Hey everyone. If you’re in or around San Juan Capistrano, you might have heard of the Ecology Center. The 28-acre organic farming community offers a handful of programs and special events to get folks more in tune with organic food and local growers. They even offer a great outdoor class-like activity for young kids that they call Eco Tots. That we really enjoyed.
See The Full Detailed Video Below
Eco Tots At The Ecology Center Visiting Information
- Address/GPS coordinates:
- 32701 Alipaz St, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
- Dates & Hours:
- Every Wednesday-Saturday from 9 am – 12 pm & 1 pm – 3 pm
- Dates and hours of operations may change. We recommend calling them or checking their website beforehand to confirm their business hours.
- $25 per family for single admission
- $20 – single admission
- $80 – 5 admission punch card
- $150 – 10 admission punch card
- Accompany adults enter at no cost
- How much we spent during our visit:
- Total: $25
- $25 per family for single admission
- Total: $25
- Free parking in their dirt lot
- Plant a seed/vegetable to take home
- Music time
- Touching worms
- Snack on freshly picked fruits from the garden
- Time spent:
- 1 ½ hours
- Places to eat:
- Juice Joint & Deli (32141 Alipaz St Ste E San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675) 0.6 mile away
- El Coyotito Mexican & Seafood Restaurant (32141 Alipaz St Ste B San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675) – 0.6 mile away
- Donut Hut (32099 Camino Capistrano San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675) – 1.2 miles away
- Agustin Mexican Food (32382 Del Obispo St Ste B6 San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675) – 1.8 miles away
- Stroller friendly:
- Yes, best to have an all-terrain stroller/wagon.
- One flushable toilet restroom
- What we observed:
- Best for families with children under 5 years old and come if you happen to be in the area.
- Our 3 year old really enjoyed it but our 6 year old was done in 20 mins.
- The garden/play area isn’t very large but it is enough for young walking toddlers to get hands-on fun by gardening and doing crafts. It is more like nature play where the activities are kept simple.
- You can buy a large variety of their regenerative organic certified produce from their farm stand.
- There is only one restroom. Best not to wait until the last minute for the kids to use the restroom because the wait can be long. We had to bring the girls to the car to use our portable toilet.
- They offer weekly events like Peace Pizza and Farm Tours. Check out their website for updated events.
- Check the weather before you go. The weather can be changeable; layered clothing and closed toe shoes are recommended.
things to bring
- What we packed:
- Meal, snacks, veggies, fruits, Suds2go portable hand wash cap, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, lip sunscreen, and insect repellent.
- You can get the links to all our travel essentials here: Travel Essentials | Califoreigners
- Ways to save money:
- Pack a meal, snacks and water.
- Other events:
- Strawberry U-Pick from March to May.
- Summer Camp from June to August for ages 6-13.
- Other places to visit in the area:
- Strawberry Picking At South Coast Farms (End of April – July)
- Zoomars at River Street Ranch
- Other places to visit in the county:
- Recommended itinerary:
- The Ecology Center
- Strawberry Picking at South Coast Farm or Zoomars at River Street Ranch
- Follow us on Instagram @thecaliforeigners, Youtube @Califoreigners, TikTok @Califoreigners
What We Said In Our Eco Tots Video
Their eco tots space Follows closely to their mission statement to grow, eat and make with a healthy dose of peace. With fun activities intended for children between 1-5. Which includes a garden with planters and tools for kiddos to get their hands dirty as they dig holes, plant seeds, and overwater them to their little hearts’ content. In addition to the gardening area, the staff even sets out a few plates of organic fruits for them to munch on while they’re playing.
Under their wooden structure, kids are encouraged to create decorative things that they can take home. With Kairi already being older than eco tots intended age, she still enjoyed making stuff in there as her youngest sister bounced between every area. Making music with the staff members or touching worms and inspecting them through a magnifying glass.
Other Things To Do
The activities are all things that can be done in a home backyard. But parents we talked to love Eco tots because they don’t have the space for gardening at home. And afterward, they can shop for organic items at the farm stand.
Walking around the property on the weekend, there’s a lot going on. From talks pertaining to food to guided farm tours. It’s an interesting center to check out if you are into OR want to learn more about organic food and the farming process in south Orange County. While you’re there, we also recommend the Zoomars petting Zoo nearby. We haven’t been in years. But loved it so much that we had one of Kairi’s birthday parties there.
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