Fun Things to Do in California

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Are you looking for a way to entertain the kids in California? The Sunshine State is full of fun things to do for both the kids and mom.

Free Fun

If you live near Fairfield or plan to visit the area, take your kids to the Jelly Belly Factory (http://www.jellybelly.com/visit/). Here your kids can see how the tasty treats are made, and tours are free. You might want to plan to spend a few dollars in the store, where you can buy some candy to take home and a souvenir or two. If you have a train lover in your family, visit Los Angeles to tour the Travel Town museum (http://traveltown.org/visitor), which offers free admission and houses actual train cars from ages past.

Educational Fun

The California Science Center (http://www.californiasciencecenter.org/) is the premier science museum in California. It sits in Exposition Park near downtown Los Angeles. Admission to the Science Center is free, but you will pay to park or to attend added attractions like the IMAX theater or some temporary exhibits. California has several children’s museums. In Pasadena, plan to take your kids to Kidspace (www.kidspacemuseum.org). San Jose has the Children’s Discovery Museum (www.cdm.org), while La Habra has the La Habra’s Children’s Museum (http://www.lahabracity.com/). Each of these has hands-on exhibits for kids of all ages, but catering to younger kids, including toddlers and preschoolers.

Environmental Fun

California is packed with national and state parks and zoos. Two of the most popular zoos are the Los Angeles Zoo (http://www.lazoo.org/) and the San Diego Zoo (http://sandiegozoo16.reachlocal.net/). The San Diego Zoo houses over 4,000 rare and endangered animals. It has a Safari Park, which allows guests to get a closer hands-on experience with the animals through open safari wagons that travel through the habitats of some of Africa’s wildlife. The Los Angeles Zoo has over 250 species of mammals as well as birds, reptiles, and amphibians. For national parks, you can literally find one in every area of the state. Popular options include Redwoods National and State Parks (http://www.nps.gov/) and Yosemite National Park (http://www.nps.gov/).

Seasonal Fun

In the summer, plan to visit southern California and its popular beaches. During the winter, head north to play in the snow in the northern mountain areas. During Christmas, consider a trip with Santa on the Fillmore Western Railway Company’s North Pole Express (http://www.fwry.com/), a holiday-themed train ride perfect for the entire family.

Just for Mom Fun

For real “mom time,” plan an overnight trip to the Golden Door spa in Escondido (http://www.goldendoor.com/). It is a woman-only spa and only takes 40 guests, so you will be certain to relax. If you prefer to shop, plan a trip to San Francisco to see the shops along Fillmore Street.

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