Month: November 2015

Artisan Marketplace

Image courtesy of encenter.org
Image courtesy of encenter.org

Looking for some unique gifts for Christmas? Environmental Nature Center is giving you the most awesome opportunity to get some shopping done while walking the family friendly trails, enjoy some music and attend a few workshops at their Artisan Marketplace.

Only ENC would give you the chance to walk their gorgeous trails while you shop for handmade gifts from 50 local artisans offering a variety of eco-friendly, sustainable, arts and crafts. If you work up an appetite grab some food from one of the food vendors.

Your friends and family will love that you cared enough about them to think about their planet when you purchased their unique gift. Be a positive part of the local economy!

  • When: Sunday, December 6, 2015 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Where: Environmental Nature Center, 1601 E. 16th Street, Newport Beach, CA 92663
  • Cost: $2 entry fee, kids 10 and under are FREE (All fees go directly to the ENC’s environmental education programs)
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Family Fossil Day

Clark Park

Come and explore Ralph B. Clark’s Park’s FREE Family Fossil Day for hands on fun the whole family can enjoy while learning about Clark Park’s rich fossil history.

A certified paleontologist will be on hand to guide the group throughout the three hour program that begins promptly at 9:30 am. The tour starts at the interpretive center followed a hike to the marine fossil site (Must be 6 years and older for hike)

The free family friendly event will be held at The Los Coyotes Interpretive Center, located inside Ralph B. Clark Regional Park, no reservations are required.

  • When: Saturday, December 5, 2105 from 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
  • Where: Ralph B. Clark Regional Park, 8800 Rosecrans Blvd., Buena Park, CA 90621
  • Cost: The Event is FREE, parking is $5.00 per vehicle

For more information and directions call (714) 973-3170.

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Weekend Hikes

WeekendHikes

Ok, time to work off that Turkey! OC Parks makes it easy with these FREE guided hikes. Every weekend OC Parks hosts FREE guided hikes, just pay the parking fee, usually between $3.00 – $5.00 or FREE if you have an OC Park Annual Pass.

Get out there!!!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Let’s Go Hiking! – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Do you want to take a hike with other nature enthusiasts? Enjoy a 3.8-mile, moderate (600-ft. elevation gain) hike through Laurel and Willow Canyons with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers. You will experience a variety of plant communities, from Coastal Sage Scrub to Oak Woodland and enjoy a view of the ocean at the top. Minimal interpretation, but questions welcome. The terrain can often be rocky and uneven. Participants should bring water, a hat, a snack, and wear proper hiking shoes.

  • Ages 15 and up.
  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area (20101 Laguna Canyon Road, just south of El Toro Road intersection).
  • Parking: $3/vehicle.


Online Registration

Date:  11/28/2015
Time:  8:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Ranger Led Nature Hike – Ronald W. 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.
  • Subject to cancelation without notice

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

Date: 11/29/2015
Time: 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Meditating in Nature – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Relax in nature with park staff and Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers.  Enjoy a short walking meditation (1/2 mile), breathing and energization exercises, and sitting meditation. Bring a blanket, pillow, and clothing in layers in case the evening is cool.  No experience necessary.

  • Ages 16 and up.
  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center (west side of Laguna Canyon Rd/SR-133, approximately 3.5 miles south of I-5/405).
  • Parking: $3/vehicle.

Online Registration

Date: 11/29/2015
Time: 3:00 PM – 4:30 AM
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Family Science Sundays

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

Come to the Muth Interpretive Center at the Upper Newport Bay Nature Center for Family Science Sundays. Once a month, families enjoy FREE activities with a different educational theme to explore inside the Muth Interpretive Center classroom.

 

Muth Interpretive Center

All the activities are self guided and may include hands on exhibits, outside hikes, crafts and more. The classroom has plenty for your children to explore: live animals, puzzles, games, puppets and the most lovely tree house that the kids adore.

Be sure to ask the front desk about the 12 minute movie in the theater. All ages are welcome, and no registration is required.

  • When: Sunday, November 29, 2015 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Where: Upper Newport Bay Nature Center/Muth Interpretive Center, 2301 University Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660
  • Cost: FREE
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Mission Inn Festival of Lights

MissionInn1

It’s that time again when I start talking about Christmas lighting and related events and again I must begin with my favorite Christmas light display: the Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn located at Riverside, CA.

ProjectRefinedLife.Com
ProjectRefinedLife.Com

The Riverside Festival of Lights kick-offs on Friday, November 27th, 2015 at noon followed by the 23rd Annual Festival of Lights Switch-On Ceremony presented by Duane and Kelly Roberts, owners of The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa at 4:30 p.m.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

Be prepared to be dazzled by more than three and a half million twinkling lights and spectacular fireworks! The switch-on show is stunning.

