Monday, January 15, 2018

CuriOdyssey, Coyote Point, California

Another fun adventure on our California Christmas trip was a visit to the Coyote Point Recreation Park in San Mateo, near San Francisco International Airport. The park has many attractions, but the two of primary interest to us were the Magic Mountain Playground (which will get its own post next) and CuriOdyssey, a science and wildlife center. We visited CuriOdyssey first.

Nice sign

After the entrance, we saw a bunch of exhibits on the Nature of Patterns. Our prescholar was obsessed with the air flow machine that sent foam blocks and shapes up into the air like magic. We had a hard time tearing him away from that one.

The joy of vicariously defying gravity

My older son tried out the marble maze, something he's enjoyed at other science museums.

Marble maze

My daughter cranked a wheel that let her observe water currents shifting in a tank. Mostly she made swirls in the viscous blue water.

Chaotic currents

Upstairs was an exhibit called "IlluminOdyssey" about the nature of light and color. Several white teepees were set up, which the kids enjoyed exploring. I must admit, the teepees didn't seem immediately relevant to the exhibit.

Hiding in a teepee

The walls and floors had some fantastic laser projections, adding color, patterns, and shapes for our enjoyment.

Laser projections

Further on, we discovered the Astro Botanicals, some inflatable exhibits based on ornamental flowers with imaginative design twists.

Exploring an astro botanical

A different child inside

Inside view of the ceiling, quite pretty

Some other pseudo-flowers

Further on, we found some lit-up blocks. My prescholar knew exactly what to do with them. He started stacking them and then gave a good swift kick, like every other set of blocks he's ever run into.

Blocks for stacking

Ready to kick

An even taller target

In the back hall are more science experiments, including magnets and a large variety of visual distortion panels.

Bouncing magnets along an arc

Textures, light, and altered visions

The prescholar played with one last Nature Pattern exhibit before we headed outside.

Twisting strings to make new shapes

Outside are the noisier and messier exhibits. The boys enjoyed banging on some tubes to make music.

Paddles and metal tubes make interesting sounds

A water table let my daughter alter the current on a small stream using rocks and panels. The precaution sign for a slippery floor is probably there all the time.

Curving the creek

A water wall lets visitors try to make shapes out of the water. My older son tried to make a question mark. You judge the results.

His set up

Close up of the question mark

My prescholar also had fun with the water wall, though just getting wet for free was most of the appeal.

Science is fun

We then headed over to the wildlife preserve, which was not very big.

Entrance to the wildlife preserve

Like most every zoo we've gone to, the animals were not very lively at 10:30 a.m. Some of the displays were empty, or at least looked empty until we found a dozing creature curled up in a corner.


One sedentary fellow was a Golden Eagle, who managed to look majestic on his perch. He made me think of The Maltese Falcon.

Golden Eagle from behind

"What are you looking at?"

Comparison between (l-r) barn owl, turkey vulture, and Golden eagle eggs and feathers

We saw another bird hiding out in the trees who definitely didn't want to be disturbed.

What am I looking at?

We decided to head over to the playground, which will be the topic of the next post!

Curb walking to the playground

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