Family Fun Adventure: Muck Fest Mud Run

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

Family Fun Adventure: San Diego Zoo

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*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

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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

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Lots of close up viewing

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

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Three cuties on a giant tortoise

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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

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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: Birch Aquarium at Scripps (La Jolla, CA)

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Our Family Fun Adventure today is coming to you from La Jolla, CA at Birch Aquarium at Scripps. We have been planning to visit this aquarium for some time and finally fit in a trip down south to see it

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This is a very small aquarium and I would only plan on a couple hours here. We took advantage of Free Museums Bank of America days on this trip. There is free admission for BOA cardholders on the first weekend or first certain weekend days of the month. See their website here for a museum near you: http://museums.bankofamerica.com/mobile and call ahead to the attraction to find out exactly which day is going to be free. I had to call a couple times over a few days to actually get to talk to a live person…but its definitely worth it knowing in advance, especially if you are planning a trip from afar

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The Aquarium has the usual tanks of fish and sharks and some interactive areas for the kiddies. Lifesaver!

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The outdoor interactive area was awesome fun for our 4 year old and he spent the majority of the time playing at the dam building boat water table. He got soaked (maybe bring a change of clothes) and was weeping when we had to leave. There are also some people powered things to try, like a bicycle fountain and a arm pull wave machine

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Even though there isn’t suppose to be any food inside I did see some folks enjoying snacks in this area. There are covered tables, a cool breeze and gorgeous ocean views

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They had some of the fanciest seahorses I had ever seen!

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The tide pool area was another hit for the little guy. It wasn’t touching the little creatures, rather the simulated wave he called ‘the woosh’ that he was in love with. Since we didn’t have time to apply for cards for our littles we ended up paying about $25.00 for two kids under 13 and since we were only there for 3 hours parking was free. Overall I thought it was a fun small place to visit and taking advantage of the free BOA day made it a worthwhile visit. I was glad we combined this visit with a trip the next day to the Living Desert Zoo in Palm Desert, CA as it would not have filled the day/trip on its own. If you are in the area passing through and need a educational stop for the kiddies, its a fun way to burn a couple hours. Age wise I think 3 or 4 years- to maybe 10-11 years would be the target audience for this place. It was very clean and well maintained and I definitely think its worth a couple of hours exploring

Family Fun Adventure: Hungry Gulch Hike (Lake Isabella, CA)

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Hey Lovelies, today’s Family Fun Adventure comes to you from the Kern River area near Lake Isabella, CA. We had the pleasure of joining friends for an over night camping trip by the river We enjoying delicious fresh caught trout and the kids had fun getting wet and really grubby!

On pack up morning our family headed down the road for coffee and had hopes of finding a short kid-friendly trail nearby. Luckily we ran into a helpful ranger that pointed us just down the road to the Hungry Gulch Campground and informed us of a couple short trails within the park

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The campground was closed for the season, so we parked in the large dirt area outside the gate by the sign and walked in. We started up the Coso Mine Loop Trail which continues up as the Isabella Peak Trail. As you can see from the sign it was only a mile and a half and was perfect for littles that haven’t hiked in awhile

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Some parts of the trail we were unsure of the correct path, looking out for the marker signs helped keep us on track

I’m glad we hiked early enough in the day to keep from roasting in the sun. I did not notice if the restrooms or drinking water at the campground were open at the time however the parks website said there are flush toilets, drinking water and a playground

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Almost immediately we had views of the lake across the freeway and the trail was very easy for everyone. No climbing necessary. Interestingly a sign stated that the trail was maintained by the local middle school. What a great idea!

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After quickly reaching the really non exciting mine that’s walled and fenced up we continued higher up the hill on the Isabella Peak Trail

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We were rewarded with a beautiful view and cool breezes

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A couple peak top photos later we were ready to head back down for lunch

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We crossed the street to picnic by the lake and the little kids cooled off in the water. What are you doing to stay cool this summer?

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

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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

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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

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

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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

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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

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

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

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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: Ostrich Farm, Solvang, CA

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Hey there Everyone, today’s Family Fun Adventure is our outing to OstrichLand USA in Solvang, CA. On this occasion we just took the littles, since it wouldn’t have been too exciting for our older kids. But, it really depends on the interests of the child. Ok, on with the details…cost of visiting with the emus and ostriches is $4.oo for ages 13+ and $1.oo ages 12 on down. Each bowl of feed is $1.oo. There is a picnic table and some other seating, quite small and cute. Think someone’s backyard patio. Not sure if they allow you to bring your own snacks. There is a gift store and they sell cold drinks but I didn’t notice if there were snacks for sale though. Pretty simple, pay at the gift shop and go through it to see the animals out the back door.

