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Things to do in Orange County for OC Moms

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Events Happening this week in Orange County: August 10th – August 16th

This is the last week of the OC Fair so check it out! There are several astronomy programs happening this week. The Orange County Museum of Art offers free admission every Friday. There is a Wilderness Access Day at Bommer Canyon this Saturday. The annual Huck Finn Fishing Derby off the Huntington Beach Pier is this Saturday as well. Enjoy your week!

Ongoing / Week-long Events / Museum Happenings

The OC Great Park Family Activities

Sand Canyon and Marine Way

Irvine, CA 92618

Friday, August 14: 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 15: 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 Flying Fun.

Saturday, August 15: 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.

Sunday, August 16: 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 16: 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.

Sunday, August 16: Children’s Garden Workshops – Discover integrating STEAM education through the joys of gardening and nature at the Farm + Food Lab. Different themes each month. Programs start on the hour at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. Gently used book donations to the Little Free Library in the Farm + Food Lab are welcomed. To email us for additional information, please click here.

Orange County Fair (July 17 – August 16) – LAST WEEK!!

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 when you choose the Print-At-Home option.

Single-Day Admission:

  • 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:

  • Wednesday, August 12
  • Thursday, August 13
  • Sunday, August 16

Bolsa Chica State Beach

17851 PCH

Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Grunion Run – Grunion Runs are RSVP only events. Please contact [email protected] to confirm your RSVP, as space is limited. Grunion Run events begin at the Lifeguard Headquarters building at Bolsa Chica. Start times will vary.

  • Friday, August 14

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, August 10 – Sensational Seashells
  • Wednesday, August 12 – Ecology
  • Friday, August 14 – 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.

  • Wednesday, August 12 – Birds of Bolsa Chica

Crystal Cove State Park

8471 Pacific Coast Hwy.

Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Monday, August 10: 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, August 12: 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.

Thursday, August 13: Movie on the Beach: King Kong – To celebrate the history of movie making at Crystal Cove State Park, Crystal Cove Alliance will show movies on the beach this summer. Join us near the restored ‘Beaches’ Film & Media Center (historic Cottage #13) in the Crystal Cove State Park Historic District on Thursday, August 13 at 8pm and watch the 1933 film “King Kong.” Please visit for more information.

Sunday, August 16: Historic District Tour – Take a walk through the renovated 12-acre Historic District at Crystal Cove State Park on Sunday, August 16, from 12:00-2pm. Former life-long resident Laura Davick will share stories about the colorful past of the Cove including the history, its rescue, and the plans for restoring the remaining 17 cottages. Park at Los Trancos parking lot then cross PCH at the signaled intersection and walk across the marked pathways and meet at the bluff top deck of the overnight rental check-in cottage. Day-use fee: $5/per hour (max. $15).

Sunday, August 16: Photography Walk – Learn how to take iconic pictures of some typical sites at Crystal Cove State Park including the tunnel, cottages, waves, reflections, rocks and the sunset and practice camera setups and creative shooting techniques on a docent led Photography Walk on Sunday, August 16 from 6pm until sunset. Meet at the Los Trancos lot at the trailer (PCH turn inland at stoplight “Los Trancos”). Day-use fee: $5/per hour (max. $15).

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

OC Zoo

1 Irvine Park Rd.

Orange, CA 92869

Tuesday, August 11: Cool Off with Watercolors – Learn to make watercolor art projects with an animal theme! Class includes hands-on learning and meeting 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.

Wednesday, August 12: See It, Create It – This is a “hands on” approach to your creativity by using modeling clay to create your own sculpture. Use the surroundings and the animals of the OC Zoo as inspiration for your design. Class runs 10:00am – 11:30am for ages 6-16. Fee is $10 per child (parent observer pays $2 admission fee. Parking fee $3. Phone registration required! Call 714-973-6846 to register. Class is presented by the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.

Friday, August 14: Upcycling Animal Craft Fun II – Make fun crafts out of recyclable materials you have at home! Please bring 2 empty toilet paper rolls and a glass jar (any size) with lid to class. 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 10:00am – 11:30am.

Sawdust Festival

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

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! 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, August 10: MUSEUM CLOSED 

Tuesday, August 11: 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, August 12: 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, August 13: My Mini Succulent Garden Workshop – Water is our most valued resource so let’s conserve it! You’ll learn about conservation, how to be water-wise, and start your own succulent garden from clippings from our Easy-Grow Eco-Garden. Workshop runs 10:30am – 11:30am. Space is limited to 12 participants. Please call 562-383-4236.

