Did you get out to the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve and the tide pools last week? We visited on Sunday, somehow the kids managed to squeeze their toes into the rain boots we bought (and never used) last year. I think we are all looking forward to this drought ending...
We drove over to the coast on Sharps Park Road, and drove down the coast from there. One place I forgot to mention last week was the Taco Bell in Pacifica. You might be thinking, Taco Bell, really? This place is exceptional. Sure it's still fast food, but it's located right on the beach and there is a nice deck to watch the surfers from, plus a cheap lunch. We had lunch there and continued down to the tide pools.
I love visiting the tide pools with the kids, their eyes light up every time they discover something. It's moments like these that really validate my efforts to go out and adventure. If you are still planning on going, make sure you check the tide chart before you plan your trip.
One last note. We didn't manage to check out Pedro Point last week, that one is still on my to do list. However I did get a look at the parking and access as we drove by. You can park at the northern end of the Devils Slide Trail parking and walk north on a sidewalk to access the trail. I'm looking forward to checking it out soon. And I'll have a trip planned around the Devils Slide Trail soon. It's a nice winter visit.
This week’s adventure is to visit the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland’s Redwood Regional Park. Way up in the hills, this little hands on museum is packed with delightful exhibits, artifacts from various space missions, space ship models, a planetarium, and some pretty incredible telescopes typically staffed with volunteers to answer questions. I wasn’t anticipating much on my first visit here, but we were so impressed that we ended up getting a membership.
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1-2-3 Things — Chabot Space and Science Center
Quick inspiration for a day out with the kids around the SF Bay Area
Visit the Chabot Space and Science Museum
Join an evening viewing at the Chabot Observatory
Hike to the Redwood Bowl
Chabot Space and Science Museum
This place is a delightful surprise in the east bay hills. Here you will find a Planetarium, a tinkering studio for the little ones, solar lab downstairs, space station artifacts upstairs, space ship models (some you can even go sit in), Bill Nye’s weather lab, and just so much more. We’ve run into a number of really entertaining docents and volunteers who’ve engaged my kids in conversations from how the Mir Space Station Toilet purifies water to drink (they have the reserve one on display) to colorful science demo’s using dry ice to show sublimation. Make sure you try one of the Planetarium shows, it’s always a favorite with my kids.
On the ground floor level of the main building you can find a little cafe with some healthy affordable options for the kids, or a coffee for yourself. Or just pack your own lunch and enjoy the courtyard (with tables) between the buildings, a lovely spot to spend lunch on a nice day out.
Entry (per person) is $14 - $18, and if you want to apply your entry to a membership, you can do so the same day. Membership becomes interesting if you plan on visiting more then 3 times in a year. Parking is free and plentiful. If you live nearby, there also seem to be a number of summer camps they offer that look like a lot of fun.
The Observatories are just outside the Bill Nye weather lab in the Chabot Space and Science Museum. Each time we’ve visited there have been a number of volunteers and museum staff on hand there to answer questions, conduct science craft projects, demonstrate cool things like how to view the sun safely, or simply have a nice chat. It’s pretty cool to see the telescopes during the day and see how they started and where they are now. We’ve even seen Einsteins telescope on display.
If the weather is favorable and you visit late enough, they offer some public viewing options. In fact tonight they will be conducting a session to view that asteroid flying by. We have yet to do this, but I’m really interested to go.
Hike the Redwood Bowl
Directly adjacent to the museum are 2 beautiful parks: the Redwood Regional Park, and the Joaquin Miller Park. From the Chabot parking structure, you can hike west and down to the Redwood Bowl in under a mile. Its a pretty spectacular grove to visit, and interesting to juxtapose nature against all the science and space stuff you just visited. There are many more trails and with Joaquin Miller Park (http://bahiker.com/eastbayhikes/joaquinmiller.html) right next door, I’m sure you can find a suitable hike for your group with picturesque views of the bay.
- Use caution and take your time driving up the roads as you get close to the museum. This is a popular destination for bikers, and sometimes hikers need to walk along the shoulder to get to the trailhead.
- The Briones Archery Club is nearby the museum. You can rent equipment and use the range here. For more details: http://www.brionesarchery.org/