Category: Explore

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


Your invited to a “Star Party” tonight

That’s right, OC parks invites you to observe the night sky by joining in with amateur astronomers to take a guided tour of the summer constellations.

A meteor streaks across the sky against

(credit: Jorge Guerrero/AFP/Getty Images)

Look through telescopes to see Mars, Saturn, nebulas, galaxies, star clusters and double stars. Learn myths and facts about the cosmos.

  • The event is FREE, parking is $5.00
  • August 23, 2014 from 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park, 33401 Ortega Hwy.( P. O. Box 395), San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675/(949) 923-2210 or (949) 923-2207
  • The event is subject to clear skies, Call the Park at 949-923-2210 for weather/sky updates or additional information on this event

Farmers Market at Irvine Regional Park

For some fresh, locally grown, organic produce head over to Irvine Regional Park’s Farmers Market on Tuesday’s from 9 am – 1 pm.


 Vendors feature locally grown organic vegetables and fruits, which include some of the sweetest Pluots I’ve ever tasted. They also sell freshly baked artisan bread, specialty nuts, Mediterranean and Hispanic food (with some really delicious looking tamale options) eggs and flowers. It is operated by the Orange County Farm Bureau.  Every farmer who sells at the certified market is inspected by the county agricultural commissioner to make sure they actually grow the commodity being sold.

The Irvine Regional Park farmers market provides enough choice without being too big. Parking is right next to the market and a lovely little playground sits right behind it. Entrance to Irvine Regional Park is FREE if you let them know your attending the Farmers Market.


Irvine Regional Park also includes the Irvine Park Railroad train ride, pony rides, the OC Zoo, ponds, picnic tables, playgrounds and walking paths.

  • Location: Irvine Regional Park
  • Address: 1 Irvine Park Rd, Orange, CA 92862
  • Times: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Admission: Parking at Irvine Regional Park costs $3 on weekdays, but will be free Tuesday mornings for those who tell the entry booth attendant they are going to the market.
  • Venue: Irvine Regional Park

  Here ‘s a complete list of all the farmers markets in Orange County sponsored by Orange County Farmers Bureau


Irvine Regional Park –1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 9AM – 1 PM (rain or shine)


Tustin – Corner of El Camino Real and 3rd Street, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (rain or shine)


 Costa Mesa –Orange County Fairgrounds, 88 Fair Drive, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (rain or shine)

Westminster- Westminster Mall parking lot, Bolsa Ave & Goldenwest St., 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (rain or shine)


Laguna Hills –Laguna Hills Mall Parking Lot, the 5 Freeway and El Toro Road, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (rain or shine)

Huntington Beach –Pier Plaza, Main Street & Pacific Coast Highway (next to the pier), 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. (rain or shine)


Laguna Beach –Lumberyard Parking Lot next to the City Hall, 8 a.m. – Noon (rain or shine)

Irvine –University Center on the corner of Bridge and Campus (across from UCI), 8 a.m. – Noon (rain or shine)

Laguna Niguel- Plaza De La Paz Shopping Center on the Corner of La Paz and Pacific Park, 8 a.m. – Noon (rain or shine)


Get in a Summer Campfire before Summer Ends

Public domain image, royalty free stock photo from

Get your S’mores ready, it’s not to late to take in a Summer night around a campfire. Here’s are two options for FREE Ranger Led campfires tonight.


Learn about Bats

Ranger Led Campfire Program
OC Parks – O’neill Regional Park

Join us Saturday Night at the amphitheater for this special program; Bats of Orange County, presented by Ranger Brad Barker, set to the glow of fire light. This event is open to the public. No access for day use after sunset.

  • Ages: All Ages Welcome
  • Fee: Free
  • 7:00 pm. – 8:30 pm.



Learn about Wildreness Safety and play some games

Campfire Program
OC Parks – Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park

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
  • 8:00 pm. – 9:00 pm.





Junior Ranger Program at Crystal Cove State Park


Join a Park Ranger for a fun introduction to the ecology of Crystal Cove State Park in weekly Junior Ranger programs. This children’s nature program is a favorite in State Parks and allows visitors ages 7-12 to earn a badge. (Girl Scouts are all about badges).

Meet at the Berns Amphitheater (PCH inland at stoplight School-State Park, follow signs towards the campground). Come for the program, stay for the day. $15 day-use parking fee.


Activity Details

Upcoming Dates: Thursday, August 14, 2014, Tuesday August 19, 2014 and Thursday August 21, 2014
Time: 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Location: Crystal Cove State Park – Berns Amphitheater
Minimum Age: 7
Parking: $15.00


How to Find the Park

The park is located off Pacific Coast Highway between Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach, California with easy access from I-5, 405 and 73. Crystal Cove State Park is located just north of Laguna Beach, California and just south of Corona Del Mar, California. Pacific Coast Highway, Route 1, passes directly by the Park. There is parking both on the ocean side of PCH at Reef Point and Pelican Point as well as inland parking at El Moro Day Use Parking Area by the Ranger Station which can be reached by going inland at School/State Park traffic signal, located next to El Morro School.. A few miles north from Reef Point is the Los Trancos parking area with trolley access to the Historic District.




Redwood Grove Hike at Carbon Canyon Regional Park

Going to see the Redwoods is one of things on my bucket list but until then there’s an alternative right here in Orange County.

Carbon Canyon Regional Park has a ten-acre grove of Coastal Redwood trees. This grove of redwoods were planted in 1975 with many of the trees standing over 100 feet tall. Not bad being that this is far from their normal growing conditions in Northern California.


image from

In addition to their most popular hike (to see the Orange County Redwoods) Carbon Canyon Regional Park has an interpretive center, picnic areas, restrooms, fishing, playgrounds, walking and hiking trails.

Carbon Canyon Regional Park is adjacent to Chino Hills State Park, which has 14,000 acres of protected park land (which just happens to have some great mountain biking).

There is a smaller grove of Redwoods in Orange County which is located at UC Irvine. This grove is a result of a former professor’s experiment in tree cloning.

To tour the Redwoods at Carbon Canyon  you can join OC Parks trained staff for an easy 1.1 mile hike to the redwoods. Use your 5 senses to engage with nature as you stroll to the Redwoods. You will also have an opportunity to learn about native plants along the way.

The hike begins each Saturday and Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. from the park’s Nature Center. It runs 8:30am – 10:00am. Don’t forget to visit the Nature Center. Remember to bring water, sunscreen, hat and hiking shoes. All ages (small children may have to be carried). Meet at Nature Center located at east end of park. Cost: Free. Reservations preferred: call (714) 973-3160 or email Parking: $5 per vehicle.

Redwood Grove Hike

Carbon Canyon Regional Park

4442 Carbon Canyon Rd.

Brea CA 92823