Did you get up to Pt. Reyes last week? I hadn't been up there since I was my oldest daughters age. It brought back a lot of memories for me, and I was able to make some new ones with the kids. They had run out of Junior Rangers badges at the visitor center we were at so I think we will be making another trip during the winter to go whale watching. It was an incredible day out and we were treated to a beautiful sunset.
This week’s adventure finds us Coyote Point, just a bit south of the San Francisco Airport. This windswept spot offers spectacular views with a nice vantage of landing planes, an incredible dragon themed playground, and a cool little museum called Curiodessy which has a nice collection of hands on exhibits and quite a collection of animals. My kids love this spot.
Also I spent some time this week loosely planning the adventures for most of the upcoming year. I've tried so far to keep a fairly even scattering of locations around the Bay Area, but I'm also going to start doing some month long themes. In January we will do all hiking related adventures to start the new year off on the right foot. Also some adventures themed around local history, camping, nautically themed adventures, and museums.
Looks like we are in for a bit of rain Sunday, so we are planning to go to the museum in the morning, and play around a bit in the afternoon if the weather cooperates.
Quick question for you:
With the holiday’s coming up, what is your favorite traditional outing. Is it seeing the tree and decorations at Union Square, is it going to see the Nutcracker, or just out on a chilly winter stroll someplace? I’ve got some great suggestions for next month, but I’d love to hear about yours!
Also let us know if you go, we would love to hear about your trip. Simply reply to this e-mail. And please feel free to forward this to a friend.
Chief Happiness Officer at kiddiewalks.com
A project from aSmarterParent.com
1-2-3 Things — A Day Out At Coyote Point
Quick inspiration for a day out with the kids around the SF Bay Area
Visit the CuriOdyssey museum and zoo
Take a hike and watch airplanes land at SFO
Enjoy the Magic Mountain Playground
You should note that San Mateo County charges $6 to enter and park your car. There is a park ranger at the entrance to facilitate entry. The park is well staffed and the rangers are quite friendly and knowledgeable. This is a popular local spot during the summer for BBQ’s and other family oriented activities.
For two years starting in 1922 Coyote Point was home to Pacific City Amusement Park by the beach area. There was a boardwalk, children playground, scenic railway, merry-go-round, Ferris wheel and dancing pavilion. It reported having one million visitors the first season, but a fire during the second season destroyed about a quarter of the development, it didn’t open for a third season. In 1942 the government opened a Merchant Marine Cadet School, and in 1946 the buildings were purchased by the College of San Mateo and the college was located here until the early 60’s when the moved up the hill to their current location and Coyote Point became a park again.
This museum has been here for quite some time, it used to be the spot where you would find the coyote that lived at Coyote Point, but I think he’s now passed away. Part zoo and part hands on museum, this spot has a variety of hands on exhibits, animal discussions/shows, and some really interesting animal habitats to spend some time with. The river otters is a favorite, these playful creatures are always a delight for the kids.
Admission fees are pretty reasonable, and you can find spots both at the zoo and outside the museum to have a nice little picnic. Just a nice easy casual place to let the kids experience wonderful things and spend the day.
Airplane Hike up the Bluff Trail
If you hike up from the beach area up the hill around the back of CuriOdyssey, you get a wonderful view of planes as they approach SFO to land, and on a clear day a wonderful view of the city and East Bay. Looking at the Map, its called the Bluff Trail and you want to look for the Merchant Marines Memorial Overlook. It can get a bit windy and chilly up here so be ready for that.
The park isn’t that hard to walk all around, so it’s very easy to make a nice loop around the whole thing. I really enjoy hiking down around the marina too. If you are feeling more adventurous, you can hike either direction out of the park and have a nice stroll by the water as this is part of the Bay Trail. I would suggest that if you wanted to do this, choose the direction where you are walking into the wind to start (headwind). Staring with a tailwind, by the time you get tired and turn around into the headwind will just make everyone miserable.
Magic Mountain Playground at Coyote Point
One remarkable thing about Coyote Point is that it has had an epic playground all of my lifetime. The previous playground had wonderful bridges and very unique structures you would find no where else.
The current Magic Mountain Playground has a separate area for younger and older kids, each with it’s own dragon the kids can climb on various parts. There is also a castle to climb up/on/through, swings, spring animals, and all kinds of other fun things. The only issue with the playground is that on a hot day, there is not much shade and even at this windswept point it can get really hot (the playground has good wind protection).
- A wonderful breakfast (or lunch) can be found just across the freeway at this quiet little coffee shop called Nini’s - very popular with the locals. http://www.yelp.com/biz/ninis-coffee-shop-san-mateo
- Get out on the water with a visit to http://boardsportscalifornia.com/ There shop is right by the beach.
- If it’s a nice day out, bring the bikes and ride the Bay Trail. Choose the headwind direction first, so when you get tired and turn around, you’ll get a tailwind all the way home.