Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tale of a Whale ~ An Ocean Institute Experience


This summer I was given the opportunity to experience the Marine Wildlife Exploration Cruise at The Ocean Institute in Dana Point. What a treat! The Ocean Institute sits on the edge of the Pacific and although they are home to a multi million dollar educational facility, their reach goes far beyond this building. Nationally recognized for it's hands on marine science education, more than 110,000 students participate in the immersion style programs here at the Institute. At the Ocean Institute, their motto is "Experience is the best teacher".


I was so pleasantly surprised at how much I learned while on this 2 hour cruise. There are so many whale watching cruises that take you out to sea and keep you staring at the big blue for the hopes that you might catch a glimpse of Blue Whale. Well, this experience was far from the average tourist trap. We did see 2 Blue Whales and were able to learn about their diving techniques and habits. These creatures are truly majestic and words nor pictures could begin to describe seeing one of these enormous mammals in person.

The Marine Biologists and volunteers on board actually teach you so much about not only the different species of Whales but most sea life found in the Pacific including the plankton that they enlist volunteers from the cruise to obtain from the sea floor. Once the specimen is pulled up the Marine Biologists put the specimen under microscopes where you can view them on a big screen as well as placing them under little plates of glass.

You have an opportunity to ask questions during the entire cruise and even the most passive learner will experience and learn so much. I highly recommend the Marine Wildlife Exploration Cruise when you visit The Ocean Institute. Be sure to visit The Ocean Institute online for more information on this cruise as well as many other educational opportunities. Their camps are also highly educational and they have so many special events during the year. The membership is not too pricey either. I believe they have family memberships at $60 a year which gives you FREE admission to the Institute and deep discounts on their events, cruises and camps throughout the year. They are currently holding their annual Raffle to win an ocean view house in Laguna Beach or many other amazing prizes and if you purchase a ticket they include a membership as well.
Make a day out of your visit to The Ocean Institute and take in beautiful Dana Point Harbor. This community is such an incredible beach side gem and be sure to bring your camera. You'll find this town to be a photographer's heaven.
Be sure to visit OC Fun Guide for new and exciting family activities that are FREE and Low Cost.
Happy Discovering!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Welcome SITStahs!

I am so excited today is finally here! It's my day to be featured on SITS. I can hardly hold my excitement in. The neighbors must think we've won the lotto. This is GREAT! What is SITS you ask? The SITS Girls as in The Secret is in the Sauce is a remarkable community of over 6,000 bloggers who support each other through comments. Let me tell you, these SITStahs are awesome. I have connected with countless bloggers and found the most amazing blogs that I follow and really love. Each day they feature one blogger and our day is here! Before you read on, you've got to check these SITStahs out, if you don't know about them already. You may find yourself at their next Bloggy Boot Camp. That's right, a boot camp for those new at blogging or those wanting to learn more. They have these Boot Camps in several cities across the US each year and they provide real valuable knowledge for each type of blogger. They aren't afraid to share, which I find refreshingly helpful.
Welcome to our little corner of the earth I like to call home, Orange County, California. While most of us here don't live like "The Real Housewives of Orange County" or "The OC" we certainly have a great place to call home. From the beaches to the amusement Parks and everything in between, we do live on a little piece of heaven on earth.

I started this blog to chronicle the fun times in Orange County with my family to be able to share our experiences with others. Orange County is a great place packed full of FUN but sometimes it is difficult to find all the happenings and activities in one place. I became a Stay at Home Mom sort of by accident. I was laid off from my job and instead of moping around feeling sorry for myself, I decided to begin my search to get out of the house and have some fun but the catch was, not a whole lot of money in the "fun fund". My goal was to create a place where those in my community could find fun FREE and Low Cost fun things to do with their kids. In my quest for fun, I have found so many activities for FREE. I thought this was so amazing, I had to share. OC Fun Guide's the website was born. Although it's far from completion, you will find some great places to see and much more on the way. In fact, much like a child, I don't think it will ever stop growing. Come take a look at all the fun activities there are to experience in Orange County. You may just change your summer vacation plans and come here instead:)
The Target Corporation is generous enough to grant funds to sponsor the Arts in many cities across the US. Target sponsors certain days of the week and pay for your admission so many are FREE or at least generously reduced in price. Take a look to see if there are any FREE days in your area. I encourage you to share all the awesome deals in your area because most of us are living these days on a budget, unless you were lucky enough to miss the bullet in this poor economy.
Feel free to take a look around. Read about what my daughter calls "the most awesomest place on earth", besides Disneyland of course. You can check out how much fun Disneyland birthdays can be. If you are interested in a little history, check out The Mission in San Juan Capistrano. For nature excursions be sure to visit The Environmental Nature Center or Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center. If you are interested in Ocean Ecology or Marine Biology, you may want to check out our visit to The Pacific Marine Mammal Center.
Even if you are not close to Orange County, California, always remember you are only a blog away. Thanks for coming and I hope you have enjoyed yourself. For those of you who live in or near Orange County you may want to sign up to receive our monthly activities and calendar to be sure you don't miss another event only to hear about it after.
Happy SITS Day!