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We had an awesome day for our visit, it had been raining in the morning, so it was nice and cool with beautiful skies to enjoy. I’d imagine it would be quite hot and dusty normally, as per usual for California. We started by walking around the farm and checking out the different animal pens with them divided by age groups. It was actually very nice that they had them in the different sizes, because there was different heights for the feeding spots. Therefore it was easier for the little kids to feed the shorter birds and they could handle it on their own

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I was so impressed he actually was posing for Daddy taking the pictures. LOVE the Hubbs new camera on his phone! He always gets the good ones 🙂

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See, perfect height for a small turkey to feed the big birds

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He only needed the tiniest bit of help. These birds at the end (Left picture) were actually adults and even though the feeding spot was low, the heads sticking though were at times inches away from the little guys faces. They do warn that the birds will bite, so I just helped him back up a bit. None of the birds bit or even tried biting the kids, but you can feel how powerful they are pecking in the food bowls

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Azure is such an adventurous boy and loved this nice surprise of visiting the farm, plus he’s always talking about when he gets his own chickens, rabbits, cats…’What shall I name them?’ And this place believe it or not, I had absolutely no idea it was there! Which is saying something, since I’ve spent a lot of time researching and making running lists of fun or interesting places to visit. It was a treat to that the Hubbs suggested this place and it was a great little place to visit

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I was concerned the kids wouldn’t be able to hang on to the feeding trays on their own with those strong pecks, but they did very well leaning them on the fences. In the end I was more worried about them tripping and dumping it on the floor while running from one enclosure to the next

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We ended up being persuaded to run back for an extra bowl of feed and hung around to feed the birds and visit for about half an hour. This little farm was very cute for little kids and I certainly recommend stopping by if you are driving through or in the area. I would not recommend this place for a long visit, as there is not much else to do other than feed the birds

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I hope you enjoyed this family fun adventure and be sure to like and pin it to pinterest so other people can hear about this great little farm

Pinterest link: http://www.pinterest.com/hellokate81/jugglingfivemonkeys-blog-adventure/

Here is the farm website: http://www.ostrichlandusa.com/

Family Fun Adventure: Cozy Dell Trail Ojai, CA

 

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Hey Again Lovelies, Today I’m sharing a Family Fun Adventure: Cozy Dell Trail hike in Ojai, CA. Originally we were trying to hike to Matilija Dam in Ojai. For some reason we could not find any roads or trails to this lake! If any locals know the secret to getting there, please share! Anyhoo, since we couldn’t find any way to get to the lake we came across the Cozy Dell Trail on highway 150. We hiked this on Mother’s Day, May 11th this year.

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  Left: Here is the trail sign on the left side of the road, where you park and carefully cross the highway Right: This is the sign on the trail side of the road. This trail isn’t jogger stroller friendly and there are no restrooms. We found the trail really nice and easy for the little guys (6 and 3 years) that being said, we only hiked about a mile and a half this time. The ground was dry, but it was made of clay, so after a rain there will definitely be lots of mud. The trail is lovely and half shaded on the portion we travelled, it was well maintained and easy to follow. There were tons of native wildflowers out to be enjoyed along the way. They smelled lovely too.

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Some of the characters that were along for the hike

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I’m really not sure how long this trail is, some reviews say 3-4.5 miles. We made it to the first marker (see picture below), maybe it was the only one as some people mentioned the lack of them. We saw lots of bees, lizards and two snakes. Thankfully, that was all! I read that some saw bear tracks and even a bear. Yikes! I would not think a bear would like this area, its hot and dry, not like the cooler lush forests you normally think of. Maybe I just don’t know what to look for, as I’m always nervous about large wildlife and look for tracks. Anyway, just a heads up.

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This is where we stopped to rest and turn around. There were about 7-10 cars parked at the street and we met a few hikers along the way. Not enough to feel crowded, but enough to make you feel a bit safer should you need help. In any case be sure to bring water, snacks, discuss safety with your kids and tell someone where you are going.

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We decided to do some camping this summer, since we haven’t been in probably 7 years and all the kids can hike with their own legs. We got the tents and a little stove and made our first camping trip to the Big Sur area up north. BEE-U-TI-FULL!!! Post coming soon. Get out and enjoy the great outdoors this summer ya’lls. What adventures do you have planned?

 

Family Fun Adventure: Ty Warner Sea Center

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Two weeks ago we had the opportunity to head down to the Santa Barbara area for some family fun with our little people. Though we have visited the pier and waterfront many times (it’s also our 4th of July fireworks … Continue reading

Family Fun Adventure: Oxnard Beach Park

Family Fun Adventure: Oxnard Beach Park

This post brings you another park write up in the Ventura area, Oxnard Beach Park! Our kids love this park and even the older kids will play a game of tag on the equipment. The park features bbq grills, tables, … Continue reading

Family Fun Adventure: Marina Park

Family Fun Adventure: Marina Park

Keeping it close to home during the holidays we have been frequenting some of our favorite parks. Today’s post is about a wonderful little playground right beside the beach and harbor called Marina Park in Ventura, CA. This is a … Continue reading