SDBG is a 37-acre urban oasis located in Encinitas, California, just north of San Diego. We garden to create, share and apply plant wisdom in our world. The Garden’s four miles of trails display 5,000 plant species and varieties, including 300 plants for which SDBG is the only garden maintaining a population. SDBG has 15 gardens that represent  regions of the world, 12 demonstration gardens, and the largest bamboo collection in North America.

San Diego Botanic Garden (SDBG) has three children’s gardens:

  • Hamilton Children’s Garden – the largest kids’ garden on the west coast – home to Toni’s Tree House, the Incredible Edibles garden, a mountain stream, a Bird and Butterfly garden; and many more discovery areas;
  • Seeds of Wonder, a magical garden space for early learners that includes model trains; and
  • Junior Quail Trail – an immersive area to explore and play outdoors – using interactive elements to blend physical challenges with observations of the natural world.

From 10 am to noon on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, kids can participate in activities through the SAPLinGS (Science, Art and PLay in Garden Spaces) program. A copy of the Garden’s scavenger hunt is always available at admissions for kids and adults, alike!

San Diego Botanic Garden
300 Quail Gardens Drive
Encinitas, CA 92024
Phone: (760) 436-3036

The Japanese Friendship Garden is located in historic Balboa Park and combines cultural education with adventure! In its flowering 11 acres, the Japanese Friendship Garden has many things to see and learn from. Not to mention, all the fun activities that come with it!  In the upper garden there is a beautiful Koi pond and moon viewing deck that makes a perfect spot to learn about Koi fish and their great significance to Japanese culture. In addition, the garden is full of winding pathways and viewing spots that make connecting to nature, captivating.

The Japanese Friendship Garden is proud to introduce new additions to the lower garden, which incorporates natural elements of Japan with the excitement and liveliness of San Diego. In early 2015 we opened the Inamori Pavilion, an indoor space with an outdoor feel which houses rotating art exhibits, and classes!

In addition to a great time spent at the garden, we also offer classes, demonstrations, summer camp, and weekly activities that all kids love! Some of these include tea demonstrations, yoga and Koi feeding hours!

-from Japanese Friendship Garden, Japanese Friendship Garden
2215 Pan American Road E
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 6192322721

Birch Aquarium at Scripps is the public exploration center for the world-renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. Perched on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the aquarium features more than 60 habitats of fish and invertebrates from the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest to the tropical waters of Mexico and the western Pacific. An interactive museum showcases research discoveries by Scripps scientists on climate, earth and ocean science, and features hands-on activities designed to help visitors use critical thinking, and to make science relevant to their daily lives.

Highlights include the two-story Giant Kelp Tank, the outdoor Tide Pool Plaza,  Expedition at Sea: Sally Ride Gallery, which gives visitors a taste of what it’s like to live and work aboard a research vessel, and the newest exhibit Oddities: Hidden Heroes of the Scripps Collections that showcases the astonishing adaptations (aka superpowers) of ocean creatures.

The aquarium boasts some of the most stunning views in all of San Diego and is a fantastic place to host birthday parties and other special events. Beyond the walls of the aquarium, Birch Aquarium also hosts whale watching and tide-pooling excursions and is the largest provider of K-12 ocean science education in the county.


Birch Aquarium at Scripps
2300 Expedition Way
La Jolla, Ca 92037
Phone: 858-534-FISH


The real world: it sure can be real interesting. Explore the natural history of Southern California—from past to present—at the San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat) in Balboa Park.

From dinosaurs and fossils, to rattlesnakes and flesh-eating beetles, to a Foucault pendulum that proves the earth is spinning, there’s something for everyone. Families will love the unique, interactive exhibitions that span four floors. A giant-screen theater has daily showings of 2D and 3D films.

Adventures begin in The Backyard, a play space that allows little learners to expand their horizons and learn and explore the natural world through play. Inspired by a quintessential San Diego backyard patio, The Backyard is packed with experiences that encourage curiosity about the natural world: a shade tree, live animals, a potting bench, a giant crawl-on ladybug, a garden bed for infant tummy time, and more.

Family-friendly events include monthly Family Days featuring hands-on activities and learning, Nature & Me Storytime for toddlers, and ASD Mornings for those on the autism spectrum; all are included with general admission. The Nat also offers extended evening hours in the summer (great for working parents) as well as fun and educational summer camps.


San Diego Natural History Museum
1788 El Prado
San Diego, Ca 92101
Phone: 619-232-3821


Ends+Stems is a meal planning tool that tells you what to cook! And, we do it in a way that reduces your food waste and saves money! I’m Chef Alison and I built Ends+Stems after my friends and community kept saying over and over “just tell me what to cook for dinner!” It turns out, that cooking isn’t the most stressful part, it’s deciding what to buy and cook that is overwhelming. It’s that hidden mental workload we carry. In addition, as a mom and a chef, I’m very concerned about the health of our planet and making sure my kids will grow up with clean air, water, and the cornucopia of foods I have known. Reports say that over 40% of food produced in the U.S. is wasted, and most of it, in our own homes. Parents care about this waste of food and money, but we’re often too busy for a sustainable overhaul. Considering these intermingling concerns, I designed Ends+Stems to help ease weeknight stress by writing delicous, quick, easy to cook recipes that fit together each week to use up everything you buy. The interactive grocery list makes shopping your favorite stores a breeze. The low subscription cost quickly pays for itself in reduced food waste!


-from Alison Mountford, Ends+Stems

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