Science in the Park

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Image courtesy of

OC Parks and The John D. Cooper Archaeological and Paleontological Center are hosting Science in the Park, a fun and educational day for the whole family. The event features paleontology, archaeology, Orange County history. geology, biology, native plants and animals and junior scientist camp.

The event takes place on Saturday, April 30, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The days schedule consists of:

  • 11:00 am – “California’s Volcanos” by Valbone “Vali” Memeti, CSUF assistant professor of geological sciences
  • 12:00 pm – Volcano demonstration by David D. Bowman, interim dean of CSUF’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and professor of geological sciences
  • 1:00 pm – “Traditional & Contemporary Uses of California Native Plants” by Craig Torres of the Gabrielino-Tongva Tribe
  • 2:00 pm – “Ice Age Fossils” by Eric Scott, Cooper Center associate curator for paleontology
  • 3:00 pm – “Orange County Archaeology” by Jeannine Pedersen-Guzman, Cooper Center associate curator for archeology

You’ll learn about Orange County natural history, our native animals and plants and local Native American culture and the world of science. All of the activities and lectures are lead by leading experts in their fields.

The Junior Scientist Camp will feature plenty of hand-on activities and educational crafts. There will also be storytime’s held throughout the day in the Orange County Zoo along with OC Ranger talks.

  • When: Saturday, April 30, 2016, from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Where: Irvine Regional Park, 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869
  • Cost: Zoo Admission $2.00, parking is $5.00 per vehicle

Chapter Two

Just a couple months ago my favorite Children’s book store, Once Upon a Storybook, was in fear of closing. Thanks to an investor, Once Upon a Storybook‘s story continues! Chapter Two is a Grand re-opening and celebration of what is come. Ms. Susie and Ms Tina have a fun-filled day planned.

Today’s festivities include

  • Raffles through out the day
  • An Ice Queen Sing-along
  • Endless popcorn
  • Balloon artist
  • A concert from Emily Arrow – singer/songwriter of children’s literature songs
  • Authors – Salina Yoon, Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein of Lil’ Libros, and Marcia Berneger to name a few
  • A cocktail reception for the adults at the end of the day.
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Image courtesy of

Come and celebrate this bookshop and all it has to offer our community and our children.

  • Where: Once Upon a Storybook, 17300 E 17th St, # C, Tustin, CA
  • When: Today – Saturday, April 23, 2016 from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Cost: FREE

Earth Day!


Today is Earth Day! There are many events this weekend that help celebrate and bring awareness of our precious home. Founded in 1970 as a day  to bring to light environmental issues, Earth Day is now celebrated globally.

Here’s a few ways to celebrate:

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

Celebrate Earth Day at the Back Bay : Take a stand so that together, we can show the world a new direction – to think about how we can protect our planet and preserve it for the future.The 2016 Earth Day celebration at the Bay at the Upper Newport Bay’s Nature Preserve/Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center in Newport Beach takes place on Saturday, April 23rd and will include the following activities:

  • Environmental Exhibits
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Live Entertainment
  • Science Discovery and Craft Booths
  • Rain Barrel Distribution
  • Food Trucks and Opportunity Drawing
  • Free Parking and Admission

Click here for more Information and directions. All activities and parking are FREE

The Discovery Cube OC in Santa Ana will celebrate Earth Day every weekend between April 16 and May 15 to enjoy special stage shows and eco-friendly activities! Plus, enter the Poster Contest for a chance to become an Angels’ Bat Kid and join the Cube on April 23 for our Earth Day event to meet a Angels player, Johnny Giavotella!

People_recyclingActivities include: 

  • Complete the Eco Challenge Scavenger Hunt and enter to win Angels tickets.
  • Meet & greet with Angels player Johnny Giavotella.
    – bring e-waste for priority access!
  • Learn about eco-friendly resources from our partners.
  • Take the Eco Challenge and make a difference in your community!
  • The first 200 hundred cars to bring e-waste will receive a voucher valid for 4 Discovery Cube general admission tickets.

Plus, don’t miss your chance to enter the Eco Challenge Poster Contest and enter to win an Angels Bat Kid Experience! Learn more by clicking here. All Earth Day activities are included in regular admission.


