May the 4th be With You!

Once Upon a Storybook has a special event planned for the 4th of May. “May the Fourth Be with You! Come and celebrate May the 4th, the unofficial Star Wars holiday with an exciting Star Wars storytime and create Yoda origami!

This event is perfect for children in 1st – 4th grades.

  •  – 
  • Where: Once Upon a Storybook, 17300 E. 17th St. #C, Tustin, CA 92780
  • Cost: $5.00 per child

OC Zoo Bear Awareness Day

OC Zoo Black BearCome learn all about bears at the OC Zoo’s Bear Awareness Day on Saturday, May 7, 2016 from 10:00 am -4:00 pm

There will be plenty of fun activities for the kids including crafts, special keeper chats about bears, a learning station where you can find out more about bear conservation and research, how to “bear proof” camping sites, and what to do if you see a bear.

Reservations are not required for this event, Admission to OC Zoo is $2 per person ages 3 years and over; Ages 2 years and under are free. Entry Fee for Irvine Regional Park is $5 per vehicle on weekends.

OC Zoo is located inside Irvine Regional Park at 1 Irvine Park Rd, Orange, CA 92869

Rocket Launch!

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Image Courtesy of

Join the Boeing Company and Discovery Cube for their annual Rocket Launch! This FREE family-friendly event is a hands-on, engaging day of designing, building and launching your own Rocket!

There are activities for all ages including a competition to make and launch your very own rocket made from a 2-liter plastic soda bottle. Bring your pre-built rocket from home or built it there (please bring your own bottle). Design and attach a parachute to your rocket for the full effect. The payload with the longest “hang time” in the air wins!

Bring your own chairs and sunscreen (no pop-ups or large umbrellas please). Indulge in Southern California’s top gourmet food trucks.

  • When: Saturday, May 7, 2105 from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • Where: The Boeing Company, 5301 Bolsa Avenue, Huntington Beach, CA 92647
  • Cost: FREE
Sponsored by:







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Image courtesy of downtown Anaheim Facebook page
Image courtesy of downtown Anaheim Facebook page

The 5th annual Citrus Festival at the historic Anaheim Packing District takes place today!! Celebrate all things citrus at this free event!

Head over to the Packing District between 4:00 pm -10:00 pm for some sweet giveaways, local makers and artisans, live music, hard lemonade garden and kids activities and games!

Enter the raffle to win a 7 day luxury vacation getaway all benefiting the Anaheim Historical Society. Grab good eats from over 20 of the Packing House restaurants. If you want something yummy to drink make sure to try out the new Mini Monster!

Mini Monster was kind enough to invite us to their soft opening at couple of weeks ago and treated my family to some of the yummiest Matcha Green Tea and Jasmine Tea’s we’ve ever had! My girls absolutely loved their Strawberry Lemonade Snow Clouds.

The festival takes place at the Anaheim Packing District, located at 440 S Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim, California 92805

Rancho Days Fiesta

RanchoDaysHeritage Hill Historical Park presents the 20th Annual RANCHO DAYS FIESTA on Sunday, May 1, 2016. Come explore the rich history of Orange County’s rancho era through hands-on activities, crafts, music, and dance.

Activities and performances include:

  • Native American and Folklorico dancing
  • Early California ranching hands-on activities & exhibitors
  • Piñata breaking
  • butter churning
  • candle dipping

There will also be Rancho-era music and crafts for children as well as Charro horse riding and roping demonstrations. The Historic buildings will be open, courtesy of the Amigo de la Colina docents.

  • When: Sunday, May 1, 2016 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Where: Heritage Hill Historical Park, 25151 Serrano Road, Lake Forest, CA 92630
  • Cost: $5.00 per person, Free for children under age 3

2nd Annual STEAM Carnival

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Image Courtesy of

 Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF) is excited to present the second annual STEAM Carnival – tomorrow Saturday, April 30th.

This family-friendly event for all ages is designed to provide children with fun, hands-on activities in an interactive carnival atmosphere to spark their interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).

Discover, experiment, learn and play as a family with a variety of STEAM activities, games, animal exhibit, live performances, prizes and so much more!

  • When: Saturday, April 30, 2016 from 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm
  • Where: The Market Place, Irvine at the Edwards Courtyard, located at 13782 Jamboree Rd, Irvine, CA 92602
  • Cost: Tickets are $5.00 at the door. The first 350 attendees will also receive a limited-edition tote bag. 

Weekend Hikes

Get your hiking boots out, this weekend will be a perfect time for a hike! There is so much to see and do this weekend but why not start it off with a FREE guided hike, compliments of our Orange County Parks?

