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The Tech Museum of Innovation: With interactive science labs, educational IMAX movies, and galleries featuring exhibits on everything from Biotech to electronic music, the museum is sure to awaken the techie in us all. Located in downtown San Jose, California the museum will feature a special Star Wars exhibit beginning in October 2013.

Aquarium of the Pacific: This 5th largest aquarium in the US is located in Long Beach, California. With more than 11,000 animals on display, hands-on exhibits include such opportunities as feeding penguins. Lots of family friendly programs and group sleepover opportunities make this aquarium experience unforgettable.

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Besides the neighborhood structure, walkability is affected by the quality of the public realm. Public infrastructure such as sidewalks facilitates walking. Residents tend to walk 65 percent more in a neighborhood with sidewalks (Giles-Corti & Donovan, 2002). Safety on sidewalks is another critical factor; 43 percent of people with safe places to walk within ten minutes of home reached recommended levels of physical activity; those without safe places to walk achieved just 27 percent of the recommended level (Powell et al., 2003).

A lack of safe sidewalks discourages children from walking or cycling to schools (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). In 1969, 50 percent of children in the US walked or cycled to school; by 2001, this figure had declined to only 15 percent (Hubsmith, 2007), as more parents drove their children to school (Weigand, 2008). Walking or cycling to school helps meet the recommended levels of 60 or more minutes of daily physical activity recommended for children (US Environmental Protection Agency, 2015).

Apart from influencing the physical health of communities, connected places encourage happy and stress-free communities. A high-quality public realm that provides a network of green infrastructure with tree-lined streets and green urban spaces can reduce stress and improve self-esteem and mood disturbance (anger, fatigue, and so on) by connecting people with places.

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