Family Fun Adventure: Muck Fest Mud Run

IMG_20151024_130735

Hello Lovelies, I thought I’d do a little write up on this fun outing we took part of the family to this year….Muck Fest 2015. It was held in Prado Regional Park in San Bernardino County. If you are participating in the run you don’t need to pay for the park’s day use fee. For the last couple years the company Hubbs works for sponsors any employees that want to enter the run and they can then sign up friends and family for about $65 dollars per person, depending on when you sign up. If you sign up closer to the date of the race, the price goes up. A free T-shirt, bag check, a drink and snack is included in the ticket price. This year Hubbs took biggest boy to run with him. But, he didn’t take his phone for pictures, so I’ll add some that we took last year when I went with him

2014-10-25 12.38.16  IMG_0182   IMG_0237

Some of the obstacles

We love that this run is benefiting charity via the MS Foundation and we are delighted to support it while having fun

IMG_0174

The run took place during the month of October which is really the perfect weather to be running this in. It’s quite hot out and the mud/water feels nice and cooling

IMG_20151024_113439     IMG_20151024_112656

There is a small free mucky area for kiddies. A little slide, a tunnel and a inflated pool with a water bucket that dumps on their heads. Simple, but SO fun and my little guys happily played there the entire time Dad and big brother were running. It’s good thinking to bring bathing suits, towels and dry clothes

IMG_20151024_115236  IMG_20151024_111525  IMG_20151024_111612

It took them a few minutes to not be shocked by being/getting dirty, then they were all in. There are T-shirts for sale and a couple of food trucks or you can bring a picnic to enjoy in the huge park. After cleaning up at the shower truck we headed over to the nice large playground for lunch and play time before heading home

IMG_20141025_163428

Yeigh, we made it! Lots of fun. What fun runs have you tried?

Advertisements

Family Fun Adventure: San Diego Zoo

IMG_20151018_102451

*Disclaimer: I have not received any compensation for this post, all opinions are my own

Hey there! Today’s Family Fun Adventure comes from the world famous San Diego Zoo. I think most people that live in Cali know during the month October kids admission to the San Diego Zoo is free! (So is the Safari Park. See my post from 2013 on that park here: https://juggling5monkeys.wordpress.com/2013/11/29/san-diego-zoo-safari-park/)

Bring hats, sweaters, water bottles and sunscreen will save you having to fork out for the necessities at a higher price inside the park

IMG_20151018_104021

The cost: The kids were free. We bought the least expensive tickets for us parents at $48 a person (12 yrs and older. kids 3-11 years are $38 normally) came out to $96! You can get a small discount if you are a triple A member and you may be able to find other discounts in flyers at hotels or online. Parking is free. Plus a tank of gas and about 6 hours of driving, made this adventure not too cheap, but it is certainly worth making the trip every couple years with littles. The last time we visited here Brecks (little guy pictured above) was a belly bump, so we were definitely due for another visit

IMG_20151018_105910     IMG_20151018_113427

IMG_20151018_133651

IMG_20151018_110916

Lots of close up viewing

IMG_20151018_141004     IMG_20151018_120019

IMG_20151018_112008

We borrowed a buddy for the day, which made the trip extra special for Azure. He and his friend talked Pokemon most of the day and random animal facts. Thank goodness! Mom and Dad needed a break from hearing about each fine Pokemon detail

IMG_20151018_120835      IMG_20151018_144129

IMG_20151018_120131     IMG_20151018_105236

One forewarning that’s probably obvious…the zoo will be extremely crowded due to the free day. It was difficult to keep tabs on littlest boy and we lost him in the crowds a couple times. The zoo is pretty large and requires a quick pace to see everything. There were quite a few people jams in choice viewing areas, but if you go with that in mind and try to stay chilled and relaxed you won’t get too bothered. Hehe…hopefully. You can also take the tram that is included in the tickets instead of marching everywhere, though for the kids (on the free days) you will need to pay extra. Since we brought a small light stroller we opted to get some exercise. The older boys (7 & 8 years) while excited troopers (not complaining once) were tired by the end of the day