Friday, June 25, 2010

OC Kid's Restaurant Week


Summer is here and the kids are finally out of school. To kick off your summer check out The Launch of OC Kid's Restaurant Week which is Saturday, June 27th (tomorrow) @ The District in Tustin from 12noon - 4pm. There will be mini-bounces houses, live music, face-painting, balloon art, cupcake decorating and interactive booths. You can enter the many raffles with either one canned good for the local food banks or $1 to win cool prizes like a Nirve beach cruiser bike, Knotts Berry Farm tickets, Wild Rivers Water park tickets and lots of other fun prizes. Why not enjoy the festivities on Saturday and all week for that matter. My idea of a good time definitely includes NOT COOKING. So for all of those in favor of a week off from cooking and deals at OC "kid friendly" restaurants hop on down to The District tomorrow and enjoy yourselves. You can feel extra good about this because eating at participating restaurants this week will give a portion of the proceeds to Share our Strength to support ending child hunger.

To take part in this week's family dining out celebration, visit OC Kid's Restaurant Week for a list of participating and "kid friendly" places to eat in Orange County.
In addition to Saturday's festivities at The District in Tustin, you can enjoy SUNDAY FUNDAY at Don The Beachcombers in Huntington Beach. This FREE event will take place this Sunday, June 27th from 4-5:30pm. Family's will be transported to the restaurant's Hidden Village to a tropical wonderland featuring Tapua Hula classes, shaved ice stations, sugar dumplin makin, indoor surf lessons by Katin and Tiki mask painting. If you are interested in attending RSVP by email to mona@moxxepr.com.
Enjoy this week and celebrate families dining out! Be sure to check out www.ocfunguide.com for FREE and Low Cost activities in Orange County this summer.
Happy Dining!




Monday, June 21, 2010

The Winner is.....

The winner of The family pack of (4) four Muzeo tickets is "ladybug777" who wrote "My 3 year old daughter just discovered frogs! Recently we took a hike up to the local "Frog Pond". She was beside herself with excitement. Would love to take her on another froggy adventure!

Congratulations! Email ocfunguide@gmail.com with your mailing info.

Stay tuned for more giveaways! Be sure to visit www.ocfunguide.com for FREE and Low Cost activities in Orange County!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Upclose & Personal with FROGS: Giveaway

What kid doesn't like frogs? I can remember my own frog experience. When I was a kid, I had my own adventure with the slimy green creatures. Much to my mother's disgust, I filled up my little plastic pool in the backyard (meant for me to play in) with Frogs and by the next day, there were little tadpole's swimming around inside. After hours of pleading with my mother to let me keep the tadpole's in the baby pool (with the strict orders not to go in it), I had my very own Frog farm:) Once the buzz had gotten around the neighborhood, there wasn't a kid nearby who hadn't ventured over to see for themselves. Frogs are big with kids.


Well now there is a place in Orange County you can bring your kids to see over 100 Live FROGS. The Muzeo in Anaheim has an amazing exhibit featuring over 15 Frog Habitats with 12 interactive stations. Now this is the kind of exhibit that your kids would probably even clean their rooms for. If you bring them on Saturdays between 11am-3pm, they can even take part in Froggy Crafts for FREE.


In this exhibit you will learn about the evolution of these colorful creatures, their biological importance to ecosystems, and the threats they face in changing environments. Wow! Education and fun all in one, that's the kind of excursions I like to bring my kids on.

On to the exciting news...

One lucky follower of OC Fun Guide will be the winner of a family 4 pack of tickets to MUZEO in Anaheim. So if you haven't had the opportunity to see this exhibit or museum, or maybe you are dying to see it again, this is your chance.

Giveaway Rules:

First Entry
To enter, leave a comment here letting us know what you that you want to win and why
please leave you email address in first entry to be eligible

Additional Entries
  • Like OC Fun Guide on Facebook and leave a comment here after (1 entry)
  • Leave a comment on Facebook Fan Page (2 entries)
  • Follow us on http://twitter.com/ocfunguideand leave comment here after (1 entry)
  • Tweet this tweet about giveaway "I just entered OC Fun Guide's latest giveaway to win 4 tickets to see Muzeo visit http://www.ocfunguide.blogspot.com" and leave the link in a comment here (2 entries) (limit once per day)
  • Display OC Fun Guide's badge (located to the right of this post) on your blog leave comment here with your blog link (3 entries)
  • Like Muzeo on Facebook and leave a comment here after (2 entries)

Giveaway will run until Sunday, June 20th at 12 midnight and winner will be posted Monday, June 21st. Winner must contact us within 24 hours of notice or alternative winner will be chosen.

For more information on FREE and Low Cost activities in Orange County visit www.ocfunguide.com . Be sure to subscribe to our activity and event calendar so you won't miss another event only to hear about it after!

