Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park is one of my favorite theme parks in California.
It’s the perfect size to spend a day and get to see almost everything. It’s beautiful with all the trees, flowers, and fascinating circus trees.
It’s also a great place to learn!
Throughout the park are many educational stations where you can learn about bees making honey, advances in agriculture, earthquakes, the history of the park and local area, and more. This educational theme park is full of adventure and surprises! Pick up a pamphlet at the Welcome Center when you enter the park about the historic circus trees or for a self guided tour of the history and culture, gardens, agriculture, or water and environment of the park. You can also download a teacher or student self-guided Discovery Days workbook on the Gilroy Gardens website before you visit.
There is even more hands on learning than ever with the addition of the new Green Barn.
Our family took a break from the heat and the sun inside the large Green Barn. We enjoyed the reading corner and made some beautiful artwork of colorful leaf rubbings in the art studio. Then we explored the walls of rocks and minerals, my son was in heaven! He’s a young geologist. He was thrilled with the shelves full of all kinds of rocks and crystals to touch and explore. We all really enjoyed the extensive insect collection as well.
Enjoy this short slide show of educational activities inside the Green Barn:
We were just about to leave the Green Barn when the kids were offered even more!
They have a points program, you sign up and take a short quiz which automatically gives you 100 points toward any rock, shell, or mineral on display to take home. My kids were so excited! But they played it smart and decided to save their precious points till next time because they will get free points on their birthdays and can bring certain items, such as fossils and rocks, to trade in for more points. The more points you have, the larger or more exquisite rock, mineral, or shell you get to keep.
Of course we enjoyed the rest of the park with rides and beautiful gardens.
One of my kids’ favorites is the Pinnacles rock maze. They wandered the maze and crawled through tunnel for quite a while and I was happy to let them because I could see where they were from the walkway above the maze.
Their new favorite, however, is the new Water Oasis.
If you take the time to read the many signs around, there is lots to learn about conservation.
My readers can save $20 OFF Weekday (Monday-Friday) General Admission
to Gilroy Gardens with this exclusive coupon
Visit www.gilroygardens.org and follow them on Facebook for their latest events and deals.
How cool that there’s a self-guided workbook you can print out beforehand! When I was little, I always loved places like this that had interactive fun and learning combined.
Amy Boyington says
This looks like a great place. It’s not hard to find educational opportunities at theme parks – you just have to keep your eyes and imaginations open!
Michelle @SimplifyLiveLove says
When my husband and I were first married, we lived in Sacramento. We never went to Gilroy, but isn’t there also a garlic festival there? I also homeschool my four kids and we do a lot of learning during field trips! So nice to see posts that focus on outside the box learning.
L. E. Mastilock says
Yes, I love the garlic festival! Just thinking about it is making my mouth water. That’s great that you homeschool as well. I love learning as we live and have fun, wherever we are.
Anne Campbell says
This looks like such a fun place to visit. I love it when you can incorporate learning and fun. Experiences like this will stick with kids for a long time. My son still talks about places we visited years ago, and little details that he remembers from things he saw or learned from the exhibits. The hands on things, especially.
C. Lee Reed says
Love the water park. It’s been so hot here this park looks refreshing!