Summer Nights 2012
Summer Has Arrived!
Connie Goldin, President, Mom to Madre
©2012, Mom to Madre
Today is July first. Summer has arrived to the coast in San Diego. Last night, the weather along the bay was warm enough to sit outside comfortably without a light sweater. Our coastal “June Gloom” is now usually burnt off by noon and the marine layer is further out to sea than it was a few weeks ago, as it covered the coast in gray cloud cover. Further inland in San Diego, none of this was present. We have four main microclimates in our large county-coastal, desert, mountains, and inland valleys-and there is often something for everyone.
This past spring, Mom to Madre was busy talking about science with families of preschool age children. With kids this young, science is all about nature in the neighborhood, yard and kitchen. In June, we focused on all the fabulous and free summer activities for families that offered great learning opportunities.
Because of the wonderful beaches and bays that are part of San Diego life, we spoke about the importance of knowing how to swim. We met parents who said that they had never learned to swim and we stressed the importance of everyone in the family being a safe swimmer. There are still plenty of programs in San Diego that offer swimming lessons for people of all ages. Once you know how to swim, an entire world opens up to you.
Here is a wonderful San Diego summer activity that isn’t free, but offers a beautiful experience for people of all ages.
The San Diego Zoo’s Nightime Zoo
Last weekend my husband and I decided to go to the Zoo at about 7:30 PM. It was the first night of the Zoo’s Summer Hours. We arrived around 8:00 PM, walked in with our annual passes without any crowd, and found the Zoo in full swing with its “China Celebration.” We headed for the Skyfari®, stepped into the bucket, and headed off, over the Zoo, to the other side.
It was beautiful to see the Zoo at dusk. The animal sounds drifted up and the tops of the trees looked lush and inviting. We reached the far side of the Zoo and began to walk back. Our first exhibit was the wonderful elephant enclosure with an interesting elephant sculpture, seen in the photo below. The elephants are barely visible at night, but with careful looking, you can spot them, like giant shadows. It is hauntingly beautiful to see the elephants this way.
Our next stop was the glass enclosed jaguar exhibit. There are presently two cubs and we got a close-up view. The mother jaguar was right up against the glass with the cubs snuggled up to her. We were able to watch this scene with only a few fellow Zoo guests. I can’t image how crowded it would have been during the day.
The flora at the San Diego Zoo is reported to be worth more than the fauna. In other words, the plants cost more than the animals! There are interesting plants everywhere. Our path was bordered by whimsical succulents.
As we took our time wandering back to the entrance and exit area, we spotted a peacock in the tree. Peacocks seem to rule the Zoo. They are surprisingly big, very loud, and beautiful. Seeing a peacock strut with a full plumage display is quite spectacular. This night, the ones we saw were above it all, in the tree tops and on the roof of the entrance.
We spent about an hour and a half at the Zoo. We had a great walk and a lovely evening. The annual pass gives us the opportunity to go to the Zoo and Safari Park as often as we’d like for one year. It comes with guest passes and discounts and is a fabulous deal. For San Diego residents, it is worth the price. There are different ticket options and packages.
The Zoo is a wonderful place for a family to visit at any time of the year. During the summer, it is especially magical. Maybe we’ll go back tonight. I always love watching the primates.