If you are in the process of planning your next travel experience in the US, then you will almost certainly have considered California. One of my best childhood friends lives in California, so that makes it nice for me! (Free place to stay!) The state is incredibly well-known for the plethora of options it offers to tourists, and remains one of the most visited states in the US for a reason. It really is diverse and beautiful.
However, California is not a state particularly known for its child-friendly options. Many of the most popular attractions in state – from wine tours to the nightlife of LA – are rather adult-focused, which are less than ideal if you’re looking for a family vacation. Thankfully, California is a great destination for a kid-friendly experience, and below, we’ve put together a few hints and tips that can help you get the most of the Golden State…
When is the best time to visit California?
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California enjoys a mild climate, so you should be able to enjoy pleasant temperatures throughout the year. However, if you’re hoping to visit one of California’s famous beaches, May to September are usually the best choice.
However, as we have noted, California is an extremely popular destination – which can mean it is crowded and overwhelming for children during the summer months. If you’re looking for a quieter experience, then look to plan a trip just after Thanksgiving but before Christmas. The weather will still be pleasant, but the tourist numbers will be far lower, and you should be able to find some good prices on accommodation too.
Where are the most kid-friendly places to stay in California?
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The most famous places to stay in California are not necessarily very kid-friendly, especially given issues such as smog and pollution. As a result, avoiding the major cities such as LA and San Francisco is advisable for families – you can visit for a day trip, but basing yourself elsewhere is likely to be the better choice.
Instead, look for family-friendly resorts that are located just outside major cities – there are hundreds dotted across the state, so you should be able to find an option close to the main attractions you wish to visit. These resorts are specifically designed with kids in mind, and many offer on-site amenities such as pools and tennis courts that you and your family are sure to enjoy when you’re not exploring elsewhere.
Is California expensive to visit?
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California does have a reputation as an expensive state to visit, but as with all vacations, where you choose to stay, the type of accommodation you choose, the sites you choose to visit and the discounts you can find will greatly influence the overall cost of the trip. However, as a guide, the average cost per person, per day, for a vacation in California is around $200.
What attractions and tourist hotspots are suitable for kids in California?
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- Disneyland. Of course, if you’re not from Florida, you’ll have to visit Disneyland. It would be impossible to discuss a kid-friendly California vacation without a mention of Disneyland, which is located in Anaheim. Given the eternal popularity of the park and that discount Disneyland tickets can help to keep the experience as affordable as possible, it’s definitely worth ensuring your vacation is enhanced by all the magic and charm Disney is able to provide.
- Santa Monica Pier. Santa Monica Pier – which is located, unsurprisingly, in Santa Monica – is a Californian classic, with plenty of kid-friendly attractions and rides that will keep the whole family entertained for hours.
Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. A spectacular experience that will live long in the memory, the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens are a must for families visiting California. Located in Palm Desert, Living Desert offers the chance to see a huge range of wild animals, explore the San Andreas Trail, and even take a glimpse behind the scenes if you wish.
- Griffith Observatory. Found in LA, the Griffith Observatory is the perfect choice for parents looking to add an educational element to their trip. Your kids will be delighted by the amazing Samuel Oschin planetarium and the astronomical exhibits, and you’ll also be able to enjoy the surrounding landscape by grabbing a bite to eat in the on-site cafe.
What natural wonders can you and your kids explore in California?
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Studying the National Parks is always a fun activity for homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers alike.
Yosemite National Park. Located in the famous Sierra Nevada mountain range, Yosemite National Park offers incredible natural features such as waterfalls and cliffs, breathtaking panoramic views of the landscape, the opportunity to visit renowned ancient sequoia trees, and much more besides. If you want to ensure your children have the chance to immerse themselves in the delights of nature during your Californian vacation, you simply can’t go wrong with a day or two spent in Yosemite.
Joshua Tree National Park. Another famous natural wonder in California, the Joshua Tree National Park is always worth a visit if you are visiting southern California. You and your family will be able to see the eponymous trees, explore the desert landscape, and visit exhibits such as those at the Cottonwood Visitor Center – a perfect day out for a nature-loving family.
