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Parks/Playgrounds

Fun Summer Activities for Kids in Orange County – Splash, Bounce and Play!

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for fun places to take your kiddos, especially during the summer.  My motto?  Keep ‘em active, keep ‘em happy!  So take a peek at some of my favorite fun summer activities for kids in Orange County - bounce, splash, play and have FUN!

Splish Splash

Aliso Viejo Aquatic Center (Aliso Viejo) – A beautiful aquatic center that features not only a 25-yard pool, but also an adorable toddler wading pool and a splash pad (see the picture above!)…overlooking a gorgeous golf course and views of the city.  And the best part? You don’t have to be a resident of Aliso Viejo to enjoy this facility – guest passes are available (for purchase) to the public – check out rates and hours here.

The District (Tustin) - Eat, shop AND let your kiddos cool off at The District.  Enjoy a sprinkle of pop-up fountains found right in front of the escalators leading up to the bowling alley and DSW Shoes.

Heritage Park  (Irvine) - I have heard through the “mom grapevine” that this is a GREAT park for little ones - a fun playground WITH a splash pad.  Run, play, splash and pack a picnic lunch – perfect for warm days and fresh air.

Pioneer Road Park (Tustin)- Check out this super fun pioneer-themed park that features two playgrounds, a water section for splashing, a basketball and volleyball court, and picnic areas – can’t wait to bring my little ones to play!

Irvine Spectrum  - What an awesome place to bring the kiddies this summer.  Besides the shopping, besides the restaurants, besides the movie theater, and besides the fun rides (bring your money for a train ride, a spin on the “big wheel” and the carousel!)…you will find a splash area in front of Target.

Time to Bounce!

Jump ‘N Jammin (Mission Viejo) - bounce, jump, climb, slide AND fire (soft) balls from a super fun second story tower – you can even purchase a summer passport for additional discounts – check it out!

Pump it Up (Lake Forest, Irvine)inflatable bounce houses, slides, obstacle courses, oh my!  Check out their individual OC locations for specific rates and calendars to see when you can stop by for a “pop-in family jump.”

Scooter’s Jungle (Aliso Viejo) - another adorable indoor bounce extravaganza – run, jump, bounce and slide during open toddler time and “all ages” play time…check out their location in Aliso Viejo for a calendar of open jump times.

I can’t wait to try out these bouncy fun places!

Big Air Trampoline Park (Laguna Hills)jump, jump jump…and jump some more!  Leap, play games, and literally bounce off the walls!  Click here for FAQs and hours.

Frogg’s Bounce House (Fountain Valley) - more bouncing, running, sliding, PLUS a toddler gym, a kids playhouse, a train table, building blocks, Frogalina, a disco karaoke tiki hut, a Little Tykes fun car, frog books, bean bags, beach balls and Nick JR!  Check out their hours and facility here.

Jump Sky High (Costa Mesa) - a trampoline fun center galore!  Flip, bounce, and show off your tricks to your heart’s content.  Take a look at their weekly specials here.

Where is your favorite place to play with your kids this summer?  There are so many wonderful choices in Orange County…comment below and share!

Settlers Park Irvine

I love a new park find, so I am excited to share this guest blog about Settlers Park in Irvine from local OC mom, Megan. Here is what she writes…

“I hesitate to even write this because I would like to keep this park as our little secret, but it’s too good not to share. I spend a lot of time at the park with my kids, and I can tell in just a few minutes if we’re at a good park, or one that is going to send my stress level through the roof.

Settlers Park, located at 35 Settlers Way in Irvine, is one that I’m always happy to stop at if we’re in the neighborhood, and it’s one of the first parks I suggest when making plans with friends.

Settlers Park has just about everything. They have two different sized play structures, as well as sand areas and a climbing wall. There is a large open grass area with a soccer goal, as well as basketball courts.

One of my very favorite things about this park is the bike trail that surrounds the playground, complete with mini street signs along the way. There are also several picnic tables, some in a covered pavilion.

The very best thing about this park is its size. Settlers Park isn’t very large, which means that when I’m there with my two children I can see them both, even if they’re not doing the same thing – which they never are of course.

One thing to keep in mind about this park, there isn’t a ton of shade on the playground, so in the middle of summer, it can get a bit warm, but that’s nothing we can’t solve with lots of water and some spray toys.”

Settlers Park
35 Settlers Way
Irvine

Megan is an OC mom to two little ones. You can read more from Megan on her personal blog,www.mamabubblog.com.

Fun Things to do with Kids in OC this Spring Break!

