Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Alondra Park Splash Pad

We discovered a very cool and rather popular splash pad this weekend in the South Bay.  There are tons of spouts, water features, and fountains with fairly strong water pressure.  The water is chlorinated and the place kept very clean.  Come early as it does get crowded on the weekends.  Also the hours are broken up into roughly 2 hour sessions with a 30 minute closure in between for maintenance.  The area is gated but beyond the gates are a skate park, playground, aquatic center and golf course.  I can’t speak much to these other amenities as we came specifically for the splash pad which was definitely a hit with my kids.

Know before you go:
Hours: Daily 10a-7p (in 2 hours sessions, see photo)
Free to enter and free parking lot
No toys, food, drinks or pets allowed.
Swim diapers required for age 3 and under.
Adult supervision required.

About the business:
3353 Redondo Beach Blvd.
Lawndale, CA 90260

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Seaside Lagoon

If you’ve got little ones that aren’t quite ready for the beach but you’d still like to be outdoors and sink your toes in some sand, opt for the Seaside Lagoon in Redondo Beach.  It’s like being at the beach but in a more intimate, and less intimidating way.  This is an enclosed salt water lagoon right next to the beach staffed with trained lifeguards.  The areas are roped off with a shallow section for little kids and a deeper (8ft) section for swimmers.  In addition there are picnic tables (first come, first served), a playground, and a walk up window to Ruby’s restaurant.  Though it’s a little pricier than going to the beach, you get the peace of mind that your kids won’t be knocked down by a wave, or run off too far out of sight.  This would also be a great place to have a kids birthday party!

 Know before you go:
200 Portofino Way
Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Admission: Ages 17+ - $7
                     Ages 2-17  $6
Hours: Memorial Day to Labor Day
Parking w/ validation $2 per hour, max $6 - Cash Only

More details at http://www.redondo.org/depts/recreation/recreation_facilities/seaside_lagoon/default.asp

Friday, August 5, 2016

Orange County Fair 2016

There’s still 2 weekends left to go to the Orange County Fair before it moves on.  Get your fix on classic fair foods plus the popular, over-the-top deep fried foods like twinkies and escargot and caviar.   Sounds weird but I’m sure it’s delicious! There are tons of rides and carnival games for the kids so be ready to spend some dough as most of the rides and games cost an average of $5!  When you’re ready to seek shelter from the heat, head into one of the air conditioned buildings and enjoy some art, fun exhibits, music and food demos.  There’s also a livestock area complete with barn animals, petting zoo, outdoor vegetable garden and even pig races.  There’s definitely plenty to do here for the whole family and you can easily spend an entire day. 

Know before you go:
88 Fair Dr.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Admission: Ages 13-59 - $12
                     Ages 6-12 & 60+  $7
                     Sat & Sun from 10a-11a  Early bird - $3
Hours: Wed – Fri 12p - midnight
Sat & Sun 10a – midnight
Parking $10 Cash Only
Shuttle available on weekends from Experian parking lot.

More details at www.ocfair.com

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Kidding Around Portland Oregon

We recently returned from a short trip to Portland, Oregon with the kiddos and were pleasantly surprised at how kid-friendly the city is. Below are some recommended highlights from our trip.  Though Portland is known to be a public transit and bike friendly town, we opted to rent a car given our little one’s needs.  However our adventures didn’t take us more than 10 miles outside of downtown. 

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry – This is an awesome museum to introduce little minds to science and discovery.  Though a majority of the exhibits were too advanced for our 3 and 1 year old to properly engage, there is a large Science Playground upstairs specifically designed for ages 0-6.  My kids spent 1.5 hours here moving from the sand area to the water play area to the infant section, to the science lab where arts and crafts were offered.

1945 SE Water Ave
Hours 9:30-7p daily
Admission: Adults $14, Youth 3-13 $9.75
Parking $5

Powell’s City of Books Bookstore –  Take a break from all the sights and stop by the world’s largest bookstore with color coded “rooms”.  The children’s section is Rose and quite large.  They carry new and used books at bargain prices. 
store hours: 9am – 11pm daily

Washington Park Playground – We discovered this playground when searching for a place for the kids to burn some energy.  Our original plan to take them to  splash pad/fountain didn’t pan out as it was a pretty chilly afternoon.  This playground is apparently Portland’s largest play structure.  There’s slides, monkey bars, swings, bridges and ramps to keep them occupied and definitely worth a visit.  Washington Park is huge and worth exploring.  While here, make it a day and also enjoy the Zoo, Children’s Museum and Japanese Garden.

4001 SW Canyon Rd
Portland, OR 97221

Pumpkin Patch Farm at Sauvie Island – Summertime means berry season and we were lucky enough to catch the tail end of it during our visit.  My daughter loooooves berries so we couldn’t pass up this opportunity to take her to a u-pick farm so she could pick it herself off the tree, not that she’ll ever remember the experience.  This was one of two farms we looked into that still had a decent amount of self pick blueberries and blackberries so definitely call ahead or check out their website prior to going so you know what’s in season and available.  The berries we picked with super juicy and plump.  My son loved the many display tractors around the parking lot and wanted to climb on all of them.  There’s also a small barn with animals (none to pet) and a grocery store.  During the fall they have a corn maze and their namesake, a pumpkin patch.

Open daily 9a-6p
Blueberries ($2.00 lb). Thornless blackberries ($1.50lb).