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Activities for Kids in Los Angeles

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Universal Studios Hollywood
Find a full day of action-packed entertainment all in one place: thrilling Theme Park rides and shows, a real working movie studio, and Los Angeles’ best shops, restaurants and cinemas at CityWalk. Universal Studios Hollywood is a unique experience that’s fun for the whole family. Go behind the scenes of a real working movie studio! Visit 13 city blocks on four acres of historic studio lot in the largest set construction project in studio history, built with creative consultation from Steven Spielberg himself. Or see what awaits you inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! From magical spells to magical creatures, from dark villains to daring heroes, it’s all here at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, now open at Universal Studios Hollywood. Explore the mysteries of Hogwarts castle, visit the shops of Hogsmeade, and sample fare from some of the wizarding world’s best-known establishments. Plus experience pulse-pounding rides and attractions that transport you into a world of magical thrills and excitement.
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Disneyland
Enter a magical kingdom where you can sail with pirates, explore exotic jungles, meet fairy-tale princesses, dive under the ocean and rocket through the stars! Disneyland Park is a beloved Southern California destination where generations of families have made their Disney dreams come true. Walt Disney’s original Disneyland theme park, which first opened on July 17, 1955, is now divided into 8 extravagantly themed lands: Main Street, U.S.A., Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Mickey’s Toontown, Frontierland, Critter Country, New Orleans Square and Adventureland.
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California Science Center
he California Science Center is a dynamic destination where families, adults and children can explore the wonders of science through interactive exhibits, live demonstrations, innovative programs and awe-inspiring films. The Science Center is open to the public seven days a week, 362 days per year, with free general admission to its permanent exhibit galleries. The facility, which opened in February 1998, spans more than 400,000 sq. feet and includes four major exhibit areas. World of Life probes the commonalities of the living world, from the single-celled bacterium to the 100-trillion-celled human being; Creative World examines the ways people employ technology to meet their needs for transportation, communication and structures; and Ecosystems, a major expansion opened in March of 2010, features an unprecedented blend of nearly 400 species of live plants and animals, and hands-on exhibits in 11 immersive environments. Ecosystems highlights include a 188,000 gallon kelp tank populated with live kelp, fish, and other marine life, a desert flash flood, and a special gallery dedicated to the urban ecology of Los Angeles. The Ecosystems experience empowers explorers with the science knowledge to become better stewards of the environment.
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San Diego Zoo
An urban paradise for all ages, the San Diego Zoo is a must-see in Southern California, with more than 4,000 rare & fascinating animals. See giant pandas, Komodo dragons, orangutans, koalas, flamingos, polar bears, and more. With animal encounters, interactive experiences, and a lively atmosphere, it's a great place for family fun and gathering friends.
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Maritime Museum of San Diego
Maritime Museum features historic ships that display both permanent and temporary exhibits on board. You can see what it was like to live and work on these vessels at Maritime Museum of San Diego. Look into the cabins where ship crew mates would sleep, walk by the kitchen and dining areas to see where they had meals and satisfy your curiosity by seeing the very small bathrooms and showers. San Diego Maritime Museum offers daily public tours so that you and your friends or family can explore this place often - and learn plenty about ship life. Maritime Museum San Diego has public events that make for great experiences and quality bonding time with family and friends. During the Family Overnight Adventure at San Diego Maritime Museum, you and your loved ones can spend a night on the Star of India. Maritime Museum will tell you all about how the immigrants and crew lived and worked on this ship. Guests can participate in ship chores. You might raise the sail or rig a bosun's chair at Maritime Museum of San Diego. Your kids will know how to hoist cargo and sing sea chanteys like they were the original passengers on this ship after a fun day at the Maritime Museum.
