Category: Family fun

Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn

Every year, one of our favorite things to do is go to the Festival of Light at the Mission Inn in Riverside. This year we got a sneak preview (just by chance) of the gorgeous Mission Inn in all it’s glory.

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This year marks the 25th year of the Festival of Lights. The beautiful Mission Inn is decorated with 200 animated figures including angels, elves and Dickens carolers, freshly fallen snow, a gorgeous Christmas Tree and tons of lights!

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Don’t miss appearances by Santa Claus and our the chance to stand under the world’s largest man-made mistletoe.

The theme for 2017 is “Sweet 25”.  The fun and exciting candy-theme celebration will begin with their very special “Lights On ” ceremony on Friday, November 24th, at 4:30pm.

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The theme is carried throughout the exterior of the hotel and include the new Candy Stroll, Sweet Dreams suite, Kelly’s Spa specials, weekly delectable specials featured in our award-winning restaurants, and delicious candy-themed Casey’s Cupcakes.

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ProjectrefinedLife.com
  • The Festival of Lights runs from Friday, November 24, 2017 through Saturday, January 6, 2018.

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

  • The event is free, parking fees vary.

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ENC’s Fall Faire

Join the fun at the ENC’s annual Fall Faire and Pumpkin Patch! Look forward to Pumpkins of all shapes and sizes,  native plant sale, delicious food and drinks from local vendors, crafts and games for the kids. The Fall Faire has been an ENC tradition since 1977.

Buy a re-usable ENC canvas bag for $5 to participate in the Craft Crawl. Walk along the trails at ENC as the kids go station to station making awesome eco-friendly & nature-inspired crafts!

Francisco the Bug Guy and the Orange County Bird of Prey Center will be on hand with their live hawks and owls. Take a ride on a friendly pony or visit a variety of barnyard animals in our petting zoo! Bring the kids and play super fun games, winners can enter to win prizes in our children’s auction. There’s something for everyone!

The Fall Faire & Pumpkin Patch takes place at the Environmental Nature Center, on Sunday,  October 15, 2017 from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

ENC is located at 1601 E. 16th Street, Newport Beach, CA 92663

images courtesy of www.facebook.com/pages/Environmental-Nature-Center

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Acorn Day

Get back to nature with Acorn Day as this awesome event returns to O’Neill Regional Park!

This free, family-friendly day of excitement and learning offers activities for every age including free crafts for kids, a live butterfly enclosure, active games, and acorn and oak tree planting.

Other activities include storytelling, live animal demonstrations, nature activities, face painting, book signing of “How to Draw 60 Native California Plants and Animals: A Field Guide”, and live music from Shadybrook Bluegrass. Refreshments available for purchase.

Additional participants include Orange County Bird of Prey Center, Orange County Fire Watch, Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary, Orange County Animal Care, Southern California Bluebird Society, Inside the Outdoors, The Cooper Center and more.

  • When: Saturday, October 7, 2017 from 10;00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

  • Where: O’Neill Regional Park, 30892 Trabuco Canyon Road, Trabuco Canyon, CA 92678

  • Cost: FREE, parking fees may apply.

For more information: call (949) 923-2260 or email oneillpark@ocparks.com or go to www.facebook.com/OrangeCountyParks

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OC’s Ancient Wonders

Image courtesy of OC Parks Facebook page

OC Parks and the Dr. John D Cooper Archeological and Paleontological Center invite you to OC’s Ancient Wonders on Saturday, September 9 at Mile Square Regional Park. This free, educational family event will present Orange County’s rich heritage of natural history, prehistoric animals and plants, and Native American culture to the community.

The event will feature displays of local fossils and Native American artifacts, educational crafts and hands-on activities for kids of all ages, archery demonstrations, Native American storytelling, guided hikes led by Naturalist for You, a volcano demonstration, and a butterfly tent by Western Monarch Guardians.

