Posts Tagged ‘nature’

Hit the Surf: 8 Kid-Friendly Beaches

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
Around the 4th of July, our hearts and minds start to really turn westwards toward our beaches. Whether it’s to beat the heat for an afternoon, or a fun family day away, here are some of the best kid-friendly beaches to hit up in LA County!
There’s nothing like a sunny Southern California day at the beach, but making the trek west with your little ones can sometimes be a daunting prospect. Between worries of crowds, high surf, and all that sand that will still be in your car when they leave for college, you might even be tempted to skip it all together.  But here’s a secret: half of the challenge is in knowing where to go. With clean bathrooms, shallow breakers and short walks from the parking lots, a day at the beach can be a–well, a day at the beach. Added bonus: all that sun, sand, and running around is a guarantee for a sleepy kiddo and an easy bedtime.

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Malibu Area Beaches

Westward Beach, Malibu
This lovely stretch of sand is private and picturesque. Often used for filming (yes, you recognize it from everything from Planet of the Apes to Iron Man), the large cliffs provide a stunning backdrop for your family’s beach day. Just be advised, this north-facing beach’s surf breaks shallow and close to shore, and while the surf is generally not huge, smaller munchkins and beginning swimmers need to be watched closely, especially by the water’s edge. If you keep your eyes peeled, you may even catch a glimpse of some body surfing dolphins! There is a pay parking lot or free parking on the street, just be advised you will have to cart your stuff and your little ones if you park on the street. The restrooms are generally clean but the lifeguard tower is only manned in the peak summer season.

Read the full article on RedTri.com —>

Flip Flop Ranch – Family Farm Stay

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014
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“A visit to the Flip Flop Farm is an outdoor family travel experience we will never forget!”

Nothing better encompasses outdoor family travel than a farm stay. We spent the weekend at Flip Flop Ranch (www.flipflopranch.com) just outside of Big Bear. Farm vacations are very reasonably priced and you can’t do better at being outdoors and in nature. Only a few hours from home, we felt like we were experiencing the true Wild West!

Flip Flop Ranch is a small family farm dedicated to preserving livestock and sharing the farm stay experience with others. You can expect a genuine farm experience in the desert countryside of southern California but do not be afraid of the nitty gritty and the bugs. You need to be more careful about impulsively taking a kitten home with you (more on that later). You will likely be in the company of two or three other families for your stay and expect to be surrounded by of all kinds of animals.

Over the course of the weekend, my son Jett fed and milked goats, pushed a wheelbarrow around like his life depended on it and picked out an egg from the chicken coop. His first excited words at the crack of dawn the next morning were, “Can I go eat my egg now?”

You do not forget you are enjoying the outdoors for even a moment with the constant company of goats, horses, roosters, geese, chicks and kittens! Kittens are always the kids’ favorite and Jett was no exception. My husband and I were quick to fall in love so I caution you to beware, because the cuteness is contagious!

Jett loved following Farmer Tom around and watching him sheer sheep, chop wood and do all kinds of manly chores. Farmer Tom even shared baseball tips with all the boys. Farmer Serina was also such a patient teacher with Jett while he followed her around throughout the day.

After an eventful farm vacation weekend, we were sad to leave the comfort of the forty acres tucked away on the outskirts of Lucerne Valley. Every family with a kid should experience a farm stay—we hope to return in the fall during apple harvest, but hope they hide the kittens!

All you city dwellers need to consider getting away for a weekend down on the farm. See things you’ve never seen before: baby goats being born, sheep being sheered and little chicks chirping away. Do things you’ve never done before: milk a goat, feed livestock and spend the day as a farmer-in-training. It is an outdoor family travel experience you will never forget!

15 Places Your Kids Should See Before 15

Monday, June 16th, 2014

It took us hours of heated debate, weeks of research, and years of experience to whittle down America’s monuments to a definitive list of 15 musts for anyone under 15. Not only are these attractions fun and (shhhh) educational, they’re especially magical through the eyes of a child.

