One of Menlo Park's cultural treats is a retreat nestled in the lush foliage near the Stanford Shopping Center, where families can go to view captivating art exhibits and support the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital.
The pristinely presented grounds of the Allied Arts Guild, which are located at 75 Arbor Road, have been a sanctuary of art and culture since the organization's inception in 1929.
Open, for free, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., the Allied Arts Guild is a delightful destination for families who want to spend a few hours on the weekend perusing galleries by local artists, or simply enjoy the amenities offered by one of Menlo Park's premier historial landmarks.
The Guild offers a little bit of everything for the inner artist that most folks have buried deep inside. There are manicured flower gardens, uniquely fashioned buildings featuring classic Spanish architecture, as well as exhibits from local photographers, painters and more.
This weekend and throughout the rest of the month, Menlo Park resident Frances Freyberg will be hosting an exhibit of her photographs from her travels across the globe.
The proceeds from her show "Small Works for a Big Cause" will go to benefit the Nuru International non-profit organization, which dedicates its efforts to holistically addressing hunger and poverty issues in a small town in Kenya, said Freyburg.
She will be showing and selling her pictures of her travels to Chile, Patagonia, New Zealand, Namibia, Bulgaria and other locations across the world in hopes that the money will go toward achieving the goal set by Nuru International to assist Kuria, Kenya of becoming self sufficient, said Freyberg.
Freyburg said she will also be exhibiting pictures she took on local hiking and backpacking trips, as well as some taken amid the flower gardens at the Allied Arts Guild.
"The Allied Arts Guild is a great place for a family to come have a cheap thrill," said Freyberg. "It's a beautiful place to visit."
Those who wish to contribute to charity can visit the shops or the cafe at the Guild; proceeds from some of the sales there go to the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto.
The menu of Cafe Primavera, located on site, offers a variety of appetizers, salads, sandwiches and burgers ranging from $9 for a Caesar salad to $16 for a trip-tip sandwich.
The Guild also hosts more than 10 different art galleries which exhibit everything under the summer sun, from jewelry to floral designs to paintings to sculptures to woodworks, and much more.
Shoppers who wish to have their money donated to the Children's Hospital should focus on patronizing the Artisan Shop, which is the branch of the Allied Arts Guild that contributes its revenue to charity.
Furthering the spirit of giving selflessly to the community, much of the events and presentations offered by the Guild are staffed by volunteers.
The Allied Arts Guild has long been one of most pleasant ways to spend an afternoon in Menlo Park. And though it is open year round, a long, lazy weekend day in the summer is really the way to experience the grounds to the fullest of their potential. But keep in mind it is closed on Sunday.
So before the sunny season ends, and the kids go back to school, go enjoy one of Menlo Park's most beautiful and relaxing locations.