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Things to do in Orange County for OC Moms

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Events Happening in Orange County: April 20 – April 26th


Earth Day is celebrated this Wednesday and there are lots of Earth Day events and festivals happening this week. I am excited about the OC Fair Imaginology event happening this Friday – Sunday. My girlfriend took her two elementary-aged boys last year and they had a blast. She said there were lots of things to do for my little one as well so be sure to check it out! Enjoy your week!

Ongoing / Week-long Events / Museum Happenings

Newport Beach Film Festival’s Family Series

Lido Live
3459 Via Lido
Newport Beach, CA 92663

You and your family are invited to celebrate the magic of cinema at the 16th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival Family Series. The film festival runs April 23 – April 30, 2015. Named the “Best Children’s Festival” in 2008, NBFF’s Family Film Series brings together a unique collection of both studio and independent family films from around the world. Featuring a “Shorts for Shorties” short film series, movies for children 10+, and an exciting discussion panel with producers from Disney/Pixar, The Family Film Series offers movie buffs of all ages the opportunity to experience a unique filmgoing experience. Following the screenings, filmmakers will join the audience for Q&A, autographs, or even workshops, making NBFF both educational and interactive for the whole family. Film screenings take place at a variety of theaters in the greater Newport Beach area. For more information about the Newport Beach Film Festival and tickets to the Family Film Series, please visit the website.

OC Fair Imaginology

OC Fair & Event Center
88 Fair Dr.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Students and their families are invited to go “Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead” for three days of competitions, exhibits and activities all designed to explore the fun of S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math.) Engaging makeshops, educational workshops, build-your-own scarecrow contest, scavenger hunts, hands-on activities and more will fuel imaginations. Free admission. Event runs Friday – Sunday, April 24 – 26, 2015. Hours are Friday 9:00am – 3:00pm and Sat/Sun 10:00am – 5:00pm.

Circus Vargas

Orange County Great Park
Sand Canyon and Marine Way
Irvine, CA 92818

Circus Vargas, America’s favorite traveling Big Top circus continues to thrill and enchant children of all ages with their new and amazing 2015 edition, Arlequin! Steeped in tradition and devoted to all things magnificent and happy, Circus Vargas presents an array of unparalleled artists and performers dedicated to captivate and astound you! An amazing experience, where new memories are created and treasured for generations to come! 
 Aerialists, acrobats, clowns and the ballyhoo of nostalgic Americana engulf you from the magical moment you enter The Big Top! Circus Vargas is in Irvine April 23 – May 4, 2015.

Canvassed in beautiful blue and yellow, the welcoming and familiar essence of sawdust, sparkles and spotlight lights, brings with it a barrage of sensations that touches the hearts of young and old alike. Join us for an amazing experience, built on tradition with vision and innovation, to create new and treasured memories for generations to come. A world of wonder and awe await you under the big top, at Circus Vargas! Don’t miss this great opportunity to meet and mingle with the cast of Arlequin! Arrive 45 minutes early for an exciting, interactive pre-show where children (of all ages) can create their own magic under the big top! See website for ticket information.

Children’s Museum at La Habra
301 South Euclid St.
La Habra, CA 90631

Our mission
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!

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, April 20: MUSEUM CLOSED

Tuesday, April 21: Mini Yogis: Enjoy some bonding time with your child and learn breathing and stretching essential to yoga. This class is designed especially for the parent/child experience! Class runs 10:15am – 11:00am. Free to CMLH Members & visitors with paid admission. Class size is limited. Please call (562)383-4236 to make your reservation.

Tuesday, April 21: Earth Day Craft: We’re celebrating the Earth with this “earth friendly” craft! Event runs 11-3pm in the Family Art Center. Free with Museum admission.

Tuesday, April 21: 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!

Wednesday, April 22: 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. All programs free with paid admission (Kids and Adults $8, La Habra residents $7, Kids Under 2 Free).

Thursday, April 16: Mini Yogis – Enjoy some bonding time with your child and learn breathing and stretching essential to yoga. This class is designed especially for the parent/child experience! Class held on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 10:30am. Free to CMLH Members & visitors with paid admission. Class size is limited. Please call (562)383-4485 to make your reservation.

Thursday, April 23: Earth Day Craft: We’re celebrating the Earth with this “earth friendly” craft! Event runs 11-3pm in the Family Art Center. Free with Museum admission.

