All About lil o' Me

My photo
Just call me your Budget Barista. I have been married for 20 years to the best man on this planet. He's sweet, caring, kind, but most of all he makes me laugh. We have Three adorable kids. A beautiful sweet pea girl, A 'superman' boy, and a love bug baby girl. We just love that we live where people vacation...where the ocean meets the sky. We live a wonderful life. I love my life and I thank Christ for giving it to me. Some random things about me are I enjoy baking, quilting, paper crafting, jewelry making, scrapbooking, and loving on my family. I am a Princess in the Kingdom of the King of Kings, diet coke drinking baby kisser. We are a homeschooling family but are part of a hybrid program where the children attend a 'classroom' 2 days a week and we do the rest at home. It's a blast. We also love to vacation and explore God's world around us. I think that's enough for now. :-)

Blog Archive

Friday, September 30, 2011

Fridays are FREE at The Long Beach Museum of Art.

The Long Beach Museum of Art is located on a magnificent bluff-top site overlooking Long Beach Harbor and the Pacific Ocean. The campus includes the historic Elizabeth Milbank Anderson house and carriage house, now called the Miller Education Center (built in 1912), oceanfront gardens, and a new pavilion with two floors of expansive gallery space for changing exhibitions with the Museum Store in the Masterson Atrium. The historic buildings are home to administrative offices, the Boeing Classroom and Café. In addition to changing exhibitions, the Museum offers extensive educational programs for children and adults, musical programs, festivals, and other special events. They are celebrating 60 years this year! 

Fridays are FreeTo visit their website, click here

 Admission:   Every Friday is FREE thanks to generous support from the L.A. County Arts Commission

FREE parking is available in the Museum parking lot on Ocean Blvd., one block west of the main entrance. Metered parking is available on the beach. To park on the beach, turn off of Ocean Blvd. at Junipero and follow the road to the parking lot. There are stairs to the Museum from this area. 
Museum Hours: Galleries and Store Tuesday - Sunday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Long Beach Museum of Art
2300 East Ocean Boulevard.  Long Beach, CA 90803

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Want to meet an Olympic athlete? It could happen....

Olympic Training Center

This all-weather, 150-acre complex trains 4,000 athletes per year, supporting their efforts to excel in Olympic archery, rowing, canoeing, kayaking, soccer, softball, field hockey, tennis, track and field, and cycling. Facilities here include North Americans largest permanent archery range, an artificial all-weather field hockey surface, four soccer fields, a 15,000-square-foot canoe/kayak and rowing boat house, four tennis courts, a 400-meter track and a cycling criterion course.
Free self guided tours are conducted daily from the Copley Visitor Center. You can come here any day. (See more info. below)
Chula Vista Olympic Training Center
2800 Olympic Parkway
Chula Vista, CA
(619) 656-1500
  • Hours: Open 365 days a year
  • Reservations: Not required, except for groups of 8 or more
  • Cost: Free
  • Location: In Chula Vista. Driving directions below.
  • How Long: Allow one to two hours
  • Best Time to Visit: Any time, but less crowded on weekdays

Getting to the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center

From I-5 south of San Diego, take 54 East to I-805 into Chula Vista. Exit Olympic Parkway, drive approximately eight miles and turn right into the Copley Visitor Center.

Celebrate Olympic Day!  Olympic Day, celebrated annually on June 23 to commemorate the birth of the modern Olympic Games, is not only a celebration, but an international effort to promote fitness and well-being in addition to the Olympic ideals of fair play, perseverance, respect and sportsmanship.  The goal of Olympic Day is to promote Olympic values and participation in sport across the globe regardless of age, gender or athletic ability.  

From June 17-26, 2011, communities across the United States will celebrate Olympic Day through educational programming and other activities. Please support the Olympic Day mission to promote Olympic values and physical fitness in your community by working with your sports commission, parks department or a community-based organizations.  By celebrating Olympic Day, we not only can improve the communities we live in today, we can inspire the champions of tomorrow!   
For additional information or to register for Olympic Day, please visit the Olympic Day website at

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Palm Springs Hiking Indian Canyons

Palm Springs Hiking Indian Canyons

Each time we have been to the Indian Canyon trails it seems to offer a true break from the hustle and bustle of the OC lifestyle and is a great alternative if you don’t have the time to visit nearby Joshua Tree National Monument. Creeks and waterfalls offer a chance to sit and enjoy a lunch after a stress-relieving hike. Three areas are available and each offers a unique experience. Be sure to pay close attention, as many endangered wildlife can be seen along the way. Hundreds of years ago, the Agua Caliente Cahuilla Indians settled in the region of Palm Springs. Communities developed around the fresh water supply, and ample hunting was available with the abundant wildlife.