ProjectRefinedlife.com
ProjectRefinedlife.com

At the entrance to the Mission Inn, you are greeted by giant nutcracker and displays in the gardens that lead you into the lobby where you’ll find a gorgeous Christmas tree. There are several restaurants that host stunning outside eating areas as well as the historic Presidential Lounge.

ProjectRefinedlIfe.com
ProjectRefinedlIfe.com

The beautifully decorated courtyards outside the Mission Inn offer plenty to see and do. Visit one of the many shops in Downtown Riverside, eat at one of food vendors, visit one of the local restaurants, Go Ice Skating, grab a cup cake at the original Casey’s Cupcakes while listening to some live entertainment,  go for a horse-drawn carriage ride or find that book you’ve been searching for (or never knew you needed) at Downtowne Book Store, an awesome used book store.

ProjectRefinedlife.com
ProjectRefinedlife.com

My favorite thing to do is to go inside the Mission Inn and marvel at the beauty of this place. The mission Inn holds a special place in my heart. The architecture is absolutely beautiful. After visiting the Mission Inn, we go across the street and grab coffee and some hot cocoa and enjoy the view of the Mission Inn’s dazzling light display.

ProjectrefinedLife.com
ProjectrefinedLife.com
  • The Festival of Lights runs from Friday, November 27, 2015 through Wednesday, January 6, 2016.

  • The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa is located at 3649 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, CA 92501

  • The event is free, parking is $5.00 at most parking lots. Vendors and restaurant fees vary.

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Feed the Need

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Hikes & Bikes

hikesnBikesPRLGrab your hiking boots and clean your bike, this weekend is the perfect  time to #optoutside with OC Parks for a FREE guided hike or a guided mountain bike ride. Parking is between $3.00 – $5.00 depending on the park. The weather is perfect, have fun!

 Saturday, November 21, 2015

Explore the Bay Family Hike – Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
An easy for families of all ages to learn more about Upper Newport Bay and enjoy the trails around it.  The Hike will last approximately one hour-dependent on weather and will be on both paved and dirt trails with some stairs.  No formal program, but we will talk about whatever we discover along the way.  Bring sun protection and water.  We will meet on the patio of the Muth Interpretive Center.

  • No fee or reservations required, but recommended for groups greater than four people.
  • Call 949-923-2290 or emailunbic@ocparks.com to register groups
  • No pets please
Date:  11/21/2015
Time:  10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

 

Sunday, November 22, 2105

Birding Walk – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Spot native and spring migrating birds with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists on this 2-mile hike over uneven terrain (up to 400-ft. elevation gain) through one of the most diverse plant communities in the United States.

  • For ages 12 and up (minors must be accompanied by an adult).
  • Wear hiking or walking shoes and bring your binoculars.
  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, James Dilley Preserve (405 South to 133 south to stoplight at 73 turn-off; make a U-turn, go 1 block; Dilley is on the right).
  • Parking: $3/vehicle.

Online Registration

Date: 11/22/2015
Time: 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Ranger Led Nature Hike – Ronald W. 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.
  • Subject to cancelation without notice

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

Date: 11/22/2015
Time: 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Family Bandito Bike Ride to Dripping Cave – Aliso & Wood Canyons Park

Join a band of bike wielding young explorers on a ride to Aliso’s most intriguing attraction. We’ll learn the mysterious legends of this famed bandit hideout as well as about its previous inhabitants – the Acjachemen people.

  • For those who can comfortably ride 5 miles (150 ft. elevation gain) on dirt trails with some sandy sections.
  • Children ages 8 and up, or younger if peddled by an adult.
  • Bike, helmet, water, snack, and weather appropriate clothing/shoes are required.
  • 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 or 949-923-2200 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3/vehicle.

Online Registration

Date: 11/22/2015
Time: 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
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Storymakery

Images from Storymakery Facebook page
Images from Storymakery Facebook page

My daughter is extremely interested in writing and illustrating her own books. When I told about this place she was jumping up and down. If you have a child who loves to write or draw, don’t miss the grand opening of Storymakery®.

Storymakery®, is described as “the first self-publishing experience designed especially for children”. The experience at Storymakery encourages children to use their creativity, cognitive and artistic expression to help them create a story while being preserved within a tangible keepsake.