Pinnacles National Park. It’s fair to say that, when compared to Yosemite and Joshua Tree, Pinnacles National Park is nowhere near as well-known – but there are still plenty of wonders to explore in the Salinas Valley, around 80 miles from San Jose. Bear Gulch Cave is worth the trip in and of itself, but you’ll be able to explore the incredible landscape and, if you’re lucky, may even catch sight of one of the park’s 27 condors.
McArthur-Burney Falls. Finally, the McArthur-Burney Falls, located around six miles north of Burney, a little-known natural Californian gem, but one that you’ll definitely want to see if you have the opportunity. As well as the spectacular falls themselves, you can enjoy the peaceful surrounding landscape and wildlife, while there are also numerous hiking rails to explore if you decide to linger.
California may be a state that seems to have more to offer to adults than children, but as the above shows, it could well be the perfect choice for your next family vacation adventure!
If you’re on the East Coast, and want to combine your summer break with some educational activities, be sure to see our post Georgia History Spots That Kids Will Absolutely Love.
I’ll be honest, it took me some time to warm up to digital curriculum. When my girls were younger, we leaned toward a more holistic approach to learning, although my eldest daughter did use the online EPGY program for a while, and loved it. I am a book-junkie, and if anyone could say that I hoarded anything, it’d be books. It pains me to get rid of books, no matter what type they are. If I could have kept every single book I’ve ever owned, I totally would.
But, it is 2019, and not all of us can have gigantic antique book rooms like this one, <sniff sniff>. So now, I’m a bit of a digital curriculum hoarder. I love digital curriculum for so many reasons. Here are just a few.
I don’t need to box up all my digital curriculum when we’re finished with it, and I don’t have to search through endless boxes in the garage for the material the next time we want to use it, or when it’s time to pass it down to my youngest daughter. I can keep our downloaded curriculum organized on my external hard drive, and the girls can keep theirs organized on their flash drives. Any digital courses we use are even better, because there is no need for us to provide space on our devices for those.
Access From Anywhere
Meal planning around my busy life, or just being in the kitchen in general, isn’t one of my favorite things, unless I’m preserving the bounty of my garden, or making a new batch of sauerkraut. It’s just not my passion. It’s not my “blue flame” as Jennifer Fulweiler might put it. I get that people enjoy cooking and that it’s a creative outlet for them. I get that people enjoy showcasing this skill for their friends and family. I even have friends who do this and who say, Cooking for my family is how I show my love for them. I don’t get that. If that applied to our home, my meals would say, Dear family, eh, you’re okay, and here are some chicken nuggets to prove my lukewarm feelings for you. Luckily, I stumbled upon some pretty good tips for healthy meal planning around our busy homeschool life, and they will help you, too. I’m kidding, of course. I do love to feed my family healthy meals, it’s just that I have to follow these tips and more in order to bring my family healthy food, instead of chicken nuggets.
Good Planning = Extra Time
We eat gluten-free, mostly dairy-free, and a lot of other-things-free, too. We are mindful of eating healthy foods, but the hard part is that it’s just so time consuming making sure that we have these healthy meals and snacks ready for when we need them. And it makes me want to cry if we don’t. The key is to follow a few tips in order to provide you and your family with healthy meals.
Before I began this series on how to keep your family healthy using homeopathy, I polled my readers and asked them what their number one health concerns were. The overwhelming majority of responses were about helping their family members deal with allergies.
I am not a doctor or a health practitioner. I am simply writing this series in order to share my experience with homeopathy and how it has helped myself and my family. If you are brand new to homeopathy, start here by reading about what homeopathy is and what it isn’t. You will find that there are many misconceptions about this amazing, and efficacious, system of medicine.
Since homeopathy deals with the whole person, and not just symptoms, tougher cases like food allergies allergies which cause anaphylaxis need to be addressed by a medical doctor who practices homeopathy, or by a licensed homeopath. This post will discuss common symptoms that people experience related to common seasonal allergies that many people experience.