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Schedule of events:

  • 11:45 AM – Guided hike by Naturalist for You

  • 12:30 PM – Volcano demonstration

  • 1:15 PM – Native American Storytelling by Jacque Tahuka-Nunez of Journeys to the Past

  • 2:00 PM – Guided hike by Naturalist for You

Archery demonstrations and Butterfly tent available throughout the day

  • When: Saturday, September 9, 2017 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Where: Mile Square Regional Park, 16801 Euclid St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708 (The event will be located at the park’s Nature Area and Archery Range)
  • Cost: Event is free. Parking is $5 per vehicle
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Rock Party!

Photo Courtesy of OCregister.com

Come to Once Upon a Storybook for a ROCK PARTY!

Actually, it’s more like a kindness party with rocks. There’s a trend of painting rocks and hiding them in a park or public space for someone to find. I have seen facebook post of people who find these rocks and it makes their day!

Tustin’s very own Donna Peery has spearheaded this project for our community–she’s even been in the paper! Donna will lead kids and parents in a rock painting party! You can paint pictures from your favorite books or just happy images that make you smile, and she’ll tell you how to hide them in the community.

This fun event takes place today, August 2, 2017 at Once Upon a Storybook in Tustin located inside the Enderle Center. This is an open house atmosphere, so come by any time between 2:00 & 4:00.  This a FREE event, no RSVP’s are required and great for ages 3+.

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Nature Nights

Come to Oak Canyon Nature Center for Nature Nights this Summer!

Join the the staff Naturalist along with experts from a variety of natural fields as they lead you through a series of Nature Nights.

Image courtesy of http://www.anaheim.net/1096/Oak-Canyon-Nature-Center

Every Wednesday from June 28th through August 16th, the evening will begin with a guided twilight walk at 7:00 p.m. and followed up by a formal presentation at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free mission but a $5 donation per family would be greatly appreciated.

  • June 28:  Journeys to the Past
    Jacque Nunez is a Master storyteller and award winning educator. She will captivate you, and every family member. Journey with her back in time and be captivated by her stories, songs and engaging use of ancient instruments!
  • July 5: Twilight Walk
    Join us for an introduction to Oak Canyon and a walk with Oak Canyon’s Naturalists as the sun begins to set. Several walks of varying ability levels will be offered. Be sure to bring your flashlight.
  • July 12: Wonders of Wildlife
    Cheryl Rendes from Wonders of Wildlife will share a variety of animals, from the savannas of Africa to the tropical regions of South America.
  • July 19: Orange County Birds of Prey
    Dr. Kristian Krause, Veterinarian from Serrano Animal Hospital and Orange County Birds of Prey Center, will share information on raptors and will bring a variety along for an audience “encounter.”
  • July 26: Reptiles from Around the World
    Dr. Tom Greek from Greek & Associates Veterinary Hospital will bring along an exciting collection of reptiles including local and exotic snakes, lizards and more. Learn about the lifestyles of these unique reptiles and enjoy an opportunity to see and touch these animals up close.
  • August 2: Our Solar System
    Mike Beckage will introduce the challenging hobby of amateur astronomy through his breathtaking slide show. Then we will journey up the hill and view the night sky through telescopes aimed at the evening’s best features. *This program involves a strenuous uphill walk to reach the viewing area.
  • August 9: “Trapper” Dan Jundanian’s Insect Fair
    Join us for an evening of learning and fun. Dan Jundanian, a former longtime Oak Canyon Naturalist, returns for his annual Nature Night presentation. Enjoy an evening of insect education as Dan displays exciting insects from around the world.
  • August 16: Annual Flashlight Walk
    While waiting for the sun to set, get an introduction to the “creatures of the night” then join Oak Canyon’s naturalists on a trek through the trails of the Nature Center. There will be several walks of varying abilities. Don’t forget your flashlight as we explore Oak Canyon at night!
Jacque Tahuka-Nunez of Journey’s to the Past

When: Every Wednesday from June 28th through August 16th

Where: Oak Canyon Nature Center, 6700 E Walnut Canyon Road, Anaheim, CA 92807

Cost: A $5.00 donation per family is greatly appreciated

 

Click here for directions.

