EDUCATE: Before you recreate.
Interacting and experiencing Monterey County’s natural splendor is great, but there’s a right and a wrong way to go about it (we see you, kayakers that get a little too close to the otters). Before you go on your grand adventure, consider using the resources. Of course, you can reserve tickets in advance to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium, but their website is also abundant with tips and educational material around protecting our oceans, including what you can do to lessen the burden of plastic pollution and a how-to-guide on tidepooling safely (montereybayaquarium.org). Or visit the newest exhibit at Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History. Changes educates visitors about how climate change affects our diverse local habitats. Or if you’re already familiar with your preferred form recreation or hiking trail, stop and read the plaques. There’s a whole team of people who design and write about the species that you’re currently seeing. You may even learn about the cultural significance of local spots like the grinding rock at Garland Ranch Regional Park.
ENTERTAIN: Yourself in outdoor spaces.
Getting some fresh air doesn’t just mean pondering the mysteries of the universe by yourself in the wilderness. You can also do things like enjoy music from the comfort of your car. PacRep is taking a final bow of their drive-thru concert series at the Monterey County Fairgrounds (2004 Fairground Road, Monterey). The concert is Buddy and Friends and it pays tribute to the gone-too-soon rock ‘n’ roll icon Buddy Holly. Musicians will dress up like it’s the 1950s and perform popular songs from the era. Tickets are $75 per car (with special pricing for some groups) with the option of sitting or tailgating (camper seats are highly recommended). It happens 7:30pm on Saturday, July 17. Spots are limited so call the box office (622-0100) to reserve a ticket.
INVOLVE: the kids.
While hiking with the family is a great way to endear children to nature, books about nature can also supplement early fascination. River House Books (208 Crossroads Blvd., Carmel) not only stocks kid-friendly nature books, but also invites author and illustrator Nina Ashton, of said genre, to the store. Ashton created Sammy’s Quest, a story of a swallowtail butterfly’s quest to find its mate, and Baby Hummer Grows Up, a light-hearted memoir of a humming bird from chickhood to adulthood. Ashton gives a reading and talks to patrons for free from 2-3pm on Sunday, July 18.