IMG_20151018_154817     IMG_20151018_130624     IMG_20151018_125821

I was so impressed with this guy. Normally when we go on an adventure he just runs from place to place, barely interested. On this occasion he stopped and would search for most of the creatures, in every reptile and insect tank! This trip was very worth it from an entertainment stand point of a very active 4 1/2 year old. Of course all kids are different, so a younger child could certainly be just as interested, depending on the child

IMG_20151018_114002

The monkeys had nice large habitats. The zoo also has a playground area for kids that was super packed out, but it was a good little break spot

IMG_20151018_113657     IMG_20151018_143444

There are a bunch of these animal sculptures to pose on and the zoo is building a new Africa Rocks area opening in 2017

IMG_20151018_144328      IMG_20151018_143602

IMG_20151018_155439

Three cuties on a giant tortoise

IMG_20151018_124935     IMG_20151018_164243

A little picnic lunch outside the zoo and a couple of seal wannabes

You can buy everything you could want or need for a visit to the zoo inside at the food/drinks/snack spots and souvenir shops. Since we live in Cali and often visit some of these more expensive touristy places I tend to make the visit on the cheap as much as possible while still being special and fun. For example, I made extra fancy sandwiches and bought some fun snacks/drinks and the kids only made squished pennies as souvenirs. We did grab ice cream at the grocery store on the way home and the kids were perfectly happy with that

IMG_20151018_160650

I hope this post gives you a good idea of a place to visit if you are ever out this way. Also, check out the zoo’s website for added extras I didn’t touch on in this post, like ticket upgrades, animal encounters, summer camps, etc. It is a wonderful place and I would certainly have annual passes if we lived closer.

Happy Fall All!

Family Fun Adventure: Discovery Cube (Orange County, CA)

2015-02-08 11.33.12

Hey Lovelies, this Family Fun Adventure post is coming to you from the Discovery Cube in Orange County, California. Our big boy Azure turned 7 this month

When asking him if there was somewhere special he’d like to go for his birthday, his prompt reply was… ‘Yes! I would like to go to Africa and see cheetahs’ I promised him, one day. Since he is continuing in this ‘Mad About Science’ direction, Hubbs picked out the Discovery Cube as our next family fun adventure

2015-02-08 11.13.10     2015-02-08 10.40.56

They had a LEGO travel exhibit while we visited and boy was it a hit with little brother. He literally played happily with DUPLO for at least 1 1/2 hours! We had to work hard to convince him to look at something else after Mom and Dad took shifts watching him here so the others could check out the other displays and activities

2015-02-08 10.40.19    2015-02-08 10.37.54

His favorite was making long trains and racing them down a ramp

2015-02-08 11.08.38     2015-02-08 10.59.01

Climbing wall and seat pulley to pull yourself up high

Here’s the cost scoop. Adults: $17 Kids 3-14: $13 Under 2 yrs: Free

So yeah, that’s not what our family would consider a cheap outing. However, they have a free day on the first Sunday of the month for Bank Of America cardholders. We thought it was the first full weekend, so went on Sunday the 8th of Feb. Upon arriving we learned the free day IS on the first Sunday no matter if its a full weekend or not! (Call ahead to double check) While in the ticket line I noticed a couple ahead of us getting their BOA cards out, when our turn came we inquired about the free admission day and they were kind enough to let us in for free anyways. Please note: We didn’t make any fuss or issue, we simply asked if this was the free Sunday. It pays to ask and be polite 🙂 In the end we only paid for the 3 kids we had with us that day, about $40 and parking was $5 (if I remember correctly) So, $45 plus gas, not too cheap, but obvious it would make sense to get year passes if you lived in the nearby area. Tip: Get BOA cards for all members of your family to make the most of the free admission day

