Monday, March 22, 2010
We've been to a whole lotta parks (hundreds? more?). The girls are seasoned park connoisseurs by now. And this one that we just visited up in wine country has got to be in the top 5. It was called Howarth Park, and had a huge four-sided climbing wall, pony rides, an amazing 20-foot spider-web climbing apparatus, a wild west play area, swings (a must for our girls), a lake with boat rides, a couple of standard-but-huge playgrounds, a carousel, a running train that you could ride on, a snackbar that served lunch, and more. It rocked! If you're driving to or from Healdsburg, Sonoma, or Santa Rosa, you have to stop here—your kids will thank you and they might even get so tired out that they'll sleep in the car for the rest of the drive. Bonus! Yeah, it was a cool place! While we were in the area, we also checked out the Charles Schultz Museum (or the Snoopy Museum as Ro and Ree called it). The girls were pretty excited about the famous spotted beagle and "Woodstomp." They don't really know all the characters, but had a good time anyhow. Their favorite places were the snoopy-shaped maze out front, the hands-on art area upstairs, the courtyard with statues, and the letter-writing station downstairs. The museum is really geared toward adults, not kids, so if you're short on time, just head to the giftshop across the street and go upstairs. They have a bunch of Peanuts statues, and a Peanuts movie-viewing station with beanbag chairs up on that second floor, and you don't have to pay anything. (Our friend Stacey gave us this tip, and she was so right!) I should probably mention that Ree is in pink/green and Ro is in purple, today. And yes, they are wearing each other's shoes and pullovers, which could be confusing. Yeesh. They had a neat holograph bowl in the museum courtyard, and the girls kept trying to blow the images away: They saw this statue and were thrilled to take their picture with "Woodstomp"—never even spared a glance for that dude standing behind him! Poor ole Charlie Brown really doesn't get any love, does he? Later we camped in the movie-viewing station and watched a fun Easter Snoopy movie while Ree cuddled up with her stuffed snoopy souvenir and Ro played with her nesting Peanuts dolls: Fun stuff. We're home now, so it's back to the grind. Such as it is. Heh. But I would love to know if you have a favorite park/kid spot? Ro and Ree are so much easier to travel with now, so we're taking a lot more trips and it would be fun to have a list of must-see kid places all over the country.