Happy Froggy Day!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

And the Winner is.....

Congratulations to:

"The Barlers" who answered: "that is super AWESOME. I was going to get tickets for my children, but I could not afford the tickets...due to being let go at work and a limited amount of income. I hope that you choose us to be your lucky winners"

Please email me at ocfunguide@gmail.com with your name and to confirm that you will be able to attend the event tomorrow (Friday, June 11th) at Pretend City from 10am-2pm.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sid the Science Kid & Pretend Cty Giveaway

Big News for all your little ones! Sid the Science Kid will be at Pretend City this Friday, June 11th from 10am - 2pm for a very special Way to Play Day. During this fun celebrity visit Sid will be inviting all attendees to join in the various activities during the day including Special photos with Sid the Science Kid, VIP Viewings of a Brand New Sid the Science Kid episode titled "No School Singalong Special" which won't air until June 21st, a sing along parade with Sid featuring "I'm looking for my friends" (my daughter's fav), and of course prize giveaways from Sid the Science Kid and Pretend City Museum. This is a day you won't want to miss.

Giveaway time: One Lucky reader of OC Fun Guide's Blog will win two ( 2) tickets to this Friday's Way to Play Day with Sid the Science Kid at Pretend City AND their very own special "Sid the Science Kid, Gotta Know" microphone. Just leave a comment here telling us why your child would love to win! My daughter absolutely loves Sid the Science Kid and cannot wait to see him live! Getting a chance to interact and play with Sid will be a highlight and an awesome memory for years to come. Be sure to bring your camera for all the photo ops. This is a short giveaway and will run until Thursday, June 10th at 12noon. The winner will be announced at 1pm.

We also have a special coupon for you for this day! A 2 for 1 admission for this Friday's Way to Play Day at Pretend City Museum. The Way to Play Day with Sid the Science Kid is a partnership between KCET and Pretend City's Good to Go From Head to Toe. On this special Way to Play Day with Sid, activities will focus on the importance of exercise, discovering healthy foods and more.

Can't wait to see you all there!

Happy Pretending!

Winner must be a Southern California Resident or able to attend Way to Play Day on Friday June 11th. Prize will be redeemed at Pretend City along with a special goodie bag for your little one.

OC Fun Guide received complimentary tickets to museum and a Sid the Science Kid Gotta Know Microphone as compensation for this post.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Circus is in Town


The big top is back! California's very own Circus Vargas is in Orange County through June 28th. If you have not had the pleasure of seeing this wonderful show, you have got to check it out! The acts are simply amazing. If you have little ones, they will love the clowns hilarious contribution to the show. The acrobatics are stunning as with most of the acts in the show. This year they have an all new show so if you have seen Circus Vargas in the past, you are in for a treat this year.

Some of my most favorite memories as a child were going to the circus with my family. Summer is here and there is so much fun to be had, so start off with bang this year and visit Circus Vargas while you have the chance.

They have shows scheduled in Costa Mesa until June 7 and then will move on to Santa Ana from June 10-14, and finally on to Westminster from June 17-28. You can visit the Circus Vargas website for the exact location as well as to purchase tickets. If you have children be sure to take advantage of this $10 off child coupon. Tickets start at $15 for children and $20 for adults. If you get there a little early you can participate in the pre-show where you can take part in a quick crash course of stamina and skill and learn the ropes Circus Vargas style.

For additional information on activities and events in Orange County be sure to visit http://www.ocfunguide.com/ . To stay up to date on FREE and Low Cost activities and events be sure to check our calendar and subscribe to updates so you won't miss another great event only to hear about it after.

Happy Juggling!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

FREE Summer Fun in The OC


Memorial Day really kicks the summer off with a grand celebration. In Orange County, this summer will be filled with FREE fun activities to keep your little ones busy. Besides the obvious trips to the beach, pool and of course the parks, FREE Family Movies movies will be hitting the Regal Cinemas participating locations next month. There are 7 Orange County theaters who will feature family friendly G & PG films at 10:00am on Tuesdays and Wednesdays with two different movies playing each week. They will feature movies such as Night at the Museum II, Monsters Vs. Aliens, and Alvin & the Chipmunks, the Squeakquel. The movies are first come, first serve so come a little early and bring some snacks. This is one of our favorite fun activities to enjoy on a lazy summer morning. Be sure to sign up for our monthly calendar (to be available on soon to be newly launched website). Sign up here to receive access to FREE and Low Cost OC Monthly Activity Calendar.

In addition to Regal Cinema's FREE Family Film Festival, The Newport Beach Library is known for bringing great entertainment to its branches during the summer. FREE entertainment will be hosted at The Newport Beach Public Library. Such acts as "The Wild Life Company" where you will be able to come and meet live wild animals and learn about their habitat, and "Fratello Marionette" which is a live puppet show feature such fairy tales as Three Little Pigs.

