The pandemic or being locked down at home may have made you forget, but spring is about to be in full bloom.
The first day of spring is March 20, 2021.
If you're looking for safe ways to welcome the new season, here's a list of safe springtime activities in the Southern California region.
Diamond Valley Lake Wildflower Trail
The 1.3-mile Wildflower Trail fronting Diamond Valley Lake in Hemet will reopen to the public March 24, but only for a season.
Visitors will have an opportunity to see nature blooming with the onset of spring, in a safe way. Officials if staff determines there's overcrowding, access may be limited.
The Lake's other trails, the 5.9-mile North Hills Trail and the 21.8-mile Lakeview Trail, are available year-round.
Want to find the best locations for viewing springtime flower fields? Call up this hotline.
Carlsbad Flower Fields
Nothing says spring quite like a visit to The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch on Paseo Del Norte in San Diego’s North County. Open now through Mother's Day (May 9), guests can enjoy the blooms daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and $10 for kids ages 3 to 10; children under 2 get in free, and parking is included in the ticket price. There are endless photo opportunities here and walking along the fields of flowers just makes it feel like spring has arrived.
Pandemic Changes: Last spring, The Flowers Fields in Carlsbad were only open for two weeks before COVID-19 reached our region and forced the attraction to shut down. This year, the fields are open – but far less crowded than they were in the pre-pandemic world – and with a lot of new health and safety rules.
The biggest change is that reservations must be made ahead of time on the attraction’s website. All ticket sales must be made online, no tickets will be sold on site. Visitors must choose a half-hour time window to arrive and can then stay however long they would like for the day. The entry system is touchless. The Flower Fields said cloth face masks are required to be worn by every visitor over the age of 2 at all times – except when eating and drinking. Visitors must keep a distance of 6 feet from any other visitors who are not part of their households. You can read up on all of the COVID-era rules here.
Natural History Museum's Butterfly Pavilion
The Butterfly Pavilion opens to the public March 18-22, featuring "up to 30 different species" that free-fly in the pavilion, which is open air (though netted, to house the butterflies).
Timed tickets must be purchased in advance; the museum's Nature Gardens will also reopen on March 11.
As with the 2020 version of the popular annual happening, the 2021 Butterfly Pavilion will have a number of safety protocols in place.
Capacity will be lower, visitor-wise, and you'll want to remember your mask, too.
Learn more here.
South Coast Botanic Garden Superbloom on Palos Verdes Peninsula
The South Coast Botanic Garden on the Palos Verdes Peninsula is full of floral splendor as the middle of March arrives. Poppies, tulips, and other favorites are on view.
You'll want to make an advance reservation and arrive with a mask.
The visit-with-your-pooch days have returned to South Coast Botanic Garden as well.
La Cañada Flintridge's Descanso Gardens
Later in March, Descanso Gardens will give you all of those lavender-lovely feels, for the La Cañada Flintridge garden is one of the Southern California go-tos for this glorious bloom.
Some things to note: they require advance reservations, and masks are required
The first lilac was photographed on March 2; the lilac area is still mostly "bare" but more flowers are soon to come.
The garden's cherry trees and tulips are moving toward their peak blooms.
Baby Animal Time at Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark
What says spring has sprung more than tiny, cute, fuzzy newborn animals?
The Animal Center of Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark will have just that in March or April.
Entry to the Animal Center? It's part of your Underwood Family Farms admission.
Safety protocols? Find them on the site.
Picking your own strawberries and other yummy produce? There's information here.
For a list of San Diego springtime things to do, click here.