Family Fun at Sender City and Sender One Indoor Rock Climbing

Best Rock Climbing Places in Orange County

on friday nights or saturdays, we love to get out as a family and do fun activities around the OC. whether its the beach, the movies or exploring new places, we are always looking for something fun AND that the whole family will enjoy. one of our most favorite places to go is to Sender One in Santa Ana. it’s an awesome indoor rock climbing center here in Orange County.

Sender One consists of two areas – first, there is the main area where pros to beginners come to indoor rock climb, and then there is a second area, Sender City, that great for kids (as well as parents) with brightly colored climbing challenges and obstacles. i have written about Sender City before and how amazingly awesome it is. the only thing that has changed since i wrote that post, is its name.  it used to be called Funtopia, but it has now rebranded itself to Sender City. it still has all the same great attractions and great staff, just a name change.

last weekend, we decided to spend the evening at Sender One, and spent some time in both Sender City and Sender One. we had a great time….as always!

Sender City Summer Camp for Kids in Orange Countyfirst we went to Sender City because it closes earlier than Sender One. the boys and the hubby had fun climbing all our favorites. this evening, i decided just to take picture. i do love climbing…but i also love taking pictures of my boys.Best Summer Camps for Kids in Orange Countywhat i love about Sender City, is that it is a great place to help kids learn confidence. a lot of the obstacles seem scary at first, but it is fun to see them try again and again and gain the ability and confidence to get to the top. it’s hard to believe that little Vann was scared at first..and then to see him climb to the top and jump was amazing!
Kids Rock Climbing Classes in Orange CountyHow to Build Confidence in KidsFun Places For Kids in Orange CountySender City For Kidsand parents have blast too. it’s also great exercise!Fun Date Ideas in Orange CountySender City Fun Zone For KidsFun Places to Go in Southern Californiathen there is the giant slide! half of the family was a bit scared to try it out, but the other half loved it. by holding onto the handle, you get pulled up to the top of the slide. when you let go…..WHEEEEEE!!!!!! you get a un drop down he slide.
Fun Slides for Kids in Orange CountySender City Giant Slidethere’s a new area in Sender City, a toddler area. it’s great for those smaller kids and toddlers who are not quite big enough to climb. this way parents can keep watch on both their kids in Sender City climbing area, and in the toddler area.Toddler Area at Sender City

after we were done in Sender City, we headed over to the main climbing area of Sender One. let me tell you, this place is amazing!!!!! people from all over come to Sender One to climb there amazing rock walls. they offer classes to beginners everyday, and you can come in rock climb for a daily fee that is pretty reasonable. if you are a beginner, head over to the Sender One website to check out the beginner info.

Sender One Climbing Centerthe best way to start climbing at Sender One is by taking our Intro to Climbing package – this includes a 1-hour intro to Climbing and Belaying Class, a day pass for the entire day, and your rental gear. the day pass gives access to the climbing gym, fitness facilities, and even yoga classes all day.

Sender One OCthis was the first time we spent a lot of time in the main climbing area, and we absolutely loved it. there were so many areas to explore and the Sender One team members were so helpful teaching us the prober way to climb.Safety at Sender One Indoor Rock ClimbingOrange County Kids Climbing classes

Rock Climbing ChallengesFun Activities for Families in Orange CountyRock Climbing TrainingDate Night Ideas in the OCOrange County Rock Climbing Lessonsthe boys had such a great time, that they are already asking to go back. i love that they are learning, building their skills and also getting great exercise while they are at it. we have decided to send them to Summer Camp at Sender One because they loved it so much.Southern California Rock Climbing LessonsOrange County Kids Rock Climbing Lessonsthis summer, i hope that you have a chance to get your kids to Sender One or Sender City. it also make a great date night adventure, so don’t think this place is just for kids….because its for everyone!!!! Fun Things to do With Teen in Orange County Rock Climbing

