In Orange County it’s a little difficult to find places in nature to go exploring. Honestly, a few school assignments to bring a rock to class have proven rather difficult. The landscapers remove all the rocks…it’s a little weird, but anyway. There are a lot of hiking trails, but sometimes I don’t want to go hiking by myself with all the kids.
On those occasions we love going to the Coastkeeper Nature Garden. It’s half drought-tolerant demonstration gardens, to teach people how to plant drought-tolerant plants in different design styles (traditional, mediteranian, craftsman); and half free-play area for the kids. I actually love the demonstration gardens, and dream of planting all drought-tolerant plants when we someday buy a house. The kids have learned a great deal about different plants and it is a great place to answer a thousand why questions.
The kids area is really fun too. Lately, I’ve been on toddler-following duty, while the kids run around on the tree stumps, through the tunnels, up the rocks, and all around the paths. They find new picnic spots each time we go. There’s a small adobe structure, which brought up a conversation about when I lived in a rural part of Argentina where they lived in houses like those, and how while there some friends of mine built an adobe house for a woman who had no home. I take any chance I have to give them an inkling about how others live, the needs they have, and how to show charity.
All in all, we love the nature park. It’s dusty, and sometimes hot, and lets kids get their energy out.
For anyone in Orange County, or for anyone planning a visit, you should check out the Fun Orange County Parks website. We find so much good information about which parks to explore from that website. Here’s their review of the Coastkeeper Garden.
Anyone care to share fun nature parks in their area? You know, in case I want to go on vacation and check them out.