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

Saturday, July 18th

San Clemente Ocean Festival (July 18-19)

San Clemente Pier and Beach

San Clemente, CA 92672

The San Clemente Ocean Festival is celebrating 39 years of “The Greatest Show on Surf!.” Come see the thrilling competitions of many ironman water and land events including the Orange County Lifeguard Games, Paddle Cross (SUP & 10’6″ Prone), & Kid’s SUP Contest. Sign up early to participate in many events too – Kid’s Dolphin Dash, Fishing Derbies, Woody Car Exhibits, Ocean Art Show, Youth Pavilion. Tons of great family activity – a FREE concert (Sat), Sand Sculpting Contest (Sun), Great Rubber Duck Race, and much, much more! Visit or call (949) 440-6141 for more information. See website for schedule of events.


  • Saturday:  6:30a.m. – 8:30p.m.
  • Sunday:  6:30a.m. – 5:30p.m.

Directions to Shuttles:
I-5 to Ave. Pico; go 1/4 mile inland to San Clemente High School on the right.  Limited parking is available near the pier.

Directions to San Clemente Pier: From I-5 Southbound, exit Avenida Palizada, turn right to El Camino Real, turn left to Avenida Del Mar, turn right and follow to beach.

From I-5 Northbound, exit Presidio, turn left to El Camino Real, turn right to Avenida Del Mar, turn left and follow to beach.

Wilderness Access Day: Bommer Canyon

Bommer Canyon

Bommer Canyon Cattle Camp

Irvine Ranch

Enjoy self-guided access in the southern portion of Irvine’s Open Space Preserve. The entire southern Open Space Preserve trail network will be open for self-guided hiking and biking from 8 am to 2 pm. This includes the single-tracks in Shady Canyon and Bommer Canyon that are reserved for guided activities only. Registration is not required for this event. The Bommer Canyon Cattle Camp will be available for parking, but please take note that your vehicle must be removed from the Cattle Camp area by 2 pm.

Wilderness Access Day: Bommer Canyon

Bommer Canyon

Bommer Canyon Cattle Camp

Irvine Ranch

Venture into the Irvine Open Space on a beautiful, summer morning. We’ll discuss biodiversity, its importance in our local ecosystem, our unique climate, and why our region is so special when it comes to our native plants and wildlife. We’ll especially be on the lookout for native shrubs thriving in the warmer, drier conditions that our summers bring. This program occurs concurrently with the monthly Wilderness Access Day. The trails will be available for self-guided access from 8am until 2pm. Event runs 9:00am – 11:30am for ages 10 and up. Register online. Driving directions emailed upon registration.

Celebrate Cultures in Nature: Summer Festivals

Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve

Portola – Round Staging Area

Irvine Ranch

Discover unique historical tales about the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks as we celebrate different cultures together! Each month, a different culture and celebration will be highlighted, usually with the program presented in multiple languages which will allow everyone to fully enjoy the beauty of the land.

This month we will focus on Summer and how other cultures celebrate this sizzling season. We will share stories as to how each family welcomes summer through their different cultural activities. Summer is a time to celebrate long days and cool nights throughout many cultures, with various traditions of celebrating with bonfires, rolling barrels and grand feasts.  Enjoy Round Canyon as you celebrate summer on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks! Event runs 8:00am – 10:o0am for ages 10 and up. Register online. Driving directions emailed upon registration.

Big Canyon Nature Walk

Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve

Big Canyon Parking Lot

Newport Beach, CA 92660

Expert Newport Bay Conservancy Naturalists conduct highly informative themed plant and bird programs at Big Canyon from 9:00 AM until 11:00 AM on the 3rd Saturday of the month.  These interpretive programs, which involve a short walk in an area where several habitats meet, provide a great introduction for those interested in identifying the birds and plants they see at the Bay. If a particular theme is not stated, the Naturalist will discuss items of special interest encountered by the group along the way, such as a bird in breeding plumage or a rare plant that is flowering at the time. This is a “serendipity” walk. Bring binoculars if you have them. There is no charge for the program, but reservations are requested. Please call 949-923-2269 for more information and to RSVP.

Shellmaker Island Discovery Tour

Back Bay Science Center

600 Shellmaker Rd.

Newport Beach, CA 92660

Led by Newport Bay Conservancy on behalf of California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Join a Naturalist to learn about Shellmaker Island’s rich history; the future of the Back Bay Science Center; and discover unusual and endangered plants, birds and marine life. Tour runs 9:00am – 11:00am. Bring binoculars if you have them. The program is free. Reservations are required. Please call 949-640-9956 for more information and to RSVP.

