Teaching Kids to Be Independent

This post is sponsored by CHOC Children’s

Our goal as parents is to raise our children to be independent and eventually be able to run a household of their own. But how do you do that? Are there specific things parents should be doing to ensure their children learn independence? Teaching my kids to be independent is very important to me, however I admit that I am not sure I am doing enough or even doing it right. They certainly didn’t give me a manual on how to do this when I brought my kids home from the hospital. I recently had the opportunity to chat with Dr. Katherine Williamson, a CHOC Children’s pediatrician, to discuss ways to teach children to be independent. She gave me some great advice and ideas that can help in our everyday lives in raising our kids.

When Should You Start Teaching Kids to Be Independent?

Dr. Williamson stressed to me that there is no specific age when parents should start to teach children to be independent. Teaching them independence happens naturally at a very young age. Toddlers begin learning independence simply by watching their parents and caretakers. When you see your child mimicking you, they are actually learning how to be independent, and children LOVE to learn. Make routines for the morning, like use the bathroom, get dressed and eat breakfast. And for the evening, the routine could be take a bath, brush your teeth and read a story. Finally, as soon as your child is ready, encourage independence in dressing and bathing themselves. 

Doing Chores Teaches Children Independence 

Doing chores is one of the best ways to teach children independence and how to take care of themselves, Dr. Williamson says. Chores help kids feel empowered…this is a good thing! Don’t get hung up on making kids do chores just for the sake of doing them. Make sure that the chores they are doing have a purpose and accomplish a goal. Dr. Williamson reminds parents that chores should never interfere with eating, sleeping, playtime, homework, or school.

Toddlers – they are too young to have specific chores, but they can definitely follow along as little sidekicks and help their parents or siblings. Teach them fun little songs as you are working to keep them engaged and excited. It is important to involve toddlers in the family development and let them be part of the household.

Elementary-aged kids – begin with simple tasks such as feeding the pets, picking up toys, cleaning their rooms, putting away clothes and shoes, surface cleaning – anything that is simple. Make sure the things they are helping with don’t involve items that are too heavy for them or involve chemicals. Have them help you do things like sweeping, dusting or setting the table. Make sure to have fun. You can sing songs and make tasks into games to teach kids that “working” doesn’t have to be awful.

Tweens and Teens – chores at this age should continue to be intentional. Chores can be more encompassing and increase in quantity and length. Keep in mind that they still shouldn’t interfere with eating, sleeping, school or homework.

Being a Friend Teaches Independence

Your child can start learning to be a good friend as young as 3-4 years old. They learn about sharing, empathy and also that all people act differently. As they progress into elementary age, they will experience fun times as well as arguments and hurt feelings. This is where you can teach them ways to stay calm when things don’t go their way and also tell them what they can say or do to solve the problem.

It can be tempting for parents to try to solve problems between their own kids and others by talking with the other child’s parent. But try instead to guide your child to solve problems themselves. Encourage them to do as you taught them first before getting involved. Stand close by and watch as the children solve their problem. Being close by puts the children on their best behaviors. This is how children begin to develop the confidence and skills to communicate honestly, calmly, and politely with others.

Communicating with your Child Teaches Independence 

Children feel important when adults take the time to talk with them. Try to talk often and about many things with your children. This will help them gain self-confidence. Ask about friendships and the activities that your child enjoys. Ask them about the best part and worst part of their day and tell them about yours. Let your child know that it’s OK to have and talk about negative feelings. This will teach your child that it is normal have ups and downs.

Keeping children safe is an important job for parents. So, make sure to talk to your child about safety in terms of interacting with other adults, Dr. Williamson says. They need to be careful and know what is OK and NOT OKAY for other adults to ask and do to them. Start a conversation with your child about different safety issues such as coming to you if they aren’t sure of something, that there are NO secrets, that certain parts of the body are private, and that if they get separated from you to find a security guard, police officer or another mommy to help them.

Why it is Important to Teach Children to be Independent

When your child is allowed to be independent, it enables them to gain first-hand knowledge of the consequences of their actions. This helps them to learn things efficiently because they got to learn through trial and error. Next time they will think twice and hopefully learn from their actions and give them more self-discipline.

It also gives the opportunity to choose what will make them happy, and to learn right from wrong. In order to develop their own emotional maturity, children need to practice making their own choices, Dr. Williamson says. When children are younger, you can start with giving them only a couple choices, but when they are older, give them the chance to make the entire decision for themselves, she adds.

