Month: August 2014

10 Reasons to NOT Volunteer with Girl Scouts


At Girl Scouts, one of the big reasons girls get to do such awesome things and learn so many amazing skills is because we have great volunteers who are willing to give their time and energy to building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. So, naturally, we’re always encouraging people to volunteer with us.

But not today.

This time, we’re giving you 10 reasons NOT to volunteer with Girl Scouts. That’s right—we’re going to show you why it would be a terrible idea to join:

click here for -10 reasons not volunteer with girl scouts




Get Wild Tonight!


Here’s a line up of some wild events that will get you outside enjoying nature in our great OC Parks tonight.

Sunset Hike – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
6: 00 – 8:00 p.m.Hike with Ranger Adam Martinez as the sunsets over Laurel and Willow canyons. Observe the changes as day turns to night. Hear the last bird songs. Light interpretation with questions welcome. The terrain can often be rocky and uneven.

  • Participants should bring water, a snack, a flashlight, and wear proper hiking shoes.
  • Ages 12 and up.
  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area (20101 Laguna Canyon Road, just south of El Toro Road intersection).
  • For questions, call (949) 497-8324.
  • Parking: $3/vehicle.

Online Registration 

Smiling Rock in Laguna Canyon

Wildlife Walk: Bats – Yorba Linda Regional Park

7:00 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.

Learn some of the myths and truths about these fascinating creatures. Come learn how bats communicate, what they eat and why they are important to our ecosystem. Then we will take a short walk near the lake to see if we can spot some of our resident bats.

All ages welcome
Event is FREE!
Parking is $5 per vehicle

Email to register:
Please leave your name, phone number, number of participants in your group and ages of participant(s) in your email.

(This event will be outside. Please bring water and dress accordingly.)
Click Here for more Info


Bats of Orange County – Laguna Niguel Regional Park
7:15 p.m. – 8: 30 p.m.Join Park Ranger Brad Barker as we learn about those mysterious creatures of the night – bats!Ranger Barker will lead a 45-minute presentation about bats that can be found in Orange County. After the presentation, join us for a 30-minute walk to the nearby lake as we look for bats and listen for their echolocation using a bat detector.Meet at the amphitheater. Come early to look at a bat skeleton and skull.

  • Laguna Niguel Regional Park, 28241 La Paz Road, Laguna Niguel.
  • for questions call: 949-497-8324.
  • Parking: $5/vehicle.
  • Program is free; donations appreciated.
  • Registration encouraged using link below.

Online Registration


Ranger Led Campfire Program – O’Neill Regional Park
8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.Join us each Saturday Night at the amphitheater for this Ranger led talk on local animal life, set to the glow of fire light. This event is only open to those camping at O’Neill Regional Park. No access for day use after sunset.

  • Ages: All Ages Welcome
  • Fee: Free

(Event is outdoors and dependent on weather conditions.)


Campfire Program – Caspers Wilderness Park8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.Every Saturday night, join us for a campfire program that may include a slide presentation, wilderness safety, games and activities for children, animal adaptations, skins and skulls, a live animal demonstration and a chance to visit the Nature Center. Topics may vary weekly.

  • Cost: Free
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle
  • All ages welcome

For information call the park at 949 923 2210

Images from


Don’t make the End of Summer the End of Summer’s

From: Blog Like MADD


Labor Day is celebrated by many Americans as the symbolic end of summer. With back to school and fall just around the corner, many families take advantage of this long summer weekend and head out on a last summer vacation or a day trip to the beach, pool or lake.

But holidays like Labor Day can be an especially dangerous time on America’s roadways. In 2012, there were 147 people killed in drunk driving crashes over Labor Day weekend. To put that into perspective, throughout the year someone is killed in a drunk driving crash every 51 minutes, on average. Over the Labor Day weekend, that statistic jumps to one every 34 minutes.

Thankfully, law enforcement will be out in force ready to arrest drunk drivers who put lives at risk from August 15 through September 1, covering the end of summer and the busy Labor Day holiday weekend.

Research shows that these campaigns result in a 20-percent decrease in drunk driving deaths. With one person, on average, dying every 34 minutes in a drunk-driving crash over Labor Day weekend, that’s a lot of lives that could be saved!

There are several ways you can help keep your loved ones safe this Labor Day holiday:

Plan for a safe way home with a non-drinking designated driver for you and your loved ones before consuming alcoholThrow a safe party for all of your guestsRecognize and report drunk drivers on the roadways

If you plan to be on the road during this dangerous time period, please be careful, and remember to spread the word that driving after drinking is simply not worth the risk … so don’t take the chance.


