With the weather warming up, some of you may be looking for cool things to do. We visited Mount Madonna on Thursday for a Stroller Hikes Toddler Trek, and were blown away with how cool it was. Cool for the playground of Miller House ruins that we could climb, peer through, and pose in, along with a pen of white deer, and thermally cool for the 15 degrees cooler it was, just a few miles beyond Gilroy Gardens Amusement Park. We will certainly visit more this summer! Some of you may be interested in cooling off with water as the temperature rises. Keep Stroller Hikes in mind for that we’ve evaluated the pros and cons of water play and provided some recommendations for pools and other water play areas. Just click “Splash” at the top of StrollerHikes.com to read more. Some other really cool developments Stroller Hikes is now a partner of the Children in Nature Collaborative (CINC), which promotes free play in natural spaces. We’ll add CINC Events to the calendar of events at StrollerHikes.com; most are free, but those that require a fee are noted. If you’re interested in the theory behind free-play and outdoor experiences with children, CINC is having a two-day workshop, discussion, and play experience at Hidden Villa on May 1st and 2nd, which does cost money. A CINC recurring free event is Family Play Day at the Wild Zone at Ulistac Natural Area, and one is scheduled for Saturday. See below!
Here are this week’s events:
Monday, April 20th at 10 am Amy B. and her wee ones will lead a hike at Bol Park in Palo Alto. Meet at Bol Park near the corner of Matadero Avenue and Laguna Avenue (on Laguna Avenue). This trail is entirely paved, so any baby transport will work. The trail is a widely used multi-use path that was converted from an old railroad line – a little history here! Come visit the donkeys and chickens and see a piece of “old” Palo Alto. Meet at the playground in the middle of the park. For more information, see The Bol Park Webpage (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/BolPark/BolPark.html). Call Amy at 408-368-7161 if you’re running late.
Tuesday, April 21st at 1:30 pm join Amy and her wee ones for a visit to Ardenwood Farm in Fremont, just over the Dumbarton Bridge. The farm has historic displays, live animals, and a horse-drawn railroad! Bring some money for admission (two dollars for adults, 1 dollar for children over the age of four). This will not be a strenuous hike, but will be suitable for toddlers or older children. We’ll visit all the park has to offer, following the roads and trails in the park to the three fields, orchard, gardens, barn and farmyard, and of course the train! We’ll try to watch a blacksmith work, feed the animals, and get an ear of corn to pop in the microwave. For more information and directions, see the Ardenwood Webpage (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/Ardenwood/Ardenwood.html). If you’re running late, call Amy at 408-368-7161.
Wednesday, April 22nd at 9:30 am we’ll hike at Rancho San Antonio in Cupertino/Los Altos Hills. We’ll do an almost entirely paved, flat path going to the farm, and possibly go past it. The road is perfect for trikes or bikes, if toddlers or young children want to ride. Any baby transport will work. Meet at the main lower parking lot at the water fountain in front of the bathrooms(just past the entrance, turn right, then follow the road until it ends). For more information or directions, see the Rancho San Antonio Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/RanchoSanAntonio/ranchoSanAntonio.html). Sorry, dogs not allowed. This hike is at least half shaded. Lisa and little Samuel will lead this hike. If you’re running late, call Lisa at 650-892-8678.
Thursday, April 23rd at 10 am come out to Sunnyvale Baylands for some Wetland Ecology Education and Bird Watching. Stroll with Jennifer to explore the different flora and fauna of this area, and try to spot several bay birds. The trails are paved or smooth packed sand, so any stroller will work! Meet next to the recycled water test garden (take a left after entering the park). For more information or directions, see the Baylands Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/BaylandsPark/BaylandsPark.html). Parking is free this time of year. If you’re running late, call Jennifer at 408-470-0463.
Thursday, April 23rd at 4:30 pm let’s meet for a Toddler Trek at Sunnyvale Baylands Park. We’ll encourage toddlers to walk, run, and explore. We’ll talk about burrowing animals, including the ground squirrels and the owls that live at this park, then see how many we can count! For non-walking children, any stroller will work. Meet next to the recycled water test garden (take a left after entering the park). For more information or directions, see the Baylands Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/BaylandsPark/BaylandsPark.html). Parking costs money at the park, but if you’d like free parking, park at the ball field next door (there’s a dirt path leading from the sidewalk coming from the ball field to the recycled water garden). If you’re running late, call Debbie at 650-776-1082.
Saturday, April 25th from 1 to 4 pm, come out for a Family Play Day at the Wild Zone at Ulistac Natural Area in Santa Clara. Free play and creativity will be encouraged by Wild Zones Rangers at this free event sponsored by Children In Nature Collaborative and Wild Zones. Bring a change of clothes, snacks, and water. For more information or directions to Ulistac, see the Ulistac Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/Ulistac/Ulistac.html). For more information about Wild Zones, see Wild Zone’s Webpage at http://www.wild-zone.net/index.html.
Late April (usually this week) brings about “Earth Day” festivities, where you can learn more about and experience Earth-friendly practices. Visiting outdoors regularly with your family is a step in that direction utilize free open spaces so governing bodies see the value of keeping them open, become aware of the condition of the outdoors beyond our backyards, and build an intrinsic understanding of the ecology of our world. Celebrate that with every Stroller Hikes outing, you may be instilling in your children a value for all of Earth’s inhabitants and the habitats they live in. If you’re looking for Earth Day Celebrations in your community, National Hispanic University in San Jose is hosting an event from 1-6 pm on Monday that is free and open to the public. Belmont is having a Community Festival in celebration on Earth Day on the 25th (Saturday) from 10-3 at the Barrett Community Center.
Make every day “Earth Day”!
-Debbie and little Max