Independence also will enhance your child’s self-esteem. They will feel empowered with their accomplishments and in turn feel proud of themselves. If they fail at something, with your guidance, they will learn to handle that failure and stress. Eventually, they will learn to deal better with those negative feelings and not be so hard on themselves.

Through independence children develop their personality, grow up strong, and are ready to take on life’s challenges, emotionally secured, and happy. Children need to experience independence to learn the ways of life! 

Finally, as parents, we want nothing but the best for our children. We often want to attend to their needs as quickly as we can; it’s how we express our love. However, it’s really important give children the opportunity to become successful in life and to teach them independence. I hope these ideas Dr. Williamson has mentioned are good tools for us parents to utilize in our everyday lives. I know that I will definitely work hard to teach my kids to be responsible independent adults and am grateful for any advice I can get to make my job as a parent successful.

Check out another post presented by CHOC Children’s
The Importance of Play in Children

Helping Children Develop Healthy Eating Habits

Fun Disney’s The Lion King Recipes with Dole

This is a sponsored post. I am an official ambassador for Dole. Dole provided me with compensation for my time. As always, all opinions expressed in this post are mine.

Who is excited for Disney’s The Lion King to come to theaters on July 19th? Over here, we definitely are! And to celebrate we made a yummy The Lion King family lunch. DOLE just recently launched some great new themed recipes inspired by Disney’s THE LION KING as part of its “Powering the Hero Within” initiative. It leverages the heroic saga of Simba and Disney’s The Lion King to help parents encourage no-worry nutrition in their families, including adopting a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables.If you have ever tried any of Dole’s themed recipes, then you know how yummy a fresh they taste! Plus, they are easy to create and the kids love them. Check out the Lion Cub Lunch I made the kids using one of the recipes.

The Lion Cub Lunch is a turkey and spinach burger on a grilled pineapple with zucchini noodles. It’s made with Dole pineapple, Dole spinach, Dole walnuts and Dole bell peppers. I just can’t take how cute they turned out. A little Simba sitting in the grass. And I loved how easy they were to make and that the kids ate them all up.

Here are some more of the Dole original, worry-free recipes inspired by Disney’s The Lion King characters. There are lots of great ones, but these ones especially caught my eye.

Banana Peel the Loaf Tonight

Nala Naan

Dole Beet & Berry Smoothie

Circle of Life Salad

Pride Rock Peanut Tofu with Tomatoes and Broccoli

Pride Lands Pancakes and Fruity Sauce

Don’t these recipes look great?!! I can’t wait to make them all. For more original recipes and other information about “Powering the Hero Within,” go to www.dole.com/Disney.

PLUS, not only can you get all these great The Lion King themed Dole recipes, but right now you can also find DOLE® Bananas and Pineapples featuring Disney’s The Lion King in supermarkets throughout the U.S. and Canada.

My kids have even been trying to collect stickers and eat the bananas faster than I can buy them in order to get more stickers! There are eight Lion King banana sticker designs and two Lion King Pineapple tag designs.

Dole’s “No-Worry Traditions Contest”

Now through August 4, 2019, you can enter Dole’s “No-Worry Traditions Contest”! This awesome contest invites fans of Dole, Disney and Disney’s The Lion King to share their favorite family tradition by posting on social media and using the appropriate hashtags.

Five weekly winners will receive an official Disney’s The Lion King merchandise bundle that includes an official Mighty Roar Simba Interactive Plush Toy from Hasbro, plus a custom Dole hammock to relax away your tensions. The Grand Prize winner will receive a five-day, five-night family vacation in Hawaii. WOW!!! The vacation includes round-trip airfare, accommodations at a luxury resort hotel on Oahu, a choice of a tropical excursion, and a VIP experience at the Dole Planation, one of the most-visited attractions in Hawaii.

 To enter the “No-Worry Traditions Contest”, head over www.dole.com/Disney. There you’ll find out details on entering and the official rules. There is no cost to enter!

