Outback Express Adventure Train: Oakland Zoo

For those of you with little ones in the train stage, this is a fun one!  The Outback Express Adventure Train at the Oakland Zoo takes passengers on a tour of wild Australia, where you may see emus and wallaroos.  Enjoy! Interested in going?  You’ll find the train station within the rides area, out front of the Oakland Zoo.  You do not need to enter … Continue reading Outback Express Adventure Train: Oakland Zoo

Animal Fun! Sulphur Creek Nature Center, Hayward

I’ve been wanting to write about the Sulphur Creek Nature Center for a long time now.  When my son was two and three, we visited the center regularly for their awesome toddler wildlife classes (for 1-3 year-olds).  I found it was the best place in the San Francisco East Bay to give my son hands-on wildlife experiences.  In each class, the children are introduced to … Continue reading Animal Fun! Sulphur Creek Nature Center, Hayward

Goats! Harley Farms, Pescadero

I have a weakness for goat cheese, so as soon as I heard about Harley Farms Goat Dairy in Pescadero (and their award-winning goat cheese), I added the farm to our “must-visit” list.  After our visit this past week, I’m glad we did… and we’ll definitely be going back! During this trip, we simply walked around the grounds and shopped for cheese in the excellent … Continue reading Goats! Harley Farms, Pescadero

Squirrel: On the Screen Door

I keep moving our bird feeder around our backyard, trying to find a location where the squirrels cannot attack it from.  I’m failing.  I’ve moved it so the squirrels cannot jump from the fence, but now they simply climb the backyard screen door and leap from there.  As you can see, the brave little critter is right by my computer desk, watching me to see … Continue reading Squirrel: On the Screen Door

Llamas: Redwood Regional Park

Ever wanted to learn how to groom, feed, lead, and interact with llamas??  You can take a class through East Bay Regional Parks and take a walk through the redwoods. During our bike ride earlier this week (Kid Bike Ride:  Redwood Regional Park), the kids stopped to watch this, a line of people walking with llamas.  The children were enchanted. Interested in taking a hike … Continue reading Llamas: Redwood Regional Park

Ladybug Clusters: Redwood Regional Park

Photos taken January 27th, 2013 Redwood Regional Park, Oakland Interested in going?  The ladybugs cluster at Redwood Regional Park between November and February.  You’ll find them at the intersection of the Stream and Prince Trails.  Look on, around, and behind the bench, as well as across the trail, near (and on) the sign.  You can begin the hike at either the Skyline Gate Staging Area … Continue reading Ladybug Clusters: Redwood Regional Park

Citizen Science: FrogWatch 2013

As I sit here at my computer with the backdoor open to allow some fresh air into our home, I’m listening to the lovely sound of frogsong.  The chorus is coming from the creek on the other side of our backyard fence.  Up until today, we’ve only been hearing one frog at a time.  Suddenly, this afternoon,I can’t distinguish how many I hear.  Has the … Continue reading Citizen Science: FrogWatch 2013

Sleepy tiger + discount to the Oakland Zoo

During our Christmas Eve visit to the zoo, we mostly ran around and played, but we did check out a few animals along the way.  We enjoyed watching this beautiful tiger napping (and waking up) in the warm afternoon sunshine. For anyone in the Bay Area who may be interested, I noticed this morning that Groupon is offering a 50% off membership deal to the … Continue reading Sleepy tiger + discount to the Oakland Zoo

Seymour Marine Discovery Center, Santa Cruz

The Seymour Marine Discovery Center, located in Santa Cruz on the bluffs above the Monterey Bay, is a true gem.  Don’t expect the grandeur of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, but be prepared for a smaller, quieter, more intimate experience here.  The location is phenomenal.  On a clear day, the views can’t be beat. Inside the center, children will actually have time to experience the touch … Continue reading Seymour Marine Discovery Center, Santa Cruz

Explore the Tide Pools, Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz

When the tide is low, head out to the rocky, north end of Natural Bridges State Beach to explore the tide pools.  Look for sea stars, hermit crabs, sea anemones, sea urchins, and more.  So fun! For more information about Natural Bridges State Beach, visit the California State Parks website… http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=541 If you’re here between mid-October and mid-February, be sure to visit the Monarch Preserve, … Continue reading Explore the Tide Pools, Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz

Monarch Butterfly Nature Preserve, Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz

Within Natural Bridges State Beach, in Santa Cruz, you’ll find the Monarch Butterfly Nature Preserve, a grove of eucalyptus trees where thousands of Monarch Butterflies spend the winter each year.  The butterflies may be viewed by taking a short 0.75 mile Monarch Trail loop through the Preserve, or by simply taking the short, wheel-chair accessible Monarch Boardwalk to the viewing platform.  The monarchs are here … Continue reading Monarch Butterfly Nature Preserve, Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz

Feed the Animals! Tilden Little Farm, Berkeley

The Tilden Little Farm, located within Tilden Regional Park in Berkeley, is a favorite destination for just about every little kid I know.  For over a week now, my five-year-old has been begging me to take him there to feed the animals, so we headed over today. Here’s a little history of the Farm, from the park brochure… “The red barn was constructed in 1955 … Continue reading Feed the Animals! Tilden Little Farm, Berkeley

Boo at the Zoo, 2012

Yesterday we attended the annual Boo at the Zoo event at the Oakland Zoo.  Kids wear their Halloween costumes and participate in a bunch of fun activities.   It was a hot day today (back into the 80’s), so I talked my son out of wearing his thick, black ninja costume. The highlight for my 5-year-old was the Spooky Scavenger Hunt.  The children are given … Continue reading Boo at the Zoo, 2012

Finch Fun

Yesterday morning, my son was quietly building with his Lincoln Logs when he happily exclaimed, “Look, Mommy, a goldfinch!  There’s a goldfinch at the feeder!”  Now I had to run to the window to check it out, because I honestly can’t remember ever having any yellow birds in our backyard.  My son was correct.  Two goldfinches were quickly flying away!  I thought this was cool … Continue reading Finch Fun

Butterflies, California Academy of Sciences

On Monday, my son and I enjoyed a fun visit to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.  It was our last outing before his first day of school.  I think the highlight of this visit was the baby ostriches!  So many, and so cute!!   My son also wanted to go into the Earthquake Exhibit again (something he said he NEVER wanted to do … Continue reading Butterflies, California Academy of Sciences

The Randall Museum, San Francisco

The Randall Museum in San Francisco was created to be a place where children can handle, see, and learn about animals and other living things through hands-on experiences, as well as be exposed to different kinds of arts and crafts.  The museum has no entry fee, though memberships are offered to provide a discount on the many classes offered. Creative Play This is a fun … Continue reading The Randall Museum, San Francisco

My Little Birder… Loving the Chickadee!

My five-year-old son has a new hobby.  Bird watching.  About a week or so ago, once a day, he began telling me, “I’m going into the backyard to watch the birds.”  Then he’ll proceed to sit quietly, completely still for 20-30 minutes, waiting for birds to appear. Well, a few days ago, he excitedly ran into the house screaming, “Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy… there’s a … Continue reading My Little Birder… Loving the Chickadee!

Monarchs! Butterfly & Bird Festival, Coyote Hills, Fremont

This morning we attended the 13th Annual Butterfly and Bird Festival, held at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont.  We’ve attended this event the past two years, too, and this just may be my son’s favorite festival.  It’s kind of funny, since my son isn’t usually into doing crafty type activities, but he absolutely LOVES the ones offered at this festival. Maybe it’s the theme?  … Continue reading Monarchs! Butterfly & Bird Festival, Coyote Hills, Fremont