People tide pooling at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss Beach

Discover what’s living in the tide pools

Tide pool at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss BeachJust touch with your eyes – as our new favorite saying goes. The creatures living in the tide pools of the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss Beach, one of the most diverse marine lives areas, are not to be touched. In fact, you should make sure you are not stepping on anything either.

Before you go, check the tides schedule, low tides, one foot or less, are best for viewing. People tide pooling at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss Beach

You can pick up a brochure at the park center guiding you in what you might find. At the same place, they also show a video with examples,  have information on Abalone, the geology at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, and talk about whale migration.

I was hoping to see an octopus, but these masters of disguise require more patience and a bit of luck I suppose. We did see a hermit crab (no snail can walk that fast!), and a few tiny fish. A group ahead of us spotted a CRAB! I felt happy to watch their sea critter treasure hunt.

Bench overlooking the cove at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss BeachFor the not so stable walkers, there is a bench overlooking the Cove.

A tip for people coming from the inland bring a sweater! Temperatures dropped 20 degrees Fahrenheit. We enjoyed a clam chowder at Sam’s Chowder House afterward to warm up again.

Have you looked into a tide pool recently?


Spring is for offspring

Spring is for offspring

Piglets at Deer Hollow Farm, CupertinoWithout doubt the cutest happening in spring are the animal babies. Lambs, chicklets, piglets, bucklings, and doelings are all adorable. At Deer Hollow Farm at the Rancho San Antonio in Cupertino you can now see them all.

At the entrance a board announces the offspring; with names like Knit, Pepper and Bowie, there is no real pattern to it. Visiting the farm, it helps to have a child of your own with you, preferably not taller than a yard stick.Kids petting baby goats, Deer Hollow Farm, Cupertino


In general they don’t let you enter the pens, but school groups can book a tour.

On April 28th, 2018, from 10 am – 2 pm, is the next Deer Hollow farm tour. For $7 per person you can get closer to the animals.

Farm trivia - Why do pigs like mud?Overall this is a great outing for young families. Visiting Deer Hollow is donation based. Parking is pretty tight, but the turnover is also high. From the nearest parking lot Deer Hollow is only a mile walk. The hollowed out trees on the way make for extra entertainment and photo options. I also liked the farm quiz along the way. Like the one pictured on the left – Why do pigs like mud?


Where do you go to see baby animals?

Come out and play

Come out and play

My son passed the age of playgrounds, but when he was a toddler and even up to young teen he loved climbing and sliding.

So, whenever I see a cool playground I remember the good times.

Slide at Las Palmas park in SunnyvaleThe playground at Las Palmas Park in Sunnyvale is one of those fun, creative hang-out spots. There are two playgrounds right next to each other, one for toddlers, one for 4 – 12 year olds. And if you‘ve got a ball player, there is even a great grass field.

Head statue at the Las Palmas park in SunnyvaleThe bigger playground is surrounded by water and some interesting sculptures. In the drought they don’t fill the pond which makes the heads look even more fascinating, plus not having water around makes it safer for toddlers. If there is water collecting in the pond it is left-over from the rain we had recently.

Here is a review from Silicon Valley Toddler with a lot of risk management features:


Which one is your favorite playground in the Bay Area?

Thiid St Green

Pop into a park

I have heard about pop-up stores before. Some fun way to test run your retail ideas.

When I came across a pop-up park I was naturally intrigued.


On Third Street between State Street and the North Parking Plaza in Los Altos you can experience a pop-up park for the month of August. They rolled out the turf, put up some comfy lawn chairs, lots of kids toys, and a ping pong table!

fun for all ages

They also offer teen nights, movies, and live music, and more. For a full schedule of events visit their calendar at


Even when there is no program the park it is well received. Especially for the little ones, this is a great hangout spot.


Have you ever been to a pop-up park?

Entrance to Raging Waters

Summer Water Fun

Growing up in Germany summer break always meant hanging out at the pool. So my first idea for my sons summer break was this indoor pool I always wanted to check out. Luckily I did some research first and found out that this particular pool is right now only open Friday thru Sunday for recreational swim.