Lion King Prize Giveaway

Excited for Disney’s The Lion King? I have a FUN giveaway to celebrate! One lucky reader win a Lion King prize bundle featuring – a Hakuna Matata Journal, 2 Theatrical Posters, Hasbro Lion King Monopoly, FurReal’s Mighty Roar Simba Interactive Plush Toy from Hasbro, and a Custom Dole Banana Hammock. (Retail value of $200)

Just enter via Rafflecopter below! Giveaway ends July 20, 2019. Open to U.S. residents only. Good luck!!! *This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Disneyor Dole. The giveaway is solely owned, administered solicited and operated by me.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

More Dole X Disney Recipes!

Want to check out some more Dole Disney inspired recipes? Check out this post I wrote here!

Yummy Dole Recipes to Celebrate Disney Mickey Mouse’s 90th Anniversary

Fun with Kids at the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts

This week, I took the kids down to Laguna Beach to enjoy the ocean air, sights and sounds, and specifically to check out the Festival of Arts. The Festival of Arts is located in the pavilion where the Pageant of the Masters takes place. It’s a fine arts show that happens every summer, and features 140 artists from Orange County. At the festival, you can meet the artists and browse their one-of-a-kind artwork. But, there’s more! You can also participate in art demonstrations, enjoy live entertainment, food and browse the the Junior Art Exhibit. This year’s festival takes place from July 5th through August 31st.

I really enjoy showing my kids all the different types of art and explaining what techniques were used. At the Festival, the artists are often in their booths, so you can ask them the stories behind their art pieces.

It can be scary to take kids around expensive pieces of art, but the more you do it, the more they will learn and understand how they should behave in such settings. Make sure to explain to kids that they must not touch the art and should stand two steps back from it so they won’t accidentally bump into it. Toddlers should be in strollers as you don’t want to have any accidents.

Take an Art Tour

Get the most out of your visit by taking a free exhibit tour! The friendly Festival art docents will take you on a fun and informative walk through the fine art show. Offered twice a day- weekdays at 2pm and 4:30pm and weekends 11am and 4:30pm.

Free Art Workshops st the Festival of Arts

The Festival of Arts offers daily drop-in workshops in the Art Center. Printmaking and mixed media workshops are free.

We got to try ink tile painting – which the kids really enjoyed. It was fun watching them choose their colors and techniques in which to move the colors around. The ink was a totally new medium for them to try, so I really liked that they were exposed to this new technique.

Printmaking was also a new

They were very proud of the finished pieces!

If you would like to paint a pot at the ceramics workshop, prices start at $25. The helpful art instructors will walk you through each step. You can choose from glazes or marble art.

Art Classes for Kids at the Festival of Arts

Besides the free art demonstrations, the Festival also host kids art classes that are $20/$30 per child. They range from ceramics to drawing to painting and are taught by local artists. This gives parents the perfect opportunity to enjoy browsing the art exhibits while the kids are having a great time learning art skills. You must register for the art classes online.

Special Events at the Festival of Arts

On Mondays, they have a special story time and art class for kids that is included in the price of admission. Check here for the schedule of story times at the Festival of Arts. There are also special events for adults, art talks and tea, yoga, fashion shows and art nights.

There is daily live entertainment on the Festival of Arts stage. You can enjoy it while sitting on the green and grabbing a bite to eat at the food bar. It’s a great atmosphere there at the Festival!

Junior Art Exhibit at the Festival of Arts

The kids especially liked walking through the Junior Art Exhibit. This is where Orange County kids can submit their own artwork to be displayed at the Festival of Arts.

The art pieces are labeled by grades, so the kids loved seeing what kids their own ages submitted. It was really inspiring and made my kids want to do more artwork of their own.

We had such a fun time visiting the Festival of the Arts in Laguna Beach. We will definitely go back again this summer. There are a lot of fun things to do in Laguna Beach and the Festival should be on everyones list!

{ We were invited guests of the Festival of Arts. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.}

Get the Most Out of the OC Fair on a Budget with Kids

The OC Fair opens this week! And If yours kids are anything like mine, they are already begging to go. The OC Fair is an icon of summer here in Orange County, and every year there is a month long celebration of fair favorites. I love almost everything about the fair except for the prices. Not everything is expensive, but with four kids, things can add up. So, I am sharing a list of ways on how you can Get the Most Out of the OC Fair on a Budget with Kids.

For our family, we usually go to the OC Fair 2-3 times each year. We usually go once and splurge on food, rides and activities. But the rest of our visits are definitely budget days. A typical budget day will include: going on Opening Day for free or on a “Kids Free Day”. The kids get three free rides for doing the Read & Ride program (more info below). We will share a treat, visit Centennial Farm, check out the art exhibits, play in the Explorium, and watching the free shows happening around the fairgrounds.

