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goexplorenature

Go Explore Nature


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  • South Coast Botanic Garden

    This 87-acre public garden is filled with plants representing more than 2,000 different species from places as far away as Australia and southern Africa. Which boils down to this: It's a big enough place that little explorers will have plenty to see, smell and touch. See more at Go Explore Nature: http://tinyurl.com/7nnbmv5

  • Hopkins Wilderness Park

    Hopkins Wilderness Park was created in the late 70s as a center for camping, nature study and conservation. The park features four ecological habitats: forest, meadows, streams and ponds. Dirt trails meander through the park taking you seamlessly from one habitat to the next.

    This nature park is a rare find in a place like Los Angeles. Your usual park amenities - like play structures and sandboxes - give way to more "wild" environments. Kids can practice balancing skills on logs carefully placed across streams, get up close and personal with any number of birds that call this place home, even go "hiking."
    See more at Go Explore Nature: http://tinyurl.com/85r9rvf

  • Temescal Gateway Park

    Temescal Gateway Park is one of the most popular parks in the Santa Monica Mountains and includes some 140 acres of oak and sycamore canyons, a waterfall, amazing views of the ocean and city, plus access to miles of trails in both Topanga State Park and Will Rogers State Historic Park.

    While it's true that there's a nice, relatively short (and quite popular) hike to a waterfall with great views, that's not really the reason to go. It's all the cool scenery along the way. See more at Go Explore Nature: http://tinyurl.com/87vht6a

  • Ocean Park

    I picked Ocean Park because it's right across the strand from a popular stretch of beach in Santa Monica. The park itself is pretty small, but the kids were eager to run around exploring.

    Big hits here were the slide and ride-on bee. They also had fun running their toys through the sand and trying to see which made it down the slide first: their sand toys or them. Insider tip: Come prepared with a picnic instead of relying on beach fare. The food was nothing special, but cost an arm and a leg. See more at Go Explore Nature: http://tinyurl.com/7fnv2ge

  • Ocean Park

    I picked Ocean Park because it's right across the strand from a popular stretch of beach in Santa Monica. The park itself is pretty small, but the kids were eager to run around exploring.

    Big hits here were the slide and ride-on bee. They also had fun running their toys through the sand and trying to see which made it down the slide first: their sand toys or them. Insider tip: Come prepared with a picnic instead of relying on beach fare. The food was nothing special, but cost an arm and a leg. See more at Go Explore Nature: http://tinyurl.com/7fnv2ge

  • Malibu Lagoon State Beach

    Malibu Lagoon State Beach is a rarity in Los Angeles - it remains a somewhat hidden gem amongst a sea of more popular, often overcrowded beachside hot spots.

    Guided tours of the wetlands and other natural elements such as grunion, the monarch butterfly, tidepools and the gray whale are scheduled seasonally. The Malibu Lagoon beach features wetlands, flower gardens and a sandy beach, which is popular with novice and seasoned surfers alike. See more at Go Explore Nature: http://tinyurl.com/7xrzp4r

  • Malibu Bluffs Park

    Malibu Bluffs Park is a 6-acre community park with baseball diamonds, a soccer field, a community center, a small enclosed play area, a small sand play area, a walking trail & a whale watching station PLUS access to several trails from the park's edge down toward the beach. There are several Malibu Bluffs Park hiking trails surrounding the park; the entire loop is roughly 1.2 miles. See more at Go Explore Nature: http://tinyurl.com/7qh8dw5

  • Malibu Bluffs Park

    Malibu Bluffs Park is a 6-acre community park with baseball diamonds, a soccer field, a community center, a small enclosed play area, a small sand play area, a walking trail & a whale watching station PLUS access to several trails from the park's edge down toward the beach. There are several Malibu Bluffs Park hiking trails surrounding the park; the entire loop is roughly 1.2 miles. See more at Go Explore Nature: http://tinyurl.com/7qh8dw5

  • Legacy Park

    The 15-acre Legacy Park is a sort of central park in the heart of Malibu. There's a flat path that meanders through the park, which features four important native coastal habitats - coastal prairies, coastal bluffs, Southern California native woodlands and riparian/wetland.

