Category: Summer Series

Things to do in the Summer

Read to the Rhythm


Children and teens are invited to visit their local branch library to register for the free Summer Reading Program Monday, June 22– August 2, 2015.

Summer is a time for relaxation and fun, but it is also a time when many children, especially struggling readers, lose some of their reading skills. Families can help prevent this loss by keeping their children reading over the long summer break. One of the easiest ways to do this is to visit your local library!

During the summer OC Public Libraries conducts a free Summer Reading Program for children and teens of all ages. The program is designed to maintain reading skills during the summer by keeping children excited about reading; incentives encourage children to check out books and to read at their own level. For help in selecting books that match your child’s age, interests, and abilities ask your librarian. And, your favorite branch library may sponsor a reading program for adults, so parents can be in on the fun and be great role models at the same time!

Libraries also offer special events during the summer, from crafts to magic to exotic animals, so check the events calendar.

Select a library to view a schedule of events.




Farm Film Series

Join the The Ecology Center  in the garden for their FREE Farm Film Series.

You’ll enjoy FREE tacos and a screening of “Fed Up”, a film focusing on the obesity in the US. FedUp

The free film screening of “Fed Up” is sponsored by their partner Chipotle. You can engage with a representative from Chipotle as they share insights into the future of sustainably raised food. Plus, enjoy delicious (and of course GMO-free tacos) from Chipotle!

Bring your own chair and blanket, and come on down to our garden for a night of food, drink, and film under the stars! Space is limited, please sign up early. Register Online

  • When: Thursday, June 18, 2105 at 6:30 pm
  • Where: The Ecology Center, 32701 Alipaz St., San Juan Capistrano, 92675
  • Cost: FREE

D.A.R.E. Movie Night

DARE movie

Join this D.A.R.E. sponsored event and watch Paddington on the outdoor movie screen in Heritage Park tonight, June 13, 2015.

The Irvine Police Department and OCFA will bring lots of cool vehicles to check out. This family event starts at 6 p.m. and includes bounce houses, a snack bar and field games provided by the Mobile Recreation Program. The movie begins at dusk. Bring lawn chairs or blankets. All ages welcome.

  • When: June 13, 2015, activities start at 6:00 pm
  • Where: Heritage Park is located 14301 Yale Avenue, Irvine, CA 
  • Cost: Free

For more information, call 949-724-7252.


Camp GoNoodle

CampGoNoodle2GoNoodle is a free website of interactive videos to help kids get the wiggles out, focus, dance, stretch, practice mindfulness, and much more! My daughter uses this website at school.

This summer, GoNoodle is launching a free summer program called Camp GoNoodle that helps kids stay active, use their imaginations, and explore their world. Each week in July, there will be a set of adventures to complete, two Camp GoNoodle songs to learn, and a badge to earn! Once you join (totally free), you’ll receive an email when the new weekly adventure has arrived. Your child can go to to check it out on their own, or you can do the adventures together as a family.

To join, go to, and sign up for a free parent account. If you already have a GoNoodle home account, all you need to do is look for your first Camp GoNoodle email on June 29. I’m looking forward to my girls using this program over the summer.


Bayside Buddies

Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center, Newport Beach, CA
Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center, Newport Beach, CA

Upper Newport Bay Preserve has a new Summer program for school age kids! Join the preserve staff for an activity based hike and then cool off in the Muth Interpretive Center classroom for a craft.

The program is designed for parent and child participation. Learn about the different habitats of Upper Newport Bay

  • When: Thursday, June 11, 18 & 25, 2015 from 10:00 am – 11:00 am

  • Where: Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve, Muth Interpretive Center

  • Cost: $5.00 per child

Space is limited- Registration required. Call 949-923-2275 or email to register. 


Starlight Cinema

The City of Brea presents: Starlight Cinema in the Park

Brea Movies in the Park-page-001 (1)

The Cinema in the Park Series begins tonight – Friday, June 5, 2015 at Arovista Park. Cinema nights take place every Friday through August 14, 2105.

The films are family-friendly and begin about 8:00 pm. Bring your picnic, blankets and get ready for some family fun.