2015-02-08 11.05.00     2015-02-08 11.37.48

Making clouds and having a go at being a hockey goalie

I found this museum very well kept, clean and in working order. Nothing funky or junky about it. Real nice quality place. On a whole it’s not very big and we were through with our visit in about 2 hours. Everything was hands on and touchable, which was perfect for kids. My suggested ages that would enjoy this place the most is 4 or 5-10 years. Our little guy who is almost 4 only wanted to play with LEGOs and run around. While our 13 year old was bored and just wandered around barely interested. My conclusion about this place is…wonderful learning fun, a bit expensive for a large family just visiting once from far away. Again, if I lived in the area I would go for an annual pass and take my littles often

2015-02-08 10.54.20     2015-02-08 10.50.43

Using one of the interactive computer screens and trying on diving equipment

2015-02-08 10.55.08     2015-02-08 11.21.00

Pretend to go on a Safari trip in this research vehicle and countdown to blast off in a rocket

2015-02-08 10.24.17     2015-02-08 10.25.30

Checking out the scale of a dino in the outdoor exhibit

Sorry, my pictures aren’t too awesome, the camera phone was having focusing issues. Anyhoo, I hope this post gave you some ideas for a family fun adventure in your area

xo Happy learning and discovering All

Link to my Family Fun Adventure pinterest page: https://www.pinterest.com/hellokate81/jugglingfivemonkeys-blog-adventure/

Family Fun Adventure (Canada): Capilano Suspension Bridge

2014-12-27 13.04.22

Our newest Family Fun Adventure also hails from our neighboring country to the north. This time we are visiting the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Yes, its very touristy and quite expensive for our usual outings. We haven’t ever visited the bridge in all our many trips up here, so we decided to take the plunge in spite of the cold and rainy weather. And no, the rain had absolutely no effect on the other tourists and visitors to the site. They were there in large amounts, though not too bad (coming from California and the crowds we are use to) and after dark when all the billions of Christmas lights came on there were plenty of locals packing in as well

2014-12-27 13.00.33     2014-12-27 13.00.05

Posing with the Totem Poles. These carved poles were traditionally used as story telling aids in Native cultures and I learned that some stories took up to a week to tell! If you are planning to visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge here is the lowdown. Number 1: Its pricey! Adults will pay to the tune of $32 Youth (13-16) $22 Kids (6-12) $12. Gulp! Triple AAA members get a tiny discount.

Its all paved and strollers are cool up till the bridge itself, then everyone has to walk. So, if there are littles too big to carry or too small to walk and climb all the stairs at the tree canopy part on the other side, maybe wait until they get bigger as they won’t allow strollers on the bridge. Our littlest at almost 4 years, was totally fine walking. It depends on the child of course. There are restrooms, coffee shop, food/snacks and a large gift store.

iPhone 6+ 105     2014-12-27 14.39.47

Yes, it was cold enough to dress as an Eskimo for the day 🙂 I was warm = happy, until the sun went down

There are 3 main areas to enjoy, the very long bridge, the treetops adventure and the cliff walk.

The original bridge was built in 1889. It stretches 450 feet across and hangs 230 feet above the Capilano River. So, very long high bridge.

The Treetops Adventure was my personal favorite part. You walk along 7 small suspension bridges and platforms, 100 feet in the air through an old growth Douglas Fir forest. This was really perfect for the little kids

2014-12-27 13.23.35

Azure and cousin Kalin on one of the bridges in the Treetop Adventure

2014-12-27 13.25.25

A view from the canopy bridges

If you have kids, go straight to the Treehouse and pick up a clipboard to take the self-guided interactive tour. Answer the questions on the paper and receive a Rainforest Explorer badge. Thankfully, a free souvenir!

