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Things to do in Orange County for OC Moms

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Events Happening this Week in Orange County: July 13th – 19th

There are so many fun things to do this week! Concerts and movies at the park are in full swing. Family friendly festivals are happening this weekend. The Orange County Fair begins its 4-1/2 week run this Friday. The State Beaches have terrific kid programs like Junior Rangers during the week and the OC Zoo and Mission at San Juan Capistrano offer kid classes and activities during the week. Don’t forget your local library for their summer reading programs and special events. Enjoy your week!

Ongoing / Week-long Events / Museum Happenings

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 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

Monday, July 13: Soar with Reading Day – JetBlue and Magic Tree House are taking kids on a reading adventure this summer! Join us for a shark-themed event and let your imagination take flight! On July 13 JetBlue will host a Soar with Reading event at the Aquarium of the Pacific. JetBlue is partnering with Random House Children’s Books and Magic Tree House author, Mary Pope Osborne and her popular series characters, Jack and Annie to encourage children to share the magic of reading. The event will highlight the latest book in the series, Magic Tree House#53: Shadow of the Shark with special shark-themed displays and activities and the chance to meet and take photos with character ambassadors Jack and Annie. To learn more about the Soar with Reading program, visit Event runs 10:00am – 4:00pm and is included with general admission.

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 14
  • Wednesday, July 15
  • Thursday, July 16
  • Saturday, July 18
  • Sunday, July 19

Bolsa Chica State Beach

17851 PCH

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!

  • Wednesday, July 15: Ecology

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, July 15

Crystal Cove State Park

8471 Pacific Coast Hwy.

Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Monday, July 13: 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 15: 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.

Friday, July 17: Campfire Program – Join a summer campfire program and learn about all the recreational fun available at Crystal Cove State Park and some of the unique plants and animals that call it home. Meet at the Berns Amphitheater (PCH inland at stoplight School-State Park, follow signs towards the campground) on Fridays, 7/3, 7/10, & 7/17, 7/24, & 7/31 at 7:00pm.

Saturday, July 18: 4-Mile Sunset Hike – Crystal Cove State Park docents will lead a guided interpretive 2-hour, 4-mile sunset hike on Saturday, July 18 at 6:30pm. Terrain will be uneven and steep with a 700 foot elevation gain/loss in some areas on this moderate night hike. Meet at the Berns Amphitheatre (PCH inland at stoplight School-State Park follow the signs to the Campground.) Wear sturdy shoes, bring water & a flashlight, and dress in layers.

Sunday, July 19: Historic District Walk – Take a walk through the renovated 12-acre Historic District at Crystal Cove State Park on Sunday, July 19, 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, July 19: 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, July 19 from 6:30pm 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, July 14: How Animals Keep Cool – Come learn about animals that live in the desert and their special adaptations for staying cool! 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.

Wednesday, July 15: ACME Drawing Board at the OC Zoo – Back to the drawing board at the OC Zoo! Learn how to draw the beloved Chuck Jones characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner. Channel your inner Looney and join us for this unique drawing experience! Event runs 10:00am – 11:30am. Cost: $10 per child (parent observer pays $2 admission fee). Ages 6-16 years old. Parking fee $3. Phone registration required! Call 714-973-6846 to register.

Thursday, July 16: 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 10:15am – 11:15am.

Friday, July 17: Upcycling Animal Craft Fun –Join us as we learn ways to help save the environment and transform trash into animal treasures! Make fun crafts out of recyclable materials you have at home. Please bring these items to class: One quart-sized plastic jug, and any other scraps of cardboard, plastic, or aluminum. Ages 9-12 years old. Fee: $5 per child (parent observer pays $2 zoo admission fee). Parking fee: $3. Phone registration is required! Call 714-973-6846 to register. Class runs 10:00am – 11:30am.

Saturday, July 18: 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: $5. 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, July 13: MUSEUM CLOSED

Tuesday, July 14: 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, July 15: 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 16: Tiny Tigers Taekwondo – Join Master Yang for a peaceful morning of exercise and fitness in this parent & me program. Please call (562)383-4236 to reserve your spot. Master Yang, is a 5th degree Black Belt who teaches Martial Arts at the Shambhala Martial Arts Center in Brea. Event runs 11:00am – 11:45pm. Free with Museum admission.