Stay tuned for the release of OC Fun Guide's new calendar featuring FREE and Low Cost summer fun in the OC. Be sure to visit www.ocfunguide.com for fun things to do in Orange County.

Happy Memorial Day!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Winner is...

The Winner of The 6 Irvine Park Railroad train tickets and $25 credit towards Wheel Fun Rentals is...

Angela @ Nine More Months who said: "I would love the Deuce Coupe, and that paddle boat looks really cool too!"

Congratulations!! Email your mailing info to me at ocfunguide@gmail.com!

Stay tuned for our next giveaway coming soon!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Celebrate & Win @ Irvine Park Railroad

*See Giveaway at the Bottom*


To Celebrate the launch of Wheel Fun Rentals at Irvine Regional Park, Irvine Park Railroad is having a big party to kick off the fun. This weekend on Saturday, May 22nd and Sunday, May 23rd from 10am to 5pm come on down to celebrate the Grand Opening. Special for this weekend only, when you rent a bike or paddle boat, you will receive one FREE hot dog and soda per rider. They will also have a bounce house for kids (which is an additional cost) and other fun activities!

Wheel Fun Rentals has variety of very cool bikes to choose from including, Chopper Bikes (one person bike see picture to the left), Traditional Surreys (can hold 3 adults and 2 small children) which is great for a family, The Deuce Coupe (can hold 2 adults and 2 children) which is my personal favorite, Cruiser Bikes, Quad Sports (for a single rider), Tandem Bikes and Kids Bikes (single rider for children).

Take a look at Irvine Park Railroad's website for pictures and prices of each rental. Children under 18 are required to wear a helmet and this is provided at no additional charge. My family will be spending plenty of afternoons at Irvine Regional Park in the coming months. This park really has so much to do and the prices are low. Parking is $5 on the weekends and $3 during the week.

In addition to the great bike choices to explore an afternoon in the park, they also have Paddle Boats for a ride around the lake. These fun bikes seat 3 people and are a great way to have some fun on the lake. You can make a day of it and ride the train too! You can check out all the fun details on Irvine Park Railroad's Website. You can also print out a coupon for the attractions including boats, bikes, train rides and concessions by clicking here.

*As a part of OC Fun Guide's Summer of Fun Giveaway Series and to Celebrate The Grand Opening of Wheel Fun Rentals we are giving away 6 train tickets and a bonus giveaway of a $25 credit towards a bike or paddle boat rental to one lucky winner! Thanks Irvine Park Railroad for this great Celebration and Giveaway!

First Entry
To enter leave a comment letting us know which bike you are are going to ride at Wheel Fun Rentals.

Additional Entries (maximum 3 entries per day)

  • Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter and be sure to reference @ocfunguide so it will be included as an entry.

  • Grab Our Button & let us know by leaving a comment here.
  • Join our Facebook Fan Page and leave a comment on our page

  • Follow this blog and leave a comment here letting us know

This giveaway will run until Tuesday, May 25th at 12midnight and the winner will be announced on Wednesday! Good Luck Everyone~

Entry Requirements and Rules of Giveaway: To be eligible for this drawing, you must be a Southern California Resident. Winner must sign a release and provide photo ID to Irvine Park Railroad upon redeeming the bike rental credit. Children under 18 years old must wear a helmet (provided by Irvine Park Railroad at no cost) and the winner cannot switch bikes during the course of the hour. No change will be given if the rental equates to less than the $25 credit.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Santa Ana Zoo @ Prentice Park

Tucked away in an little corner of Santa Ana, lies a zoo that is perfect for an afternoon of fun without the commitment of an entire day or more. This is not the type of zoo where you will find Zebras or Hippos or where you will spend all day walking the grounds only to be exhausted at the end of the day, still finding that you need more time to see the entire zoo. Don't get me wrong, I do love those outings at times but The Santa Ana Zoo is such a great place because you can really see everything in a few hours time. The price is right at $8 for adults and $5 for kids and Seniors.

Their monkey exhibits are the best around. In fact just last month they have welcomed a rare crested capuchin monkey into the world. The birth of this endangered monkey is part of an important breeding program.

After you make your way around the zoo, you can't miss the Crean Family Farm. You can pet and feed the animals as you get an inside view of life on an Orange County Farm. This one is so much fun for those kids like mine who love hands on fun!

After visiting the Crean Family Farm, make your way over to the Zoofari Express. You will love the 6 minute ride. This is an environmental friendly electric train which also cuts down on the noise for the benefit of the animals. The train features six cars and a caboose. They offer a very entertaining tour of the zoo pointing out exhibits and species as you meander through the park. This is great for little ones as well and they offer Free rides to those 2 years and under.
For those of us over this age, the train is a whopping $3 a person. What a deal!