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Balboa Park
Balboa Park, originally called City Park, used to be 1,400 acres of undeveloped land. Landscaping began in 1892, followed by the construction of water systems and roads through 1910. In 1915, San Diego was to be the host of the Panama-California Exposition. Nature lovers have a lot to see in the gardens at Balboa Park in San Diego. The 1935 (Old) Cactus Garden at San Diego Balboa Park features massive cactus and succulent plants. Visitors will even find exotic African and Australian Protea plants at this area within Balboa Park San Diego. The Botanical Building and the lily pond in front of it are some of the most popular areas that are photographed in Balboa Park - and with good reason. There are over 2,100 permanent plants inside the building and a changing collection of cycads, ferns, orchids and palms. The California Native Plant Garden shows visitors thousands of plants that thrive here in their San Diego habitat. Bring your kids to the Balboa Park Carousel. This fun destination is adjacent to the San Diego Zoo and features plenty of hand-carved animals so that your kid has lots of choices. All but two of the hand-carved animals on the Balboa Park San Diego Carousel are original from 1910! While you're on the merry-go-round, you can even play the brass ring game. Balboa Park's Carousel is one of a small number around the world that still have the brass ring game for riders to play. The Balboa Park Miniature Railroad takes families on a fun journey across four acres.
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Railroad Museum
The Railroad Museum in San Diego in Balboa Park presents one of the largest indoor train models in the world, and it is also the only accredited railway-themed museum in the United States. San Diego Model Railroad Museum is educational, exciting and interesting for adults and children of all ages. Whether you grew up creating and playing with your own train models or you are a railway connoisseur, the Railroad Museum San Diego will provide you with entertainment as you admire the impressive designs and learn about the history of the railway systems in California. Guests will witness the transformation of trains and the railways through time and gain facts about the early railroad women in history. Visitors at the San Diego Railroad Museum will recognize the miniature version of famous San Diego sites and landmarks while trains zoom through the landscapes. The San Diego Railroad Museum features imaginary prototypes and the hypothetical design of the Pacific Desert Lines that were surveyed but constructed. The Railroad Museum San Diego also presents the real-life mountain scenes in the Tehachapi Loop and the Goat Canyon trestle on the San Diego and Arizona Eastern line, as train history and authenticity is preserved in each exhibit. The toy train gallery is also an exciting must-see attraction as it has four tracks and operating accessories. The kids will enjoy pressing the buttons to operate the coal trains, which blow horns, whistles and even smoke at the San Diego Railroad Museum.
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Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a classic seaside amusement park located along a beautiful sandy beach in a friendly beach town. The Boardwalk features more than 40 rides and attractions including two National Historic Landmarks: the world-famous 1924 Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster and the beautiful 1911 Looff Carousel, plus many scream-inducing thrill rides, gentle kiddie rides, casual restaurants, gift shops, games, indoor arcades, and miniature golf.
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Marine Discovery Center
The Seymour Marine Discovery Center offers hands-on immersion into the world of ocean exploration and discovery. With a 20,000-square-foot visitor center, guests can touch a shark, explore the latest discoveries in ocean science, and take in the spectacular Monterey Bay, called the “Serengeti of the sea,” for its incredible diversity of marine life. Powered by the Long Marine Laboratory, a world-renowned university research facility, our exhibit hall offers a deeper dive into the fascinating and varied work of scientists studying the oceans here in Santa Cruz and around the world.
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Happy Hollow Park and Zoo
Located in Kelley Park in San Jose, Happy Hollow Park and Zoo has been providing affordable family entertainment, education and fun since 1961. The Park is a peaceful, creative and safe place for children of all ages, with the main focus on “little ones” between the ages of 2-10. There are creative play areas, children’s rides, hand puppet and marionette shows, special events, and birthday areas. Learn about wildlife up close during daily meet-and-greets, leap like a lemur on the playground, brush and feed the goats, or take a peek inside Doc’s Critter Care building and the Ranch House. Double-H Ranch features a combination of animal exhibits, including giant anteaters and red ruffed lemurs, as well chickens and domesticated animals that are docile enough to touch.
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California's Great America
Fill your day with roller coasters, live shows, concerts, fireworks, amusement park food favorites and even a water park at the iconic California's Great America. Thrills for every age are ready to rock your world and run you ragged. New rides and attractions are introduced every year and special events like the nightmarish Halloween Haunt are looked forward to by the tens of thousands! Get your walking shoes ready and practice your screaming, there's a lot to cover on this adrenaline rush of an outing!