Pretend City in Irvine promotes environmental awareness on Earth Day and throughout the year. On Saturday, April 23rd look forward to special performances will include with performances from Creative Kids Playhouse Children’s Theatre of OC, Tom Thumb Players and The International Peace Choir Performance. Enjoy other earth based engaging activities such as:

  • Smart Art: Recycle City – From cereal box buildings to can cars the possibilities are endless when you recreate with recyclable materials. Stop by the Art Studio to see what your little ones will engineer.
  • Sensational Story Time: Compost Stew – Who knew rotting vegetables and fruit could be so great for the environment? This story time and activity will help you figure out what you need to create your own compost bin at home.
  • Science for the Senses: Seed Exploration – Your children will enjoy using their deductive reasoning skills and senses as they explore and match a variety of seeds.
  • Art Studio Sessions: What Shape is Our Earth? – We will make our own earth to take home using coffee filters, droppers, and colored water; using the colors, blue and green.

All Activities included in regular admission.

Visit Pretend City


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Image courtesy of

CoastKeeper Garden in Orange will hold an Earth Day celebration on Saturday April 23rd from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

SmartScape tours of the Garden will be given at 11:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.. The event is free but donations are cheerfully welcome.


Hikes & Bikes


Hit the trails this Earth Day weekend and enjoy one of the FREE Guided Hikes or Mountain bikes rides in one of our Orange County Parks. The guided hikes & bike rides are always free just cover the parking.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Extreme Cardio Hike: Fremont, Blind, Weir Canyons – Irvine Ranch Open Space
Join a fast-paced, early morning extreme cardio hike in Fremont and Weir canyons. This approximately 12-mile cardio hike, completed in 3 hours, includes a 2,000-foot elevation change and is for experienced, physically fit hikers.

  • Pre-registration is required.
  • Driving directions will be provided after registration.
  • For more activities in Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve, click here.

Online Registration

Date:  4/23/2016
Time:  7:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Geology Hike at Little Sycamore – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Enjoy an afternoon of unspoiled canyon views while learning about the geology of this area. The rocks and fossils reveal fascinating stories about the park’s ancient environments. Meet at the Nix Nature Center to begin this highly interpretive 3-mile hike (400-ft. elevation gain), on sometimes steep, uneven and rocky terrain. Led by Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists.

  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center (west side of Laguna Canyon Road/SR-133, approximately 3.5 miles south of I-5/405).
  • For questions call: 949-497-8324 Mon-Fri & 949-923-2235 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle.
  • Please sign-up online using link below

Online Registration

Date:  4/23/2016
Time:  8:30 AM – 11:30 AM


Sunday, April 24, 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:  4/24/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 9:15 AM
Birding Hike -Aliso & Wood Canyons Park
Spot spring and year-round resident birds, with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists on this moderate 2-mile, level  hike over uneven terrain through one of the most diverse plant communities in the United States.

  • 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
  • Ages: 12 and up (minors must be accompanied by an adult)
  • Wear hiking or walking shoes and bring your binoculars!
  • Reservations Required Online (link below)

Sign-up Link

Date:  4/24/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Introduction to Mountain Biking – Aliso & Wood Canyons Park
Join Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer Mountain Bike Trail Assistants on this beautiful 8-mile bike ride (400-ft. elevation gain) on uneven terrain. Learn mountain biking basics and trail etiquette while enjoying the canyon views.

  • 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).
  • Please come prepared with a bike suitable for off-pavement riding, sturdy shoes, helmet, gloves, water and snack.
  • For questions, call (949) 497-8324 Mon-Fri & (949) 923-2200 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle.
  • Please sign-up online using link below.

Sign-up link

Date:  4/24/2016
Time:  8:30 AM – 10:30 AM

Happy Birthday John Muir

Happy Birthday to John Muir, writer, naturalist, and advocate of U.S. forest conservation.He founded and was the first president of the Sierra Club and helped establish Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks as well as help to protect the Petrified Forest and Grand Canyon.

In celebration of his birthday – “John Muir Day” is each April 21st  a day to recognize that our well being, our survival depends on the conservation of an ecologically sound natural environment. Take this day to inspire others and carry on the movement created John Muir.

If you have any plans of going the the San Francisco area – don’t miss out on visiting the Muir Woods. It is amazingly beautiful and the trails are surrounded by trees and a beautiful stream. Put this Family Friendly hike on your “must do” list.

