Category: Family fun

Storytime in the Garden

Storytime in the Garden-OC Great Park
Storytime in the Garden-OC Great Park

Enjoy a fun-filled, enchanting hour of food related stories, songs, games, and activities designed to help kids build strong language and literacy skills, and lifelong healthy eating habits.

Creativity and imagination are stimulated through stories about the wonders of life in the garden. Gently used book donations to the Farm + Food Lab’s little free library are welcomed.

Structured 30 minute interactive presentation followed by craft activities.
All ages are welcome to attend.

  • When: Sunday, December 6, 2015 from 10:00 am- 11:00 am
  • Where: OC Great Park, Location:Farm + Food Lab | Map & Directions
  • Cost: FREE

This program is produced and presented by the City of Irvine’s Community Services Urban Agricultural Programs Division in collaboration with the University of California Irvine’s Jumpstart Children First program.

Future Storytime in the garden dates are as follows:

  • Sunday, January 3
  • Sunday, February 7
  • Sunday, March 6

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.


Mission Inn Festival of Lights


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.


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.

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

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.

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.

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.
  • 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.


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

Veterans Day Ceremonies & Parades

In honor of all of our active and retired Veterans, there are some great Veterans Day Ceremonies & Parades taking place on Wednesday, November 11, 2015. Here’s a list of some of great events taking place locally as well as link to, they offer a list of ceremonies and /or parades throughout the country.

In Orange County

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Richard Nixon Library – Yorba Linda – Get FREE admission to the Nixon Library all day for a A patriotic celebration to honor all veterans who have served our nation.

On Display All Day: An 80% scale replica of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – the largest such mobile historical replica of its kind.

1 PM: Patriotic Concert with the Placentia Symphonic Band The renowned 90-member Placentia Symphonic Band will perform in the East Room. The concert is free and open to the public.

7 PM: Veterans Day Ceremony with SSG Travis Mills

  • Keynote remarks by SSG Travis Mills Formal
  • Presentation of the Colors by 1st Marine Intelligence Battalion
  • Invocation by Navy Chaplain Roilynn Williams
  • Remarks by Yorba Linda Mayor Gene Hernandez
  • Performances by the Villa Park High School Jazz Ensemble, Orange High School Concert Choir, Santa Ana College Singers and Orange Community Master Chorale

Please  for the Event.

Anaheim Veterans Day Celebration – Join in the celebration on Wednesday, November 11, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. for a special ceremony honoring our veterans. The celebration takes place at the Anaheim Veterans Plaza in Downtown Anaheim (next to MUZEO). Parking is FREE and available in the parking structure behind Anaheim City Hall at 200 S. Anaheim Blvd., or on Center Street.

Costa Mesa – A Free community celebration with live music, care package collection drive and food drive for veterans, children and adult “Thank You” art projects, historic military vehicles on display, free hot dogs and veteran organizations connecting veterans to jobs and other programs.The celebration takes places at OC Fair & Event Center – Main Mall, Lot A (Enter at Gate 1 off Fair Dr) from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

City of Fullerton – The observance, hosted by Fullerton American Legion Post 142, Fullerton Emblem Club 469, and the City of Fullerton will begin at 10:30 a.m. with a parade in Fullerton’s historic downtown. Event takes place on Wilshire Avenue, east of Harbor Boulevard and adjacent to the Fullerton Museum Center, go North on Harbor Blvd. and end at Hillcrest Park, which is located at the intersection of Harbor and Valley View Drive.

Huntington Beach – First, join the City of Huntington Beach and the American Legion Post 133 on Wednesday, November 11, 2015 at 11 a.m. at Huntington Beach Pier Plaza for a special Veterans Day program. The event will feature Mayor Jill Hardy, several Veteran speakers and the Huntington Beach High School Band. See more information here.

Afterwards, Surf City Veterans Day Car Show returns with over 500 woodies, hot rods, muscle cars, exotics, VWs, and rat rods. Donations benefiting US Combat wounded veterans from Iraq & Afghanistan will be accepted at locations throughout the show. The event begins at 9 am with an opening ceremony, then a salute to POW’s MIA at 12 pm. Free to spectators.

