Month: November 2014

OC Zoo’s Holiday Gifts for the Animals

Holiday Gifts for the Animals at the OC Zoo is coming up on Saturday, December 6, 2104. I’ve really enjoyed the OC Zoo’s preschool program with my youngest daughter. Here’s a chance for kids ages 4 and older to take a family class at the OC Zoo.


Holiday Gifts for the Animals is a family program. This fun family class is filled with activities adults and children can do together.


You will help the OC Zoo make “gifts” for the zoo animals (we call it enrichment). Enrichment items help keep the zoo animals active and healthy


You’ll learn about the various kinds of enrichment we give the animals, and create holiday-themed enrichment items that the zoo animals will receive at the upcoming Christmas event and throughout the holiday season – this may include wrapping boxes, painting “ornaments”, making popsicles and more!


 You’ll also get to meet some zoo animals up close!

  • Saturday, December 6, 2104 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Family program for age 4 years & older with an adult
  • $5 per family member
  • Parking is $5 per car
  • Phone registration is REQUIRED. Call 714-973-6846 to register.
  • Orange County Zoo
    1 Irvine Park Road
    Orange, CA 92869
  • The OC Zoo does ask that you please respect age restrictions and DO NOT bring younger siblings to class.

Deck the Cove

deck_the_coveCrystal Cove’s 18th Annual Tree Lighting & Gift Bazaar takes place on Saturday, December 6, 2014  from 10:00 am -5:30 pm, Santa will at the beach and ready to Deck the Cove!

A Gift Bazaar takes place from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. There is Holiday bazaar that takes place from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, featuring local Plein Air art, holiday cards, sea glass wrapping activity (free), handcrafted jewelry, ceramics and much more!

The Tree Lighting & pre-lighting activities are scheduled from 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Santa arrives at 4:00 pm on the beach with the Tree Lighting Ceremony at 5:15pm

Complimentary apple cider, cocoa and cookies will be provided by The Beachcomber Cafe

Crystal Cove State Park is Located at 8471 N Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Parking is $15 daily.  Validation is available for diners at the Beachcomber Cafe.




Weekend Roundup – November 28 – December 3, 2014


Welcome to the Weekend Roundup

November 28 – December 3, 2014

Festival of Lights
Festival of Lights

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thomas & Friends at DiscoveryCube OC in Santa Ana

Science of Gingerbread at Discovery Cube OC in Santa Ana

Illuminocean at Dana Point Harbor

Wild Tales at Upper Newport Bay/Muth Interpretive Center

Christmas Train at Irvine Regional Park in Orange

Mission Inn Festival of Lights in Riverside

Winter Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach

The Ritz Carlton Gingerbread House in Laguna Niguel

Irvine Spectrum Tree Lighting Ceremony in Irvine

Weekend Hikes at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park & Irvine Regional Park


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Jr. Chef Classes every Saturday at Williams-Sonoma – nationwide

Drop in and Draw at Chuck Jones Center for Creativity in Costa Mesa

Discover Nature Family Program at Oak Canyon Nature Center in Anaheim

Thomas & Friends at DiscoveryCube OC in Santa Ana

Free Archery Lesson at Mile Square Regional Park in Fountain Valley

Science of Gingerbread at Discovery Cube OC in Santa Ana

Illuminocean at Dana Point Harbor

Christmas Train at Irvine Regional Park in Orange

Mission Inn Festival of Lights in Riverside

Lighting the Bay at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort in Newport Beach

Weekend Hikes at O’Neill Regional Park & Irvine Regional Park

Winter Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach

Santa and his Train

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Technique Cooking Classes every Sunday at Williams-Sonoma

Discover Nature Family Program at Oak Canyon Nature Center in Anaheim

Thomas & Friends at DiscoveryCube OC in Santa Ana

More Than Meets the Eye at Clark Regional Park

Family Science Sunday at the Muth Interpretive Center in Newport Beach

Science of Gingerbread at Discovery Cube OC in Santa Ana

Illuminocean at Dana Point Harbor

Christmas Train at Irvine Regional Park in Orange

Mission Inn Festival of Lights in Riverside

Winter Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach

St. Regis Monarch Beach Tree Lighting & San Sculpture Dedication – in Dana Point

Weekend Hikes at Caspers Wilderness Park

ballboa_bay Resort

Monday, December 1, 2014

Balboa Bay Tree Lighting Ceremony in Newport Beach

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A Christmas Carol – One Man Show at Heritage Library in Irvine

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Parent and Me Time at Shipley Nature Center in Huntington Beach



Free Archery Class

A FREE Archery class will be held on Saturday, November 29, 2014 from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. at Mile Square Regional Park.