Homeopathy in Your Own Home
If you haven’t yet bought a family medicine kit, I highly recommend doing so. I am never far from mine, and I always travel with it. I just never know when I’m going to need it! Homeopathic medicines last forever if kept in the right conditions, and a small vial of medicine can last years at a time. It’s truly one of the best investments you can make to keep your family healthy.
The following medicines can help address some of the more common allergy symptoms that many people experience. (more…)
How to Keep Your Family Healthy Using Homeopathy
Introduction to the Series
You’ve probably heard of homeopathy. Maybe your friend or neighbor has used homeopathic medicines with great success. Or perhaps, you’ve heard someone talk about homeopathy in terms of herbal medicines and/or other natural alternatives. I have found that most people believe that homeopath encompasses everything: herbology, naturopathy, etc.
This is not true. Homeopathy is a very specific system of medicine. We will discuss it briefly in this introduction to homeopathy, and will follow up with several blog posts about how to treat specific common ailments that you might see in your family. This series will teach you how to keep you and your family healthy using homeopathy.
Disclaimer: I am not a physician and this is not to be considered medical advice. Always consult with your physician or homeopathic practitioner before using any homeopathic medicines.
What is Homeopathy
Homeopathy. The definition of homeopathy from the Miriam-Webster Dictionary is:
a system of medical practice that treats a disease especially by the administration of minute doses of a remedy that would in larger amounts produce in healthy persons symptoms similar to those of the disease
Law of Similars
This system of medicine is based on the Law of Similars, meaning that the medicine used to treat the symptoms, if given in high doses will actually cause the symptoms.
Here at Our Happy Medium we believe in the simple power of positive thinking to change big things! The guest post by Jamie Reynolds, MD, shows us how the simple act of smiling changes your brain. If you haven’t yet tried some of these simple techniques to lift your mood, what are you waiting for? You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results.
In case you haven’t noticed, the world is messed up. Like crazy messed up. And, as human beings, most of it is our fault. Crazy nuclear-obsessed dictators. Hyper-divisiveness in the American political system. Bigotry. Suicide bombers. Children unsafe at schools. The rich getting richer. The poor getting poorer. Social-media bullies. Cancer. TMZ. The list goes on…
And, just for good measure, mother nature decides to visit us with a record polar vortex and a flu season that affected millions more than normal (including yours truly). Not to mention the fool that cut you off in line for your latte this morning, or a million other of life’s trivial annoyances that get our blood pressure out of control. It is a wonder any of us are remotely sane.
Or is it? If you listen to a guy like Gary Vaynerchuck–and if you don’t you should–he correctly rants that we as human beings live in the greatest time to be alive in the history of humans. And even though life seems and is challenging, we have never collectively had it better. Remember, it wasn’t all that long ago where the world was much more like Game of Thrones and a lot less like spoiled brat reality TV. And, as annoying as Honey Boo Boo and everything ‘Housewives’ seems to be, humanity continues to trend up. (more…)
I don’t know about you, but by the beginning of May, you can stick me with a fork because I’m done. I’m tired. I’m worn out from all the curricular AND extracurricular activities. I’m barely hanging on, and the words you’ll hear most often from my mouth those days are, “just skip it!” My homeschooling mojo has left the building. My inspiration lies wet and soggy somewhere underneath a pile of once shiny-new ideas. I need a pick-me-up, and a Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino with almond milk just won’t do. I’m experiencing homeschool burnout.
I’ve been through this before. Many times. Here are three things that have helped me avoid homeschool burnout (in order).
Stop Feeling Guilty
I know you feel it. You can’t deny it. We homeschool moms are the ones who begin each year with our polished new ideas and clean schedules and high hopes. When we get to May and are reminded of all the ways in which our ideas didn’t pan out, we feel awful. It’s to be expected. But guilt (or remorse or regret) just don’t serve us. Throw those feelings away and replace them with a mind open to learning why those ideas didn’t pan out. For me, it’s usually because of one of these three things: (more…)