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Things to do in Orange County for OC Moms

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Events Happening This Week in Orange County: March 30th – April 5th

OC Weekly Events
The popular bat walks at the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary are accepting registrations beginning April 1. They have 16 bat walks scheduled this year in June, July, August and September on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. They have a Junior Batologist program for children who attend. This link will give you all the information you need: My husband and 9 year-old son (at the time) went last year and really enjoyed it.

Check out the free Spring Festival / Easter / Egg Hunt events this weekend. The weather should be perfect for a fun family outing. Enjoy your week!

Ongoing / Week-long Events / Museum Happenings

Aquarium of the Pacific

100 Aquarium Way

Long Beach, CA  90802

Discounted Late Nights on Tuesday, March 31, Wednesday, April 1, and Saturday, April 4: 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). Free for Aquarium members. Tickets can be purchased online. Event runs 5:00pm – 8:00pm. Watch the nighttime activities of our animals, touch a shark, and enjoy the beautiful evening lighting of the Aquarium’s architecture. Please note that Café Scuba may not be open on all nights but the Coffee Cart will be open in those cases.

Shark Lagoon Nights on Friday, April 3: The public is invited to get up close with the ocean’s ultimate predators at the Aquarium of the Pacific for FREE during Shark Lagoon Nights. Guests will have the opportunity to touch bamboo sharks and see large sharks such as sandtigers as well as rays in the Aquarium’s Shark Lagoon.

Coffee, hot cocoa, beer, wine, desserts, and snacks are available for purchase. Please note that while it is almost every Friday, some Fridays are excluded. Please check the dates for availability. Shark Lagoon Nights are weather-dependent and can be canceled due to inclement weather. Only Shark Lagoon is open and available for guests during these free events. Please call for more information.

Knott’s Boysenberry Festival

Knott’s Berry Farm

8039 Beach Blvd.

Buena Park, CA 90620

Celebrate Knott’s delicious roots during the Boysenberry Festival, March 28 – April 12, in the theme park’s historic Ghost Town. The 16-day and entertainment festival returns with an unforgettable lineup of exquisite Boysenberry Bites, dazzling entertainment, the Wine and Craft Brew Tasting Garden, and more farm fresh fun the whole family will love! Sun up to sun down festival includes dueling fiddlers, Jammin’ in the Dark, Peanuts Party in the Park, vine dancing, swing dancing, live music, and other live entertainment. The limited-time Festival is included with admission to Knott’s Berry Farm. See website for details.

Easter Celebration at Westfield MainPlace

2800 N Main St.

Santa Ana, CA 92705

The Easter Bunny arrives for daily visits and photos in our Spring Garden, located in Macy’s Court, Level 1. Photos available 10:00am – 9:00pm. The Easter Bunny will be there March 21 – April 4, 2015.

Easter Eggstravaganza at Irvine Park Railroad

1 Irvine Park Rd.

Orange, CA 92869

Open daily Saturday, March 14th – Saturday, April 4th. Note: Irvine Regional Park and Irvine Park Railroad will be open on Easter Sunday, however, the Easter Eggstravaganza events will not be open on Easter Sunday. This event is held inside of Locomotive Loop… just behind the train station. Event time is 10:00am – 6:00pm. Tickets for most activities are $5.00 each or purchase a book of 15 tickets for $60.00. See website for details. Activities include:

  • Easter egg hunt
  • Meet the Easter Bunny
  • Train rides
  • Moon bounce
  • Hay ride
  • Easter cookie decorating
  • Great food
  • Picture stands
  • Carnival games
  • Face painting

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!

Wednesday, April 2: 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 2: Tiny Tigers Taekwondo – Join Master Yang for an introduction to martial arts for your little guy or girl the first Thursday of each month at 10:30am. This parent & me program teaches not only self-defense but joyful living through shared family experiences. RSVP to (562) 383-4236. Free to Members and visitors with paid admission (Kids and Adults $8, La Habra residents $7, Kids Under 2 Free).