Morning Walk Around the Lake

Laguna Niguel Regional Park

28241 La Paz Rd.

Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

Come enjoy a wonderful morning walk around the lake and learn about the native plants and critters in the park. This is an easy 2.5 mile walk (both paved and dirt trail) with no elevation gain. Walk runs 9:00am – 11:00am. Led by Laguna Canyon Foundation Volunteer Naturalists. Ages 8 & up welcome. Dogs on leashes welcome. Laguna Niguel Regional Park, 28241 La Paz Road, Laguna Niguel (meet at parking lot closest to Shelter 3). For questions call: 949-497-8324 Mon-Fri or 949-923-2240 Sat/Sun. Parking: $5/vehicle. Register online.

Dana Point History Tour

Dana Point Nature Interpretive Center

34558 Scenic Dr.

Dana Point, CA 92629

This walk explores the history of the area and is approximately 2 hours. History Tours occur on the third Saturday of each month and have rotating themes. It is a docent led tour that covers approximately 1.5 miles in distance. Walk begins at 9:00am. This walk requires RSVP to either [email protected] or (949) 248-3527, and has a maximum capacity of 10 individuals. Please call the Nature Interpretive Center at (949) 248-3527 for more information.

Harvest Wildflower Seed With Us at the Native Seed Farm

Native Seed Farm

Native Seed Farm Parking Area

Irvine Ranch

Want to stand knee-deep in rows of blooming color? Want to refresh your senses while giving back to Nature? Sign up to help behind the scenes at the Irvine Ranch Conservancy’s one-of-a-kind Native Seed Farm in Irvine!  You will be harvesting seeds from native Spring wildflowers, like California Poppies and Arroyo Lupines. Tools and training will be provided, and no experience is needed.  After a quick ride to the Farm-site in an open-air safari vehicle, you will get introduced to some of our beautiful native plants, and then we’ll get to work! Event runs 9:00am – 12:o0pm for ages 8 and up. Register online. Driving directions emailed upon registration.

Drop in and Draw

Chuck Jones Center for Creativity

3321 Hyland Ave.

Costa Mesa, CA 92262

Held most Saturdays from 9:30am – 12:30pm. It’s a great place to express yourself creatively. Good for children of all ages (must be accompanied by an adult.) Free, but a nominal donation is suggested to help cover the costs of materials. Join us and let you and your children’s inner Picassos shine!

OC Model Engineers Free Public Rides

Orange County Model Engineers

Goat Hill Junction Railroad

2500 Placentia Ave.

Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Public ride days are conducted on the third Saturday and following Sunday of each month from 10:00am – 3:30pm. The club has a variety of engines and riding cars.  Trains on public ride days are made up of 4 to 6 bench cars that seat 5 to 6 adults and children.  Children need to be old enough to walk (note we may have a height of 34″ requirement). Rides are free; however, donations are welcome and help keep the trains running.

Family Workshop at Coastkeeper Garden

Santiago Canyon College

8045 E Chapman Ave.

Orange, CA 92869

The 2.5 acre Coastkeeper Garden is located at Santiago Canyon College in the City of Orange. This unique, sustainable garden hosts plants from six southern California native habitats as well as drought-tolerant plants. The Master Plan incorporates six California Friendly ® vignettes (garden rooms) into “backyard” landscapes that harmonize with the native plant habitat throughout the Garden. We are open from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Tuesday through Saturday. (The entrance is on East Santiago Canyon Road between Newport Ave and Jamboree). Free parking available in a dirt lot off E. Santiago Canyon Rd.

The Coastkeeper Natural Play Garden is an area within the Coastkeeper Garden where children can enjoy nature in a controlled setting through fun and exploration. The Natural Play Garden includes:

  • Tree stump paths to navigate
  • A deer grass maze for hiding
  • Willow tree tunnels and paths
  • Rocky hill for climbing and navigating
  • Large tunnel built into a hillside
  • Sitting areas for parents

Families are invited to visit the Coastkeeper Garden on the third Saturday of each month.  Workshop begins at 10:00am. Families will explore the Garden together while discovering the diversity and importance of plants and nature.  Workshops are designed to spark creativity and learning and offer families a hands-on opportunity to experience the natural world.  Each Family Workshop focuses on a creative theme and features activities, songs, stories and a whole lot of fun! RSVP for our workshops by emailing [email protected] or by visiting the Coastkeeper Calendar page. Workshops are subject to cancellation due to poor weather.

