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Wednesday, 18 May 2022

25+ Bay Area Museums to Visit with Kids

Did you know that today is International Museum Day? It's always something, right? I had no idea about today's special day until I saw it on Instagram this morning but it got me thinking about all the amazing museums and galleries we used to visit when we lived in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

So in honor of International Museum Day today I'm sharing 29 of my favorite museums and galleries in the Bay Area.

Let's go check them out...
 

Mathilde's Science Party

A few weekends back we celebrated Mathilde's 8th birthday with a science themed birthday party.

When Mathilde chose science as the theme for her party I was super excited because I knew it meant we could do lots of fun, colorful and messy experiments with her friends. And what's better than making lots of colorful mess? Not much when you're eight - or even if you're a grown up!

We had all our regular party favorites including a piñata (shaped like an atom) and a themed cake (shaped like a beaker full of a green solution) as well as lots of fun and messy experiments. 

Today I'm sharing all the fun along with instructions for the simple experiments we did. If you're thinking of throwing a science themed party for your kiddo (or yourself!) or just interested in seeing all the fun read on...

Sunday, 1 May 2022

Where to Find Street Art in Phoenix

By now I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I'm a BIG fan of street art. 

I'm also a big fan of traveling. 

So when I come across fun street art while on vacation I'm in heaven! Nothing like combining two of your favorite things, right?

Our recent trip to Phoenix, Arizona over Spring Break turned out to be one such trip. I already knew that Phoenix was home to some pretty great street art, but I was not prepared for just how much of it there would be. Spoiler alert... Phoenix has a LOT of street art!

Today I'm sharing some of my favorite street art finds from our time in Phoenix. 


There's a lot of great street art to be found all throughout Phoenix, and taking a drive or walk in ay direction is sure to lead you to some colorful walls. It was pretty hot already when we visited Phoenix over Spring Break and it's a pretty sprawled city, so before we headed out for the day I did a little research online and found particular murals and areas I wanted to go check out. Usually I'm more of a "wander around and see what we find" kind of girl, but I'm also not a fan of heat, so being prepared made things a lot easier.

Here are some of the must see murals around Phoenix...

Sunday, 24 April 2022

Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona

When you think of a desert what springs to mind? 

For most of us sand and cacti are probably the first two things we think of. But what about colorful flowers, trees and bushes? What about swathes of lush, green plant life? These may not be what comes to mind when we think of deserts, but there is a wealth of plant life that thrives in desert conditions and it can be all of these things. 

During our recent Spring Break we took a road trip to Phoenix, Arizona to visit friends. While we were there we spent half a day exploring Desert Botanical Gardens and it was absolutely stunning. A desert botanical garden may sound like a bit of an oxymoron, but trust me, this is one botanical garden that will blow you away.

Now, you're probably looking at that photo below and thinking "Hey, that looks like glass". And you'd be right! Desert Botanical Garden is currently home to "Chihuly in the Desert" an exhibition by famed glass artist Dale Chihuly. Chihuly's glass sculptures can be found dotted around the gardens where their organic shapes add an extra touch of whimsy to an already magical landscape. What I love about this exhibition is that the striking glass sculptures add to the landscape without taking away from the natural beauty. They work so perfectly in unison. 


Desert Botanical Garden is quite large with over 50,000 outdoor plant displays spread over 55 acres. Visitors will also find a butterfly pavilion, an onsite restaurant and café, several learning centers and exhibition spaces, and of course, a gift shop. Restrooms and hydration stations are also dotted around the gardens. It gets pretty hot in Arizona (it was already in the 90s when we visited in March) so you'll definitely want to make use of those hydration stations!

The gardens are wheelchair and stroller accessible with wide trails winding through the different areas. The trails vary in length from 1/10 mile to 1/3 mile with each focusing on a particular theme including desert wildflowers, plants and people of the Sonoran Desert and the Sonoran Desert Nature Loop. I took so many photos during our visit that I can't remember which ones are from which trail, but believe me when I say that all of the trails are worth walking. My photos will be a little mixed up, but if you really want to know which trail a particular photo was taken on let me know and I'll try to work it out.

Ok, let's take a look around Desert Botanical Garden...

Saturday, 9 April 2022

Spring at Tivoli Gardens

Yesterday Tivoli, also known as Tivoli Gardens, in Copenhagen, Denmark officially opened for the season. When I saw the celebrations on Instagram it reminded me of our visit to Copenhagen over Spring Break in 2017 and the fact that I'm still yet to post anything about it here on the blog. 

We lucked out with the timing of our trip and while Tivoli Gardens was closed for much of our stay, it opened for the season on our last full day in Denmark. With such perfect timing we knew that we had to spend the day there. 

At first I'd been a little unsure about visiting Tivoli Gardens as theme parks generally aren't our thing when we travel, but after walking past the stunning entry gate several times a day I just knew that we needed to visit. I'm so glad we did! There's something much more whimsical about European theme parks that American theme parks are missing, and no where is this more true than Tivoli Gardens. The scale is much smaller but that adds to the charm. The smaller scale feels much more personable and less overwhelming. While a full day is definitely needed, there's less rush to try and squeeze in everything. The historic buildings add a feeling of stepping back in time, and beloved sideshow amusements remind us that sometimes simpler, old fashioned fun is better than high tech.

This sense of old world charm is not fabricated like what you'd find in many popular theme parks around the world. Tivoli Gardens opened in October 1843 and is the third oldest amusement park in the world. It has been delighting Danish families, and tourists like us, for almost one hundred and eighty years with stunning gardens, fun amusements, rollercoasters, classic fairground rides, playgrounds, restaurants, and performances including ballet, pantomimes and jazz concerts.

Easter is a particularly special time of year to visit Tivoli Gardens. With the arrival of Spring the park's many garden beds are filled with an abundance of blooming flowers. Tulips, daffodils and hyacinths add color and perfume to the gardens, while a sprinkling of the season's first leaves and blossoms grow on the mostly still bare trees above. Elaborate oversized Easter eggs can be found all throughout the park. When the sun goes down the park lights up with twinkling fairy lights and stunning lanterns.

Let's take a look at our visit...

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