Your child can customize their own experience based on their own interest, reading and writing skill levels, and time availability. The time they spend there can range 20-minute to a one-hour visit. Children use the kid-friendly Storymakery technology to complete one or more of the following activities:

·        Design a storybook character

·        Work one-on-one with a staff “Muse” to create a story at the Writing Studio

·        If short on time, design their very own poster

·        Publish the story as a book to take home

·        Save their content and continue writing more stories at home

The Grand Opening event takes place this Saturday, November 21, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The celebration comes complete with complimentary cupcakes, coffee (that is motivation enough for me), face-painting and balloons. Door prizes will also be on hand for the first 10 customers. The first 25 customers will receive a complimentary goody bag and 25 percent off their purchases.

StoryMakery is located at Irvine Spectrum Center, 825 Spectrum Center Dr., Irvine, CA

Visit their Facebook page for their offer to save 25% off a $75.00 purchase. 

More information about Storymakery is available at www.storymakery.com or by calling (949) 396-1840. Storymakery can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Heritage Day at Irvine Ranch

Photo courtesy of Orange County Parks facebook page
Photo courtesy of Orange County Parks facebook page

 Come join OC Parks for Heritage Day at Irvine Ranch. This is the official opening of Irvine Ranch Historic Park!

Six historic structures were recently fully restored. Come and learn about the historic significance of these buildings and what a day at the ranch would have been like 100 years ago.

The family-friendly day will feature crafts, live music, historic interpretive stations, a petting zoo, photo booth and park tours. Festivities will begin with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Food trucks will be on site.

  • When: Saturday, November 21, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Where: Irvine Ranch Historic Park, 13042 Old Myford Road, Irvine, CA 92602
  • Cost: FREE, Parking will be available next door at: St. Thomas More Catholic Parish, 51 Market Place, Irvine
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Scout Day

ScoutDay

Scout Day is a special day of events at the Aquarium of the Pacific for Scouts and their families. Scouts, family, and friends, can join in on this self-guided event with optional activity sheets for Scouts, to work toward stewardship-related Scout badges.

Troop-leaders or parents are expected to facilitate the Scout’s learning experience and guide them through the steps for badge requirements.Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts are invited to complete steps toward badges, utilizing self-led activity sheets that are specifically designed for Scouts.

Some steps cannot be completed at this event and need to be completed at home. Troop-leaders and parents, it is advised to review the Scout council approved activities for each badge your child wishes to complete prior to this event.

scoutDay1In addition a special “Scout Discovery Experience” is also available for Scouts to have a 20-minute exclusive educational opportunity in one of our classrooms with an Aquarium educator. Scouts will have a private animal interaction where they will learn about tide-pool animals and explore animal artifacts.

Availability is extremely limited for this program, and is on a first-come, first-served basis. (These usually sell out!) Admission is required to participate in this special program.

  • When: Saturday, November 21, 2015 from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm – Ticketing is timed every hour from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
  • Where: Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802
  • Cost: Child: $7, must be purchased in advance online, Adult: $14, must be purchased in advance online. Members are Free with reservation. (Members, to book a reservation, call 562-437-FISH (3474))

Upon making your reservation, you will be asked to select one of the following entrance times: 9:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., or 4:00 p.m.

There is a limited capacity, and they are unable to accept purchases by phone for this event. Tickets must be purchased for this event,Click here to make your Scout Day reservations. For more information call (562) 590-3100, ext. 0

Download and print the following Badge guides prior to your trip:

CUB SCOUTS

GIRL SCOUTS

 

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Christmas Train Giveaway WINNER!!!

A winner has been randomly chosen by Rafflecopter for the family 4 pack to the Christmas Train at Irvine Park Railroad.

Image provided by Irvine Park Railroad
Image provided by Irvine Park Railroad

I want to thank everyone who entered to win the prize. You can still visit the Christmas Train by purchasing tickets online, tickets are on sale now. Tickets for the Christmas Train can not be purchased in person.

  • When: Friday, November 27th through Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015
  • Where: Irvine Park Railroad at Irvine Regional Park, 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869
  • Cost: $12.00 per person to ride the Christmas Train, children under 24 months ride free. Parking is $3.00 per vehicle on weekdays & $5.00 per vehicle on weekends. If you arrive after 5:00 pm parking is free.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cindy H. Please email me at Projectrefinedlife@gmail.com for your prize. 

The Giveaway is open to US Residents who are 18 years of age and older. The winner will be notified via email and on this blog. The winner will have 48 hours to respond. If there is no response within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen. The Prize will be fulfilled directly by Irvine Park Railroad. Any information provided is strictly the purpose of fulfilling the prize. I never sell or share your information. This blog is not liable for any unclaimed prizes. One entry per person. All opinions are strictly my own and have not been influenced by any form of compensation received by this blog.

