August begins this weekend and with it, the countdown to the end of summer. Don’t forget all the special summer activities at your local library, the OC Zoo, the OC Great Park, and the Mission San Juan Capistrano. This Sunday there is free admission to the Children’s Museum of La Habra and The Bowers Museum/Kidseum due to the generosity of Target. There is an Open House at the Marconi Automotive Museum also on Sunday. Enjoy your week!
Ongoing / Week-long Events / Museum Happenings
Land of Nod Activities
Land of Nod
3333 Bear St.
Bridge Level, Space #344
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Monday – Friday, July 27 – July 31: Camp Nod at South Coast Plaza – Join us daily at our South Coast Plaza store for Camp Nod. Each day, we’ll have a FREE activity at 3 p.m. for you and your little ones. Attend all five days of Camp Nod and you’ll receive a $25 gift card! RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate which location and days you’d like to attend. Activity Schedule Monday: Luau Day Tuesday: Shop Sweet Lulu Pennant Flag Craft Wednesday: Hannah’s Bananas Day! Thursday: Magic Show Friday: Artist Michelle Romo Sun Catcher Activity.
Thursday, July 30 – Storytime: Join us every Thursday for Storytime at 11:00am. We’ll be reading some of our favorite classics for you and your little ones to enjoy.
The OC Great Park Family Activities
Sand Canyon and Marine Way
Irvine, CA 92618
Friday, July 31: Friday Night Lawn Games – Put some fun into your Fridays! Whether you are taking your date on a balloon ride or going for an evening stroll with the family, these trendy lawn games are a perfect addition to your evening at the Great Park. These games include Croquet, Bocce Ball, Ladder Ball, Cornhole and Kubb. Event runs 6:00pm – 8:00pm.
Saturday, August 1: Saturday Family Park Play – Learn about the Great Park through new, family friendly activities! Each week will feature a themed craft for children. Classic board games also available for friendly family competition. Parent participation required; supplies are limited. Event runs 10:00am – 2:00pm. Today’s activity is Personalized Patches.
Sunday, August 2: Farmer’s Market – Sundays at the Orange County Great Park are headlined by the fresh produce and fun at our Certified Farmers Market. Every week, rain or shine, the Great Park Certified Farmers Market features fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, handcrafted artisan products, live music and entertainment, and a selection of gourmet food trucks. Market runs 10:00am – 2:00pm. Free parking and admission.
Sunday, August 2: The Art Lab: Creation Stations – Play, create and explore at our self-directed creation stations. These hands-on activities emphasize divergent thinking, problem solving skills and innovation. Families with children of all ages are welcome. Event runs 10:00am – 4:00pm at the Great Park Artists Studio. Free.
Orange County Fair (July 17 – August 16)
100 Fair Dr.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
It’s Fair Time! The Orange County Fair runs July 17 – August 16 this year. They are celebrating 125 years of the OC Fair. See website for details and a schedule of events. Hours are as follows:
- Wednesday – Friday: Noon – Midnight
- Saturday – Sunday: 10:00am – Midnight
- Monday – Tuesday: Closed
Save! Single-day admission tickets are available online with no service fees through Ticketmaster.com when you choose the Print-At-Home option.
- General (13-59) $12
- Senior (60+) $7
- Youth (6-12) $7
- Children 5 and younger are free
Super Pass: Enjoy 23 days of Fair fun, food and more with a 2015 season pass. Visit the 2015 OC Fair Super Pass page for more information.
- General Passenger Car $10
- General Buses & Limos $20
- Pacific Amphitheatre VIP $30
Free parking and shuttle service is available on Saturdays and Sundays from the Experian parking structure located off the Bristol Street exit of the 405 Freeway. Follow the signs to “Experian.” The shuttle operates from 10 am-1 am weekends only.