Sometimes I give each kid $10 to spend however they’d like. If they know ahead of time, that it’s the only extra money we will be spending, I curb any begging for extra items at the Fair. Plus, they get to learn about budgeting and being intentional in getting what they want.

OC Fair Ticket Deals

Visit the OC for free or almost FREE. The OC Fair has free days, free kids days and discounts on admission prices. first things first, on Friday, July 12th, Opening Day, everyone is Free ‘Til Three (12-3 p.m.). and did i mention FREE PARKING.

• We Care Wednesdays run from noon to 3:00 p.m. just donate the specified items to each Wednesday Non-profit partner and get a FREE admission to the OC Fair and one carnival ride per person.

July 17th – School Supply Drive
(bring new school supplies valued at $5 or more, such as pens, pencils, crayons, notebooks (items must be sealed; no coloring books or workbooks)

July 24th – Share Our Selves Canned Food Drive, benefitting Second Harvest and OC Food Bank
(bring 5 canned food items)

July 31st – Children’s Book Drive, benefitting THINK Together
(3 new or gently used children’s books

August 7th – Clothing Drive, benefitting Goodwill OC
(bring 5 gently used clothing items)

OC Fair Discount Tickets

Thursdays are Kids Day
Children 12 & under receive FREE Fair admission all day.

• On Fridays, it’s Seniors Day (60+). Seniors get in for $5, plus FREE Ferris wheel and merry-go-round rides all day.

• First Responders and Law Enforcement get free admission the Week of August 7th through 11th. This includes active-duty and professional staff of the police, sheriff, fire and emergency services departments. Plus, they get the option to purchase up to 4 general admission tickets for their guests at half price. Issuing agency ID is required.

• On Saturday & Sunday, the OC Fair offers the “Best Deal Ever” from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. general admission is half price. Sundays only: $35 Unlimited Ride Wristband available – ride until 4 p.m., sold until 1 p.m. Includes 1 ride on the Titan; all other rides are unlimited.

How to Save Money on OC Fair Rides

The rides are so much fun and they are one of the things that the kids beg for the most. but tickets can really add up, and each ride can cost anywhere from 3-10 tickets! yikes. Here are some ways that you can get some free or discounted tickets.

Did you know that your kids can get 3 free rides just for reading?!!! it’s a great deal and worth as much at 20 tickets. the OC Fair Read & Ride program allows kid ages 5-11 can read two books to earn three free carnival rides by writing a short book report on this form. And just so you know, i don’t think they are strict on ages, because i made all my kids read and write the reports last year and they all got free rides. Such a great deal. completed book report forms can be redeemed for ride tickets at the Centennial Farm Information Booth during Fair hours.

• Wednesdays $35 Unlimited Carnival Ride Wristband
Enjoy all the rides you can handle for one price. (Sold until 5 p.m. Valid until 8 p.m. Wristbands must be purchased onsite. Required Fair admission sold separately.)

• on Fridays, get $2 Rides and $2 Games noon to 4:00 p.m. in the Main Carnival and Kiddie Carnival.

• Sunday Carnival Special – get a $35 unlimited ride wristband. Valid 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Free Things to Do at the OC Fair

There are lots of free things to do at the Fair, you don’t even really need to buy anything to enjoy it. Our favorite things are – Centennial Farm, the Explorium (Kid Zone), acrobatic & hypnotists shows, arts exhibits, culinary exhibits, Reptile House, Pet Center, 4H exhibits, water area, garden and farm area, free rides for kids with the Read & Ride program, and browsing vendor booths.

Seeing the baby animals is the most favorite activity on our list, followed by the Explorium Kid Zone shows.

How to Save Money on Food at the OC Fair

out of all the attractions and amusements at the OC Fair, the food is what can cost the most. it really adds up if everyone wants a meal, and a drink, and a treat, and another treat.

If you are on a budget and want to spend as little as possible on food, i suggest eating first and then visiting the Fair. A fair isn’t a fair without food, so plan on at least getting a treat to share. Some suggestions of my favorite sharable Fair treats are – Funnel Cake (with ice cream topping), Caramel Crack Fries, Berry Treat Bowl from Sherri’s Berries, Giant Donuts (look for the Unicorn Cotton Candy Donut), Giant Foot-long Corn Dogs, Loaded Curly Fries, Fried Zucchini and the Big Skillet Cookie.