Old Fashioned Candy Demonstrations at Logan’s Candies

Logans Candy Shopin trying to find things to keep the kids occupied during summer break, i finally made the trek out to Ontario to visit Logan’s Candies. this little mom and pop candy shop is located in Ontario’s historic downtown where you can get a glimpse of the architecture of the city during the times before 1950. Logan’s Candies has been around since 1933 where they have been hand making signature candy canes and chocolates the same way since they opened way back when. they are best known for their hand pulled candy canes and ribbon candy. in fact, they hold the world record for the World’s Largest Candy Cane.

i have been hearing about their free candy making demonstrations for a few years now, and have been wanting to take the kids to check one out. i am a sucker for brightly colored candy, especially of the vintage variety. if you follow their Facebook page, you can find out when different candy making demonstrations will be held. the demonstrations are around 30 minutes and show guests demonstrations of anything from making holiday candy canes to fruity ribbon candy to caramel apples and chocolate. at this particular demonstration, we got to enjoy a Watermelon Ribbon Candy Demonstration.

Old Fashioned Ribbon Candy Orange County

kids and adults are allowed to gather around the candy kitchen and listen to one of the owners share how the candy is made and do a step by step demo. it gets a little crowded for the demonstrations, so i recommend getting there about 20 minutes early.

SoCal Candy Making Demonstration

then, the candy making all starts on the original marble slab that Logan’s Candies began making candy on.
Orange County Candy Makingthis is the same way that most hard candies begin. the boiling sugar mixture then cools on the slab and is divided into sections.
Logan's Candy Store Free Candy Making Demonstrationscolor and flavor is added. the smell is wonderful!
How to Make Old Fashioned Ribbon Candythen the candy is pulled till it is the right color and consistency.Orange County Candy Pulling once each large piece of candy is perfect with the color and flavor, it is ready to be pulled into the correct shape. they demonstrate how they stack the pieces to get it ready to pull.Learn to Make Old Fashion Ribbon Candy Southern California Logan's Candies Ontario
here is the large slab of colored candy pieces ready to pull into ribbons.

Old Fashion Candy Story Southern California
everything goes pretty quickly from here. each piece of candy is pulled and cut into measured pieces, and then hand shaped into beautiful colored ribbons. the warm candy ribbons harden almost immediately creating the hard, shiny, multi-colored candy we all know.

How to Make Ribbon CandyLogan's Candies

it is fun to watch the finished candies as they are placed on the counter into rows to cool. did i mention it smells really good?!?!Old Fashion Candy Store Southern CaliforniaWatermelon Ribbon Candy

as the demonstration wraps up, they allowed anyone who wants to try shaping their own piece of ribbon candy to do so for $1.55. its a great hands-on experience for the kids to try, especially when they find out how fast they must work the candy before it is too hard.

Kids Making Ribbon CandyOld Fashion Candy Store California

Logan’s Candies is a small little store, but they sell all sorts of great candies and gifts. you can find candy from all over the world…

Logans Candy Store Ontariohomemade fudge and chocolate….

Logan's Old Fashioned Candy

and their homemade candy canes. check out this batch of patriotic candy canes and candy hearts.Patriotic Candy Canes Logan's Old Fashioned Candy Orange County
bring some pocket change for the kids to buy a few treats, as it is hard to resist all the yummy.

Logan's Old Fashioned Candies Orange County

we really enjoyed the candy demonstration at Logan’s Candies. it was a bit of a drive from Orange County, so i would suggest having additional plans of things to do when you go there. it is a great experience and makes a fun field trip for scouts and groups. go check them out!Logan's Candy Shop

7 Family-friendly Orange County Tide Pools

Best Tide Pools in Orange County

Updated July 2020

One of the things we are BLESSED with here in the OC, besides the weather, are the beautiful beaches. Our summer weather is almost alway perfect to head down to the beach. My boys love all of the beaches here in Orange County, but when they have the choice, they always pick going to the beaches with tide pools. There are some great Orange County tide pools here in SoCal, perfect for families to explore.

