Orange County Winter Break Ideas for Kids

it’s here….it officially winter break for all the kiddies in the Orange County. so, how are you going to entertain these kiddies these next couple of weeks? we’ve got a great list of great activities to do….so you are surely never going to hear “i’m bored!” from your kiddies.
i am planning to take a bit of a break for the blog. i need some time to recoup and refresh. my kids need me….so, see you all in the New Year!!!!!! have fun during winter break.
first, you can check out our weekly Orange County “to do” list. it has day-by-day listings of great activities, storytimes and kid-friendly events happening in the OC. lots of free activities too.

second, Michelle from Fun Orange County Parks has an awesome list of fun things to do with the kids during winter break. in fact, her entire website is full of great information all about our parks here in Orange County. it’s the first place i go when i want the scoop about a park in the OC.

Fun Orange County Parks

or Jenn, from Tiny Oranges has a great list of things to do. plus check out all her posts about decorating and yummy recipes.
Tiny Oranges Winter Break idea list


third, here are a few links to some of our favorite go-to activities. check them out and see what would interest your kiddies.

OC Zoo
just $2 per person, you can see animals native to Orange County. bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the rest of Irvine Regional Park as well.
Irvine Park Railroad
a favorite of my two-year old. we can’t leave without riding the train $4, and taking a ride on a pony $4. go to their website to find coupons for a discounted train rides.

we just love feeding the guinea pigs and bunnies. plus, it’s nice to walk around the charming historic town, catching a glimpse of the train, and grabbing a bit to eat at Ruby’s Diner.

Tidepools at Corona Del Mar (don’t forget your galoshes)
Indiana Jones Exhibit at Discovery Cube

Fun things to do in your very own Kitchen

Winter Play sessions at Scooter’s Jungle

Scooter’s has open play sessions almost every day during the break. i love it because the kiddies are contained and able to run around and get their energy out!
lastly….you could let the kids toilet paper you house!!!!  LOL.

Christmas at the OC Zoo

it’s Christmas time for the animals at the OC Zoo and you’re invited to celebrate Christmas at the Zoo! this is a very special Orange County event for families and kids.
this Saturday, december 8, 2012 you can visit the OC Zoo and see the animals receive presents and treats.  some even get there own Christmas tree and will get the search for their hidden gifts. guests will also get to see Santa and have a special storytime with Mrs. Claus.  there will also be face painting and Christmas crafts for kids.
my contributor Laura took her son to preview this fun event….look at what will be happening at the zoo this weekend.
the bears got Christmas gifts…..
they were so excited.
looks like the mountain lions like getting present too!
park rangers are there to answer your questions and have demonstrations with the OC Zoo animals….
and you can even meet Flynn the hedgehog. it’s his 1st Christmas!
wanna go? here’s the info…
Christmas as the Zoo
december 8th, 2012
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
OC Zoo
1 Irvine Park Road, Orange CA 92862
(7140 973-6846
admission to the zoo is $2  •  Christmas activities included in addmission
parking $5 per vehicle

Heritage Hill Victorian Christmas & Candlelight Walk

looking for a family friendly activity to get into the Christmas spirit? check out what is going on at Heritage Hill Historic Park in Lake Forest.
Heritage Hill Historic Park Victorian Christmas 
Saturday, December 1st
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
admission $4 for adults, $3 for children 3-12
hot chocolate, apple cider & homemade cookies will be available for purchase
this special Victorian Christmas event will feature the park’s historic buildings adorned in turn-of-the-century holiday finery with costumed docents hosting. the Bennett House and the Serrano Adobe will feature quilt displays and weaving and spinning demonstrations. there will be handicraft vendors,  free children’s crafts, festive holiday entertainment, living history demonstrations, historical exhibits, tours through the decorated, historic buildings and visits with Santa Claus. there will also be a unique and old-fashioned marionette puppet theatre on the Bennet Lawn, as well the OC Chapter of the California Carvers Guild demonstrating and displaying wood toys and carvings.
children can participate in:
• old-fashioned, hands-on activities, including churning butter & candle dipping
• decorating cookies with Mrs. Claus
• make ornaments and crafts.
• view historic exhibits
• visit with Santa in the arbor area.
Heritage Hill Historic Park Candlelight Walk
Saturday, December 8th & Sunday, December 9th
5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
admission $4 for adults, $3 for children 3-12
hot chocolate, apple cider & homemade cookies will be available for purchase
at the Candlelight Tour, more than 1,000 luminarias will light the park’s pathways as strolling carolers and musicians fill the air with holiday music. children can visit with Santa in the arbor and sit at a turn-of-the-century school desk while storytellers spin holiday tales in the one-room El Toro Grammar School.

