El Dorado Nature Center


Credit: Robert O'Connor

Our Dad Blogger Robert shares about The El Dorado Nature Center. Can’t wait to check it out!

One of our favorite things to do as a father and daughter outing is to go on a nature walk.When you think of the city of Long Beach usually visions of nature don’t usually come to mind.  However, Long Beach has a great place for a nature walk at the El Dorado Nature Center.  Nestled just off of the 605 freeway and Spring Street is a wildlife habitat that is so much fun to explore.   There are 3 different trails that you can take, a one mile, 2 mile, or a quarter mile trail that is paved,making it enjoyable for those with wheelchairs or strollers.  I was happy to see plenty of benches and shade along the trails which helped us soak in the oasis like setting at our own relaxed pace.

Credit: Robert O'Connor

During our nature walk my daughter found a squirrel, dragon flys, lizards, beetles and many plants and trees that she loved to point out to me.  After finding a bee my daughter told me that bees make honey ( who knew?).

Credit: Robert O'Connor

At the end of our walk we spent some time at the indoor visitors center and learned about the many environmentally themed classes and activities that are upcoming. My family is already planning a return trip.

Credit: Robert O'Connor

The Nature Center is closed Mondays, there is no admission charge, however it is $7 to park. For more info head here.

Keeping the Kiddos Busy – Open Play at your Favorite Indoor Party Place

Credit: Robert O’Connor

Keeping kiddos busy during the summer can be hard. Our dad blogger Robert, shares a great idea when you’re looking for something to do to chase summer boredom away.

Sometimes it can be a challenge to get our kids away from the tv or any electronic device for even a couple hours. I believe that if we offer our kids an environment that has some exercise opportunities in a fun setting then they will put down the iPhones, computers, etc etc, even if it’s for just a little while.

Credit: Robert O’Connor

As parents of young children we have all spent many hours at the various indoor party places (pump it up, bounce u, seascape, scooter’s jungle, etc..) celebrating various young friends and relatives birthdays. What you may not know, is that most of these places have “open play” times where you can bring the kids in to play when there is not a party in progress.

My daughters favorite indoor play area for “open play” is Hullabaloos in Orange. On Monday and Tuesday nights from 5 to 8 pm your kids can enjoy the facilities for only $6. As an adult, if you just want to relax and supervise your child then you only have to pay the $6 for your child for up to 3 hours of play. Some of the activities at Hullabaloos are: inflatable jumper, air hockey, foosball, rock climbing wall, and more.

Hullabaloos is located at 1201 W. Katella Ave in Orange a couple of blocks from the Honda Center. For more info call 714 997-2789.

Credit: Robert O’Connor

I know many other places offer open play throughout Southern California. There are also bouncy castle meath that you can rent if you want to entertain your children at home. Check out your favorite place. I took the kiddos to Seascape in Anaheim hills earlier this week to combat some of the summer boredom and had a blast. Also keep an eye out on the deal sites such as groupon or plum district because you can usually buy a multi visit card for a great discount.

Buccaneer Bay-Splash La Mirada


Credit: Robert O'Connor

Our Dad Blogger, Robert has been super busy taking his little Ava on numerous adventures. He shares with us about their experience at Buccaneer Bay in La Mirada last week. This is one place I can’t wait to take my kids!

As the temperature climbs while we ease into summer, I am happy to share with you my families favorite “cool down” destination.   Buccaneer Bay in La Mirada is a Water Park that is so much fun for kids that my family has gone 2 times in the last 3 days!

At Buccaneer Bay they have created a  Water Park oasis that is geared towards family fun.  If you are looking for a Water Park with slides that will scare you with in an inch of your life this place  is not for you, perhaps another water park would be better suited to your needs.

Credit: Robert O'Connor

Maybe I am getting old and cranky,  but I was so happy that  there there were no obnoxious older teenagers running amok ruining it for the younger kids.    As soon as we entered the facility I could tell that this place  caters  to children, as there were plenty of life vests available at no extra charge, sufficient security and lots of lifeguards keeping an eagle eye on the water.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that there are plenty of bathrooms along with one just for families, and that they all were very clean.

Zero Depth Entry for the little ones

For the very young they have a zero depth entry pool, for those who are older there are some small slides and activities.   If your children are 48″ or taller there are 3 different slides that are lots of fun to ride.  Luckily my daughter has just surpassed the 4 foot mark so she rode the big slides to her hearts content.  My favorite part is the lazy river,  where we hopped on an inner tube and took a relaxing journey around the park.  For you adults that may want to work on your tan, there are plenty of grassy areas to lay down and soak up the suns rays.

3 different slides for kiddos 48" or taller

What impressed most about Buccaneer Bay is that the pricing seemed more than fair.   At some of the admittedly larger water parks there is a $15 parking fee, here they have FREE parking that is also close to the entrance.   Admission is $17.95 or just $12.95 for those who are under 48″.  I was also happy to find out that the snack bar was reasonably priced.  As an example, a combo platter of a freshly cooked burger, chips and a soda was 8.95 and a kids combo of chicken nuggets with fruit cup and juice was 5.95.  While we are on the subject of good deals, they are offering summer passes for $49 if you purchase before May 31.   We bought passes for the three of us in our family and I am glad that we did.

Plenty of lifeguards on duty

For more info and hours of operation go to www.splashlamirada.com/buccaneer-bay Or call 562 902-3191

A few helpful hits

* bring towels, sunscreen, hats and bottled water

* There are plenty of chairs available but not as much shade as I would have liked, so if you can find a chair under one of the umbrellas, claim it right away.

* sandals or flip flops are a good idea to bring as the concrete will be hot during the summer months.