fun to do kids murphys california   Travel for Kids
  | California | Gold Country

Vallecito and Murphys

moaning cavern
  Moaning Caverns (5350 Moaning Cave Rd, Vallecito) – Moaning Caverns are so named because the sounds coming out of the cave entrance sounded like moans, and the name stuck. On the 45 min. tour, you descend on steep stairs through a narrow crevice, then down a 100 foot spiral staircase. At the bottom, find yourself in an amazing high chamber, taller than the Statue of Liberty. The cavern is lined with dripping stalactites and stalagmites, including "chocolate and vanilla waterfalls."
    Tip: This cave walking tour isn't suited to toddlers or infants. It's a distance up and down the stairs (165ft.) and no baby backpacks are allowed.
    Gemstone panning will be a big hit with everyone in your family. Buy a bag of "dirt" and sift the contents in flowing water to find moonstone, topaz, amethyst, raspberry quartz, citrine and garnets. There are shaded picnic tables, bring your lunch.

Murphys Murphys, founded by the Murphy brothers, Dan and John, started out as a tent camp. The gold camp was a pretty wild place in the 1850's, but now it's a peaceful spot.

murphys community park
    Murphys Community Park – Want to just take it easy? Head over the to the Murphys Community Park, a shady area situated on a sparkling stream. Large playground for little ones, lots of picnic tables. While parents relax in the shade, kids can wade in the creek or bring a gold pan to pan for gold.

Murphys Mini Golf Play nine holes at a unique mini-golf course, decorated with jumping frogs large and small, turning windmill, water flume, little locomotive, ore cart, covered wagon, horses and saddles. Self-serve, open daily dawn to dusk.

      Mercer Caverns (1665 Sheep Ranch Rd.) – Go on a walking tour through the glories of Mercer Caverns, formations in all shapes and sizes. Each of the seven rooms has its own charm, especially the Gothic Chamber, and Angel's Wings (looks like a stone curtain) in the Cathedral Room. The tour takes about 45 min. and you can bring kids under 5, but the stairs are pretty narrow to carry a toddler.

Fun food

nelson gold rush candies

Nelson's Gold Rush Candies – Lots of delicious chocolates, plus old fashioned candies, such as black licorice, cinnamon bears, rock pebbles, fancy raspberries, plus Jelly Belly jelly beans.


JoMa's – Locally made ice-cream, e.g. Cha-Cha Chocolate, "Sweet as Spring "strawberry, "Black Bear-y," "Salty River of Gold" caramel, also vegan flavors, cookies.

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