San Diego kicked off our summer staycation and we really haven’t stopped. When you are home with two toddlers, finding new and exciting things to do are a must. For both them and you! I have been trying to make the most of living in Southern California, and I think we are on track to a great summer.

Strawberry Picking

We started off with strawberry picking. A must-do when you live in Southern California.This is our 2nd year picking strawberries. The ever popular Underwood Farms is where we usually go. Our morning is spent playing around the farm and then the berry picking begins. Having grown up on the East Coast where every fall, we pick apples, I was worried my kids wouldn’t get to experience such a thing. There is something so great about picking your own fruit right off the vine.

Los Angeles State Historic Park / Chinatown

In the heart of Downtown and Chinatown, lies the newly renovated and expanded LA State Park. We actually lived in Chinatown when the boys were born. In the short amount of time since they were born and now the park has transformed into a fantastic park in the middle of the city. It is wide open, great for flying kites or having picnics. They have a ton of events, including movies in the park. When you live in a city, kids love any open space where they can run free.

We took them back to Chinatown and showed them our old apartment. Visited spots we used to frequent when they were babies. It was incredibly touching to listen to them ask questions like “did we play at that playground when we were babies?” ┬áBeing back with the boys bittersweet in many ways. I don’t know how we survived that first year, yet cannot believe how fast this is all going.

Los Angeles State Park on our Staycation Toddler looking out at Los Angeles State Park

Gene Autry Museum

I have lived in Los Angeles for a very long time and I always snubbed my nose at this museum thinking it was just about cowboys. I am so sad I was such a snot. The Gene Autry is an incredible museum and fantastic for kids.

Right now on view is Play! An amazing, interactive exhibit for kids. Play chronicles toys and games over time and across cultures. My kids were obsessed, as was I. It was a lesson in how far toys have come, yet how much toys and what kids like to play, have stayed the same.

The rest of the museum was just as cool and family friendly. One of my guys is obsessed with all things “old-fashioned and from a long, long time ago.” Seeing relics from early old west days, seeing how our history has unfolded, made for a fantastic day.

Toddler riding a horse at Gene Autry Museum Toddler Panning for Gold at Gene Autry Museum

KidSpace Children’s Museum

The best part about this museum is its outdoor play. They have a mini Arroyo where kids can splash around. It’s set amongst the trees providing a ton of shade and enabling city kids to play amid the trees.

Another fantastic aspect of this museum is how interactive it is, in unique ways. There are various climbing towers in bright vibrant colors, mimicking raindrops or a bird’s nest. Kids can dig dinosaur bones, play in the physics forest, touch various items in the nature exchange. There is a ton to do at KidSpace.

Toddler digging for dinosaur bones at Kids Space Museum twins climbing raindrop at Kids Space Toddler playing in Arroyo at Kids Space Museum

Beach Days / Pool Days

Of course summer isn’t summer without ample time spent by the water. We are fortunate enough to live by the sea. Our favorite beach spot is Annenberg Community Beach House, given how easy it is with kids. But we still have a list of other beaches to hit this summer and the rest of our summer bucket list to complete.





Also published on Medium.

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