5 Reasons We Love Butterfly Jungle At The Safari Park!

We Love Butterfly Jungle at the Safari Park!

As members of the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park for many years, we’ve visited Butterfly Jungle more times than we can count. The past few years we’ve been invited to media events to explore the exhibit prior to opening day, and share our experiences with our readers and followers. Here are 5 reasons why we love Butterfly Jungle:
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Mommy & Me Under the Sea at SEA LIFE Aquarium!

Update 2014: Mommy & Me Under The Sea is no longer being offered at this time. We’d love to see the program return! Loved it!

mommynmeunderseaSEA LIFE Aquarium, located in Carlsbad, is starting a brand new Mommy & Me program starting February 1st! Mommy and Me Under the Sea will be a fun, interactive journey for you (mom or dad) and your little one(s) to learn about ocean habitats, and experience it with other families. This staff-led program includes a tour, play activities, mini creature exploration and a weekly craft.

The cost for the program is just $35 for one parent and one child on either Tuesdays or Wednesdays for one month. There are three different sessions to choose from on either day, and parking is FREE! Additional children are just $10 each per session, and LEGOLAND Resort Members have the opportunity to upgrade for just $20 per session as well. Click HERE for session times and weekly topics.

This new program is a great way for you and your little one(s) to participate in a fun, educational, and affordable Mommy & Me program. The aquarium has set a limit of just 10 children per session, and reservations are required. Call 760-438-5346 to reserve your spot. Perhaps we’ll see you there!

First Friends At Helen Woodward Animal Center!

hwacHelen Woodward Animal Center hosts First Friends, an hour and a half long parent-child participation class designed to introduce children ages 3-6 to the amazing world of animals!

The classes are a great opportunity for children to learn about animals in a fun and safe environment. The instructors emphasize how to be compassionate and respectful towards animals, and help to develop a foundation as a compassionate animal lover for life.

birdfeethwacWith seven themes to choose from including “Fur, Feathers and Scales” and “Out of Africa,”. Children participate in craft activities and meet a variety of animals from hissing cockroaches to skinks, dogs and cockatiels. Each class includes meeting three of the Helen Woodward Animal Center’s animal ambassadors, a craft, game, and snack break.

tortoisehwacSessions are Thursdays and Fridays from 10am-11:30am. The cost is $17 per child with a discount for booking four or all seven sessions. Maximum 2 children per participating adult. Parents are FREE!

Please click HERE, or call 858-756-4117 ext. 318 to register, or receive more information about dates of First Friends class sessions. The SoCal Kids had the opportunity to have an individual First Friends class, and they absolutely loved it! They keep asking to go back, so perhaps we’ll see you there!

Website: Helen Woodward Animal Center
Facebook: Education at Helen Woodward Animal Center on Facebook
Twitter: @HWAC

National Parks FREE Day, 9/24, for Worldwide Day of Play!

jr_rangerIn recognition of National Public Lands Day, and Worldwide Day of Play, the National Park Service is offering a FREE day this Saturday, September 24th, 2011. Parking fees are also waived on Saturday! This is a great way to check out one of our many incredible National Parks.

Earlier this year we took advantage of another one of their fee-free days, and visited Cabrillo National Monument, in Pt. Loma, California. It was a fun and educational outing. Our son even got to earn a Jr. Ranger Badge! As you can see from the look on his face, he was DELIGHTED!

If you can’t make it to a National Park on September 24th, don’t fret! There’s still one more opportunity this year to visit one or more of the National Parks that normally charges entry fees for free. Mark your calendars for Veteran’s Day Weekend, November 11th-13th, for a fee-free weekend. Click HERE to find a park near you. Perhaps we’ll see you there!

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Maritime Museum of San Diego

The Maritime Museum of San Diego is located in on the bay, in downtown San Diego. The museum is comprised of a handful of (mainly docked) ships, boats, and even a couple of submarines. The Star of India, HMS Surprise, and the Californian are some of the popular vessels that make up the museum. There are lots of hands-on activities, and it’s not only a fun place to visit, but very educational. Be sure to set aside at least 4 hours for your first visit. Perhaps we’ll see you there!

Website: Maritime Museum of San Diego

Get a FREE full-color guidebook with the purchase of a Go City Card or Explorer Pass

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