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Things to do in Orange County for OC Moms

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Weekly Happenings in Orange County: February 16 – 22, 2015

Sunday, February 22nd

Birding Adventure

Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve

Big Canyon Parking Lot

Newport Beach, CA  92660

Led by Newport Bay Conservancy on behalf of California Department of Fish and Wildlife. For those of you who are interested in a more intense bird watching experience and the possibility of seeing something rare, one of our bird experts offers a 2 -3 hour outing at Big Canyon on the last Sunday of the month starting at 8:00 AM. Suitable for beginners and advanced birders. Bring sun protection and 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.

Morning Birding at Laguna Niguel Regional Park

Laguna Niguel Regional Park

28241 La Paz Rd.

Laguna Niguel, CA  92677

Join Laguna Canyon Foundation Volunteer Naturalists on this birding adventure. Spot native and winter resident birds on this slow and easy 2-mile walk through a landscaped suburban-parkland setting at Laguna Niguel Regional Park. Walk runs 8:00am – 11:00am. Wear waterproof hiking or walking shoes (landscape can be very wet); bring binoculars! Laguna Niguel Regional Park, 28241 La Paz Road, Laguna Niguel (Meet at parking lot closest to Shelter 3). Ages 12 and up. For questions call: 949-497-8324 Mon-Fri or 949-923-2240 Sat/Sun. Parking: $5/vehicle. Register online.

Ranger Led Nature Hike

Caspers Wilderness Park

33401 Ortega Hwy.

San Juan Capistrano, CA  92675

Join our Park Rangers Sunday mornings for an easy 1-mile hike on the Nature Trail. Hike runs 8:00am – 9:00am. The trail takes visitors through grassland, oak woodland, riparian and sandy cactus scrub communities. Meet at Old Corral Day Use area. Rain will cancel hike.

  • Fee: Free
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle
  • Wear comfortable clothing, hiking shoes.
  • Sunscreen, water and insect repellent are recommended.

For additional information, please call the park at (949) 923-2210.

African-American Festival at Aquarium of the Pacific

100 Aquarium Way

Long Beach, CA  90802

Join the Aquarium of the Pacific as it hosts its thirteenth annual African-American Festival, celebrating the rich diversity of African-American and African cultures. The weekend will feature live entertainment, arts and crafts, ethnic food, and more. Festival performers include Mardi Gras second line dancers, hip hop and break dancers, tap dancers, jazz musicians, interactive drum circles, West African dancers, and storytellers.

Festival runs Saturday, February 21 and Sunday, February 22, 9:00am – 5:00pm. Activities are included with the cost of admission (Adults ages 12 and up: $28.95, Children 3-11: $14.95).

Family Science Sundays

Peter & Mary Muth Center

Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve

2301 University Dr.

Newport Beach, CA  92660

Free activities in the Muth Interpretive Center classroom once a month, each with a different educational theme to explore. The activities are self guided and may include hands on exhibits, outside activities, crafts and more. Today’s theme is Mammals – They’re Just Like You and Me. Storytime at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. No registration necessary. Email [email protected] for more information.

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.

Tet Festival

OC Fair and Event Center

88 Fair Dr.

Costa Mesa, CA  92626

The Union of the Vietnamese Student Associations of Southern California (UVSA) has been the host of the Tet Festival for over 30 years and, with the spirit and hard work of students and volunteers, help bring the festival to life with a vibrant array of traditional foods, live entertainment, festive games and customs celebrating the Vietnamese Lunar New Year. Festival runs February 20 – 22 at the following times:

  • February 20: 3:00pm – 10:00pm
  • February 21: 10:00am – 10:00pm
  • February 22: 10:00am – 9:00pm

Admission is $6 and parking is $7. (Enter at Gate 8 off Arlington Drive. Sat & Sun: Additional Entry at Gate 3 off Fairview Rd.)