Starlight Cinema 2015 Schedule:
July 10 – Paddington 
July 17 – Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 
July 24 – Big Hero 6 
July 31 – The Incredibles 
Aug 7 – The Mighty Ducks 
Aug 14 – Monsters, Inc. 

Arovista Park is located at 415 W. Elm Street, Brea, Orange County, 92821


FREE Microsoft YouthSpark Summer Camps

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It’s time to sign your kids up for the Free Microsoft YouthSpark Summer Camps. Kids ages 8 and older get hands-on experience with the latest technology as they learn how to code, create games, and use their creativity and imagination. My daugther attended last year and learned so much.

This summer’s four camps are all-new, with two designed for coding beginners and two for intermediates looking to take their skills to the next level with Project Spark, Kodu, and TouchDevelop, and more.

YouthSpark Summer Camps:

    • Smart Game Coding (Beginner, ages 8 to 11)

    • Smart Game Design (Beginner, ages 8 to 11)

    • Smart Game Coding (Intermediate, ages 11 and older)

    • Smart Game Design (Intermediate, ages 11 and older) 

Each camp run four consecutive days, and last two hours per day. Parents/guardians are are to remain in the store during each day of camp.   

Click on your state to locate your local store and register for the YouthSpark Summer Camps of your choice. Be sure to sign up as soon as possible as classes fill up quickly:              


Barnes & Noble Summer Reading

Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program is now in force through September 7th, 2105. Barnes & Noble Summer Reading program encourages kids to read by rewarding them with Free Books! For every 8 books they read, they can choose from a list of pre-selected books. My girls took part in this program last year and really enjoyed earning books.

Here’s How:

  1. Read any 8 books and record them in the Reading Journal (PDF).
  2. Bring the completed Reading Journal to your local B & N Store.
  3. Choose a FREE BOOK from their selection on the Reading Journal list at the store… Enjoy reading!
 Be sure to check out their Activities and Teaching Tips.

SOCO Nights

OC Mix

SOCO Nights is an outdoor Summer series that will take place on the first Tuesday of every month from 5 – 9 pm at SOCO/OCMix in Costa Mesa. Come celebrate SOCO in the Summer from June 2, 2015 – October 6, 2015 with once a month movies, & beer & wine garden & specials from our award winning restaurants.

Enjoy live music and a movie in the relaxed and comfortable SOCO Courtyard with a free outdoor movie screening by Gear Co-op, and a beer and wine garden for guests, which will be available for purchase by LCA Wine with proceeds benefiting CMHS Foundation.

Tickets are free, but you must RSVP! (Limit 300 people) Don’t forget to BYOC: Bring your own chair, and settle in for a night of fun!

  • When: Tuesday, June 2, July 7, August 4, Septmeber 1, October 6, 2015 from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

  • Where: SOCO Collection/OC Mix, 3303 Hyland Ave, Costa Mesa, CA 92626.

  • Cost: FREE , but you must RSVP

Movie Schedule

JUNE 2  – Big Hero 6

JULY 7 – Grand Budapest Hotel or Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (New or Old?)

AUGUST 4 – Jiro Dreams of Sushi or Chef

SEPTEMBER 1  – When Harry Met Sally or Casablanca

OCTOBER 6  – Coraline or Edward Scissorhands


Passport to Imagination

Passport to Imagination

Registration is now open! Sign up here or in your local store.


Movies on the Lawn

Movies on the Lawn

Join the OC Great Park for a classic film or family blockbuster on the outdoor big screen. Bring low-back chairs, blankets and a picnic or purchase items from food trucks or the snack bar. Movies are shown weather permitting and admission is FREE.

Movie on the Lawn series will feature Flashback Friday films and Blockbuster Saturday movies.