We go to the tidepools often, even on cold days because you don’t really have to get wet..just your feet really. So you can wear a hoodie, roll-up your pants bottoms, and head on in to wade in the tidepools. LOL…I am laughing because honestly, how often do you really need to wear pants here!


Last week, we took the boys to our favorite tide pools in Corona Del Mar. It’s often called “Little Corona” and is located off of Pacific Coast Highway on Poppy Street. You can park on Ocean Boulevard in the neighborhood, and walk down the hill to the small coved beach.


The waves are small and kids can wade into the water without to much worry from the adults. and there are lots of rocks and areas to explore. On the right side of the beach, you can sift in the sand an find lots of pretty sea glass.


If you visit during low tide, you are sure to find some beautiful finds, like ocean critters and plant life.  Look carefully, especially in spots that are hidden, that’s where you will find the hidden gems and native sea creatures and shells. Check out these starfish we found. Those colors are real…#nofilter.


All these sea urchins were nestled in a rock pool hidden on the side of a big boulder. We climbed up the side and were surprised at what we found.


We spent the rest of the time hiking up some of the larger rocks just to see what was on the other side, and enjoying the beauty that surrounded us. It was one of those days you wish would never end.


Where to find Tide Pools in Orange County

If you are looking for some great OC tide pools to visit, these are some of our favorite beaches that have tide pools:

Crystal Cove State Beach ( Pacific Coast Highway – between Corona Del Mar and Laguna Beach)
Reef Point, Rocky Bight, Pelican Point, north end of Treasure Cove are the best places to explore here. You can park in the beach’s parking lots for $15 per day.

Main Beach(Pacific Coast Highway and Laguna Canyon Road)
This is Laguna’s main beach. often crowded, and parking is scarce. You can find public parking lots in the shops north of Pacific Coast Highway. This beach is flanked on both sides by some small tide pools. you can find the Heisler Park tide pools and Shaw’s Cove tide pools in the beaches north of it…just a short walking distance.

Little Corona Tide Pools – (Corner of Ocean and Poppy – enter from Marguerite and Pacific Coast Hwy)
Located at the bottom of a small hill, you will find a small beach with tide pools flanking both sides. restrooms are located halfway down the hill, and lifeguards patrol the beach during summer hours only. Street parking is available for no charge, but can be hard to find during busy times.

Treasure Island Beach – (Wesley &  Pacific Coast Hwy – Laguna Beach)
This is one of the hidden gems of Orange County, and a bit of a hike to get to. There is only one small public parking lot off Wesly Dr. (Parking is horrible) or you can park on the street on the north side of PCH up the hill.  To get to the beach, follow the sidewalk path that runs along the front of the Montage Resort, past the main hotel’s beach. north of that beach you will find a stairway leading down to the small tide pool flanked beach. The cliffside views of this beach are breathtaking.

Shaw’s Cove Tidepools(Cliff Drive & Pacific Coast Highway, Laguna Beach)
A small beach hidden off of main beach located within the Laguna State Beach Marine Preserve. it’s one of the local favorites for tide pools and snorkeling/diving. The waters are clear here and you are sure to find anemoes, sea critters, starfish and even rays and sharks.

Heisler Park Reserve (Cliff Drive &  Pacific Coast Hwy – Laguna Beach)
This is a little hidden gem of Orange County north of main beach in Laguna. parking is metered at the park above the beach on the cliffs. Stairs lead down to a small rocky cove beach. Be sure to watch the tides here as it comes up quickly here, and you can get trapped. be careful bring small kids here because it is rocky.  This beach is full of character and has great views and trails to explore.

Cresent Bay(located where Cliff Drive intercepts North Coast Highway)
This beach is a sandy stretch with rocky areas at the north and south ends. off the north point there is a large rock about 120 yards off shore called Seal Rock because of the seals and sea lions that take refuge there. It’s often closed due to high tide and it’s dangerous rocks.

Information on visiting Tide Pools in Orange County

When visiting the tide pools in Orange County, make sure that you are careful when exploring the tide pools. It’s a good idea to wear shoes, and remember, collecting sea animals and rocks are prohibited.