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Free Kids Fishing Clinic

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OC Parks, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Izaak Walton League and Berkley Fishing host the inaugural Kids’ Fishing Clinic at Yorba Regional Park.

The Kids’ Fishing Clinic (for ages 15 and under) is designed to teach kids how to fish, while giving them the opportunity to catch a few. The lake will be stocked with more than 1,000 pounds of trout or catfish for the clinic.

Fishing experts will be on site to assist kids. Don’t forget your fishing rod! If you do not have your own fishing rod, a limited quantity will be available for loan. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Rain will not cancel event.

  • When: Saturday, April 1, 2017 from 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
  • Where: Yorba Regional Park 7600 E. La Palma Anaheim, CA 92807
  • Event is free! Parking is $5 per vehicle

To register, please call (714) 973-6615 or email yorbapark@ocparks.com.

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Butterfly Day

Let’s get ready for Spring with this fun and FREE community event.

Celebrate Butterflies on Saturday Morning, March 18, 2017 from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm.

“Butterfly Day Open House”  will be held at the Education Farm located at: 356 N. Lemon St. – Old Towne Orange, CA

There will be scavenger hunts, crafts, storytime, prizes, education, healthy snacks and more!

Butterfly Day
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Roger’s Gardens Halloween Boutique

GrimmTales Halloween Boutique??? Yep, it’s time! For me the sure sign that Fall is on it’s way is visiting Rodger’s Gardens Halloween Boutique. This year the theme is “Grimm Tales”  and it opens today, Friday, September 2, 2016.

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My family and I have made a tradition of visiting this spectacular showcase. Each year, we look forward to the new theme and new chilling features each room holds.

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I love gathering inspiration for our home with the works of artists like: Joyce Stahl,  Vergie Lightfoot and Nicol Sayer. These decorations go way beyond Pumpkins and gourds. These are pieces of art and are simply amazing.

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The Grimm Tales theme takes you through forested rooms that display a completely new spin on classics like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty and Hansel & Gretel.

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While your visiting Roger’s Gardens be sure to stop by the brand new restaurant Farmhouse Cafe  Who wouldn’t want to eat here? The garden is beautiful and the restaurant supports an open feeling with all the charm that exists within the garden.

FarmhouseCafe

Halloween Boutique Date/Time

  • When: Open daily from 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Where: Roger’s Gardens 2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd., Corona del Mar, CA 92625
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Free Movie Monday’s

Images courtesy of scfta.org
Images courtesy of scfta.org

Summer time means FREE movies at Segerstrom Center. FREE Movie Mondays, return’s for its tenth season on the Argyros Plaza.

Gather as a community for a casual evening of fun activities, picnic dinners or specialties from popular food trucks and watching five fan-favorite films on consecutive Mondays.

Set-up begins at 5:30 p.m., with the movie starting at dusk (approximately 8 p.m.). Guests are encouraged to bring beach chairs or other easily portable seating items, snacks and picnic suppers. Barbecues and similar food preparation are not permitted but your  bring your picnic baskets and get ready to have a blast!

Summer Film Showings Include:

  • July 11th – Grease
  • July 18 – Selena
  • July 25th – Elf
  • August 1 st – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • August 8th – The Labyrinth

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is located at 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

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OC Zoo Star Wars Day

Image courtesy of OC Zoo
Image courtesy of OC Zoo

Let the Force be with you when you visit the OC Zoo on Star Wars Day! Come for family fun that includes Star Wars characters, crafts, games, and photo opportunities.

Zoo animals will receive special treats and there will be animal meet-and-greets throughout the day.

The first 100 children ages 12 & under in Star Wars costume will receive a special gift AND a free train ride ticket to Irvine Park Railroad!

All visitors are encouraged to come in Star Wars attire/costume. Reservations are not needed and all activities are free with paid zoo admission.

  • When: Saturday, June 25, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Where: OC Zoo, located inside of Irvine regional Park, 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869
  • Cost: $2 per person, ages 2 & under free, parking is $5.00
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Family Fossil Days

Clark ParkDid you know that mammoths, ring-tailed cats, giant ground sloths and a unique type of ancient llama once lived in the area? Come and explore the rich fossil history at Family Fossil Days. Clark Regional Park provides a hands-on experience for all ages with real fossils.