– See more at:


Los Angeles County Fair


The 2014 Los Angeles County Fair starts today! The fair runs from Aug. 29 – Sept. 28, 2014. In addition to the fair food, rides, exhibits and “End of Summer Concert Series”, there are a few additions.

LACF_Luminasia_MythsLegendsThis year “Luminasia” an exciting new exhibit presented by Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa, lights up LACF’s hillside with speectacular, larger-than-life Asian themed and whimsical lanterns. Each is hand-crafted and custom built using an ancient art form and 100 artisans from China. This special exhibition has ever been seen in California. (a separate admission fee does apply)

LACF_HallofHeroes4Hall of Heroes is also new. This a fun, educational, and visually stunning mix of Interactive Science Devices all dressed up in a Superhero costume. For all you Dr. Who fans, be sure to check our the Tardis as well as other Whovian gadgets.

LACF_FarmKitchenThere has also been a four acre crop expansion to the farm where you will be able to taste some of the fresh herbs and vegetables in cooking demonstrations and the “Farm Kitchen” a new dinning experience. Here you’ll find fresh flat bread made on an open wood fire pizza oven. You can enjoy veggie flat bread grilled right in front of you, using fresh ingredients directly from the farm. The Farm still has the traditional favorites like the Big Red Barn, milking demonstrations and the petting zoo.


I’ve included the hours, admission fees, rental fees and of course, the “Special Offers” below.

As always, a reminder from me to help our community by participating in “donation” days. 

  • Food Drive Fridays presented by Ralphs on Fridays, Sept. 5, 12, 19 and 26, noon – 3 p.m. Donate five canned goods and receive free admission that day only.
  • School Supply Drive – Free Admission with Donation Thursdays, 12 p.m.-3 p.m. Must Donate at least 5 new or unwrapped school supplies in order to receive free admission to LACF. The items will be donated to Inland Empire United Way’s School Tools Program and local community schools.
  • Blood Drives – Receive an any-day ticket to LACF, by donating blood. Check out times and locations HERE!
  • For Veterans and active military, reserves, police, fire and paramedics – be sure to take advantage of the Weekend for Heroes, Saturday, Sept. 13 & Sunday, Sept. 14  with ID along with one guest can attend the Fair for $2 each. The proceeds from the $2 admission for hero and guest will be donated to Wounded Heroes of America.

Opening Weekend Hours

Friday, Aug. 29 – 3 p.m.-Midnight

Saturday, Aug. 30 – 10 a.m.-Midnight

Sunday, Aug. 31 – 10 a.m.-Midnight

Monday, Sept. 1, Labor Day – 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Sept. 4-28 Hours

Wednesdays – Noon-10 p.m.

Thursdays – Noon-11 p.m.

Fridays – Noon-Midnight

Saturdays – 10 a.m.-Midnight

Sundays – 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Luminasia Hours

Wednesday through Sunday – 6 p.m.-Closing


Weekdays     Weekends & Labor Day
Adults, 13+ $12.00 $19.00
Child, ages 6-12 $8.00 $12.00
Seniors 60+ $10.00 $15.00
Senior Wednesday $6.00
Season Pass $29.99

Group Discounts

VIP Concert Experience


*LACF has discontinued $1 admission over Labor Day Weekend, please visit our promotions page to see all the programs available.


Price Notes
200 tickets $100 Check for special offers
100 tickets $50 Check for special offers
40 tickets $20 Check for special offers
Unlimited Ride Wristband $50 Good for one day only

Carnival Wristband Restrictions

Wed.-Fri. Voucher must be traded for wristband at carnival ticket booth by 9pm. Wristband is good for use til 11pm.
Weekends Voucher must be traded for wristband at carnival ticket booth by 4pm. Wristband is good for use til 7 pm.
Labor Day Voucher must be traded for wristband at carnival ticket booth by 4pm. Wristband is good for use til 7 pm.

*You must be 36” or taller to ride any of the rides.


Adult Admission (ages 18+)  $9.00
Child Admission (ages 6-17)  $5.00

 Parking Prices

General Parking $15.00
Valet/Gate 3 $30.00
Season Pass $60.00


Rental Equipment

At all gates: Yellow, Blue and Green Gate

Strollers $10
Wagons $15
Double Strollers $15
Lockers $5 all day (in/out privileges), including
$5 key deposit that is returned at end of day
Wheelchairs $25
Scooters $50
Scooters after 7pm $35

Enjoy our special offers and save on your visit.