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Pier 39
Pier 39 is located on the San Francisco waterfront near the Fisherman’s Wharf area of the city and is one of the most popular destinations for visitors to California. The pier is home to many great restaurants offering local seafood as well as other cuisines. If shopping is your thing you will find 90+ stores offering everything from souvenirs to sports memorabilia. Pier 39 is also where you can find fun and exciting attractions such as the Aquarium of the Bay and the 7D experience. If you walk to the end of Pier 39 and visit K-Dock you will find the world famous sea lions who have made the pontoons their home. The sealions first appeared after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and began taking over the piers on the Pier 39 marina, much to the annoyance of the marina tenants. After numerous attempts to shoo them away they eventually had to give up and the numbers grew and grew reaching a peak of over 1500 in 2009. Today they have become one of the most popular attractions in San Francisco and have their own area of Pier 39. While there why not pay a visit to the Marine Mammal Center just upstairs from the viewing area where you can learn more about the sea lions and pick up some sea lion related souvenirs.
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Arizona Science Center
Arizona Science Center provides exploration, education and entertainment for all ages. Nestled in the picturesque setting of Heritage and Science Park, the Science Center is a unique landmark designed by renowned architect Antoine Predock. The combination of ramps, hallways, galleries and terraces in this 140,000-square-foot building creates an intriguing environment of investigation and discovery. The Center contains four levels of exciting “hands-on” exhibits, a state-of-the-art planetarium, and a 5-story high giant-screen theater. The exhibits and galleries are designed to educate and entertain kids of all ages – from pre-K to gray! Located in the heart of downtown Phoenix, the Science Center is within walking distance to nearby attractions such as Heritage Square, Phoenix Convention Center, Talking Stick Resort Arena, Chase Field, the Arizona Center and more. The Center is located at 7th and Washington Street and is accessible from Interstates 10 and 17, as well as the Metro Valley Light Rail.
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Aerospace Museum of California
The Aerospace Museum of California is one of aviation's greatest showcases with over 40 military and civilian aircraft and a world-class engine exhibit. Located 15 minutes from Cal Expo, the Museum has STEM activities from building block competitions and scavenger hunts to a motion movie ride and realistic Flight Zone simulators. Experience every era of aviation from a fully restored 1932 Curtiss Wright speed wing biplane to the Titan IV LR87 space booster engine. Come experience the amazing innovation of flight!
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Tracy Aviary
Under the towering trees of centrally located Liberty Park you might hear the surprising sounds of hoots, shrieks, caws, and cries. There’s no reason to be alarmed, that’s simply the resident flock of birds that dwell within the Tracy Aviary. For almost 80 years, the aviary has delighted passionate bird nerds and those ignorant about avian life alike. You don’t have to be a bird watcher to enjoy the attractions of the Aviary, so pick a day and set off on an adventure to meet Salt Lake’s feathered friends. Tracy Aviary is open 363 days a year and features over 400 birds from 135 species ranging from exotic to backyard bird varieties. A variety of programs for members and the general public are also offered. From the Pelican Encounter, to Bird Walks, to the incredible Bird Show, there’s always something interesting to see at the Aviary. Want to witness an Apolomado Falcon in full flight? Feel the need to watch a silly Roseate Spoonbill strut his stuff? All this and much more wide eyed wonder can be found at the daily bird shows; check the website for a current schedule, as this is sure to be a highlight of any visit to the park.
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The Leonardo Museum
The Leonardo is a non-profit community-powered museum which opened in 2011. The museum combines science, technology, and art in experiences that inspire creativity and innovation in visitors. By adding several hands-on experiences to the traditional museum experience, they believe are forging a new way forward in the museum industry. Once home to the Salt Lake City Public Library, The Leonardo’s downtown location has served the people of the Wasatch Front for nearly 50 years. As a result, The Leonardo is tremendously proud to carry on the legacy of community learning and invites you to become a part of this unique community powered museum experience.
