Last month we took the boys to the California Academy of Sciences and it was so rad! It got me thinking, maybe my lovely readers would like to know about the cool things there are to do and see in Northern California. And so a new series is born. Whenever we discover an awesome family spot, I will share our experience here. Oh, and I might have to share a few of my favorite grown up spots too, I do live in the wine country after all!
The California Academy of Sciences is located in gorgeous Golden Gate Park. The building alone warrants a visit. It was completely redone not too long ago and the results are truly amazing. The living roof is full of skylights that filter into an indoor rainforest. What I love most about this museum is that it has a perfect blend of old school natural history, stunning aquarium, and high tech science.
Ronan could have spent the entire day staring at the huge living coral reef full of exotic fish and running the hall of taxadermied African animals. This was not Jude's first visit but at five and a half his mind was throughly blown: dinosaur bones, sharks swimming under your feet, huge snakes, tiny frogs, an albino alligator!!! I think my favorite part is the rainforest. You walk up and around a four story tall rainforest full of birds and butterflies and tropical plants. It is humid, but stunning!
We skipped the gift shop and Jude was so great about it, I told him that he could make his own cool toy as soon as we got home. With almost no assistance from me he made this awesome sock snake, complete with bells in the tail for a rattle effect!
Visiting Cal Academy Quick Details:
Price: $34.95 for adults, $24.95 for kids 4-11, kids 3 and under are free. The cost of admission isn't cheap, but is worth it.
Ideal Age Range: 5-11. There is lots to do for all ages and it is very stroller friendly, but I think grade school kids get the very most out of it.
Tips: If you can go on a weekday instead of a weekend you will enjoy it all the more because it won't be super crowded. If your kids are good at sit down dining make a reservation for lunch at the restaurant, it is really good and has a bar. Otherwise, pack a lunch and take a little break to stroll Golden Gate Park and enjoy a picnic, the cafeteria is stressful and expensive. You can often find free parking in Golden Gate park but if you need to pay there is a great all day lot by the Japanese Tea Room. If time and energy allows, head across the road to the DeYoung, it is free to go in the tower and the views are amazing.