Plus, on Thursdays, you can get $3 Taste of Fair Food from noon to 4:00 p.m. It’s a great way to get to enjoy a variety of select fun-sized Fair treats for a value price. Samples include funnel cake, tri-tip, lemonade, cinnamon rolls, tacos, gelato, cotton candy and more.

How to Save Money on OC Fair Parking

General parking is $10 everyday. You can always park for free offsite at some of the free parking lots and walk to the Fair. Or you can get FREE Off-Site Parking on Saturday & Sunday and Free shuttle service from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. at the Experian parking structure located off the Bristol Street exit of the 405 Freeway. follow the signs to “Experian.”

The OC Fair Express costs $2 each way, or $1.50 for seniors 60+ and persons with disabilities. When you ride the OC Fair Express, you receive a coupon for $4 OC Fair admission, that’s a $10 savings! OC Fair Express buses depart from nine locations on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the duration of the Fair. When riding the Metrolink, you can connect to the OC Fair Express at the Anaheim Canyon, Santa Ana, Irvine or Anaheim-ARTIC Metrolink stations. show your valid Metrolink ticket and ride the bus for free.

Now it’s time to enjoy the OC Fair!

The OC Fair runs for a whole month, this year’s dates are July 12th through August 11th. Hopefully with these tips and tricks, you can visit multiple times and not break the bank.

101 Things to do with Kids in Orange County

Fun Things to Do With Kids in Orange County List{Updated June 2019}

Summer is here and the kids are home! but don’t worry, there are plenty of things for kids to do in Orange County to keep them from whining and saying “i’m bored!”  to make things easier on you parents and caretakers, i have created a list of 101 Kid-friendly Things to do in Orange County (there are actually 132 on this list).

some of these activities are FREE or low cost…some are pricey. plan out your favorites accordingly and get out into the sunshine with those kiddies. i have found that getting out once a day helps my sanity, so i make an effort to take the kids somewhere during the day…even if it is just the park or the front yard to ride bikes.

Don’t forget to follow the  Sandy Toes and Popsicles Facebook Page for daily updates of events happening in Orange County – such as library and park events, free local events and more.

NOW go have some fun!!!!!!!

Orange County Park Fun
1. Fun Orange County Parks The #1 resource in Orange County for finding great parks all over the OC. Michelle’s fantastic website has the scoop on almost every park, what amenities they offer, and useful tips. Check it out!
2. Concerts in the Park (click link to find dates & cities) Free
3. Summer Movies in the Park in Orange County (click link to find dates & cities) Free
4. Orange County Great Park (Irvine) Where you can ride the Big Orange Balloon and ride a carousel for a nominal fee. It also has a play park and garden to check out, and hosts family-friendly events often (check out their website).
5. Atlantis Play Park (Garden Grove) Charming concrete animals and slides including a giant sea serpent. It also has a splash pad and plenty of picnic areas. Admission is $2 (no bills over $10 accepted, closed on Mondays)
6. Adventure Playground (Irvine) one-of-a-kind park for kids to use there imaginations in interactive play. wear clothes that can get dirty, and bring an extra set.
7. Adventure Playground (Huntington Beach) AKA mud park. Rafting in mud pond, mudslides, fort building and water fun. A kids dream park, and my children’s favorite summer activity each summer. Open mid June – August, 10am – 4pm. Closed Sundays. Admission is $3.
8. Marina Park (Newport Beach) AKA the Lighthouse park. Fun nautical themed park equipment with a large lighthouse slide. It’s located on the Newport Bay, so its a great wave-free area for kids to enjoy the ocean. There is metered parking but if you can find a parking spot on the street it’s free.
9. Irvine Park Railroad & Wheel Fun Rentals
10. Heritage Park Play Island (Cerritos) Is a city park that has a play island with Historic buildings reminiscent of those during Paul Revere’s Ride with play equipment inside! It is a must see park. Make a picnic lunch and enjoy an afternoon of park play. Admission is Free.
11. Oso Creek Caring Fairies (Mission Viejo) The fairy trails have been taken down, however, 15 fairies remain living in the courtyard of Potocki Center for the Arts.  Free

