Category: Family fun

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 explore Clark Regional Park’s rich fossil history! Family Fossil Days provide a hands-on experience for all ages with real fossils.

The three-hour program, led by park staff, will bring you face to face with a casting of a real Megalodon jaw and a 9 million year-old baleen whale fossil. Participants older than 6 years old will also be able to visit Clark Regional Park’s marine fossil site. Meet at the interpretive center, rain or shine. Pack a picnic lunch and stay for the day at the park following the program.

  • When: Saturday, February 6th, 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 Carbon Canyon Regional


It’s Museum FREE for all Day!!!

Here’s a reminder that it’s the 11th annual Museum FREE-for all Day!!! Over twenty museums – presenting art, cultural heritage, natural history, and science will open their doors and invite visitors to attend their museums free of charge.

Here’s a list of the 2016 Participating Museums

  • Autry Museum of the American West
  • Annenberg Space for Photography
  • Armory Space for Photography
  • The Broad
  • California African American Museum
  • California Science Center – Offer valid for general admission only. Does not apply to specially ticketed exhibitions or IMAX films. Timed reservations are required for space shuttle Endeavour.
  • Craft & Folk Art Museum – Offering free admission on Sunday, January 31, 2016 as part of Museums Free-for-All
  • Descanso Gardens
  • Fowler Museum at UCLA
  • The Getty
  • The Getty Villa – Timed tickets are required. Visit
  • Hammer Museum
  • Laguna Art Museum
  • The La Brea Tar Pits and Museum – Does not include Ice Age Encounters or 3D Theatre
  • LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) – Offer valid for general admission only. Does not apply to specially ticketed exhibitions
  • Japanese American National Museum
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA)
  • Museum of Latin American Art
  • Museum of Tolerance – Closed Saturdays, offering free admission on Sunday, January 31, 2016 as part of Museums Free-for-All
  • Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
  • Orange County Museum of Art
  • The Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits
  • The Paley Center for Media
  • Pasadena Museum of California Art
  • Santa Barbara Museum of Art
  • Skirball Cultural Center – Offering free admission on Sunday, January 31, 2016 as part of Museums Free-for-All. Noah’s Ark timed-entry, one-hour tickets are limited and distributed first-come, first-served
  • Sunnylands
  • Torrance Art Museum
  • USC Pacific Asia Museum
  • William S. Hart Museum
  • Zimmer Children’s Museum – Closed Saturdays, offering free admission on Sunday, January 31, 2016 as part of Museums Free-for-All



Bird is the Word

Muth Interpretive Center
Muth Interpretive Center

The Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve offers a FREE Family Science Sunday once a month. Each month a different educational theme is offered. This month the theme is “Bird is the Word” and will focus on birds and migration.

Self guided Free activities take place in the Muth Interpretive Center classroom and may include crafts, hands on exhibits, hikes or more. Theese activities are recommended for ages 2-10.

  • When: Sunday, January 31, 2016 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Where: Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve/Muth Interpretive Center,  2301 University Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660
  • Cost: FREE

Weekend Hikes

If we don’t have rain this weekend there’s some fun weekend hikes planned by our OC Parks. Remeber all these guided hikes are FREE. Parking fee vary between $3.00 and $5.00.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Explore the Bay Family Hike – Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
An easy hike for families of all ages to learn more about Upper Newport Bay and enjoy its trails. 

  • Hike will be on paved and dirt trails
  • Bring sun protection and water
  • Meet on the patio of the Muth Interpretive Center
  • No fee or pre-registration required
Date:  1/30/2016
Time:  10:30 AM – 11:30 AM


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Guided Nature Hike – Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park
Join the Park Ranger for a one mile nature hike in the beautiful Bell Canyon area of Caspers Wilderness Park. Hike lasts approximately one hour and is suitable for all ages.

  • Contact park office for hike updates.
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle (day use fee).
  • Meet at the Old Corral Day Use Area.
Date:  1/31/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 9:15 AM
Car Wreck Fitness Hike – Aliso & Wood Canyons Park
Long distance, high elevation hike that takes us inside Dripping Cave, up steep Mathis Canyon Trail, then by the old car wreck! Experienced hikers only.