Last but definitely not least, you can't leave until you have seen and taken a whirl on The Conservation Carousel. This unique carousel features 33 endangered animals to ride on including a wheelchair accessible Swan Chariot. Each of its riders receives a special information card on one endangered animal explaining why it is endangered. This is such a great way to teach our kids what we can do to help these endangered animals. This definitely tops the afternoon of fun right off.

Along with the normal exhibits and attractions, The Santa Ana Zoo is host to very special events and kid's camps for the summer. The Sunset at The Zoo Summer Concert Series kicks off on June, 13th 5:30-7:30pm. Be sure to check out their website for all the info on these fun events!

For more information on FREE and Low Cost activities in Orange County visit http://www.ocfunguide.com/ . Be sure to sign up for our monthly calendar feature FREE and Low Cost events and activities in Orange County. Don't miss another event and hear about it after.

Happy Trecking!

OC Fun Guide received no compensation for this post.

All photos courtesy of Santa Ana Zoo

Friday, May 7, 2010

Winner of Discovery Science Center Tickets is...

Congratulations to "afahrneylovestory" who wrote "definitely the fossil dig. My bean loves dinosaurs"! You are the Winner of OC Fun Guide's Giveaway for a Family Pack of 4 tickets for Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana!

You can leave your email address here as a comment and I will contact you for your address details to mail the tickets to you or you can email me the address to send the tickets to at ocfunguide@gmail.com .

Stay Tuned for Our Summer of Fun Ticket Giveaways coming soon!

Happy FunDay!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Igniting the Minds of Children Giveaway

*Giveaway at bottom of post*

If you have ever driven down the freeway in the middle of Orange County, you can't miss the gigantic cube building. Inside this cube is more than just The Discovery Science Center. Inside this cube is a spectacular display of fireworks ingniting in the minds of our children as they develop a passion for learning about the world around them. For a little more than a decade, this center has brought the world of science to life for so many children and adults. They constantly create an exciting hands on opportunity for our children to experience Science in the real world. A few of the fantastic exhibts they have had and currently have are:

Bubblefest
Hands on bubble activities demonstrate a bubble's science and math principles (such as surface tension, elasticity, air pressure, molecular properties, and geometric properties) while, The sixteen-time Guinness World Record holder and Bubble Scientist, Fan Yang's Gazillion Bubble Show puts those theories to the ultimate test.


Secret of Circles
Circles are pretty amazing shapes, If you look around you will see that they are everywhere: wheels, clocks doorknobs, tortillas, Frisbees, tops and more! This exciting new exhibit celebrates the math, science and beauty of such a simple shape and helps children and adults alike to uncover the secrets of the many circles in the world.

Grossology Sometimes it's stinky; sometimes it's crusty; and sometimes it's slimy. Explore why your body produces mushy, oozy, crusty, scaly and stinky gunk at Grossology: The (Impolite) Science of the Human Body.

Dino Quest
The World's first interactive dinosaur adventure that includes life-size dinosaurs. Visitors can walk inside the two story Argentinosaurus, manipulate the organs of the dinosaur and learn how body systems work and relate to each other. They can explore in the Fossil dig area (this is my daughter's favorite)
and see the giant T-Rex, an exact replica of an actual fossil names Stan.

Planetary Research Station

The Discovery Science Center has the only Planetary Research Station in California. This amazing educational tool is ab animated globe that can show dynamic, animated images of the atmosphere, oceans and land of a planet. It can display anything from real-time infrared satellite over land, to sea ice concentration and snow cover to the topography of Venus.

Through these various exhibits and many others during the year they are able to ignite science in the minds of our children. What an awesome way to learn about one of the most fundamental subjects in human nature!

There is also a FREE Rocket Launch your children can be a part of this Saturday, May 1st.

The event will take place from 9am-2pm. There is still time to register. You can register online with The Discovery Science Center here or by email to: rsvp@discoverycube.org or by phone 714-542-2823. Join the challenge to design, build and launch a rocket made from a 2-liter plastic soda bottle that uses a combination of pressurized air and water for propulsion. This event will be held at The Boeing Company in Huntington Beach. Click Here for a map. You will have the opportunity to Chat with a real astronaut! You won't want to miss this one!

Woo Hoo! The Discovery Science Center has offered one lucky winner of this OC Fun Guide giveaway a family 4 pack of tickets for General Admission to The Discovery Science Center! To enter, leave a comment telling us what your children's favorite exhibit is at The Discovery Science Center or an exhibit that you and your children are excited to see. The giveaway will run until Thursday, May 6th at 12 midnight. The winner will be chosen at random and announced on Friday, May 7th. To be eligible for this drawing you must reside in Southern California.

For more information on FREE and Low Cost activities in Orange County visit http://www.ocfunguide.com/ . Be sure to Sign Up for our Monthly Activity and Events Calendar so that you won't miss another great event and hear about it after!

CDDPYWFUAHQH

Friday, April 23, 2010

What's This Great Park All About?

