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Children’s Nature Retreat

Discover a place where happiness is found and a love for nature is born.

Discover a place where happiness is found and a love for nature is born. Located in Alpine, a rural community in the foothills east of San Diego, this magical ranch-style retreat offers tranquil surroundings to enjoy and explore. Sprawling over 20 acres, this safe haven to more than 100 rescue and adopted animals is the perfect place to connect with nature and some of its most exotic and cuddly creatures, from zebras and camels to bunnies and baby goats.

In an increasingly urbanized and digital-dependent world, the goal of this adventure is to foster an appreciation for nature and animals and to offer the positive impact this experience has by reducing stress levels and offering a sense of connection to the earth. To create a fun and teachable environment, there are separate areas where the animals reside, reflecting different ecosystems in the animal kingdom where visitors have the unique opportunity to see these animals as they roam in their habitat. Although a wonderful experience for all ages, the retreat was designed to help children in particular to develop a sense of wonder for nature and its inhabitants through unstructured exploration and learning. Accompanied by experienced animal keepers, guests can enjoy up-close interaction with these beautiful animals from 17 species and 38 different breeds from around the world.

The Children’s Nature Retreat (through its affiliate 501(c)(3), Hands United for Children) works directly with local schools and other nonprofits that benefit children, including organizations for children with pediatric cancer and children with disabilities, offering field trips to the retreat. The nonprofit also partners with inner city, low-income schools throughout San Diego County to provide free curriculum-supported environmental education to children who otherwise do not have access to nature and farm experiences. To find out how you can help by being part of this amazing gift to some amazing children, please visit

In addition to joining others for the day with your regular admission, there is also an opportunity to book a private (four-hour) tour of the retreat with its founder. You’ll learn all about the individual animals and their journey to their current home, creating a family or corporate outing you’ll never forget. Or for animal lovers who want to experience the world of caring for these creatures, you can become a keeper for the day (8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.), shadowing and helping animal keepers with their daily duties, interacting with the animals one-on-one and learning what it takes to keep them all healthy and happy.

At the retreat, field trips for grades pre-K-8 are welcome for either half day (two-hour, morning or afternoon) or full day retreats (four-hours and you can have a picnic lunch on the grounds). The retreat is at 5178 Japatul Spur in Alpine and is open daily. Purchase tickets by reserving your special day online at or by calling (619) 320-4942.

Children's Nature Retreat San Diego Attraction


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Located in Alpine

5178 Japatul Spur, Alpine91901
Alpine, CA 91901
(619) 320-4942
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