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Posts Tagged ‘Santa Cruz Family Travel’

Five Family Fun California Vacation Activities That Your Kids Will Love

May 18th, 2010 by bsmith | 5 Comments | Filed in Family Travel, San Diego Adventures, San Diego Zoo, Santa Cruz County Adventures

With three kids and the price of airfare,  we tend to stick close  to home for many of our vacations.  That doesn’t mean we spend all our time at Disneyland, however.  There are lots of fun ways for families to enjoy their California vacations.  Here are some of our favorites from North to South.

View from the Train, Train Town Sonoma
View from the Train, Train Town Sonoma

Sonoma Adventures

  • Picnic in the Sonoma Plaza: This was one of my family’s favorite day trips as a child.  Last summer I returned with my kids and am happy to say it continues to be very fun.  Grab a picnic from a local gourmet deli and play at the Children’s Playground.

Ride a train at Train Town: Admission is affordable and the ride on the miniature train is perfect for all ages.  You stop to take on water at a kid sized town that the little ones enjoy exploring.

 

 

US Pampanito, Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco California

San Francisco Adventures

 

  • Visit Fisherman’s Wharf  Play vintage games at the Musee Mechanique and take an audio tour of the USS Pampanito Submarine.
  • Explore the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park This National Historic Park has a cheap entrance fee and plenty of big vessels to explore.  They also have a wide assortment of tours and kids programs.

 

Roaring Camp Railroads, Santa Cruz, California

Santa Cruz Adventures

  • Ride a Train Through the Redwoods  Roaring Camp provides old fashioned family fun.  You can ride a steam train through the redwoods or catch a diesel down to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
  • Ride the Giant Dipper  at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk This is my favorite roller coaster in the world.  It’s more than 100 years old and you can catch a glimpse off the ocean and the town of Santa Cruz as you zoom along.

Carlsbad Adventures

  • Build and Test at LEGOLAND California Carlsbad, California is a charming family oriented beach town with a great family attraction.  Legoland California is an interactive theme park for young children.  The Sea Life Aquarium and the new LEGO themed Water Park give families more reasons to visit.
  • Play at the Flower Fields. Unfortunately the Flower Fields have finished their season, but if you return next spring, you will be awed by the fields of flowers.  Kid’s enjoy a quaint Santa’s Village themed playground.

 

 

Soar Over the San Diego Zoo

San Diego Adventures

  • Go on Safari at the San Diego Zoo.  It may be clique, but a visit to the world famous San Diego Zoo is a must see for family travelers.  Keep an eye out for The Unauthorized Guide to the San Diego Zoo releasing later this year.
  • Stop by Cousin’s Candy in Old Town.  Old Town San Diego is a great location for family adventure.  Kids enjoy visiting the old buildings and learning about life in old San Diego.  The highlight of your trip will be the trip to this old fashioned candy store- trust me ;) .

Happy Trails,

Bridget

PS “I wrote this blog post while participating in the Williamsburg Tourism and TwitterMoms blogging program for a chance to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here .

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Family Travel Tip Tuesday: Park Workout

April 27th, 2010 by bsmith | 1 Comment | Filed in Santa Cruz County Adventures, Travel Tips

Bridget and Jared's Park Workout

 A trip to the park with Jared today reminded me that park playgrounds are not just for kids.  Usually I just sit back on a bench and relax, but one of my goals for this new year is to get moving every day.  With appointments and homework supervision I knew I wasn’t going to find an opportunity to walk the dog or get some other form of exercise. 

There was not a judgemental grownup in sight at the deserted Leo Mullen park in Encinitas, so I seized the moment and started swinging on the swing.  Before I knew it I was climbing ladders, joggy across  the jumpy bridge and sliding down the slides.  My heart was beating fast, and I even worked up a little bit of a sweat.  Best of all Jared described this as “the best park day ever!”.  I like to think this had more to do with Mom’s participation and less to do with the ordinary play equipment pictured here:

Leo Mullen Park, Encinitas

 Looking back at my files, I realized this wasn’t the first time that the Smith grownups have enjoyed a park work out.  Here are some pictures of my husband Ken enjoying Louden Nelson Park during our Santa Cruz vacation.

 

 

Ken and Justin go for a Spin, Louden Nelson Park, Santa Cruz, Ca

 So next time you’re on vacation find a park and hit the monkey bars.  You’ll build some muscle and your kids will have a blast.

Happy Trails,

Bridget

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State Park Sunday: Fourth of July Fun @Wilder Ranch State Park

June 20th, 2009 by bsmith | 1 Comment | Filed in State Park Sundays
Wilder Ranch State Park, Santa Cruz, Ca
Wilder Ranch State Park, Santa Cruz, Ca
Our family is off on a spur of the minute trip to Santa Cruz, California next week.  I am hoping that we will linger until the Fourth of July to enjoy the festivities at Wilder Ranch State Park.  This park is a combination of historic buildings, wild spaces, and bike trails like the one featured above.  It is a magical place to spend a weekend afternoon.  I have only had the chance to visit once, but I remember that it had gigantic climbing trees that could support a whole class full of preschoolers (and indeed they did!)

These are some things that Wilder Ranch has in store for Independence Day:

  1. Old fashioned parade at 11:45 a.m. (It being hyper politically aware Santa Cruz, sufragettes are planning to attend.)
  2. Cake walk
  3. Historic Lawn Games
  4. Ice-cream cranking
  5. Live 1909 Music
  6. Ranch demonstrations like woodstove baking, black smithing, and vegetable gardening.

The picture above is available from flickr creative commons.  Many thanks to richardmasoner for posting it.

Hope you enjoyed SOS weekend.  Make sure to upload your photos to the California State Parks Foundation Facebook Page.  Click here for more info.

Happy Trails,

Bridget

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