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ProjectRefinedLife.com

The Park Staff will lead a three-hour program that brings you face to face with a casting of a real Megalodon jaw and a 9 million year-old baleen whale fossil.

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ProjectRefinedLife.com

Participants older than 6 years old can discover Clark Regional Park’s marine fossil site which is located right across the street from Clark Regional Park. Attending Family Fossil Day gives you access to a limited amount of this area which is normally closed to the public.

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ProjectRefinedLife.com

It is amazing just how many fossils there are at Clark Regional Park and how much history we have right here in Orange County The program begins at the Interpretive Center and takes place rain or shine. Bring a picnic lunch and spend the day at the park following the program.

  • When: Saturday, May 7th, Saturday, September 10th, Saturday, December 3rd from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Clark Regional Park 8800 Rosecrans Ave. Buena Park, CA 90621
  • Event is FREE, parking is $5 per vehicle. 

For more information: Call (714) 973-3170 or email clarkpark@ocparks.com www.facebook.com/OrangeCountyParks twitter.com/OCParks Carbon Canyon Regional

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Fishing Derby

Image courtesy of Orange County Parks Facebook page
Image courtesy of Orange County Parks Facebook page

OC Parks, Sport Chalet and local fishing organization Team 57 host the 2nd Annual Kids’ Fishing Derby at Carbon Canyon Regional Park Lake.

Kids ages 15 and under fish for free at the Fishing Derby. The lake will be stocked with catfish. Following the derby, a free hot dog lunch will be provided by Team 57 and participating vendors (while supplies last).

Fishing experts will be on-site to assist kids. Don’t forget your fishing rod! There will also be an opportunity drawing for kids to win prizes. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Rain will not cancel event.

  • When: Saturday, May 7, 2016 – Registration begins at 8:00 am, Fishing Derby is from 8:00 am -12:00 pm 
  • Where: Carbon Canyon Regional Park, 4442 Carbon Canyon Rd, Brea, CA 92823
  • Cost: Kids 15 and under fish for free. Children must be accompanied by an adult, parking is $5.00 
  • To register: call (714) 973-3160 or email carboncanyon@ocparks.com

 

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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

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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
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KelpFest 2016

Image courtesy of Kelpfest.org
Image courtesy of Kelpfest.org

More than 20 years ago the kelp forests of Orange County disappeared due primarily to overfishing and pollution, In 2002 marine biologist Nancy Caruso of Get Inspired! started a project which would eventually restore this once lush forests.

In 2002 with what came to be 5000 volunteers, Caruso and her volunteers began restoring the kelp forests in Newport and Laguna Beach. By 2010, the kelp had reached historic densities and the animals were starting to return to the area.

KelpFest

In celebration of this event, KelpFest was created to celebrate the return of the kelp forests and to honor the thousands of people who helped to restore them. The 7th annual KelpFest, will be on April 17th, 2016 this year on Main Beach in Laguna Beach from 9am-3pm.

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There will be many like-minded environmental organizations with exhibits at the event to help educate the participants and help to nurture an appreciation for giant kelp forests. Other activities throughout the day include live painting , a life size interactive kelp forest model, live performances, guided tide pool tours, a swim to the kelp forest, talk to a real mermaid, beach clean up, as well as lots of arts and crafts for kids.

Schedule of events:

  • 9:00am Kelpfest begins
  • 9:00-10:00 Kelp forest comes to life as we construct one for visitors to walk through
  • 10:00am Musical performances begin

All Day

  • Live kelp forest paintings and raffle
  • Docent led tide pool tours
  • Arts and crafts for kids
  • Live musical performances
  • Mermaid!

Get the kids ready for the event by downloading a FREE Gaby Garibladi coloring book here!

  • When: Saturday, April 17, 2016 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Where: Laguna Beach – Main Beach
  • Cost: FREE
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