Kids free at San Diego museums in October!

It’s October! You know what that means? It means kids get free admission to many museums and other family friendly attractions all around San Diego!

The month-long event is called Kids Free San Diego!

Want to learn more? Click here!

Oh, and by the way, see my photograph above? Yes! Nikigator has made its long-awaited return!

Nikigator stands once again outside the front entrance of the recently reopened, beautifully renovated Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park. Wouldn’t it be fun to sit on that!

While I’m mentioning the Mingei, families should definitely head inside. The ground floor is now free to everyone, whatever your age. And one big display case holds all sorts of craft toys from around the world! Another contains carousel horses!

And one more thing. If your kids haven’t been to the San Diego Model Railroad Museum in Balboa Park, they are missing out on some of the most incredible, spectacular toy train layouts anywhere in the world! And it’s free in October for kids, too!

Click here for all the museums and attractions that are participating this month in Kids Free San Diego!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

OB Wonderland in Fantasy Seascape Children’s Mural!

The historic OB Wonderland is depicted in a happy Ocean Beach mural that was painted by kids back in 2014.

Wonderland was San Diego’s very first amusement park, operating in Ocean Beach from 1913 to 1916. Read more about this short-lived beachfront attraction here.

The children’s mural also features whales, dolphins, sharks, seahorses, eels, jellyfish, snails, parrots, pelicans and mermaids! And hearts and sunken treasure! And the OB Pier! And the Old Point Loma Lighthouse! And Hodad’s! And a whole lot more!

Last weekend I took the following photos of the Fantasy Seascape Children’s Mural.

The faded mural is painted on a long fence by Sunset Gas and Market, at the corner of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and Point Loma Avenue.

Fantasy Seascape Children’s Mural. Designed and provided to the community by Young At Art Children’s Creative Center . . . Inspiring, Encouraging and Providing Opportunities in Art to All Children.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

National Carousel Day in Balboa Park!

Everyone got a free ride on the Balboa Park Carousel today! That’s because it’s National Carousel Day!

Lots of excited kids and families were waiting for their ride on the historic carousel when I walked by. Every year on National Carousel Day people head to Balboa Park just for the special occasion!

The wonderful old carousel was built in 1910 by Herschell-Spillman Co. in North Tonawanda, New York. It ran for a few years in Luna Park, Los Angeles, then was moved to Coronado’s Tent City in 1913. In 1922 it was transported to Balboa Park where the Fleet Science Center is today. Finally it was moved to its present location near the San Diego Zoo in 1968.

Whenever I pause by the whirling carousel, I enjoy looking at the amazing carved animals, the carnival-like lights and mirrors, and the nostalgic art painted on passing panels. And I love listening to stirring music from the original band organ. I also gaze into a display case that contains historical information and artifacts concerning this special merry-go-round!

I’ve included two photos of the carousel being built back in 1910. Creating the carved animals required true artistry.

When beloved author Ray Bradbury turned a carousel into a time machine, I think he was onto something. Because whenever I ride one, I find that I’m a young boy again.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Read books this summer, win free prizes!

Do you love to read? This summer you can win all sorts of free prizes simply for reading!

The San Diego Public Library’s 2021 Virtual Summer Reading Program is underway! Children, teens and adults can sign up! By reading or completing a variety of fun activities, you earn badges, which can be redeemed for prizes!

Prizes include passes for the San Diego Natural History Museum, San Diego Model Railroad Museum, and The New Children’s Museum. Or yummy food at Panda Express. Or a book full of crossword puzzles, sudokus and word finds. Or a bonus bundle of comic books!

You’ll also be entered into a Grand Prize raffle drawing! (I don’t know what the Grand Prize is, but I’m sure it’s awesome!)

I was walking through Chicano Park this morning, waiting for the big Danza event to begin, when I met these smiling ladies representing the library. They told me about the summer literacy program, which is called Reading Colors Your World.

If you or someone you know might like to participate, better sign up now, because the program ends on August 31, 2021.

Visit the City of San Diego web page concerning this Summer Reading Program by clicking here!

A magical little garden in Coronado!

In Coronado, a few steps from Orange Avenue, there’s a magical little garden.

If you’ve ever visited Spreckels Park, you might have seen the June Miller Garden surrounding the trunk of a tall palm tree. I took a good look at it yesterday as I wandered down the sidewalk, waiting for the big 4th of July Parade to begin.

Not only did I discover several interesting plaques, but I spied a young boy who was retrieving a baseball kneeling with wonder above a small turtle.

The sculpture represents a magical moment of discovery.

To learn more about the history of Spreckels Park, you can visit this Coronado Historical Association web page.

JUNE MILLER GARDEN

Maintained by

CROWN GARDEN CLUB OF CORONADO

CDR. PHILIP HENRY DENNLER, JR.

WHOSE LOYALTY TO THE CORONADO FLOWER SHOW INSPIRED US ALL.

CORONADO FLORAL ASSOCIATION

APRIL 1975

Happy Birthday Coronado

1890-2015

The Crown Garden Club of Coronado

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Kids join the circus in City Heights!

