I’m bummed. Our family nature club outing yesterday was called off due to rain. Not that those of us in the group minded the rain; the location I’d chosen closes during inclement weather and a spokesperson suggested we reschedule because the rain didn’t seem to be letting up.
Since I hadn’t devised a plan B ahead of time, I called the whole adventure off. And then wallowed in my defeat.
By the time I looked at the clock, I realized that lunch was right around the corner with naps to follow. Any hopes of some grand adventure flew out the window.
Luckily, my frustration at spending the entire day indoors did not fall on deaf ears. Both the hubby and the big explorer were eager to head outside after the little explorer’s nap.
Even though it was definitely raining by then.
We decided to try something different, just for fun: a new-to-us park. Enter Del Rey Lagoon.
The hubby had stumbled across it back in March when scouting locations for a film he was shooting. This dreary day seemed like the perfect time to take the kids.
Our Notes From the Field
Del Rey Lagoon is a beautiful, hidden spot that’s right across the street from the beach in Playa Del Rey – set far enough away from the hustle and bustle of Santa Monica and Venice that tourists haven’t yet discovered it.
There’s a wonderful, fairly new playground, complete with two structures perfect for kids 12 and under.
They were all but empty during our visit in the mist.
The big explorer was almost immediately befriended by the only other kid at the playground and had a blast transforming into a superhero with all kinds of imaginary powers.
Meanwhile, the little explorer climbed the rock wall (his all-time favorite thing to do at the park), then slid down the very wet slide.
While the kids played and dad kept an eye on them, I wandered over to the lagoon, which is just steps from the playground.
The first thing I noticed was the unpleasant smell, followed by tons of trash. Even so, this is still a great place to bird watch. I saw seagulls and more flying overhead while I roamed. Ducks, egrets and doves are common visitors, too.
I thought this was a beautifully bright greeting on such a misty day.
And these cheered up any lingering dreariness.
I couldn’t quite figure out what was next to this feather – shells? If so, how did they get there?
After a few minutes spent quietly reconnecting with nature, I was re-energized. I joined the kids for some more play at the park before heading off to dinner.
What a wonderful way to spend a rainy afternoon. I’m glad we ventured outside.
- Free parking (probably packed during summer weekends)
- Restrooms are conveniently located next to the playground
- Playground features include two pieces of new equipment designed for kids 2-12, swings and a large sandy area
- Other park features include a lagoon, picnic tables, a baseball field and basketball courts
- A large expanse of green area is a wonderful spot for a picnic (when it’s not raining, of course!)
- No dogs allowed in the playground
- Park is located across the street from the beach
How to Make a Nature Connection
- Go bird watching. Bring your binoculars and have a seat on the grass. The birds will come, I promise.
- Enjoy a picnic. When it isn’t raining, this would make the perfect spot to lay down a blanket and enjoy a meal al fresco.
Del Rey Lagoon is located at:
6660 Esplanade Place
Playa Del Rey, CA 90293