City of Irvine – Veterans Day Ceremony at Colonel Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park on Wednesday, November 11, 2015 from 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.. Irvine Mayor Steven S. Choi will speak at the City’s traditional Veterans Day Ceremony. The ceremony will also feature remarks by Michelle De La Cruz, Commander, American Legion Post 838; and Lt. Col. Christian Ellinger, U.S. Marine Corps. The day will be highlighted by presentations from the 2nd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment Color Guard and the Irvine Police Department Honor Guard. Colonel Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park is located at 4 Civic Center Plaza, Irvine.

City of Orange – Join the City of Orange as we honor past veterans and current military with patriotic music and inspirational speeches. This event is open to the general public and all veterans, current military, friends and family are encouraged to attend. Depot Park is located at 100 Atchison St. Orange, CA  and begins at 2:00 p.m.

Parades and ceremonies outside of Orange County

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Ronald Regan Presidential Library, Simi Valley  – To honor the men and women who serve in the United States Armed Forces, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library will be hosting its annual Veterans Day Event on Wednesday, November 11. The day’s activities include a live musical entertainment, a civil war encampment, a military vehicle display and a program honoring all branches of our military.

The program, which begins at 11:00 a.m., includes an honor guard and remarks by retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills of the 82nd Airborne. Staff Sergeant Mills is a wounded warrior, motivational speaker, and international advocate for veterans and amputees. He is one of only five servicemen from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ever to survive his injuries as a quadruple amputee. He started the Travis Mills Foundation, which benefits and assists wounded and injured veterans, Following the program, Staff Sergeant Mills will be signing his brand new book Tough as They Come: A Memoir (release date November 3, 2015). Books must be purchased in the Reagan Library Museum Store to receive signature.

Outdoor events and the program are free to attend, however reservations are recommended to attend the program. Reserve seats and to pre-purchase books, please . Muse register here. Museum admission rates apply to visit the Reagan Museum and Air Force One Pavilion, including our special exhibit, Football! The Exhibition. Veterans with valid ID will receive free admission to the Museum on November 11. Active military members with valid ID are always free.

City of Redlands – The 2015 Veterans Day Parade & picnic takes place tomorrow, November 11, 2015.The Veterans Day Parade begins at 9 am at the intersection of Citrus Avenue and Redlands Blvd. and ends at Jennie Davis Park.

The picnic starts at 10:30 am at Jennie Davis Park. Activities for the day include airplane flyovers, military vehicles, bands, floats, classic cars, local ROTC units, service clubs, veterans organizations, government leaders, vendor booths, kids’ zone and more.
(Redlands Blvd. & New York Street)

San Diego Veterans Day Paradde Open to all, and free of charge to view or to participate. the San Diego Veterans Day Parade recognizes the contributions of all of our Veterans from every branch of Armed Forces in all eras of service. The parade begins at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 11, 2015, on N Harbor Drive. The Start Line is in the vicinity of the Fountain Plaza in front of the County Administration Building.


Kids Fishing Clinic

OC Parks would like to invite you and your kids to a fun morning of fishing at Irvine Regional Park! This Kid’s Fishing Clinic (for ages 16 and under) is designed to teach kids how to fish while giving them an opportunity to catch a few from our pond.

Whether this is your first time fishing or you are a regular, you will have fun trying to catch some fish. Instructors will be on hand to demonstrate, assist and answer any questions. Please bring your own fishing pole and bait. If you do not have a fishing pole, there will be some available for loan.

The lake will be stocked with rainbow trout and there will be a two-fish limit. Prizes will be available for tagged fish. Registration is required at the OC Parks check-in table on the day of the event.

  • When: Saturday, November 14, 2105 from 7:00 am – 11:00 am
  • Where: Irvine Regional Park. 1 Irvine Park Rd, Orange, CA 92869
  • Cost: The Event is FREE, parking is $5.00

Pumpkin Launch


On Saturday, November  7, 2014, Join Discovery Cube at Cal State Fullerton for the annual Pumpkin Launch event!

  • Participate in hands-on activities and challenges
  • Witness flying pumpkins launched by giant trebuchets
  • Bring a carved pumpkin for our pumpkin carving contest (must be pre-carved)
  • Enjoy food from your favorite gourmet food trucks

Bring your lawn chairs and witness history at this free event as teams compete to see who can launch a pumpkin at targets using giant trebuchets and other devices. Plus, kids can participate in hands-on activities throughout the day. Don’t miss this great family event!

