Balboa Park with a Toddler and First Grader

Wednesday’s are early release days at my son’s school. When the husband is away, like he is now, it makes for a looooong time before bed for the boys. I like to take them somewhere to pass the time. This week we explored Balboa Park which we haven’t done since moving back this summer.

We started at the United Nations Building and Gift Shop. There are a bunch of houses to check out from many different countries but they are only open on weekend. Boo! The gift shop was really cool though. My first grader loved checking out all the knick-knacks from different countries. He wants to come back on a weekend and explore the houses. I think it would be best without the toddler.

From there we headed to the Organ Pavilion. It’s a great place for kids to run around. I was hoping to tire out the toddler and knew this was a great place to get out energy. We spent about 20 minutes running and playing and yelling and having a ball. Perfect place for a toddler! The first grader loved it as well.

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Walking out of the pavilion, we stumbled upon the Japanese Friendship Garden. My first grader really wanted to check it out so we paid $10 (for me, the boys were free) and made our way through the garden. It was beautiful, although I didn’t get to enjoy much as I was trying to keep a 20 month old on the path and quiet(ish) while people were meditating. The boys both loved the water features, particularly the toddler who tried to throw rocks, leaves, and sticks into the ponds. (Joy!) If you’re visiting Balboa Park with a toddler, I suggest you skip this one. It’s beautiful but it’s hard to enjoy the beauty while focused on the 20 month old sprinting through the flowers.

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After leaving the garden, we walked to the Model Railroad Museum. If you’re kids are at all into trains, TAKE THEM HERE!! It was pretty cool. They had so many model trains. We got there 30 minutes before closing so it was just $4 for the three of us. Score! There were multiple windowed areas with huge landscapes and hundreds of feet of track. At the back there is an area really meant for kids. We spent 20 minutes back there until they kicked us out. The toddler kept saying “choo choo!” and the first grader asked me three times before we got to the car if we could come back. Success!ZuKfEPxsS3+mhDNjJTNcXQ                         zIZ6wDU2RC6CaY+Lg62Okw

We ended out Balboa Park trip with a walk by the art museum which is closed on Wednesdays. The boys ran around the front steps and ate a snack before we headed back to the car. All in all, a perfect afternoon.

-KB

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