Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Sky Zone - Ventura


**We never got to sky Zone on our Summer of Day Trips, but we went in August 2022!

Sky Zone is a trampoline park in Ventura--think Cloud 10 only larger with more variety. It has a variety of areas: a kids adventure zone, ninja warrior course, soccer and basketball areas, dodgeball area, zipline, a foam pit and arcade. It was so much fun for my almost 9 year old! Summer 2022 they had a deal for $74 which included the shirt and socks as well as 90 minutes each time. When we were there, the snack bar had pizza and snacks, but not the other food advertised.

Cost: $21 for 60 min. $26 for 90 min. $29 for 120 min, $33 unlimited (a pair of socks $5 and shirt $7 must also be purchased)  
Hours: M-Th 3-8pm, F 3-10pm, Sat 10am-10pm, Sun 10am-8pm (School Year Hours) 11am-8pm/10pm (Summer Hours),
Time: 60 minutes to "all day"
More information:
Directions: 2825 Johnson Dr. Ventura      Take the 101S to the Johnson Dr exit (exit 63B). Turn left onto Johnson Dr. Turn left into the parking lot after half a mile.
Drive: 40 miles, 42 minutes.

Related posts: Summer of the Easy Day Trips

Ninja Warrior Course


Kid's Adventure Zone



Foam Pit


Wipe Out


Snack Bar

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Snapshot Spring 2022

This season has kinda been a hot mess at my house--between the last push to finish my capstone project for my master's degree, COVID (we held out for so long!) and now Influenza A. We haven't gotten much done on our summer list or with our goal to hike more. Hopefully we will get to it if we recover soon or not. I have had to learn some flexibility about my goals over the past 7 years (like the last time we had nature walks and easy hikes as a goal). So in place of that I will share my belated spring snapshot (and will format it all later).

Favorite New Product: We have been playing the old game Rummicub a lot in preparation of visiting some older relatives. It is a great game for my almost 9 and almost 12 year old. 

Life Hack: Apparently having "pointless" goals or "stupid quests", not only makes life more fun, but also can help when we are feeling powerless in other places in life (ahem, parenting). My quest to visit all the parks in Santa Barbara makes so much sense now!

Last Book I Finished: And Then There were None by Agatha Christie

Ten strangers are invited under various pretenses to a week away on a mysterious island. When the wealthy host doesn't show, an uneasiness settles. A record is played accusing the guests of a crime for which they cannot be convicted in a court of law. A framed nursery rhyme in every room seems to predict how things will go. As murders occur, according to the rhyme, fear grows and mistrust overwhelms the guests.

Who is behind the murders? One of them? If so, how? In the end, there will be none, in what seems like an impossible end. This is masterfully put together in the old style of murder mystery with very little gore and all sleuthing.

Life Project: I just (6/30) finished my Master's of Education in Instructional Design at Western Governor's University. I love that you can work at your own pace to accelerate your classes when you demonstrate your competence in the subject matter by test or by project!

What we are eating today: Salsa Chicken so easy and yummy!


Related Links:
Winter 2022 Snapshot
Fall 2021 Snapshot
Summer 2021 Snapshot
Spring 2021 Snapshot
Winter 2021 Snapshot
Fall 2020 Snapshot
Summer 2020 Snapshot
Spring 2020 Snapshot
Winter 2020 Snapshot
Fall 2019 Snapshot
Summer 2019 Snapshot
Winter 2019 Snapshot
Fall 2018 Snapshot
Spring 2018 Snapshot

Monday, July 4, 2022

Inspiration Point

You can't beat the view from Inspiration Point. It is tough enough that I didn't attempt it with my kids until recently (and even then it was a special request for my birthday). The trail is moderately strenuous for those used to hiking. 

Directions: Take the 101S to Mission St. Turn left onto Mission, then left on Chapala St.  Turn right onto Los Olivos St and continue onto Mission Canyon. Take a right onto Foothill and left onto Mission Canyon Rd. Veer left at the fork to continue onto Tunnel Rd. Park near the end of the road. 

I would recommend a map or description for this one since it does not have well marked signs. You will take the left fork at about .7 miles in (Jesusita Trail). Continue left (not toward 7 Falls) and at the end of the path you cross a power road to an overlook. The actual Inspiration Point is to the left along the power road (look for a footpath to the right). 


Trail Rating: Difficult for toddlers and kids not used to hiking, Moderate for others
Distance: 2 miles to the point, 4 miles round trip
Time: 2 hours round trip
Nearby attractions: Botanic Gardens, Rocky Nook Park, Natural History Museum
Related Posts:
Summer of the Nature Walks and Hikes
Summer of the Hikes

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Summer of the Hikes

The 2022 Quest is....... (drum roll please)

Summer of the Hikes! In 2017 when my kids were 7 and almost 4, we set out to walk nature trails and short hikes, but now we are able to walk a bit further with older kids (12 and almost 9). We will try to share one new hike a week in July and August (Mondays), one shorter nature walk we still love (Wednesday) and one other treasure (Friday).