If you’ve ever thought of Hiking the John Muir Trail, The Pacific Crest Trail Association website has everything you need to know from planning, to permits, transportation to where to get more supplies while on your journey.

John Muir Trail

Happy Hiking my fellow nature lovers!



Get in the Dirt!

Get in the Dirt this weekend and test your hiking or trail running abilities with this fun event that takes place on the dirt trails.

Rock it Racing OC is hosting an event on Friday evening at one of my of favorite hiking spots – the beautiful Peters Canyon Regional Park! This 10K trail run or hike begins at 5:00 pm. You must be able to maintain an 18 minute per pace.

It’s not too late to REGISTER online today or register on the day of the event. Prizes for the top 3 overall in the 10K race will receive Road Runner Sports gift cards ($100 1st, $60 2nd, $30 3rd). Awards will be handed out at 6:30 pm.

There will be awesome custom race medal for all participants, high quality t-shirt, post-race snacks – however Your preferred shirt size cannot be guaranteed for registrations after 4/1/16. Race bib and shirt pick up for registered runners will be available on race day or on Thursday April 21st 4:00 – 8:00 PM at Road Runner Sports in Laguna Hills.

Image Courtesy of
Image Courtesy of
  • When: Friday, April 22, 2016, Check in for registered runners begins at 4:00 pm. The10K begins promptly at 5:00 pm
  • Where: Peters Canyon Regional Park.    8548 E. Canyon View Ave., Orange, CA  92869.   Race starts in the main parking area for Peters Canyon Regional Park on the Lake View Trail.
  • Cost: Registration Fee is $45.00, Parking:  ALL PARTICIPANTS MUST PARK IN OR AROUND THE CHAPMAN HILLS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PARKING LOT on 170 Aspen St., Orange, CA.  This is about a half mile away from the park.  There is not parking in the residential areas around Peters Canyon.  There is very limited parking in the Peters Canyon main lot, and we are not allowed to use much space there. 

NOTE:  Race may be rescheduled due to rain or muddy conditions, per OC Parks, and up to the discretion of OC Parks leadership and Peters Canyon Rangers.  If this happens, we will notify participants prior to race day.

Click here to REGISTER NOW

See the COURSE MAP here


Ocean Institute Earth Day 2016

image courtesy of Ocean Institute facebook page
image courtesy of Ocean Institute facebook page

Celebrate Earth Day 2016 with the Ocean Institute in Dana Point. They have some fantastic earth based activities planned including:

– Native Plant Garden Tours
– Build your own Butterfly Garden
– Lily Lab: Flower Dissection
– Special Presentations

There will be a Native “Buy One Give One” Plant Sale. A Tree of Life Native Plant Expert will help you pick out the perfect plant for your garden. When you purchase a plant, you purchase one for the Ocean Institute!

Bring your E-Waste to the “E-Waste Recycling Event” with Data DeCom Inc. Drop off your e-waste at the Ocean Institute from 10 am to 3 pm on Saturday, April 23. All proceeds from the donated e-waste benefit the Ocean Institute.

Items accepted include:

  •  Computer towers
  •  Laptops
  •  Monitors
  •  Keyboards
  •  Mouse
  •  Printers
  •  Copiers
  •  Fax machines
  •  Toner Ink Cartridges
  •  Hard Drives
  •  Cell Phones
  •  I-pods and I-pads
  •  Microwaves
  •  Batteries
  •  Calculators
  • Where: The Ocean Institute, 24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr., Dana Point, CA 92629 
  • When: Saturday, April 23, 2016 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Cost: Adults (13-54): $10.00, Seniors (55+) & Youth (2-12): $7.50, Members & children under 2: FREE

Imaginology Starts Today!

2016 OC Fair ImaginologyImaginology – Full Steam Ahead” – starts today! The OC Fair & Event Center present Imaginology – a stimulating world in which youth of all ages can explore the professional fields of science, technology, engineering and more.

There was so much to do last year – we attended 2 days and I still we still missed things. There are hands-on workshops and exhibits, children can discover their abilities in S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) and agricultural fields.

Explore the vegetable and fruit gardens in Centennial Farm and develop a green thumb through various gardening activities including radish seed planting, digging and identifying vegetable roots and examining a variety of plants through touch and smell at the Garden Touch Table. Live demonstrations will include a blacksmithing presentation and a cow-milking display where guests learn the process of how milk travels from the cow to the store. Attendees can also pet a chick or visit The Great Egg-Scape exhibit and watch chicks hatching.

