Monday, March 31, 2014

Contra Costa Spring Home & Garden Show, April 2014 FREE Printable Admission Tickets...

to the 29th Annual
Contra Costa
Spring Home & Garden Show
at the Sleep Train Pavilion
Concord, California

April 4th • April 5th • April 6th, 2014
Ticket information below
Complimentary Admission E-Ticket

Notice the typo on the spelling of the word "complimentry?"
It has been spelled incorrectly for several years. Will it get corrected next year?
The mystery continues...

Print your FREE Tickets:
Enjoy the show. Have a wonderful day!

Event Website

Saturday, March 29, 2014

UC Berkeley Botanical Garden. FREE Admission FIRST Thursday of each month: April 3, 2014

Photos by Anna Chan

This rare Botanical Garden is a paradise on earth. Easy location just by the Caldecott tunnel. If you've never been, you'll be in awe of the beautiful scenery, rare flowers, edibles, ornamental, carnivorous and more than 12,000 fascinating plants! Just GO. It is perfect for an afternoon walk in the forest, stroll along a babbling brook, meandering through a Japanese garden, seeing a real cacao tree or cinnamon bark in the tropical greenhouse...chasing butterflies and finding ladybugs. An amazing place - a true local gem, sure to be a delightful family day.

This is a field trip walking into another world...even some prehistoric plants are on display! Vanilla orchids, Cacao Trees, Coconut Palms. So beautiful and educational.

Garden closes at 5pm. With a little planning, a weekday after school trip is still possible.

Regular Adult Admission is only $10.00, Children Admission $2.00 (Ages 5-12.)

FIRST THURSDAY of each month is
FREE admission day at the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden. Enjoy.

From: The UC Berkeley Botanical Garden website:
First Thursday of each month Free**
**Please note - Beginning in AUGUST, our Free Day will change to the First Wednesday of Each month. 

THURSDAY, April 3rd, 2014 - FREE Admission.

CLICK HERE for UC Botanical Garden website.

UC Berkeley Botanical Garden
200 Centennial Drive
Berkeley, CA 94720-5045
P: 510-643-2755

CLICK HERE for Yelp Reviews.

CLICK HERE for 228 more photos on Yelp.

Almost all 5 stars, not surprising at all for such a paradise!

Raising our child and introducing her to all things possible. Life is a field trip!
An August visit to UC Botanical Garden a few years ago.

Photos by Anna Chan

Thursday, March 27, 2014

FREE Museum Admission - April 2014 - Fantastic Opportunities to Explore...

First Full Weekend of the Month is upon us!

It's raining. It's pouring. No snoring for us! We're playing indoors at a fantastic, world-famous local museum. Often, there is a FREE MUSEUM DAY in April 2014, located in a town near you. (Nationwide.) San Francisco, Oakland, Bay Area, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Seattle, Portland, Boston and beyond.

First Weekend of the month has the most FREE Admission opportunities. Have fun. Be inspired.

CLICK HERE to find other FREE MUSEUM DAYS in a city near you.

CLICK HERE to explore Bank of America Cardholder FREE Admission Days

Oakland Museum is Free FIRST Sunday to the general public.
Sunday, April 6, 2014

Chabot Space & Science Center w/BofA Card FREE First weekend.
Saturday, April 5, 2014 and Sunday, April 6, 2014

Contemporary Jewish Museum w/BofA card FREE First weekend
Saturday, April 5, 2014 and Sunday, April 6, 2014

de Young Fine Arts Museum of SF w/BofA card FREE First weekend
Saturday, April 5, 2014 and Sunday, April 6, 2014

Legion of Honor w/BofA card FREE First weekend
Saturday, April 5, 2014 and Sunday, April 6, 2014

San Jose Museum of Art w/BofA Card FREE First weekend
Saturday, April 5, 2014 and Sunday, April 6, 2014

Tech Museum w/BofA Card FREE First weekend
Saturday, April 5, 2014 and Sunday, April 6, 2014

As an added bonus, there are special FREE days at gardens and museums not normally advertised:

Ruth Bancroft Garden - FREE Admission First Tuesday of each month
Tuesday, April 1, 2014

UC Berkeley Botanical Garden - FREE Admission FIRST Thursday of the month
Thursday, April 3, 2014
Saturday, April 12, 2014 - FREE Admission to the Public on Cal Day

Lawrence Hall of Science - FREE Admission to the Public on Cal Day
Saturday, April 12, 2014

UC Berkeley Cal Day - Many performances, museums, gardens on the Campus are FREE admission all day. 
Saturday, April 12, 2014

Lawrence Hall of Science, FREE Youth Pass. Printable online...

Explore the Lawrence Hall of Science website, CLICK HERE.

