Friday, August 10, 2012

Cool Kid Places - ENC Huntington Beach

The Nature Center of the Environmental Nature Center or ENC

Inside the Nature Center an example of a Native American dwelling

Cutest (dead) hedgehog

Their butterfly room - i tried to capture all the butterflies flying around, there were lots!

Daddy and Bobby

The cocoons getting ready to hatch!

The nature walk showcased the varieties of California's plant communities

Beautiful (short) walk

Being Silly

A couple weeks ago an afternoon appointment was cancelled and Bryan and I found ourselves with the littles for an afternoon...which rarely happens. I busted out my trusty book, and discovered there was a nature center in Huntington Beach we had never been to. Off we went to the Environmental Nature Center - originally founded in the 70s by a high school biology teacher as a way to bring his high school kids to visit nature without needing a field trip (the nature center is right behind the school) you can read more about how it got started here.

This was a great place for little ones, like under 5 - the trail is not that long, maybe 1/2 mile total? and the nature center is a little small and not much to do inside - beside one coloring station. They also had a cool butterfly encased building and showed the cocoons. I think the entire tour of the place, including walking the trail took us about an hour- hour and a half tops. But it was perfect for these guys because much further than that and bobby would have probably started losing it.

it is just so much easier with my boys in nature...i took them the other day to the nature walk in Long Beach and was reflecting how just at home they were all arguing over skateboards and whatever toy and i had this first and then i was watching them on the nature trail, "hey bodie look at this!" and "Bryson lets build a fort!" and all of the sudden the playing ground is level and there is fun and freedom and teamwork. its pretty amazing to me. Not one fight, not one melt down or bad attitude. I didnt bring anything on the nature walk either, just my ergo in case bobby needed to be carried (its a mile walk- he did fine). i find the times where they play together the best are the times when i dont bring anything. i find that also about interfering with their playing. if i hear them playing and laughing together and i want to be a part of that and experience that with them, it always mucks it up. so i have learned to be content with the listening.

I would totally recommend this place - the nature walk is nice and easy and beautiful and its a fun little outing that wont take up your whole day. and, oh yeah - its free - that is also awesome.

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