Back Bay Science Center (BBSC) Community Day 

Back Bay Science Center

600 Shellmaker Rd.

Newport Beach, CA 92660

Come explore the buildings and surroundings of the BBSC!   Event occurs every Sunday and runs 10:00am – 2:00pm. Talk to the City of Newport Beach staff and volunteers about ongoing research, education, & restoration projects. Get your fingers wet in our tide pool touch tank, tour the teaching lab and aquarium tanks, and do some bird watching. The Science Center is located just off of Back Bay Drive on Shellmaker Island (600 Shellmaker Rd). This program is free and no reservations are required.

Free Kids Fishing Clinic

Dana Wharf

34675 Golden Lantern St.

Dana Point, CA 92629

Every Sunday! 12:00pm – 2:30pm. Free clinic held dockside. No reservations needed.

Every Sunday! 12:45pm – 5:15pm.
Free fishing trip. Rental gear included. Reservations required as space is limited. One free child per paying adult.

Science Sundays with ExplorOcean

Back Bay Science Center

600 Shellmaker Rd.

Newport Beach, CA  92660

ExplorOcean offers families a fun, interactive hands-on experience to connect to the 7 essential principles of ocean literacy through Science Sundays at the Back Bay. Quick and engaging activities bring parents and children together as they make predictions, ask questions, problem-solve and think like scientists. Each month we will introduce a new theme based on one of the Ocean Literacy Principles. Program runs 10:00am – 2:00pm. Science Sundays are FREE and offered to children of all ages. Join us at ten and prepare to see your world in a whole new way! Program is ongoing, weather permitting.

On Sundays, follow ExplorOcean volunteers to the Back Bay Science Center to participate in their Community Day Program, hosted by the City of Newport Beach.

The OC Great Park

Sand Canyon and Marine Way

Irvine, CA  92618

Farmer’s Market – Sundays at the Orange County Great Park are headlined by the fresh produce and fun at our Certified Farmers Market. Every week, rain or shine, the Great Park Certified Farmers Market features fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, handcrafted artisan products, live music and entertainment, and a selection of gourmet food trucks. Market runs 10:00am – 2:00pm. Free parking and admission.

Storytime with Cynthia Callard

Center for Living Peace

4139 Campus Dr.

Irvine, CA 92612

Join us in our library for Storytime with Cynthia Callard on the 2nd & 4th Sunday of each month! For each storytime, a story will be chosen and read aloud for all to enjoy.  We encourage you to bring friends and family members of all ages. All of the stories that are read have a wonderful message of love and compassion fitting for all ages. On this day we will be reading Nadia’s Hands by Karen English. Storytime runs 1:30pm – 2:00pm and is free with a suggested donation of $2 or $5. Register online.

Sea Tales

ExplorOcean Galleries and Science Courtyard

600 E Bay Ave.

Newport Beach, CA 92661

Sea Tales story time– free with paid admission! Come enjoy an interactive ocean-themed story and a craft! Hosted by Miss Jane! 😉 Story time begins at 2:00pm. Admission is $5 for Adults and $3 for children 4-12.

J.O.Y. for Nature: Beautiful Birds

Irvine Open Space Preserve

Portola Round Staging Area

Irvine Ranch

Birds are one of the most common critters to see outdoors. Some call our backyard home while others live in extreme environmental conditions. From tiny song birds to soaring vultures, take flight with the birds to see how they live their lives in nature. As Ornithologists, examine all about birds on this fun, interactive birding program.

J.O.Y. for Nature (Juniors or Youths for Nature) is a monthly series dedicated to showcasing different career opportunities in nature for tweens. From examining tiny bugs to exploring outer space, each month will investigate a different nature-related profession. This series is geared towards students ages 9 – 12, who are interested in discovering more about the world around them. Program runs 3:30pm – 5:30pm. Register online. Driving directions emailed upon registration.




Reminder – Always call or check the website to confirm time and place — and to ensure these events are not cancelled due to rain or some other circumstance.  

Know of an event we missed? Email us at [email protected]

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