Cold Springs Trail
Hot Springs Trail
Inspiration Point
Jesusita Trail
Lizards Mouth
Parma Park
Rattlesnake Canyon
San Ysidro falls
Seven Sisters
Skofield Park
Tangerine Falls
Tunnel Trail
Wind Tunnels at Gaviota State Park

2017 Nature Walks:
Botanic Gardens
Cheltham/Westmont Trail (Short one we missed in 2017)  
Allan Road Footpath 
Ortega Hill Loop
Ennisbrook Trail

Friday, May 27, 2022

Student Sphere at UCSB

Flora Zhang from StudentSphere and a current UCSB student reached out to me to let me know about the new program that pairs college students with parents and families. She shared that StudentSphere was established in response to COVID-19 and hopes to alleviate the resultant stress on parents and their children. They pair K-12 students with college students for assistance with homework, learning a language, tutoring, dancing, and more! Everything is absolutely FREE and virtual! I asked if she would be willing to do a Q&A to answer questions so I can share the program with you!
Q: What inspired you/students to start the group?
A: Two UC Davis students launched StudentSphere, to assist families with children affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. They were inspired to start the program when they observed families in their own community, including those that consisted of single parents, frontline workers, and immunocompromised individuals, facing challenges with balancing work and their students’ education. Our program was initially designed to help connect K-12 students to college student mentors for assistance with the transition to online learning. Although in-person learning has resumed, our program continues to establish mentorships and support K-12 students.

Q: Who are you hoping to reach?
A: We offer free mentoring services to K-12 students living in North America.

Q: What kind of help do you provide?
A: We are a community-service based organization that provides free and virtual academic support and enrichment to K-12 students. We pair volunteer college/university students, known as mentors, with K-12 students for homework help, tutoring, social activities, and college preparation.

Q: How are students matched? How are the students vetted?
A: StudentSphere screens applicants based on interests, availability, and compatibility. We match mentors and mentees based on these criteria in order to ensure a successful mentorship. In terms of mentors, we also verify that they are indeed college students.

Q: How do I find out more?
Our website is and email is

Q: Any other things you want to share?
A: StudentSphere was interviewed by Univision back in September 2020. Thanks to outlets like Univision and other community organizations, our program has been able to reach diverse population of students from all over the nation. Link to the interview

 This sounds like an amazing resource for our community!

 Related Posts: 


Thursday, May 26, 2022

Winchester Park

 Winchester Park 1 and 2 just got face lifts. Winchester I Park is located in the 7600 block of Calle Real (closest cross street Bradford Dr). It got new exercise equipment for adults, but no playground for kids.  

Winchester II Park is located in the 7700 block of Calle Real with an entrance across from Jenna drive or another entrance in the cul-de-sac Warwick Pl. There are 2 large play structures with shade over rubber foam mats as well as a self powered merry-go-round, lily pad bridge and swings. There are regular swings a toddler swing and a differently abled swing. This park also has shaded benches and a shaded picnic table as well as older picnic tables under a tree.

The age 2 to 5 place structure has three climbing areas, a larger double slide and a tiny slide for very littles as well as the kind of place my kids used to use for an ice cream store. 

The 5 to 12 play structure has a rope climbing structure, swinging rings and three other climbing places as well as a long slide.

The shade for parents is definitely a plus
There is plenty of sitting space for parents.
The merry-go-round was a hit with my kids. 
Parking can be hard to come by.
There is no bathroom. 

Related Lists:
Parks for Big Kids
Summer of the Parks
Extensive Parks List

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Vacation Bible School 2022


Vacation Bible School is happening this summer! This is what I have found online so far. All ages are the ages children will be in this fall. If your church plans to do VBS this summer, forward me the info so I can add it!

June 13-17 9am-12pm Calvary Chapel SB at 1 N Calle Cesar Chavez #21
Phone: 805-730-1400 Ages: Kinder to 6th grade Price: $100 for the week Register at:

June 6-10 8:30-12 CEF Adventure Club at various trails in Santa Barbara
Ages: 10-12 Price: Free Register at: More Info: (FULL)

June 13-17 8:15-3 Christian Leadership Camp for 5th-8th grade students led by GracePoint Church at Anthem Price $50/$100 Register at:

 "We are trying to gather all the Christian students who are in between 5th and 8th grade, help them to grow in their faith, leadership skills, and make friendships along the way."