Well the weather is pleasant and warm enough for an outdoor pool.

Have you ever seen Bill and Ted’s excellent adventure? Remember San Dimas?

waterslideWe are right next to Raging Waters, part of the trifecta water parks.

It was excellent to go on the first day of summer break since not all schools are on break at the same time. We mostly enjoyed the wave pool. But when we were ready to slide we walked right up to it! Excellent start dude!


Now let’s see what we’re going to do with the rest of the eleven weeks.


Do you have any fun activities planned for the summer?

History is just a walk in the park

History is just a walk in the park

So, California’s first municipal state park is right around our corner, Alum Rock in San Jose founded in 1872.

Spring in Alum RockIn the 1930’s this park was well known for its mineral springs. Having over 20 different springs with minerals like magnesium and sulfur and naturally carbonated soda springs, a few doctors at the time attested their health benefits. The park also once had a natatorium, a heated indoor pool, plus about 50 mineral baths that pumped in the sulfur water right from the springs. Build in 1912 this was the major attraction in the park. It was closed after 1970, and only a plate remains where it used to be.

While doing the short mineral springs trail you can see the grottos once built around the springs to identify and protect them. And look for the tiled tubs that were holding tanks to warm up the water that was piped to the bathhouses for the actual baths.An old grotto at Alum Rock

But Alum Rock is also San Jose’s largest park, with various hiking trails, a lot of different picnic areas, a playground, a beach volleyball court and the Youth Science Institute.


Parking within the park is $6.


What is your favourite historic site?

foot prints of an animal, at the Junior Museum and Zoo, Palo Alto

Visit a little people museum and zoo

The Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo  is probably something for the younger generation (toddler to about eight), my 11 year old felt for most of this like been there – done that. The suggested donation is $5 per person, which I think is very reasonable.

You first walk thru the touch and learn exhibit, where the little ones can turn and twist and move things. Next are the insects. I have to admit I am not usually a fan of creatures with more than four legs but here they are mostly in the height for your two year old to inspect.

giant turtle


Outside there are some local animals from snakes to bunnies (not in the same pen) to a giant turtle.

pretent to be a spider on this claiming netI think my 11 year old appreciated the climbing and balancing things best.  But for younger kids this is a real cool place to hang and learn.



Do you have a favorite zoo?

Hole #2 at Hellyer Disc Golf course

Frisbee + being in the woods = Disc golf

It is a simple equation, but needs a bit of prep work. Go to your favorite sport store and get yourself a starter kit for disc golf. They run at about $20. It will usually contain a driver, a midrange and a putter frisbee.

Then go to a disc golf course, there are a few courses in the Bay Area, and throw your frisbees around. To find one course near you  go to

We recently went to Hellyer Park again, a well maintained 9-hole course.

You can play for free the first times, but should consider dashing out the $25 yearly fee to the Silicon Valley Disc Golf Club:, which pays for a yearly membership that is tax deductible. Other courses might charge you a Green Fee, so this is a pretty good deal!

Disc golf basket
In this basket you shall throw.

You are still wondering what it is? Well, disc golf is similar to golf as an advancement through a course with different baskets to reach. It is much easier than golf and a lot of fun.

If you are looking for a casual sport that is not too strenuous but gets you out to have some fun with friends you might want to consider disc golf.


Have you ever played disc golf before?


interactive art from teamLab

Immerse yourself in an art experience

Recently I went to see the teamLab exhibition Living Digital Space and Future Parks at the Pace Art + Technology pop-up gallery in Menlo Park.

20 installations by teamLab, a Japanese new media arts collective, let you truly interact with art.  Some objects react to your touch; in one you can download  a web site app to control multiple plant inspired lights and another one creates a room magically filled with flowers and butterflies that surround you. But my personal highlight was the kids’ section. There are five truly interactive installations. For example your fish drawings, once scanned in, swim away. Try to touch the screen aquarium, it’s interplay!


The exhibit will run thru July 1st 2016 and is open Tuesdays – Sundays 11-7.

A great new approach to art and very fitting for Silicon Valley.


Have you seen other examples of interactive art?