Children & Nature in San Diego

Last weekend’s beautiful weather has me thinking about the bounty of spring events San Diego offers.  You don’t need your own garden to inspire a love of nature in your children.

My children have been gardening with their dad since they were toddlers.

There are many wonderful ways to introduce kids to gardening, farm-to-table cooking, conservationism and the cycle of life in the next couple of months.  We’re planning to attend next weekend’s open house at Olivewood Gardens, an indoor-outdoor classroom for children and adults that provides science based environmental education lessons, hands-on gardening, and hands-on cooking to students.  We’ll be back at Olivewood on March 8th for hands-on cooking demonstrations and children’s garden activities at the the Kids in the Kitchen event, produced with the help of the Junior League of San Diego.

Nothing quite says spring in San Diego like acres of rolling hills covered in orange, yellow, pink and red blooms.  The Carlsbad Flower Fields will open on March 1st and will celebrate Kids’ Day on March 30th.  The season lasts a quick 6-8 weeks before the flowers die and the park closes so mark your calendar!

My family at the Carlsbad Flower Fields in 2009…time for a new one!

The Japanese Friendship Garden cherry blossoms are also blooming, just in time for their 9th annual Cherry Blossom Festival on March 1st.

On March 8th Alta Vista Gardens presents Kids in the Garden,  “Farmer Jones” will lead children in a fun-filled day of  learning about planting and eating an edible garden.

The San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy presents a Spring Egg-ucation at its March 29th Family Day.  Kids will get an up-close look at all kinds of critters that hatch from eggs. Families will discover an egg-themed Trivia Hunt around the Nature Center Loop Trail.

The Water Conservation Garden celebrates the opening of its new Butterfly Pavilion with a Butterfly Festival on Saturday, April 5th.  Participants can learn how to create a butterfly garden, get up close with larvae, caterpillars and butterflies, march in the pollinator parade and more.

Also on April 5th is one of our favorite annual events, Lady Bug Day at the San Diego Botanic Garden.  Kids search for lady bugs, make lady bug crafts and create beautiful lady bug-attracting floral arrangements with the help of garden volunteers. It’s a sweet way to spend the day.

Throughout the year, many San Diego farms offer tours and special events for families and organized groups to enjoy including Wild Willow Farm and Education Center, Stehly Farms and Suzie’s Farm.

If these events are not enough to satisfy  your appetite for earthy-outings, spring is also U-pick strawberry season.  Yum!






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