  • 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 & (949) 923-2200 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle.
  • For ages 15 and up who are capable of an 8-mile, 900-ft. elevation gain hike on very steep and rocky terrain. Be prepared for hot weather, with at least two liters of water, snack, hiking footwear, sunscreen, a hat/sunglasses, and necessary medications.
  • Please sign-up online using link below.

Online Registration

Date:  1/31/2016
Time:  9:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Meet the Mummies!

This is the final weekend to meet the Mummies at the Natural History Museum’s “Mummies New Secrets from the Tomb” exhibit! My family and I were finally able to visit last weekend. One of my daughters asked to see Dinosaurs and the other wanted to see Mummies, the Natural History Museum had both!

During our visit, we were able to see 20 mummies, some of which have never been on public display before. The mummies come from ancient Egypt and Peru and bring to life many of the ancient burial details as well as how the societies lived and their beliefs. I was unable to take pictures of the displays are they are extremely sensitive.

We were also able to view a few decorated coffins, mummification tools as well items that were placed inside the tomb alongside the Mummies. My girls had a great time at the interactive display tables. They were able to virtually “unwrap” layers of  the mummies, and move the mummies from top to bottom and side to side. They were also able to see some of the objects the mummies were laid to rest with.

The museum will be staying open late on this Saturday night – until 9:00 pm on January 16th in order to accomidate visitors before the exhibit final day. It is highly recommended that you reserve your timed tickets in advance to guarantee admission. Timed tickets for this exhibition are required. If your a Member of the museum you do get free access to see the Mummies, but an advanced reservation is also required. The Museum will be open on Martin Luther King Day, which is the last day to see this exhibit.

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is located at 900 Exposition Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90007.

The cost of tickets to view the exhibit plus admission to the museum for the day is: $22.00 for adults, $19.00 for Seniors (ages 62+), $19.00 for Student Youths, $10.00 for children (ages 3-12) and Free for children 2 and under. Members are free. Parking is $15.00 during the weekend. By the way, a family membership for two adults and up to four children (age 17 and under) is only $99.00 and includes Unlimited free admission to the Natural History Museum, the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum and the William S. Hart Museum.

Your Natural History Museum membership includes FREE timed-tickets to Butterfly Pavilion, Spider Pavilion, Bug Fair, traveling exhibitions as well as Free tickets to First Fridays (RSVP’s are required).

Celebrate Underwater Parks Day

 Crystal Cove_tidepools

Underwater Parks Day is Saturday, January 16, 2016. Underwater Parks Day is a celebration of Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s).

Join the Ocean Institute, Aquarium of the Pacific, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium and other partners, to celebrate recreation and conservation along Southern California’s coast.

Ocean_Institute Ocean Institute

Learn about and explore our local Dana Point State Marine Conservation Area and understand the importance of protected areas such as this. Guided tidepool hikes, sea urchin dissections and other activities will highlight this amazing environment and animals that live just feet from our door.

The day is a coordinated event by marine science centers throughout Southern California to educate the public about the statewide network of Marine Protected and Conservation Areas and explain the need for these “underwater parks.”

  • When: Saturday, January 16, 2016 from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Where: Ocean Institute – Ocean Education Center – 24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr. Dana Point, CA 92629
  • Cost: Admission is $10.00 for adults (13 yrs+), $7.50 for Children ages 3 -12 yrs and Seniors ages 65+, Children 2 and under are free.


Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Join Cabrillo Marina Aquarium for a celebration of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)! These areas, like parks on land, protect underwater marine resources for future generations to enjoy.

To celebrate MPAs and ocean conservation, CMA is participating in Underwater Parks Day. There will be speakers, presentations, interactive activities and handouts for visitors so they can learn more about MPAs, how MPAs work, and where MPAs are located in Southern California.

  • When: Saturday, January 16, 2016 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Where: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro, CA 90731 
  • Cost: FREE but donations are appreciated

 Aquarium of the Pacific1

Aquarium of the Pacific

Learn more about Southern California’s network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Guests will be able to learn about the commercial and recreational activities permitted. MPA stories will be told using film, lectures, and interactive exhibits. The event will also feature educational booths and activities in the Great Hall.

