Sunday is typically our day of rest. We sleep in. My husband makes a lavish breakfast. We go to church. We may nap. We may swim. And we may do as little as possible. But every once in a while we plan a #familyfunday because it’s the only day of the entire week that no one has to work. So this past Sunday we spent the day lunching at Mendocino Farms in La Jolla followed by seeing a family friendly show at The San Diego Symphony.
Going out on the weekend with two little ones in tow is not always an easy task, especially when you have a toddler and an infant. As parents, you have to be prepared for anything. I always start planning the night before for a day out because I don’t ever want to forget anything. First I make sure my toddler has water, multiple snacks, books and a tablet for the car, and a portable potty in the backseat just in case we need to pull over along the way. I also pack the diaper bag with toddler essentials like a hat, light sweater, and sunscreen – depending on our activity. For my infant, I make sure I have diapers, wipes, pacifiers, toys and teethers, and my nursing cover. Once we have everything packed we are ready to go.
Mendocino Farms was our first stop. We pulled up and found a parking spot right away. And even though we arrived close to noon, we only had to wait in line for a few minutes before we placed our order. My husband ordered the K-Town BBQ Steak Sandwich with kimchi-kale slaw, jalapeños, and chili aioli and I ordered the Sandwich Study of Heat with turkey, gouda, avocado, chili aioli, and jalapeño relish on gluten free bread. Both sandwiches were incredible and full of flavor and a little heat, which we both love. They have 9 different types of bread you can choose from and the gluten free bread is one of them (for a small fee). Most of the meals can be made gluten free and they also have vegetarian and vegan item choices. In addition to our sandwiches we also ordered the vegan chili and I have to admit I ate most of it because it was so good. They have an extensive menu for children with a lot of options, but our daughter chose the turkey and cheese sandwich with fruit and dill pickle chips! And of course we had some fresh cookies for dessert!
The restaurant makes their own fountain sodas and also offers ice tea, lemonade, local wine, and craft beer. And you can get a Blue Plate special, which comes with a ½ sandwich and choice of soup or deli salad. They have so many seasonal items you could eat there multiple times a year and get new items each time or your staple favorite. My favorite aspect of the restaurant is the ambiance and the fact that they get their ingredients from local, organic farms. Their chicken, for example, is exclusively from Mary’s Organic Free Range Chicken Farm. And keep in mind that children eat FREE on Thursdays ALL DAY with the purchase of a regular sandwich or entrée salad, too! As a parent that is a huge perk!
Although this restaurant is only in California, they have 10 locations in Los Angeles, 4 locations in Orange County, and 2 locations in San Diego! We were treated like royalty and everyone on staff was knowledgeable, helpful, and kind. We will definitely be back! To find out more information please visit their website http://mendocinofarms.com and find them on social media! And if you like what you eat, make sure to leave a review on Yelp!
Once our bellies were full and happy, we drove downtown to the San Diego Symphony at The Jacobs Music Center. As a mom and child therapist, there is nothing that makes me happier than introducing classical music to my children. It is such a rich cultural experience and is so good for their development.
There are many parking options, especially when you go on a Sunday because if you are lucky, you can find a free spot on the street. We weren’t so lucky, but there is a parking lot right across the street that was perfect for us, since we had two small children with us. The parking was $20, but it was worth it to be so close.
The Family Concert series includes pre-show activities upstairs from the main hall specifically for children an hour before show time where they had musical instruments for children to explore and play. After we checked out the excitement upstairs we went back downstairs to our seats and we weren’t disappointed. We were seated near the middle only a few rows back from the stage. If you have a young child, they offer a booster seat for free in exchange for an ID or credit card to hold as a deposit, but get one quickly because they will run out.
The day we went to the show we saw Dr. Seuss’ The Sneetches! My daughter loves her Dr. Seuss books so she was very excited. We didn’t have this particular book, but we were able to find the animated movie on YouTube a few days before the show so she was familiar with the story and the characters.
The first half of the show is solely music. Although the music was lovely, I think my daughter expected the whole show to be about the Dr. Seuss book she was so anxiously awaiting for since we arrived. It was a little difficult for her toddler attention span to sit and wait for her favorite part of the show but luckily I was prepared with some snacks! And apparently we weren’t the only ones. Other families surrounded us with toddlers and preschoolers who were all eating snacks while listening to the music until the book portion of the show began!
Then after about 30 minutes of music, the narrator was introduced to the stage and slowly read the book page by page. As he was reading, a picture from the book was shown on two large screens on either side of the stage. He would read a sentence or two and then the music would play for a few minutes before the narrator would continue. The entire show lasted about 50 minutes and it was perfect for young children and their attention spans. It was such a fun show and a lovely family experience. We were very appreciative of our tickets and grateful to have been there.
For more information and to buy your tickets to a family friendly performance, visit the Bayside Summer Nights page: http://www.