I am sure that most of you have all seen that Great Big Orange Circle floating up in the air over Irvine. Well the OC Great Park is host to some great FREE activities, one of them being The FREE Balloon Ride. The calendar at the Great Park is filling up with some other cool stuff to do as well. Their most recent news is The OC Great Park will soon be the new home to the the former Fashion Island Carousel. This will be a year round attraction which will be a part of The Great Park's Kids Rock Playground projected to open late this summer.

Firstly, for those of you who are not petrified of heights, if you have not yet had the opportunity to soar in this Great Orange Balloon 400 feet above the ground to see OC at its finest, I would highly recommend you hop on over. This is the largest helium tethered balloon and the first of its kind in the entire United States, according to the OC Great Park. The balloon can hold up to 30 passengers at once in its gondola which takes you soaring into the sky but don't worry, you won't fly away because it stays tethered to the ground with very strong steel wires that can hold much more than the estimated 99,000 lbs.

Once you have experienced the Great Orange Balloon, you will be able to now enjoy an array of FREE activities, lessons and events offered at the OC Great Park in the coming weeks.


Saturday, April 25th and May 1st two FREE Self Defense classes will be offered each day. One at 12:30 and another at 1:30pm each lasting an hour. This is a beginners basic martial arts of Kook Sool Kwan. This class is not just for self defense but the focus will also be on the concept of balance, equilibrium in mental, physical and spiritual traits. The classes will take place in Hanger 244.

Starting May 1 FREE Admission and Parking for Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi and Real Fitness Boot Camp classes are being offered. The recommended ages for each of these classes is 7 years old and up with the exception of the Boot Camp which is 12 and up so bring your kids and start toning up for the summer. No excuses here. You can't beat FREE! Head over to The Great Park's website for the full schedule with times and dates.


May 1st & 15th 10am - 12pm Spring Garden Workshops
are being offered FREE. This is for all of us who need some help because our green thumb is in need of some advice. They will cover topics like what gardening tools you need in your garden to what type of irrigation, soil and pest control is best to create the healthiest garden. Now that Spring is in full bloom the gardening hobby is a bit contagious. Visit The Great Park's website for more information on these Garden Workshops.



Sunday, May 9th at 10 & 11am FREE Guitar Lessons will be offered. This is recommended for ages 8 and up. Just bring your guitar and the instructor will teach you the basics. Space is limited and pre-registration is required so be sure to visit The Great Park's website for all the info and to register. Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult.




Friday, May 14th 7:45-945pm FREE Star Gazing led by Astronomy4U will be hosted at The OC Great Park. Spend the evening learning about the solar system through the informational star maps and have a chance to view Saturn and the Moon through a telescope. This is recommended for ages 9 and older so bring the family and enjoy a night under the stars. Be sure to visit the Great Park's website for more information.

There are so many fun activities to choose from and best of all they are FREE. For address and directions visit The OC Great Park's website.

Fore more information on FREE and Low COst Fun in Orange County please visit http://www.ocfunguide.com/ . Be sure to Sign Up for our monthly activities and events calendar so you won't miss another great event and hear about it after.

Happy Exploring!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Celebrate Earth Day OC Style

Earth Day is officially Thursday, April 22nd but the celebrations are well underway in the OC. Some of the events for the next two weeks of celebrations and festivals kicking off this great day of awareness are listed below.

Saturday, April 17th @ UCI 10am - 6pm
Aldrich Park hosts carnival style games, multicultural foods, a car show and multiple stages featuring student performances.

Saturday, April 17th @ Huntington Beach Wetlands 10am - 4pm

This educational and exciting family event will feature interactive booths and a touch tank. The goal is to educate families on how our local wetlands affect our everyday lives. A highlight for this day will feature a release of rehabilitated Pelicans.

Saturday, April 17th & Sunday, April 18th @ San Clemente Park 1:00- 8:30pm
Featuring family fun and educational booths, this affordable carnival and expo will be host to several live performances. Enjoy the day and on into the evening with this fun-filled event.

Earth Day Thursday, April 22nd
Visit the official Earth Day website to find events in your local area to participate in. You can search for events that will be in your city or search by zip code. The website is also filled with ways to reuse, recycle and reduce for greener living.


Sunday, April 25th @ Peter & Mary Muth Upper Newport Interpretive Center
This family friendly day will include the Sharkmobile touch tank, science discovery booths, event scavenger hunt, and arts and crafts. It is a fabulous way to discover the natural resources and beauty of our great planet.

For more information on FREE and Low Cost activities in Orange County visit OC Fun Guide.

Be sure to sign up for our monthly OC Activities and Events Calendar so you won't miss another great OC event and hear about it later.

Happy Earth Day!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fun Things to do this weekend!

Friday, March 19th






FREE Shark Lagoon Nights at Aquarium of the Pacific

Experience The Shark Lagoon Night (tonight) Friday at The Aquarium of the Pacific from 6-9pm. This is a great opportunity to get up close and personal. You will be able to touch Bamboo Sharks and see large sharks such as sand tigers as well as rays. This is a fun evening for the family and best off all it's FREE. For more information on The Aquarium of the Pacific visit their website. There is so much to do in Long Beach in this area and a ton of restaurants and fun at Rainbow Harbor to enjoy before or after your visit to the Aquarium.