Fifteen miles long, Palm Canyon trail is one of the areas of great beauty in Western North America. Its indigenous flora and fauna, which the Cahuilla people so expertly used and its abundant Washingtonia filifera (California Fan Palm) are breathtaking contrasts to the stark rocky gorges and barren desert lands beyond. A moderately graded, paved foot path winds down into the canyon for picnicking near the stream, meditating, exploring, hiking or horseback riding. While in Palm Canyon visit the Trading Post for hiking maps, refreshments, Indian art and artifacts, books, jewelry, pottery, baskets, weaving, and conversational cultural lore

The Andreas Canyon trail and it's contrasting greens of the magnificent fan palms and more than 150 species of plants within a half-mile radius beckon the desert-weary traveler to this lush oasis. A scenic foot trail leads through the canyon passing groves of stately skirted palms, unusual rock formations and the perennial Andreas Creek. One can still see bedrock mortars and metates used centuries ago for preparing food. This tranquil setting is excellent for photography, bird-watching, or a picnic at one of the tables along the trail. 

Murray Canyon trail is an easy hike south from Andreas Canyon. Foot and equestrian trails lead to beautiful recreational areas among the many palm trees. Lucky visitors may catch a glimpse of the Peninsula Big Horn Sheep (an endangered species), mule deer or other wild animals still roaming the high ground above the canyon. Less visited, Murray Canyon has its own secluded beauty. The endangered Least Bells Vireo bird is known to nest here. This is my favorite, but i haven't seen them all. I enjoyed the cool waters and beautiful palms. They made me feel like i was world away and being able to enjoy God's creations in one of it's many splendors is always a joy!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits is FREE first Tues of the month

Every FIRST Tuesday of the month, the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits is FREE to all visitors in Los Angeles.
This museum is filled with the mounted skeletons of Ice Age animals dug out of the adjacent tar pits, including woolly mammoths, dire wolves, saber-tooth cats and more.
There’s a short FREE movie also that shows how creatures got trapped in the tar pits, died and were eventually fossilized. You can also go outside and see the actual pits, which are still being excavated.

A bit farther south, the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum in Exposition Park near USC is also FREE on the First Tuesday of the month.

Parking is NOT free, by the way.  I think the lot is $8.  There is street parking in the area, but watch for permit-only signs and never park on Wilshire Blvd in the afternoon! They will tow you away!!

Regular adult admission is $7, students are $4.50 and kids 12 and under are $2.  Also note that active duty military also get in for free.

First Tuesdays of the month in 2011:
  • April 5, May 3, June 7, July 5, Aug 2, Sept 6, Oct. 4, Nov. 1, Dec. 6

There are also attractive picnic tables in a park setting where you can bring your own lunch. So pack your lunch and make it nice afternoon with the fam.!

And note the Los Angeles County Museum of Art next door!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Free Family Art Day

Create a Character at Free Family Art Day 

Price: Free

10/02/11 Develop the character you have always dreamed of in a workshop that incorporates drawing, various fabrics, paper bags, and magazines that will teach kids how to tell a story through character design. Related to the exhibition, It’s Not My Fault: Everett Peck, children will have the opportunity to see first-hand how renowned illustrator Everett Peck created some of his most well-loved characters from concept sketch to completion during a special docent tour for kids that will inspire their art making practice.

At Free Family Art Day, children and their parents work closely in the artistic process designing small works of art that reflect concepts and themes from the exhibitions on view. All art activities and exhibitions on view are free to the public. Projects are designed to engage children of all ages. No art experience is required for the art activities. Healthy refreshments are provided.

1:00-4:00 pm

KIDS FISH FREE! Every Sunday in Dana Pt.

KIDS FISH FREE!  Every Sunday 12:45pm – 5:45pm  Join us every Sunday (right after our Free Kid’s Fishing Clinic) for our 12:45pm 1/2 Day Fishing Trip and kids fish FREE!