Park Rangers and Volunteers offer free classes to participants 12 years old and up. The class and equipment is provided free of charge.



The archery range at Mile Square Regional Park is open to the public. The 6.71-acre redesigned range features 24 in-line shooting stations beneath a continuous metal shade canopy with 24 targets, bow racks, tables for servicing bows, perimeter fencing, north orientation and a 20-foot safety berm. The range is the largest in Orange County.

Mile Square Regional Park
16801 Euclid St.
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
(714)973-6600 or (714)973-3197

Parking is $5.00

For more information about the archery range, call the park at (714) 973-6600. Read the range rules here.

 Click Here To Register



Christmas Tree Lighting Events

Here are some other great Christmas Tree Lighting Events for the week.

Irvine Spectrum - Image from
Irvine Spectrum – Image from

November 28, 2014 – December 4, 2014

The Ritz Carlton Gingerbread House – Unveiling Friday, November 28, 2014  at 4 p.m.; Open November 28 to January 2, 2015

Free to Hotel Guests and the Community.  Kick-off the holidays with The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, as the life-sized Gingerbread House is unveiled. Located on the 3rd floor, arrival lobby level of the hotel, guests will enjoy the festive scene surrounding the sugary construction created by our talented Pastry Team. Opening day festivities will include holiday confections, hot spiced cider and hot cocoa.

Irvine Spectrum – Disney Magical Holiday Lights – Friday, November 28, 2014, lighting every nights through January 04, 2015

Beginning November 28, the holidays will shine brighter with a unique music and lighting moment each evening throughout the holiday season. With Disney Magical Holiday Lights at Irvine Spectrum Center, Edwards Courtyard comes to life with a tribute to the magical holiday shows of theDisneyland® Resort. Show times begin at 5:30 pm and run every hour to closing.

Balboa Bay Resort Tree Lighting Ceremony – Monday, December 1st from 6 pm – 7 pm

Bring family, friends and especially the children for a complimentary evening of joyous festivities. Watch as our giant Christmas tree and the Resort come to life with thousands of twinkling lights and holiday decor amidst a live musical performance of holiday harmonies. Indulge in holiday cookie and hot beverages while an annual visit from Santa Claus delights one and all. Reservation not required. Guests are asked to graciously donate a new, unwrapped gift for the Toys for Tots Program.


Christmas at Roger’s Gardens

Photos with Santa in Disney Gazebo

Bring in your children and take a professional photo with Santa Claus. Santa will be in the original Disneyland bandstand gazebo waiting to hear every child’s wish for this Christmas season. You can meet Santa from November 28 through December 21, 2014 – 12:00 -6:00 p.m..

All American Boys Chorus

All American Boys Chorus

Start your holiday shopping surrounded by a beautiful and enchanting setting, while enjoying seasonal songs performed by the world-acclaimed All-American Boys Chorus. Performances are on Saturday, November 29, 2014 at 1:30 PM, 2:30 PM & 3:30 PM. All performances are complimentary.

Roger’s Gardens is located at: 2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd., Corona Del Mar, CA

Wild Tales


Get your little ones up and exploring on Friday, November 28, 2014 with “Wild Tales” at the Upper Newport Bay Nature Center.

Visit with Preserve and YMCA staff for story-telling fun!  After a story, learn more about the natural history of the Bay through crafts, hands-on activities and nature walks. Come prepared for exciting experiences!  For ages 2-8.

  • Class fee is $5 per child.
  • Space is limited and pre-registration is required for all classes.
  • Please phone (949) 923-2275, or to register.
  • 2301 University Dr., Newport Beach, CA
Date:  11/28/2014
Time:  10:30 AM – 11:30 AM



Lighting the Bay


Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort extends an invitation for an unforgettable day of Holiday entertainment at Lighting of the Bay.

Come early for sledding on 30 tons of snow, be sure to visit the Science of Ice Exhibit, ride a train around Newport Dunes. Later on enjoy the tree lighting ceremony, live performance and finish off the evening  with in a viewing of “Polar Express” complete with popcorn, s’mores, coffee and hot chocolate.

Here’s the schedule of events:

A Polar Paradise – Ice Village (1 to 8pm) – Enjoy 30 tons of snow with 4 sled hills and a carved ice Santa scene, the perfect photo opportunity for the whole family. From 1pm to 5pm you can visit the science of ice exhibit which explores all aspects of ice and its mysteries and enjoy a train ride around Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort.