Aquarium of the Pacific
100 Aquarium Way
Long Beach, CA 90802
Discounted Late Nights: Enjoy the Aquarium of the Pacific with special extended hours. The entire Aquarium will be open, except Lorikeet Forest. Admission after 5:00 p.m. is just $14.95 for adults and seniors, and children (3-11). Watch the nighttime activities of our animals, touch a shark, and enjoy the beautiful evening lighting of the Aquarium’s architecture. Hours are 5:00pm – 8:00pm. Please note that Café Scuba may not be open on all nights but the Coffee Cart will be open in those cases. This week’s Discounted Late Nights are:
- Tuesday, July 28
- Thursday, July 30
- Saturday, August 1
- Sunday, August 2
Bolsa Chica State Beach
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Junior Rangers – Junior Rangers is designed for children ages 7 – 12. All programs begin at 10 am and end at 11 am at the Bolsa Chica Lifeguard Headquarters building. Junior Ranger programs are free to the public. These programs are designed to help children discover the rich natural and cultural heritage preserved in parks. Possible topics are: ecology, the wetlands, geology, marine mammals, beach animals, plants of the beach and more!
- Monday, July 27: Sensational Seashells
- Wednesday, July 29: Ecology
- Friday, July 31: Microscopes & Plankton
Campground Program – Campground programs are not just for campers! Join State park staff and other outside organizations for our weekly nighttime event at the Bolsa Chica Campground! Every other Wednesday at 7pm, join us for an evening of special interest topics such as: Huntington Beach History, Bolsa Chica Wetlands, Birds of the Beach, and more. These are free events for the public. Once you enter the beach, turn left and park at the south end of the first parking lot. The programs will take place in the Campground Center.
Crystal Cove State Park
8471 Pacific Coast Hwy.
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Monday, July 27: Junior Rangers – Join a Park Ranger for a fun introduction to the ecology of Crystal Cove State Park in our weekly Junior Ranger programs. This children’s nature program is a favorite in State Parks and allows visitors ages 7-12 to earn a badge. Junior Rangers meets on Monday June 29 from 10-11am. Meet at the Berns Amphitheater (PCH inland at stoplight School-State Park, follow signs towards the campground.) Come for the program, stay for the day. $15 day-use fee.
Wednesday, July 29: Community Days – Crystal Cove Alliance is hosting Community Days in the Historic District’s Education Commons on Wednesdays July 1, 8, 15, 22, & 29 from 10-4. Step back in time as the Education Commons comes to life with fun, historical activities for the whole family. Learn to sketch or dance, try your hand at a traditional craft, enjoy a historic radio show, or explore the science of Crystal Cove State Park. Check out Cottage #13, the Film and Media Center, and Cottage #22, the Park and Marine Research Facility. Park in the Los Trancos lot (PCH inland at stoplight Los Trancos then walk across the street or take the shuttle.) $15 day use fee.
Saturday, August 1: Tidepool Walk – Enjoy a low tide at Crystal Cove State Park on a guided tidepool walk to Pelican Point on Saturday, August 1 at 4pm. A volunteer will help identify animals and describe some awesome adaptations. Meet at Pelican Point parking lot #2, at the top of the boardwalk near the parking lot (PCH coastward at Newport Coast, right at kiosk to first lot.) $15 day-use fee.
Mission San Juan Capistrano Family Activities
26801 Ortega Hwy.
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Summer Crafts for Kids offered July 6 through August 28, 2015, 11:00am – 1:00pm. $5 non-members, $1 members.
- Mondays: Gold Panning
- Tuesdays: Adobe Brick Making
- Wednesdays: Cornhusk Dolls
- Thursdays: Mini Coiled Clay Pot
- Fridays: Arrowhead Necklace
Gold Panning, Adobe Brick Making, and Arrowhead Necklace is offered every Saturday and Sunday, 11:00am – 3:00pm. $5 non-members, $1 members.
OC Zoo Classes for Kids
1 Irvine Park Rd.
Orange, CA 92869
Tuesday, July 28: What Do the Animals Eat? – Find out what the animals in the zoo eat for lunch and dinner! Class includes hands-on learning, fun art projects, and meeting zoo animals up close! Ages: 5-8 years old only. Parent may accompany child for duration of program. Fee: $5 per child (includes one adult). Parking fee: $3. Phone registration is required! Call 714-973-6846 to register. Class runs 10:15am – 11:15am.
Friday, July 31: Animals in My Backyard Preschool Program –Come learn all about animals you find in your backyard! Class includes hands-on learning, fun crafts, and meeting zoo animals up close! Ages 3-4 years old only. Parent must accompany child for duration of program. Fee: $5 per child (includes one adult). Parking fee: $3. Phone registration is required! Call 714-973-6846 to register. Class runs 10:15am – 11:15am.
