Suzie’s Family Friendly Organic Farm Offers Tours, Camps, U-Pick, and More!

Organic Farm Offers Educational Tours, Camps, U-Pick, and More!

Suzie's Organic Farm ~

140 Acre Family Friendly Organic Farm!

Suzie’s organic farm offers educational tours, camps, classes, U-Pick organic farm produce, and more! The kids and I visited the farm, which is located in the South Bay area of San Diego, on a media tour. The tour took us through the fields, and across much of their 140 acre organic farm. We loved every minute of it!
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Take A Step Back In Time At Historic Old Poway Park!

old_poway_parkWhen you visit Old Poway Park, it’s like taking a step back in time. Back to a time when horse drawn carriages and steam trains were the main modes of transportation, and artisans handcrafted everything from clothes, to toys, to furniture. We took a trip there this past weekend for the Train Song Festival, and once again I was reminded how much we enjoy this special park as a family.

I originally wrote this post as a printed article for the 2012 Mom’s Guide To San Diego, but am just now sharing it here. I’ve updated the article, and included some new information that wasn’t in the printed format. I hope it inspires you to take a trip there with your family as well.

Living in San Diego, we are so lucky to have an abundance of options for fun day trips. We live in a city where we can visit the mountains, desert, and ocean all in one day! One day trip my family loves is to Old Poway Park.

old_poway_parkWhen you go to Old Poway Park, it feels like you take a step back in time. It’s a beautiful park with mature trees, plentiful grass, nice walking paths, and a cute little creek. It also has a neat and informative Heritage Museum, historic buildings which were brought to the site, working railway, Blacksmith Shop, and a toy train shop inside the Train Depot.

Our kids love trains, and the antique ones which are part of the Poway Midland Railroad, at Old Poway Park, are no exception! They have a steam locomotive, trolley, and a Speeder Car that take turns running most weekends of the year. Train tickets are reasonably priced between $1.50 – $2.50 for adults depending upon the train running, and just .50 cents per child (kids under 2 are free!). It’s fun to take a few spins around the 1/2 mile track.

old_poway_parkOld Poway Park is a great place to picnic. You can pack a lunch and enjoy the afternoon on the grass, or at one of the picnic tables. If you like to barbeque, they have barbeques available for use. If you’d rather buy lunch or dinner, The Hamburger Factory, located within the park, has delicious food in a fun atmosphere. Sometimes we go there just for the dessert!

The park hosts the Poway Farmer’s Market from 8:00am – 11:30am on Saturday mornings. The Boardwalk Craft Market, with arts and crafts made by local artisans, happens on certain Saturdays as well. The park also has special events for the family including a Train Song Festival, Old-Fashioned 4th of July, Halloween festivities, and Christmas in the Park. Oftentimes they have persons dressed in 1800’s attire, and include fun activities such as train robbery reenactments, which are make the experience all that more memorable.

old_poway_parkBe sure to set aside a few hours for your first visit. It’s fun to take your time exploring. Also, bring your camera, as it’s a great place to take family photos. As you’ll see when you visit, it’s very popular with professional photographers!

Although there is no playground equipment at Old Poway Park, there is a playground right across the street at Aubrey Park. Parking is free at both Aubrey Park, and in and around Old Poway Park. Restrooms are available at both parks as well.

Old Poway Park is located at 14134 Midland Rd., in Poway. For more information, visit, and search for detailed info about the park using the drop down menu on the left. Perhaps we’ll see you there!

San Diego Whale Watching with Flagship Cruises and Birch Aquarium Naturalists!


Whale Watching With Flagship Cruises and Birch Aquarium

Birch Aquarium at Scripps and Flagship Cruises and Events have teamed up for San Diego whale watching adventures for over a decade! Naturalists from Birch Aquarium narrate each of the educational expeditions, which happen twice daily through mid-April. We were invited to take one such cruise, and our daughter and her grandpa had a fun adventure!

Birch Aquarium Naturalists Enhance the Experience

While waiting for my father and daughter to board the Flagship Cruise, Naturalists from Birch Aquarium spoke with us about the gray whale migration from the Bering Sea all the way down to Baja. I was amazed how much I learned from speaking with them for just a few minutes. My father said the narration continued on the boat throughout the whale watching trip.

