Field Trip Friday: Family Scavenger Hunt at Fullerton Arboretum

Welcome to “Field Trip Friday” where I share an idea for a fun outing in nature. The setting is specific, but the advice is intended for use wherever you might call home.

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The Plan
Enjoy an early evening family scavenger hunt at Fullerton Arboretum.

To try this adventure outside of the Los Angeles area … Grab your favorite outdoor scavenger hunt and head to the nearest botanical garden or arboretum. Better yet, plan your visit during a special, family friendly event.

Field Notes
Y’all know the kids and I love exploring botanical gardens and arboretums. So when the lovely Ms. Jane Saunders of See Jane Explore invited us out to Fullerton Arboretum for a family scavenger hunt earlier this month, we couldn’t resist.

My kinda invitation

First, a big nod to my kids, who withstood a 2-hour trek (oh, how I despise L.A. traffic) to get to some place they’d never seen before – all on my word that we’d have a blast. Sometimes my kids just rock.

By the time we got out of the car, both of the kids were ready to run, jump, touch, climb, smell, wander – anything but get back in the car. Which was a perfect set up for a family scavenger hunt.

To complete our challenge, we’d need to cover several of the Arboretum’s main areas and put all of our senses to the test.

What animal do you see in this tree root?

We sniffed plants, measured gourds with a string, tried to identify bird calls, imagined what animals we “saw” in the roots of trees, listened for sounds in the night and learned a ton about plants we’d never seen before.

Measuring a smallish gourd with a string

Insider tip: The best place to start any visit to a garden with kids is the Children’s Garden. Here items can be touched, sniffed, played with and explored to your heart’s content.

Running wild in the Children’s Garden

Our hour-long game of garden discovery was a wonderful way to spend an evening outside. Fullerton Arboretum’s grounds are just the right size for a couple hours of kid-packed adventuring. The kids enjoyed exploring and running almost until the sun set. My kind of way to end the day.

Simple Ways to Connect With Nature at Fullerton Arboretum

  • Go on a color walk.
  • Give your kid a camera to take pictures of nature.
  • Find a quiet place to sit down and just be (hint: try the pond).
  • Look for new-to-you birds, butterflies and bugs.
  • Find a wide open area and run like the wind.

Practical Matters

  • Fullerton Arboretum is open daily 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and occasionally for special events (extended hours during the summer)
  • Fullerton Arboretum sits on 26 acres and houses more than 4,000 plants including collections from Mediterranean climates, deserts, woodlands and even cultivated items such as rare fruits and an herb garden
  • A $3 donation is suggested per person at the main entrance
  • Free parking
  • Several restrooms available in the area just inside the entrance
  • The Arboretum hosts several children and family events worth checking out
  • Kids will enjoy a visit to the small Nature Center found near the entrance

Fullerton Arboretum is located at:
1900 Associated Road
Fullerton, CA 92831

Note: We received complimentary admission to Fullerton Arboretum’s “Tuesdays in the Garden” Family Scavenger Hunt with no knowledge or expectation that I would write about it here. You know I only share my honest opinions based on our personal experiences. You can read my full disclosure policy for more information.

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