Spending time outdoors with your children is a great way to enjoy discoveries of nature. Many of the District's preserves offer easy to moderate hikes and activities that are well suited to children of varying ages, enthusiasm, and energy levels. Here are some suggested preserves to visit:

Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve

  • Alpine Pond/Daniels Nature Center - An easy access 0.5-mile trail around Alpine Pond provides an opportunity to experience pond life up close as you observe signs of wildlife, busy dragonflies, stands of cattails, and peaceful views. Stop in and explore the delightful Daniels Nature Center, open on weekends spring to fall, and enhance your visit with educational displays. If your young hikers are eager to venture further, try hiking a 1.5-mile loop of the Ipiwa and Sunny Jim trails from Alpine Pond to take in several plant communities – oak woodland, chaparral, and grassland.
  • Horseshoe Lake- Hug the shore as you hike on a 1-mile loop around this year-round pond. Children love to discover what lives near water and imagine what they cannot see. Take time to picnic at the tables that overlook the lake in the shade of majestic oak trees.

Monte Bello Open Space Preserve

  • Stevens Creek Nature Trail- The trail is a 3-mile loop and takes about 3 hours at a leisurely pace. Beginning at the parking lot, the route descends 450 feet into the headwaters of Stevens Creek and returns along the San Andreas Fault. Interpretive signs provide insights to the wonders around you.
Daniels Nature Center

David C. Daniels Nature Center

Overlooking Alpine Pond at Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve, the David C. Daniels Nature Center features imaginative displays that both children and adults can enjoy.Learn more
Docent and kids

Field Trips

Spaces & Species field trips provide children the opportunity to focus on the connections between themselves and their natural world in a unique outdoor setting.Learn more
Deer Hollow Farm

Deer Hollow Farm

Deer Hollow Farm is a working homestead and educational center located in Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve.Learn more


Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game where the objective is to locate geocaches, or hidden containers, outdoors with the help of a Global Positioning System.Learn more
Tracks in sand, Ravenswood Preserve by Ellie Van Houtte

Kid Friendly Activities

For adventurous kids, the best playground ever is the great outdoors. These expert-led hiking activities are suitable for kids making your next family hiking trip even more exciting, educational, and fun.Learn more