 Buy your Season Pass now!

Discover the Los Angeles County Fair again and again! A Season Pass good any day of the Fair for ages 6 and older is just $29.99.  Click HERE to purchase.

School Supply Drive – Free Admission with Donation

Thursdays, 12 p.m.-3 p.m. Must Donate at least 5 new or unwrapped school supplies in order to receive free admission to LACF. The items will be donated to Inland Empire United Way’s School Tools Program and local community schools.

Drink Specials, Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays

$1 fountain drink with purchase of $5 minimum food item at participating stands. $2 Off Happy Hour draft beer and margaritas, at participating stands, Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays, 4-7 p.m.

Blood Drives
Receive an any-day ticket to LACF, by donating blood. Check out times and locations HERE!

$5 after 5 p.m.
Wednesdays and Thursdays only Guest must PRINT coupon to receive discount. Please click HERE for coupon.

Senior Wednesdays
Seniors age 60+ receive $6 admission with PRINTED coupon. Please click HERE for coupon.


Get into LACF for free with College Days!Free admission to LACF when you present your College Day coupon and valid student ID. Find your College Day Coupon HERE. Be sure to wear your schools colors, bring your pride, and PRINT your coupon for admittance to LACF. See you there!Costco Fair Savings 

Just $59.99 for 4 adult tickets, 1 parking pass and 44 ride & game tickets. Rides & games require multiple tickets. Available online.


 Cardenas Market Any-Day Tickets

Come to any participating Cardenas Markets beginning Aug. 1 – Sept. 28, to purchase admission tickets for just $11 for adults, ages 13+ and $6 for ages 6-12. Each Cardenas adult and child any-day admission ticket comes with an exclusive carnival ride wristband offer (purchase required, restrictions apply). Wristbands are $35 and must be purchased before 9 p.m., and used by 11 p.m. weekdays; must be purchased before 4 p.m., and used by 7 p.m. weekends. Wristbands must be purchased in the carnival at a ticket booth by the designated times. For a list of participating Cardenas Markets, click HERE.


Ride Metro to LACF

For more information on public transportation to LACF, please visit the Metro Trip Planner and Metro Destination Discounts for special promotional offers.


 Ride Metrolink to LACF
Offering late night service from Union Station to LACF on weekends. Find out more and purchase discounted tickets by clicking HERE.SpecialOffers_Oreillys

 Wild Wednesdays, presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts

Fair admission and a carnival ride wristband for just $25 on Wednesdays only; available beginning August 29th in participating locations. Purchase required and restrictions apply. Good Wednesdays only.


 Ralphs Any-Day Tickets

Come to any participating Ralphs grocery store beginning Aug. 18 – Sept. 28, to purchase admission tickets for just $11 for adults, ages 13+ and $6 for ages 6-12. Each Ralphs adult and child any-day admission ticket comes with an exclusive carnival ride wristband offer (purchase required, restrictions apply). Wristbands are $35 and must be purchased before 9 p.m., and used by 11 p.m. weekdays; must be purchased before 4 p.m., and used by 7 p.m. weekends. Wristbands must be purchased in the carnival at a ticket booth by the designated times. For a list of participating Ralphs, click HERE. Presented by Ralphs. 

Food Drive Fridays presented by Ralphs
Fridays, Sept. 5, 12, 19 and 26, noon – 3 p.m. Donate five canned goods and receive free admission that day only.


 T-Mobile Thursdays presented by T-Mobile

$25 admission & a carnival ride wristband, available beginning August 29th in participating stores. Purchase required and restrictions apply. Good Thursdays only.



 Southern California Toyota Dealers Service Promotion Starting Aug. 29 a voucher good for two tickets to the Fair with any Toyota Service or Toyota Genuine Parts purchase of $59.99 or more at a participating Southern California Toyota dealer. While supplies last, tickets valid Wednesday – Friday. Presented by Toyota.SpecialOffers_WellsFargo
 $10 for up to 4, Sept. 13 and 14th onlyWells Fargo customers that use their Wells Fargo debit card receive a Los Angeles County Fair discount admission ticket for just $10 each, up to four tickets. Offer good at all LACF gates, Sept. 13 and 14 only.SpecialOffers_DayHeroes1
Weekend for Heroes, Saturday, Sept. 13 & Sunday, Sept. 14
Active and retired military, reserves, police, fire and paramedics, with ID along with one guest can attend the Fair for $2 each. The proceeds from the $2 admission for hero and guest will be donated to Wounded Heroes of America.
images and information from

Happy Ghostbusters Day!!

