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Located right next to the picturesque Professorville neighborhood, the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo has been a reliable source of family fun since 1934, when it was established as the first children's museum west of the Mississippi. The zoo houses around 200 species of animals, including snakes, reptiles, tortoises, sharks, raccoons, bats, a red-tailed hawk and two bobcats. A total of 14 hands-on museum exhibits are designed to educate children about physics, earth science and math. It is also a popular destination for field trips and birthday parties.
The Palo Alto Children's Theatre is run by the City of Palo Alto as part of the Lucie Stern Community Center. The program began in 1932 as part of the Mayor's Committee for Unemployment Relief. Today, the theater is both a performance venue and educational space for young people aged from four to 24 to enjoy and learn about theater arts. During the summer, the theater runs an outdoor series entitled Hot Dog Suppertime Shows, where families can enjoy an hour-long show and bring a picnic or purchase hot dogs and other barbecue items. Their shows appeal to a wide variety of audiences, from young to old, musical or dramatic. Past productions have included Hansel and Gretel, Charlotte's Web, Lord of the Flies, and You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. For information about current shows, call the box office or check their website.
Founded in 1990 from the private collection of Frank Livermore, the Museum of American Heritage is housed in the historic Williams House, a 1907 Craftsman-style home right across from scenic Heritage Park. The museum's exhibits display technology and inventions from the 19th and 20th Centuries in an era-appropriate setting. Special exhibits rotate through the gallery several times a year highlighting certain historical artifacts, from toasters to toys. The museum also offers children's summer camps and several special events throughout the year. Another plus: admission is free, though donations are welcome and appreciated. For your tiny tots the Lego Exhibit is worth a watch, there is also a pretty garden at the back of the museum. A visit to Museum of American Heritage will make you ponder over how life used to be 100 years ago.
Located in Central Palo Alto, Garden Court Hotel offers contemporary guest rooms with GLink iPhone and Android docking stations. A state-of-the-art fitness centre is located on site. The campus of Stanford University is just 6 minutes’ drive away. Guest rooms at Garden Court Hotel feature HDTVs and an in-room safe. Guests can enjoy the fully stocked minibar and 24-hour ice service. A private balcony is offered in all rooms. Garden Court features coffee, tea and breakfast pastry service in the lobby each morning. Guests will also appreciate evening afternoon sweets and evening port services. Guests can also dine at Il Fornaio, the Italian restaurant located within the hotel. In-room massage can be arranged through the concierge service. The concierge can also arrange restaurant reservations and private car service. Stanford Shopping Center is 7 minutes’ drive away from the property. Silicon Valley and businesses such as Google are 15 minutes’ drive away.
Bell's Books is a family-owned bookstore in Palo Alto that's been passed down from generation to generation. Lot of people will tell you that this bookstore is a treasure. If you love reading or you are a book collector, this is definitely a place to go and stay for hours. Do not expect to find People Magazine or the latest New York Times best-seller; this store only sells used books. They offer an important selection of antique books and historic documents.
Located adjacent to Stanford University in Palo Alto, this Silicon Valley hotel features on-site dining and a modern fitness centre. All guest rooms offer a flat-screen cable TV. An iPod docking station and coffee machine with gourmet coffee are provided in each guest room at Westin Palo Alto. A spacious en suite bathroom with plush bathrobes, premium toiletries and separate bathtub and shower is included. Restaurant Soleil serves California cuisine. The Luna Lounge features a full bar, extensive wine list and specialty cocktails. An outdoor heated pool and landscaped courtyards are available for guest relaxation. Local running and walking guides are available. Stanford Medical Center and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital are within 2 miles of the Palo Alto Westin. Mineta San Jose International Airport is 19 miles away.
Winter Lodge is the only permanent outdoor ice skating rink west of the Sierras and has been open since 1956. Open from September to April, the skating rink is a great holiday destination or weekend activity for kids and adults alike. There is one mid-sized outdoor rink and another, smaller rink indoors. Come by during the day for all-ages skating or come by at night for adults-only skating (perfect for a date). Inside the lodge, fireplaces and a hot chocolate vending machine provide a warm welcome to visitors. Skating lessons are also available.
Located 4.8 km from Stanford University, this boutique hotel boasts a rooftop lap pool and a spa with a steam room. It features an on-site restaurant. All rooms offer a 42-inch flat-screen TV. Guest rooms at Four Season Hotel Silicon Valley at East Palo Alto include a DVD/CD player with access to a DVD/CD library. Each spacious room is equipped with a full marble bathroom with a relaxing deep soaking tub. Views of the San Francisco Bay Area or the Santa Cruz Mountains are featured from guest rooms. Offering indoor or outdoor dining, Quattro restaurant is located at East Palo Alto Four Seasons Hotel. The restaurant serves light, contemporary cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and features 24-hour in-room service. Adjacent to the restaurant, The Bar offers cocktails and various snacks with indoor or outdoor lounge seating. A 24-hour business centre and multilingual concierge services are available to guests of Four Seasons Hotel. If they prefer, guests can visit the on-site spa and wellness centre, which offers body and massage therapy, facials, manicures and pedicures. A 24-hour fitness centre is also available. Stanford Shopping Center is 4.8 km from this hotel. California’s Great America amusement park is 15 minutes’ drive away. San Francisco International Airport is 32 km from Four Season Hotel.
The EcoCenter is managed by the Environmental Volunteers, a non-profit institution that spreads awareness about science and nature among the general public. Acting as the headquarters of this organization, the EcoCenter has been constructed using non-toxic and recycled material, green design principles and eco-friendly practices. This center has interactive exhibits and touchscreen displays through which visitors can learn about climate change, the sky and earth. It conducts tours of the building to educate visitors about sustainable methods of construction and maintenance and also conducts numerous summer camps, classroom and school programs. Boasting of some of the best educational activities in Palo Alto for kids and adults alike, the themes covered include bird watching, hiking, programs and lectures on nature art and natural sciences as well as research training in which visitors generate data that actually helps scientists. Nature lovers can also volunteer at this center or donate money to support its endeavors.
Decorated in Asian decor, The Zen Hotel is hotel located in Palo Alto, California. This eco-friendly hotel provides free WiFi and a gym, while rooms include iPod docking stations. Each room at The Zen Hotel is furnished with coffee facilities, a microwave and a refrigerator. Guest rooms include flat-screen cable TVs. Stanford University is 3.7 miles from The Hotel Zen. The hotel is nestled in the Southern San Francisco Bay area and is 10.6 miles drive from Levi's Stadium.
The famous Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California was established in 1996. The museum is extraordinary with a huge collection of artifacts and documents related to computer technology. It is an eclectic collection of pictures, films, objects and documents and it is interesting to visit and learn about this fascinating evolution of computer technology.
This is just the place to take your kids to, especially if they are interested in nature. For adults, it serves as a wake-up call and induces a desire to act towards preserving natural resources. The museum focuses on global environment and conservation, while the programs incline towards awareness of environmental concerns. Children can have fun at the workshops, where they learn how to make their homes eco-friendly. Follow it up with a cheerful lunch in the museum's picnic grounds. Those younger than three and teachers with a valid ID can get in for free. The first Wednesday of each month is free for all.