Reading Fun
12. Local Library Programs
13. Free Summer Reading Programs for Kids
14. Barnes & Noble Events for Kids
15. Pottery Barn Book Club (Costa Mesa & Mission Viejo) Every Tuesday and other select days for special book events. Receive a surprise after every 5 times you attend. Free

Museums
16. Discovery Science Center (Santa Ana)
17. Pretend City (Irvine) Fun for babies, toddlers and children, I suggest 9yrs and under.
18. La Habra Children’s Museum (La Habra)
19. Bowers Museum (Santa Ana)

Pop Up Museums
20. Pop Up Disney!
21. Cheat Day Land

Discounted Movies
22. Summer Outdoor Movies in Orange County
23. Summer Movie Programs for Kids
24. Discount Picture Show at Main Place Mall (Santa Ana) $6.25 before 6pm
25. Woodbridge 5 AMC Cinema (Irvine) $4.95 movies all day.
26. Brea Plaza 5 (Brea) $5.45 before 5pm
27. Cinema City (Anaheim Hills) $6 before noon, on Mondays & Tuesdays, and on Sundays before 6pm.
28. Drive-In Movies

Amusement Parks
30. Knott’s Berry Farm (Buena Park)
31. Disneyland (Anaheim)
32. Legoland (Carlsbad)
33. Adventure City (Anaheim on south Beach Boulevard) Carnival rides, rock climbing wall, arcade, petting zoo, children’s theater and food.

Fairs
34. OC Fair (Costa Mesa) July 12th – August 11th, 2019

Zoos & Farms & Animals
35. Zoomars (San Juan Capistrano) Small family owned zoo located in the historic Los Rios Village. Bunny farm, Guinea Pig Gully, corn pool, playground, pony rides, train rides and gem mining. Open 9am – 5pm.
36. Centennial Farm (Costa Mesa) Farm to the OC Fair animals and gigantic garden. Admission is free. Open to the public until the OC Fair begins and resumes after it is over.
37. Santa Ana Zoo
38. OC Zoo (Orange) Admission in $2. Located inside Irvine Regional Park.
39. Prehistoric Pets – The Reptile Zoo (Fountain Valley) Largest display of reptiles. My kids love this place. You can feed meal worms to turtles and also hold snakes and lizards. Meet “Twinkie” the largest albino boa in captivity.
40. Tanaka Farms (Irvine) Farm tours, veggie picking and farm stand
41. The Ecology Center (San Juan Capistrano)  Kids classes, strawberry picking, nature center.
42. Wags Animal Shelter (Westminster) Offers Dog cookie classes once a month. Check out their Facebook pages for event dates.

Trampoline Houses
Giant trampolines from wall to wall. Activities include dodgeball, basketball and foam pits.
43. CircusTrix OC
44. Sky Zone Trampoline House (Anaheim Hills & Westminster)
45. Big Air Trampoline House (Laguna Hills & Buena Park)
46. Get Air Surf City Trampoline Park (Huntington Beach)
47. Big Air (Buena Park)
48. Rockin’ Jump (Santa Ana) also has rock climbing

Indoor Rock Climbing
49. Sender City at Sender One (Santa Ana) this is seriously one of our favorite places…loved by kids and adults! and fun interactive rock climbing experience with a giant slide and staff that is amazing.
50. Rock City Climbing (Anaheim)
51. Rockreation (Costa Mesa)

Bounce House Places
Inflatable bounce houses with gigantic slides, and obstacles great for kids of all ages. Check them out individually for open play times and special family fun pizza nights. Enjoy indoor air-conditioning on hot summer days. (Don’t forget your socks!)
52. Bounce U (Orange)
53. Scooter’s Jungle (Placentia)
54. Pump it Up (Anaheim)
55. Pump it Up (Irvine)
56. Pump it Up (Lake Forest)
57. Pump it Up (Huntington Beach)
58. Froggs Bounce House (Fountain Valley)

Fun Centers
59. Thrill It Fun Center (Orange)
60. Round 1 Entertainment (Santa Ana)

Indoor Play Zones (Don’t forget your socks!)
61. Jump’n Jammin (Mission Viejo)
62. BubblePOP! (Irvine)
63. Billy Beez (Anaheim)
64. We Play Loud (Lake Forest & Huntington Beach)
65. Kidz Spot (La Habra)
66. Seascape Kids Fun (Anaheim Hills)
67. Luv 2 Play (Irvine & Lake Forest)
68. Bubble Playground (Buena Park)
69. Pumper Jumpers (Fullerton)