Children’s Bug Safaris

Fullerton Arboretum

1900 Associated Rd.

Fullerton, CA 92831

Join the Arboretum’s own “Bug Lady,” Cindy Calisher, in the garden and learn how to spot and identify many of the littler critters that inhabit our world. You will have opportunities to spot insects and other bugs! Event runs 9:30am – 10:30am. Cost is $5/person. Suggested age is 5 and up. Maximum is 30 people. Register online.

Modjeska House Tour

25151 Serrano Rd.

Lake Forest, CA 92630

Docent-led tour of the historic house and grounds. Tour runs 10:00am – 12:00pm. Cost is $5 per person. Advance reservations required, call (949) 923-2230. Directions provided with reservations.

Guided Interpretive Hike

Irvine Regional Park

1 Irvine Park Rd.

Orange, CA 92869

Join our naturalists on a nature walk and learn about the local plants, animals and history of Irvine Park. Light to moderate walking on both paved paths and trails. Hike runs 10:00am – 11:00am for all ages. Hike is free but parking is $5/vehicle. Meet at the Nature Center near the OC Zoo in parking lot #19.

Once Upon a Storybook Oliver’s Heroes Book Signing

Once Upon a Storybook

17300 E 17th St. #C

Tustin, CA 92780

Oliver and his friends are dogs, some of the nicest, spunkiest dogs you will ever meet! At this signing, author Cheryl Smith will read and sign Oliver’s Heroes and bring one of the heroes to visit with us! If your kids like dogs, this is an event you won’t want to miss! Appropriate for ages 4+. No cost! Event runs 11:00am – 12:00pm.

Health & Wellness Summer Festival

Fullerton Community Center

340 W Commonwealth Ave.

Fullerton, CA 92832

We cordially invite you to participate in the 1st Health & Wellness Summer Festival. Hours are 11:00am – 3:00pm. Admission is free.

Learn how to live longer, better and happier, check out new ideas to improve your lifestyle and sense of well-being. In addition to the medical screenings, a variety of local non-profit agencies and businesses will be available to share information about their programs, services and products.

Key feature areas:

  • Fitness
  • Wellness
  • Nutrition
  • Family & Mental Health
  • Interactive Workshops
  • Weight Loss
  • Medical Insurance
  • Dental Health
  • Kid’s Healthy Zone

…and we have tons of door prizes to give away!

Animal Feeding

Bolsa Chica Conservancy

3842 Warner Ave.

Huntington Beach, CA  92649

Come join us to learn more about the animals at our interpretive center! During the feeding, we will cover feeding habits and general biology and anatomy of our reptiles and marine animals! *Please note: snake feedings involve live mice.* Feeding is free and runs 12:oopm – 1:00pm. Animal feedings open to the public occur EVERY Saturday.

Lakeshore Learning Free Craft Clinic

Your closest Lakeshore Location

Children are invited to your closest Lakeshore Learning Store for a free craft clinic from 11:00am to 3:00pm. Lakeshore will provide all the supplies. For ages 3 and up. Today’s craft is Jumpin’ Jellyfish.

Summer Carnival

Rio Orange

18000 La Veta Ave.

Orange, CA 92866

On July 18th, from 12 – 5pm, RIO in Orange is hosting a SummerCarnival! Enjoy an afternoon filled with food, music, and fun for the whole family! $5 admission includes 1 hot dog, 1 drink, 4 activity tickets, unlimited contests, and 1 raffle ticket! The activity tickets can be used for any of the games, specialty activities, or food. You can purchase additional tickets any time throughout the day. The cost is as follows: $1 = 1 ticket, $5 = 6 tickets, $10 = 12 tickets, and $20 = 25 tickets. There is no admission fee for babies under 2 years of age. Some of the event highlights include swimming in our indoor pool, a photo booth, face painting, cotton candy and sno-cones, a Zumba class, and much more!