Saturday, August 1: Animal Art Fun – Join us for an hour of creativity and fun with an animal theme! Come ready to get a little messy! Class includes hands-on learning, fun crafts, and meeting zoo animals up close! Ages: 5-8 years old only. Parent may accompany child for duration of program. Fee: $5 per child (includes one adult). Parking fee: $3. Phone registration is required! Call 714-973-6846 to register. Class runs 11:00am – 12:00pm.
935 Laguna Canyon Rd.
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
A Laguna Beach tradition for 49 years, the Sawdust Festival’s Summer Show serves as a showcase for more than 200 local artisans. Come and see all the diverse artwork as well as check out the art demonstrations and workshops. Admission is $8.50; $4 children 6-12. Festival runs Friday, June 26 – Sunday, August 30, 2015.
There is a Children’s Art Spot with art fun for the little ones, free of charge. Although most are complimentary, some classes and workshops may require a materials fee. There is also a Ceramic Center with one-on-one instruction at the potter’s wheel for all ages. Free of charge to take home as greenware; $8 to glaze, fire and pick up; $16 to glaze, fire and ship to your home. Please see website for class schedule.
Children’s Museum at La Habra
301 South Euclid St.
La Habra, CA 90631
is to encourage enthusiasm about learning in a hands-on environment that opens the world even to the youngest child. Our museum features 7 galleries and 14 different hands on exhibits, many of which remain unique to the field today. In addition to these exhibits, an outdoor dinosaur topiary and historic 1942 caboose, the Museum features an exhibit which changes 3 times a year. The Children’s Museum welcomes local, national and international visitors. Children can ride a kid-size carousel, take a walk in T-Rex’s footprints, pet an Arctic fox, pump gas, drive a bus, dress up and perform, and dig for fossils all in one afternoon! Admission: Kids and Adults $8, La Habra residents $7, Kids Under 2 Free).
The spring/summer exhibit is California Full of Life and it opens Tuesday, March 31 and runs through August 24, 2015. This exhibit introduces guests to the ecosystem diversity found in our beautiful Golden State. Visit the deserts, beaches, mountains, and redwoods and learn about the life cycles of plants and wildlife. Have fun on a mini camping trip at the Museum. Learn about living in a tent, camping foods, camping gear, and California state parks & wildlife. Get a taste of our great outdoors with the Children’s Museum at La Habra’s Spring 2015 Changing Gallery Exhibit, California: Full of Life!
Monday, July 27: MUSEUM CLOSED
Tuesday, July 28: Reading Circle – Event begins at 11:15am. “Did you feed your baby’s brain today?” There is no better source of brain food than reading aloud! Bring you eager listener to our weekly reading session in the Nannie’s Travels gallery and get your fill!
Tuesday, July 28: Octopus Windsock Craft – Did you know that octopuses are considered the most intelligent of all invertebrates? We’re making smarty-pants octopus windsocks today in the Family Art Center! Event runs 11:00am – 3:00pm.
Wednesday, July 29: Little Picasso Family Art Center – Make a “paint” date every Wednesday (11:00am – 3:00pm) at the Museum for lots of messy time exploring color and texture! There are easels, washable paints, brushes and paint smocks ready for little artists to use. This is a drop in art studio and subject to change. Free with paid admission.
Thursday, July 30: Octopus Windsock Craft – Did you know that octopuses are considered the most intelligent of all invertebrates? We’re making smarty-pants octopus windsocks today in the Family Art Center! Event runs 11:00am – 3:00pm.
Friday, July 31: Creative Capers – Bring out your inner artist this summer! Explore the lives and works of these famous artists and create a work of art in the styles they were most noted for. Today’s artist is Alexander Calder.
Saturday, August 1: Octopus Windsock Craft – Did you know that octopuses are considered the most intelligent of all invertebrates? We’re making smarty-pants octopus windsocks today in the Family Art Center! Event runs 11:00am – 3:00pm.
Sunday, August 2: Target Free Sunday Day: Critter Quest – The Children’s Museum at La Habra receives generous funding from Target stores to provide free admission to the Museum on the first Sunday of each month! (Excludes the month of September) This grant allows the Museum to provide free, fun and educational family programming to residents of La Habra and surrounding communities for an entire year. Themed activities include music, dance, and visual arts activities and performances for families and children of all ages.