Lighting of the Bay Program (4 to 6pm) – We will be starting off this years program with spectacular live performances by OC Song and Dance Group, Corona del Mar High School Choir, and Newport Harbor High School Choir. Followed by a special guest appearance and the ceremonious flip of the switch to light up the Back Bay of Newport Beach and kick off the 2014 Holiday Season.

Movie Screening (6 to 8pm) – Stick around for a private movie screening of “The Polar Express” Complimentary popcorn, s’mores, coffee and hot chocolate will be available for your enjoyment.

Food & Spirits Garden (3 to 8pm) – We will be serving up food and drinks to warm the body and soul while you sit back, relax, and enjoy the festivities.

While you are here don’t forget to pick up your tree at Newport Dunes Tree Lot open from 10:00 am – 9:00 pm.

  • When: Saturday, November 29, 2014 from 1:00 am – 8:00 pm
  • Where: Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort, located at: 1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach, CA 
  • Parking: $10.00 per car

Family Science Sunday

What can be better than spending time with your family while taking in amazing views of the bay and learning about Science?

Muth Interpretive Center
Muth Interpretive Center

Family Science Sunday – Nature’s Harvest will take place this Sunday, November 30, 2014 from 10:00 – 4:00 p.m. at Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve.

Learn all about seeds, nuts, acorns and the animals that love them with self guided activities that may include hands on exhibits, outside hikes, crafts and more.

Preserve staff will provide storytime at 11am and 2pm.

The Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center is located at 2301 University Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660. It is at the corner of University and Irvine Avenue

 Recommended for ages 3-12.

Family Science Sunday’s are FREE activities in the Muth Interpretive Center classroom once a month, each with a different educational theme to explore.  The activities are self-guided and may include hands on exhibits, outside hikes, crafts and more. 


Free Thanksgiving Meals for those in need



Black Wednesday

In the bar industry and law enforcement, tonight is know as  “Black Wednesday . The Wednesday night or Thanksgiving Eve has emerged as one of the biggest alcohol drinking nights of the year, second only to New Year’s Eve.

Please take some time to talk to your with your kids and young adults about alcohol. As always remember to plan ahead for a safe way home before you start drinking.




IlluminOcean – 40 Nights of Lights


The warmth of the Southern California winter season. The wonders of the deep blue sea. The dazzling spectacle of sights, sound and motion that’s electrifying our ocean views like never before. Be there when the holidays brilliantly come to light in an amazing wonderland by the sand — it’s the event premiere of Dana Point IlluminOcean.

IlluminOcean, is presented by the The Resorts of Dana Point. The Harbor is transformed with brilliant sea creatures and ocean related lighted sculptures with over 225,000 LED lights.


The event is FREE, viewing is nightly from sundown to 10 pm on weeknights and 11 pm on weekends. Dress warmly as you prepare to walk through a glowing Blue Whale, 50 foot glowmotion trees and lightwave tunnels longer than a football field.


Like Rockefeller Center in New York or Millennium Park in Chicago, Dana Point is creating waves of excitement in Southern California this holiday season by showcasing 40 nights of holiday lights. The OC Dana Point Harbor will transform into the festive village to mingle and jingle.


Where: Dana Point Harbor 34555 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, CA

When: Thursday November 27, 2014 – Saturday, January 3, 2015

Cost: FREE 

Parking Info: IlluminOcean parking provided at Doheny State Beach public parking lot for $2/hour — corner of PCH and Dana Point Harbor Drive.


Discovery Cube OC Coupon

UPDATE: May 26, 2015 – I Found A NEW Coupon!!! 

Here’s a pdf link for a FREE child’s admission* coupon to Discovery Cube Orange County, the coupon is good through December 31, 2015.

This coupon has been brought to you by as a reminder to properly dispose of your household hazardous waste.

OC Waste & Recycling provides FREE disposal of household hazadous waste at any of there four locations.


*some restrictions do apply, read coupon for more details.


Hike off that Turkey


After a delicious and (hopefully) relaxing day with the family, OC parks has plenty of choices for you to Hike off that Turkey.

Here’s your Hiking opportunities.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Wobble Walk at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park – Walk off your Thanksgiving dinner on this slow-paced, 2-mile hike (400-ft. elevation gain) over steep and uneven terrain with OC Parks staff.