Guests of all ages can compete in the free Scarecrow Contest on Saturday and the Sawhorse Contest on Sunday held in Country Meadows. Cash prizes will be awarded for the top entries. Youth Project entries will be on display in the Action Gallery to showcase the talents of local youth in a variety of subjects including fine arts, poetry, science and engineering, fashion design and more.

Local professionals and Imaginology staff will lead hands-on makeshops and workshops suitable for all ages including ceramics, sewing, tie-dyeing, painting, sculpting and other crafts.  Supplies are provided for free and most artwork and crafts created may be taken home.

Attendees can discover some of the oldest inventions in technology and engineering in the Conrado Sanchez Technology Museum such as the first home computer and vintage gaming equipment, cameras, phones and typewriters. Also on display throughout Imaginology will be underwater robots, classic cars, module trains, vintage fire engines and a steam-powered engine.

Children will have the opportunity to unleash their inner performer in one of the many performing and musical arts hands-on experiences. For music enthusiasts, karaoke and marimba lessons, xylophone, tuba and a collection of other musical instruments are featured in the Action Gallery. Mini drama classes, aerial arts and horse vaulting are more activities children can see and try.

More free fun includes family-friendly entertainment, giant Jenga and chess, Physical Physics – the Science of Hooping, potato sack races, pretend play at the Pet Vet and Pretend Farm and a variety of hands-on learning experiences with live reptiles, insects and more.

  • When: April 15-17 and is open Friday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Where: OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa – which is located off the 405 and 55 freeways
  • Cost: The event is FREE to attend. Parking is free on Friday and $8.00 on Saturday & Sunday

Visit for more details.



Weekend Hikes

WeekendHikesHit the Trail this weekend with one of these guided hikes provided by our Orange County Parks. The guided hikes are free, just pay for parking and get know some new trails!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Cardio Hike: Limestone Canyon and The Sinks – Irvine Ranch Open Space
Explore beautiful Limestone Canyon, coastal sage scrub, grasslands, and oak woodlands during a challenging, fast-paced cardio hike.

  • Pre-registration is required.
  • Driving directions will be provided after registration.
  • For more activities in Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve, click here.

Online Registration

Date:  4/16/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Keep It Wild Volunteer Day – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Come on out and help restore the wild lands we so enjoy! There’s no better way to start a Saturday morning than by joining OC Parks and Laguna Canyon Foundation staff in an invigorating project of non-native plant removal and/or planting native plants. Help us make a healthier environment for the native wildlife and for ourselves.

  • Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center (west side of Laguna Canyon Rd/SR-133, approximately 3.5 miles south of I-5/405).
  • For questions, call (949) 497-8324 Mon-Fri & (949) 923-2235 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: Free for Keep it Wild volunteers!
  • Please sign-up online using link below.

Online Registration

Date:  4/16/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
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:  4/16/2016
Time:  10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
California Native Plant Hike – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Learn about the seasonal life of California Native Plants with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalist on this enjoyable 2.5 mile hike (45-ft elevation gain) over moderately uneven terrain.

  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, James Dilley Preserve (405 South to 133 south to stoplight at 73 turn-off; make a U-turn, go 1 block. Dilley is on the right).
  • For questions call: 949-497-8324 Mon-Fri & 949-923-2235 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle.
  • Please sign-up online using link below.

Online Registration

Date:  4/16/2016
Time:  8:30 AM – 11:30 AM


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Beginning Fitness Hike in Weir Canyon – Irvine Ranch Open Space
Join a fitness-focused 5-mile hike over mainly level trails passing through coastal sage scrub, grasslands, and oak woodlands.

  • Pre-registration is required.
  • Driving directions will be provided after registration.
  • For more activities in Weir Canyon Nature Preserve, click here.

Online Registration

Date:  4/17/2016
Time:  7:00 AM – 9:00 AM
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:  4/17/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 9:15 AM
Meditating in Nature – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Relax in nature this spring with park staff and Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers.  Enjoy a short walking meditation (1/2 mile), breathing and energization exercises, and sitting meditation.

  • Bring a blanket, pillow, and clothing in layers in case the evening is cool.
  • No experience necessary.
  • Ages 16 and up.
  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center (west side of Laguna Canyon Rd/SR-133, approximately 3.5 miles south of I-5/405).
  • For questions, call (949) 497-8324 Mon-Fri & (949) 923-2235 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle.
  • Please sign-up online using link below.

