Free Family Fun at the Water Conservation Garden

Today’s adventures with the little ones took us to the Water Conservation Garden in El Cajon, and I’m here to encourage you to make a visit with your family sooner than I did with mine! I’ve been meaning to check this place out for over a year now, but the 20-minute drive always deterred me from making the trip out there. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the drive was really only 15 minutes from La Mesa, went super quick, and was well worth it!

First off, admission is FREE, and the gardens are open daily (excluding holidays) from 9am – 4pm. My initial intention to visit was set solely on entertaining my kids for a couple of hours, but I left with a pinterest-board-like mind full of ideas on how to revamp my backyard into a more drought tolerate landscape! From grasses, to rocks, to mulch, to plant life and more…the 6 acres of garden displays are sure to get your creative landscape juices flowing!

At the entrance, our kids were given a scavenger hunt with the motivation of a prize from the treasure box to complete it. *Side note – the bathrooms are right at the entrance, so make sure to make a stop on your way in. *Additional side note – the treasure box prizes are not that great, so don’t get their hopes up TOO much 🙂 We started at the Butterfly Pavilion (which we will be returning to in early April to see the butterflies in action) and wound our way up to the Jurassic Garden. This is the most “kid-friendly” spot with a sandbox and toys, dinosaur “skeletons” and facts, and a small playhouse to enjoy.

From there we found dinosaur footprints, gnomes, stepping stones, garden jewels, fairy gardens, koi fish, and more! The trails were flat (even stroller friendly and…dog friendly!), there were plenty of places to stop in the shade for a rest or a snack, and so much to learn about along the way with clearly marked signs and labels at every corner.

On the way out, we ran into Ms. Smarty Plants, who was more than willing to engage with our children and teach them a thing or two about our native plant life. We’re already looking forward to going back for a free garden tour, buying some drought tolerant succulents for our garden, and enjoying more fun facts from Ms. Smarty Plants.

Water Conservation Garden

12122 Cuyamaca College Drive West

El Cajon, CA 92019


Fever? Rash? Child Under 5? Let’s Get Checked out for Kawasaki Syndrome!

Sixteen San Diego children have been diagnosed with Kawasaki disease since this January, and County Health officials believe that more cases may occur through March because of the wet, cool weather we’ve been experiencing.

“The symptoms of Kawasaki disease include fever for up to 10 days, rash, swelling of the hands and feet, bloodshot eyes, swollen lymph glands in the neck, and/or red mouth, lips and throat,” says Dr. Jaime Friedman of Children’s Physicians Medical Group. “Peeling of the fingers and toes is a late finding in many patients after the fever has subsided.”

Photo Credit: Kawasaki Kids Family Foundation

Kawasaki disease is the most common acquired heart disease in children. Untreated, roughly one-quarter of children with Kawasaki disease develop coronary artery aneurysms – balloon-like bulges of heart vessels – that may ultimately result in heart attacks, congestive heart failure or sudden death.

While weather may be a factor in contracting this disease, so may ethnicity, age and gender. Asian/Pacific Islanders have an increased relative risk of contracting Kawasaki disease compared to other races or ethnicities as do males and children 5 and younger.

Kawasaki disease is estimated to affect fewer than 6,000 children in the U.S. each year, but cases appear to be rising in San Diego County. The Kawasaki Disease Research Center at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego and UC San Diego School of Medicine alerted HHSA to the fact that twice as many San Diego children had been diagnosed with Kawasaki disease so far this year compared to prior years.

Diagnosing and treating Kawasaki Disease within the first 10 days is crucial to prevent long-term damage “If your child has a fever that lasts more than four to five days, especially with any of the above findings, contact your child’s doctor,” says Dr. Friedman.

For more information about the disease, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Kawasaki syndrome website or the Kawasaki Disease Research Center website.

Children’s Physicians Medical Group is a long-time partner of The Mom’s Guide to San Diego. They are pediatric healthcare experts with same-day appointments if your child is sick or hurt and convenient locations throughout San Diego County offering after-hours care. We appreciate their contribution to our health-related articles! 

The Greatest Show in San Diego

Circus Vargas is back! If you’ve got a “Greatest Showman” loving family, don’t miss your opportunity to attend one of the best shows to come to San Diego.

Circus Vargas is celebrating its 50th anniversary extravaganza with an homage to the golden era of circus in America. The 2019 production highlights an amazing cast of world-renowned performers including death- defying acrobats, daredevils, aerialists, jugglers, contortionists, clowns, motorcycles and more!

Tent 1

Circus Vargas was selected “best circus” by! Kids under 2 are free and discount ticket prices start at $15 for general admission. Because the circus tent is relatively small, there really are no bad seats!

You can find discounted tickets to Circus Vargas on

You can also enter to win a family 4-pack right here!

Leave a comment “yes” or “no” to the question… are circus clowns funny? One lucky family of four will be randomly selected to win tickets to the upcoming show of their choice. Winner announced this Friday. 

Good luck!