Friday, July 17: Happy Teeth Workshop – Little ones will learn all about taking care of their pearly whites and receive a free toothbrush to take home to practice with! Event runs 10:00am – 10:45am.

Friday, July 17: 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 Ruben Delaunay.

Sunday, July 19:Autism Family Morning – The museum’s Family Autism Day affords children on the autism spectrum the opportunity to enjoy the museum at their own pace, in a comfortable and safe environment. Both parents and children will enjoy this reduced stress visit with less museum traffic that allows for unencumbered, self-guided play. This exclusive day for children on the Autism Spectrum and their families will have special activities throughout the museum for little ones to socialize and play. Resources and information from professional organizations will also be available during this event. Please keep in mind that reservations are REQUIRED. Please call (562) 383-4236 by July 15th to make a reservation. Event runs 10:00am – 12:00pm. $8 per person, children under 2 are free.

Sunday, July 19: Family Art Sundays: Ocean Fun – Join us for a step by step class exploring various art mediums. Class is limited to 10 students, please call (562) 383-4236 to reserve your spot. Today’s theme is Painting Whales.

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, July 19: Family Drumming Circle – Join professional drummer Martin Espino on Sunday, July 19 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.

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.

Saturday, July 11: Kid’s FREE Day – Children ages 12 and under receive free admission to Cougars and Grizzlies: Sharing Their Path. Must be accompanied by 1 paying adult (limit 2 free admissions, July 11 only). Fun for all ages!

  • self-guided & docent-led tours
  • exhibit scavenger hunt
  • hands-on crafts
  • storytelling

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, July 13: 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. RSVP: Register here. Registration Required; max 60. Fee: $10 per adult online; $12 at the door, infants and Pretend City Members are FREE!

Tuesday, July 14: Partner in Play Day: Sea Lion Shenanigans – This special story time is focused on those adorable sea creatures that we see along the California coast – sea lions! This video and story presentation will share facts and a fun tale about these marine mammals. Children will even be able to take their photo with a life-size sea lion. If that wasn’t enough to continue the ocean learning fun at home, children will have the opportunity to create their very own sea lion mask. Activities run 11:00am – 12:00pm. RSVP: Not required. Fee: Included with museum admission.

Friday, July 17: Homeschool Field Experience Day – Once a month we offer Homeschool students unlimited access to our interactive exhibits offering learning through fun experiences. A field experience to Pretend City offers your students a learning experience through hands-on educational play. The Pretend City environment allows you to create a plethora of curriculum and activities to surround your students with challenging problems and absorbing questions. Activities run 10:00am – 5:00pm. RSVP: Register here. Registration is required by Wednesday, June 17. Maximum: 300. When you come to Pretend City on the Homeschool Day, please present your Homeschool Day ticket and Homeschool ID card (or district letter, private school affidavit, etc) to the Front Desk. Fee: $9.00 per students; $9.00 per adult.

Sunday, July 19: Celebrate National Ice Cream Day! I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream today at Pretend City! This yummy treat is the first thing that comes to mind on a hot summer day. Therefore, it’s only fitting that ice cream be given its own special day. We hope you enjoy these fun ice cream themed activities with us:

  • Smart Art – Ice Cream Dough will be a sensory experience! Your children will get to mold and create with “ice cream” without the worry of it melting!
  • Café Creations – Ice Cream Cart fun will allow your child to create and sell their very own ice cream creations!
  • Math Matters – Taste Test is an especially fun kind of test your child will want to take again and again! Your child will have the opportunity to taste test a variety of flavors and vote for their favorite. Let’s see which flavor comes out on top!
  • Sundae Funday – Create your own ice cream sundae. We have all the ingredients you can imagine!

RSVP: Not required. Fee: Check-ups and activities are included with museum admission. Activities run 10:00am – 5:00pm.

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