Also One child will get a free 1/2 Day Fishing Trip (a savings of $25) per paying adult! Rental gear is included for the kids too! A savings of $12!  You can check out our info on their website at

Every Sunday  12:00pm - 12:30pm
Join us every Sunday for our free kid's fishing clinic! Dana Wharf is proud to offer a dockside experience for young anglers! Ask the experts and learn new fishing techniques, new hook tying secrets, win raffle prizes and so much more! No reservations are needed! Try out your new techniques on the 1/2 day trip departing immediately after the clinic!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Julian Apple Days Festival- FREE for kids 12 and under and only 5.00 for those older!

Julian Apple Days Festival

Delicious Julian Apple Pies
Delicious Julian Apple PiesPrice:
$5.00, children 12 and under are free

1150 Julian Orchards Drive, Julian

Phone Numbers
10/01/11 – 10/02/11-  Each day of the festival will have the following activities running continuously:
  • Antique Tractor Display 
  • Beer and Wine Garden 
  • Music and Karaoke by DJ David Klumph 
  • Vendors, both food and merchandise 
  • Kids Games Jumbo Jump Castle 
  • Apple Displays
 In addition to the all-day events, the following activities will occur at the designated times:
Saturday, October 2nd Festival hours 10:00 till 5:00
First 500 people through the gate receive a free pie slicer/server!
12:00 p.m. - Announcement and presentation of the winners of the Pie Baking Contest
Sunday, October 3rd Festival hours 10:00 till 5:00
First 500 people through the gate receive a free pie slicer/server!
2:00 p.m. - Announcement of Mr. & Mrs. Apple Days

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Heritage Hill Historical Park FREE tour.

If you like history, you might be interested in taking a free docent-led tour of the Heritage Hill Historical Park in Lake Forest that gives you a glimpse into California’s past, including the Spanish and English immigrants who settled California.
The four-acre Heritage Hill is what is known in the history community as a “petting zoo,” because it’s made up of old buildings, three of which have been moved from elsewhere to create a historical park.

They offer free tours at 2 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
On Saturdays and Sundays, the free tours are offered at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The park is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. -5 p.m., but you can only go inside the buildings if you’re on a tour.  Dogs are allowed in the park but not in the buildings.

Heritage Hill Historical Park
25151 Serrano Road
Lake Forest, CA 92630-2534
(949)923-2230 or (949)923-2232

Friday, September 23, 2011

Miramar Air Show- FREE

Miramar Air Show

Midway crowd

9/30/11 – 10/02/11 Celebrating 100 years of Naval Aviation, we are honored to offer rare, historical displays of warbirds, jets and combat equipment in addition to seven hours each day of thrilling air and ground entertainment.

Watch both civilian and military aerobatic performers, including the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team, Dan Buchanan Special Effects Power Glider, and Les Shockley Shockwave Jet Truck; to name a few.

If you want to take a break from the show, walk through our mile of civilian and military static displays, vendor and sponsor booths, Air Show Expo and Kid Fun Zone.

We have four shows to meet your hectic schedule. On all three days we have a matinee show (9:00am through 4:00pm) and on Saturday night, we have a twilight show (5:30pm through; 9:00pm). Free parking and admission!

Visit for more information.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Free Admission to the Skirball Cultural Center every Thursday

Los Angeles, Every Thursday from 12:00 - 8:00 pm
Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles

Thursdays are free at Skirball Cultural Center. Hailed by The New York Times as “a lesson on how to connect the eye to heart and mind,” the Skirball Cultural Center has established itself as one of the world’s most dynamic Jewish cultural institutions, and among the most prominent cultural venues in the United States.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Fullerton Arboretum...FREE or doantion it's up to you.

The Fullerton Arboretum is your passport to the world of plants. Without going far from home, you can inhale the fragrances of the Mediterranean, feel the cool shade of the redwood forest, delight in the glorious fall color of the northeastern United States, hear the rustle of the palm trees, take a break in a desert oasis, laugh at the funny forms of succulents, and breathe in the perfume of old fashioned roses. This collection of more than 4,000 plants, on 26 acres, is important for other reasons as well. The Fullerton Arboretum helps us to understand the diversity of the world’s plant life and the importance of protecting the earth’s plant treasures. The arboretum is open from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. every day except New Year's Day, Christmas Day and Thanksgiving and admission is free (donations are welcome, though).
Be sure to check their calendar of events for special events, summer camps, classes, and more.
On their website you can also take a virtual tour to get a glimps of the beauty you'll be in for when you visit them.
For more info. Click here