A total of 500 people are admitted on Target free Sundays. Hand stamps for both sessions are distributed at 1 p.m. and are on a first come first served basis. There is no museum admittance once all 500 slots are filled. (This does not apply to CMLH Members.) Session times are 1-2:45 p.m. and 3:15-5 p.m.
Discovery Cube Orange County
2500 N Main St.
Santa Ana, CA 92705
We INSPIRE and EDUCATE young minds through engaging SCIENCE-BASED programs and exhibits to create a meaningful IMPACT on the COMMUNITIES we serve. Our mission to inspire, educate, and impact is brought to life through the cornerstones of our core initiatives (STEM Proficiency, Early Learning, Healthy Living, and Environmental Stewardship. Explore over 100 hands-on, interactive exhibits as you adventure throughout Discovery Cube’s first and second floors. All of our exhibits teach science concepts using fun and engaging activities.
Admission is $16.95 for Adults, $12.95 for Children 3-14, and Free for Children 2 and Under. Memberships also available. Check website for details.
June 11, 2015 – September 7, 2015: The International Exhibition of Sherlock Homes – This interactive experience combines science with history and culture to bring to life the historic underpinnings of author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories. Visitors will learn how Sherlock Holmes, a scientific expert, used seemingly trivial observations of clues others missed to solve the most puzzling of mysteries! This exhibition features original manuscripts and artifacts, investigative tools, and crime-solving opportunities. Visitors will be transported back into Victorian London and given a detective’s notebook to use throughout the exhibition to help solve a riveting crime! Exhibit is included in price of general admission.
Kidseum (art-based children’s museum operated by the Bowers Museum)
1802 N Main St.
Santa Ana, CA 92706
The newly renovated Kidseum is high-tech and interactive with a focus on its new mission, “Igniting imagination through exploration,” stressing the excitement of art and archaeology. Be sure to check out the new “Glow Cave” with its fun art making activities, ride the magical Wells Fargo stagecoach through time in the “Green Screen Time Machine,” and explore archaeology like never before in our new Archaeology Lab. There will be a lot of visual stimulation and engaging education with new smart tables, smart boards and computers.
Special Weekend Programs for children and adults! (included with admission). Admission is $6 for Ages 2 and Up, Under 2/Members are Free. Adult free admission with current Bowers Museum ticket stub.
- Face painting all day
- Drop in Art Studio all day
- Live Storytelling in the Story Room – 11:00am – 11:30am and 1:30pam – 2:00pm (Saturdays & Sundays)
- Glow Cave Paintings – 11:30am – 12:00pm and 2:00pm – 2:30pm (Saturdays & Sundays)
- Archaeology Lab Coin Impressions – 1:00pm – 1:30pm and 2:30pm – 3:00pm (Saturdays & Sundays)
Sunday, August 2: Target Free First Sunday: Pacific Islands Arts Festival at The Bowers (2002 N Main St., Santa Ana). Thinking about an exotic getaway to a faraway Pacific isle? Save yourself time and money and go to the Bowers Museum instead. This month’s Free First Sunday offers a salute to the Pacific Islands. The festival will feature a colorful variety of music and dance performances along with related art projects, food and other cultural activities. Besides the festival, visitors can enjoy free admission to the Kidseum as well as the Bowers’ permanent exhibitions. Festival runs 10:00am – 4:00pm.
241 S Anaheim Blvd.
Anaheim, CA 92805
The MUZEO engages the community by exploring and celebrating our diverse heritage, culture and arts through creative programming. The MUZEO hosts three traveling exhibitions per year which would otherwise not be displayed in the region. Every exhibit is enhanced with special programs, events and activities. You don’t want to miss a moment of them. Admission fees: Adults $10 and children $6. Parking is available in the structure on the corner of Center Street Promenade and South Lemon Street. Museum is closed on Mondays.
Cougars and Grizzlies: Sharing Their Path – Exhibit runs April 18, 2015 – September 13, 2015. Most Southern California families are unaware that grizzly bears ever roamed what has now become bustling cities like Irvine and Corona. The extinction of the California grizzly bear (Ursus Californicus) in 1924 serves a cautionary tale for those wanting to protect and preserve California’s fragile mountain lion (Puma concolor) species. Cougars and Grizzlies: Sharing Their Path will educate and raise environmental awareness by juxtaposing the fate of the California grizzly bear with the future of the state’s mountain lion. Docent tours start in the box office and last approximately 45 minutes. Tours are complimentary with admission to Cougars and Grizzlies: Sharing Their Path. See website for details.