Water Parks & Water Slides
70. Soak City (Buena Park) Orange County’s largest amusement water park located adjacent to Knott’s Berry Farm.
71. Bucaneer Cover at Boomers! (Fountain Valley)
72. Raging Waters (Diamond Bar)
73. Splash! (La Mirada)

Splash Pads & Public Pools
All these splash pads are open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Admission is free unless noted below. Children who aren’t potty trained should wear a swim diaper. I would recommend these for children under the age of 10 years.
74. Pioneer Park and Splash (Tustin) Free
75. Heritage Park Splash Pad (Irvine) Free
76. Singler Park Splash Pad (Westminster) Free
77. Stanton Central Park Splash Pad (Stanton)
78. District of Tustin (Tustin) Pop-up fountains
79. Crown Valley Park Spray pad (Laguna Niguel) *Closed for renovations*
80. Lemon Park Spray Pool (Fullerton) Free
81. Harry M. Dotson Park Wet Saloon (Stanton) Free
82. Atlantis Play Center Splash Pad (Garden Grove) Admission to park is $2.
83. Terramor Aquatic Park (Ladera Ranch) Must be with a resident to enter.
84. Larwin Spray Pool (Buena Park) Free
85. Frontier Park (Tustin)
86. Aliso Viejo Aquatic Center (Aliso Viejo) Public Pool, Splash pad and lap pools. Admission is $4-7 for non-members.
87. San Clemente Aquatics Center and Vista Hermosa Sports Park (San Clemente)

Beach Area Fun
88. The Best Tidepools in Orange County free
89. Corona Del Mar Tide Pools free
90. Balboa Ferry
91. Pirate Coast Paddle (Newport Back Bay) Paddleboarding fun
92. Victoria Beach Castle (Laguna Beach)
93. Crystal Cove & Ruby’s Shake Shack
94. Pacific Marine Mammal Center: See rescued ocean animals and education. (Laguna Beach) free
95. Aquarium of the Pacific (Long Beach)
96. Ocean Quest by Discovery Cube (Newport Beach) Located at Balboa Fun Zone
97. Newport Dunes Inflatable Water Playground (Newport Beach)
98. Newport Dunes Movies on the Beach (Newport Beach) free
99. Ocean Institute (Dana Point)

Nature Centers
100. Environmental Nature Center (Newport Beach) A 3.5 acre facility with nature trails, a native plant reserve and a nature center with kid-friendly exhibits. It is open 7 days a week. Admission and parking are free.
101. Oak Canyon Nature Center (Anaheim Hills) Hike the nature trails, visit the nature center and have a picnic at the picnic tables. Day camps are held during the morning hours. Admission and parking are free.
102. Bolsa Chica Interpretive Center (Huntington Beach) Learn about marine life, birds and reptiles native to our wetlands.
103. Fullerton Arboredum (Fullerton near Cal State Fullerton) Enjoy gardens with plants from different regions of the world. Yoga in the garden, nature walks, and family-friendly nature classes are scheduled every few weeks.
104. Peter Mary Muth Interpretive Center (Newport Beach Back Bay) Hands-on exhibits about the Back Bay’s wildlife nature. They have fantastic family events, so check out their calendar of events for the special dates. Open Tuesday – Sunday. Admission and parking are free.
105. Shipley’s Nature Center (Huntington Beach) Great interpretive center with hands on exhibits for kids, plus garden area.

Miniature Golfing & Amusement
106. Boomers! (Irvine and Fountain Valley) Miniature golf, go-carts, arcades, rides, and food. Irvine has laser tag. All activities have individual pricing.
107. Camelot Golfland (Anaheim off of the 91 freeway) Miniature golf, laser tag, arcade and food. All activities have individual pricing.
108. GlowZone (Huntington Beach) Everything glows at Glowzone. Choose from miniature golf, bowling, arcade, later maze, ninja course and more.

Fun Dining & Dinner Theaters
109. Medieval Times (Buena Park)  Medieval dinner and tournament with knights and horses at a fun dinner show. A full dinner is served and must be eaten with your fingers.
110. Pirates Dinner Adventures (Buena Park)  Dinner and show featuring pirates and stunts. A full dinner is served.
111. Chuck E. Cheeses (nationwide) Pizza and arcade.
112. John’s Incredible Pizza (Buena Park & Westminster) Pizza, arcade, rides, bowling and laser tag.