Online Registration

Date:  4/17/2016
Time:  5:45 PM – 7:15 PM

Earth Day at Bolsa Chica

Image courtesy of bolsachicalandtrust Facebook page
Image courtesy of bolsachicalandtrust Facebook page

The Bolsa Chica Earth Day Festival offers free family fun for everyone! Visitors will have the opportunity to touch live snakes, count migrating birds, learn about pollution, test the water, and much more! Alongside a multitude of educational activity booths, the festival will also include a jump tent, food sales, and guided tours of the reserve!

Join in for the unveiling of the Bolsa Chica app (available on iOS)! Have all you ever wanted to know about Bolsa Chica in your pocket! This app is host to information about Bolsa Chica’s natural flora and fauna, from the iconic Great Blue Heron to the vibrant Pink Sand Verbena; this app has it all!

  • When: Saturday, April 16, 2016 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm 
  • Where: Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, 3842 Warner Ave, Huntington Beach, CA 
  • Cost: Free

KelpFest 2016

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Image courtesy of

More than 20 years ago the kelp forests of Orange County disappeared due primarily to overfishing and pollution, In 2002 marine biologist Nancy Caruso of Get Inspired! started a project which would eventually restore this once lush forests.

In 2002 with what came to be 5000 volunteers, Caruso and her volunteers began restoring the kelp forests in Newport and Laguna Beach. By 2010, the kelp had reached historic densities and the animals were starting to return to the area.


In celebration of this event, KelpFest was created to celebrate the return of the kelp forests and to honor the thousands of people who helped to restore them. The 7th annual KelpFest, will be on April 17th, 2016 this year on Main Beach in Laguna Beach from 9am-3pm.


There will be many like-minded environmental organizations with exhibits at the event to help educate the participants and help to nurture an appreciation for giant kelp forests. Other activities throughout the day include live painting , a life size interactive kelp forest model, live performances, guided tide pool tours, a swim to the kelp forest, talk to a real mermaid, beach clean up, as well as lots of arts and crafts for kids.

Schedule of events:

  • 9:00am Kelpfest begins
  • 9:00-10:00 Kelp forest comes to life as we construct one for visitors to walk through
  • 10:00am Musical performances begin

All Day

  • Live kelp forest paintings and raffle
  • Docent led tide pool tours
  • Arts and crafts for kids
  • Live musical performances
  • Mermaid!

Get the kids ready for the event by downloading a FREE Gaby Garibladi coloring book here!

  • When: Saturday, April 17, 2016 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Where: Laguna Beach – Main Beach
  • Cost: FREE

Family Day at the Beall

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Image courtesy of

It’s time for Family Day at the Beall. Children and families of all ages are invited to enjoy free, hands-on art and science activities at UC Irvine’s Family Day at the Beall.

Through Family Day activities, the Beall Center seeks to stir the imagination and motivate young people to delve into the basics of science, computer programming, and visual literacy—skills that will be critical to the next generation’s success in the workplace and in life.

Some of the exhibits from last year’s event included:

  • Beall Center Exhibition
  • University Art Gallery Exhibition
  • Optricks & Optobotics .
  • OC Mini Maker Faire
  • Savoy Academy 
  • CTSA Summer Academies 
  • ANTXplore Demonstrations and displays
  • Inspire Charter Schools
  • Design Model Making & Prototyping 

Family Day events include hands on art and science activities, art and technology demonstrations, videos and more.  A fun-filled day for the entire family.

  • When: Saturday, April 17, 2016, from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • Where: The Beall Center for Art + Technology – Claire Trevor School of the Arts, UCI campus, Building 712 Arts Plaza – Click here for a campus map
  • Cost: the event and parking are FREE

Family Day is made possible through the generous support of the Beall Family Foundation.



Grow Your Own-Spring Festival

On this day, last year, we attended the Ecology Center’s – Grow Your Own – Earth Day Celebration. The Grow Your Own event is an annual tradition to celebrate an abundant earth and vibrant communities.

This year the “Grow Your Own – Spring Festival” will be held on Saturday, April 16, 2016,

The event was filled with earth friendly crafts for the kids and plenty of giveaways for the adults.