It is REALLY IMPORTANT to check the tide before you go, or else you may find a beach covered with water and no rocks to explore in sight. We were fortunate to have a negative tide this particular day (meaning the tide was out further than normal) so we had more tide pools to explore than most of the days we go. you can check the beach tides online, or by using an app on your phone such as the Surfline.


And if you can time your visit to the tide pools to end around sunset time, you will be in for a special treat. beach sunsets are amazing and bring a sense of peace and calm to your spirit. this is one of the special treats you get for living on the west coast. A sunset like this is the perfect ending to a perfect day.


Segerstrom Center for the Arts Family Series

the Segerstrom Center for the Arts has two Family Series events coming up this April. this popular Family Series engages, enchants and inspires youngsters with the magic of live performance. International artists combine music, dance and theater that can be enjoyed by the entire family, creating experiences that instill an appreciation for the arts and create lifelong memories. reserve your tickets now before they sell out.

the Terrapin Puppet Theatre from Australia will perform the moving and poetic play Boats on April 6 and 7 in Samueli Theater. Boats is the story about a man named Jof, as told by his friend Nic. these two life-long friends and mariners, who met through bizarre circumstances involving a chicken, a deserted island and a sombrero, escape their past and embrace the unknown future with a great sense of adventure.

the magic of storytelling unfolds right in front of the audience as scenes are depicted featuringa crobatics and spectacular sound effects created on stage. the characters of Jof and Nic transform the world by using everyday objects that would be found on a boat’s galley. From a circus made from a jacket to a storm made in a teacup, such imaginative use of space and puppetry has garnered Terrapin with a global following.

 Terrapin Puppet Theatre’s Boats is recommended for families and children ages seven and up.
the acclaimed Marionetas de las Esquina from Mexico City brings to life a delightful and charming new twist to the classic fairytale of Sleeping Beauty Dreams on April 20 and 21. written by award-winning playwright Amaranta Leyva, this tale brings the famous princess from the past into the present as she searches for her prince… and herself.
  Marionetas de las Esquina’s Sleeping Beauty Dreams is recommended for families and children ages four to eight.

wanna go? here’s the info…

Terrapin Puppet Theatre: Boats
April 6 & 7, 2013
Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 1 and 3:30 p.m. 
the performance on Sunday, April 7 at 1:00 p.m. will be sign-language interpreted
Marionetas de la Esquina: Sleeping Beauty Dreams
April 20 & 21, 2013
Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 1 and 3:30 p.m. 
the performance on Sunday, April 21 at 1:00 p.m. will be sign-language interpreted

audiences are encouraged to arrive early because each performance includes a free pre-show, an hour of creative play activities and areading area with an assortment of children’s books. the Center’s Education and Community Programs Department offers these enriching experiences to provide young people and their parents more opportunities to play together creatively. studies show that this is critical to helping children develop their ability to think and problem solve.

$20 and will go on sale Sunday, March 10 at 10 a.m.
available online at or (714) 556-2787
or at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa
for inquiries about group ticket savings for 10 or more, 
call the Group Services office at (714) 755-0236.

Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade

pack up some hot cocoa and cookies, and head down to Newport Beach to enjoy the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade happening all this week! join over a million viewers as beautifully decorated yachts, boats, kayaks and canoes will sail along the harbor in the 104th Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. this year’s theme is “Surf, Sand and Santa!” and is sure to light up the eyes of you kiddies.

not only will the boats be decked out with lights and snow, the houses around Balboa Island too. what a wonderful evening it would be to ride the ferry across the peninsula and and walk around to view the beautiful lights.

wanna go? here’s the info…

Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade
Wednesday, December 19 to Sunday, December 23, 2012
6:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. each evening
here is the parade route, so you can pick the spot where you want to view it according to time.

the parade will start off at Bay Island at 6:30 p.m. and finish at the same site at approximately 9:00 p.m. each evening.