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ABQ BioPark
Located along the Rio Grande River near downtown Albuquerque, the ABQ BioPark consists of: The ABQ BioPark Zoo, Botanic Garden, Aquarium and Tingley Beach. Welcoming more than 1.5 million visitors per year, we are the top tourist destination in the state of New Mexico. ABQ BioPark Zoo established in 1927 is home to more than 900 animals from around the world. Many of these animals have been part of successful conservation plans and captive breeding programs. Botanic Garden opened in 1996, and has grown to 32 acres of exhibits, and showcases plants from the American Southwest and around the world. The Botanic Garden’s BUGarium is one of the most elaborate exhibits dedicated to bugs and arthropods in the country. Since its opening in 1996 alongside the Botanic Garden, the ABQ BioPark Aquarium has showcased a kaleidoscope of colorful fish native to a variety of ecosystems found throughout the United States. The popular Shark Reef Café offers spectacular views into the 285,000-gallon oceanic tank, providing an unforgettable dining experience. Tingley Beach is the gateway to the Bosque. Three fishing ponds and a model boat pond offer a respite from the city. A mile-long walking trail loops around the ponds, and the nearby bike path provides access to the Rio Grande. Pedal boat rentals are available during the summer.
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Hinkle Family Fun Center
ABQ's Premier Family Fun Destination featuring a 1/8 mile Go Cart Track, All new Immersive Virtual Reality, Wet & Wild Bumper Boats, two scenic 18 hole Miniature Golf Courses, two state of the art Game Rooms and Prize Centers with 150 redemptions, merchandise and arcade games, Blacklight Laser Tag Arena, Hinkle Family Fun Center Paintball, Rock Climbing Wall, Battletech, Bumper Cars, Bungee Jump Trampoline, Lazer Frenzy, Light Space and two Snack Bars! Fun for all ages! Group Discounts! Birthday Parties! Corporate Events! Open 363 Days a Year! Rain or shine or anytime!
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Adventure Zone
At Adventure Zone, kids and parents love the food, fun and activities. Game Zone offers cutting edge virtual reality, full motion simulator games, a western theme 8 player shooting gallery and the best redemption games and prizes in town. Speed Zone with over 800 feet of twists and turns spread out on over one acre, making it El Paso’s premier go-kart destination. Bumper Zone is set in 100,000 gallons of water with a small tropical island.
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El Paso Zoo
Locally recognized as the Best Place to Take the Kiddos, the El Paso Zoo sits on 35 acres of fun and adventure. Bigger and better than ever, the El Paso Zoo is an expansive green space that is home to exotic animals from around the world and features family attractions such as the African Star Train and the Hunt Family Desert Spring water feature and the Foster Tree House Playground. Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), the El Paso Zoo celebrates the value of animals and natural resources and creates opportunities for people to rediscover their connection to nature.
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Denver Zoo
Whether it's baby animals, new exhibits, or old favourites, there's always something to be wild about at Denver Zoo! Denver Zoo is home to more than 3,500 animals and has championed over 600 conservation and research projects around the world. With more than 3,5000 animals showcasing 450 species, Denver Zoo is a must-see when in Colorado’s capital city. This outdoor world isn’t just about the wildlife, however. From rides on the carousel to 4D theater shows to Up-Close Animal Encounters, there is something inspiring for everyone. Each visit to the Zoo provides you with a different way to see animals engaging with the public — maybe today it’s a carcass feeding, tomorrow it could be watching a critter sniff out the scent enrichment around their habitat. You’ll be amazed to see how each species uses its natural behaviours to interact with mentally stimulating activities. Plus, the whole family will benefit from a gander at the animal demonstrations schedule, which happens throughout the day. Find out what it takes to take care of a herd of all-male Asian elephants or how sea lions rely on their adaptations to survive.