The guided hikes are always FREE just cover the parking.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Birds of Baker Canyon – Irvine Ranch Open Space
Join a moderate-paced bird walk through the beautiful oak woodland of Baker Canyon, home to a diverse variety of bird species. Learn about which species you’re most likely to see and how to identify them.

  • Pre-registration is required.
  • Driving directions will be provided after registration.
  • For more activities in Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park, click here.

Online Registration

Date:  4/30/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Family Hike: Round Canyon – Irvine Ranch Open Space
Enjoy an early evening family hike in Round Canyon, where you’ll hike along a flat trail and cross a creek while watching for red-tailed hawks and mule deer. The hike will average 2-3 miles roundtrip.

  • Pre-registration is required.
  • Driving directions will be provided after registration.
  • For more activities in Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve, click here.

Online Registration

Date:  4/30/2016
Time:  4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Fremont Loop Distance Hike – Irvine Ranch Open Space
Join an extremely challenging 15-mile loop hike around the entire rim of Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve.

  • Pre-registration is required.
  • Driving directions will be provided after registration.
  • For more events in Fremont Canyon,click here.

Online Registration

Date:  5/1/2016
Time:  7:00 AM – 2:30 PM
Guided Nature Hike – Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park
Join the Park Ranger for a one mile nature hike in the beautiful Bell Canyon area of Caspers Wilderness Park. Hike lasts approximately one hour and is suitable for all ages.

  • Contact park office for hike updates.
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle (day use fee).
  • Meet at the Old Corral Day Use Area.
Date:  5/1/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 9:15 AM
Nature Hike in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park – Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park
Come out and join us for a great nature hike into Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park. This hike will begin in the Borrego Parking lot where we will head into Whiting Ranch on Borrego Trail. As we hike into the park we will be learning a little about the different plants and animals that call Whiting Ranch their home.  We will be hiking about 1.5 miles. Participants must wear sturdy, closed-toe hiking shoes. Remember to pack plenty of water, sunscreen, a hat, and all other necessary equipment to keep you safe on the trail.  Just a quick note that if you are bringing the little ones, the trail we will be on is not stroller friendly. Registration required, please click link below.
Online Registration
Date:  5/1/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 9:30 AM
Sunday Family Fun Hike – Aliso & Wood Canyons Park
When was the last time you took the family out to hike for pure enjoyment? On this excursion, we’ll focus on fun facts, nature themed games, and wildlife habits while answering questions from your little ones.

  • Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Canyon View Staging Area (from southbound Aliso Creek Road, turn right on Glenwood [turns into Pacific Park] and right on Canyon Vistas. Meet at the entrance to Canyon View Park).
  • For questions, call (949) 497-8324 Mon-Fri & (949) 923-2200 Sat/Sun.
  • This is a 2-mile (150-ft. elevation gain) hike.
  • For ages 7 and up.
  • Parking: Free.
  • Please sign-up online using link below

Sign-up Link

Date:  5/1/2016
Time:  9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Insect & Arthropod Zoo

Nix Nature Center
Nix Nature Center

Look, Listen and Learn with Dr. Sue Ph.D (also known as the Bug Lady) and her zoo full of amazing live Insects and Arthropods at the Nix Nature Center. Touch an insect, try out the insect scavenger hunt, sort arthropods and make your own insect to take home!

To be part of the creeping crawly fun – sign-up for this event online. Please note that parking is limited. It is best to arrive early as the parking lot fills to capacity.

  • When: Saturday, April 30, 2016 from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
  • Where: Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center (west side of Laguna Canyon Road/SR-133, approximately 3.5-miles south of I-5/405)
  • Cost: Free, parking $3.00 per vehicle

Rockin’ Family Fun Night!

Image Courtesy of RockinJumpSantaAna Facebook page
Image Courtesy of RockinJumpSantaAna Facebook page

Join Rockin’ Jump as they host their first ever Rockin’ Family Fun Fair, tonight, Thursday, April 28th from 4:00pm-8:00pm.

The Event is FREE to attend! Bring your family and friends and enjoy a memorable night together at Rockin’ Jump.

