Springtime is well on its way in San Diego and that means lots of beautiful colors, flavors and textures are popping up in our local gardens. Whether you have a green thumb or just enjoy the work of others, there are plenty of nurseries and gardens where you can discover the fruits of their labor. Walkthrough a sweet pea maze, ask what plants to grow in your backyard, learn to cook with locally grown veggies or just chase some chickens around the nursery. Wherever you end up, your little sprouts will surely enjoy a field day at these fun and colorful spots.

City Farmers Nursery

kid exploring City Farmers Nursery a best in San Diego
Bonnie Taylor @famdiego

This family-owned 1.5 acre nursery and garden supply is located in the heart of San Diego is a hidden gem. Kids will love checking out all the farm animals like chickens, ducks, goats, turtles & bunnies. The swings and kids barn are always a big hit. Sign up for their free gardening and cooking classes every month, or just bring your questions because the friendly family-employees are always willing to give out some free planting advice. Their gift shop is well stocked with kid-sized gardening tools, books, toys, games and even science fair supplies.

Tip: Stop in next door at Nate’s Garden Grill for some live music and a bite to eat.

City Farmers Nursery
3110 Euclid Ave., San Diego, CA 92105
Online: cityfarmersnursery.com

Walter Anderson Nursery

Entertain the kiddies with a super fun miniature railroad that runs through the outdoor garden at this inviting nursery in Poway. Chickens and a quaint rock garden will also delight and occupy them as you peruse the large selection of plants and gain valuable advice from the helpful staff. The staff at the nursery know their stuff and offer Saturday classes for adults on topics such as soil amendment, bulbs, vegetable growing and orchids.

Walter Andersen Nursery
12755 Danielson Ct.
Poway, CA 92064
Online: walterandersen.com

Water Conservation Garden

Bonnie Taylor @famdiego

Little ones can run around and explore the beautifully landscaped pathways around this six-acre treasure in East County. Educational exhibits like the Butterfly Pavilion, the Sensory Garden and Composting will help teach kids how to make their own gardens beautiful and drought tolerant. BYO picnic to relax in the shaded gazebo and then go look for the turtles and koi fish near the gift shop.

Water Conservation Garden
12122 Cuyamaca College Dr. West
El Cajon, CA 92019
Online: thegarden.org

This gorgeous, historic property in National City offers hands-on experience through science, ecology and nutrition, including cooking classes. Much of the garden’s education is taught through field trips offered to South Bay students, but the center also offers public tours of its organic garden Tuesday mornings as well as during a monthly open house.

Don’t miss: Their Talls & Smalls in the garden program for kids ages 2-5 for a morning of garden exploration!

Olivewood Gardens & Learning Center
2525 N. Ave.
National City, CA 91950
Online: olivewoodgardens.org

Alta Vista Botanical Gardens

Bonnie Taylor @famdiego

This unique garden in Vista seeks to provide a fun learning experience for people to connect with nature, art and each other. Kids can release their inner musician at the cute little music garden and admire the inspirational artwork and metal sculptures throughout the whole garden. Set on a hillside, it’s a great place to reflect on nature’s beauty and play together as a family.

Don’t miss: The Kids in the Garden Classes for ages under 6th grade. It’s the second Saturday of each month and topics include cooking, nature drawing, garden habitats and more. Pre-registration online for $5/child.

Alta Vista Botanical Gardens
1270 Vale Terrace Dr.
Vista, CA 92084
Online: altavistabotanicalgardens.org

Summers Past Farms

kids exploring Summers Past Farms Best in San Diego

If a quiet day in the country is what you’re after, pay a visit to Summers Past Farms. Enjoy the scenic view of the East County mountains and step back into simpler times. Sip on some tea from the outdoor cafe, while kiddos frolic with local chickens, find the cats and relax by the pond or dig in the sandbox.

Don’t Miss: Look for the sweet pea maze that blooms every Spring.

Summers Past Farms
15602 Olde Hwy 80
El Cajon, CA 92021
Online: summerspastfarms.com

Community Gardens

kids planting, gardening at community gardens in San Diego

If you want to garden, but don’t have the outdoor space at home then join a local community garden! Surround the kids with great neighbors and come together to create something precious and beautiful. Community gardeners share tools, soil and advice on everything from pest control to composting. For a fee of about $100 per year, families can lease a garden plot that includes the water. This is a great way for kids to take an active role in the community and learn about health and nutrition.

Community Garden Locator
Online: sdcgn.org

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