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Museum of Glass
Explore on your own or join a docent-led tour for an interactive and unique adventure into the world of contemporary glass. Explanatory commentary in the form of interpretive text panels, interactive technology and gallery guides are provided to ensure your experience is meaningful and engaging. The galleries at Museum of Glass are dedicated to both temporary exhibitions, as well as works from our Permanent Collections that feature twentieth and twenty-first century glass. The exhibitions span a wide range and convey the meaning and motivations of the artists with the help of Curatorial Team of Museum. On the third Thursday of every month, Museum of Glass is open late, 5-8pm, with no admission fees. Stop in to see Hilltop Artists in the Hot Shop, explore our current exhibitions, and discover special hands-on projects in the Education Studio.
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Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium isn't just a fun place to spend time with friends and family. It's also the only combined zoo and aquarium in the Pacific Northwest, nestled inside the 700-acre Point Defiance Park with views of Mount Rainier and Puget Sound. And with over 520 different animal species, a vintage carousel and Zoolights, there's plenty to explore. Glide with a shark. Wiggle with a walrus. Chirp with budgies. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is full of animals that will capture your heart and imagination, in habitats from tropical waters to lush bamboo forest. Explore them all here.
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Beacon Hill Park
Beacon Hill Park is in downtown Victoria and within easy walking distance from most downtown hotels, motels and the inner harbour. Just walk up Belleville Street past the Museum of Natural History and the Imax Theatre to Douglas Street. Take a right on Douglas Street. You'll climb a short hill and at the top of that hill is the beginning of Beacon Hill Park. Keep in mind the park is huge (200 acres), and there's much to see and do there, so allow plenty of time to view the entire park.
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Royal BC Museum
See all of British Columbia at the Royal BC Museum, a world-class museum of natural and human history. Explore our core galleries and immerse yourself in tales of where we've been and where we are going. Discover things and people you never knew before. Marvel at the totems, masks and cultural treasures featured in the world-class First Peoples Gallery. Experience authentic artifacts and highly realistic settings -- from the Woolly Mammoth in his rocky, icy world to a tar-scented trip on the HMS Discovery. Your experience doesn't end with Museum's galleries.
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Fisherman
Just around the corner from Victoria's Inner Harbour, Fisherman's Wharf is a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. With a brand new park offering an area for kids to play or for adults to read a book, this unique marine destination offers food kiosks, unique shops and eco-tour adventures in a working harbour setting. Wander down to the docks with your lunch, buy seafood fresh off the boat, check out the unique array of commercial, pleasure vessel and float home moorage and watch the commercial fishing vessels unload their wares.
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The Butchart Gardens
Come enjoy our breathtaking 22 ha (55 acres) of gardens year around. In Spring, countless tulips, daffodils and hyacinths will give you a buffet of fragrances and colours. You’ll be saying “wow” when you experience our Summer: The Rose Garden, evening entertainment, subtle night illuminations, the Saturday firework show, and boat tours to name a few of the delights. In Winter, Colourful lights, carollers, ice skating and festive fayre — Christmas is a cheerful time of year at The Gardens. Bundle up and stroll through the Twelve Days of Christmas display, sing along to the sounds of the season with Traditional Carollers or listen to the Festive Brass, then stop in at the Coffee Shop to warm up with a hot chocolate and gingerbread by the fire.
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Quilchena Park
Quilchena’s wide green fields are welcoming to sports enthusiasts and those looking for a pleasant stroll alike. Majestic poplars tower over the rolling lawns and shelter the seating areas below. Originally owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), the CPR leased this land (40 acres in total) to the Quilchena Golf Club. The word “Quilchena” means “flat place near the water” in the local First Nations language. On February 11, 1956, following the expiration of the CPR’s lease with the golf course, the Park Board purchased the eastern area of the course for park purposes and this site was designated Quilchena Park. The western portion of the golf course became Prince of Wales Secondary School. Park development began on January 22, 1962.