June 20-June 24 9am-12pm CEF Lego Camp Location: TBD Ages: 1st-6th grade Price: Free Register at: More Info: (FULL)

June 27-July 1 8:45-12 Montecito Covenant Church 671 Cold Spring Rd, Montecito
Phone: (805) 969-0373 Ages: K -8th grade Price: $55 per child Register at:


July 27-July 1 9am-12pm Surf Camp with Victory Sessions at Santa Claus Beach (Calvary Chapel SB at 1 N Calle Cesar Chavez #21 Phone: 805-730-1400) Games, Crafts, Bible Study and Worship Ages: K-6th grade Price: $50 (Alternate dates all FULL)

July 11-15 CEF Soccer Camp 9am-12pm CEF Soccer Camp at location TBD
Ages: 1st-6th grade Price: Free Register at: 
More Info: (FULL)

July 11-15 Okids Beach Camp 9m-12:30pm Ocean Hills at East Beach
Ages: 1st-6th grade Price: $100 until April 30 Register at:

August 1-5   Trinity Lutheran Garden Song Camp  9:00-12:00 (at TLC 909 N La Cumbre)
Ages: 1st-6th grade Price: $55 or $65/child, $120/Family Register at:

I am sure I missed something so feel free to comment below or message me through Facebook at

Andamar Park

Andamar Park got a face lift and it got two thumbs up from my kids. The old park had toddler and 2 regular swings as well as a slide over sand. The new park has large play structure with a wide variety of features over rubber mat. There is a big kid (5-12) play structure and a toddler (2-5) play structure. The big structure has 3 climbing areas, monkey rings, 2 slides and a three story tower. The little structure has 2 slides, 2 climbing places and a tunnel. There is also a merry-go-round and a unique set of 4 swings where kids can swing together or you can swing with your toddler.

 Favorites: The three story tower (11 year old's favorite), merry-go-round (8 year old) and shaded benches (mom)  

Quote: "Mom, you should add this to your list of parks for big kids!" (11 year old) 

This one is tricky to find because it is set back from the road. The entrances are located off Cathedral Oaks (near 5761) and Arundel Rd (near 670).

There is a large variety of things that could entertain for a long time.
The tower is unique and loved by a large range of ages.
The merry-go-round is a true one and goes faster than most around here.
There are shaded places for the parents to sit.
The swings are unique too. One is a tetter-totter type and one has a spot for mom/sibling to swing with a toddler!

There are no bathrooms, not even a port-a-potty.
There are no water fountains.
Be aware: This is definitely a dog park where people let their dogs roam off leash. 


Little Kids Back

Little Kids Front

Big Kids Back

Big Kids Side

Big Kids Front

Toddler Partner Swing


Shaded Benches


Related Lists:
Parks for Big Kids
Summer of the Parks
Extensive Parks List

New STEM Summer Camp

Are you still looking for a great camp for your kids this summer? Well, a reader reached out to connect me with Charlie Freund who is a local Carpinteria dad starting a new STEM camp at UCSB this summer. Charlie had 13 years of experience operating tech camps before COVID shut things down and had an opportunity to pause to think about what would make a great camp. He answered all my questions and offered a discount to readers for $75 off a week of camp! (See below)

Goleta Mom: What made you want to start a new camp and specifically a STEM camp?

"I had 13 summers of operating tech camps until COVID came. This gave me the chance to start something new and wanted to provide kids with more hands-on, exploratory STEM camps. I felt that after having my two kids home for remote learning, they would benefit from group projects, challenges, and failure. It feels like the kids lost out on some grit and resilience due to being in the house with parents so much."

Goleta Mom: What kinds of projects will it feature?

"We have a class where the kids will design their own Virtual Reality Escape Room! Lego Education EV3 Robotics to have races, maze escapes, and Sumo Battles! Create your own light up pins and fashion! Develop motion sensor intruder alarms!"

Goleta Mom: Is there something that makes your camp unique?

"It’s a partnership with STEM Center USA, founded by Melissa and Lavanya Jawaharlal! These two sisters are engineers who have built the curriculum and trained the staff to deliver STEM experiences that ignite passion, creativity, and community in each camp. US Sports Camp is the platform I’m using to take registrations and handle camp administration since it is a 47 year veteran in providing amazing summer camps for youth!"

Goleta Mom: What weeks does the camp run?

"July 11 – August 5, Monday to Friday, 9am-4pm (or there are Half-Day options of 9am-12pm or 1pm-4pm)."

Goleta Mom: What ages is the camp for?

"6-17, broken down into classes in different rooms for tighter age groups"

Goleta Mom: Where will the camp meet?

"At UCSB! And eat lunch in De la Guerra!" (Note: Full day only)

Goleta Mom: What kind of ratio is there (student to adult)?

"The student to adult ratio will be very amenable to getting attention to each kid, it will vary based on the size of each class, but wouldn’t exceed 10:1."

Goleta Mom: How do we contact you with questions or to sign up?

"To sign up, go to: For questions, you can call US Sports Camps at 800-433-6060 or email

Goleta Mom: Is there anything else that you would want me to share?

"Readers can use this special discount code for savings through May 30: GETSTEM22 for $75 off Full- and Half-Day Camps.
This looks like a super fun new camp option for our kids!

Related links:
Independent Summer Camp Guide 
VBS Post 2022