What To Expect From A San Diego Whale Watching Trip

Aside from seeing gray whales, my father and daughter saw a seal, sea lions, dolphins, and different species of birds. The Flagship San Diego whale watching cruises are about 3 1/2 hours in length, and the boat ventures somewhere around 3 miles out to sea. The Naturalists from Birch Aquarium at Scripps said that they can normally spot gray whales closer to shore during the beginning of the season (December/January), and that they normally travel farther out during the mid to later part of the season.

What To Bring On The Trip

Some things you might want to plan to bring on a San Diego whale watching trip are a warm jacket, mittens, cap, camera, binoculars, and sunglasses. If you’re prone to motion sickness, it might be smart to take motion sickness medication prior to boarding. Chewing on ginger is also suppose to help ease motion sickness, so it might also be good to bring some along.

Flagship Cruises and Events allows you to take snacks in a soft snack bag (no hard coolers). You can also purchase snacks and beverages on the boat.

Where, When, & Pricing

Daily whale watching with Birch Aquarium and Flagship Cruises embark from the foot of Navy Pier, at 990 North Harbor Dr., in downtown San Diego. Easy parking is available next to The Midway Museum, just steps away from the Navy Pier, at $10 for 10 hours. Other parking is available at 5 Star Parking, at the corner of Broadway & Pacific Highway,for $12.00 for the entire day. (Call the specific parking companies to verify pricing prior to your trip.)

Whale watching cruises with Flagship range in price, depending upon age, and day of cruise. Pricing for the educational cruises are from $19 – $43. You can find a $5 off adult fare coupon (valid for up to 6 people), HERE. Reservations are recommended, and you may reserve by calling 619-234-4111, or online at this LINK. Whale sightings are guaranteed. If you do not see a whale, you ride again for free! Proceeds from the cruises help support educational programs, as well as exhibits at Birch Aquarium at Scripps. Perhaps we’ll see you on a future whale watching cruise!

Interesting Facts About Gray Whale Migration

• Gray whales migrate around 10,000 miles round-trip! One of the longest mammal migrations in the world!
• Approximately 20,000 gray whales pass through San Diego. That’s a lot of whales!
• The whales migrate to lagoons in Baja, where they rest, play, give birth, and breed.
• Gray whales eat the majority of their feed at the Bering Sea, and eat very little during their migration.

Helpful Links

Birch Aquarium at Scripps
~ Website
~ Twitter
~ Facebook

Flagship Cruises and Events
~ Website
~ Twitter
~ Facebook

Discount Whale Watching Through Our Affiliate
~ Go San Diego Card


We were invited to attend a Media Whale Watching Cruise with Birch Aquarium and Flagship Cruises and Events. We believe many of our readers would also enjoy the activity with their families. No compensation was received for this post. Our opinions are our own. Many thanks to Birch Aquarium at Scripps and Flagship Cruises for inviting us to experience whale watching with them in beautiful San Diego.

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch® ~ A Yearly Spring Tradition!

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch®


The Flower Fields

Visiting The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch is absolutely one of our favorite Springtime family outings! Our son talks about it year-round, and always looks forward to our visit. If you’re not familiar with all there is to do and see, other than viewing a beautiful sea of ranunculus, read on! I’ll inform you of the fun you have in store for your visit!

Tractor Ride, Playground, Sweet Pea Maze, Gem Panning, & More!

The Flower Fields are a place of beauty, magic, and splendor. It’s fun for people of all ages. There’s a lot to do, including a tractor ride with an audio history about the location, Santa’s Playground, a sweet pea maze, rose garden, gem panning, an “artists garden” with a pond and birds, and so much more. If you visit on a weekend you might hear a band play, or attend on the day of a Special Event.


Passport Stamping

The Flower Fields Passport

When children enter, they receive a Flower Fields Passport. Kids look for specially numbered wooden posts, and stamp their fun little booklet with the corresponding number from the posts. Once they have all their stamps, they can take the passport to the gem panning area for $1.00 off.

What To Bring

The Flower Fields allow strollers, and you might want to bring one if you have a little tot. Be sure to bring sunscreen, hats, and wear comfortable walking shoes. You might want to bring a light jacket as well, as the fields are just above the Pacific Ocean, and there’s often a nice breeze. You can bring food and beverages to enjoy at designated tables for eating. They have fresh lemonade for sale, and I believe they sell other food items on certain days of the week.


Sweet Pea Maze

What’s Included With Entry?

Most activities within The Flower Fields are included in the price of admission, but the gem panning and tractor ride are a bit extra. Buy your tractor tickets prior to entering the gates. You can pay your gem panning fee at the panning station. Parking is FREE, and you can either buy your admission tickets online, or at the ticket booth.

