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Things to do in Orange County for OC Moms

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Orange County Weekend Events

Saturday, July 9th

Birding in Round Canyon

Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve

Portola – Round Staging Area

Irvine Ranch

For a bird watcher, every walk is filled with anticipation.  Birds are everywhere and provide one of the most exciting ways to connect with nature.  Whether you see them out in the open space or in your backyard, birds can bring wonder, beauty and song to your world.  Come join us on a leisurely walk and learn how to develop your birding skills as well as gain an understanding of why birds matter in our world. Bring binoculars, if you have them.  This activity originates in the City of Irvine and travels into OC Parks’ Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve. This free event runs 7:30am – 10:30am for ages 12 and up. Register online. Driving directions emailed upon registration.

Music in the Wildlands

The Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo

The Richard and Donna O’Neill Conservancy

28811 Ortega Hwy.

San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

What music can be heard while out in nature? Join us as we listen to singing of the birds and humming of the insects.  Learn about how Native Americans used local plants like elderberry, known as the “tree of music”, to create musical instruments.  Create your own take home musical instrument. Event is for ages 6 and up and runs 8:00am– 10:00am. Cost: $10 Adult, $5 Child. RSVP online.

Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon

Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park

Irvine Ranch

Black Star Canyon offers pleasant introductory trails for beginner hikers and families, and challenging experiences for seasoned trail users. Designated trails are available for self-guided access for hiking, biking and equestrian use by connecting various loops to offer extended exploration throughout the canyons. Take time to explore the local plant communities and beautiful scenery in easy 30-minutes walks or take in 7+ miles in a strong cardio trek.

Parking is limited on Black Star Canyon Road and carpooling is strongly encouraged. All participants are requested to check-in and complete their registration at the Registration Booth prior to accessing the trail system. If you are found to be on the trails without a day use pass you will be immediately directed back to the staging area. Participants are required to stay on designated trails at all times. In addition to being a rare and sensitive habit, the Irvine Ranch Open Space is under strict protection. There are often unseen dangers just off-trail including, but not limited to: mountain lions, poison oak, ticks, poisonous spiders, and venomous snakes. OC Parks Rangers may issue citations for visitors found off-trail so for your safety, please stay on the designated paths during your stay in Black Star Canyon. This free event runs 8:00am – 2:00pm for all ages. Register online. Driving directions emailed upon registration.

Exploring Black Star: Tree Cavity Creations

Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park

Baker Staging Area

Irvine Ranch

Join a nature walk through the beautiful Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park. This month on the guided walk, we will offer an exploration of the many animal homes created by fallen trees by taking a stroll through the Baker Meadow. This short hike will meander through the meadow at a leisure pace, searching the trails edges and fields for hidden critter homes along the way. After our trek, you are welcome to enjoy the trails during Wilderness Access Day: Black Star Canyon. This free event runs 9:00am – 10:30am for ages 8 and up. Register online. Driving directions emailed upon registration.

It’s Harvest Time! Collect Wildflower Seeds at the Native Seed Farm

Native Seed Farm

Irvine Ranch

Want to smell the sun-dried sweetness of summertime? Want to feel the crunch of crispy golden brown pods?  Come and refresh your senses while giving back to Nature! Absolutely no experience required. 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 our quirky native Summer wildflowers, like Yellow Pincushions and Heart-leaved Beard Tongue. Just bring a reusable water bottle for yourself, and all tools and training with be provided.  You will get introduced to some of our beautiful native plants, and then we’ll get to work! Free event runs 8:00am – 11:00am for ages 8 and up. Register online. Driving directions emailed upon registration.

Dana Point Whale Walk and Talk

Dana Point Nature Interpretive Center

34558 Scenic Dr.

Dana Point, CA 92629

From the Dana Point Nature Interpretive Center, we see many different species of whale and dolphin! Come learn about our largest animal visitors on an approximately 1.5 mile walk through the Dana Point Headlands conservation area. Bring your binoculars (or use ours!) and learn migration patterns of different whale species that frequent the area, as well as how to best spot, watch, and identify whales. Walk begins at 9:00am.

Walk with a Naturalist

O’Neill Regional Park

30892 Trabuco Rd.

Trabuco Canyon, CA 92678

Join O’Neill Regional Park naturalists and learn about the animals and nature of Trabuco Canyon. This will be a light to moderate walk on mostly paved roads. All ages welcome. Fee: Free. Parking: $5 per vehicle. Event is conditional on the weather. Event runs 9:00am – 10:30am.

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!

The OC Great Park

Sand Canyon and Marine Way

Irvine, CA 92618

Saturday Family Craft and Play – Learn more about the Great Park through new, family-friendly games and crafts! Explore fun, creative projects the entire family will enjoy. Parent participation required; craft supplies limited. Today’s theme is Dried Bean Mosaic. All ages welcome. Event runs 10:00am – 1:00pm in the Balloon Park.

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 in the Great Park Artists Studios.

Movies on the Lawn: Roman Holiday – Join us for a classic or family favorite movie on the outdoor big screen. Movie begins at dusk. Bring low-back chairs, blankets and a picnic, or purchase items from the food trucks or snack bar. Movies are weather permitting. Actual start time may vary pending sunset.

Discover Nature Family Program

Oak Canyon Nature Center

6700 E Walnut Canyon Rd.

Anaheim, CA 92807

Come join us weekend mornings for an hour long, naturalist-led hike through Oak Canyon and a live animal demonstration themed to the Canyon’s plants, animals, history, ecology, and more! Discover Nature Family Program is held both Saturday and Sunday mornings from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Admission is free but a $5 per family is suggested. Pre-registration is not required, although groups of ten or more must contact the nature center before hand to make reservations. Participants should wear closed-toed shoes. Children of all ages are welcome. Stroller and wheelchair accessible hikes are available.

