Category: Family fun

31st Annual Tall Ships Festival

Photo courtesy of the Ocean Institute / Cliff Wassmann
Photo courtesy of the Ocean Institute / Cliff Wassmann

Join the Ocean Institute in celebrating the 31st year hosting the Toshiba Tall Ships Festival. Come and explore the majesty and wonder of life at sea through the sights and sounds of real working tall ships.

There will be interactive living-history encampments, including blacksmiths, scrimshaw artists, knot tiers, and the infamous Port Royal Privateers, are sure to entertain and amaze guests of all ages.

The Sunset Parade Sail  starts tonight, Friday, September 11, 2015. The Tall Ships Festival runs Saturday & Sunday, September 12th & 13th from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (ship tours end at 3:30pm)

From listening to gruff pirate songs about life on the high seas to learning how to tie a bowline, the festival has it all for boys and girls, kids of all ages. Around the grounds the pirate encampments will have ongoing activities throughout the day for adults and kids alike. Mermaids, pirates and tall ships… oh my!

On board our Vessels
Most of our visiting ships, as well as on the Brig Pilgrim, will have opportunities for kids to take a turn at the helm, talk to some ‘real’ sailors and watch interactive demonstrations. After the Naval Education Shows on board the Pilgrim, the crew will be staying inboard for photo opportunities.
*Pirate Adventure Pass required

Inside our Maritime Barn
Get ready to participate and sharpen your sailor skills at our ‘Art and the Sea’ Workshop series. Learn how to scrimshaw, tie knots and make rope!
*Pirate Adventure Pass required

Inside the Ocean Institute
EXPERIENCE THE MERMAID ENCOUNTER!! A mermaid and merman will take turns inside our large surf-science tank interacting throughout the day! And one of them will also come on land with our favorite pirate to talk about ocean awareness and showcase some of her favorite animal friends! We also will be welcoming back our renowned woodcarvers. “School” is back in session – Captain Jack’s School for Scalliwags has some new lesson plans for all his pirates in training! Don’t forget to check out our interactive ocean exhibits throughout the day, including amazing artifacts of maritime and whaling history inside our Samueli Center. This year we are celebrating Richard Henry Dana’s 200th birthday!
*Pirate Adventure Pass required

On the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center and Maritime Wharf
Additional maritime activities will be available on the wharf throughout the day. Raise a sail using an old capstan or help haul up the yard! Listen to an old sea story or sing chanties with our very own first mate!
*Please note that the wharf is accessible only when visiting the tallships and requires a Pirate Adventure Pass.

Around the Grounds
Learn how to sword fight with real pirates (using balloon swords of course)! Get your face painted to look like a pirate, experience up close some cannon demonstrations and be on the look-out for our roving musicians!

  • Where:  24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point  California  92629
  • Hours:  The main festival hours are from 10am-5pm on Saturday, September 12th and 13th.  The Ocean Institute will be open until 5pm on both days, however, the ships will close for tours at 3:30pm so they may prepare for Cannon Battles!  The Sunset Parade of Sail takes place on Friday from 5pm-7pm.
  • Admission: Admission to the Festival is FREE. The Pirate Adventure Pass is $5 for Ocean Institute members, ages 3 and up and $8 for non-members, ages 3 and up.  This admission includes entrance into the Ocean Institute and touring all the participating tall ships. Separate activities have varying admission, please check the website for fees.
  • Parking: parking is free at our festival; however parking is limited in the harbor.  Please click on the link for parking and directions information and head straight to one of our two lots.  There will also be shuttle busses.

for more information visit the Tall Ships Festival website.


Roger’s Gardens Halloween Boutique

Halloween Boutique

“Something Wicked This Way Comes” at Roger’s Gardens

2015 Halloween Boutique.


 Surrounded by unseen forces, a mysterious traveling carnival has pulled into town. Tent doors flap amidst the dry, swirling autumn wind.  The night crackles with an odd vibration, as if a veil of peculiarity has settled over these hallowed grounds.  A maelstrom of sights, sounds, smells, and people…this is Halloween at Roger’s Gardens…this is Carnival.

Visiting the Halloween Boutique at Roger’s Gardens is now one of our Fall family traditions. There is something different in each nook and cranny. Every room features something different than the last.

Need a place for inspiration to get your “spook” on? This is it! In addition to pumpkins and gourds, look forward to seeing work from artists like: Eric Cortina, Scott Smith, Joyce Stahl, William Bezek, Tina Haller, Bethany Lowe, Vergie Lightfoot and Nicol Sayer.