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Palomar mountain Observatory can be found at the end of a twisting mountain drive up San Diego County Road S-6. At 5,500 feet above sea level expect the temperate to be 15 degrees cooler in the summer and snow and ice conditions in the winter. The observatory is open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily. The visitor center exhibits of astronomical photographs made at Palomar Observatory. A small gift shop is open on weekends and during the summer months. There is no admission charge to visit the observatory or see the 200-inch Hale Telescope from the visitors gallery. A self-guided galley tour (you can get an ipod download on thier site) gives you a peek of the 200-inch Telescope. For a closer look docent-led tours are given twice daily on Saturdays (11:30 am & 1:30 pm) from April through October. There is a picnic area but most of the grounds are off limits to the public. If you plan on doing some hiking head back down the road to Palomar Mountain State Park. The drive through the back country of San Diego County is half the fun of this day trip. Take your family on a trip that they won't forget enjoy the beautiful forests, meadows and wild flowers. Make sure you pack your picnic basket.

For added fun on your day trip if the season is right head on over to the Bates Nut farm not too far away. Click here to learn more.

Monday, September 19, 2011

FREE nature center in Irvine

1 Sunnyhill Drive
(949) 724-6738
The Turtle Rock Nature Center is located at the base of the San Joaquin Hills in Irvine, and serves as a community resource for environmental interest and concern. The five-acre nature preserve is both a home for wildlife and an outdoor classroom where visitors and program participants learn to protect our natural environment .

Operating Hours
Monday - Friday: 9:00am- 5:00pm
Saturdays: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Sundays: Closed
You can see a nature trail, streams and interpretive center located on five acres. Best of all, it’s FREE!

They also offer activities like Saturday crafts and campfire marshmallows for a low $3 fee.
Phone 949-724-6738

Sunday, September 18, 2011

30th Annual Adams Avenue Street Fair

30th Annual Adams Avenue Street Fair

Price: Free

Adams Avenue, from 35th Street to Bancroft Street

Phone Numbers
9/24/11 – 9/25/11 The Adams Avenue Street Fair, Southern California’s largest Free two-day all-ages music festival, will celebrate its 30th anniversary on Saturday, September 24, from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, and Sunday, September 25, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, on Adams Avenue, located in the Normal Heights community of San Diego.
This year’s Adams Avenue Street Fair will include more than 70 musical acts performing on six stages along Adams Avenue, and in Adams Avenue Park. Street Fair attendees will enjoy a variety of music, including blues, rock, roots-rock, indie, world, jazz, and zydeco. In addition to the variety of music, there will be three beer gardens, giant carnival rides, and more than 300 food, arts and craft vendors selling their specialties along Adams Avenue.
During the past 29 years, the Adams Avenue Street Fair has generated critical acclaim for its focus on rising local, regional, national and international talent, as well as established artists who have influenced generations of musicians. Past Adams Avenue Street Fair performers – many of whom are Grammy Award winners and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees – include; Big Jay McNeely, No Doubt, Lila Downs, Pops Staples, Andy Summers, Wanda Jackson, Nortec Collective, Koko Taylor, Dave Alvin, Pinetop Perkins, Johnny Johnson, Rosie Flores, Los Fabulocos with Kid Ramos, The Beat Farmers, Cindy Lee Berryhill, Charles McPherson, Transfer, and Mike Watt.
The Adams Avenue Street Fair will be in the Normal Heights neighborhood of San Diego, on Adams Avenue between 35th Street and Bancroft Street.
To find directions on internet, use 3441 Adams Avenue, San Diego CA 92116

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Photo Friendly Tour of Balboa Park

How about 3 days of photo taking fun. Or one day if that fits your calendar better. Balboa Park in San Diego is one of the most photographed spots in the world. With over 1,200 acres, one can only wonder why? LOL

Some of the opportunities that await you are: delightful courtyards and fountains with its beautiful centerpiece, Woman of Tehuantepec, House of Hospitality, a magnificent example of Spanish-Renaissance architecture, Sculpture Court Café by Giuseppe, the Botanical Building (one of the largest lath structures in the world) with its year round collection of more than 2,100 permanent plants, the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden and the Desert Garden,  the Plaza de Balboa and the Bea Evenson fountain, the "Garden Fair."the "Garden Fair.", Alcazar Garden and take the iconic shot of the California Tower of the San Diego Museum of Man,  The California Tower and dome which houses the San Diego Museum of Man, the 1,500 ft. long  Cabrillo Bridge, and the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, and more.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Seabreeze Organic Farm - Fun, educational, and healthy! YUMMo!

“Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to its liberty and interests by the most lasting bands.” ~Thomas Jefferson

 Seabreeze Organic Farm - Farm stand, cooking and nutrition classes. U-pick operation, Organic fruits/vegetables. Concerts, special events. See their website for more info., directions, and hours.

Community Supported Agriculture
CSAs are a means of connecting community consumers directly to their local growers. It means a mutual commitment between the two, representing both the production and the consumption of food. Farms are not grocery stores; items cannot be picked up and put back on shelves. In order for small farms to have continuity, they must know how much to plant, for how many, and when to change crops. This is dependent on a continuous relationship with their supporters. In order for such a farm to be economically viable, they must produce a quantity and diversity of produce and receive fair market value for such items.

Stephenie’s (the owner) goal of leaving a good lasting legacy for the rest of the world can be seen daily in the long, joyful struggle of producing fresh seasonal organic produce for delivery to her families. With the ever-increasing time crunch people are faced with along with our growing dependency on foreign food sources CSA initiatives like Seabreeze Organic Farm can give consumers confidence in the food they are eating and even a little extra time to prepare a savory nutritional meal.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

ANY DAY: Mon.-Thurs.- Taylor Guitars guided tour- FREE

Taylor Guitars makes some of the finest acoustic guitars around, and they are manufactured right here in Southern California in El Cajon. Known for their meticulous craft, Taylor Guitars offers guitar fans a FREE guided tour of the Taylor factor is given every Monday through Thursday at 1 p.m. (excluding holidays).

The Taylor Guitars Factory Tour takes guests through the steps of guitar construction. From wood selection to final assembly, guests will experience each process as a guitar evolves from raw wood into a finished instrument. To take the tour, no appointment is necessary. Simply check-in at the receptionist desk in the lobby of our main building by 1 p.m. and register for the tour.    Please note: The factory tour will not be offered on some holidays, call to be sure if your date is open.

While not physically demanding, the tour does include a fair amount of walking. Due to the technical nature, the tour may not be suitable for small children. The tour lasts approximately one hour and 15 minutes and departs from the main building at 1980 Gillespie Way in El Cajon, California.   (619) 258-1207 (main)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

San Juan Summer Nites- FREE concert!

Held in San Juan Capistrano's Historic Town Center Park, this popular event has grown since its inception six years ago and is fueled by local businesses and organizations.
San Juan Summer Nites offers the perfect night on the town for visitors of all ages. Each concert features live music, a local business expo, youth area with free activities, food booths and a beer/wine booth. Local businesses will be selling products and offering giveaways.

Concerts are free and there is plenty of parking available. Historic Town Center Park is located at 31852 El Camino Real. Cross streets are Ortega Highway and El Camino Real. Local businesses will participate with information booths and there will be complimentary activities for the kids in the youth area.

Food is available on site from our featured restaurants. The chamber of coommerce will also host a beer & wine garden. Bring a lawn chair, blanket & jacket. Visitors are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs to the events.

All concerts are from 6 pm - 8 pm
  1. September 21, 2011
    The Trip
    Classic Rock
Please check back for more details on performances.  For more concert information call (949) 493-5911.

L.A. Arboretum & the original Santa Anita Train Depot, FREE 3rd Tues. of the month

Be sure to check out the Los Angeles Arboretum. Admission is FREE on the third Tuesday of every month.  Peacocks run gracefully all over this park, and they love (LOVE) to eat Cheeto's right out of your hand. Your children will appreciate the snack too, so bring your kids, and plan several hours here, because between the barns, houses and acres upon glorious acres of places to explore, picnic and just sit down to read a book, you will appreciate the day off as much as your kids will appreciate the rolling fields in which to run and play.