ExplorOcean Science Saturday


600 E Bay Ave.

Newport Beach, CA 92661

At ExplorOcean we have designed learning experiences that will ignite the explorer within. Our galleries are loaded with hands-on experiences grounded in the Seven Essential Principles of Ocean Literacy. We proudly present the nation’s first Ocean Literacy Center, our esteemed ship collection in the Steele Model Pavilion, and a playground of tools and toys to tinker with in our Innovation Lab.

Science Saturday offers hands-on activities in the Courtyard and Innovation Lab! Event runs 12:00pm – 3:00pm every Saturday and is free. Admission is required to tour the Ocean Literacy Center (Adult $5, Youth 4-12 $3, Children 3 and under Free).

Animal Feeding

Bolsa Chica Conservancy

3842 Warner Ave.

Huntington Beach, CA  92649

Join us for our weekly animal feeding at 12:00pm. 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 ABC Tree.

John Abrams Animal Magic Show

Mission Viejo City Hall

Saddleback Room

200 Civic Center

Mission Viejo, CA 92691

Comedy, magic, music, audience participation and live exotic pets come together in an entertaining experience guaranteed to astound and amaze. Show geared for ages 4 and older. Show begins at 2:00pm with a repeat performance at 3:30pm. Free.

Once Upon a Storybook New Chapters Storytime

Once Upon a Storybook

17300 E 17th St. #C

Tustin, CA 92780

This storytime is for chapter book readers who would like to be introduced to new stories.  Miss Susie the Storylady will read a couple of chapters of at least two books to give you a flavor of what’s out there.  Bring a pillow pet or a friend to lie on 🙂 Maybe you’ll find a new favorite!  Targeted to ages 8-12. This storytime occurs the 2nd Saturday of each month at 2:00pm.

Cypress Summer Concerts on the GreenThe Alley Cats (Doo Wop)

Cypress Civic Center Green

5275 Orange Ave.

Cypress, CA 90630

Festival seating, picnics, families and lawn chairs encouraged. No seating setup allowed prior to 2:00pm Friday. Arts and Crafts will be available for children starting at 5:30pm. Food and Desserts will be available for purchase at all concerts. Alcohol and smoking of any kind are prohibited. For more information: 714-229-6780.

Family Hike: Mesa

Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park

Canyons Staging Area

Irvine Ranch

Enjoy nature with friends and family on the Mesa. We start our program by climbing a small hill at an easy pace to reach the top. Once up on the mesa, we will hike along a fairly flat trail as we watch for red-tailed hawks and mule deer.  The hike averages 2-3 miles round trip at an easy pace with a medium level of interpretation. This program is for participants who would like a slower-paced hike.

Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes, and bring water for the hike. Be ready to enjoy the sounds and smells of the early evening. This free event runs 6:00pm – 8:00pm for ages 8 and up. Register online. Driving directions emailed upon registration.

Los Alamitos Music & Movies in the ParkSouthland Mega Groove & Minions

Laurel Park

10862 Bloomfield

Los Alamitos, CA 90720

Enjoy four different Saturday nights of live music and an outdoor movie that is free to the community. Bring your neighbors, dust off the lawn chairs, and join the community for a night under the stars! Live music from bands and local groups will entertain all generations from 6:30pm to 8:00pm with the movie to follow, beginning at dusk. Each event will include raffle prizes, children activities, and food or refreshments for sale.

La Palma Concerts in the ParkSmokin’ Cobras (50’s, 60’s, Jazz, Surf and Retro 80’s

Central Park

7821 Walker St.

La Palma, CA 90623

The City of La Palma and the Community Activities and Beautification Committee proudly present, Concerts in the Park “Summer Melodies.” Bring your family and friends to enjoy a night of music! Snow cones, roasted nuts and more will be available at each concert. Concerts are held every Saturday evening at 6:30 – 8 p.m. at Central Park, located on Walker Street, north of La Palma Avenue. Admission and parking are free.

Bouncing Bats in Black Star Canyon

Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park

Black Star Staging Area

Irvine Ranch

As the day starts to settle into night, our daytime animals shift over to our nighttime critters.  Come hear fascinating tales of our flying mammal, the bat. We will head out towards a popular roosting location to watch for our nighttime wonders start their night adventures. Please dress warmly as it may be chilly at night.

This program is ideal to listen for the high-frequency chirps of the bats in flight, though occasional spotting of our flying mammal in the night sky is possible. This free event runs 8:00pm – 10:00pm for ages 6 and up. Register online. Driving directions emailed upon registration.

The Moon: A Look at our Nearest Neighbor in Space

The Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo

The Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo Headquarters

28811 Ortega Hwy.

San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

In this informative presentation, volunteer astronomer, Spencer Murray, will answer questions you may have about the Moon. What is is the origin of the Moon? What causes the Moon’s phases? Why don’t lunar eclipses occur every month? What is the Moon’s effect on our tides? Why did we send men to the Moon and what have we learned? Is there really a man in the Moon? Plus many more. After the presentation, our telescopes will be trained on the Moon plus additional objects visible in our night sky. (BRING: Warm clothing, Red cellophaned flashlight, binoculars, optional beach chair.) Event is for ages 8 and up and runs 8:30pm– 10:30pm. Cost: $10 Adult, $5 Child. RSVP online.

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  1. Back Bay Science Center in Newport Beach - OC Mom Blog - […] even provide the binoculars). The center is only open to the public on select dates. Watch our weekend events…

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