Discovery Cube Orange County

2500 N Main St.

Santa Ana, CA  92705

Bubblefest 2015 runs March 28 – April 12, 2015. Don’t miss the return of Orange County’s most astounding spring break bubble spectacular! Join us for a day bursting with hands-on family fun led by the return of Deni Yang and the Mega Bubblefest Laser Show. Bubblefest admission includes access to the following:

  • Mega Bubblefest Laser Show! Take a sneak peek inside our expansion as we open our new world-class theater for this show!
Get ready to be blown away as we welcome back Bubble Scientist Deni Yang and his world-famous “Mega Bubble Show!” World-renowned for unique and stunning artistry, the Mega Bubblefest Laser Show features new and exciting tricks including smoking bubbles, spinning bubbles, bouncing bubbles and more.

o   Showtimes: 9:30 am*, 11:00 am, 12:30 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:30 pm

o   *Member show – Members, get your tickets for the 9:30 am show for just $4!

  • Water Spheres
  • Bubble Zone – An outdoor, hands-on bubble area where kids can create giant ubbles and learn about the science behind the Mega Bubblefest Laser Show!
  • Inflatable Play Zone
  • 5 & Under Play Zone – Exclusive bubble play area for kids ages 5 and under.

Bubblefest Tickets:

General admission and Bubblefest ticket required for all Bubblefest activities. Ticket Prices:

  • Members – $5
  • General Admission – $7
  • Children 2 & under: Children 2 & under do not need a Bubblefest ticket, however they must sit on an adult’s lap during the Mega Bubblefest Laser Show. Any child that requires their own seat must have a Bubblefest ticket.

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)

Sunday, April 5: Target First Free Sunday: Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival – Admission is free today to the Kidseum and its parent museum, The Bowers. Event runs 10:00am – 4:00pm. For more information, contact 714.567.3600.

Pretend City

29 Hubble

Irvine, CA 92618

Monday, March 30: Celebrate National Doctor’s Day! – Children are often full of questions before their doctor’s office visit. Why are we going? Will it hurt? Do I need medicine? Participating in fun doctor themed activities with your child today at Pretend City is the perfect opportunity to talk about these questions, and many more! Join us as we celebrate National Doctor’s Day with these fun activities:

  • Smart Art: In order to be a doctor, you must know the parts of the body. This anatomy art project will help your child discover all the parts of their body.
  • Sensational Story Time: Let’s Meet a Doctor shares information through a fun story about how doctors help children.
  • Partner in Play: All day long visit the Doctor’s office to participate in play with real doctors and nurses! They will teach you the ins and outs of their job while sharing their tools of the trade.

Activities run 10:00am – 5:00pm. RSVP: Not required. Fee: Activities are included with museum admission (Adults and Child 1 and over: $12.50, Infant to 12 months: Free). Show receipt within the past 30 days of a visit to your pediatrician for $1 off your child’s general admission ticket.

Monday, March 30: Family Autism Event – This special evening is an opportunity for children and their parents/siblings/caretakers to have some fun in an autism-friendly environment along with other families. Many of our community partners, who specialize in supporting children on the autism spectrum, will be on-hand to enrich your family’s play experience with welcoming smiles and practical support. RSVP: Register here. Required by the Sunday, March 29th. Max: 300 guests. *Only guests with a reservation and a confirmation number will be admitted. Fee: FREE.

Wednesday, April 1: Spring has Sprung!– Spring your way into Pretend City Children’s Museum as we celebrate the many changes of the spring season. From children chasing butterflies to ants burrowing, from flowers blooming to early spring planting, everything about this season is vibrant and full of life. Join us as we focus on nature study projects and hands-on activities that will support your child’s curiosity, interest and love of the great outdoors. Activities run 10:00am – 5:00pm. RSVP: Not required. Fee: Activities are included with museum admission (Adults and Child 1 and over: $12.50, Infant to 12 months: Free).

