Tag: Santa Ana Zoo

International Day at Santa Ana Zoo

Santa_Ana_Zoo_LogoThe Santa Ana Zoo will host their annual “International Day with the Critters” tomorrow, December 5, 2015. Guests will take a “trip around the world” exploring and discovering international stations throughout the Zoo and getting their “passports” stamped. Each station will feature an animal from a different country around the world. Live entertainment, games, storytelling, special children’s crafts and educational activities will take place throughout the day.

Image courtesy of Santa Ana Zoo Facebook page
Image courtesy of Santa Ana Zoo Facebook page

Guests of International Day with the Critters will be among the first to experience the Zoo’s “Winter Zoobilation” the zoo is decorated in full winter mode with a frosty theme, fairy lights and falling snow. Winter Zoobilialtion will be on display December 1 – 31, 2015.

Both International Day with the Critter and Winter Zoobiliation are included with regular admission, members get in FREE.

The Zoo is  open daily from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Admission is $10.00 for adults, $7.00 for seniors and children 3-12 years. Children under 3 are free.

You can also purchase tickets for the Conservation Carrousel, rides are $3 each. Zoofari Express Train Rides are $4 each, and combo tickets are $6 each. Children under 2 are free to ride with paid adult on the Train and adults standing with children on the Carrousel are free. Look into the benefits of membership and enjoy free and discounted admission to other local zoo’s. To become a Member of the Zoo, please call (714) 953-8555 x13.

The Santa Ana Zoo in Prentice Park is located at 1801 Chestnut Avenue, Santa Ana, CA 92701.


Boo at The Zoo


“Boo at the Zoo” at Santa Ana Zoo is Orange County’s premier Halloween event for Kids!

This merry nor scary event features TEN Prize Stations on the Trick-or-Treat Trail, Entertainment, Animal Presentations, Storytelling and a Costume Parade!

Boo at the Zoo features:

  • Ten Prize Stations on the Trick-or-Treat Trail
  • Entertainment
  • Animal Presentations
  • Storytelling
  • Fun and Games
  • Costume Parade
  • “Teen Scream” Haunted House (a separate area, included in the price of admission)
  • Hot Dogs & Chips For Sale by Tustin-Santa Ana Rotary, Zoo Docents, and Knowlwood
  • Free Parking

booatthezooEveryone is encouraged to come in costume! This safe trick or treating event is perfect for children (ages 2-12).

  • When: Saturday, Oct. 17, Sunday, Oct. 18, Saturday, Oct. 24, Sunday, Oct. 25 & Friday, Oct. 30 from 5:30 – 8:00pm
  • Where: Santa Ana Zoo at Prentice Park, 1801 East Chestnut Avenue | Santa Ana, CA 92701Cost is $16.95 per non-member (ages 2 & up), Zoo Members are $8.95 (ages 2 & up) and their guests. (Members and Will Call receive early admission at the gate, approximately 1/2 hour prior to everyone else. Buy your tickets  here or at the front gate. ½ HOUR PRIOR to everyone else!

Sunsets and Blues at the Zoo

ZooConcert Series

Get Ready to Swing into Summer with Cool Line Up of Musical Talent and Local Craft Breweries at the Santa Ana Zoo.

Sunsets at the Zoo and Brew at the Zoo deliver a cool Sunday summertime activity for friends, families, and couples who enjoy listening to live music, picnicking on the lawn, and tasting great brews -Steve McGuigan,

Sunsets at the Zoo

Friends of Santa ana Zoo’s after-hours Sunday Summer concert series and tasting events feature live music, Zoo animals, a silent auction, and train and carousel rides. Zoo members and guests are welcome to grab their cameras, bring a blanket, pack a picnic or purchase BBQ items provided by the Elks, and enjoy a relaxing, fun-filled musical evening outside under the California sky.

Zoo members and guests 21 and older with a valid ID are welcome to enjoy a unique craft brew-tasting experience from a handful of Orange County’s finest craft beer brewers. All proceeds raised will benefit The Santa Ana Zoo.

Event dates and artists include:

  • Sunday, June 28, 5:30-7:30 pm, Featuring: The Fabulous Peggie Perkins, Tasting: Valiant Brewing & Ambitious Ales
  • Sunday, July 12, 5:30-7:30 pm, Featuring: Full Spectrum, Tasting: The Bruery & Bootlegger’s Brewing Co.
  • Sunday, July 26, 5:30-7:30 PM, Featuring: High in the 80’s, Tasting: Native Sons Ales & Left Coast Brewing Co.