Can you believe it’s been 30 years! Wow, I remember running from store to store to locate a proton pack for my son’s 5th birthday (he’s 30 now). Since Ghostbuster’s played such a big role in our lives and provided many refining moments (and still does). I couldn’t let this day go by without posting that Ghostbuster’s is in theaters this weekend.


So who you gonna call to find out where ghostbusters 30th anniversary is playing this weekend? (I couldn’t help myself)….well, times have changed so visit to locate a showing near you.


Final OC Park Summer Concert Series Tonight

This is it! The final OC Parks Summer Concert of the season. Indie rock Matt Costa and the Wheeland Brothers will will be performing at Salt Creek Beach/Bluff Park  in Dana Point, tonight, Thursday, August 28th.


The concert is from 6 to 8 p.m., free and open to the public of all ages. Bring your family and enjoy live music under the stars.

 Salt Creek Beach/Bluff Park
33333 S. Pacific Coast Highway
Dana Point, CA 92629


If you’ve never been to Salt Creek Beach/Bluff Park this is a great way to explore it. Salt Creek Beach is one of Orange County’s top surfing beaches. A small, offshore reef creates some of the best left breaks along the entire shoreline. Swimming, body surfing, sunbathing and exploring tidepools are other activities here.


Bluff Park sits on a cliff above the Salt Creek Beach, so needless to say, the views are amazing. The park boasts a beautiful walking trail overlooking the beach, plenty of picnic tables, b.b.q’s, a basketball court and a huge grass area with a gorgeous view of the Ritz Carlton Hotel and the beach.


If you’ll be visiting the beach, be prepared, it’s a long (but manageable) walk down a hill to the beach, there is a shuttle that can take you up and down the hill. They charge a dollar per person but it’s completely worth it to visit this beach with soft sand and incredible views.


Click Here for more Info


There’s More than Meets the Eye

On Sunday, August 31, 2014, be ready to see Clark Park through the eyes of a Park Ranger as they lead you on a moderate 3/4 mile (30 minute) hike as you look for clues and find out where all  the animals are.

 Start by visiting with the Ranger at the Share and Show exhibit at Clark Park’s Fossil Museum (Los Coyotes Paleontology Museum) front patio for some history, find out what animals lived in the park 10,000 years ago, the animals that rule the park today and find out some of the secrets of the Clark Park. There will be fun actives for both adults and children alike.


  • August 31, 2014
  • 1:00 P.M. – 3:30 P.M.
  • Event is FREE, parking is $5.00

Clark Regional Park
8800 Rosecrans Ave.
Buena Park, CA 90621
(714) 973-3170 or (714) 973-6618


A variety of recreational activities are available at Ralph B. Clark Park. These include large shaded picnic areas, hiking and biking trails, and children’s playground areas. Children of all ages can enjoy fishing in the stocked three acre lake. Four tennis courts are located within the park and the amphitheater which overlooks the lake.


The Interpretive Center, which opened in September of 1988, contains a paleontology museum that provides an educational view of prehistoric Orange County through exhibits, programs and guided tours. Also the opportunity is provided to watch scientists and volunteers excavate and prepare fossil specimens for study and educational exhibits.




Tall Ships Festival


Bring your little pirates to the 30th Annual Toshiba Tall Ships Festival on Saturday September 6 – Sunday, September 7, 2014. 

The Ocean Institute is celebrating its 30th year hosting the Toshiba Tall Ships Festival, the largest annual gathering of tall ships on the West Coast! Come and explore the majesty and wonder of tall ships through the smells, sounds and sights of real working tall ships. Interactive living-history encampments including blacksmiths, schrimshaw artists, and the infamous Port Royal Privateers are sure to entertain and amaze guests of all ages and are not to be missed. Come celebrate with us as we celebrate the area’s rich maritime history!

Participating tall ships typically include the brig Pilgrim, Spirit of Dana Point, Californian, Curlew,Exy Johnson, Irving Johnson, and the American Pride.

Activities for Kids

Bring your pirates to learn about life on the high seas, how to tie a bowline, tie knots and make rope.

Inside the Ocean Institute
Your little ones will explore the past with the Institute of Nautical Archaeology and several archaeology exhibitors.  Don’t forget to check out our interactive ocean exhibits throughout the day. *Pirate Adventure Pass required

On the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center and Maritime Wharf
Additional maritime activities will be available on the wharf throughout the day.  Raise a sail using an old capstan or help haul up the yard!  Listen to storytime or sing chanties with our very own first mate!  *Please note that the wharf is accessible only when visiting the tallships and requires a Pirate Adventure Pass.