The Ranunculus Bloom In Patches

Something to keep in mind, is that The Flower Fields are never in full bloom all at once. They bloom in patches. From my personal experience, I’ve found many of the flowers tend to be blooming around April, but it varies each year, depending upon the weather, time of planting, and other factors. You can call 760-431-0352 x3 for current blooming conditions.

Where Are The Flower Fields?

The Flower Fields are located at 5704 Paseo Del Norte, in Carlsbad, CA. Click HERE for more hours of admission and other information about The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch®. It tends to be less crowded on weekdays. We suggest you designate a good 3 hours or more for your visit. Perhaps we’ll see you there!

Chula Vista Nature Center ~ A unique place to visit with kids!

cvncThe Chula Vista Nature Center is a unique and fun place to visit with kids. It’s located at the Sweetwater Marsh Wildlife Refuge, which occupies 316 acres. Since it’s located on a refuge, when you arrive you park and wait for a bus to take you on a short ride to the Nature Center. Don’t worry if you have a stroller, you can bring it along.

Once at the Nature Center you’ll find some great aquariums, as well as a shark and ray exhibit, sea turtles, and rescued birds, including owls, hawks, and even a bald eagle! Much of the marine life found at the Nature Center can be found in San Diego Bay.

The Nature Center operates an endangered species breed and release program for the Light-footed Clapper Rail. This particular species is one of California’s most endangered water birds. There’s lots of information about the Light-footed Clapper Rail here, so be sure to walk through the outdoor aviary devoted to them.

One other neat thing about the Nature Center is that they have a good number of displays of art, and offer arts and crafts as an option for kids most days of the week. When you arrive, be sure to ask the person at the front desk for paper and crayons for their crayon rubbing tables (located outside near the shark & ray exhibit, and the life-sized nest). Look around, and you’ll see mosaic benches, an outdoor sculpture, and other displays of art in and around the area.

Nature Discovery Tours are free with admission or membership, and are held at 2pm on Wednesdays, Saturdays, & Sundays. Call to verify time and days prior to attending. You might also enjoy exploring the 1 1/2 miles of walking trails. Also, be sure to check out their native plant gardens and composting areas. Perhaps we’ll see you there!

Website: Chula Vista Nature Center
Twitter: @CVNatureCenter
Facebook: Chula Vista Nature Center on Facebook

The Flower Fields ~ More Than Just A Sea of Ranunculus!

pollennoseWe recently took our yearly trip to The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch. While there, it occurred to me that not everyone may be familiar with all there is to do and see other than viewing a sea of (beautiful) ranunculus. If you haven’t been before, read on, and I’ll inform you of the fun you have in store for your visit.

The Flower Fields are a place of beauty, magic, and splendor. It’s a fun place for people of all ages. There’s a lot to do, including a tractor ride with an audio history about the location, fun playground, sweet pea maze, rose garden, gem mining, an “artists” garden with a pond and birds, and so much more. If you visit on a weekend you might hear a band play, or attend on the day of a special event.

If you’re a child, they’ll give you a Flower Fields Passport upon entry. Look for the numbered posts, and stamp your passport with the corresponding number. Once you have all your stamps, you can take it to the sluice mining area for $1.00 off gem mining.

The Flower Fields do allow strollers, and you might want to bring one if you have a little tot. Be sure to bring sunscreen, hats, and wear comfortable walking shoes. You can bring food and beverages, and they have tables with benches for eating. You can buy lemonade there, and I believe they sell other food on certain days.

Designate a good 3 or more hours for your visit. Most activities within The Flower Fields are included in the price of admission, but the mining and tractor are a bit extra. Buy your tractor tickets prior to entering the gates. You can pay your mining fee at the mining station (you may need to pay with cash). Parking is free, and you can either buy your admission tickets online, or at the ticket booth.

Click HERE for a Buy 1 Get 1 Free Entry coupon, which is good through April 30, 2011. In case the pictures below are not enough, you can click HERE for the write up we posted in March, 2011. Click HERE for the official website of The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch. Perhaps we’ll see you there!

P.S. The Flower Fields have extended their 2011 season through May 15th.

Bubbles ~ Such Sweet Innocent Fun

It was a very hot Spring day today. Hot like the hot in the middle of Summer. The kids asked if we could break out their new bubble wands. I thought it was a perfect idea. We had so much fun! I can only wish that such sweet, innocent fun could always bring such joy to my children. I treasure moments like these.

