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San Francisco: The Exploratorium

“The Exploratorium is a twenty-first-century learning laboratory, an eye-opening, always-changing, playful place to explore and tinker. For more than forty years, we’ve built creative, thought-provoking exhibits, tools, programs, and experiences that ignite curiosity, encourage exploration, and lead to profound learning.” – From the Exploratorium website (www.exploratorium.edu) The Exploratorium is the ultimate playground for the mind,…

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Play: Lawrence Hall of Science

No visit to the Lawrence Hall of Science is complete without a bit of playtime on the massive DNA Sculpture and on Pheena, the life-size model of a fin whale. Photos taken April 2nd, 2013 Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley, California

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Sausalito: San Francisco Bay-Delta Model

Apparently, back in the 1950’s, engineers were considering building two dams in the San Francisco Bay to create fresh water reservoirs, right in the bay.  Luckily, the US Army Corps of Engineers decided it would be a good idea to study the potential impacts that such a huge undertaking might have, both environmentally and economically,…

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Fun for Little Astronauts: Chabot Space Center

I’m surprised I haven’t written about the Chabot Space Center before, as we’ve been members for two years and visit frequently.  I’m frequently asked the question, “Is the museum OK for 3-year-olds?”  Yes!  My son has always loved our visits here.  The museum is filled with hands-on exhibits, which children enjoy. In the Beyond Blastoff …

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Burning holiday energy…

Oh, my, is my five-year-old excited about Christmas tomorrow.  He can’t sit still, and he’s been acting super whacky.  It’s been raining and cold here in the Bay Area for days, and our outdoor adventures have been limited this past week because I’ve been sick (I still have a horrible cough).  Between his cabin fever…

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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…

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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…

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Climbing the DNA Structure, Lawrence Hall of Science

No visit to the Lawrence Hall of Science  in Berkeley is complete without reserving some time to climb on the DNA sculpture out front.  We love museums, but after all that indoor time, it’s fun for kids to get outside and move their bodies.  This one is a favorite! Have you been to the Tony…

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John Muir National Historic Site, Martinez

I’ve always loved this quote, and it’s one I experience each and every time I head out into nature.  For anyone who knows me, it should come as no surprise that John Muir, one of the greatest conservationists in history, is one of my heroes.  What is surprising, however, is that I’ve never visited the…

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Point Reyes Lighthouse

A highlight of any visit to Point Reyes National Seashore, on the California coast, thirty miles north of San Francisco, is the Point Reyes Lighthouse.  Growing up, my family would visit here every January to watch the migrating gray whales.  Assuming a clear day, the views from here are incredible!  The lighthouse is located on…

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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…

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Playtime at the Oakland Zoo

As an alternative to the local park or nature area, one of our favorite places for some quality outdoor playtime is the Oakland Zoo.    The weather today was much cooler than expected (in the 70s instead of the 100s, as it was a few days ago in the Bay Area).  Perfect weather for a late…

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Rainy Day at the Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley

Any trip we take to the UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley also includes a visit to the Lawrence Hall of Science. My four-year-old loves this science museum, and we can’t even think about visiting the area without stopping in for an hour or two.  If you saw my post from yesterday, you know our plan…

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Fun! Children’s Fairyland, Oakland

Children’s Fairyland is a storybook park that’s been around longer than Disneyland.  In fact, it inspired Walt Disney to create his Magic Kingdom.  Fortunately, Fairyland has maintained it’s small size and original charm since it opened in 1950.  I have fond memories of visiting the park when I was a child, during visits to see…

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Visit Report: Lindsay Wildlife Museum

For those kids (and adults) who love animals, the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek is a must-visit. The facility is beautiful, but what they do here is even more incredible. The wildlife hospital and rehabilitation center within the museum is the oldest in the United States. The veterinarians, staff, and volunteers treat more than…