Planning the Perfect Family Vacation

World of Wonders Science Museum   Want to create incredible memories with your kids? Take them to family-friendly Lodi in Central Valley, California, where there’s so much to do, you’ll be planning a return visit before you know it. An award-winning wine region renowned for its top-tier wines, Lodi is also a fantastic place for a family adventure with its outdoor activities, cultural and historical offerings, family-friendly attractions and restaurants that cater to all ages.  

Outdoor Adventures

If your crew loves the outdoors, they’ll find plenty to do in Lodi. At spectacular Lodi Lake, families can bike together on the easy five-mile Family Fun Ride, explore nature trails, swim at the beach or just bury toes in the sand. Want to glide through water? Rent a kayak, canoe or paddleboard at Headwaters Kayak, which provides guided tours and lessons, too.   A longtime Lodi treasure, Micke Grove Park offers 258 acres of nonstop fun. Start with a visit to its five-acre zoo, where you’ll get a close-up view of mammals, reptiles, birds and amphibians—more than 130 living things that are not your average lions, tigers and bears. The zoo houses many residents that are on the endangered species list, including the cotton-top tamarin and black-and-white ruffed lemur. When your little ones start getting restless, steer them to Fun Town, a beloved amusement park that lives up to its name. It has classic rides like a merry-go-round and Tilt-a-Whirl to go along with carnival-style food and drink.   Other Micke Grove Park must-dos include taking a stroll around the koi pond at the Japanese Garden, enjoying a picnic lunch under a shady tree and checking out the 40-foot water fountain at Wortley Lake.  

Fascinating Fun

The San Joaquin County Historical Museum (also located in Micke Grove Park) provides a fascinating glimpse into the region’s rich history with its four preserved historic buildings, exhibits on Native peoples and early American settlers, impressive collection of agricultural tools and equipment, and children’s activity area. Wandering through the exhibits, families immerse themselves in the captivating stories of a rugged past (before television and iPads)!   Lodi has brilliantly figured out a way to get kids interested in going to a science museum on vacation: let them touch everything! You’ll be just as thrilled as the kids at the World of Wonders Science Museum (pictured above), with its fascinating and fun hands-on exhibits that stimulate discovery and imagination. This is a place where your shadow will appear in different colors, where you can “see” your voice on a screen and where water droplets hang suspended in air. How’d they do that?  

Family-Friendly Food

From the hand-tossed pizza at Pietro’s to crispy spring rolls at Thai Kitchen, Lodi is making a name for itself on the dining scene, much to the delight of foodies and families alike. Its proximity to produce and products from nearby farms and some of the state’s best wineries means it’s easy to find exceptional and affordable meals or snacks, whether in its charming downtown—at breweries, upscale restaurants, casual cafes—or scenic outlying areas.   Family-friendly Lodi has plenty of restaurants that are appealing to parents with little ones. For a meal that comes with free entertainment, head to the Lodi Airport Cafe. Besides offering outstanding food, like apple pancakes for breakfast and red pepper chicken sandwiches for lunch, it has front-row seats to the Parachute Center next door. Kids will be enthralled watching airplanes and skydivers land right before their eyes!   For an afternoon break, take your crew to the Honey Treat Yogurt Shoppe, where flavors like southern salted butter pecan and red velvet cake make it hard to pick just one.   Plan your next family getaway at! Be sure to check out our upcoming events.     Published: March 2016 By Guest Blogger Nancy Mattia Image courtesy of World of Wonders Science Museum