Take Me Out To The Padres!

petcoparkIf you’ve never taken your child to PETCO Park for a baseball game, they’re in for a treat! Our kids LOVE it! You may not see a lot of the game if your kids are super young, but the experience of being at the ballpark (the sights, the smells, the crack of the bat) make it an awesome experience for ALL. There’s plenty to do, even if your kids don’t have the attention span to watch much of the game. PETCO Park even has a playground at “Park at the Park”.

Since our kids are still young, we usually buy the $5 Park Pass tickets. We like to bring blankets to sit on, pack a picnic, and enjoy the game from the grassy hill at Park at the Park. I believe you start paying for your children once they are 36″ in height, not by age. You might want to verify this with the ticketing office.

If you find that you enjoy going to the games, think about signing your kids up for the Junior Padres. It’s a free program for kids, and they get lots of great giveaways for attending games and swiping their Junior Padres card. Again, our kids LOVE it! They get so excited about swiping their cards, and receiving gifts just for being there.

We often park at Horton Plaza and walk to the ballpark. Another fun way to get to the ballpark would be to take the San Diego trolley. We’ll likely do that at least once this year.

I suggest wearing comfortable walking shoes, bringing hats, sunscreen, and something to sit on if you plan to sit on the lawn. If you bring your own beverages, make sure they’re sealed, not in glass containers, and on the small side, as they have size restrictions on beverages. Perhaps we’ll see you there!

Carlsbad Flower Fields ~ Buy 1 Get 1 Free Entry

PLEASE NOTE: The discount from this 2011 post is no longer available. If we find another comparable discount, we’ll post it here. For now, you might be interested in reading our full feature, THE CARLSBAD FLOWER FIELDS. Thanks!


The Flower Fields, located in Carlsbad, are one of our favorite places to visit in the Spring! Looking through my e-mail this afternoon, I came across a Buy One Get One Free Entry coupon from Parents Connect (by Nickelodeon). The coupon is good through 4/30/11.

We enjoy visiting The Flower Fields in early to mid April, as it always seems to be a good time to see a lot of flowers in bloom. Click HERE to go to the Buy One Get One Free Entry coupon. Perhaps we’ll see you there!

La Jolla Cove, Scripps Park, & Children’s Pool ~ Outdoor Family Fun!

lajollaLa Jolla Cove, Scripps Park, and the surrounding area is a great place for families to explore together. It surprises me when I talk with native of San Diegans who have never been to this area of La Jolla! It is, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful places on Earth!

La Jolla Cove is actually an Ecological Reserve known for it’s beauty and as a popular destination for scuba divers, snorkelers, kayakers, and strong swimmers. The cliffs to the east of The Cove have some GREAT hiking trails, which are easy enough to use with a jogging stroller. The paved path to the west of The Cove takes you on one of the most scenic walks above the Pacific Ocean.

Above The Cove is Ellen Browning Scripps Park, which is a very popular place to picnic. There is no playground here, but plenty of grass to run around. There’s also a sprawling paved path you can take from The Cove, and along Coast Boulevard which is a really scenic walk. From this path you may see dolphins, seals, sea lions, and if you go at the right time of year (generally mid January through early March) you may even see the migration of the gray whales.

If you follow the path away from The Cove, south of Scripps Park, you’ll come to some stairs which take you to what’s known as Shell Beach. At low tide you may be able to see some tide pools. This is not my favorite tide pooling area, but if you happen to be there at low tide you might want to check it out. Be careful of the tide, as it can be very strong when it comes to shore.

Follow the path further down Coast Blvd., look out toward the ocean, and you’ll see Seal Rock just south of Shell Beach. Out on Seal Rock you’ll likely see sea lions and seals on the rocks. A large wave may come and knock them into the ocean, and you’ll see them hobble back up on the rocks again. It’s a lot of fun to watch them and take pictures.

Keep walking past the cliffs above Seal Rock, and you’ll come to what’s known as The Children’s Pool. Here you’ll find more seals and sea lions on the beach. This is not a destination to have children go on the beach, but it’s a great place for kids to view the beach and mammals from a distance. Have fun!

For more information about La Jolla Cove, Scripps Park, & The Children’s Pool, check the links below.
La Jolla Cove
Ellen Browning Scripps Park
La Jolla Children’s Pool

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