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Top 10 Things to Do with Kids in Orange County This Summer

Posted By Judy Williams || 11-Jul-2014

Summer vacation can be thrilling for kids, but at some point the newness wears off and you’ll probably hear your children utter the words “I’m bored!” And while I definitely advocate for children to entertain themselves, it’s also fun to get the kids out and explore some new things to do, or to do fun new projects at home. With that in mind, here are my top 10 things to do with kids in Orange County this summer:
  1. Take the ferry across Newport Harbor. A Ferris wheel, arcade, pier, chocolate-covered bananas and a gorgeous stretch of sand will be waiting for you on the other side.
  2. Enjoy $1 movies at participating Regal Movie Theaters with the “ Regal Summer Movie Express”. Kid favorites such as the “The Lego Movie” and “Rio 2” will be shown at 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays at participating theaters through Aug. 13.
  3. Explore California’s oldest neighborhood – Los Rios in San Juan Capistrano. It’s next to the town’s train depot and is home to a fun petting zoo (Zoomars), where the kids can cuddle bunnies, ride ponies, hug goats and feed a variety of cute animals. There are also historic adobes, a cute park and quaint restaurants. Don’t forget to visit Mission San Juan Capistrano, which offers a variety of activities and an audio tour just for kids.
  4. Spend the day at Irvine Lake, where you can rent a pontoon boat and relax on the water or head over to the Kid’s Lagoon to catch fish!
  5. Enjoy a beachfront movie. Newport Dunes’ "Movies on the Beach" is offered every weekend through Labor Day; they show movies the whole family will enjoy. Bring a beach chair, blankets a jacket for those cool summer nights by the beach.
  6. Spend the day at Irvine Regional Park. This huge 477 acre park is the county’s oldest park, and boasts a zoo, railroad, pony rides, playgrounds, hiking and aqua-cycle rentals.
  7. Explore Adventure Playground at Huntington Beach’s Central Park; it’s a place where kids 5-12 can raft a small pond, navigate a rope bridge, slip down a mudslide and even build forts. The kids WILL get wet so plan accordingly and bring dry clothes for this fun time!
  8. Pick your own fruits and veggies at Tanaka Farms. At this organic farm in Irvine, visitors can take wagon rides through fields of produce and pick their own fruits and veggies, including plump strawberries and juicy watermelon.
  9. Check out the Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach. They offer summer camps, field trips and a Butterfly House that the kids will love. They also have family programs that include full-moon hikes, campfires and star parties.
  10. Visit Atlantis Play Center in Garden Grove. Take a picnic and swimsuits; this place is so large and fun you can practically spend the whole day!
If this list isn’t enough for you, you can check out this link for a list of 89 more ideas! Have a great summer!

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