Admission to Sunsets at the Zoo is $12.95 per person ages 3 & up, and just $6.95 for FOSAZ Members. Children under 3 are free. The cost to enjoy the Brew at the Zoo tasting experience is an additional $10 donation per person and is reserved for adults 21 and over with valid IDs.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.santaanazoo.org or at the gate on the night of the event.

Blues at the Zoo

For Zoo members and guests looking for fun on an early Sunday afternoon, Knowlwood Cafe at the Zoo is pleased to announce the return of its “Blues at the Zoo” concert series. and feature some of the finest Blues performers and bands in Orange County.

  • Sunday June 28, 2:00 – 4: 00 pm featuring Babylon Blues
  • Sunday, July 12, 2:00 – 4:00 pm featuring Chico’s Bail Bonds
  • Sunday, July 26, 2:00 – 4:00 pm featuring Papa J and Richard

“Blues at the Zoo” is included in the regular price of Zoo admission on the day of the event.
The Santa Ana Zoo is home to more than 150 animals, including 50 of the most interesting and engaging monkeys and several endangered species, like the Golden Lion Tamarins.

The gates open daily from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Admission is $10.00 for adults, $7.00 for seniors and children 3-12 years. Children under 3 are free.

The Conservation Carrousel Rides are $3 each and Zoofari Express Train Rides are $4 each, and combo tickets are $6 each. Children under 2 are free to ride with paid adult on the Train and adults standing with children on the Carrousel are free.


Party for the Planet


Friends of Santa Ana Zoo has host the 14th annual “Party for the Planet” in honor of Earth Day on Sunday, May 17, 2105.

Party for the Planet is a fun-filled day that celebrates wildlife while promoting conservation and ways to help protect the environment. Participants include the Santa Ana City Water District, Fullerton Arboretum and the USGS Western Ecology Research Center.

Children can visit education stations to learn about recycling, composting, sustainable living, beneficial bugs, birds and frogs. There also be conservation-friendly crafts, fun games, hands-on demonstrations,

“The Santa Ana Zoo strives to lead by example when it comes to conservation, sustainability and going green,” says David Exline, FOSAZ President. “Party for the Planet allows us to share environmentally-friendly best practices with the community and show our guests the benefits of living green first-hand. From the drought-tolerant plants we grow, to the wood we select for use in our habitats-for us, conservation and protecting our environment are a personal and professional choice.”

Image from santaanazoo.org
Image from santaanazoo.org

The Zoofari Express Train rides will be available for $4 each, Conservation Carrousel rides for $3 each and combo tickets for just $6 each. Children under 2 are free to ride with paid adult on the Train and adults standing with children on the Carrousel are free.

  • When: Sunday, May 17, 2015 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm – Zoo remains open until 4:00 pm
  • Where: Santa Ana Zoo, 1801 E. Chestnut Ave. Santa Ana, 92701
  • Cost: $10.00 for adults, $7.00 for seniors and children 3-12 years. Children under 3 are free. (Members are free)

For more information on the Zoo’s conservation efforts visit http://santaanazoo.org/attractg.htm.


Explore on a Budget


Explore_on_budgetYes, like many other families – we are on a tight budget but even on a budget you can find ways to have fun, explore and present your children with opportunities to learn while having fun as a family.

Many of the events I blog about are held at our beautiful O.C. Parks, local museums and science centers. One of the ways we save money on parking and admission to these events is by investing in memberships and passes to our favorite places. As a member, you get discounts on food (but we always pack a lunch – one more way to save money), gift shops, special workshops and member only events.

We’ve had a pass to the Magic Kingdom (and yes, we packed our lunch to go here too) and it was great but within just 3.5 months of paying for a deluxe passport for a family of 4 to the Magic Kingdom – I can buy all of the memberships mentioned on this post.

By simply putting some money aside each month, you can easily buy your memberships one by one throughout the year. Another benefit of spacing out the purchases of your memberships is that you always have at least one you can utilize.

Another way of saving money is taking advantage of FREE events and FREE days by sponsors such as Target. If you bank with Bank of America, they have some great free day offers nationwide. We’ve had many great afternoons visiting Bowers Museum, Children’s Museum at La Habra and Orange County Museum of Art during Target’s sponsored programs.

You can visit museums like California Science Center and The Getty Center & The Getty Villa for free, you just have to cover the parking fee.

I’m always on the lookout for FREE days and events that are reasonably priced and will share whatever fits within “Project Refined Life’s” criteria.

Be sure not to miss out my posts like FREE Days at our National ParksFREE days at Autry National Center of the American West and Museums Free-For-All Day.

Here’s a list of the local membership opportunities and discounts for some of the places we love to visit.

