Last Friday my family went on a fun field trip to Roaring Camp Railroad in Fenton, up in the hills of Santa Cruz. We go at least once a year and take the steam train up one of the steepest grades a train can go up.
The steam train, named Dixiana, was built the same year as the Titanic. I love hearing the history of the forest and how it became protected, the logging industry, train trivia, and about different adventures back in the "olden days". My kids however are just in awe of the LOUD whistle. While we go up into the redwood trees, the air cools off, the fresh smell of mountain air wafts through your nose. It is so lovely.
As summer is getting closer, my family and I plan lots of outings and field trips to keep us busy and tire out the kids. Here's a list and short re-cap of some of the summer things we like to do:
Gilroy Gardens (formerly Bonfante Gardens) is like a mini Disneyland. Rides for small children, ride on cars that are amazing, California produce themed rides. This park is very clean, nice bathrooms. There is a water play area for kids to run around but remember water shoes, they are required.
Happy Hollow in San Jose. Recently updated, this park is designed for kids under age 8. The rides are for smaller kids. There is also a nice little zoo. This is a fun favorite.
Fairyland in Oakland For you East Bay parents, you might have pictures of your own parents here. My mom went here when she was little. A little Old School but fun non the less.
Phipps Ranch in Pescadero for Berry picking. 30 minutes south of Half moon Bay, pick your own ollaliberries, strawberries, raspberries. They have a small farm with animals and flowers. Picnic table to eat lunch.
Rin Canada Pool in Palo Alto. City run, cheap to get in. Warm, bring your own food, large flower shaped kiddie pool. A favorite of Coastside moms who want to get in the sun during the summer.
Beach. We prefer Roosevelt beach here in HMB. It's safer for the kids. Neighborhood parking. Must be warm out though and bring baby powder to apply on the kids so the sand runs off before getting back into your car. Chrissy Field beach in SF is also a great kid appropriate beach.
Golden Gate Park, Japanese Tea Garden. More outside fun plus add in history!
Of course these are only a few of the outings we go on during the summer. There are lots more. All you blog readers out there, please share some of your favorite summer outings!