  • 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/vehicle.

Online Registration

Date:  11/28/2014
Time:  9:00 AM – 11:30 AM


Orange Friday at Irvine Regional Park – After overeating and hitting up the post-Thanksgiving sales, come out to the park to burn off some extra calories and get in the holiday spirit! OC Parks invites you to the first “Orange Friday” at Irvine Regional Park.Orange Friday is a family-friendly event with something for everyone! There will be three options available:

  • A Santa Cruise for the mountain bikers.
  • A Snowman Stroll for the hikers. There will also be a ranger-led interpretive hike beginning at 3 p.m.
  • A Rudolph Ride for the equestrians.

Costumes are encouraged based on your category. Come dressed to impress, as prizes will be awarded to the best dressed in each category. There will be plenty of giveaways! No one will go home empty handed!

This is a FREE event, parking is $3 per vehicle.

1 Irvine Park Rd, Orange, CA 92869

Click Here for more Info

Date:  11/28/2014
Time:  2:00 PM – 5:00 PM


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Nature Walk at O’Neill Regional Park – Join our Naturalists on a nature walk and learn aboutTrabuco Canyon animals and nature. Light to moderate walk on mostly paved roads. Meet at the Nature Center just inside the main entrance of the park.

  • Ages: All Ages Welcome
  • Fee: Free
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle

30892 Trabuco Canyon Rd, Trabuco Canyon, CA 92678

(Event is conditional on the weather.)

Date:  11/29/2014
Time:  9:00 AM – 10:30 AM


Guided Intrepretive Hike at Irvine Regional Park – Join our naturalists on a nature walk and learn about the local plants, animals and history of Irvine Park. Light to moderate walking on both paved paths and trails. Meet at the Nature Center near the OC Zoo in parking lot #19.

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

1 Irvine Park Rd, Orange, CA 92869

Date:  11/29/2014
Time:  10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Sunday, November 30, 2104

Ranger Led Nature Hike at Caspers Wilderness Park  Join our Park Rangers Sunday mornings for an easy 1-mile hike on the Nature Trail. The trail takes visitors through grassland, oak woodland, riparian and sandy cactus scrub communities. Meet at Old Corral Day Use area. Rain will cancel hike. 

  • Fee: Free
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle
  • Wear comfortable clothing, hiking shoes.
  • Sunscreen, water and insect repellent are recommended.

 For additional information, please call the park at (949) 923-2210.

Date: 11/30/2014
Time: 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM



More than Meets the Eye

Would you like see a park through the eyes of a Ranger? Discover the hidden clues of where the animals are in the park. .

Find out what animals ruled the land in Clark Park 10,000 years ago and what animals rule today in their More than Meets the Eye program.


You’ll start with a visit with Rangers at a Share and Show Exhibit located at Clark Park’s Fossil Museum front patio from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. and discover the secrets of Clark Park.

Take a moderate, 30-minute, ¾-of-a-mile, Ranger-led nature that will begin at the Share and Show Exhibit then walk past Elephant and Camel Hill and up Camel Hill, the highest point of Clark Park before looping back to the starting point.

  • Parking: $5 per vehicle.
  • Share and Show Exhibit: NO FEE.
  • Fun activities will be available for both children and adults.
  • Reservations are not required.

Be sure to get there early so you visit can take in the awesome Clark Interpretive Center – Paleontology Museum.The paleontology museum is full of prehistoric facts for Orange County through exhibits and fossils featuring a 9 million year old baleen whale skeleton.

The skelton is reputed to be one of the only complete ice age whale fossils in existence and we have it right here in Orange County! You can also observe scientists and volunteers excavate and prepare fossil specimens for study and educational exhibits.

Admission is FREE!


  • Sunday, November 30, 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


St. Regis Tree Lighting & Sand Sculptures


You’re invited to visit The St. Regis Monarch Beach for this year’s Tree Lighting and Sand Sculpture Dedication.

The event will featuring NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, festive treats, visits with Santa Claus, holiday carolers and hot cocoa and cider.Photos with Santa begin at 3:30 p.m. and the Sand Sculpture Dedication and Tree Lighting Ceremony at 4:30 p.m.

StRegis_Sand Sculpture

Enjoy the beach sand sculptures, visit with Santa Claus, enjoy the live entertainment, and cookies. There will be raffle to benefit the Magic Johnson Foundation – a foundation

St Regis Monarch Beach is located at: 1 Monarch Beach Resort N. Dana Point, CA

images from