Arcades
113. Dave & Busters (Orange)
114. Dave & Busters (Irvine)
115. Nickel Nickel (Huntington Beach)

Skating & Ice Skating
116. Holiday Skate
117. Fountain Valley Skating Center
118. Irvine Inline
119. Anaheim ICE
120. Aliso Viejo Ice Palace
121. Yorba Linda ICE

Bowling
122. Kids can bowl FREE all summer at many of our Orange County bowling alleys. Find out details and sign up here.
123. Fountain Bowl (Fountain Valley)
124. Lucky Strike (Orange at the Block)
125. Concourse Lanes (Anaheim)
126. 300 Anaheim Lanes (Anaheim)
127. Irvine Lanes (Irvine)
128. Linbrook Lanes ( Anaheim)
129. Anaheim Bowling & Event Center (Anaheim)

Baseball Games
130. Dodgers Baseball (Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles)
131. Anaheim Angels Baseball (Angel Stadium in Anaheim)

Candy Stores
132. Powell’s Sweet Shop (Laguna Niguel)
133. Balboa Candy Store (Newport Beach at the Balboa Fun Zone)
134. B.Candy Store (Corona Del Mar & Huntington Beach)
135. Wonderland Bakery (Newport Beach)
136. The Candy Baron (Laguna Beach)

Historic Fun
137. San Juan Capistrano Mission (San Juan Capistrano)
138. Richard Nixon Library (Yorba Linda)
139. Heritage Museum of Orange County (Santa Ana)

Skate Parks
140. Vans Skate Park (Outlets of Orange) free
141. Etnies Skate Park (Lake Forest)
142. Logan Wells Memorial Skate Park (Anaheim Hills)free
143. Volcom Skate Park (Costa Mesa)
144. Brea Skate Park (Brea) – El Dorado Drive free
145. Brea Skate Park (Brea) – Sievers Avenue free
146. Fullerton Skate Park (Fullerton) – Valencia Drive free
147. Beebe Skate Park – (Mission Viejo) free
148. Garden Grove Skate Park (Garden Grove) – Westminster Avenue free
149. Anaheim West Skate Park (Anaheim) – Crescent Avenue free

Laser Tag
150. Laser Quest – Fullerton
151. Laser Quest – Mission Viejo
152. Laser Tag – Camelot Golfland, Anaeheim
153. Laser Tag – Boomers!, Irvine

Downtown Disney
154. Build-a-bearLEGO Store – Anaheim, Pop Up Disney!, Disney Store

Art Fun
155. Sawdust Art Festival (Laguna Beach) June 28 – September 1, 2019
156. Color Me Mine – Brea Paint your own pottery
157. Color Me Mine – Costa Mesa Paint your own pottery
158. Color Me Mine – Tustin Paint your own pottery
159. Hidden Talents Ceramic Studio Paint your own pottery
160. Fired Up (San Clemente) Paint your own pottery
161. Timree Paint Studio (Newport Beach)
162. The Ceramic Studio (San Juan Capistrano)

Shopping Area Fun
163. Old Towne Orange
164. Fashion Island (Newport Beach) Visit the Koi Pond, Pet store, Casey’s Cupcakes, Fountains, Build-A-Bear
165. Irvine Spectrum (Irvine) Carousel, Train Ride, Big Wheel Ride, Fountain splash pads, Movie Theater, Casey’s Cupcakes and shopping.
166. South Coast Plaza (Costa Mesa) Carousel, LEGO Store, Disney Store, Train, Pottery Barn Kids Book Club on tuesdays.
167. Pacific City (Huntington Beach)

Don’t forget to check out the Sandy Toes and Popsicles Facebook Page for daily updates of events happening in Orange County!

AND….

How about entertaining the tweens and teens….

Fun Things to Do With Teens in Orange County

how about these great summer camps!

best-orange-county-summer-camps-for-kids

PLUS….

how about these 10 Family Outings for $30!

Best Family Outings in Orange County

PLUS….

the best popsicles in town. where to get ice cream truck popsicles and ice creams in bulk right here in the OC.

best-popsicles-in-orange-county

PLUS…

101 Places toFind the Best Treats in Orange County