 OC Parks Parking Passes

OC Parks offers parking passes that are good for one year from date of purchase. I broke down and bought one mid year last year and I absolutely love it. This parking pass has made it possible for me and my family to experience FREE events such as guided hiking events, Prehistoric OC, Irvine Railroad Pumpkin Patch & Christmas Events and on and on. I love this pass.

2015-01-02_00.13.11The newly revised OC Parks parking passes allow visitors to use a single card to park at all County regional and wilderness parks and/or beaches. The new “smart cards” replace last years entry cards and stickers that were previously used for annual parking. These smart cards are valid for 12 months from issue date and can be renewed annually. Moreover, for wilderness and beach locations which previously required a sticker affixed to a visitor’s windshield, these passes can be used with any vehicle. The price for the new cards remains the same as 2014.


Three types of cards are available:

  • County Regional and Wilderness Parks Parking Pass for $55 ($35 for seniors/disabled)
  • County Beach Parking Pass with Pay and Display Machines for $55 ($35 for seniors, disabled park free)
  • All County Parks and Beaches Parking Pass for $80 ($50 for seniors)

Distinguished Veterans (per California State Parks) are eligible for a no-fee pass. This applies to veterans with a 50% or higher service-connected disability, or who were held as prisoners of war, or who are recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

OC Parks Parking Passes are available for purchase at an OC Parks facility near you. Visit OC Parks online at our Annual Parking Pass page for more information and a list of convenient locations.

If your visiting Irvine Regional park be sure to use these coupons.

State of California Parks & Beaches

CrystalCoveTidePoolsOne of my favorite places in the O.C. is Crystal Cove State Beach but with parking at $15.00 a day – a pass is definitely the way to go. There is currently a fantastic introductory offer good for 4 days worth parking passes and all state beaches and parks for the low price of $25.00. The “sampler” pass also includes 5% off camping reservations and a one year subscription to Sunset Magazine. For a complete list of parks click here or visit Calparoks.org to get your parking pass.

 Discovery Cube

They are currently offering a fantastic deal on their membership. You can purchase a 1 year Family membership for $99.00…..and you can purchase the second year for just $25.00 more!  This membership will get you and your family into Discovery Cube OC and Discovery Cube LA for just $124.00 for 2 years!!!

Discovery_cubeThe Family membership  is good for 1 or 2 named adults, plus up to 4 named children living in the same household (age 17 and under). Up to (2) additional named siblings living in the same household (ages 3-17) for $20 each.

They do offer movies at the Discovery Theater and hold several special exhibits each year that do require an additional fee however members get special pricing. Click here for membership options and details.

Benefits of membership include:

  • Unlimited admission* for one full year! No blackout dates!
  • Get two Cubes for the price of one – your membership works at both the OC and LA location.
  • Invitations to members-only events & previews
  • Priority registration and discounts on Camp Discovery and other fun activities
  • FREE or discounted admission to over 300 other ASTC Science Centers around the world
  • Subscription to our monthly e-newsletter and Discoveries Magazine
  • 10% off Science Store & Taco Bell purchases**
  • $10 discounted admission tickets for your guests (4 per visit)
  • Discounts on Discovery Theater tickets

Santa Ana residents receive up to 4 free admissions per address with valid ID (proof of residency) on the first Tuesday of every month. Cannot be combined with any other discount or offer. Excludes special events and ticketed exhibitions or shows.

Bank of America Free Day – Bank of America cardholders receive free admission on the first Sunday of each month. Photo ID and any valid Bank of America/Merrill Lynch credit or debit card must be presented. One free general admission limited to cardholder only. Cannot be combined with any other discount or offer. Excludes special events and ticketed exhibitions or shows.

Here’s a coupon for a free child’s admission with a paying adult.

 Santa Ana Zoo

Santa Ana Zoo is a great little zoo and if you like Monkey – you’ll love this zoo. Joseph Prentice, the founder of the Santa Ana Zoo at Prentice Park, stated that in order for the Zoo to exist, Mr. Prentice required that there be 50 monkeys on the grounds at all times.

This charming Zoo features over 80 species of animals, including the smallest monkeys in the world, the Pygmy Marmosets. The Zoo is a place to play, a place to learn and a place to spend time with your family.When visiting the Zoo, children and adults can share time together learning about animals, plants and the environment. There is also a children’s farm, train ride and carousel featuring endangered species.


Membership benefits include:

  • Unlimited FREE admission for 12 full months!
  • 10% discount on the “Treetop Toys” Gift Shop and Snack Bar, 20% discount for birthday parties.
  • Newsletter filled with animal facts, event schedules, and other interesting Zoo stories.
  • Member Appreciation Days with free train rides, and discounts for other events and programs, such as Sunset at the Zoo and Boo at the Zoo.
  • Visit over 50 Zoo’s – Los Angeles, The Living Desert Zoo, Santa Barbara, Fresno Chaffee and Sacramento Zoo, as well as over 150 zoos around the United States are FREE or discounted to our members. 