Here’s your 2015 OC Great Park Summer movie schedule:

June 5 –  Casablanca

An all-time classic film of political and romantic espionage set against the backdrop of a nightclub in Casablanca during early WWII. Not rated (1942), 102 minutes

June 6 – How to Train Your Dragon 2

In this thrilling sequel, Hiccup and this dragon Toothless travel to a new land where they find a secret. Rated PG (2014), 102 minutes

June 12 – High Society

Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly and Louis Armstrong star in this romantic comedy about three men who vie for the affections of a high class heiress. Not rated (1956), 111 minutes

June 13 – Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

A security guard travels to London’s Natural History Museum to save the magic that brings his friends to life. Rated PG (2014), 97 minutes

June 19 – Hoosiers

A nostalgic story of a coach and his underdog Indiana basketball team who strive to make it to the state championship finals. Rated PG (1986), 114 minutes

June 26 –  Star Trek The Motion Picture

Based on the original Star Trek television series, Admiral James T. Kirk resumes command of the Starship Enterprise to lead his crew on a mission to save planet Earth. Rated PG (1979), 132 minutes

June 27 – Penguins of Madagascar

Penguins team up with a group of top secret spies to stop a mad scientist from taking over the world. Rated PG (2014), 92 minutes

July 10 – The Muppet Movie

Kermit the Frog and his rambunctious group of friends travel across the country to pursue their dreams in Hollywood. Rated G (1979), 95 minutes

July 11 – Paddington

An orphaned bear travels to London, finding more than he could imagine. Rated PG (2014), 95 minutes

July 18 – The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

To restore peace to their home, SpongeBob and friends venture to the surface to find the Krabby Patty formula. Rated PG (2015), 92 minutes

  • When: June 5, June 6, June 12, June 13, June 19, June 26, June 27, July 10, July 11, & July 18, 2015 from 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm – Weather Permitting
  • Where: Great Park, Irvine, CA at the back 40 Lawn | Map & Directions
  • Cost: Free

Kids Bowl Free

kidsbowlfreeIt’s time to sign up for the Kids Bowl Free program. Over 1,100 bowling alleys in the US & Canada are participating in the 8th Annual Kids Bowl Free program.

The program is designed by bowling centers to give back to the community and provide a safe, secure, and fun way for kids to spend time this summer. The program is courtesy of the participating bowling centers, schools and local organizations. Over 8.2 million kids participated in the program last year.

Children whose age does not exceed a limit (age limits are set by your local participating bowling center) are eligible to register for 2 free games a day* all summer long! Standard shoe rental rates do apply however an unlimited shoe rental pass is available at the bowling center.

Every Sunday, an email is sent our with coupons for the week. Print your coupons and bring them to your designated bowling center for free games & family pass games. coupons must be used by the actual name on the coupon and can not shared.

Parents you get in on the fun as well. When you sign your kids up for the program, you have the option of purchasing a Family Pass for just $25.00. The family pass is valid for use during posted Kids Bowl Free times and when bowling with a Kids Bowl Free child from your family.

You can register your kids at Kids Bowl Free.

*Check with your local bowling center for days they registered to run the program.


Tustin Concerts in the Park

Can you believe it, summer is just around the corner. That being said, this post is the official start of my “Summer” series. So get your folding chairs and picnic baskets ready, it’s time to start planning our Summer.

Let’s begin with the FREE Summer concert series offered by the City of Tustin, here’s the summer line up for 2015.


Tustin Concerts in the Park are held every Wednesday from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at Peppertree Park. The first concert will be held on June 24 and will run through August 12, 2015.

  • June 24th: Joshua Tree -U2 Tribute
  • July 1st: Silverados – Country
  • July 8th: Yard Sale – 70’s to today
  • July 15th: The Replicas – Variety
  • July 22nd: Paperback Writers – Beatles Tribute
  • July 29th: Pettybreakers – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Tribute
  • August 5th: the Reflexx – 80’s
  • August 12th: DSB – Journey Tribute

Peppertree Park is located 230 W. First St., Tustin, CA 92780


Lighting the Bay


Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort extends an invitation for an unforgettable day of Holiday entertainment at Lighting of the Bay.

Come early for sledding on 30 tons of snow, be sure to visit the Science of Ice Exhibit, ride a train around Newport Dunes. Later on enjoy the tree lighting ceremony, live performance and finish off the evening  with in a viewing of “Polar Express” complete with popcorn, s’mores, coffee and hot chocolate.