  • When: Saturday, January 16, 2016 from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Where: Aquarium of the Pacific 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802
  • Cost: Included with your admission: Children (3-11) $17.95, Adults $29.95, Seniors $26.95, members are free.

View the Rose Parade Floats


Visitng the pre-parade float decorating has become a tradition for my family. Decorating the floats is a very slow and delicate process which you have to see to appreicate. I’m looking forward to see this years parade as the this years parade theme is “Find Your Adventure”.


My daughter’s favorite part of th pre-parade float decorating is watching the volunteers glue on on things like seeds, barley, beans, corn husk and dried flowers and in many cases – one bean at a time.


The float decorating areas smell amazing in the days right before the the parade. I’ve said it before – If you are anywhere near Pasadena, you must see the pre-parade float decoarting at least once in your lifetime.  


General admission is $10.00 per person and FREE for children 5 and under. Tickets may be purchased on-site for December 29th & December 30th and are valid for all three float decorating locations. Ticket sales may stop when venues reach capacity. Advance tickets are available through Sharp Seating Company at 626.795.4171 or


Float decorating locations are held at Rosemont Pavilion, Brookside Pavalion & Rose Palace.


There’s plenty of fun to be had outside of the float decorating halls as well. My girls enjoy driving the FREE airplanes rides provided by Our United State Aire Force and the Pop-Up Park provided by The National Park Service.


After the Rose Parade, you can view all of the floats up close. The post Parade viewing will be held from Friday, January 1, 2015  to Sunday, January 3, 2015.

Following the Rose Parade, the floral masterpieces are parked along Sierra Madre and Washington boulevards in Pasadena, allowing visitors to further appreciate the design and workmanship that goes into their creation. Visitors are able to walk within a few feet of the floats and see for themselves the creativity and detail of the floral displays. Tournament volunteer members – “white suiters” – are on hand to answer questions.

Post Parade Viewing times are as follows:

  • Jan. 1, 2016: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm (ticket sales end at 3:00 pm, last entry at 4:00 pm)
  • Jan. 2, 2016: 7:00 am – 9:00 am (reserved for seniors & disabled visitors)
  • Jan. 2, 2016: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (ticket sales end at 3:00 pm, last entry at 4:00 pm)
  • Jan. 3, 2016: 7:00 am – 9:00 am (reserved for seniors & disabled visitors)
  • Jan. 3, 2016: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (ticket sales end at 3:00 pm, last entry at 4:00 pm)

Tickets are available for $10 through Sharp Seating Company.

Street parking near the event is limited. To accommodate the large number of expected attendees and to make each visit more enjoyable, the Tournament of Roses Association provides easy and convenient shuttle bus service from three Park-N-Ride locations. Shuttle riders have access to a priority entry line upon arriving at the venue.

PARK-N-RIDE tickets are available for $3.00 per person, round trip. Children 5 and younger ride free.


While your at the post-parade viewing event look for the National Park Service at all of the post-parade entrances and stop at the #LARangerTroca. Kids can earn a Junior Ranger Badge and get sworn in as a Junior Ranger.


Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary

Yesterday, my girls and I had a wonderful afternoon at Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary located in the lovely Modjeska Canyon. The drive through the wooded streets sets the pace for what’s in store.

 As you pull into the sanctuary, you can immediately feel the charm of this special spot that is tucked away at the end of the end of the road.

The Nature Science Center is a great combination of exploration, hands on STEM activities, live animals, a gift shop and even has a few snacks available. There is plenty for the little’s to do and the staff is friendly and helpful.

The sanctuary is a peaceful place to observe, discover and explore. As you walk there is a helpful tips for everyone to get the best results for observation of wildlife and to be respectful of habitats that exist here. There are maps available at the entrance to guide you there the 12 acre preserve.


The sanctuary has tree lined paved and dirt paths with surprises around every corner. The sanctuary is the home to a 70 year old tortoise named “Henry”. The day was cold so Henry was in hiding when we visited.

The dirt paths inside the sanctuary were closed as it had just rained but we had a great time exploring the rest of the sanctuary and sitting in the Observation Porch.

After taking in the beauty of the sanctuary we visited the Sensory Garden and hiked the Chaparral Trail, which is a short but moderate hike. The well maintained dirt trail has a gorgeous natural stairway to some fantastic views and observation spots.