Saturday, March 20th







Easter Eggstravaganza at Irvine Park Railroad

The Easter Eggstravaganza is finally here! The first egg hunt for ages 2-4 will begin at 10am. Be sure to arrive very early because last year the park was full by 8:30am. There will be face painting, games, bounce houses, pictures with the Easter Bunny and of course train rides. Tickets are $4 each. I have heard this called by many people the greatest Easter Egg Hunt in Orange County so bring your kiddies out for some fun! For more information on the Easter Eggstravaganza and schedules for the Egg Hunts be sure to visit Irvine Park Railroad's website.

Sunday, March 21st




FREE Rockin' Recorders Beginning Lessons at Pretend City

Pretend City is offering FREE beginning recorder lessons from 10:15-10:45am for ages 6-8 (parents must remain on premises) every Sunday in March in honor of "Music in our Museum" Month. This class teaches basis of music with simple rhythms, time signatures, note reading along with breath control and finger coordination. Wow! That sounds like so much fun! For more information on this class and many more just like it, you can visit Pretend City's website.

Fore more fun activities in Orange County visit OC Fun Guide . Be sure to sign up for our monthly email activity calendar for FREE and Low Cost events in Orange County. Don't miss out on a great event and hear about it after.

Happy Spring!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Beehive Expo Highlights






The Beehive Expo was held at The OC Great Park in Irvine this past weekend on March 13th & 14th. They offered FREE admission to each person who brought a donation of 3 canned goods for The Second Harvest Food Bank. All children under 12 were FREE. This was a great mini Expo that was not too overwhelming for mommy and yet there was enough for my kiddo to keep her heart happily content with activities galore. My daughter saw this as a mini-fair and I saw this as a way to find boutique niche businesses and great ideas which may or may not find me in my busy life. Orange County is full of businesses with great products and services that all too often fall short of exposure because they are small and family owned so this was a great way to find these businesses. I was drawn to Rock'n Baby Boutique and their awesome clothing designs for babies, toddlers and school age children. Any of their designs can be special ordered to fit a child of any size. Picture This Face Painting did a great job with the airbrush face painting & took a fraction of the time it normally takes. The face painting was FREE and sponsored by AmeriKidz.

There were many pint sized fair rides for the kids to enjoy along with bounce houses, mazes and slides. There was no shortage of food and drink booths. There was enough to keep everyone busy all day.

The highlight of the Expo for my daughter was the kid's band Sabrina & Minor After Shock. Here's a little video of their performance. I was surprised at the talent these kids have. My daughter has become their new "groupie". She was trying to pass out their free CD's to everyone in the crowd. It was great to watch her dance to all the songs. She was almost as entertaining as the entertainment.

video

We had a blast and I came home with lots of great information. We will definitley attend these events in the future. Especially when the weather is as good as it was this weekend. For more information on activities and events in Orange County visit OC Fun Guide. Be sure to sign up for our monthly email activity and event calendar. Don't miss another great event and hear about it after.

Happy Spring!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Richard Nixon Birthplace & Library

I am in love with Orange County all over again. We visited the Richard Nixon Birthplace & Library and to be honest with you, I was not expecting much nor very exciting. Unless brought to life in some interesting way, history can be a bit of a bore for me I am sad to say. We visited this landmark on President's Day so there were a few special visitors waiting for us when we arrived. Good ole Honest Abe and George Washington greeted us at the entrance. The first marvel we came upon was the grave site of Richard & Patricia Nixon. Grave sites are not my normal cup of tea but there was a sense of awe standing over the exact spot where a president of the United States was laid to rest.


The real highlight for me was the house where the 37th President was born. He was actually born inside the bedroom of this house in 1913. His father built the house one year earlier from a catalogue kit. Richard Milhous Nixon had 3 brothers with whom he shared a bedroom with. Wow 4 boys sharing the same room. That is unheard of these days. There were a few other rooms in the house which were his mother's domain such as her sewing room and the like. The most amazing part was that over 90% of the furniture and decor was original and belonged to the house when The Nixon's lived there. You feel like you can really get a realistic picture of what life would have felt like in their household in the early 1900's.


A few other really neat exhibits on this 9 acre property were the in the museum and also presidential helicopter which transported dignitaries, diplomats and world leaders in it's seats. If the walls of this helicopter could talk, I wonder what it would report? Inside the museum there were so many aspects of history from remnants of the Vietnam war, The Berlin Wall and Cold War, Space missions, US economy, Crime and Safety and the gown displays if you are into the fashion of Pat Nixon and their daughters.


