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Things to do in Orange County for OC Moms

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Doheny Beach Butterfly Garden & Nature Center

Posted by on Apr 26, 2017 in Dana Point, Nature Centers | 5 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the resort I have spent many summer days with my children at Doheny Beach, and I never realized that they have a beautiful butterfly garden until a recent family staycation at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Doheny Beach. When I checked into the resort for the weekend, the front desk was so helpful with making some recommendations of things to do in the area, and when she mentioned the butterfly garden, I knew that I wanted to bring the kids to see it. Our family woke up on Saturday morning, had a relaxing breakfast in bed, and then walked across the street to Doheny Beach. At first, we had a little bit of trouble finding the butterfly garden, but a nice lady walking working at the State Beach advised us that it...

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The Wildlands Conservancy at the Oak Glen Preserve

Posted by on Sep 16, 2015 in Featured, Hiking Trails, Nature Centers, Parks | 0 comments

  The one thing that I was not expecting to do when apple picking with my kids in Oak Glen was to find one of the best nature preserves in Southern California. The Wildlands Conservancy at the Oak Glen Preserve is located right on the Los Rios Ranchos property, and our family could have spent the entire day exploring the vast amount of trails. We noticed the preserve while picking apples at Riley’s Los Rios Rancho, and walked over to see what it was all about before leaving for lunch. There was a docent at the opening of the preserve who talked to us about their mission, gave our kids a learning guide, and helped us to pick a trail that would fit into our schedule for the day. As we started to walk along the trail, there was...

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Dana Point Nature Interpretive Center

Posted by on Jun 25, 2014 in Dana Point, Hiking Trails, Nature Centers, Parks | 0 comments

  I love visiting nature center with my kids, and the Dana Point Nature Interpretive Center is one of our favorites. We will often visit here during the peak of whale watching season seeing the whales from our binoculars from the Dana Point cliffs. The nature center is located at 34558 Scenic Drive in Dana Point. The center is FREE to visit with your family, and I would allow at least a couple of hours to spend at this center. When your family first arrives, there is plenty of parking in the parking lot or on the neighboring streets. Inside of the nature center are docents that love *love* children! They will spend hours talking to your children about the wildlife and plants if your family has the time. There are interactive exhibits, books and dioramas throughout the center...

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Tips for Helping Your Kids Connect with Nature

Posted by on May 13, 2014 in Family, Hiking Trails, Nature Centers, Parenting | 0 comments

 You remember those days after school. Arriving home, you’d throw your backpack down, grab a snack, and beeline to play outside. We rarely watched television, or even played a video game. For the most part, we were outside in the fresh air and sunshine. For many kids, those days are long gone. With an overload of enrichment activities and screen time crowding the space of free play for children, it’s becoming more important than ever to set aside time for the outdoors. According to Hallie Jones, executive director, Laguna Canyon Foundation, “Spending time in nature is such an important part of childhood. Being in the wilderness gives kids the chance to be free, and creative, and it teaches them a deep respect for the natural world. Those are gifts that stay with kids their whole lives.” So how can...

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Exploring our own backyard and Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary

Posted by on Apr 18, 2014 in Featured, Hiking Trails, Modjeska Canyon, Nature Centers, Parks | 1 comment

  My husband and I have always loved taking drives and exploring areas near and not so near us. With gas now so expensive, we are not driving as far or as often. We explore the wonderful canyons we have right in our backyard. We frequent Santiago, Silverado, Modjeska, and Black Star Canyons. There are so many hikes, trails and hidden gems in the canyon. It is the perfect way to expose your kids to nature, wildlife and the beauty just outside of our concrete jungle. Today we took the boys our to Modjeska Canyon and went to the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary in the beautiful Modjeska Canyon. The facility offers visitors, students and tourists a rural natural setting less than 10 miles from the hustle and bustle of Orange County. There is a Natural Science Center which offers wonderful...

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Barbara’s Lake: Orange County’s Only Natural Lake

Posted by on Jan 12, 2013 in Hiking Trails, Laguna Beach, Nature Centers, Parks | 1 comment

 Fun and Unique thing to do with children in Laguna Beach It is hard to believe that Orange County only has one natural lake left in the whole County, but it does. Barbara’s Lake is located in the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park just a short walk from the NIX Nature Center. Last weekend, our family visited the NIX Nature Center. Then we enjoyed walking along Mary’s Trail, before continuing the trail towards Barbara’s Lake. While walking towards the lake, my children got a unique opportunity to witness a thriving wildlife community. There was so much beauty for the kids to absorb along the secluded path. How do you get to Barbara’s Lake? Park in the NIX Nature Center Parking lot ($3 parking). Begin you adventure walking along Mary’s Trail. Then continue on the path as it becomes Little Sycamore...

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Mary’s Trail at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Posted by on Jan 9, 2013 in Hiking Trails, Laguna Beach, Nature Centers, Parks | 3 comments

  Yesterday, we shared details about our visit to the NIX Nature Center in the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. After my kids were done learning all about the history of the land where they are growing up, we went right outside the doors for a short walk on Mary’s Trail. This trail is dedicated to Mary Fegraus, the founding executive director of Laguna Canyon Foundation. This trail is the best trail I have found so far for young children. It’s flat and smooth all the way around the trail. It is even level and wide enough for parents to bring along a stroller or wagon!! Before starting on the trail, the OC Park rangers gave the children a scavenger hunt to use while on the trail. Throughout the trail there were beautiful educational markers for children to learn about...

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James and Rosemary Nix Nature Center

Posted by on Jan 7, 2013 in Featured, Hiking Trails, Laguna Beach, Nature Centers, Parks | 0 comments

  Rain? What rain? It might have been raining yesterday, but that didn’t let that stop us from keeping our kids active yesterday. When we spotted the first break in the clouds, we headed to the James and Rosemary Nix Nature Center in the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. We thought this was a good place to visit because it offers indoor/outdoor educational fun for the kids. When we first arrived at the nature center, our children were greeted by some of the most energetic park rangers I have ever seen. They came right out from behind the desk and started talking with our children. They asked them many questions about the wildlife and plants that surround the modern nature center. The kids were able to do some bird watching from the on-site telescopes that are perfectly situated in the...

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