Here’s the schedule of events:

A Polar Paradise – Ice Village (1 to 8pm) – Enjoy 30 tons of snow with 4 sled hills and a carved ice Santa scene, the perfect photo opportunity for the whole family. From 1pm to 5pm you can visit the science of ice exhibit which explores all aspects of ice and its mysteries and enjoy a train ride around Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort.

Lighting of the Bay Program (4 to 6pm) – We will be starting off this years program with spectacular live performances by OC Song and Dance Group, Corona del Mar High School Choir, and Newport Harbor High School Choir. Followed by a special guest appearance and the ceremonious flip of the switch to light up the Back Bay of Newport Beach and kick off the 2014 Holiday Season.

Movie Screening (6 to 8pm) – Stick around for a private movie screening of “The Polar Express” Complimentary popcorn, s’mores, coffee and hot chocolate will be available for your enjoyment.

Food & Spirits Garden (3 to 8pm) – We will be serving up food and drinks to warm the body and soul while you sit back, relax, and enjoy the festivities.

While you are here don’t forget to pick up your tree at Newport Dunes Tree Lot open from 10:00 am – 9:00 pm.

  • When: Saturday, November 29, 2014 from 1:00 am – 8:00 pm
  • Where: Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort, located at: 1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach, CA 
  • Parking: $10.00 per car

The Festival of Arts – Youth Art Education Workshop



Youth Arts Education Days at the Fesitval of Arts bring out that creative spark in your young artist at Youth Arts Classes this summer at the Festival of Arts. Kids will enjoy art classes taught by professional Festival artists in mixed-media, jewelry making, collage and more. Meanwhile, parents will have free time to view the artwork on display throughout the Festival grounds. Festival artists will also share some of their creative techniques in a fun and friendly environment that will inspire your kids to come back every week!

Classes are open to children ages 5-12. $10 materials fee per child per class.


Download the application. Reservations required. Call (949) 464-4234 or email.

 The Festival of the Arts

650 Laguna Canyon Rd.

Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Click here for more details regarding the youth-arts-education


Watermelon Tours at Tanaka Farms

tanakasignA fun addition to the Summer Educational Series and a great way to spend an afternoon is at Tanaka Farms in Irvine. They are currently featuring their Watermelon Tours and for a short time, Strawberry Tours as well.

My Girl Scout troop visited in the spring for a Strawberry Tour. Everyone enjoyed the tour and the strawberries we picked were the most delicious strawberries I’ve ever tasted.

tanakafarmsCSATanaka farms is a 30 acre working farm that grows organic fruit and vegetables. These fruits and vegetables are sold at their farm stand as well as their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program.


Tanaka Farms also offers educational tours. The tours are available throughout the year. Strawberry Tours (Mid-March to end of June), Cookout Tours (Mid-March to end of August), Watermelon Tours (July to August), and the Pumpkin Patch Tour (end of Sept. to end of October).

You tour the farm on a wagon pulled by a tractor. Along the way, you take various stops to learn about the vegetables and fruits that are currently in season. You learn how they are grown and you get to taste them, yum! For your final stop you arrive at your crop where you get to sample some fresh melon and watermelon and than pick your own personal-sized watermelon to enjoy at home.


The following tours are available at this time:

Weekend Tours:

Strawberry Tours  every hour from 10am to 2pm!  No reservations needed

Watermelon Tours  every hour beginning at 9:30 am and the last tour leaves at 2:30 pm; No reservations needed

Weekday Tours: 

Watermelon Tours Monday-Friday with a reservation 

U-Pick Tours – We’ll keep you posted with this free tour’s availability! 

Arrive 15-20 minutes before your tour and be prepared to get dirty, take shoes you don’t mind getting some dirt or possibly mud on, remember this is a working farm.

Rates are as follows:

Adults and Children are $18.00

Children 2 and younger are Free

Group tours and rates are available:  home-schooling group, boy scouts, girl scouts, summer camp, sports group, or other, enjoying our special group rates.  For your group reservations please call Aimee at (949) 653-2100 Ext. 204

photos from Tanaka Farms Facebook page