By Courtney Daly-Pavone
Three hundred and sixty-five days a year we wake up to endless possibilities. Should we surf? Sail? Picnic in the park? I remember my childhood back in New York, and endless days spent indoors due to bad weather. I can still hear the rain pounding on our rooftop, and recall the exuberance I felt at the dawn of Spring. That feeling of exuberance is what life is like in San Diego, and there are activities abound in this biodiversity hotspot. Here’s a list of free and low-cost activities for you and your family to enjoy!
Tijuana River Junior Ranger Program, Imperial Beach, CA
Children ages 7 to 12 can take part in this Free educational program, designed to help them discover the rich natural and cultural heritage preserved in parks. At Tijuana Estuary, the Jr. Ranger Program takes place every Thursday from 3:30- 4:30 pm with different topics presented at each session. Ecology, natural and cultural history, plants, and wildlife are just a few of the topics. Jr. Rangers earn awards as they progress through the program. The Jr. Ranger Program is offered free of charge. Each Jr. Ranger must be signed up by a parent or guardian and can do so at the beginning of any program.
Total Raptor Experience La Jolla/Ramona
Get up-close and personal with trained birds of prey. Learn to call them to a hand-held perch or a glove, then release them to the sky. Two locations Ramona, and La Jolla. Cost varies $40-$250 (619) 535-7307
California Wolf Center, Julian, CA
Spend the day at the California Wolf Center in Julian, and learn about wolves. Time magazine referred to wolves as “engineers of biodiversity” because they help balance our ecosystem.Take a tour of the conservation center which is committed to reintroducing the wolf in nature. Meet some of these amazing animals. Fun for the entire family. Cost varies $20 adults, $15 seniors, military, and students
Snorkel with Leopard Sharks Birch Aquarium at Scripps, La Jolla, CA
Join aquarium naturalists and swim with leopard sharks off the La Jolla Coast. Pick up snorkel tips as you discover a variety of animals that make their homes among the kelp, sandy bottom, and rocks. Intermediate swimming ability is required and previous snorkeling experience is recommended. Participants must supply their own gear. Ages 10+ (minors must also be accompanied by a paid adult). Shark snorkels occur from July through September. All Shark Snorkels are from 8-10 a.m. Cost $25 members, $30 non-members.
Ride a Horse! Pony Land San Diego Beach Rides, Hollister, CA
Go horseback riding on the beach, take a trail ride, or just a pony ride around the coral. There is something for everyone at this equestrian center with a cowboy feel. Kids will love the Mini-Wild West Town. For more information visit: http://www.ponylandsandiego.com/