It is remarkable how many free or low cost activities their are available for children in Orange County. Today I was pleasantly surprised at the interactive and educational fun we had at The Peter and Mary Muth's Interpretive Center in Newport Beach.
The center is located in the Back Bay and parking is free. Their is a great little trail that lead right up to the center's building that is tucked away and cannot be seen from the road. Not having been to this amazing center, I was curious as to what we would find when we arrived after our short 2 minute hike. The views along the way were absolutely spectacular so bring your camera for bright sky days like today.
Once we arrive inside we made our way to the children's activity room where we found Ranger Sue reading a book about bats, which was the theme of today's "Wild Tales" program they hold every week on Friday from 10:30-11:15am for ages 2-8 years old. She explained all of the places bats like to call their home and their eating and sleeping habits. She prepared all the little ones for possibly spotting a bat in the night and gave tips on where they like to sleep locally (under the Jamboree bridge).
After the story, the kids were kept interactively entertained with a craft that was all focused on bats, which they all enjoyed. Then we were led on a nature hike on the trail that connects the center to the back bay guided by Ranger Sue, a real park ranger. She was very knowledgeable and pointed out all the wildlife around us such as the lizards, dragonflies, any species of birds that flew overhead and our favorite, the flying fish in the channel. Our destination on this hike was to the bat boxes the nature scouts made for the center where the bats are able to hide in the day. It was really amazing and even the mommies and daddies learned so much.
After the hike, the kids were able to play at the center with all of the toys that feature a wild life theme. Among their assortment of toys were stuffed bats, coyotes, raccoons, possums, and many more local wildlife animals. They had a display of live snakes common among the area (in their aquariums of course) and they had all sorts of information on each species.
The cost for this great morning full of fun and learning was only $5 including the craft. Now that's a bargain! For more information on this program or the many others at The Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center click here to visit their website directly.
Happy Bat Hunting!