A Family Club membership is $70.00this includes unlimited admission for 2 adults (named on the card) and their children and/or grandchildren (under the age of 18) for 12 months, maximum of 4 children per visit.

On Resident Free Day, the third Sunday of each month, residents of Santa Ana may visit the Zoo for free. Proof of residency (driver’s license, utility bill) will be required upon arrival. Not valid to schools or business addresses.

Although the OC Zoo doesn’t advertise it, you can use your Santa Ana at the OC Zoo for free admission to the OC Zoo as well.

 Aquarium of the Pacific 

2014-08-20_12.07.20Membership at the Aquarium of the Pacific for a family of four can be quickly covered by your second visit. They have a great learning opportunities, family friendly festivals, member only events and discounts. Your membership also helps protect the Pacific Ocean, its inhabitants, and ecosystems.

Benefits of membership:

  • 50% of prepaid parking
  • 10% off at the Gift Shop
  • Member Appreciation events and Special Event Festivals
  • Discounts on private birthday parties, animal encounters, behind the scene tours, day camps, Junior Biologist , Aqua tots and more.

You can get a family membership for $125.00, for more details click here. if a membership here is out of the question at this time, take advantage of their FREE Shark Lagoon Nights.

For a limited time only, you can get discounts from:

  • Gelson’s Markets in Los Angeles and Orange Counties are now offering a coupon valid for $8 off adult admission—that’s just $20.95! Offer available in stores through 1/31/15 or while supplies last.
  • Southern California Smart & Final locations are now offering a coupon valid for $8 off adult admission and $2 off child admission (ages 3-11). Offer available in participating stores through 2/24/15 or while supplies last.

For annual Discounts use your AAA Discount to receive 10 percent off adult, child, and senior admission when you present your AAA member card at Aquarium ticket windows. Valid for up to four discounts. Or, save up to 25% when you purchase tickets at any Southern California Auto Club branch.

Natural History Museum, Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits & William S. Hart Museum

This is an awesome deal!!! Your interest can range from dinosaurs, nature lovers, gardens, Los Angeles history, Gems and minerals, mammals, birds, shells, art….these museums have you covered!

NHMMembership benefits include:

Family membership costs $89 – what a deal! The membership is good for two adults and up to four children (age 17 and under).

If you have a AAA membership, use that card! You can get admission discounts, wejust recently used it for discount on admission to Columbia Memorial Space Center. In addition to admission discounts, they offer discounts to at museum gift shops and restaurants. Wherever your at – ask them if they offer AAA discounts.

Bank of America has a program called Museums on Us, I’m considering a opening up an account at Bank of America for this benefit alone. They offer just FREE admission to museums throughout the county. In the Southern California area some the museums include: .

  • Discovery Cube
  • Orange County Museum of Art
  • Riverside Art Museum
  • San Diego Art Museum
  • The Living Desert Zoo
  • The Autry
  • Skirball Cultral Center



What are your families favorite places that offer some great membership options?


Weekend Roundup – October 24 – 26, 2014


There’s tons of Halloween fun to be had in this Weekend Roundup.


All Month Long:

 Spooky Science everyday at Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana

Thomas and Friends everyday at Discover Science Center in Santa Ana

Boomont Park  every Friday, Saturday & Sunday at Belmont Park in San Diego

Spooktacular Saturday’s every Saturday at OC Great Park in Irvine

Pumpkin Patch  everyday at Tanaka Farms in Irvine

Irvine Park Railroad Pumpkin Patch everyday at Irvine Regional Park

Technique Cooking Classes every Sunday at Williams-Sonoma

Jr. Chef Classes every Saturday at Williams-Sonoma

Drop in and Draw at Chuck Jones Center for Creativity in Costa Mesa

Kidvasion, freebie deals for kids all over San Deigo

Zoomars Pumpkinpalooza everyday in San Juan Capistrano

Parent & Me Time every Wednesday at Shipley Nature Center in Huntington Beach


Friday, October 24, 2014:

Free Shark Lagoon Nights Tonight and every Friday night at Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach

Halloween Spooktacular & Moonlight Movie at Latern Bay Park in Dana Point

Haunted Aquarium-Shipwrecked  at Birch Aquarium in La Jolla

Spooky Science Nights at Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey

Friday Nights at MOLAA in Long Beach


Saturday, October 25, 2014:

Anaheim Fall Festival and Halloween Parade in Anaheim

Turbo Fast Weekend at Discovery Cube in Santa Ana

Halloween Zoo-tacular at OC Zoo in Orange

Boo Parade in San Diego

Spooky Science Nights at Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey

Spooky Creatures in the Garden at the LA Arboretum in Arcadia

Sea Scare at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro

Boo at the Zoo at the Santa Ana Zoo in Santa Ana

Pumpkin Glow at Pavillon Park in Irvine

Village Venture Arts & Crafts Faire in Claremont Village


Sunday, October 26, 2014:

Tidepool Terrors at Ocean Institute in Dana Point

 Turbo Fast Weekend at Discovery Cube in Santa Ana

Pumpkinmania at Tanaka Farms in Irvine

Halloween Family Day at Balboa Park in San Diego

Owl-a-ween at Living Coast Discovery Center in Chula Vista

Boo at the Zoo at the Santa Ana Zoo in Santa Ana

Creepy Crawlies and Night Creatures at The Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center in Newport Beach




Weekend Roundup – October 10 – 12, 2014


Here’s this weekend’s round up of family fun events (along with a few just for adults). Enjoy!

All Month Long:


Spooky Science everyday at Discovery Science Center

Thomas and Friends everyday at Discover Science Center

Boomont Park  every Friday, Saturday & Sunday at Belmont Park

Spooktacular Saturday’s every Saturday at OC Great Park

Pumpkin Patch  everyday at Tanaka Farms

Irvine Park Railroad Pumpkin Patch everyday at Irvine Regional Park

Technique Cooking Classes every Sunday at Williams-Sonoma

Jr. Chef Classes every Saturday at Williams-Sonoma

Drop in and Draw at Chuck Jones Center for Creativity

Kidvasion, freebie deals for kids all over San Deigo

Zoomars Pumpkinpalooza everyday in San Juan Capistrano

Parent & Me Time every Wednesday at Shipley Nature Center


 Friday, October 10, 2014:

Free Shark Lagoon Nights Tonight and every Friday night at Aquarium of the Pacific


Saturday, October 11 2014:

Star Wars Reads Day nationwide at Toys R US and select Barnes & Noble and  public Libraries nationwide (see post for details)

Amazing Raptors at Nix Nature Center

Autumn Harvest Festival at Heritage Hill

Art in the Park at Newport Beach Civic Center

Junior Biologist at Aquarium of the Pacific

Second Saturdays at Shipley Nature Center

Chemistryday_SAzooSunday, October 12, 2014:

National Chemistry Day at Santa Ana Zoo

Children’s Garden Workshop at The Great Park

Learn about Columbus Day at Ocean Institute

Superhero Masquerade and FREE day at Orange County Museum of Art

My Edible Garden  at Roger’s Gardens

Prehistoric OC at Clark Regional park



National Chemistry Week 2014

Are you ready for National Chemistry Week? This years theme is “The Sweet Side of Chemistry – Candy” and will be celebrated October 19-25, 2014 and showcases the chemistry involved in candy and confections.

NCW_logoNCW encourages chemists and chemistry enthusiasts to build awareness of chemistry at the local level. Local Sections, businesses, schools, and individuals are invited to organize or participate in events in their communities with a common goal: to promote the value of chemistry in everyday life.

In Orange County you can celebrate by attending Chemistry Day at Santa Ana Zoo. At home you can celebrate by having some fun candy experiments at hand. You can download Celebrating Chemistry, a pdf booklet filled projects and a great source of reference.

Here’s a simple project from page 9 of the booklet.



National Chemistry Day at Santa Ana Zoo

Santa_Ana_Zoo_LogoJoin in on a family fun filled day of hands on STEM exhibits in celebration of Chemistry Week at the Santa Ana Zoo on October 12, 2014 from 11am – 3pm

Chemistryday_SAzooSponsored by the American Chemistry Society, this is a hands-on science learning fair at the Santa Ana Zoo. This event serves as a warm up for National Chemistry Week. This year’s theme is “The Sweet side of Chemistry – Candy”. There will be College students from nereby colleges assisting kids with hands-on chemistry experiments. Individual tables with different college groups and different chemistry projects through out the zoo.

Price of the event is included with the price of general admission | FOSAZ Members-FREE

for more information visit Santa Ana Zoo or Orange County American Chemical Society

PRICES$10 Adult, $7 Child, $7 Senior, Members FREE, Parking FREE


ADDRESS 1801 E. Chestnut Ave. Santa Ana, 92701 DIRECTIONS HERE

PHONE NUMBERS(714) 836-4000 

images from santaanazoo.org & ocacs.sites.acs.org