We enjoyed live music and yummy samples from food and drink vendors.

EcologyCenterEarthDay4The family friendly festival was a celebration of all things green!

My girls loved petting the chickens and learned so much about them, they now want chickens.

I don’t know if it’s on the agenda this year but kids loved making Tee-pee’s.

The celebration consists of harvesting, gardening, and a more abundant future.

This year, they are excited to include opportunities to learn garden skills and have your questions answered by The Ecology Center’s own experts. We had a fantastic time last year.


The great news is the Admission is FREE at this year’s Grow Your Own! Spring Festival.

Activities include:

  • DIY stations: terrarium building, easy pickling, and more!
  • Hands-on garden skill demonstrations by TEC experts
  • Ask an Eco-Designer & Ask a Grow Your Own! Teacher booths
  • Organic seedling sale
  • Wildcraft Lab for kids
  • Live music & dance
  • Delicious local, handmade food
  • Bike Valet – arrive on two wheels and we’ll have a safe place to stash your bike!
  • Visits with The Ecology Center chickens
  • Organic strawberry picking at South Coast Farms (our next door neighbors)
  • Voucher to redeem a FREE rain barrel for San Juan Capistrano residents and new/renewed family members of The Ecology Center
  • Giveaways from our partners Chipotle, KIA Motors, SDG&E, and EcoScraps
  • Special offers on The Ecology Center events, workshops, and more!

Bring your family, friends, neighbors, and garden questions for a special gathering celebrating the season when the garden truly comes alive!

  • When: Saturday, April 16, 2016
  • Where: The Ecology Center, 32701 Alipaz St., San Juan Capistrano, 92675
  • Cost: FREE

For advance FREE Tickets & Info, click here.


Free Cone Day!


Today is FREE Cone Day!!! It’s no secret that Ice Cream is one my weaknesses and today it’s FREE! Ben & Jerry’s invites everyone to enjoy a FREE cone. They even encourage you to get back in line for another!

Did you know that Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors contain 100% non-GMO ingredients? For maximum effect on Free Cone Day 2016, try one of their fruit-infused flavors, like Strawberry Cheesecake or Cherry Garcia, yum!!!

Since 1979, Free Cone Day is Ben & Jerry’s way of thanking their fans for being awesome! The FREE cone’s start being served at noon today through 8:00 pm – So start thinking about which flavor (or flavor’s) you’re going to get.

Click here to find your local Ben & Jerry’s


Discovery Science Day

Image Courtesy of
Image Courtesy of

Discovery Science Day is a great event offered by Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC). Mt. SAC extends an invitation to all 4th – 7th grade students to explore areas of science and math. The theme this year isSUSTAINABILITY – Keep Calm and Green On“.

On Saturday, May 14th, Join Mt. SAC as they emphasize the use of science and math to preserve our natural resources. Pre-registration is required and space is limited.

For just $7.00 kids get a full day with the choice of programming and a T-Shirt! Parents are encouraged to accompany and supervise their children in attendance and will not be charged to attend the event with their kids.

In addition to the programs there will be ongoing Sustainability Demonstrations by Collegewood Robotics Club as well as Sustainability Booths.

An In-n-Out truck will be on-site for lunch, after lunch the entire family can enjoy a tour of the B.J. Meek Museum Tours to visit the large animal collection and tours of the Wildlife Sanctuary.


7:30 – 8:30 am Registration and t-shirt pick up
(T-shirt for all student participants!)
9:00 – 9:30 am Welcome and Tribute to Dr. Debbie Boroch
9:30 – 10:15 am Keynote Speaker: Dr. Elizabeth Lawlor, Professor of Anthropology- “Sustainability: Lessons from the Ruins of Past Civilizations”
10:30am – 12pm Breakout Session Activities: Register for one 90 minute “Rockets” Planetarium activity OR two Break Session activities A & B (once each).
12:00-1:30 pm Lunch! By the In-N-Out truck!
1 -2 pm Family Tours of the Mt. SAC Wildlife Sanctuary and B.J. Meek Museum

Breakout Session Activities:

Planetarium Rocket Building (10:30am – 12pm)

Make, design, build and launch your own rocket at the Mt. SAC-Randall Planetarium. Our rocket experts will teach you how to build a high flying rocket that can go as high as 100 feet. Because our rockets are made of light weight materials they’re safe enough to catch! Rockets can be launched multiple times at the planetarium and at the end of the day you can take your rocket home to keep!