Irvine, CA 92618
Pretend City Children’s Museum features a small, interconnected city designed to “build better brains” through purposeful play, hands-on learning experiences, role playing, and educational programming. As a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization serving all children, it depends on community-based funding and guest support. Through 17 interactive exhibits and activities guided by a highly trained professional staff, children learn foundational math, reading and science skills, while fostering curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, organization, teamwork, self-confidence and socialization. The museum is a unique community resource offering developmental screenings and tools for families, educators and community agencies working to ensure that each child gains the experiences needed to discover their potential and build toward a productive and fulfilling future.
Admission is as follows: Infant to 12 months: FREE, Children: $12.50, Adult: $12.50, Military and Family Members: $9.50. Pretend City’s Art Studio has new art projects daily! See the Art Calendar for details. Pretend City’s Real Café is located between the Home and Construction Site. Our vending Machines contain healthy choices like sandwiches, salads, fruit snacks, milk, bottle water, and other healthier snack options for your family. Take a break in our Real Cafe seating area while you fill up on much-needed fuel before going back on the floor for more play! We ask that all eating be in the Real Café seating area, or on the outside tables to side the building (next to the Front Entrance). Pretend City Children’s Museum is a nut-free facility.
Monday, July 27: Family Autism Event -Specifically for: Families with children of all ages who are on the autism spectrum; Pretend City will be closed to the general public. This special evening is an opportunity for children and their parents/siblings/caretakers to have some fun in an autism-friendly environment along with other families. Many of our community partners, who specialize in supporting children on the autism spectrum, will be on-hand to enrich your family’s play experience with welcoming smiles and practical support. Event runs 2:00pm – 5:00pm. RSVP: Register here. Registration required by Friday, August 28. Maximum: 300. Only guests with a reservation and a confirmation number will be admitted. Fee: FREE.
Tuesday, July 28: Partner in Play Day: Litter for Lunch – Trash doesn’t look like food! Or does it? Join us as we educate children about the various objects and models which can look like food to sea creatures. They will understand the importance of keeping our beaches clean and making sure to throw garbage away where it is supposed to go. Children will even get to experience Pretend City’s own beach clean-up as they explore our trash interactive. Activities run 11:00am – 12:00pm. RSVP: Not required. Fee: Included with museum admission.
Wednesday, July 29: Celebrate Harry Potter’s Birthday! – Specifically for School Ages (6 years and up); Grown-ups. Harry Potter books are a great way to introduce fantasy to your school-aged children! These books provide material for children’s imagination, free play, and help them distinguish between what is real and what isn’t. Today, however, we turn make-believe into reality with fun activities based off of the magical Harry Potter Series:
- Smart Art: Harry Potter Art – Fly into the art studio where your children will delight in making their own Hedgwig or magical wand and creating their own version of Hogwarts Castle.
- Nature Tales: Magical Creatures Scavenger Hunt – The magical creatures from the Care of Magical Creatures class have escaped and are lost in the city. Help us use the clues to find them!
- Simple Science: Potions Class – One of the most popular classes at Hogwarts. This fun activity will make sure you have an ample supply of Gillyweed and Hippogriff Gizzards on hand!
RSVP: Not required. Fee: Included with museum admission. Come dressed as your favorite Harry Potter character for $1.00 off general admission ticket! Activities run 10:00am – 5:00pm.
Sunday, August 2: Friendship Week Kick-Off! – Learning how to build friendships is such an important part of growing up. The thought of approaching other children and trying to develop new friendships may be scary for your little ones. Join us today for a variety of friendship developing activities that will help prepare your children and help ease some of the nervousness. Activities include:
- Smart Art: The Kind Heart – Join us for a story time and activity that will show children that the actions and words they say have an effect on their friends.
- Growing Up Great Game: Friend Light, Red light – Bring a friend to this fun game that plays off of the red means stop and green means go color symbols. Your children will need to use their critical thinking skills to determine if actions are friendly or not.
- Let’s Move: Work Together, Win Together – Part of being a friend is working together. This fun activity will make children work together – literally!
Activities run 10:00am – 5:00pm. RSVP: Not required. Fee: Included with museum admission.