Friday, April 24: Free Art Fridays – Free to CMLH Members and visitors with paid Museum admission. Friday is fun day in the Family Art Center with lots of art materials to create whatever you’d like! Unleash your creativity today!

Saturday, April 25: Beautiful Butterfly Craft – Spring is in the air and amazing butterflies can be seen everywhere – make one of your own today! Free with Museum admission. Event runs 11:00am – 3:00pm in the Family Art Center.

Sunday, April 26: Family Art Sunday: Finger Paint Dandelions – Kids will get creative using their fingers to paint whimsical dandelion flowers. Class runs 1:30pm – 2:30pm. Class size is limited. Please call (562) 383-4236 for reservations. Free with museum admission.

Discovery Cube Orange County

2500 N Main St.

Santa Ana, CA  92705

LEGO Travel Adventure runs January 17 – May 10, 2015. Embark on a travel adventure with LEGO at the Discovery Cube Orange County! You can go anywhere over land, sea, and air by creating extraordinary vehicles to take you where you want to go! To go on a travel adventure to exotic locations, you need to think creatively, plan, and build vehicles to move through all types of terrain, including mountains, oceans, jungles, deserts and more! Where will you go? What will you build? How will you get there? Join us at the Discovery Cube Orange County to find out!

National Geographic Presents: Earth Explorers runs January 17 – May 3, 2015. Travel to the wildest places on earth in National Geographic Presents: Earth Explorers. This hands-on exhibition allows you to let your imagination run wild as you become an explorer of the world, taking part in adventures to discover new science and technology. Come follow National Geographic’s explorers as they venture off to dangerous and remote parts of the world!

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)

No additional special events planned this week.

Pretend City

29 Hubble

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.

Wednesday, April 22: Celebrate Earth Day! – Earth Day celebrates our amazing planet Earth, and the plants and animals that live here with us! As budding environmentalists, children will be motivated to recycle, reduce and reuse waste through diverse activities. Children will experience the outcomes of wasteful actions and make the learning connection that their actions can have a dramatic impact on the environment. Special offerings will include:

  • Sensational Story Time: Compost Stew will introduce children to the idea of composting. They will work on science skills as they sort items to create their own composting bin and math skills as they put the composting steps in order.
  • Let’s Move: Don’t miss the Recycle Relay! Children will see just how much trash we can cut down on going into the landfill by recycling.
  • Smart Art: This handmade Planet Earth will serve as inspiration for your child to be green every day.

RSVP not required. Activities run 10:00am – 4:00pm and are included in museum admission.

Thursday, April 23: What Every Parent Needs to Know…9 Easy Steps to Make Sure Your Kids are Protected No Matter What – Join us at Pretend City where I will take you by the hand and personally share with you how to make sure your kids can be totally protected, if the unthinkable should happen to you.  Event begins at 6:00pm. Registration is required so go online to or call 949-260-1400 today! No childcare available.

Fridays, April 3 – May 8: Kindness Club – Social Skills Program – This 6-week series helps children explore compassion, self-awareness, and self-control. Each class will include a mindfulness exercise and an art or play activity to encourage self-regulation, compassion, and kindness. Children will also practice identifying feelings, effective communication and problem solving as they recognize the benefits that kindness can bring to their lives. Class Days and Dates: Every Friday, April 3rd through May 8th. Time: 12:30 – 1:15p.m. Specifically for:  Children 4-6 (preschool & kindergarten); Parents must remain on the premises. RSVP:  Register here. Registration required. Class Minimum: 5 children; Class Maximum: 15 children. Fee:  $60 for class series (includes 6 classes and museum admission for registered child and one adult on day of the class). $15 walk-in fee (does not include museum admission).

Friday, April 24: Celebrate Arbor Day! – Today we celebrate trees with fun Arbor Day activities! Trees are a valuable natural resource. People depend on trees for food, and animals depend on trees for food and shelter. But most important, we depend on trees because they add oxygen to the air. Today’s activities will promote a love for trees in your child:

  • Smart Art: Hand Trees will serve as a symbolic art piece with the message that the care for the environment really lies in your hands.
  • Sensational Story Time: Tom’s Tree is a beautiful story exploring the life of a tree and the seasonal changes it experiences. Children will learn more about the seasons through a Four Corners Seasons Game.
  • Simple Science: What Tree is That? is a fun matching game that grown-ups and children can do together. See if you and your little one can match the right leaf to its tree.

RSVP not required. Activities run 10:00am – 4:00pm and are included in museum admission.

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