Friday, August 14: 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 Friedensreich Hundertwasser.

Sunday, August 16:Family Art Sundays: Clayworks – Kids will use their hands to create a clay hand mosaic. Event runs 1:30pm – 2:30pm. Free with museum admission.

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 16: Family Drumming Circle – Join professional drummer Martin Espino on Sunday, August 16 from 1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m. at Kidseum to participate in a family drumming circle. Recommended for ages 2-8! Martin will teach children the basics of drumming and music. Then children participate in the indigenous Mexican drumming circle and sound great! The drumming circle and the art studio are complimentary with admission. In the Art Studio today (from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.) children can make their very own maracas and rainsticks and take the music home!


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.

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.

Monday, August 10: Baby Steps through Pretend City! – Specifically for: Infants (0-18 months), grownups. For the comfort of our infant guests, no older siblings please. Would you like to attend an event dedicated specifically for babies? Do you have questions about feeding, napping, crawling, or just want to enjoy an event where you and your baby can come and play and socialize with other parents in the community? If so, please join us at Baby Steps through Pretend City! This is your opportunity to ask questions, meet other parents, and engage in developmentally appropriate activities and exhibits. This monthly event allows you to take advantage of these exclusive, infant only times by engaging in age-appropriate facilitated activities which will teach you about your baby’s developmental milestones. Event rusn 2:00pm – 3:30pm. RSVP: Register here. Registration required; max 60. Fee: $10 per adult (online), $12 at the door, infants and Pretend City Members are FREE! 

Friday, August 14: Way to Play Day, A Package of Learning! – Play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and youth. Play also offers an ideal opportunity for parents to engage fully with their children. Join us for a fun Way To Play Day, which is specially designed to assist parents in finding answers to questions about their child’s development through play.

Free ASQ Developmental Check-ups from 10:00a.m. to 12:00p.m. specifically for: Children 0 – 5 ½ years old. (first come, first served; limited spaces available)
On Way to Play Days, Pretend City also hosts ASQ Developmental Screenings. The screenings will assess your child’s speech, motor, cognitive and social areas utilizing the Ages and Stages Questionnaire. Early diagnosis and treatment of developmental delays can help give a child the best opportunity to reach his/her full potential.

Use our Way To Play Adventure Guide, there are activities to enhance your play at Pretend City.  Try these fun activities during your visit to help keep your family on the healthy lifestyle track. Cool down with your 3 – 4 year old at the Marina and work on your child’s hand eye coordination at the same time. Use the fishing poles and nets to have your child catch fish. Complete each Way to Play activity sheet during your visit for your chance to spin and win!

RSVP: Not required. Fee: Check-ups and activities are included with museum admission. Activities run 10:00am – 3:00pm.

Friday, August 14: Korean Festival Fridays – Join us every Friday this summer to participate in Korean Festival Fridays – sponsored by The Korean Foundation. Korean Festival Fridays compliment the Heart and Seoul: Growing Up in Korea exhibit to promote Korean Culture to Orange County families. Understanding other people’s languages, cultures, etiquettes and taboos are of great value when trying to ensure that children are learning global competency. Festival Fridays make guests passionate participants in learning about the culture by providing activity-based, participatory, educational adventures.

  • Sample some of the delicious Korean noodles from Nongshim.
  • Korean Folding Fan: One of the most popular traditional Korean dances is the buchae chum (boo-chae choom), or the fan dance. The name itself literally translates to “fan dance,” as buchae means fan and chum means dance. Buchaechum is a traditional form of Korean dance, usually performed by groups of female dancers. Many koreans use this dance during many celebrations. They use fans painted with pink peony blossoms and display a show of dance. During the dance, the dancers represent images using the fans such as flowers, butterflies and waves.
  • Children can partake in their own rendition of the bumchae chum by creating their own buchae, or folding fan out of paper, and decorating it to their liking. Examples of fan folding can be found on Pinterest. They can also glue it to popsicle sticks at each end in order to grasp it better. Once the children have folded their fans, they can take part in their very own buchae chum, or fan dance using their fans! They can either dance to traditional instrumental Korean music, or traditional Korean singing known as “Trot.”

Activities at 11:00am and 3:00pm every Friday. RSVP: Not required. Fee: Included with museum admission.

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