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Carnarvon Park
Carnarvon Park offers many recreation opportunities, from a multitude of sports fields to a fitness circuit and a children’s playground. The dappled shade of the tree-lined walks makes for a very enjoyable stroll, with a diversity of trees that include ash, plum, crabapple, and hornbeam. This park was first assembled by the Point Grey Municipality prior to the City of Vancouver amalgamation in 1929. It was secured by tax sales from the B.C. Government. The Park is named for one of its bounding streets which in turn is named for the Earl of Carnarvon who was Britain’s Secretary of State and introduced the British North America Act thereby bringing into confederation the Canadian provinces.
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Hastings Park
Hastings Park now has more unique features than ever! There's lots to enjoy and discover: recreational activities, park spaces, gardens, playground, and sport fields, mixed with an amusement park, horse race trace, and large sport and entertainment venues. Explore the ecologically rich green space at Hastings Park, featuring spectacular gardens and the Miracle Mile statue. This Italian-styled garden features fountains surrounded by whimsical sculptures inspired by famous Italian operas. Pear trees and plantings of lavender and Italian cypress add to the Mediterranean feel. A large children's play area is adjacent to the garden.
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Stanley Park
Welcome to Stanley Park, Vancouver's first, largest, and most beloved urban park! Designated a national historic site of Canada, Stanley Park is a magnificent green oasis in the midst of the heavily built urban landscape of Vancouver. Explore the 400-hectare natural West Coast rainforest and enjoy scenic views of water, mountains, sky, and majestic trees along Stanley Park's famous Seawall. Discover kilometres of trails, beautiful beaches, local wildlife, great eats, natural, cultural and historical landmarks, along with many other adventures. The park offers a wide range of unforgettable experiences for all ages and interests, including Canada’s largest aquarium.
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Arion Therapeutic Farm
Arion is a peaceful farm sanctuary for people and animals situated on 12 acres in a beautiful valley in South-East Kelowna. The farm is a serene, volunteer-driven social enterprise that offers an escape from city life just 10 minutes out of town. Open daily for interactive tours, various programs surrounding organic farming and animal care, as well as therapeutic farm and horse experiences.
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The Kelowna Art Gallery
The Kelowna Art Gallery is located in the heart of Kelowna’s Cultural District in downtown Kelowna, BC. Its offer visitors the opportunity to explore changing exhibitions of both historical and contemporary Canadian art in four gallery spaces, including an outdoor courtyard area. The Gallery offers art classes and workshops for adults and teens in the fall and winter, and art camps during spring and summer breaks for children. Its popular Family Sundays offer visitors the chance to get creative with guided hands-on art activities based on a new theme each week, after they get inspired by the current exhibitions on view. The gallery hosts a number of events throughout the year, including artist’s talks, lectures, and panel discussions, fundraisers, community projects, and other special events. The Kelowna Art Gallery also have a permanent collection of upwards of 800 works of art and a range of publications that produce to accompany its exhibitions.
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Kayben Farms
Kayben Farms’ Sunshine Adventure Park is a refreshing place to take the whole family for a delightful day of farm fun, about 10 minutes south of the city of Calgary.
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OKC Zoo
The OKC Zoo, Oklahoma's largest and most popular cultural attraction, invites you to discover the wonders of wildlife and wild places. Enjoy world-class habitats including Great EscApe, Cat Forest/Lion Overlook, Oklahoma Trails and Sanctuary Asia where you'd find the amazing animals of the Asian continent. The Zoo's collection includes the critically endangered Grevy's zebra; a herd of majestic giraffes; ostriches; Addra gazelle; Asian deer species, including the Pere David, which is extinct in the wild; and the newly discovered okapi, located in only one forest in the world - the Ituri in the Congo. Also don't forget to see some African carnivore, such as the African painted dog and cheetah.
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Calgary Zoo
Operated by Alberta’s oldest charity, Calgary Zoological Society, Calgary Zoo is the second largest zoo in Canada. The zoo which had its origins in early 1900s, suffered extensive flooding during June 2013 Calgary floods. The zoo was closed during this period and reopened in November 2013. Calgary Zoo is also a leading Canadian Centre for conservation and is home to Centre for Conservation Research with many endangered animals in its care.