Last week we were lucky enough to go to Turtle Rock Nature Center in Irvine. Due to summer and illness, we were the only ones from our group able to make it out this day. We almost didn’t go because of it but I’m so glad we did!
The nature center was large with a lot for littles to do. My favorite part was the wooden trail map the kids got to touch. The trail and river are both carved out of the wood giving it another layer to explore. Having a large visual like that got the kids excited about our hike.
The nature center also had mystery boxes, an animal foot print guessing game, and so many books and toys ranging from board books and barn animal toys to nature guides. The kids favorite part was the giant stone maze. They loved running through the rock path all the way to the center and back out again. Even Megatron liked exploring, although he didn’t stay on the marked path and liked the short cut of just stepping over the rocks! There was also a human sun dial near by but the day was to overcast to create any shadows so we weren’t able to try it out. We joined a nature pal exchange and collected a lot of samples during our hike. Little Miss especially liked collecting all the flowers we passed by. I wish I could have collected a cactus but wasn’t willing to risk the thorns! The creeks and wooden bridges were a special treat. The kids love anything to do with water and bridges. Here they are throwing leaves and sticks off the bridge and watching them race down the slow moving creek. That game always reminds me of the story in Winnie the Pooh where they named it Pooh Sticks.Just outside the nature center is a playground with a lot of picnic benches nearby. The kids had fun playing.It always melts my heart just a little when I see how much the big kids help and play with the little ones. Green Bubbles loves to take Megatron down the slide on his lap now.
The creek actually starts near the playground before moving into the nature center. After lunch and drawing in our nature journals I let the kids go play in the water. It was pretty cool out and while both went near the waters edge, neither child decided to go in the water this day. They both begged to come back when it was warmer to play in the creek though!