Overall this was a great landmark that I would have never thought to be as spectacular as it really was. Please visit The Richard Nixon Birthplace & Library's website for more information on this landmark and visiting. Orange County has so many gems just like this. For information on Fun Free and Low Cost activities in Orange County visit OC Fun Guide. Be sure to sign up for our FREE and Low Cost Activity Calendar by email.
OC Fun Guide was in no way compensated for writing this review in any form. This blog post reflects my family's experience and personal opinions.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

And the winners are....

The winners for this past week's Irvine Park Railroad ticket Giveaway are:

"Ramya Prasad" who wrote "Owwww.. I never knew about it, I live in Mission Viejo and work at Irvine!! isn't OC awesome"

Elle.Kogler who wrote "Our Child & Me group talks about this all the time and I have never been. I can't wait to take the family"

MOMMY-MOMO who wrote "OH NICE!!! We live in Laguna Niguel and my little guy would love to ride this train!!! how fun. We would love some tickets!"

Congratulations to our winners!

Winners, please email me at ocfunguide@gmail.com with your mailing information.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Whales are Coming to Town!



Once a year a spectacular sight can be witnessed by those in the charming Southern California, seaside village of Dana Point as the Majestic Gray Whale makes it's yearly migration of 6,000 miles from Alaska to Mexico to mate or give birth. During this time about 40-50 whales pass by Dana Point each day.



Photos Courtesy of Dana Point Festival of Whales Committee


The community of Dana Point, along with the 100,000 visitors the festival draws, celebrates this amazing journey and the life of the once endangered Mammal that has reproduced themselves back to a safe number. The Festival of Whales will take place on March 6 & 7 and March 13 & 14. During this festival there are many activities to enjoy including an opening day parade, street faire and farmer's market, art exhibits, classic car exhibits, concerts on the land and water, environmental activities, educational opportunities, interpretive crafts, kids activities, and of course whale watching excursions.

This is a great chance to learn about ocean ecology and introduce this idea to your kiddies. The hands on educational opportunity here is remarkable. Seeing is really believing! The demonstrations and displays are so interactive that you don't even realize how much information is being retained.

Be sure to check out the Ocean Institute for a free look into the Wyland Clean Water Mobile Learning Center during the festival. The festival shuttle offers free transportation to visitors making stops at each venue of the festival. Our family is so excited this year for The Festival of the Whales and can't wait! With the age difference between our daughters, 13 years and 5 years old there is something that each of them can enjoy.





For more information click on The Festival of Whales to visit their website. For more fun FREE and Low Cost activities in Orange County visit http://www.ocfunguide/. Be sure to stop in and sign up for our FREE and Low Cost Activity Calendar so you won't miss another great event and hear about it after.


Happy Whale Watching!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Turning a childhood dream into a reality....Happy Anniversary Irvine Park Railroad!















See Giveaway details at end of post.

Irvine Park Railroad, a favorite fun spot in Orange County for locals and tourists alike, is celebrating their 14th anniversary this coming weekend; Saturday, February 27 and Sunday February 28th.

For John Ford and Steve Horn, Irvine Park Railroad is a story of perseverance and commitment, a message that is all too often forgotten in our fast moving world full of immediate gratification. What began as a summer job at Doheny State beach renting bikes and selling concessions, with hard work, patience and lots of learning, turned into a favorite family Orange County attraction. Starting at the ripe old age of 13, John and Steve began to learn the building blocks of business. The ABC's of business if you will. Little did these two 13 year old boys know, but they would some day climb the ladder bringing them to where they are today, owners and operators of a top Southern California amusement attraction that has brought families together enjoying what has become a favorite pastime that will be cherished throughout their lives.

Although officially founded in 1996, John and Steve of Irvine Park Railroad began building this recreational attraction in 1986 when they took the fantastic opportunity to lease their own concession and bike rental business at Irvine Regional Park. Step by step, they have built a business they love alongside a community who loves it right along with them.

As a token of their appreciation and commitment to their community, they are rolling back their prices to their 1996 prices. Now that's a price I can handle! Join our family as we ride the train, bounce in the bounce house, eat a hot dog and some ice cream, or maybe even get our faces painted. Each of these fun activities are only $2 a person during this celebration weekend. There is a $5 cost per car for parking at Irvine Regional Park and you can spend the day with so much to enjoy. We are counting the days and will be there to join the fun and celebrate with our friends at The Irvine Park Railroad.


OC Fun Guide will be giving away two train tickets to three lucky winners courtesy of Irvine Park Railroad. Enter to win! All you need to do is follow our blog and leave a comment here.


This giveaway will run until Saturday, February 28th at 12 midnight. The winners will be drawn at random and announced on Monday, March 1st. Good Luck to everyone!

For more information on the Irvine Park Railroad or their anniversary celebration please visit their website. Visit OC Fun Guide for fun FREE and Low Cost activities in Orange County! Be sure to sign up for our NEW email activity calendar. Don't miss out on another Fun FREE or Low Cost event in OC and hear about it after.

Happy Anniversary Irvine Park Railroad!