Photo of Hunter Hobby Park in Riverside,CA courtesy of David Evans and Associates,Inc.
Got kids and no vacation plans yet?
Here are staff’s top 5 places to visit in Riverside County with kids, staycation activity ideas and an outing checklist.
- Hunter Hobby Park in Riverside (all ages): Chugga, chugga, chugga, choo, choo! On the second and fourth Sundays of every month free rides on miniature steam engine trains operated by the Riverside Live Steamers are available (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) at the park located on the southwest corner of Columbia and Iowa Avenues in Riverside, CA. Make it a day and bring along a picnic and some park balls and games for your little ones.
- Riverside County Parks’ Water Parks in Jurupa and Perris (toddler-friendly): Children less than 30” tall are admitted free for aquatic adventures featuring small waterslides, spray toys and a tubing river. Discounted prices for area residents on community days. Head to The Cove Water Park in Jurupa 7:30 a.m. June 20 for the Guiness World Record’s World’s Largest Swim Lesson (free). Get 50 percent off admission on Sunset Steal days. See calendar for specific dates/times. The Drop Zone just opened in Perris. Get happy with water geysers and sand castle building. Don’t forget swim diapers and water shoes.
- Temecula Children’s Museum (toddler-friendly): Hands-on science museum featuring Professor Pennypickle’s inventions, experiments and other interests. Special 10th Anniversary events held in June.
- Western Science Center in Hemet (toddler-friendly): Explore the past with shadow animals, sounds, rubbings and a reading corner. Children 4 and under are free.
- Palm Springs Aerial Tramway (all ages): Head up the mountain, where it’s nearly 40 degrees cooler for great, easy hiking and exploring in the Mount San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness area.
STAYCATION ACTIVITY IDEAS
- Pick a color for the theme of the day and incorporate it in food, dress up play and games.
- Ice, ice, baby: Kids are fascinated by frozen water. The way it feels. The way it looks. The way it sounds. Even the way it tastes. Build ice castles. Have them excavate a toy. Slide it over plastic rivers. Make fruit pops.
- Zap boredom: Create a “boredom-buster” kit. My Kids’ Adventures has great activity ideas to get started.
- Neighborhood front yard hop: Get your neighbors with kids together and plan for kids to do one or two activities in everyone’s yard. This could include a snack bar, kiddie pool boat race, bubble zone, homemade obstacle course or chalk art.
- Backyard camp: It may just be a few steps away from home, but it can be a whole new world of adventure for a little one as they help pack a bag of blankets, flashlights, toys and books; set up the tent; prep dinner; and gaze at the stars.