Admission is FREE  – Register Now

Saturday, November 7, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Cal State Fullerton is located at 800 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton, 92831. Parking is free on Saturdays. Campus map and directions are available online.

This event gives engineering enthusiasts can watch various homemade trebuchets launch pumpkins through the air during the competition.

For a more hands-on lesson on projectiles, youngsters are invited to build their own mini catapults with Popsicle sticks and launch marshmallows. Other activities include pop-rocket building and a whiffle ball catapult station. Plus, a medieval showcase will present costumes, weapons, weaving materials and other replicated artifacts from the medieval ages.


Hoot N’ Howling Night Hike


The Hoot N’ Howl Night Hike at Carbon Canyon Regional Park is back! Park rangers will lead a starlit hike showcasing the natural wonders that can only be seen at night. This FREE guided night hike will feature activities including:

• A visit to the Nature Center
• A live animal presentation
• A hike through the wilderness area

Carbon Canyon Regional Park is located at 4442 Carbon Canyon Rd, Brea, CA 92823

This is an outdoor event so dress appropriately and bring a flashlight. This is the first of three night hikes scheduled at Carbon Canyon Regional Park. The next two are scheduled on Saturday, November 7, 2015 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., space is limited, please call to register  (714) 973-3160 or email

Save these dates for future night hikes: Saturday, December 5, 2015 and Saturday, January 16, 2016. 


Treats in the Streets

treats_in_streets1Head out to Old Town Orange tonight for the annual Treats in the Streets. This FREE community event includes games, trick or treating, a costume parade, and entertainment for participants of all ages

Merchants decorate their shops and local non-profit groups provide delicious food items and tasty treats for a nominal charge.

Trick or Treating at participating merchants takes place from 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm, parents please leave mask and pets at home.

  • When: Thursday, October 30, 2015
  • Time: 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
  • Where: Old Towne Orange Plaza at Chapman Avenue & Glassell

25th Annual Dino Dash


Just a reminder – there’s still time to sign up for Dino Dash, Tustin Public Schools Foundation’s biggest fundraiser. 

The 25th annual Dino Dash takes place this Sunday, November 1, 2015. The Dino Dash rallies the community together in support of over 24,000 students within Tustin Unified and helps support local public schools. There is an event for everyone – the timed 10K and 5K, the 2K fun run and the non-timed 15K and 50K bike tours. 

Join the Expo before and after the event for food, games, entertainment and plenty of giveaways.

The Seven Gables 50K bike tour goes through picturesque Santiago Canyon. The bike tour is not timed, so you take your time and enjoy the beautiful scenery. All participants will receive a dry-fit tech shirt, Dino Dash socks, a finisher medal, and a FREE food court ticket. We will have well-stocked rest stops and SAG support throughout the course.

If your not ready for a 50K ride, try out the 15K shorter course.  You will still get the tech shirt, Dino Dash socks, a finisher medal and a FREE food court ticket. Just watch for the signs indicating the shorter course.

Both the 50K and the 15K finish at the Bike Finish on Myford and a secured Bike Valet is available to store your gear and bike while you visit the expo.

You can sport this cool cycling Jersey in support of Dino Dash, just click on the picture to purchase the jersey, socks, lunch tickets or VIP parking.


Below are links for each course map , including start and finish lines.

Event Schedule:

  • 6:15 am – Race-Day Registration Opens (near El Camino and West St.)
  • 6:15 am – Bike Valet Opens
  • 6:45 am – Bike Tour Begins (near Auto Center Dr. and El Camino Real)
  • 7:00 am – Dino Dash Expo Area Opens
  • 7:15 am – 10K Chip-Timed Run Begins
  • 8:30 am – 5K Chip-Timed Run Begins
  • 9:00 am – Food Court Opens
  • 9:30 am – 2K Fun Run Begins (not timed)
  • 11:00 am – Event Ends

The event takes place on Sunday, November 1, 2015 at The Market Place in Tustin (Dick’s Sporting Goods lot), off the I-5 at Jamboree.

You can REGISTER NOW or at the event, registration opens at 6:15 am. You can save 10% if you register online by using the discount code TPFF25.

All proceeds benefit the non-profit Tustin Public Schools Foundation and local public schools.