I have assembled a few of the best spring break family vacation ideas for your perusal and there are many more in our Spring Breaks
family vacation folder.
Oakland: Discover dinosaurs and try dim sum.
Oakland is a comfortable spot for families who want to share a connection with science. Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland Hills is the main draw with its focus is on astronomy and the space sciences. The facility is a WOW! All the fun is included in one spot. It features state-of-the-art exhibitions, observatory, planetarium, theater and interactive exhibits, all geared to learning together. Glimpse into the life of an astronaut; crawl into a black hole; see what happens when galaxies collide; take a simulated Moon-walk; gaze through the Chabot telescopes. Bonus points:
One of the theater options is DINOSAURS ALIVE- a global adventure of science and discovery that follows American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) paleontologists as they explore some of the greatest dinosaur finds in history. Wait for it!
This is the home of Bill Nye's Climate Lab featuring new games and activities, new avatars, and new ways to earn and use Climate Lab points (10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland, CA. (510) 336-7300 or www.chabotspace.org
). Eating out!
Sometimes eating out can be part of the adventure and while pizza may be a sure thing, I suggest Legendary Palace in Chinatown for dim sum. The atmosphere is comfortable, family friendly, and slightly chaotic. The egg tarts are hot and sweet; chase pork buns - yummier; sticky rice - the best; fried shrimp balls- scrumptious. (708 Franklin St. between 7th & 8th St. Oakland, CA. (510) 663-9188)
San Francisco: See Terra Cotta Warriors, Snow White, and "Jersey Boys".
The Asian Art Museum’s exhibit, “China’s Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor’s Legacy” runs through the end of May and features ten of more than 8,000 life size figures seen in documentaries. Each Sunday throughout the spring unique family friendly programs are offered including storytelling. (Asian Art Museum 200 Larkin Street San Francisco, CA 94102. (415) 581-3572 or www.asianart.org
) Wait for it!
Snow White is celebrating her 75th year in film and the Walt Disney Family Museum in the Presidio of San Francisco displays more than 200 works of art in their exhibit “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Creation of a Classic.” See her along with Mickey Mouse shorts throughout the spring months. The Museum’s collection houses more than 25,000 works including animation cels, rare film clips, concept art, scripts, and original musical scores. (The Walt Disney Family Museum 104 Montgomery Street The Presidio, San Francisco, CA 94129. (415) 345.6800 or www.waltdisney.com
) Bonus points:
Add to the fun by attending the lively “Jersey Boys” playing at the SHN Curran Theatre through the end of April.
Monterey Bay: See fishes, jellies, and touch mantas.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a splendid spot to share discoveries. The programs are varied and the exhibitions always awesome because their mission is to inspire conservation of the oceans and they continue to demonstrate their commitment with amazing exhibitions and innovative ways for parents and grandparents to share the wonders of the sea with their children. No two visits will ever be the same because the interactions with bat rays and sea stars in the touch pools cannot be duplicated. Bonus points:
It is possible to go behind-the-scenes with aquarium experts; get a diver’s-eye view of marine life; feed an abalone or a sea urchin – how cool! Where to eat?
'Cindy's Waterfront' Restaurant on site will be open by spring 2013. The menu follows Seafood Watch guidelines, and partners with local producers for seasonal, sustainable and organic produce, dairy and proteins. (Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation, 886 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940. (831) 648-4800 www.montereybayaquarium.org