Get Your FREE Youth Pass to The Lawrence Hall of Science
Sponsored by ScholarShare
California's 529 College Savings Plan
From LHS, website: "Check out our fascinating exhibits, live science demonstrations, Planetarium, and special events. Get ready to take a design challenge, meet friendly animals, and experience hands-on science."
Simply CLICK HERE and submit the form online to receive your free pass. All fields are required.
You'll need to enter this information online:
Compliments of the local library (Contra Costa County Library) Summer Reading Program.

Special Youth Pass Reference Code:

Offer is available through May 31, 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014

California State Parks Passes: Reduced admission to State Parks and Beaches...

Raising a family in the Bay Area provides many opportunities for day visits to California State Parks. With regular parking at $10.00+ per day, it was a better value to purchase a California State Parks Annual Pass in advance. Six weekends, and it pays for itself. (You can even share this with a friend or family member.)

Or, if you only visit a State Park or State Beach a few times a year, you can save a bit on admission fees by becoming a "Parks Sampler" member of the California State Parks Foundation. For only $25.00 basic membership fee, first-time members receive 4 - Single Day Use Passes for FREE and a subscription to Sunset Magazine. Not bad! Seniors 62+ can pay less than that. These prices simply can't be matched any other way. It's like getting a free day+ and a free magazine subscription for joining.

If you live locally and have never visited Mt. Diablo State Park's Rock City, you're missing out! Most Santa Cruz, San Mateo County and Half Moon Bay beaches charge a $10.00 fee. I hear Southern California beaches even charge $15.00 per day. $25.00 for four days of parking and exploring is worth every penny.

For an index by Region of State Parks, CLICK HERE.

A few of the California State Parks our family has visited:

The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park

Seacliff State Beach

Natural Bridges State Beach

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

Mt. Diablo State Park

Half Moon Bay State Beach

Pescadero State Beach

Carmel River State Beach

Join the California State Parks Foundation to help protect, enhance and support California’s 280 state parks. Plus, you'll receive exclusive member benefits to help you visit and enjoy state parks. All membership levels include a one-year subscription (12 issues) to Sunset magazine. View a complete list of membership benefits and park passes. Benefits subject to change.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Lemos Farm in Half Moon Bay, CA (memories from the past, 2011)...

CLICK HERE to visit Lemos Farm Website

Ava - trying to take the sweet baby goat home with us.
Afterall, they're twins, so there's two of them.
That's her 3 1/2 year old reasoning with her Mommy. :)
Lemos Farm, Half Moon Bay, California

This is the most darling little farm!
 Ava is only 3 1/2 years old and we have visited at least five times since June. She absolutely loves the pony rides, the dig zone dump truck, the goats, the hay ride, especially the ghost town train ride, and just hanging out eating ice-cream and popcorn.

During our visit, I chatted with Mr. Lemos and he says they have 20 baby goats a year on the farm. The cute little goats in these photos are only five weeks old. They're so soft, gentle and adorable. We wish we could take them home with us! How did we live all this time without knowing such a wonderful, quaint family farm is only an hour from home? We sure look forward to visiting in time for Harvest Season and Pumpkin Patches. The sunflowers are beautiful and corn is growing tall. If you stay till closing, you'll even see cotton tailed bunnies hopping along the trails.

CLICK HERE to visit Lemos Farm website.

Lemos Farm
12320 San Mateo Road (Hwy 92)

Half Moon Bay CA 94019

Lemos Farm in Half Moon Bay, CA...a child's dream for pony rides and farm-filled fun!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Farmers' Markets. Spring is in the air! ZIP Code search for a market near you...

Farmers' Markets SEARCH BY ZIP CODE

Did you know there are farmers' markets almost every day of the week, all year, rain or shine in California?

We LOVE the farmers and the markets. So much fun to be out and about! Breathe crisp morning air, listen to music, delight in the beautiful assortment of farm-fresh fruits and vegetables. Have fun. Visit a market soon! Support a family farmer.

CLICK HERE to FIND A MARKET in a city near you.

Martinez, CA: Contra Costa Regional Medical Center
12pm-4pm (Seasonal) Visit website for exact dates

Concord, CA: Todos Santos Square

Martinez, CA: Veteran's Medical Center
10am-2pm (Seasonal) Visit website for exact dates

CONCORD, CA: Todos Santos Square
4pm-8pm (Seasonal) Visit website for exact dates

ORINDA, CA: Orinda Village. Opening Day, Sunday, May 4th

WALNUT CREEK, CA: Diablo Valley / Shadelands Farmers' Market

CONCORD, CA: Concord High School Market.
9am-1pm (Seasonal) Visit website for exact dates

WALNUT CREEK, CA: Locust Street, Near Target

MARTINEZ, CA: Main Street at Estudillo