Thursday, April 2: Light It Up Blue Event in honor of World Autism Awareness Day – Pretend City colors the city blue today! For the 3rd year in a row, we will participate in Autism Speaks Light It Up Blue initiative to help shine light on Autism Awareness. Guests will walk into a blue-lit city all month long as we stand in support of families who experience the gifts and challenges of having a child on the spectrum. Specially designed activities will help support the cause and educate families:

  • Partner in Play: Footprints Behavior Interventions presents “A Walk In My Shoes”. These series of activities gives your child the opportunity to experience vision impairments, sensory issues, and more; supporting your child’s learning and understanding of what it is like to have a disability. Activities run 10:00am – 1:00pm.
  • Sensational Story Time: My Friend Has Autism encourages children to be mindful and patient of the differences that exist and to also appreciate the positive contribution that a child with autism can make to the group. Children will engage in activities that allow them to share their own differences and commonalities. Story Time is 3:30pm.
  • Smart Art: Art It up Blue! All day in the art studio your child will participate in blue themed activities!

Activities run 10:00am – 5:00pm. RSVP: Not required. Fee: Activities are included with museum admission (Adults and Child 1 and over: $12.50, Infant to 12 months: Free). Help support Pretend City Children’s Museum FREE Family Autism Events by donating $1.00 at the front desk!

Friday, April 3: 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 3: Author’s Day – Paulina Brown presents “Puppy’s Party” – Spring is here! This is the season to focus on living creatures and caring for our earth. What better way to get motivated than by learning to care for your own pet. Author Paulina Brown visits us to share her story, Puppy’s Party. This fun rhyming story will show children that pets are a part of the family and they deserve special celebrations too.  Children will even have the chance to make their own puppy puppet to play pretend with at home. RSVP: Not required. Fee: Activities are included with museum admission (Adults and Child 1 and over: $12.50, Infant to 12 months: Free).

Saturday, April 4: Member’s Only – Easter Egg Hunt – Easter egg hunts put the fun into Easter and are a great way to engage children in physical activity before the sweet treat eating begins. Today you will find Easter eggs scattered and hidden throughout the city that are filled with fun goodies for your little ones. Members will want to arrive promptly at 9:00 a.m. as the hunt begins as soon as the doors open! RSVP: Not required. Fee: Included with Pretend City Membership. This event is for Pretend City Members only.

Saturday, April 4: Celebrate Easter! – No-bunny does Easter quite like Pretend City Children’s Museum! Easter is filled with fluffy bunnies and gooey eggs. We’ve got some fabulous Easter activities to keep your kids entertained and get them into the Easter mood. It’s all totally eggs-citing fun.

  • Meet N’ Greet: Make sure to capture the magic of the holiday by taking a photo with Mr. Bunny! He will be hopping in throughout the day to meet and greet little ones. Make sure to say hello to receive a special Easter treat!
  • Growing Up Great Games: An Egg-cellent Adventure await little ones! Help them solve the riddles and find the (paper) Easter eggs hidden throughout the city. Turn in your completed egg hunt for an Easter surprise.
  • Music & Movement: It’s time to do the Easter Bunny Hop. This hop is sure to get your little trainee Easter Bunny’s rabbit feet dancing!
  • Smart Art: Egg-xtravagant Eggs – Easter eggs are a symbol of the season. Visit us to decorate your very own egg utilizing a variety of colorful mediums and materials.
  • Sweetpea Foundation Rabbit Rescue (11:00a.m.): This rabbit rescue will be celebrating Easter with us as they share bunny knowledge and facts to guests.  They will also be bringing some special furry friends for children to meet and greet. Animals can provide great opportunities for entertainment and learning. Most children are naturally drawn to animals; therefore interaction with animals can be a fun activity where children are engaging in learning at the same time. With Easter just one day away, children will love meeting these sweet bunnies!

Activities run 10:00am – 5:00pm. RSVP: Not required. Fee: Activities are included with museum admission (Adults and Child 1 and over: $12.50, Infant to 12 months: Free).

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