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!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Live your passions.......

On this Valentines Day, I decided to share a little more about myself and post something different but somehow appropriate today. Today symbolizes love but inside a 'Great Love' is 'Passion', which is sometimes lost or forgotten but always exists.

We are all looking for that perfect niche, talent or function that makes us important to others. A place where you can go and feel that you have given a part of yourself and that part has significantly helped, somehow make this world a better place for others. I guess what I mean is, we are all looking for our significance in this world in one form or another. Sometimes this search is more pronounced than other times.

As a mother, I realize I do have significance in life by merely existing because my children need me. But sadly, sometimes that is not enough. So, I search to find my significance through my passions in life. My passions happen to be sharing the wonderful world of travel with others. Working in the travel industry for over a decade in my life, I really enjoyed planning vacations for others. The world around us is a big playground and I felt significance in helping others enjoy this outlook as well. After 9/11, the travel industry was not the same. Gloom-ridden clouds covered my blue skies of possibilities. The excitement once felt at the thought of visiting all the wonderful places was replaced by fear. The business competition to keep even the slightest customer happy was near impossible. This became the end of my then, passion-filled prosperous career. This was not an exciting atmosphere I once flourished in. Negativity breeds more negativity, so sadly I said goodbye to what had been my great passion and began my search for new passions.

Besides getting married to my prince charming and starting a family, I had not found a passion that resonated as deeply inside me as my work in the travel industry until the recent recession hit. I know, I know. Very unorthodox timing for passions to flow when devastating economic downturns are taking place all around us. But this is when I happened upon my renewed passion.

My love for planning travel quickly returned when I began my adventures of finding the hidden gems inside our beautiful Orange County. Things were looking grim for us financially, so to keep my spirits up, I began planning daycations with my family, which of course had to be on a budget. I found that sharing the experience of these adventures my husband and children and seeing all the beauty that exists in our local area was just as full-filling as planning vacations for others. There was the challenge of not being able to splurge but keep the daycation exciting enough for us all to enjoy. In fact this was more fulfilling because I began to blog about our adventures. This served a larger purpose than I expected. I found that others families in our surrounding communities were looking for fun adventures on a budget too, and I could share our finds with them. Not only this, but our local tourist attractions that once flourished from travelers afar, were finding themselves without business. Since people weren't traveling far, they must be staying close. This was when the idea of a daycation was born. What a better place to be a tourist than Southern California, I thought. Experience everything as a tourist would but there's no need to drop that heavy check on airline tickets or hotels stays (except for the occasional splurge which is a "must" every now and then and experience the real tourist side of town). At the end of the day, I love my life and feel passion for what I can offer to others in my community. There are so many daycations to plan and I am just getting started.

Happy Valentines Day!

Live your passions....

Saturday, February 13, 2010

FREE Admission to Nixon Birthplace & Library on President's Day

This year Celebrating President's Day with your family will be enriched with a patriotic theme by visiting The Birthplace of President Richard Nixon in Yorba Linda. The historical site and museum is offering FREE admission to everyone on Monday, February 15th, President's Day. To top this off they are offering the first 100 visitors FREE Cherry Pie! What a better way to celebrate US history!

They have even promised if you bring your camera, you and your family will have the opportunity to meet George Washington & Abraham Lincoln. This opportunity won't be missed by my family. This will be our first visit to the Nixon Center and we are all excited to see a little piece of history and of course the cherry pie doesn't hurt the deal:)

The nine acre library and birthplace is home to a 52,000 square foot museum and Nixon's faithfully restored 1910 birthplace. The Nixon complex is known to be the most active and visited Presidential Center in America and aren't we lucky it happens to be in our own back yard.

For more information on this event and historical site, click here Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace.

Be sure to visit for FREE and low cost activities in Orange County. Sign up to receive our OC email activity calendar by clicking here with FREE and low cost activities in Orange County.

Happy President's Day!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Still looking for that perfect Valentine night in the OC?

You are in luck! Kooza by Cirque du Soleil is performing at The Orange County Great Park and to top this off they are now offering 1/2 price tickets in Irvine now through February 14th.

If the normal $60-90 price tag was too high for you, this is the time to see this amazing show for half this price. Click here for the Irvine half price page. It will knock your socks off. The talent is unbelievable.

If you haven't firmed up your V-Day plans yet, this will be the perfect night out. The show is based on a loner attempting to find his place in the world. The mix of Clowning and Acrobats is a spectacular performance that leaves you shocked yet amazingly intrigued. Another Cirque du Soleil magical presentation showing how the human body can defy it's own boundaries.

Parking is available at The Orange County Great Park for $10 or you can find information about shuttles on their website.

For information on FREE and Low Cost activities in Orange County, visit OC Fun Guide! You can also sign up for our NEW Activities Calendar so you won't miss an event in Orange County and hear about it after.

Happy Valentines!

Friday, February 5, 2010

FREE OC Kid's Museums This Weekend

This is the first weekend of the month so this means Target FREE Museum Day! Target has sponsored admission for certain museums across the county on certain days of the month in order to support the Arts in communities like ours.

The La Habra Children's Museum will be free to all who enter this Saturday thanks to Target. This is a great place for children to explore "hands-on" and learn about art through their senses. Top hits for this museum are the Train room, the Dress-up room and the Carousel room. There are many other rooms including a pretend grocery shopping experience. This is a smaller museum which makes it easy for tracking your little ones. The age range that would have the most fun here are 1-5 year olds.

The Bowers Museum & Kidseum will be free this Sunday to all who visit. This is a great cultural museum and the bonus is the Kidseum helps the little ones to absorb all the displays in a more hands on atmosphere. This museum is great for all ages and you can't beat FREE. Don't miss 'The Gold of Troy' exhibit which will be gone after February 21st.

If you're looking for something to do to beat cabin fever with all this rain or just want to enjoy the day before the Big Superbowl, these museums will do the trick.

For more information on FREE and Low Cost activities in Orange County visit . Be sure to sign up for our NEW activities calendar to receive emails that will keep you up to date on all the FREE days and events in Orange County.

Happy FREE Museum Weekend!

(Thank you Target!)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

FREE Ice Skating Anyone?

What could be better than a winter afternoon full of fun with the family? Without a doubt, an afternoon of FREE fun at The OC Great Park's Great Skate Ice Rink! The Ice Skating Rink is offering FREE admission and skate rentals all season. The opening day was January 30th and they will have sessions through February 28th. Take advantage of this great activity in Orange County. If you have your own ice skates, you can bring those along. They will also have helmets for children which are recommended at no extra charge. There's no better time to get out and enjoy the winter. To top it off, parking is absolutely FREE as well.

On Sunday evenings the Skating Rink will feature "Sounds of the Hour" skating to '70's, '80's and '90's music. You can reserve advance tickets up to a 6 ticket maximum for any given session but each ticket holder must be present 15 minutes before the session begins. You can take a look at the session schedules on their website Great Skate Ice Rink.

For more fun FREE and low cost activities visit Be sure to sign up for the New OC Fun Calendar. You will receive monthly emails with FREE and low cost activities in Orange County.

Happy Skating!