Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Fairview Gardens

Fairview Gardens is a spot on our favorites list. They have camps in summer. In fall, winter and spring, there are toddler classes as well homeschooling classes. The stand is open occasionally, but the farm is open to the community from 8am to sundown for exploration and fun. There is a small parking lot at the stand and you can walk back the dirt path to the main part of the farm or you can park in the library lot and walk back into the farm using the path at the back of the lot. The farm has u-pick strawberries on occasion and we miss the CSA although they now do produce bags for pick up.

Why it is a favorite: We did the CSA for several years before and with tiny kids. We love visiting the library and taking nature time next door.
Where its located: 598 N Fairview Ave, next door to Goleta Valley Library
Directions: Take 101N to the Fairview Ave exit, turn towards the mountains (north) and it is about half a mile up on the left
Time Spent: 20 min-1.5 hours
Cost: Free
Hours: 8am to Sundown, Farm Stand Wednesday 2pm-6:30pm and Saturday 9am-1pm
Parking: Library lot or at the stand
Nearby: Goleta Valley Library and Stow Park
More info:
Kid Quotes: 6 year old "The trees are my favorite."

Fairview Farm Stand (on Fairview Ave) 

Farm Hours
Children's Garden

Herb Garden


Monday, June 14, 2021

Goleta Valley Library

This is post 250, y'all! I am amazed I still have ideas after this long. 😉

**This post was written pre-COVID and has been updated as much as possible. 

The Goleta Valley Library is recently separated from the Santa Barbara with new vision and leadership. 
NON-COVID: In summer, enjoy the summer reading program and during the school year, events are planned for the weekend and after school. Before COVID, younger kids love the blocks, legos, puzzles, puppet theater and older kids love the games on the computers as well as the teen area.
COVID: The Goleta library is open for sidewalk service Wednesday through Saturday from 11am to 4pm and it will be open for up to 25 patrons inside for browsing for books, self-checkout as well as computer use or books for sale. Patrons are let in on the hour 20 minutes after, and 40 minutes after and can browse for up to 15 minutes. They also provide grab n go  bags, crafts and online opportunities

Why it is a favorite: Reading to the dogs (at age 6), train table (at age 3) and events 

Location: 500 N Fairview Avenue in Goleta

Directions: Take 101 to the Fairview Ave. off ramp. Turn toward the mountains and continue about .5 mile. It will be on the right.

Time Spent: 10 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on events and kids

Cost: Free

Hours: Wednesday-Saturday 11am-4pm for pick up

Parking: The lot at the library is small, but you can park at the church next door (to the right) at the back of their parking lot.

Nearby: Fairview Farms and Stow Grove Park

More info:

Special Events: There are many kid friendly monthly events listed on their website or Facebook page, especially during summer.

Kid Quotes: "Michael Katz and story tellers go there and they do crafts and experiments." 

Book and Storytime Area

Train Table and Building Blocks

Computer Areas 

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Summer Reading Programs

Both the Santa Barbara Library and the Goleta Library have summer reading programs.

The Goleta Summer Reading Program is fully online like last year, using the Beanstack site to keep track of the books. It is open to all ages. There will be events online listed at the library website

The Goleta library is open for sidewalk service Wednesday through Saturday from 11am to 4pm and it will be open for up to 25 patrons inside for browsing for books, self-checkout as well as computer use or books for sale. Patrons are let in on the hour 20 minutes after, and 40 minutes after and can browse for up to 15 minutes. Solvang and Buellton Libraries have the same hours with sidewalk service and browsing (up to 6 patrons at Solvang and up to 5 at Buellton) as well as the same reading program through Beanstack. 

The Santa Barbara Summer Reading Program is also tracked online, using the WandooReader site to keep track of the books for school aged children, teens and adults (younger children are encouraged to participate in the 1000 Books before Kindergarten). There will be events online and outdoors found on the library website. Kids can participate in a fun community based scavenger hunt and earn a free book. 

The Goleta library is open for sidewalk service and express service Tuesday through Saturday from T 10am-2pm, W10am-4pm, Th 12pm-6pm, F/S 10am-4pm and it will be open for up to 94 patrons inside for browsing for books, self-checkout as well as computer use or books for sale. Patrons can browse for up to 30 minutes. Carpinteria, Eastside and Montecito hours here.

Why it is a favorite: Earning free things

Location: Various (online this year)

Time Spent: Endless :)

Cost: Free

Hours: See above

More info: see above

Special Events: Check the library websites Goleta and Santa Barbara 

Kid Quotes: "The reading program is the best." 10 year old

Related Posts:
Kid's Checklist
Santa Barbara Zoo

Monday, June 7, 2021

Santa Barbara Zoo

The Santa Barbara Zoo is a Santa Barbara classic. The estate was originally owned by a wealthy couple who allowed a homeless encampment on the property (near where the entrance is today). Lillian Child left her estate for the benefit of the community to the Santa Barbara Foundation which eventually began the small Santa Barbara Zoo in 1963.  The camps over spring break and in summer are also classic Santa Barbara. In recent years, the zoo has offered classes during the school year for preschoolers and homeschool students.

Why it is a favorite: The playground at the top of the hill was a perfect spot with younger kids and now the girls like to see the animals as well as ride the train.

Location: 500 Ninos Dr in Santa Barbara (near East Beach).

Directions: Take 101S to the Milpas (southbound) exit. Take a right on to Milpas St and then left onto Ninos Dr after the railroad tracks.

Time Spent: .5 hour to 3 hours

Cost: $20/$12 with memberships for families beginning at $135.