2014-12-27 13.18.14     2014-12-27 13.40.27

2014-12-27 14.45.08

Littlest brother wasn’t feeling well so we left him to nap in the stroller in the covered snack area with a big brother while the rest of us took the Cliff Walk. As you can see, its pretty narrow and I don’t think strollers are allowed on here either. The Cliff Walk was added to the site in 2011 and its pretty spectacular. Its cool to take in the engineering feat of the walkways, but the best part is the view of the river below

2014-12-27 14.53.01

The walkways were totally safe, in spite of the wet surfaces and I felt very comfortable having the kids walk on it

2014-12-27 16.49.55     2014-12-27 16.39.47

After the sun went down this guy and Dad braved the cold to view the many Christmas lights

2014-12-27 23.29.36

My conclusion about this attraction was mixed. Was it a great educational place to wander and explore? For sure! It was a beautiful and different way to hike/walk. You are walking on paved paths but feel as though you are hiking the temperate rainforest. Very cool and I would love to visit in the summer, though I imagine it would be a good deal more crowded. Was the price something we would normally stretch to include? Nope! But, since Vancouver is essentially our second home town and we haven’t really done many paid tourist things there before, we bit the bullet cost wise and had a good time. If you are vacationing, as we were and have set aside a budget for fun activities, its not TOO painful. Hope you enjoyed visiting the Capilano Suspension Bridge with us on this post of Family Fun Adventures

Here is the link to my Family Fun Adventure on Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/hellokate81/jugglingadventure/fivemonkeys-blog-

And here is the park link: http://www.capbridge.com

Family Fun Adventure (Canada): Fort Langley National Historic Site

 

2014-12-24 14.01.35

Super excited to bring you this Family Fun Adventure from…Canada! Yes, folks we had the blessing of making our way up north to enjoy the holidays with our Canadian family, and it was LOVELY! Today’s post comes to you from Historic Fort Langley in British Columbia

2014-12-22 13.17.46

We did the touristy thing and went with the Grandparents and Auntie Yvette (not pictured here, she took the better picture so I used hers! Thanks Yvette. Start writing for my blog pretty please) to the Fort one rainy day. Here is the pricing: Adults: $8.oo Youth: $4.00 Family: $20.oo (not sure how large a family counts) My sister had some passes since she worked for Parks Canada, which took care of the kids and 2 adults. We ended up paying 3 adult tickets for about $25. If you had to pay for everyone it could get a bit pricey for a large group, but it is definitely great value. This site is nicely paved so strollers aren’t a problem. It also has the added bonus of being fenced, er, walled in so the kiddies are contained. We had our stroller, but our almost 4 year old preferred to run around

2014-12-22 13.13.52     2014-12-22 13.07.56

Inside view of the palisades

See the shed like roof off of the wall? There is a window in the wall that they used for trade with the Native people

“Fort Langley is the exact location where, a century and a half ago, a huge fur trade organization called the Hudson’s Bay Company established a small post to trade with the First Nations of the West Coast. The enterprise grew, evolved, and influenced history, leading to the creation of the colony of British Columbia” (taken from Parks Canada website. See link at the bottom of this post)

2014-12-22 13.12.48     2014-12-22 13.13.17

L: Under the wall walk R: Stairs leading to the wall walk

This place is perfect for kids in the 5-12ish age range. There’s quite a few things for hands on fun, like a children’s museum in that you can wander around and touch most everything for the younger ones and slightly older ones will be able to enjoy the historical value. My older boys (13 and 15) weren’t all that interested in the history, but they were fine with wandering around. My 1st grader was TOO excited and couldn’t stop running all over looking for everything on the map and interactive booklet that was handed out to the kids. I had a hard time slowing him down to point out different interesting things. He was the same way at the LA Natural History Museum (https://juggling5monkeys.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/family-fun-adventure-la-natural-history-museum/) too overwhelmed to focus on details, which is funny cause he’ll listen to me read plenty of detailed science books. As an adult, I loved the place! It was a wonderful educational peek into life in the 1800’s and the birth place of British Columbia