Around the Grounds
Learn how to swordfight with real pirates (using balloon swords of course)!  Get your face painted to look like a pirate, and be on the look out for our roving musicians and the infamous Captain Jack!

Event location: 24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point  California  92629

Hours:  The main festival hours are from 10am-5pm on Saturday, September 6th and 7th.  The Ocean Institute will be open until 5pm on both days, however, the ships will close for tours at 3:30pm so they may prepare for Cannon Battles!  The brig Pilgrim will remain open until 5pm, as she does not sail on the weekend.  Vendors will begin to set up on Friday, September 5th and will be allowed to sell items to visitors.  So come, visit our vendor area and view the Sunset Parade of Sail on Friday from 5pm-7pm.

Admission: The Pirate Adventure Pass is $5 for Ocean Institute members, ages 3 and up and $8 for non-members, ages 3 and up.  This admission includes entrance into the Ocean Institute and touring all the participating tall ships.

parking is free at our festival; however parking is limited in the harbor.  Please click on the link for parking and directions information and head straight to one of our two lots.  There will also be shuttle busses.

for more information visit the Tall Ships Festival website.


Parent and Me Time at the Shipley Nature Center




When:   Wednesdays

Where:  Shipley Info Center

Time:     11:00 AM

Cost:      $3.00 Per Parent

Shipley Nature center has an Interpretive Center with a children’s corner, nature trails, water wise gardens as well as weekly children’s actives on Saturday’s, composting classes and native plant sales.


Shipley Nature Center includes 4,000 feet of well-maintained trails that meander through several habitats, including oak woodlands, Torrey pines, meadows, and Blackbird Pond, a natural freshwater wetland with mature willows and sycamores.  Within the Nature Center is a 1,500 sq. ft. Interpretive Building with exhibits on local wildlife and ecology.

Upcoming Events

There is no charge for admission; however, donations are encouraged to assist in keeping the gates open and the habitat safe.


Monday – Friday 9:00am to 1:00pm
Saturday 9:00am to 1:00pm
Saturday* 9:00am to 4:00pm
Sunday Closed
Closed on Sundays and all major holidays:
New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day,Thanksgiving Day, & Christmas Day
* August and September




Get in free to any National Park today!

Join the fun on August 25th!


Photo courtesy of Paul Downey

It’s national parks birthday, visit a national park on August 25, 2014 for FREE!  The National Park Service turns 98 years old. They are waiving entrance fees and inviting everyone to join in the festivities taking place coast-to-coast.

The big day, August 25, is a free-entrance day, so head to any of the country’s401 national parks and take in the scenery, learn a little history, or simply enjoy the great outdoors.

Parks across the country are offering loads of fun activities. Take the kids on a caving adventure, bike ride, kayak tour, hike, or island safari. Catch a campfire talk, make a painting, or witness a living history demonstration. Search the events calendar to find out what’s happening at a park near you! You can help the kids earn a free Junior Ranger badge at almost any park—just ask at the visitor center.

Share your adventure when you come back! Share your photos or videos with our friends at the National Park Foundation at


Tideland Tykes & Wild Tales at the Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center


image from

With your school aged kids going back to school soon, this is a perfect event for the little’s in your life (although my older girl still enjoys it).

The Upper Newport Bay Nature Center hosts “Tideland Tykes” and “Wild Tales” on most Thursday & Friday’s at the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive center. Preserve Staff presents a fun filled parent and child event.

The event usually includes exploration of the bay, wildlife and environmental issues with story telling, arts & crafts or a hands on activity and an outdoor walk.



After the event you can let your little one’s explore in the kids room to play with puzzles, read books, play with puppets and observe the Nature Center pets.

  • Recommended for ages 2-8

  • Tideland Tykes: Ongoing program most Thursdays

  • Wild Takes: Ongoing program most Fridays

  • 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

  • cost is $5.00 per child

  • Parking is free

Please phone (949) 923-2275, or e-mail to register


Click Here for more Info



Sizzlin Summer Concerts Tonight


Grab your lawn chairs, picnic baskets and dancing shoes for a fun-filled and free evening of music in the park featuring Kelly Rae Band (Country) on Sunday, August 24th from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Mike Ward Community Park – Woodbridge. Gourmet food trucks will be onsite with proceeds benefitting nonprofit organizations.

kellyRaeBandThis concert is co-hosted with Woodbridge Village Association. For more information, call 949-724-6606.