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Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax Tree in La Jolla

Even if you didn’t know that Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) had been a La Jolla resident, you might catch yourself thinking, “That __ reminds me of a Dr. Seuss drawing,” as you explore the coastline. Keep a lookout for a tall windblown Monterey Cypress tree as you walk through Ellen Browning Scripps Park – it’s said to have inspired the endangered Truffula Tree species in Dr. Seuss’s book – The Lorax.

After locating the “Lorax Tree” take time to think about this quote taken from the book. The Lorax book is about the importance of protecting the environment. However, the same quote could be said for other matters that are important within your family. Use the opportunity to have a purposeful discussion with your family. 

Our Beyond the Zoo Guides aren’t just about where to go in San Diego. Each guide also includes activities and talking points to help you create meaningful family memories. Sign up now to receive a new guide each month!

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Play Activity: 1, 2, 3 Calabaza

The neighborhood of Barrio Logan in San Diego prides itself as a Mexican-American community. You don’t have to speak Spanish to enjoy the food, art, and culture. But why not have fun with your kids by playing this simple game and learn a new Spanish word in the process?

Calabaza is the Spanish word for pumpkin. 1, 2, 3, Calabaza is similar to Red Light, Green Light. The person who is “it” is la calabaza. Download the Beyond the Zoo Guide to Barrio Logan for more on how to play.

Our Beyond the Zoo Guides aren’t just about where to go in San Diego. Each guide also includes activities and talking points to help you create meaningful family memories. Subscribe to receive a new guide each month! 

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Barrio Logan Souvenirs (that won’t break your travel budget)

Our family values experiences over things. This isn’t to say that we don’t enjoy bringing home meaningful reminders of our adventures. We do! For example, the souvenir that I chose to bring home from Mexica City was a manual juicer to remind me of the frutería (juice bar) our family frequented. 

You won’t find a typical touristy gift shop in our Beyond the Zoo Guide to Barrio Logan. However, you don’t have to look far for a memorable souvenir that won’t break your budget. Pinataz Zarate at 2076 Logan Ave is a family owned shop specializing in custom piñatas. Check them out as you explore Barrio Logan!

Bring home a small piñata for about $5. We recommend letting each family member pick out candy even if you don’t wish to fill your piñata. After all, it’s all about the experience!

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Play Activity: Letters & Shapes

Look for shapes and alphabet letters as you explore San Diego. This fun memory-making activity can be done anywhere and is easily adaptable for different age groups.  

What letters and shapes do you see at the San Diego Maritime Museum?

Younger players will enjoy looking for simple shapes. Older players will be challenged to find objects that form the same shapes as alphabet letters. Try to find all the letters from A-Z. Take pictures to spell out family names or words as customized souvenirs to print out and display at home.

This activity can be done anywhere. We’re partial to downtown San Diego for inspiration. Balboa Park, with it’s architectural features, is also an excellent location. Warning: Once you begin looking, it may be hard to stop seeing letters and shapes everywhere!

For more inspiration, check out the Caldecott Honor picture book Alphabet City by Stephen T. Johnson.

Our Beyond the Zoo Guides aren’t just about where to go in San Diego. Each guide also includes activities and talking points to help you create meaningful family memories. Sign up to receive a new guide each month!

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Play Activity: Ultimate Playground Warrior

Do your children like obstacle courses? Are they obsessed with popular competition shows like Ultimate Beastmaster and American Ninja Warrior

Did you dare not miss an episode of Double Dare or have a favorite American Gladiators character while growing up?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then you will love Waterfront Park. The unique play structures here are ideal for creating kid-friendly obstacle course style challenges. With just a little imagination your kids will be on their way to being the Ultimate Playground Warrior.

Our Beyond the Zoo Guides aren’t just about where to go in San Diego. Each guide also includes activities and talking points to help you create meaningful family memories. Sign up to receive a new guide each month!

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Play With Your Food: Donut Bar + Arnie, the Doughnut

A simple way to create memories with children is to read with them. Spending time together reading develops closeness and creativity. Make your Donut Bar experience more memorable by pairing it with a delightful picture book called Arnie, the Doughnut by Laurie Keller.

Arnie was fascinated as he watched the customers stream into the bakery. One by one, doughnuts were chosen, placed in paper bags, and whisked away with their new owners. Some went by the dozen in giant boxes.
“Good-bye!” Arnie yelled to each doughnut. “Have a good trip!”
“This is so exciting!” Arnie beamed. “I wonder who will choose ME?”

I’ll let you discover Arnie’s fate for yourself. One thing is certain though, you’ll never think about donuts the same way. Years later my teenagers still have fond memories of reading Arnie, the Doughnut.

Draw Arnie or one of his donut friends. Make up a story about their adventures or create a different ending for Arnie’s story. These are just a few ideas to add your own!

Our Beyond the Zoo Guides aren’t just about where to go in San Diego. Each guide also includes activities and talking points to help you create meaningful family memories. Sign up to receive a new guide each month!