Pick 2 Breakout Sessions A & B (10:30am – 12pm, 40 minute program each)

  • Animal Science: Aquapotty: Poop in the Water is not Always a Bad Thing!
    Join us in discovering the sustainable relationship between fish, poop, and growing plants. In this session we will be exploring how fish facilitate the growing of plants and the process to test the water for chemical by-products.
  • Biology: Eat insects for protein?
    Discover the nutritional content and environmental sustainability of eating insects as a source of protein. The United Nations has suggested insects as a positive dietary choice everyone in the world should consider. Many countries around the world already do it!
  • Horticulture: Be Loyal to Your Soil: Compost!
    Discover the immense value of composting.
  • Math: Water Balloon Launcher: Projectile Motion
    In this activity, students will launch water balloons at various containers. Students will investigate what determines how far the water balloon will travel. Come learn how to adjust the path a balloon takes by aiming for water collection containers. How can water be collected after a rain storm? What can we do to collect water at our homes? Come learn about projectile motion and how to recover water.
  • Biology: Explore the Secrets in Plants!
    Did you know that the 1st medicine used to treat disease came from a tree? Come and see what you can make from plants. Many medicines used today come from some part of a plant; flowers, stems, roots, even the bark of a tree. Come learn about how to make medicines from plants. You can make your own soap, tea, lotion and chapstick to take home!
  • Ocean Sciences: Our Amazing Blue Planet–Where Would We Be Without a Healthy Ocean?
    A day at the beach–don’t we all enjoy it? Yikes! Climate change, trash, overfishing and resource exploitation are threatening our oceans. Learn what you can do to be part of the solutions for a healthy planet.
  • Chemistry: How is “Oil” (Petroleum) Different from “Oil” (Vegetable)?
    The word oil is generally used for two different substances. Petroleum oil is a non-renewable material commonly used to make fuels such as gasoline and diesel. Vegetable oils, such as olive oil and canola oil, are renewable substances generally used for cooking and eating. Both types of oil are chemically similar. Did you know the oil used at fast food restaurants to cook French Fries can be used to run diesel engines? We will explore similarities and differences between these two types of oil and examine products created from the oils.
  • Chemistry: Camping, Sunlight and S’mores!
    Have you ever gone camping or backpacking? What are some essentials that you’ll need in order to stay alive and enjoy the great outdoors? Come and learn how to capture the power of the sun to purify water and cook your food. You will get a chance to see our solar camping truck in action and roast marshmallows over a sustainable fire to make a delicious S’more.
  • Planetarium Shows  
    Learn more about climate change with our new planetarium show “Dynamic Earth.” Then get a new appreciation for the sun by looking at the sun through a solar telescope.  (If cloudy, we will see the planetarium show “Secrets of the Sun” instead.

  • When: May 14, 2016 from 8:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • Where: Mt. San Antonio College is located at 1100 N. Grand Ave., Walnut, CA 91789. Registration at building 13 near Lot G, activities end near Lot B! (see map)
  • Cost: $7.00 per child, parents are free. Parking is Free in Lot G by Building 13 (Design Technology Center) and in Lot B at the north/east corner of Temple and Grand. 

To register for the event click HERE



Ticket to Explore

Image courtesy of JPL facebook page
Image courtesy of JPL facebook page

“A Ticket to Explore JPL” is a new approach to that one special weekend a year when JPL opens its doors to the public and display all the ways they are exploring the solar system and beyond.

If they’ve ever attended a JPL you know how overwhelming it can get., due to this JPL is trying a new approach this year. This new approach will provide a safe and enjoyable experience to all attendees.


Tickets for this event are FREE, but limited, and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. The maximum number of tickets per family is five. To enter JPL, you must have your ticket in hand and with a matching ID if you are 18 or older. Tickets are not transferrable.

Tickets will be required for entry. In prior years you could RSVP to JPL Facebook page so they could get an idea of the turn out, this is not the cause this year. Tickets will be required and will help with crowd control.

Tickets will be available on April 25 at 9 a.m. PDT on JPL’s Special Events web page where you can also find additional information:

So set up your calendar reminders to get your “Ticket to Explore” for this years open house. Hope to see you at “A Ticket to Explore JPL,” but remember, make sure you have a ticket first.