By Nicole Frehsee, Friday, Mar 11, 2011, 9:00 AM  |  Subscribe to the magazine
 15 Places Your Kids Should See Before 15

A stunning look over Yellowstone National Park.

(Courtesy Mila Zinkova/Wikimedia Commons)

Two years ago, we picked 15 American landmarks every kid should see, from Ellis Island to Redwood National Park. Our new and improved 2011 lineup takes that challenge even further, by highlighting how our country’s top sights cater to kids’ abbreviated attention spans. From roasting marshmallows around a campfire to playing dress-up at Monticello, these cool, interactive activities ensure that the younger set will enjoy these must-see spots as much as their parents do.

 

Read the full article at BudgetTravel.com —>

50 Outdoor Summer Activities For Kids

Thursday, May 15th, 2014
I am seriously down to HOURS until my kids are done with school
and I am getting a little nervous . . .
the first few days are always fun, but then the “I’m Bored” whines and cries set in.
Ahhhh!
I rounded up some fun outdoor activities that would be perfect to chase the bored blues away and keep kids from turning into couch potatoes over the summer.
Most can be done for free or very inexpensively and you can help the kids get set-up with these activities and then let their imaginations run wild.
If you did one activity a day, it might get you through the middle of July.
After that, you are on your own! icon smile 50 Outdoor Summer Activities For Kids
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1. Using an old sheet, make art on the lawn.
3. Have a read-a-thon outside (maybe in the shade if it’s really hot!).
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5. Play a fun game of Drip Drip Splash! (Think Duck Duck Goose with water!)

 

San Francisco – A Memorable Two-Wheel Adventure, Biking The Golden Gate Bridge

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014
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“Biking across the Golden Gate Bridge was a brilliant outdoor family adventure, the kind that cherished vacation memories are made of.”

Of all the urban outdoor family adventures I have had, biking across the Golden Gate Bridge might just rank as #1. The visit was a rockingly brilliant outdoor family adventure, the kind that cherished vacation memories are made of.

San Francisco is a magnificent family friendly city capable of pleasing travelers of all ages, but focus in this city is essential for vacation and budget optimization.  Filled with lovely parks, landmark sights, and plenty of outdoor activities, the hardest task in this city is choosing how to spend your time, which goes rather quickly. Since we had planned to organize our journey around forms of transportation (did I mention we were traveling with a 5 year old boy?), biking across the Golden Gate Bridge for our special activity was a natural selection. For this family, the choice proved to be an exciting and memorable way to see San Francisco attractions. Here’s how we rolled…

  1. Peddling, Puffing and Proud (biking across the Golden Gate Bridge)

We rented our bikes from Bike and Roll (http://www.bikeandroll.com/sanfrancisco/). How did we choose this company? Strategically of course… we stumbled upon them on Fisherman’s Wharf. They had everything we needed: helmets, locks, oh… and bikes. It was one stop shopping and we were on our way. We spent the morning by the water, went to Sausalito, peddled past Presidio Park, and biked over the Golden Gate Bridge.

As I huffed and puffed my way up a hill I began to wonder what the heck I had gotten myself into. Gratefully, I was able to get my tired car-poolin-ain’t –been-to-the-gym-in-a-decade-butt up the hill. The accomplishment – surprising. The activity – divine. The view – splendid.

We took some time sight seeing and eating lunch while waiting for the ferry home. My only regret after our biking excursion was not planning ahead to spend the whole day on this activity. Since after 4 hours you wind up paying for the entire day, it would have made more sense for us to keep the bikes out for 8 hours, but alas, we had a plane to catch. Hope someone learns from this article and goes for the whole day. I want to return and do it!

Biking across the Golden Gate Bridge was a highlight for this family’s outdoor time in San Francisco and top of our list to do again.  This traveling Mom gives it a “Most Memorable Rating of 10 out of 10.”

From my family to yours, Happy Travels…