A Visit to the San Diego Botanic Garden


My kiddos loved this treehouse! We literally had to tear them away.

Last month, we were home on a weekend with no plans. We were looking for something to do as a family and my husband suggested that we visit somewhere mellow, where the kids could have fun and that wasn’t too far of a drive. He said do you know of any place that has a childrens’ gardens? I knew exactly the place we had to visit, the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas. I had written about the Free Admission the first Tuesday of the month before but I really wanted to check it out for myself.

I could sit by the waterfalls forever!

The San Diego Botanic Garden is a little slice of heaven in Encinitas. This 37 acre garden will transport you from a variety of climates. In one part of the garden you could be walking through drought resistant shrubbery and a short walk away be transported to a tropical rainforest.The San Diego Botanic Garden features numerous exhibits, including rare bamboo groves, desert gardens, a tropical rainforest, California native plants, Mediterranean climate landscapes, succulent gardens, an herb garden, firesafe landscaping, a subtropical fruit garden, and native coastal sage natural areas. It is a great place to unwind and relax. It’s also a fantastic place for the kiddos.

The Hamilton Children’s Garden

The Hamilton Children’s Garden opened in June 2009 and is currently the largest interactive children’s garden in the West Coast. Let me tell you, it is so much fun! My kiddos absolutely loved the place. The kiddos will love exploring Toni’s Treehouse or making some music at the Garden Rhymes exhibit. Everything in the Hamilton Children’s Garden is designed for little people. It’s an outdoor wonderland!

My daughter loved the mountain stream area.

The kids also had a blast exploring the mountain stream area and the Earth Builders area. It’s the kind of place where kids have a great time exploring and learning hands on and fall asleep they minute they get in the car. The San Diego Botanic Gardens is the kind of place to make great memories and have good ole fashioned fun playing and learning all at the same time.

My son having fun "building" a house

The San Diego Botanic Garden is open daily from 9am to 5pm. It is closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day. Summer extended hours are available on Thursdays until 8pm. The Garden is Free on the first Tuesday of the month. Tuesday, July 3rd is the next Free day offered. Admission to the garden is $12 for adults, kids 3 to 12 are $6. Parking is $2 and if there are 4 or more people in the car the parking fee is waived. For additional info head here.


San Diego Model Railroad Museum


I’m excited to introduce the first of our new contributors Syreeta! She recently had  the opportunity to head down for a fun day with the family in San Diego and shares all about it.

Credit: S Morales

I’m always looking for new and exciting things to do with my little buddies, and this weekend was no exception.  We jumped in the mommy mobile and headed south to visit the San Diego Model Railroad Museum.  The museum is located in historic Balboa Park which is chock full of beauty, art, and culture.  Parking is free, but it’s a bit of a nightmare, so wear your most comfortable shoes, leave your car out on the street and walk into the park.

Credit: S Morales

The SDMRM is located on El Prado Street between the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and the Museum of Photographic Art.  The cost to enter the museum is $8.00 for adults, and the best part is that kids under 14 are FREE with a paid adult admission.  Luckily, I found a great deal on Living Social to get our tickets for $4.00 each.  If you live in San Diego County, the first Tuesday of the month is free.

Credit: S Morales

When we first entered the museum, my kids ran straight for a small replica of an American steam engine train from the 1830’s.  And that was just the beginning of their intense amazement at this awesome place.  The models were built using several different scales, with their descriptions printed in the windows.  One awesome thing is that they allow you to go upstairs where you can watch some creators painting and working to complete new models.  It’s pretty cool to see them in unfinished status.  The intricate detail that goes into these model towns is amazing.  One model town even had an old school McDonald’s and kids sledding down a snow covered hill.

After spending quite some time marveling over every billboard and cop car with flashing lights, we made our way down to the star of the museum since Thanksgiving: the Holiday Lego Train Exhibit brought for our enjoyment by the Southern California Lego Train Club.  If you’ve ever been to Legoland, you will immediately recognize the outstanding level of creativity in every piece of work in the Lego display.  There was a train track and real moving train surrounding a town filled with busy occupants.  The club created a list of Lego items for you to search for in the town, and my kids had an absolute blast looking for things like a cat burglar and a porta potty.

The San Diego Model Railroad Museum is a great place to spend a couple hours with your kids exploring these impressive models.  To learn more about the museum, head here

Syreeta is  mom to two very busy boys, ages 3 and 10.  She works full time as a loan processor at a local credit union, and part time as a finder of fun!  She loves to take her  family out on new adventures all over Southern California.  Disneyland is her  favorite place to make memories, but she  also enjoys other amusement parks, museums, zoos, exhibits, and anywhere else there are good times to be found.