Meet local, family-friendly vendors who will spoil you with products and services. They’ll be raffling off a Family 4-pack of jump time and the chance to win some FREE SWAG from the follow companies:

Newport Landing Sportfishing & Whale Watching
CodeRev Kids
Front Porch Pops
K1 Speed
Chick-fil-A Bristol and MacArthur
School of Rock Tustin
OC Animal Care
The Arts & Learning Conservatory
American Martial Arts Academy
Silver Stirrup Riding Academy
Australian Swim School
Sender One Climbing
Brain Builders Educational Programs

The first 25 attendees will receive VIP SWAG BAGS with free jump time and other discounts from our vendors! Don’t miss our Family Night deal – 4 jumpers for 1 hour, 1 large pizza, & 1 pitcher of soda for just $30!

  • When: Tonght, Thursday, April 28, 2016 from 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Where: Rockin’ Jump, 1411 Village Way, Santa Ana, CA
  • Cost: FREE

Impossible Science

Image Courtesy of columbiaspace facebook page
Image Courtesy of columbiaspace facebook page

 Join Columbia Memorial Space Center for the “Impossible Science Lab” hosted by Magician and Quantum Physicist Jason Latimer. Learn how to bend light, become invisible, blow square bubbles, and more!

“The Impossible Science Lab is a hands-on, interactive event that explores the science behind the seemingly impossible. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn how to turn objects invisible, explore levitation, play with the science of mind control, discover impossible figures and even learn how to walk on water. This event will examine the question “what is possible?” and use visual and interactive experiences to show how the seemingly impossible can become possible through curiosity and knowledge.

The “Impossible Science Lab” was created by Jason Latimer. Jason is one of the judges, along with Penn & Teller, on Syfy’s magic competition TV series, “Wizard Wars.” He is a scientist, three-time World Champion of Magic, winner of the BBC One’s The Magicians, and a huge education advocate! Jason’s research based out of the Fleet Science Center in San Diego, CA and his various university lectures on the topics of invisibility, teleportation, transformation and making other “impossibilities” possible through applied science has gathered recognition in science and education communities around the world.”

  • When: Daily from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm through Saturday, April 30, 2016
  • Where: Columbia Memorial Space Center, 12400 Columbia Way, Downey, California 90242
  • Cost: $5.00 for Adults and Children 4 years and older, Children 3 years and younger are FREE

Science in the Park

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Image courtesy of

OC Parks and The John D. Cooper Archaeological and Paleontological Center are hosting Science in the Park, a fun and educational day for the whole family. The event features paleontology, archaeology, Orange County history. geology, biology, native plants and animals and junior scientist camp.

The event takes place on Saturday, April 30, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The days schedule consists of:

  • 11:00 am – “California’s Volcanos” by Valbone “Vali” Memeti, CSUF assistant professor of geological sciences
  • 12:00 pm – Volcano demonstration by David D. Bowman, interim dean of CSUF’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and professor of geological sciences
  • 1:00 pm – “Traditional & Contemporary Uses of California Native Plants” by Craig Torres of the Gabrielino-Tongva Tribe
  • 2:00 pm – “Ice Age Fossils” by Eric Scott, Cooper Center associate curator for paleontology
  • 3:00 pm – “Orange County Archaeology” by Jeannine Pedersen-Guzman, Cooper Center associate curator for archeology

You’ll learn about Orange County natural history, our native animals and plants and local Native American culture and the world of science. All of the activities and lectures are lead by leading experts in their fields.

The Junior Scientist Camp will feature plenty of hand-on activities and educational crafts. There will also be storytime’s held throughout the day in the Orange County Zoo along with OC Ranger talks.

  • When: Saturday, April 30, 2016, from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Where: Irvine Regional Park, 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869
  • Cost: Zoo Admission $2.00, parking is $5.00 per vehicle

Chapter Two

Just a couple months ago my favorite Children’s book store, Once Upon a Storybook, was in fear of closing. Thanks to an investor, Once Upon a Storybook‘s story continues! Chapter Two is a Grand re-opening and celebration of what is come. Ms. Susie and Ms Tina have a fun-filled day planned.

Today’s festivities include

  • Raffles through out the day
  • An Ice Queen Sing-along
  • Endless popcorn
  • Balloon artist
  • A concert from Emily Arrow – singer/songwriter of children’s literature songs
  • Authors – Salina Yoon, Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein of Lil’ Libros, and Marcia Berneger to name a few
  • A cocktail reception for the adults at the end of the day.
Image courtesy of
Image courtesy of

Come and celebrate this bookshop and all it has to offer our community and our children.

  • Where: Once Upon a Storybook, 17300 E 17th St, # C, Tustin, CA
  • When: Today – Saturday, April 23, 2016 from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Cost: FREE

Earth Day!


Today is Earth Day! There are many events this weekend that help celebrate and bring awareness of our precious home. Founded in 1970 as a day  to bring to light environmental issues, Earth Day is now celebrated globally.