Be sure to use the spotting scopes at both the Sanctuary and on the Chaparral Trail or bring a pair of binoculars for even better views.

If you’re looking for a more adventurous hike or a mountain bike ride, try the Harding Truck Trail. This is said to be a challenging trail/ride. Please visit and for more details.

Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary is hosting an Open House on December 29, 30 & 31, 2015 from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. This is a walk-in program and pre-registration is not required for individuals. The open house will include somthing for the entire family to do.

  • Enjoy a guided easy one hour nature walk at 12:00 pm. An Animal Aambassador will tell stories about local history and talk about the wildlife that visits Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Children can make nature themed crafts, such as bird feeders, a sun catcher a reindeer hat and more
  • Sip on FREE Hot Apple cider and cookies in the Nature Science Center (while supplies last)
  • Learn all about the flora and fauna of Orange County from the staff

Although there is no entrance fee to visit the sanctuary, donations are greatly appreciated. Suggested donations is $3.00 per person Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary is located at 29322 Modjeska Canyon Road, Silverado, CA 92676

Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary is owned and operated by California State University, Fullerton. Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm and will be closed on Thursday Dec. 24 and Friday Dec. 25, as well as New Years Day.

The sanctuary hosts several special events during the year including, Summerfest, Bat Night and a Gray Wolf presentation from Wolf Totem Ambassadors.


Holidays at the Muck

Image courtesy of the TheMuckenthaler facebook page
Image courtesy of the TheMuckenthaler facebook page

The Muckenthaler Cultural Center’s annual Holiday Festival features various activities, including home and gallery tours, performances and an arts & crafts fair. Plus, delicious food vendors and exclusive craft beer selections.

The family-friendly event also provides free art workshops for kids, a children’s play area, and a special appearance by Santa Claus.

Musical performance to be showcased will include: The Darden Sisters and The Sugar Daddies, as well as the following dance groups; Corona Dance Company, Ballet Folklorico Monte Alban, CF Dance Group and the American Martial Arts Academy.

clothing drive

A clothing Drive will be taking place as well, so look through you closet and bring along some gently used clothing. Donations are being accepted at the St. Juliana table. .

St. Juliana Church in Fullerton is currently gathering donations of men’s and women’s clothing for staying warm and dry, such as jeans, pants, shirts, sweaters, jackets, shoes and NEW ONLY socks and underwear please. The clothing will be distributed at the emergency shelter for homeless people in Fullerton.

  • When: Sunday, December 20, 2015 from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm 
  • Where: The Muckenthalet Cultural Center, 1201 W Malvern Ave, Fullerton, CA 92833
  • Cost: FREE

Newport Beach Boat Parade

Image courtesy of Image courtesy of

“Seas the Holidays” at 107th Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade for a beautiful display of decorated yachts, boats, kayaks and canoes as they sail along the harbor.

The Christmas Boat Parade sets the harbor ablaze for five consecutive nights, beginning Wednesday, December 16 and ending Sunday, December 20, 2014. The parade starts off Bay Island at 6:30 pm and finishes at the same site at approximately 9:00 pm each evening.

Many of the boats will be richly decorated with animated Christmas scenes accompanied by music and costumed carolers. Some boat owners in the past have spent over $50,000 to decorate their vessels for the event. The Christmas floats will wind their way some 14 miles around the harbor to give viewers in restaurants, yacht clubs, on public beaches, and in private homes an incredible sight that has delighted millions of people for a century.

The Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, has been hailed as “one of the top ten holiday happenings in the nation” by the New York Times. 


We enjoy taking in the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade from inside Balboa Island. The property owners in Balboa Island decorate their homes, the streets and the docking slips to provide what’s referred to as the “Ring of Lights”,

Balboa Island comes alive with thousands of twinkling lights making the evening even more spectacular. We find a cozy spot on the waterfront, bring our dinner and get ready for the show.

Although Balboa Island is our favorite viewing spot, it isn’t the only viewing spot in Newport Beach. Click on the link for the best viewing locations as well as options for reserved seating information. Here’s some additional information on the Parade Route & Viewing locations as well as Directions & Parking.