2014-12-22 12.23.03

Here’s a picture from up on the wall walk at the top of the log walls surrounding the Fort where soldiers could patrol on look out

2014-12-22 12.14.55     2014-12-22 12.29.14

L: Grandparents talking to the cooper making barrels for shipping salted salmon, cranberries and other goods

R: Mom and Azure in the store house in front of pelts that would have made up the fur trade that this area was known for. An attendant informed me that bear fur was commonly used as the outer wrapping for a pile of furs as it was the least expensive pelt

2014-12-22 12.25.11     2014-12-22 12.24.53

L: Pretend to be a blacksmith for a few minutes R: Big boys testing out the bellows at the smithy

2014-12-22 13.02.03     2014-12-22 13.00.53

L: Boat used for trade R: Try your hand at panning for gold at certain times of year

2014-12-22 13.03.02     2014-12-22 13.05.03

Some kitchen areas in the houses. Interestingly, two or more families shared these homes. Each family area consisted of one large room with kitchen and sleeping areas just like in the Little House on the Prairie books. Some thing that struck me was how dark these houses must have been. There was some electric lighting disguised as candles or lanterns, even still, in the cloudy weather that is Vancouver for the most part, inside was really dark

2014-12-22 13.04.24     2014-12-22 13.02.51

They really try to make the areas lived in. Beds with blankets, knitting basket out, food on the table. Everything is very tidy which it probably really was, since people didn’t have too much stuff back then 🙂 The grounds are, I imagine a lot neater than it was in real life. More park like and less like a muddy farm

2014-12-22 12.59.38     2014-12-22 13.12.28

In the fall there are farm animals, a vegetable garden and mini orchard on site. Nothing to see when we visited late December. There also weren’t any crowds to deal with. Awesome! We pretty much had the run of the place

2014-12-22 13.07.25

A view of the Big House

“British Columbia was proclaimed a colony at a ceremony in the Big House on November 19, 1858. The present building was reconstructed for the centennial of this event. The original building served as the fort’s office and residence of the chief trader, the clerk, and their families” (taken from Parks Canada website) I learned that the Fort was built twice after being destroyed by fire and the only original building from the second build on site is the Storehouse. I didn’t think to ask the attendants what happened to the other buildings (its killing me now!) and I can’t seem to find anything online (let me know if anyone knows the answer) it seems like there was too much competition in trade and that led to the Fort ceasing to be a company post in 1886

2014-12-22 12.54.28

2014-12-22 12.49.23     2014-12-22 12.53.54

The kids enjoying some of the items they could touch and dress up with

2014-12-22 12.47.14     2014-12-22 12.48.50

I was very impressed that the vintage clothing, dolls, china etc. could be handled. Very cool in my book!

2014-12-22 12.46.40     2014-12-22 12.45.59

L: Old fashioned sink. A pitcher and wash bowl R: Furnace

2014-12-22 12.57.01     2014-12-22 12.56.54

Some items in the stores that traders and gold miners would need

 I wished I would have read up about the site’s history before the visit. My overall impression of this place was…its an awesome educational gem! We had a great time and I thought the value was pretty decent. Some reviews I read suggested some visitors weren’t happy with crowds, lack of shows, activities and attendants to speak with. Although there weren’t any shows or special activities at the time of our visit (late December) there also were virtually no crowds, we still had a memorable and interesting visit. We spoke with a couple friendly attendants dressed in period clothing and they were able to answer our questions and tell us  interesting details of life and trade products of the Fort. I would certainly recommend this place for visitors to the area and would also consider an annual pass to bring the younger kids

Hope you enjoyed this post of our visit to Historic Fort Langley in British Columbia

Here’s the link to the Parks Website: http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/bc/langley/natcul.aspx

To Pin any of these pictures, see my Pinterest page: http://www.pinterest.com/hellokate81/jugglingfivemonkeys-blog-adventure/