Prehistoric OC

do your kiddies like dinosaurs and fossils? then you won’t want to miss this orange county event. The Cooper Center will present Prehistoric OC at the Ralph B. Clark Regional Park in Buena Park this Saturday, October 13, 2012.
this family-friendly event with take you through a journey in time and will be fun for both young and old.  sponsored by The Dr. John D. Cooper Archaeological and Paleontological Center and OC Parks, Prehistoric OC is dedicated to educating the public about Orange County’s rich history, it’s prehistory and Native American culture with actual fossils and artifacts. you will leave with a greater respect for Orange County’s natural and cultural resources.


Prehistoric OC will host activities for all ages including archaeological and paleontological demonstrations and exhibits, a free photo booth, as well as fun, educational crafts and hands-on activities. those who attend will be able to interact with actual Cooper Center and CSUF scientists that work on the collection and around Orange County.


The Clark Park Paleontology Museum will host guided tours to showcase its extensive fossil collection from Orange County. you can also visit he fossil prep lab and see paleontologists in action. there will be a special presentation of the Kizh Gabrieleño Band of Mission Indians who will share their culture with the public.



wanna go?  here’s the info….
Saturday, October 13th 2012
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
 Ralph B. Clark Regional Park & Ralph B. Clark Park Museum of Paleontology
8800 Rosecrans Avenue, Buena Park, CA 90621
admission is FREE • parking is $5
click here for more information.

Wildlife Rescue at Discovery Science Center

this May, Discovery Science Center will be opening the brand new exhibit Wildlife Rescue. this new exhibition will offer visitors the opportunity to experience compelling stories of animal rescue from around the world, including how seabirds are saved from environmental disasters and what happens to orphaned baby elephants.

during DSC’s Wild Summer, visitors will receive one complimentary ticket to the OC Zoo and the Santa Ana Zoo! Wildlife Rescue lets visitors experience the excitement of rescuing and returning diverse creatures back to the wild as they explore the new, emerging science of “Restoration Biology” that is saving all types of animals from the brink of extinction. through interactive exhibits, guests learn the innovative methods used to capture, raise and release endangered species, including elephants, orangutans, pandas, whooping cranes, sturgeon, Iberian lynxes, prairie dogs, American burying beetles and more.

Wildlife Rescue Exhibit Dates
May 26 through September 3, 2012
Wildlife Rescue is included with general admission to Discovery Science Center

General Science Center Admission:
Adults $14.95  •  Children (3-14) $12.95  •  Seniors (60+) $12.95
purchase tickets online to save $

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in addition to Wildlife Rescue, Discovery Science Center will be hosting special wildlife themed days throughout the summer. each themed time-period will have specific learning stations, presentations, stage shows, and kids’ activities!
May 26 – 28 (Memorial Day Weekend)
‘Wild about Safari’ features Thors’ Safari Extravaganza show where kids and families will be entertained by seeing real snakes, lizards, tarantulas, plus many more. also, learning stations will include activities on eco systems and digging fossils. this coming Memorial Day Weekend is not to be missed, as DSC kicks off Wild Summer… safari style!
May 26 – June 29
‘Lizards, Toads, and Snakes, Oh My!’ features reptiles, amphibians and arthropods. guests are invited to learn about scaly snakes, leaping lizards, creepy-crawling insects, slow moving turtles and tortoises, and hissing roaches as they checkout Wildlife Rescue and participate in the “Game of Chance” stage show.
June 30 – July 8
‘Dog Days of Summer’ features dogs, wolves, coyotes and foxes. Plus, the summer festival will include kids’ obstacle course and inflatables, learning stations, gourmet food trucks, and an exciting LIVE dog show! rescue groups will also be on hand for pet adoption days.
July 9 – 15
‘Cats Rule, Dogs Drool’ features cats, cougars, bobcats and mountain lions. Families will have the opportunity to learn about how these nocturnal creatures live, hunt, and survive throughout the world. In addition, speakers will be on hand to discuss how residents of Orange County can look for signs of wild cats what to do if you come across one!
July 16 – 29 
‘Take Flight’ features domestic and exotic birds. what’s it like to fly high in the sky with nothing beneath but the wind and clouds? have the chance to find out during “Omar’s Exotic Birds” show and during special presentations on feathers and flight, plus environments and adaptation! hands-on activities for the kids include making a bird feeder.
July 30 – September 3 
‘Sea Life’ features animals of the ocean! surf is up during the last days of Wild Summer as there will be a hands-on tide pool tank for families, plus presentations on the Irvine Marsh Lands, Huntington Beach Wetlands, and Newport Harbor. whale conservationists will be on hand to discuss what we can do as a community to help preserve creatures of the sea.