BethanyLoweThis was my little one’s favorite last year by Bethany Lowe

Halloween Boutique Date/Time

  • When: Open daily from 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Where: Roger’s Gardens 2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd., Corona del Mar, CA 92625

Some Images from roger’


Orange International Street Fair


Orange International Street Fair (OISF) is coming up!!! The event is held in Old Town Orange was founded in 1973 and Incorporated in 1985, Orange International Street Fair features booths of international food, crafts, entertainment and more. The event schedule is as follows:

  • Friday, September 4th  2015
    5pm to 10pm
  • Saturday, September 5th 2015
    10am to 10pm
  • Sunday, September 6th 2015
    10am to 10pm

OISF is a diversified event featuring:

  • 15 ethnic streets with 42 food and alcohol booths. Food and alcohol booths are run by local non-profits with all proceeds going directly back to them.
  • Handmade Arts and Crafts section featuring local artists and their crafts.
  • Community Booth section showcasing local non-profits and the causes they support.
  • Commercial Section featuring local companies promoting their businesses.
  • A street dedicated to kids with crafts and games.
  • 8 Stages of entertainment featuring local bands playing ethnic music and your favorite songs.

Here is a list of the schedule of the weekends entertainment. Make sure to take the kids to the Children’s Street. The Children’s Street is located on North Orange St. at East Chapman Ave and geared towards the younger crowd. It features games, crafts, and snacks for purchase

Click on the map for more detailed information on location and booths


Parking: Please be prepared to walk several blocks to get into the event.  Parking can be found at several public parking lots in the surrounding area for a fee charged by local non-profit organizations. Additional parking can be found on residential streets. (Parking lots are not controlled by OISF, Inc)


Segerstrom Center’s Kite Festival

Image courtesy of Segerstrom Center for the Arts Facebook page
Image courtesy of Segerstrom Center for the Arts Facebook page

In association with the Orange County Museum of Art, Segerstrom Center is pleased to present high-flying family fun at their FREE Kite Festival.

This event is being held in conjunction with the museum’s exhibit: “My Generation: Young Chinese Artists” and takes place on Sunday, August 23, 2105 from 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Highlights include:

  • Kite design and building stations
  • A performance from Segerstrom Teaching Artists The Pacific Trio
  • Professional kite flying demonstrations
  • Imagination playground
  • A martial arts demonstration from Yulin Chinese School
  • Kite Display provided by Up, Up, and Away and The Kite Connection
  • Student Art Display provided by The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Ana
  • Food trucks on site
  • Caricature drawings

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


Tanaka Farms U-Pick Tours

Tanaka Farms U-Pick Tours
Tanaka Farms U-Pick Tours – Image from

The cooler temps this week make it a great time to take advantage of the U-Pick tours and and the Melon tours at Tanaka Farms.

The FREE U-Pick tour crops include tomatoes, bellpeppers, lettuce and more. U-Pick Tours will take place on Wednesday, Thursday & Friday at 2:00 pm. No reservations are required and you pay only for what you pick.


The guided Melon Tours include a ride around the farm, stop at different areas and try different summer fruits and vegetables they grow, and finally step into the watermelon patch under a tent to sample some of the delicious home grown watermelon. then pick a Melon to take home.

Melons tours will take place on Wednesday, Thursday & Friday at 12:30 pm. No reservations are required. Please arrive 15 minutes early. Melon tours cost are $18 for adults, $18.00 for children over the age of 2, children (age 2 yrs old and under) are free.

Tanaka Farms is located at 5380 3/4 University Dr, Irvine, CA.


Huck Fin Fishing Derby


Huck Fin Fishing Derby is a Free Event hosted by the Community Services Department and Let’s Go Fishing. The event takes place at the Huntington Beach Pier.

Children ages 4 through 15 are invited to experience the fun of recreational fishing off the Huntington Beach pier with prizes given to the largest fish caught in each division and the best dressed Huck Finn and Becky Thatcher!

  • Prizes provided for the largest fish caught in each division and best dressed Huck Finn and Becky Thatcher!

  • All types of saltwater fish have been caught over the years including; sharks, stingrays, perch, croakers, sea bass, lizard fish, topsmelt, and sardines!

  • Sponsors for this event include; CA Fish and Wildlife, Newport Landing, Sports Chalet, Phil Freidman Outdoors, Sea Cliff Albertsons, Surf City Store, and many more!!!

  • Face painting provided by the Community Services Department.

