Kids on a Quest

Summer is here, and those rainy mornings in front of Sid the Science Kid are a distant memory. Get your kid engaged and out in the world, stoking their curiosity about all things related to plants, animals, geology, and other natural phenomena. San Francisco’s URBIA adventure league’s aim is to get city kids to see the science around them, and to navigate the “urban wilds” of our city on the edge of the continent.

Each edition of  Urbia’s adventures takes families or “teams” on a walking tour, and presents riddles for you to solve as a group, as well as exercises that engage all of the senses. For example, you might be asked to look for a rocky chert outcropping, listen for the call of a specific bird, touch some moss, and smell some wild sage. You’ll be asked to write down observations and, at the end of each adventure, search for a hidden stamp to show you’ve completed the journey. Adventures hit somewhat hidden corners of the city with a unique ecological fingerprint, like the 15th Ave. Steps and Grandview Park (habitat of the rare greenstreak butterfly), or Corona Heights.

A year-long subscription to URBIA is just $35, and those interested in a sneak peek at what the adventures entail can check out a preview at Stern Grove on Wednesday, Aug 4 (drop-in from 10am-1pm). The Stern Grove adventure will have teams exploring the grove of giant trees, following clues along an ancient creek and discovering a gem nestled in the bottom of the valley. The stroller-friendly adventure is appropriate for all kids up through elementary age. (For more details and to RSVP contact team@urbikids.com).

URBIA will not only teach your kids how to read and follow a guide book (an essential skill for any traveler-in-training) but also how to see the wonder in the world around them.

-Sarah Bossenbroek