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Star Party at Caspers

A meteor streaks across the sky against

(credit: Jorge Guerrero/AFP/Getty Images)

Come for a grand tour of the universe!  Join our amateur astronomers for a guided tour of the young crescent moon and other constellations.

Learn myths and facts about the cosmos. Observe wonders of the night sky including galaxies, star clusters, and double stars.

  • When: Saturday, November 14, 2015 from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
  • Where: Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park, 33401 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
  • Cost: Event is Free, parking $5.00 per vehicle

Note: held only on evenings with clear skies (good weather). Call the Park at (949) 923-2210 for weather/sky updates or additional information.

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Weekend Hikes

Dana Point Nature Interpretive Center
Dana Point Nature Interpretive Center

Are you ready for the Weekend? OC Parks offers some great FREE guided hikes in our OC Parks. Get your hiking boots and try out one of these hikes this weekend.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

California Native Plants and Wildflower Hike at  Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Learn about the California Native Plants and wildflowers with a Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalist on this enjoyable 2.5 mile hike (45-ft. elevation gain) over moderately uneven terrain.

  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, James Dilley Preserve (405 South to 133 south to stoplight at 73 turn-off; make a U-turn, go 1 block. Dilley is on the right).
  • Parking: $3/vehicle.


Online Registration

Date:  11/14/2015
Time:  8:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Ranger Led Nature Hike at Ronald W. 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.
  • Subject to cancelation without notice

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

Date: 11/15/2015
Time: 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

 

Sunday Family Fun Hike at 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.

  • This is a 2-mile (150-ft. elevation gain) hike for ages 7 and up.
  • 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 M-F or 949-923-2200 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: Free.


Online Registration

Date:  11/15/2015
Time:  9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Morning Walk Around the Lake at Laguna Niguel Regional Park
Come enjoy a wonderful morning walk around the lake and learn about the native plants and critters in the park. This is an easy 2.5 mile walk (both paved and dirt trail) with no elevation gain. Led by Laguna Canyon Foundation Volunteer Naturalists.

  • Ages 8 & up welcome
  • Dogs on leashes welcome
  • Laguna Niguel Regional Park, 28241 La Paz Road, Laguna Niguel (meet at parking lot closest to Shelter 3)
  • Online reservations required:www.lagunacanyon.org/activities.html
  • For questions call: 949-497-8324
  • Parking: $5/vehicle.
Date:  11/15/2015
Time:  9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Moulton Peak Geology Hike at Aliso & Wood Canyons Park
Join LCF volunteer naturalists on this 4-mile geology hike (600-ft. elevation gain) over steep and uneven terrain. Hike through the oak-filled woodland of Wood Canyon and continue to the park’s highest peak. We will pass by rock formations that tell of ancient floods, landslides and the building of a great shell-filled limestone reef.

  • This hike is not for beginners!
  • Bring water, hiking shoes (hiking poles suggested), snacks, the field guides of your choice, and a sense of adventure!
  • Ages 15 and up.
  • Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Canyon View Staging Area (from southbound Aliso Creek Rd, 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.
  • Parking: Free.


Online Registration

Date:  11/15/2015
Time:  1:00 PM – 3:30 PM
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Family Night

ColumbiaMemorialSpaceCenter

Join Columbia Memorial Space Center for Family Night! Bring the family for night filled with games for the entire family.

You can form a team or enter alone to participate in dozens of games throughout the space center. As participants play they will continue to gain points.  As they gain more points their team will climb the leader board.

At the end of the night the top 3 players will win a prize and the top player(s) will be posted on our website/social media as the “ULTIMATE Gamer”.

Participants will play games and solve scavenger hunts and puzzles that will challenge any age. Expect super-sized games, group activates, robotic challenges and other family friendly competitions.

  • When: Saturday, November 14, from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
  • Where: Columbia Memorial Space Center is located at: 12400 Columbia Way, Downey, CA 90242
  • Cost: Admission is $5 per per person
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2nd Saturday at Ameal Moore

Image from mysycamorecanyon.com
Image from mysycamorecanyon.com

Join Ameal Moore Nature Center in Riverside for their Second Saturdays event as they go all out for owls!  Owls are some of nature’s most fascinating creatures and in Riverside they’re lucky enough to have several species!

Come into the nature center for a fun owl themed day as we discuss owls and dissect owl pellets!  This event is free and family friendly.  Children’s crafts will be provided.

  • When: Saturday, November `114, 2015 from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • Where: Ameal Moore Nature Center is located at 400 Central Ave, Riverside, CA 92507 (map)
  • Cost: FREE
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