The Huck Finn Fishing Derby begins at 9:15 am and will conclude at noon; check in begins at 8:00 am.  Bait will be provided to participants as well as a limited amount of loaner rods offered by CA Fish and Wildlife.

For additional information, please contact Molly Uemura at (714) 960-8870. Download the flyer with the registration form here.


Girls Inc. Carnival


School is about to start for many of us here in Orange County. If your looking for a quality after school program in and near Costa Mesa, come to the Girls Inc..carnival!

The Carnival takes place on Saturday, August 15th, 2015 from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at the Girls Inc. Youth and Family Center in Costa Mesa. Families with K-6th grade girls may learn more about our after school program and they enjoy complimentary lunch, games, activities, and raffle prizes. In addition, you will be able to meet Girls Inc. program staff and explore possible transportation options from your child’s school!

The first 50 girls to register for our school year program will receive a FREE backpack filled with school supplies.

To RSVP for this event, please call (949) 646-7181. For more information, please visit:




Mud Mania

Image courtesy of Rancho Los Cerritos Facebook page
Image courtesy of Rancho Los Cerritos Facebook page

Come to Rancho Los Cerritos and learn about our local adobe soil and its many uses throughout history at one of the muddiest, wackiest events in Southern California! Guests can make real adobe bricks, plaster a wall with mud, construct a mini-adobe home, compete in mud relay races, throw a clay pot, explore archaeology, and even examine critters that live in the soil.

There are also plenty of “clean” activities, and live bluegrass music will be featured throughout the afternoon courtesy of the Grasslands Bluegrass Band. Food will be available for purchase from the B&R Old Fashioned Burgers food truck. (Vegetarian options will be available).

De-mudding stations will be available. No showering. Plan on getting muddy. Wear old clothes. Bring towels. Shoes are required. No outside food or beverages. Pets are not allowed.

  • When: Saturday, August 16 & Sunday August 17, 2015 from 12:30 pm -4:30 pm
  • Where:  Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site, 4600 N Virginia Rd, Long Beach, California 90807
  • Cost: 5 children per adult -$7 – Adults, $5 Children 4-12

Bats of Orange County

Image from
Image from

Join Park Ranger Brad Barker at Laguna Niguel Regional Park on Saturday, August 8th as we learn about those mysterious creatures of the night – bats!

Ranger Barker will lead a 45-minute presentation about bats that can be found in Orange County. After the presentation, join us for a 30-minute walk to the nearby lake as we look for bats and listen for their echolocation using a bat detector. Meet at the amphitheater. Come early to look at a bat skeleton and skull!

  • When: Saturday, August 8, 2015 from 7:30 PM – 8:45 PM
  • Where: Laguna Niguel Regional Park, 28241 La Paz Rd, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
  • Cost: Event if FREE, parking is $5.00

Open House at Marconi Auto Museum


Sorry for the late post but…..The Marconi Automotive Museum Open House is today!

Festivities are going on now till – 2pm and admission is free!

Marconi Museum: 1302 Industrial Drive Tustin, Ca 92780


Goodyear Blimp Open House

The Los Angeles-based Goodyear blimp “Spirit of America” is retiring. Goodyear invites the community to get a final up-close look at the blimp during a community retirement celebration.

The base will be open to the public for ground tours on Friday, August 7 and Saturday, August 8, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.. They will also be giving away three blimp rides each day!

“Spirit of America” will be formally decommissioned in mid-August. The blimp will be replaced in the Los Angeles market by its sister ship “Spirit of Innovation” in late September 2015. The transition is taking place as Goodyear celebrates 90 years of lighter-than-air publicity and introduces a new fleet of high-tech, next generation NT Zeppelin model airships.

  • When: Friday, August 7, Saturday, August 8, 2105 from 11:00 am – 6 pm
  • Where: Goodyear Airship Operations Base is located at: 19200 S Main St
    Gardena, CA 90248
  • Cost: The event is FREE and open to the public.

Mark your calendar and RSVP at Visit for more information.


Follow the Goodyear Blimp on social media:


Twitter @GoodyearBlimp

Instagram @Goodyear_Blimp


The Real World of Bats


Learn all about the Real World of Bats with Steve (the Batman) Norton, at Shipley Nature Center.

Stephen is a wildlife biologist with extensive knowledge of bats. He will provide a fascinating look at different varieties of bats that can found in our area; where they live, what they eat, and what they look like!  For extra fun, kids can wear their batman costumes or pajamas, masks, capes, etc!