Here’s a few ways to celebrate:

Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center, Newport Beach, CA
Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center, Newport Beach, CA

Celebrate Earth Day at the Back Bay : Take a stand so that together, we can show the world a new direction – to think about how we can protect our planet and preserve it for the future.The 2016 Earth Day celebration at the Bay at the Upper Newport Bay’s Nature Preserve/Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center in Newport Beach takes place on Saturday, April 23rd and will include the following activities:

  • Environmental Exhibits
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Live Entertainment
  • Science Discovery and Craft Booths
  • Rain Barrel Distribution
  • Food Trucks and Opportunity Drawing
  • Free Parking and Admission

Click here for more Information and directions. All activities and parking are FREE

The Discovery Cube OC in Santa Ana will celebrate Earth Day every weekend between April 16 and May 15 to enjoy special stage shows and eco-friendly activities! Plus, enter the Poster Contest for a chance to become an Angels’ Bat Kid and join the Cube on April 23 for our Earth Day event to meet a Angels player, Johnny Giavotella!

People_recyclingActivities include: 

  • Complete the Eco Challenge Scavenger Hunt and enter to win Angels tickets.
  • Meet & greet with Angels player Johnny Giavotella.
    – bring e-waste for priority access!
  • Learn about eco-friendly resources from our partners.
  • Take the Eco Challenge and make a difference in your community!
  • The first 200 hundred cars to bring e-waste will receive a voucher valid for 4 Discovery Cube general admission tickets.

Plus, don’t miss your chance to enter the Eco Challenge Poster Contest and enter to win an Angels Bat Kid Experience! Learn more by clicking here. All Earth Day activities are included in regular admission.


Pretend City in Irvine promotes environmental awareness on Earth Day and throughout the year. On Saturday, April 23rd look forward to special performances will include with performances from Creative Kids Playhouse Children’s Theatre of OC, Tom Thumb Players and The International Peace Choir Performance. Enjoy other earth based engaging activities such as:

  • Smart Art: Recycle City – From cereal box buildings to can cars the possibilities are endless when you recreate with recyclable materials. Stop by the Art Studio to see what your little ones will engineer.
  • Sensational Story Time: Compost Stew – Who knew rotting vegetables and fruit could be so great for the environment? This story time and activity will help you figure out what you need to create your own compost bin at home.
  • Science for the Senses: Seed Exploration – Your children will enjoy using their deductive reasoning skills and senses as they explore and match a variety of seeds.
  • Art Studio Sessions: What Shape is Our Earth? – We will make our own earth to take home using coffee filters, droppers, and colored water; using the colors, blue and green.

All Activities included in regular admission.

Visit Pretend City


Image courtesy of
Image courtesy of

CoastKeeper Garden in Orange will hold an Earth Day celebration on Saturday April 23rd from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

SmartScape tours of the Garden will be given at 11:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.. The event is free but donations are cheerfully welcome.

Hikes & Bikes


Hit the trails this Earth Day weekend and enjoy one of the FREE Guided Hikes or Mountain bikes rides in one of our Orange County Parks. The guided hikes & bike rides are always free just cover the parking.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Extreme Cardio Hike: Fremont, Blind, Weir Canyons – Irvine Ranch Open Space
Join a fast-paced, early morning extreme cardio hike in Fremont and Weir canyons. This approximately 12-mile cardio hike, completed in 3 hours, includes a 2,000-foot elevation change and is for experienced, physically fit hikers.

  • Pre-registration is required.
  • Driving directions will be provided after registration.
  • For more activities in Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve, click here.

Online Registration

Date:  4/23/2016
Time:  7:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Geology Hike at Little Sycamore – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Enjoy an afternoon of unspoiled canyon views while learning about the geology of this area. The rocks and fossils reveal fascinating stories about the park’s ancient environments. Meet at the Nix Nature Center to begin this highly interpretive 3-mile hike (400-ft. elevation gain), on sometimes steep, uneven and rocky terrain. Led by Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists.

  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center (west side of Laguna Canyon Road/SR-133, approximately 3.5 miles south of I-5/405).
  • For questions call: 949-497-8324 Mon-Fri & 949-923-2235 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle.
  • Please sign-up online using link below

Online Registration

Date:  4/23/2016
Time:  8:30 AM – 11:30 AM


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Guided Nature Hike – Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park
Join the Park Ranger for a one mile nature hike in the beautiful Bell Canyon area of Caspers Wilderness Park. Hike lasts approximately one hour and is suitable for all ages.