STEAM Carnival Fun

Edwards Courtyard at The Market Place

13782 Jamboree Rd.

Irvine, CA 92602

What could be better than carnival games to spark your kids’ interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM)?  Not a thing! Plan to attend the Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF) STEAM Carnival from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 18 at Edwards Courtyard at The Market Place. Tickets for this family-friendly event are only $5 (3 years and under are free), and if you buy ahead, you’ll be entered into a drawing for gift cards ranging from $100 to $500 from The Market Place and other merchants! There will be something for every member of the family at the carnival, including virtual realities, robots, Minecraft, human foosball, and stage shows featuring mad scientists and live music! Event runs 2:00pm – 7:00pm.

African Animal Show Presented by Wild Wonders

Mission Viejo City Hall

Council Chamber

200 Civic Center

Mission Viejo, CA 92691

Enjoy an African safari that takes the audience from savannas to rainforests to learn about the wildlife of this incredible continent and see fascinating creatures up close. For more information contact the Children’s Reference Desk at 949/830-7100, ext. 5107. Age 4 & older. FREE. Show begins at 2:00pm with a repeat performance at 3:30pm.

Symphony in the Cities featuring the Pacific Symphony

Village Green

Oso Viejo Park

24932 Veterans Wy.

Mission Viejo, CA 92692

Prelude in the Park begins at 4:00pm. Enjoy entertainment, gourmet food trucks, a wine-and-beer garden and lots of free activities for youth. Musical Playground begins at 5:30pm. Interactive and hands-on activities for children ages 3-12 includes making an instrument, playing a drum, meeting a musician and the renowned conducting clinic with Maestro Carl St. Clair. Pacific Symphony begins at 7:00pm. It’s a must-do summer tradition – an outdoor concert extravaganza led by the masterful baton of Maestro Carl St. Clair. FREE ( Food, wine and beer available for purchase). For more information call 949/470-8440 or visit

Family Hike – Black Star Canyon

Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park

Black Star Staging Area

Irvine Ranch

Enjoy an early evening family hike in Black Star Canyon, part of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. We will hike along a flat trail and cross a creek as we watch for red-tailed hawks and mule deer. The hike will average 2-3 miles round trip at an easy pace with a medium level of interpretation. This program is for participants who would enjoy a slower-paced and level hike. Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes, and bring water for the hike. Be ready to enjoy the sounds and smells of early evening. Event runs 6:00pm – 8:o0pm for ages 8 and up. Register online. Driving directions emailed upon registration.

Irvine Movie on the LawnThe Spongebob Movie – Sponge out of Water

The OC Great Park

Sand Canyon and Marine Way

Irvine, CA 92618

Join us for a classic or family blockbuster favorite movie on the outdoor big screen. Things to bring: low-back chairs, blankets and a picnic or purchase items from the food trucks or snack bar. Movies are weather permitting and admission is free. Event runs 8:00pm – 10:00pm.

Cypress Concerts on the GreenElvis Presley Tribute – Raymond Michael

Cypress Civic Center Green

5275 Orange Ave.

Cypress, CA 90630

Presented by the Cypress Recreation & Community Services Department. All concerts are free. Festival seating, picnics and lawn chairs are encouraged. Light refreshments are available for purchase. Arts and Crafts will be available for children starting at 5:30pm. Alcohol and smoking of any kind are prohibited. Concerts begin at 6:00 p.m.

La Palma Concerts in the ParkDallas & Doll (R&B and Jazz)

Central Park Amphitheater

7821 Walker St.

La Palma, CA 90623

The City of La Palma and the Community Activities and Beautification Committee proudly presents Concerts in the Park. This summer series of musical concerts and fun invites you to gather family and friends, bring a picnic, relax, and enjoy the music. Concert runs 6:30pm – 8:00pm.

Astronomy Night

The Richard and Donna O’Neill Conservancy

The Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo

28811 Ortega Hwy.

San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

Visitors traveling to sparsely populated areas are usually delighted to discover how many more stars are visible than at home. If you’ve not yet caught a glimpse of the Milky Way, come out to The Reserve for Astronomy Night where you can still view many more celestial phenomena than elsewhere in urbanized Orange County!

Enjoy an evening outdoors, as you gaze into the heavens, learn the constellations, and peer through the telescopes of our volunteer astronomers.  Reserve astronomers are all volunteers who enthusiastically share their telescopes and expert sky knowledge with you. (BRING: Warm clothing, Red cellophaned flashlight, binoculars, optional beach chair.) Event is for ages 8 and up and runs 8:45am – 10:45pm. Register online. Fee is $10 Adult and $5 Child.

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