Last week my kids had the week off. My son did several college tours and I took Friday off for some fun family time. Most of our weekends are taken up driving to soccer games all over town so it was nice to have a free Friday to explore our nearby parks and recreation. We often head to the beach but this time we went to Wilder Ranch in Santa Cruz. I’d never been even though it is so close to us. It is a historic state park with a farm and houses that have been preserved. The day we were there they were doing living history demonstrations for elementary school classes so we got to tag along. We then had lunch swung by the The Seymour Marine Discovery Center and then headed over to the new Sanctuary Exploratory Center near the boardwalk. It’s small, free and easy to visit on your way to somewhere else, like dessert on the wharf. We visited for 30 minutes, the most entertaining part was the movie they play about the area. We then visited a great home store in Aptos called the Warmth Company. I loved everything there and if I win the lottery I’m heading over for a shopping spree ASAP. We decided to take the scenic route home and found a super cute farmstand. It works on the honor system. There were prices for everything and a place to put your money. The whole day was awesome and it was great not to have to rush from one field to the next. What hidden gems are in your neighborhood waiting to be discovered?