  • Contact park office for hike updates.
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle (day use fee).
  • Meet at the Old Corral Day Use Area.
Date:  4/24/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 9:15 AM
Birding Hike -Aliso & Wood Canyons Park
Spot spring and year-round resident birds, with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists on this moderate 2-mile, level  hike over uneven terrain through one of the most diverse plant communities in the United States.

  • Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Ranger Headquarters, 28373 Alicia Pkwy (from southbound Aliso Creek Rd, turn right on Alicia Parkway, first right on Awma Road, then left into parking lot).
  • For questions, call (949) 497-8324 Mon-Fri & (949) 923-2200 Sat/Sun
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle
  • Ages: 12 and up (minors must be accompanied by an adult)
  • Wear hiking or walking shoes and bring your binoculars!
  • Reservations Required Online (link below)

Sign-up Link

Date:  4/24/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Introduction to Mountain Biking – Aliso & Wood Canyons Park
Join Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer Mountain Bike Trail Assistants on this beautiful 8-mile bike ride (400-ft. elevation gain) on uneven terrain. Learn mountain biking basics and trail etiquette while enjoying the canyon views.

  • Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Ranger Headquarters, 28373 Alicia Pkwy (from southbound Aliso Creek Rd, turn right on Alicia Parkway, first right on Awma Road, then left into parking lot).
  • Please come prepared with a bike suitable for off-pavement riding, sturdy shoes, helmet, gloves, water and snack.
  • For questions, call (949) 497-8324 Mon-Fri & (949) 923-2200 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle.
  • Please sign-up online using link below.

Sign-up link

Date:  4/24/2016
Time:  8:30 AM – 10:30 AM

Happy Birthday John Muir

Happy Birthday to John Muir, writer, naturalist, and advocate of U.S. forest conservation.He founded and was the first president of the Sierra Club and helped establish Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks as well as help to protect the Petrified Forest and Grand Canyon.

In celebration of his birthday – “John Muir Day” is each April 21st  a day to recognize that our well being, our survival depends on the conservation of an ecologically sound natural environment. Take this day to inspire others and carry on the movement created John Muir.

If you have any plans of going the the San Francisco area – don’t miss out on visiting the Muir Woods. It is amazingly beautiful and the trails are surrounded by trees and a beautiful stream. Put this Family Friendly hike on your “must do” list.

If you’ve ever thought of Hiking the John Muir Trail, The Pacific Crest Trail Association website has everything you need to know from planning, to permits, transportation to where to get more supplies while on your journey.

John Muir Trail

Happy Hiking my fellow nature lovers!


Get in the Dirt!

Get in the Dirt this weekend and test your hiking or trail running abilities with this fun event that takes place on the dirt trails.

Rock it Racing OC is hosting an event on Friday evening at one of my of favorite hiking spots – the beautiful Peters Canyon Regional Park! This 10K trail run or hike begins at 5:00 pm. You must be able to maintain an 18 minute per pace.

It’s not too late to REGISTER online today or register on the day of the event. Prizes for the top 3 overall in the 10K race will receive Road Runner Sports gift cards ($100 1st, $60 2nd, $30 3rd). Awards will be handed out at 6:30 pm.

There will be awesome custom race medal for all participants, high quality t-shirt, post-race snacks – however Your preferred shirt size cannot be guaranteed for registrations after 4/1/16. Race bib and shirt pick up for registered runners will be available on race day or on Thursday April 21st 4:00 – 8:00 PM at Road Runner Sports in Laguna Hills.

Image Courtesy of
Image Courtesy of
  • When: Friday, April 22, 2016, Check in for registered runners begins at 4:00 pm. The10K begins promptly at 5:00 pm
  • Where: Peters Canyon Regional Park.    8548 E. Canyon View Ave., Orange, CA  92869.   Race starts in the main parking area for Peters Canyon Regional Park on the Lake View Trail.
  • Cost: Registration Fee is $45.00, Parking:  ALL PARTICIPANTS MUST PARK IN OR AROUND THE CHAPMAN HILLS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PARKING LOT on 170 Aspen St., Orange, CA.  This is about a half mile away from the park.  There is not parking in the residential areas around Peters Canyon.  There is very limited parking in the Peters Canyon main lot, and we are not allowed to use much space there. 

NOTE:  Race may be rescheduled due to rain or muddy conditions, per OC Parks, and up to the discretion of OC Parks leadership and Peters Canyon Rangers.  If this happens, we will notify participants prior to race day.

Click here to REGISTER NOW

See the COURSE MAP here