Do you know any kids who’d like to join the circus?

Listen up!

Kids between 6 and 17 years old who live in City Heights are invited to join the circus!

The Fern Street Circus is offering a free after-school circus program at their new Outdoor Community Center at 4108 University Avenue!

Those who participate can learn tightwire, juggling, acrobatics and clowning. They’ll gain confidence, make new friends, learn to work as a team and have a ton of fun!

Why spend the summer doing the same old ordinary thing when you can actually join the circus!

How do you learn more about this very cool program? You visit the Fern Street Circus website by clicking here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Sculpted children at the Poway Library.

Two children–a small girl and boy–linger in the outdoor courtyard area near the entrance to the Poway Library. Both are made of bronze.

I spotted the sculptures last weekend during my walking adventure in Poway.

These two works of public art, according to a nearby plaque, were created by Ardel Uvon Bloomquist and are dedicated to children of all ages. In 2000 they were donated by the Poway Woman’s Club.

As the girl sits reading a book, the boy walks along carrying his own book, no doubt checked out from this Poway Branch of the San Diego County Library.

I found an old article that describes the Poway Woman’s Club and their acquisition of this artwork here.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

A visit to the Encinitas Historical Society schoolhouse.

A one-room schoolhouse stands on a hilltop in San Diego’s North County, a very short distance from the beautiful Pacific Ocean. The old schoolhouse is the home of the Encinitas Historical Society, and I paid a visit last Saturday.

The historic schoolhouse, built in 1883, is the oldest building in Encinitas.

While its outward appearance is modest, step through a door and you’ll find the schoolhouse is roomy and welcoming. The wood floors are original. The bright walls are alive with photographs depicting the history of both the schoolhouse and early Encinitas–the residents, town buildings and few landmarks.

In 1883, with the arrival of a family from England, the population of Encinitas swelled to a whopping twenty two. The newly arrived father (a cabinetmaker) and his seventeen-year-old son built the schoolhouse primarily from redwood.

Today, the museum-like schoolhouse contains student desks from the period, but I learned the very first desks, due to lack of funds, were actually irregular things made of cut tree limbs. Slate boards were used for writing and arithmetic. Children who attended the school in those early days of Encinitas came from farms. Some walked as far as two miles.

The history of the schoolhouse is a bit complicated. Over the years changes and additions were made to the structure . . . it was moved in 1928 and became a private residence for half a century . . . it was saved in 1983 by the Encinitas Historical Society and moved back to its original location . . . and finally, it was restored and in 1995 opened to the public.

Visitors who peruse the many photographs and descriptions decorating the schoolhouse walls will feel they’ve travelled back in time. And perhaps to another world.

After looking at many of the displays, I joined a small group that had gathered for a once-every-two-month historical walking tour of Encinitas. I will be blogging about that great tour shortly!

The following photographs are a little of what I saw outside and inside the schoolhouse. To learn much more about this special place, and to perhaps plan your own visit, please check out the Encinitas Historical Society website by clicking here!

I also learned they’d appreciate any donations!

A plaque displayed near the chalkboard is dedicated to the Encinitas Boathouses. One block south of the schoolhouse, two unique cottages that appear like boats can be seen during a walking tour offered by the Encinitas Historical Society.
Encinitas Schoolhouse Grades One through Eight. 1883.
Concrete Highway 101. Two lane road to Los Angeles. 1913.
A craft fair was being held outside the old Encinitas schoolhouse the Saturday I visited. Beyond the parked cars you can see nearby Pacific View Elementary, closed since 2003.
Alone, at the very top of the hill stands the small one-room schoolhouse. A little beyond the hill stretches the Pacific Ocean.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Hopeful faces painted in Chicano Park.

During my most recent visit to Chicano Park, I passed under Interstate 5 while walking up Cesar E. Chavez Parkway. Even in the dim light under the concrete freeway, hopeful faces looked out from the mural beside me.

I saw bright hope in the faces of youth who were learning or at play. I saw hope in the faces of proud people at work, or taking flight on butterfly wings.

Back in 2016 I posted more photos of expressive faces that I’d encountered while walking among the murals of Chicano Park. See those here.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Hidden art at the Market Creek Plaza amphitheater.

The Market Creek Plaza shopping center in southeast San Diego’s Lincoln Park community is a popular destination. But unless you’ve attended an event at the amphitheater behind the shops and restaurants, you’ve probably never seen this “hidden” public art.

Artwork that is truly extraordinary!

On the left wall of the Market Creek Plaza Amphitheater one might notice scattered colorful disks. This is just a small part of the Children’s Wall. Turn a corner and you’ll discover a copper-inlaid tree surrounded by circular ceramic leaves painted by more than 600 local children!

And perched before it, in the shade of trees lining Chollas Creek, by a patch of green grass, you’ll encounter a child with a dragonfly in his toes. The very fine bronze sculpture is titled Dragonfly Dreams, and it was created by local artist Jean Cornwell Wheat.

You can learn about this beautiful “hidden” artwork, and other public art that is located nearby, by clicking here.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!