OC Great Park Outing & Balloon Ride

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Last Thursday I found myself with an open morning with my girls so I went on over to Daytripping Mom for ideas on something fun to do.  Her first post that day was on the OC Great Park, and since riding the OC Great Park Balloon has been on my list to do for quite some time now I thought it would be the perfect outing.

My girls loved it.  And, it was all free! Gotta love a fun free OC outing for kids!

Something to note!  The Great Park is open just Thursday – Sunday. For hours and times the park is open click HERE.

We got there right around 10am on a Thursday.  You can park close (it’s convenient) and the parking lot was nearly empty.  First thing you will want to do is go into this visitor center building (pictured below) and get your balloon pager and hand stamp for the carousel.  Again, both rides are FREE.

It only took about 5 minutes until we were paged, which meant it was time for us to go on the balloon.  My girls were very excited and very intrigued.

It is a standing only ride and I was able to take Morgan in her stroller on the balloon.  The guy helped me lift it on.

It goes up VERY slowly = not scary. I was expecting that loud fire sound of a hot air balloon, but it was totally quiet because they told me it is HELIUM!  So cool – and I learned it is one of the largest and first of it’s kind in the US. Plus, it is environmentally safe, non-polluting and virtually silent.  Who knew?!

Neither girl was scared and in fact, I thought I might be, but I wasn’t!  It was SO cool!

We could see the ocean, Catalina, and the guy standing next to me said he could even see the Hollywood sign. I looked and looked but couldn’t make it out myself – but the guy was certainly excited about it!

Here was the view from up top to the ocean…

After the balloon ride the girls ran around on the huge grassy area for awhile and then we headed over to Kids Rock, which is a grouping of climbing rocks, tunnels, slides and structures.   Above there are also sphere-shaped shade structures and even misters.  I can imagine it gets pretty hot out there, so this would be key.

And then there was the carousel.

Again, it is FREE!  You can imagine how many times the girls wanted to keep riding. I had to put a stop to it after two rides.  Mommy was getting dizzy, but baby didn’t leave without putting up a good fight. So, just a warning, you might have to fib to the kids and tell them there is a two ride maximum!

All in all, the outing cost me a bag of chips I picked up at the gas station on the way into the park.

So, I can honestly say, this outing is ALL THAT AND A BAG OF CHIPS!

Click HERE to visit the OC Great Park visitor information page.  I have their Sunday Farmers’ Market on my list next! For more posts about this GREAT park, visit Fun Orange County Parks!

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Urban Kids Consignment Sale in OC!

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As a mom, I am astounded by the amount of STUFF we have that our baby has quickly outgrown.  In our garage as I type this we have a bassinet, exersaucer, bouncy chair, bags of too small baby clothes, and numerous other things just sitting there cluttering our space as we plan a garage sale that never happens.   So when I heard about the Urban Kids Consignment sale in Orange County, I thought, BINGO, no need for the garage sale! (Phew – I dislike them.  A lot.)   Plus, we also are in NEED of some items, so how fun to possibly make some money by selling stuff we no longer use in order to shop for stuff we actually need (and for less!)

Here are some great things I learned from browsing their site!   First of all for those that want to shopadmission is FREE.  Yes, free. Yay.  If you sign up to volunteer you can have the opportunity to shop the pre-sale (= best deals). Saturday is 25% off and Sunday is 50% off.   If you want to sell stuff and be a consignor, you get to shop the consignor’s presale, and get this, can track your sales online & expect to receive a check 7 – 10 days after the event.  Very cool. So you can buy, sell, volunteer OR do all the above!

I asked the representative to write me and tell me a little more about their OC kids consignment sale, and here is what she wrote!

“Hey all you Moms and Caregivers out there, we have an exciting event coming that you will definitely want to be a part of!  Having children is a wonderful part of life, but what do you do with all the clothes, toys, and just plain ole stuff they accumulate that they’ve outgrown or no longer use? You could store it in your garage and let it accumulate dust or you could make money by selling it all at a yard sale, but that is a lot of work and you’d give up an entire weekend to do it.  Here’s where we come in.

We’re Urban Kids Consignment and we’re hosting a 3 day consignment event in Orange County, August 27 – 29, 2010 where we partner with you to help you sell your kid related and maternity items that are still in great condition for top dollar.  Don’t have anything to sell but are your kids in need of school clothes or other necessities?  Are you or someone you know expecting?  Perfect opportunity to do some shopping for less.  Also, get a head start on Halloween by checking out our costumes.  Or, how about shopping for holiday attire now to ease the stress of the holidays later?  This is the perfect one-stop shopping experience for you!

Check out our comprehensive website for all the details, tell your friends and join in the fun!  See you there!


{Disclosure: Urban Kids Consignment is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor.}

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Discovery Science Center Preschool Month

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Have a play group or scout group looking for a fun field trip? September is Preschool Month over at Discovery Science Center and the museum is offering all sorts of fun activities for organized groups with a minimum of 15 kids. 

This program will include:
* Special admission price of $8/kid for ages 3 – 17
* Free admission to the new 4D movie Turtle Vision
* Meet & greet with Smokey Bear
* Smokey Bear storytime
* Free “come again” passes for the children
* And, of course, exploration of the 120 hands-on exhibits!

Reservations are required, call 714-913-5030 to reserve your space. *

{* Offer expires on 9/30/09.  Mention this offer to receive the special price! }

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Tiny Oranges Update

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Happy Friday everyone!  I hope you have some fun plans for this last weekend in August. Where on earth did this summer go?

Tiny Oranges moved to a new platform this week, one that provides more opportunity for growth (hooray!) I hope the move was pretty seamless to you as a reader, but if you happen to notice something array, please let me know.  I also would love to hear from you if  there some particular feature you would like to see on Tiny Oranges.   I am on the constant quest to make our blog an ever-evolving fun, resourceful site for all you mamas out there.

You can comment below or email me at jennifer@tinyoranges.com.

We also now have a mobile edition, so if you want to pull up our site on your mobile phone, there should now be a more reader-friendly version for you.   Check it out!

Since I was on the topic of my updates, I wanted to say “hello” to anyone new to my blog  and let you know how to get the most out of your Tiny Oranges experience!

Subscribe!  Anytime there is a new post, you will receive an email and always be up-to-date on the latest and greatest.  Just enter your email address in the box at the top right column of our Home Page then click the little heart to complete the subscription.

Browse the Categories!   There are a whole bunch of Categories for you to get ideas.  You will see it in the right column. Click on it to expand, and then click by Category.    For example, want an Outing Idea?    A fun Park/Playground to meet a friend?  Need a fun Gift Idea?   Those are just a few of many categories you can use to reference!

Forum!  We  have a Forum where you can connect and share with other moms.  It is an easy, one time registration process.   I would love to get more moms participating regularly in the Forum.  I think it is a great  place to exchange ideas!  Will you join us?

Our Picks Directory and Sponsors:   We also have the Our Picks Directory (right hand column) and fabulous Home Page Sponsors, a group of  fabulous, family-oriented businesses that are part of our Tiny Oranges family.  Click and get to know them!

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!  Email me by 5pm today (PST) to enter to win the Smart Girls Who Surf Grab-N-Go kit!  Details here!  Until Monday…keep cool!  xo Jen

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