Celebrate Spring with Butterflies!

This Saturday the Water Conservation Garden will kick off its butterfly season with a free Spring Garden & Butterfly Festival. The fun starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 3. In between you’ll enjoy the gorgeous gardens, interact with butterflies, participate in butterfly crafts and story times and watch a butterfly release.

 

Ms. Smarty Plants story time will be part of this weekend’s festival.

Your kids will get a kick out of the sculptured shrubs!

 

Enjoy the wonderful Water Conservation Garden trails for free!

The festival is just the start of the butterfly fun at the Water Conservation Garden. This little Rancho San Diego gem is open daily from 9 am to 4 pm (except certain holidays) and is always free. It’s the perfect way to spend a few hours with your littles, searching for dinosaur footprints, gnomes, stepping stones, garden jewels, fairy gardens, koi fish, and more! The trails are flat (even stroller friendly and…dog friendly!)

The whole family can learn about water conservation while taking in the natural beauty of San Diego’s East County.

The butterfly exhibit will continue through May, so even if you can’t make it to this weekend’s festival, you’ll be able to see the butterflies for the next several weeks.

Visit thegarden.org/springfestival for all of the details of this Saturday’s event. For more information about the Water Conservation Garden and its daily schedule of free, educational fun, visit their website, thegarden.org.

The Water Conservation Garden 

Spring Garden & Butterfly Festival

Saturday, April 27th 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

12122 Cuyamaca College Drive West
El Cajon, California 92019

The Week Ahead

It has been nearly 6 years since I’ve had a little guy at home on weekdays to explore San Diego with. I usually leave those kinds of posts to my fabulous blog partner, Chelsea. But, this week we have a special 3-year-old staying with us, and I wanted to share our plans in case you’re also looking for fun things to do with a preschooler.

MONDAY — SEAWORLD

Photo Credit: Seaworld San Diego Elmo’s Flying Fish

I’m going to start the week off with my favorite, tried-and-true toddler entertainment – a day at Seaworld. I know Ben’s going to be thrilled by the Explorer’s Reef touch pools, the animal exhibits and shows and the rides at the Bay of Play. When Mallory and Gage were little, this was one of our regular weekly outings. And since the Seaworld Preschool Fun Card is only $20 for unlimited admission through 2019, it’s kind of a no-brainer.

If you have a preschooler between the ages of 3 and 5, don’t miss your chance to snag a fun card. Order online and redeem in the park before April 30th! (children under 2 are admitted for free).

 

TUESDAY – JAPANESE FRIENDSHIP GARDEN

Photo Credit: Japanese Friendship Garden

Have you ever brought a toddler to the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park? It’s free this Tuesday for “Residents Free Tuesday,” and it is actually a wonderful place to stroll with a child. From the winding garden paths to their award-winning koi ponds, this is such a happy place.

While the garden’s cherry blossom festival has just ended, they do still have a number of trees still in bloom as well as azaleas and wisteria. It’s going to be a nice way to spend Tuesday afternoon, and if we have the desire, we’ll head over to the Fleet Science Center’s Kid City or the Model Railroad Museum for some serious toddler entertainment!

 

WEDNEDAY – HULLABALOO @ DEL MAR PLAZA

Photo Credit: Del Mar Plaza

On Wednesday Ben and I are going to head over to Del Mar Plaza at 11 a.m. for their FREE “Lil Tritons Club” event featuring my favorite children’s musical artist, Hullabaloo Band. Ben has never seen a Hullabaloo concert before, but I know he’s going to LOVE it, especially since we’re going to be outside on the heated deck overlooking the ocean. And, good news for me, kids eat free after the concert at two of my favorite restaurants, Il Fornaio and Pacifica Del Mar. Woot!

 

THURSDAY – “REAL” EASTER EGG HUNT

On Thursday, I am psyched that Ben and I will actually get to hang with my partner Chelsea and her kiddos. Chelsea has planned a “real” egg hunt with our Mom’s Guide to Family Fun playgroup. As she explains, ” When I grew up, we had REAL Easter Egg hunts, where we actually had to HUNT for the eggs! I have been so annoyed by the over-crowded, over-commercialized, done-in-30-second egg hunts that happen across the county and am ready to make my kids work for their rewards LOL!”

If you’d like to be a part of our hunt, be sure to join our group here and register for the event. 🙂

 

FRIDAY – INDOOR EGG HUNT

‘Tis the season for egg hunts, and since Ben is only 3, I’m sure he’ll be up for as many as I can provide. On Friday we’re going to head over to the Cardiff Library for a free indoor egg hunt, bunny ear craft and a book giveaway in honor of Dia de los ninos. Our San Diego libraries always do an amazing job of educating and entertaining kids. If you want to join us on Friday, be sure to RSVP by calling the library at 760.753.4027.

I’m going to make the most of my week with the energetic, happy little 3-year-old we’re blessed to take care of this week. I hope your week is also busy and blessed!

 

Frolicking Through Fallbrook

Last weekend, the kids and I, along with a few friends, loaded up the car and made the 40 minute trek up to Fallbrook to enjoy a morning of strawberry picking. A quick Yelp search led us to Kenny’s Strawberry Farm; a 5-star rated u-pick farm, producing an abundance of sweet, juicy strawberries from February through July.

Kenny’s is just off the 15 Freeway, about 40-45 minutes North of Mission Valley. While the drive is a bit of a commitment, the scenery is beautiful and there are a number of places to stop along the way if you need a snack or a potty break.

We arrived right at 10am on a Sunday, and it was the perfect timing. Even as we were leaving, the fields were not crowded, and the parking lot had PLENTY of space for more cars. Plus, there were enough red berries for, what seemed like, the entire state of California to enjoy!

Visiting the farm is free, and you only pay for what you pick. Be careful though, because it is easy to fill those buckets up to the brim with delicious berries, but at $4 per pound, an overflowing bucket will run you upwards of $15+. But in this case, you are also paying for the experience and the memories, which are priceless!

Our kids were so anxious to fill their buckets up, that we were ready to pay and head out within an hour. We perused through the farm stand, enjoyed a fresh strawberry lemonade from the snack truck (so good!!), and got some great advice to head over to Myrtle Creek Botanical Gardens for a picnic (I highly recommend adding this to your day’s itinerary)!

Kenny’s Strawberry Farm is open Wednesday – Sunday, from 10am-6pm (weather permitting). Make sure to pack hats and sunscreen, as the fields have no shade. The strawberries here are not organic, but a system called “integrated pest management” is used, meaning they start out with organic materials and only use synthetic products as needed to combat insects and diseases. Keep in mind that this is an active farm, and there’s a good chance your kiddos will get DIRTY, so boots and a change of clothes are not a bad idea.

There are picnic tables available if you pack your own food, and adorable merchandise available in their Farm Shop.  Plus, one lucky MomsGuide reader will be given the opportunity to win a jar of their delicious jam and a cute mug! Just comment below on who you plan on picking with this strawberry season to be entered to win! We will choose a winner at random on April 10th!