Hours: The zoo is open every day (even holidays) 10 am – 5 pm with shorter hours on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas.

Parking: $11 per vehicle (although it is not enforced on non-busy days). Free to members.

Nearby: East Beach and Dwight Murphy Park

More info:

Special Events: Craft every Saturday and Sunday from 11-2  and Safari Sleepovers for families and Scouts. Fairytale Weekend in March, El Día del Niño in April, Boo to the Zoo in October and Snow Leopard Festival in December.

Kid Quotes: "I like the Island and Fennec Foxes." 10 Year old "I like everything at the zoo especially the gibbon court. It would be good for me." 7 year old

Humbolt Penguins

Western Lowland Gorilla 

Masai Giraffes

Peacocks roam

Feeding Navajo-Churro Sheep 

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Spring Snap Shot 2021

Life Hack: Last summer we spent a lot of time at the beach. I do play with the kids at the beach but I also get cold in the water much faster than they do, so I spend time on the shore. I am not comfortable reading a book while watching them, but it turns out audiobooks are the perfect solution. While you can subscribe and get a new book credit through Audible, the library has two streaming services: Hoopla, and  Libby/ Overdrive 

New Product I Love: I have been trying to drink enough water and True Citrus is my favorite way right now. Favorite flavors: Black Cherry Limeade and Mango Orangeade.

Last Book I Finished: Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean 3.5 stars
Last summer I started following Anne Bogel, blogger of the Modern Mrs. Darcy. She comes out with a reading guide every summer with recommendations from different genres that is bound to have something for (almost) everyone. My first read off this summer's list was a fun YA read reminiscent of The Princess Diaries. (In fact, for the first section of the book, it was so much like it, I was distracted by the comparisons.) Izumi stands out in her small California home. She loves her single mother, but knows nothing about her father until she accidentally comes across a poem written to her mother eighteen years ago. Upon digging, she realizes her father is the crown prince of Japan. Although her stateside life parallels Mia Thermopolis pretty closely, her life diverges as she goes to Japan to meet her father and adjusts to life in Japan. Not all of her extended family welcomes her with open arms and the culture is not always welcoming to outsiders. Izumi must learn to be a princess while still being true to herself (and the gorgeous bodyguard complicates things). 

Life Project: Nothing. We made it through a year of school at home. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Summer Activity List 2021

A few summers ago, I created a list of summer activities to do. It isn't really a do-all kind of list, but a list of ideas so that we don't get stuck in a rut. Here is our updated list with a few new items. Of course camping and a road trip are also on our list. Let me know in the comments or on Facebook if you have other ideas. we love to try new things.

Santa Barbara and Goleta:
Explore a park *
Go to the MOXI (reopened April 26 Thursday-Sunday from 10 AM - 5 PM Reservations Recommended) 
Go to the Santa Barbara Zoo (Advanced tickets required, M–T 9:30am – 5pm, F–S 9:30am– 7pm)
Go to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History (Advanced reservations required W–Sun10:00am–5pm)
Go to the Sea Center (Advanced reservations NOT required W–Sun10:00am–5pm)
Go to the Maritime Museum (Advanced reservations NOT required Th–Sun10am–5pm)
Go to the Art Museum (Admission is currently FREE, reservations recommended Tues-Sun 11am–5pm, Th11am–8pm
Explore the Botanic Gardens (Advanced reservations NOT required, daily10am– 6pm)
Bowl at Zodos * (Bowling opened! M - F 4:00PM til Close Weekends 12:00PM til Close)
Swim at Los Banos Pool * (Open for lap swimming only M–F: 6am–9:30am and 11am – 2:30pm
Sat: 10:30 am–3:15 pm, Sun: 10am– 2:45 pm)
Explore the Farmers Market (Post coming Soon!) *
Hunting for seashells and seaglass
Ride the bus (Post coming Soon!)*
Feed the ducks (Post coming Soon!)*
Complete Summer Reading Program Santa Barbara Goleta and the Valley (Post coming Soon!) *

Swim at Oak Park Pool * not currently open 

Monday, May 31, 2021

Kid's Choice

I know a few of you have been wondering what the 2021 quest is and it is ...... Kid's Choice Awards! Every year my kid's make a list of the things they want to do over summer and I try to make them happen as the summer goes on. Two years ago I kept track of the things they wanted to do (and I will add to the list this summer) and am blogging about the ones worth sharing. Thanks to my friend Jessica for this idea!

Some of the places on the list are ones we have shared before, but I will update them as we do them (like the MOXI). Others are favorites that have never made the blog (the Zoo!?).  Some are little treasures we love in town that we hope you will love too (Fairview Gardens). Unlike other years, I have been writing up some of these during the school year and they are ready to post. 

Disclaimer: Some of the posts were researched and pictures taken before COVID hit, so I have updated as much as possible. (This was my original plan for 2020 for the blog's 5 year anniversary, but COVID.)

Mondays I will share new ideas 
Fairview Gardens
Goleta Library
Santa Barbara Library
Botanic Gardens
Lil Toot
Batting Cages
Golf and Stuff
Ice in Paradise

Wednesdays I will share little Treasures--things my kids love doing that haven't merited a blog post before now.
Fairview Gardens
Ride the Trolly/Bus Adventure
Feed the ducks
Concert in the Park
Farmer’s Market
Stow House Picnic
Reading Program
Tuesday Morning Movies
Bike Path
Riding a Surrey
Watching Planes Take Off
Harbor Flag Walk
Creek Walk

Fridays I will share some classic favorites such as these, trying to update them! 
Goleta Beach
Hendry's Beach