Category: Family fun

7th annual National Get Outdoors Day -June 14, 2014

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The 7th annual National Get Outdoors Day is on June 14, 2014. This event encourages healthy, active outdoor lives and embraces our parks, forests, refuges and other public lands and waters. Participating partners will offer opportunities for American families to experience traditional and non-traditional types of outdoor activities.

Get Outside Day event actives will offer a mix of information centers, “active fun” areas, places where guests (especially kids) can use a fishing pole, go geocaching, help pitch a tent and more. Many sites also feature areas that focus on other aspects of healthy living, including sustainability and good nutrition.

The sites will also provide photo opportunities with characters like Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl.

In addition to the days events, participants will be invited to nearby follow-up activities called EchO events occurring throughout the summer, which include introductions to mountain biking and fly-fishing, hikes with rangers to see wildlife, kayaking and rafting and much more.

Find event locations here: National Get Outdoors Day.

Can’t find an even in your area? Don’t let that stop you, here’s a link for Trails.com, enter the name of your City and it’ll locate hiking trails near you. 
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Join the Great American Backyard Campout

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The 10th annual Great American Backyard Campout is Saturday, June 28. National Wildlife Federation is encouraging people to camp outside on June 28th, or a night of your choice.

National Wildlife Federation’s Board of Directors and other friends have offered to donate $2 in support of NWF’s wildlife conservation work for every person that participates in this year’s Campout— up to $400,000! You can register at the NWF site. You can camp in your backyard, balcony or a campground. They also provide a Campsite Finder  which offers you the chance to join other camping teams. National Wildlife Federation hopes to connect more people and families with being in the great outdoors.

National Wildlife Federation also has some Camping Tips, games, songs, stories and recipes on their website.

As a Girl Scout leader I must ask that you please don’t forgoet the s’mores. Did you know that s’mores first appeared in the 1927 Girl Scout Handbook, Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts. 

I”ll  keep you up to date on our upcoming camping plans and recipes. We just recently acquired some great camping equipment and I can’t wait to use it.

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Children’s Gardening Workshops and tons of fun at OC Great Park

We stop here often after church to let the kids play and explore. Yesterday I read a blog about Movies on the Lawn at the OC Great Park. They start tonight at 7:30 from http://cruzinmama.wordpress.com/ (thank you for the reminder CruzinMama). I thought I’d share some great (and mostly free) family fun things to do at the OC Great Park along with of the some fantastic educational opportunities they offer.

Educational opportunities are:

Children’s Gardening Workshops: FREE monthly hands-on workshops for kids 3-9 years old. Each month is a different theme, they learn about sustainable gardening and do ààààaààvarious actives.The workshops take place from January through June on the second Sunday of the month from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., every 30 minutes. Unfortunately, the last one for this season is on June 8th.

  The Web of Life: Did you know that plants, animals, insect, humans, and the environment are all interconnected and depend on each another for survival?  Come discover how it’s all woven together, as you make your very own Web of Life to take home with you.

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 (photos and information courtesy of OC Great Park)

Farm + Food Lab: The Farm + Food Lab is a two-acre agriculture garden that showcases themed planters with items like fruits, flowers, vegetables and herbs. a Pizza and Spaghetti Garden, an “Ethnic Garden, a Fruit Salad Garden and a Sensory Garden. The Farm + Food Lab usually has someone there from the University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of Orange County that you are able to talk to and ask questions. There is a chicken coop with beautiful chicken. (I long to have a chicken coop).

Walkable Historical Timeline:  The Walkable Timeline is 2,604 feet. It includes 162  historical events.

Palm Court Arts Complex: This area includes the Great Park Gallery and Great Park Artists Studios, they feature publicly-accessible artists-in-residence program. Preserving El Toro’s World War II era atmosphere and architecture. This area serves as the Park’s cultural campus, supporting development of the public arts programming.

Incredible Edible Farm: This 4.5 acre farm provided fresh fruit & veggies to Second Harvest Food Bank. The City of Irvine and Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County have partnered to operate the Farm. They also provide volunteer opportunities (a great way to serve your community).

 

Family Fun:

Great Park Balloon: The balloon holds between 25 to 30 passengers and goes up 400 feet high. Due to my fear of heights, I haven’t been on the balloon but my family tells me the sights are  beautiful.Great Park Balloon

  • Adults (19 and older): $10
  • Children (12-18 years old): $5 without paid accompanying adult
  • Children (18 years old and younger)*: Free with paid adult
  • Family & Friends Pass: $40 for five adult flights

Thursday–Friday: 10 am–3 pm, 7 pm–10 pm
Saturday–Sunday: 9 am–3 pm, 7 pm–10 pm

*Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult on Balloon flights.