    There are informational signs throughout the park providing education about local flora and fauna. There's also a small outdoor amphitheater and beautiful mosaic animal sculptures scattered throughout. Put your bird watching skills to the test (we spotted a great egret), take a short "hike" around the park and play on the mosaic sculptures in the children's area. See more at Go Explore Nature: http://tinyurl.com/788afl7

  • Legacy Park

    The 15-acre Legacy Park is a sort of central park in the heart of Malibu. There's a flat path that meanders through the park, which features four important native coastal habitats - coastal prairies, coastal bluffs, Southern California native woodlands and riparian/wetland.

    There are informational signs throughout the park providing education about local flora and fauna. There's also a small outdoor amphitheater and beautiful mosaic animal sculptures scattered throughout. Put your bird watching skills to the test (we spotted a great egret), take a short "hike" around the park and play on the mosaic sculptures in the children's area. See more at Go Explore Nature: http://tinyurl.com/788afl7

  • Del Rey Lagoon

    Del Rey Lagoon is a beautiful, hidden spot that's right across the street from the beach in Playa Del Rey - set far enough away from the hustle and bustle of Santa Monica and Venice that tourists haven't yet discovered it. There's a wonderful, fairly new playground, complete with two structures perfect for kids 12 and under. Restrooms are conveniently located next to the playground. See more at Go Explore Nature: http://tinyurl.com/7gmqmkr

  • Glen Alla Park

    This is a great enclosed park ideal for young kids or for parents watching multiple kids solo. Playground features include a huge sand area, a faux rock structure designed for little climbers, swings, a large play structure with multiple slides & the perfect climbing tree. Can get very crowded on weekends & weekday mornings. See more at Go Explore Nature: http://tinyurl.com/7rdu2uv

  • Glen Alla Park

    Glen Alla Park is our new favorite neighborhood park....The draw is two-fold. First, the kids enjoy some of the more non-traditional park features, like this rock structure that includes a sloped side just begging to be slid down. The ginormous sand play area - with a whale holding center court - is also quite a hit. The big draw for me is that it's an enclosed park where I can safely keep an eye on both explorers at once. See more at Go Explore Nature: http://tinyurl.com/7rdu2uv

  • Paradise Cove Beach Cafe

    The Paradise Cove beach is pristine, the tide pool discoveries plentiful and the views beyond magnificent - especially on a clear, sunny day. There's also a pier here with views from Palos Verdes to Point Dume, which the website says you can walk down, even fish off of - though I've done neither.

    The catch here is that parking is a whopping $25. To avoid the hefty fee, spend at least $20 at the Café and you pay only $3 for 4 hours on the beach. Let me let you in on a little secret: it's totally worth it. See more at Go Explore Nature: http://tinyurl.com/7b44bky

  • Leo Carillo State Park

    Features of Leo Carrillo State Park include some 1.5 miles of beach, tide pools & coastal caves; the park also offers camping facilities & back-country hiking
    There is a small Visitor Center which has interpretive displays (it was closed during our visit); during the summer, children's programs are available. See more at Go Explore Nature: http://tinyurl.com/6sypg3t

  • Star Eco Station

    The ECO Station is a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching young kids about the environment, wildlife and the preservation of our planet. Your visit isn't just entertainment; it's also an education. In each room, the volunteer explains why the animals are there, why they don't make great pets and what we can do to protect them.

    The Station hosts special events almost every month. We attended during last year's "DinoFaire," which featured an hour-long kid's show about the history of dinosaurs, plus the chance to touch real fossils. During our tour of the Station, the kids enjoyed a special "dino dig," allowing them to sift, clean and identify the dinosaur "fossils." Upcoming events include African American Art Festival (February 6) and Children's Earth Day (April 25). See more at Go Explore Nature: http://tinyurl.com/72x9urf

  • Ferndell Nature Museum

    Ferndell Nature Museum is an outdoor space perfect for exploring when the temperatures start to rise. That's because this home to some 50 fern species is set under cool cover of California sycamores.The entire self-guided Museum spans about one long city block and features a paved, windy trail lined with tropical plants and flowers aplenty. Admission is free. See more at Go Explore Nature: http://tinyurl.com/83egr53

 
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