  • When: July 30, 2015 from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
  • Where: Shipley Nature Center, 17851 Goldenwest Street, Huntington Beach, CA 92647
  • Cost: FREE

The primary parking lot is accessible from the south-bound side of Goldenwest, between Slater and Talbert. Additional parking is located in Central Park.


FREE Junior Chef Classes

WSJuniorChefApr14Here’s the August schedule for Williams-Sonoma FREE weekly Junior Chef Class. These kid friendly cooking classes are offered most Saturdays and show kids how fun and easy cooking can be. Kids will learn how to make delicious recipes, from main courses to desserts and snacks, with plenty of tasting along the way.

For specific times and more details, find your Local Stores> • Available at all stores; class times vary by store location. • Class size is limited – call your local store to register.

Here’s the August Junior Chef Class line-up:

Free Junior Chef Classes

Saturday, August 1, 2105: Tomatoes are ripe and ready for eating and cooking this summer! Join us and learn to make some delicious dishes that are sure to impress your family. You’ll also learn some fun facts about tomatoes. Suitable for ages 8–13.

Saturday, August 8, 2105: It’s lots of fun to create homemade pasta. We’ll make the dough and roll it out with a hand-cranked machine.
You’ll also watch us make dough in a machine that mixes and extrudes the pasta for you. Then we’ll whip up some basil pesto in a food processor. Finally, we’ll toss the cooked pasta with the pesto and eat. Super-simple and yummy! Suitable for ages 8–13.

Saturday, August 22, 2105: Toasty on the outside with a warm filling inside, pressed Italian sandwiches are always a favorite. Our kid-friendly combos will hit the spot—how about salami and cheese, Nutella and strawberry, or ham, tomato and cheese. Young chefs will have fun making and eating them. Note: Nuts will be served in this class. Suitable for ages 5–13.

Free Junior Chef Classes

Saturday, August 29, 2105: Who doesn’t love pizza! Kids will have a blast rolling out the dough and topping their pizzas as they please. We’ll bake them off and dig in to the best pizza ever! In this class we’ll be featuring Golden Boy Pizza’s San Francilian-style focaccia pizza. Suitable for ages 5–13.


Family Science Sunday

Muth Interpretive Center
Muth Interpretive Center

Family Science Sunday at Muth Interpretive Center offers Free activities in their classroom once a month.

Each month offers different educational theme to explore. This months theme is Astronomy.

The activities are self-guided and may include hands on exhibits, outside hikes, crafts and more. Join Preserve Staff for a short hike at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. Recommended for ages 3-12.

The Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center is located at 2301 University Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660. It is at the corner of University and Irvine Avenue.


Movie Night at Mason Regional Park

It’s time for Movie Night at Mason Regional Park’s amphitheatre on Friday, July 24, 2015 at 6:00 p.m.

Bring  your picnic, chairs and a blanket and get ready to watch Big Hero 6 under the night skies.

Parking at mason Regional Park will be free after 5:30 p.m. and the movie will begin around sunset (approximately 8:00 p.m.). Come early for a drawing. Remember, this is an outdoor event, please dress accordingly.

movie nights flyer July 2015-page-001 (1)

Mason Regional Park is located at 18712 University Dr, Irvine, CA 92612

Visit for more information.

Rain will cancel event.


National Zookeeper Week

National Zookeeper Appreciation Event Flyer-page-001

It’s National Zookeeper Appreciation Week Celebration at the OC Zoo on July 25, 2105.
Help the OC Zoo thank the zookeepers for all their hard work caring for the zoo animals!

Kids activities include making thank you cards for our zookeepers, creating a Junior Zookeeper safari hat, playing games, and a special scavenger hunt where you can enter to win a Zookeeper Shadow Experience! Kids are encouraged to come dressed in zookeeper attire/costume!

The first 100 children ages 12 & under will receive a free train ride ticket for Irvine Park Railroad!

Zookeepers will be giving “keeper chats” throughout the day and giving out special treats and toys to the zoo animals.

OC Zoo Black Bear

At 1:30 p.m. zookeepers will introduce the zoo’s newest animal, a young California black bear named Elinor!

Special talk on “So You Want To Be A Zookeeper” will be given by two of our zookeepers at 10:30am. Visitors can learn what a zookeeper’s day is like, see some of the “tools of the trade”, & meet some zoo animals up close!

Reservations are not needed. All activities are free with paid zoo admission

  • When: Saturday, July 25, 2105, from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Where: OC Zoo, located at Irvine Regional Park, 1 Irvine Park Rd. Orange, CA 92869
  • Cost: $2 per person, ages 2 & under free, Parking $5