Kids Rock Playground: a playground that is inspired by and focused on educating kids on conservation ecology and water cycles They can climb rocks and go into “underground tunnels”.  The playground floor is made of recycled rubber flooring that resembles lakes and streams. There is plenty of seating and tables available for the entire family.

Check out Free Sports Equipment at the Visitors Center: You can check out a football, soccer ball, Bocce ball set, Frisbee or jump rope and play on the many acres of open lawn around the Great Park. Hours are :

Monday-Wednesday: Closed
Thursday-Friday: 10 am-10 pm
Saturday-Sunday: 9 am-10 pm

Great Park Carousel: 

  • All-Day Pass: $3
  • Single Ride: $2
  • Family & Friends Pass: $20 for 10 all-day passes

Thursday–Friday: 10 am–10 pm
Saturday–Sunday: 9 am–10 pm

Reflecting Ponds and Viewing Pier: There are two reflecting ponds and a 2,200 square-foot redwood viewing pier.

Farmers Market: Every Sunday, the Certified  Farmers Market offers locally grown fruits and vegetables and handcrafted artisan products. There is live entertainment, gourmet food trucks and picnic tables.

Terraced Lawn: This area serves as an outdoor performance venue for Great Park events such as:  Movie on the Lawn series and Flights & Sounds Summer Festival.

 

I hope you can visit soon.

 

http://www.ocgp.org/

 

 

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Best Family Movies

 

There are some days I just want to stay home and relax with my family. I found this list of 22 Best Family Movies from http://www.the36thavenue.com/

A few of these we’ve seen but there a few I’ve forgotten about and a couple I’ve never heard of.  This list will come in handy during our summer break. Hopefully I can get a few days in here and there for well needed downtime.

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For the complete list visit Best Family Movies

 

 

 

 

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Nature in the Middle of the City.

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 I have to tell everyone about a great spot here in Orange County, the Environmental Nature Center. It’s a hidden gem in the middle of a residential neighborhood. This place is absolutely free (great for freegan’s like me). From the outside you would not think it’s as big as it is. They have an outstanding Butterfly house that is open between May 4 and September 26 2014.

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 This place is one of a our favorites. Inside their state of the art green building, they a have a nice little reading corner, an educational area, and a gift shop. Step outside and within a few steps your taking a stream side hike (that our 3 year can lead). Be sure to bring your lunch and something to drink. You can enjoy your lunch at one of the tables set up through the hiking trails.

They have Girl Scout and Boy Scout Badge programs available and they are very reasonable. There is such much learning to be done here. It’s big enough to give the kids a outdoor experience and small enough that they can enjoy themselves without getting tired and grumpy.  This is definitely one of my peaceful places and the girls love it.

http://encenter.org/

1601 E.16th St. Newport Beach, CA 92663

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For the love of a child.

Twice a week I attend an early learning preschool program with my youngest daughter. The program is run through an organization called “Think Together”.  Parents/Grandparents/Aunts attend with their child twice a week. One day you attend a parent component (workshop) while your children are in the other room learning and the other day you take an active roll in child’s education by assisting in all lessons, craft time, play time, carpet time, etc. I have seen tremendous growth in Ava since attending this program.

The program is planned and led by the director and the wonderful woman who facilitates the weekly parenting workshops (both of whom I just love). The “Teachers” are all volunteers through AmeriCorps (all of them are great!). Each Thursday, we are sent home with bag full of books to read to our children. Our children then draw a picture of their favorite book . On the following Tuesday, we share it. It is so amazing to see all of the children’s growth through their pictures. We then have our weekly parenting workshop that teach you parenting methods and exercises to try at home.

Some how, the weekly parent component classes have turned into so something special. The woman who facilitates the parent component has given the Moms a chance to not only learn and share parenting skills but also to share everything that is going on in our “Mom” lives. Our thoughts, struggles, proud moments and ideas. This has quickly become a place of growing but more important a room full very different women who have become friends. Some of us have become very close.

Today, we made sock puppets for our children. The sock puppet is to be used by our children or us to express feelings or to talk to each other; not as ourselves but as the puppet (I think this could work). The room was quite with all the busy moms/Grandma’s/Aunts working and sharing to create the perfect sock puppet to delight our children. I thought it was great, A room full of women brought together, creating sock puppets all for the love of a child. Amazing!

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http://www.thinktogether.org/early-learning/

http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps

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