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Events Happening This Week in Orange County: July 20th – July 26th

We’ve hit the halfway point of summer! I’m refusing to acknowledge the Back to School displays at Target and am enjoying each day as it comes, embracing the busy days as well as the lazy stay-at-home days. There are several special events this week that sound like fun – Fullerton Arboretum’s Wolf Ambassador Program on Tuesday, Shipley Nature Center’s The Raptors of Orange County Presentation on Thursday, The Muzeo’s Cougars and Grizzlies: Sharing Their Path Blackout Flashlight Event on Saturday, and the Cypress Festival on Saturday. 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

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:

  • Monday, July 20
  • Tuesday, July 21
  • Wednesday, July 22
  • Saturday, July 25
  • Sunday, July 26

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!

  • Monday, July 20: Sensational Seashells
  • Wednesday, July 22: Ecology
  • Friday, July 24: 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.

  • No Campground Program this week

Crystal Cove State Park

8471 Pacific Coast Hwy.

Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Monday, July 20: 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 22: 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 24: 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 25: Beachside Chat – Learn about some of the fun and interesting animals that live at Crystal Cove State Park on Saturdays,7/11 & 7/25 from 11-2pm at the Historic District Education Commons where Ranger Jenn will host a Beachside Chat. Park in the Los Trancos lot (PCH inland at stoplight Los Trancos then walk through the tunnel or take the shuttle.) Day-use fee: $5/per hour (max. $15).

Saturday, July 25: Coastal Geology Walk – Crystal Cove State Park is hosting a geology tour along the coastal section of the park on Saturday, July 25 from 1-3pm. Visit several diverse and geologically outstanding sites which all display a story from a different geologic time. Meet at Los Trancos lot at the trailer (PCH turn inland at stoplight “Los Trancos”). Day-use fee: $5/per hour (max. $15).

Sunday, July 26: Family Nature Hike – Summer is a wonderful time to learn about our local nature. Join a park naturalist on a family hike at Crystal Cove State Park to learn about the plants and animals living in the park on Sundays, 7/12, & 7/26 at 9am. Meet at the Berns Amphitheater (PCH inland at stoplight School-State Park, follow signs towards the campground.) $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

OC Zoo

1 Irvine Park Rd.

Orange, CA 92869

Wednesday, July 22: Toy & Treat Making for the Animals – Come help us create “toys” and “treats” for our zoo animals to play with! Each child please bring 2 empty toilet paper or paper towel rolls to class. Class includes 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 24: What’s For Lunch Preschool Program –Find out what the animals in the zoo eat for lunch and dinner! 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, July 25: National Zookeeper Appreciation Week – Help us thank our zookeepers for all their hard work caring for our zoo animals! Kids activities include making thank you cards for our zookeepers, creating a Junior Zookeeper safari hat, playing games, and a special scavenger hunt where you can enter to win a Zookeeper Shadow Experience! Kids are encouraged to come dressed in zookeeper attire/costume! The first 100 children ages 12 & under will receive a free train ride ticket for Irvine Park Railroad!

Zookeepers will be giving “keeper chats” throughout the day and giving out special treats and toys to the zoo animals.

At 1:30 p.m. zookeepers will introduce the zoo’s newest animal, a young California black bear named Elinor! Special talk on “So You Want To Be A Zookeeper” will be given by two of our zookeepers at 10:30am. Visitors can learn what a zookeeper’s day is like, see some of the “tools of the trade”, & meet some zoo animals up close! Reservations are not needed. Activities are free with paid zoo admission. $2 per person, ages 2 & under free. Parking $5. Event runs 10:00am – 4:00pm.

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 20: MUSEUM CLOSED

Tuesday, July 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!

Tuesday, July 21: Binocular Craft – Make a pair of binoculars in our Family Art Center and then go on a dinosaur hunt throughout the museum! Event runs 11:00am – 3:00pm.

Wednesday, July 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. Free with paid admission.

Thursday, July 23: Binocular Craft – Make a pair of binoculars in our Family Art Center and then go on a dinosaur hunt throughout the museum! Event runs 11:00am – 3:00pm.

Friday, July 24: 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 Roy Lichtenstein.

Saturday, July 25: Binocular Craft – Make a pair of binoculars in our Family Art Center and then go on a dinosaur hunt throughout the museum! Event runs 11:00am – 3:00pm.

Sunday, July 26: 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 Seascape.

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)


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 25: Cougars and Grizzlies: Sharing Their Path Blackout Flashlight Event – Grab your flashlight and come to MUZEO Museum and Cultural Center for a guided docent tour of Cougars and Grizzlies: Sharing Their Path, dinner, s’mores and a craft project. This event will be fun for all ages. Buy tickets online: Adults – $15, Children under 12 – $10. Event runs 5:30pm – 8:00pm.

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.

Tuesday, July 21: Partner in Play Day: Biggest Animal Ever – Everyone knows whales are large and in charge – but which whale is the biggest? Come find out during this interactive hands-on presentation. Children will not only explore this animal’s size but their body composition as well. A silly science experiment will get them talking all about blubber. They’ll have fun comparing and seeing how they measure up against one of the sea’s largest creatures. Activities run 11:00am – 12:00pm. RSVP: Not required. Fee: Included with museum admission.

Sunday, July 26: Celebrate Parent’s Day – Parent’s Day is a special day to recognize, uplift, and support the role of parent’s in the rearing of children. This is our day to say thank you to all the parent’s with fun grown-up and me activities throughout the day, including:

  • Family Fun Fitness: Piggy Back Obstacle Course will delight your child and make them feel closer to you! Piggy-back rides can help to strengthen parent-child relationships and enhance attachment because they involve fun and physical closeness.
  • Growing Up Great Game: Move Like Me is a fun activity where you will have to move like your child, and they will have to move like you! This mirroring game focuses on eye contact, smiles, and laughs which promotes play and relationships.
  • Sensational Story Time: Only One You is a simple, yet powerful story about the lessons parents can teach their children. Your family will have fun creating your very own rock fish family to take home.

RSVP: Not required. Fee: Included with museum admission. Activities run 10:00am – 5:00pm.

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