my own town and attending some of these events.

Last week I made three very different library visits.  One day , I was able to sneak away to the library by myself.  I took the opportunity  to pop into the art gallery and take some photos .  Later that week, I joined my two preschoolers for a preschool fieldtrip which included a  guided tour of the Cole library located just east of downtown Carlsbad.  Yesterday in a moment of foolishness, I attempted to take Destiny age 5 and Jared age 4 to the Cannon Art Gallery at the Dove Library.

Considering we arrived with 20 kids, the preschool library fieldtrip was somewhat successful.  We arrived early, but the Cole library has a beautiful grassy area  that invites running around as well as picnic benches and a little garden.  Here are some fun photos of Destiny and Jared getting their energy out before settling down for the tour.


The tour was a bit challenging with that many kids, but they did surprisingly well.  One of the highlights was the Carlsbad History Room . The librarian shared a letter written by Santa at the turn of the century.  Seems at that time he delivered presents by motor car…hmm. 

Cole Librarian Reads a Vintage Letter from Santa, Carlsbad California

Cole Librarian Reads a Vintage Letter from Santa, Carlsbad California

 Emboldened by the success of the Library fieldtrip, I decided to stop by the Cannon Art Gallery with Destiny and Jared later in the week.  I have always been a big fan of Chicana Artist Carmen Lomas Garza.  The kids have her children’s book Family Pictures .  I knew that my preschoolers would enjoy the bright colors of  Cardinal Points:Puntos Cardinales, the exhibit of Mexican and Chicano art on display at the Dove Library until May 8th.  Well they did enjoy it…way too much!  They loved the paintings so much that they wanted to touch them, much to my chagrin and that of the gallery employee who shadowed us throughout our visit.  They  were so enthralled by each work of art that they rushed from painting to painting.    With one child I might have made it work.  With two wiggly preschoolers, I gave up after a short visit.  I have read that other  travel bloggers prep their kids by role playing art gallery at home.  We may give that a try before our next museum outing.

Off to Seattle on business next week, so you may not hear from me for a while, dear readers.  Until then enjoy a few more beautiful works of art and be sure to check out Delicious Baby’s Photo Friday when you have a chance.

The Carmen Lomas Garza Work That Inspired Our Visit

The Carmen Lomas Garza Work That Inspired Our Visit

The Kids Loved the Whimsical Shapes and Colors of the Houses and Trees

The Kids Loved the Whimsical Shapes and Colors of the Houses and Trees

As you enjoy your summer, make sure you make some time for your own library adventures.

Happy Trails,


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