Hello friends – how was your holiday weekend?  I hope it was eggstra special! My daughter has this week off from school and I wanted to do a quick post in case anyone is looking for ideas on fun things to do with kids in OC this Spring Break!

1. 29 Fun Things to Do with Kids in OC: List of my favorites places to visit and things to do with my kids.

2. My 5 Favorite OC Outings with Kids: This is a list of my absolute favorite of 5 fun outings / OC day trips.

3. Our Top 5 Orange County Parks: These are (in my opinion) the best parks for kids in Orange County!

4. Plan a Day Out: Holy Moly, I posted about this one on Friday. In love with this site. AWESOME place to plug in your preferences and get tons of outing ideas and activities for kids!

5. Orange County Splash Parks (If the weather is nice!): Such a great list by my friends over at Just Spotted.

6. Parks and Playgrounds: All the parks and playgrounds I have posted on if you would like more ideas!

7. Fun Orange County Parks: Most complete resource guide on parks and playgrounds in Orange County!

8. Daytripping Mom: So Cal day trips for families.

9. Just Spotted OC Calendar: List of activities/events by day.

10. And here are all the Outing Ideas I have ever posted on!

Have a GREAT day everyone! What do you have planned?

Plan a Day Out: OC Outing Ideas and Activities for Kids

Susanne and I flipped when we clicked on this website. You will too, guarantee it. Plan a Day Out [www.PlanADayOut.com] is a FREE resource for families filled with a gazillion OC outing ideas and activities for kids.

On the site, you can easily find tons of fun things to do with kids in Orange County based on distance from your address and other parameters you can enter into your search.

I played around on the site recently to find ideas for my family and was floored at the result. I entered the date (Sunday) and a willingness to drive 20 miles from my home and was given a list of 109 activities that we could do that day. Yes, 109.

Once the search results appear, you can then narrow down your search by the following filters in the left column:

* Category: Museums, arts and crafts, inflatable fun? There is a long list of activity categories to choose from.

* Total Cost of Admission: On a budget? You can filter to show completely free activities (there are over 100!) or put in a max total cost you want to spend for your group, and the results will show only those activities in your budget. Please note the total cost of admission will actually be calculated for you in the results!

* Ages: Filter to show those activities suitable for your youngest, oldest or for the whole family.

* Time of Day:  Are you a stay-at-home mom looking for a fun Tuesday morning outing or a working mom looking for something to do with your kids after work now that daylight savings time is here? Plan a Day Out has you covered because you can filter results to show daytime activities, after-school activities (after 3pm), and evening activities (after 5pm).

* Weather:  Need a rainy day outing or something to do on a gorgeous OC day? Filter your results to show only indoor or outdoor activities.

Once you have your options narrowed down, you can click on the activities and it will display more details like hours of operation, address including a link you can click for driving directions, admission cost per person, contact info and any other events coming up at that location.

It is AMAZING!!!!!

The site is one of the coolest discoveries of my life as a OC mom thus far! I especially love that it is the brainchild of a fellow OC mom in search of an easy place to search for activities for her family. I love moms, they truly have the BEST ideas. Please share this one with your mommy friends. They will thank you!

www.PlanADayOut.com * Follow on Facebook

[Disclosure: Plan a Day Out is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor. Check out their cute purple tile (lower right column) anytime you need an activity idea! We are thrilled to be working with them to help spread the word about their awesome company!]

Our Top 5 Orange County Parks

I wanted to do a post on our Top 5 Orange County parks in case anyone might be looking for a fabulous new park to visit on this holiday (weather permitting!)

And of course, for the most comprehensive, awesome site to visit for information on OC parks and playgrounds, visit my friend Michele’s blog, FunOrangeCountyParks.com.

Here are my Top 5 Picks:

1. Bluebird Park Laguna Beach – Hands down my absolute favorite park in Orange County. A must visit. Worth the drive!

2. Irvine Terrace Park Corona del Mar - Beautiful, peek-a-boo views of Newport Harbor. Great equipment for all ages.

3. Dinosaur Park Laguna Hills – Unique attractions like “fossils” and a huge dinosaur skeleton for the kiddos to explore.

4. Castle Park Irvine – The kids love the huge castle that they can run around. Fab winter park, gets toasty in the summer.

5. Balboa Pier Playground – Love this “smack on the sand” playground. This is a multifaceted outing…in one trip you can hit the playground, walk out on the pier to get a shake at Ruby’s Diner, explore and get in a game of skee ball at the Balboa Fun Zone, even take the ferry over to Balboa Island in the same trip.

PLEASE do comment below on your absolute favorite OC parks to visit – I always love new playgrounds to explore.  Have a super fun day of play everyone!

xo

Jen