While the flowers are in full bloom and the peacocks are roaming the gardens be sure to visit the LA County Arboretum and Botanical gardens in Arcadia.
The Arboretum is the home to many breathtaking gardens and wildlife. From many different botanical gardens and historical buildings, peacocks and engrets to turtles and koi fish, the gardens are not just pretty flowers. The Arboretum is the home to the original Santa Anita Train Depot, restored to look as it was first constructed by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad in 1890. This is a great way to unwind and take the family.  The gardens are large, so don’t expect to see it all in one visit.

LA County Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
FREE Third Tuesday of every month (No tram on these days.)
Hours 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m
301 North Baldwin Avenue Arcadia, CA, 91007

For more information, events, and classes click here

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Discover the underwater world of Southern California...any day but Monday.

I've got it!  A great place for you to head to's not only fun but educational too- here's the will only set you back a few (think $10 or less) bucks and will give your whole family a memorable experience. 

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium engages all visitors in education, recreation and research to promote knowledge, appreciation and conservation of the marine life of Southern California

 With its spectacular natural setting adjacent to Cabrillo Beach Coastal Park and the Port of Los Angeles, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is uniquely suited to its leadership role in marine science education, aquaculture research and community recreation.  The historic Frank Gehry-designed aquarium displays the largest collection of Southern California marine life in the world. 

The Cabrillo Aquarium is a smaller aquarium that is feet away from the ocean. The Susan Lawrencz Miller Exhibit hall is home to three major environments- rocky shores, beaches, mudflats, and open ocean. Your kiddos will be able to learn about the different marine life that lives in each habitat and more. The aquarium is also home to an aquatic nursery which is a BIG hit. The aquarium has an exploration center. The kids will love the ecological play area. There they are able to dress up as different sea life and also able to put on a sea life puppet show. There is also the crawl in aquarium. You can crawl into a real life aquarium and be surrounded by different ocean life and never get wet. It's the perfect photo opportunity. There is also a naturalist corner where you can study the different organisms through a microscope. You'll have a fantastic time learning about the wonderful sea life found in Southern California waters. 

The best can have a wonderful time for FREE.  Admission to the aquarium is FREE but donations are suggested. The suggested donation is $5 for adults and $1 for children or seniors. Parking is a $1 an hour - make sure to take cash/quarters with you. 

The Cabrillo Aquarium is open: Tue- Sun. The hours of operation are 12am-5pm Tue- Fri and 10am to 5pm on the weekends. 

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium 3720 Stephen M White Drive San Pedro -90731 
For additional information Click here. 

Hope you have a GREAT time!  Hope we'll see you there.

Monday, September 12, 2011

FREE moola this Sunday!

Well it's not actually money, but it saves you some!
The Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach is FREE this Sunday, so enjoy!

MoLAA is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. They often have workshops that are also FREE, check the website for more info.

Regular admission is $9, $6 for seniors. Kids under 12 are always free.

3rd Sunday is FREE, thanks to grant from Target.

The museum is located at 628 Alamitos Avenue in downtown Long Beach.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Want to see 100 pound pumpkins then head to Peltzer Farms - Pumpkin Patch

Peltzer Farms -

The Peltzer Pumpkin Farm Open is opening for a 4th year in beautiful Temecula Wine Country!
This great location features all the faboolous fall activities including home grown pumpkins, many varieties of squash and numerous types of gourds for fall decorating. If decorating is what you want, the pumpkin patch offers corn stalks and hay bales for our customers to purchase. The farm offers huge 100 pound pumpkins for those hard to please decorators.

Peltzer Farms brings the true meaning of a farm to all of you with our many activities and events: Peltzer Farms features: Old Fashion Train, Pony Rides, Petting Farm, Pig Races, John Deere Tractor Collection, Mound-O-Hay, Corn Maze and much more. Come visit us for a great "Day in the Country". Check their calendar of events on some weekends they have face painting, Rolling Rock Wood-Fired Pizza, and an ice cream truck!

Admission to the farm is free, however the activities all have their own prices. Click here to see.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

2-day Coronado Art Walk- FREE

Price: Free
9/17/11 – 9/18/11
The 2011 CoronadoArt Walk will be held at the Coronado Ferry Landing from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm.
The 2-day Coronado Art Walk is put on by the Coronado Historical Association and is an admission FREE, public event designed to foster creativity and appreciation for the wonders of art. Artists will be housed in tented booths along the entrance and on the grounds of the Coronado Ferry Landing. Painting, hand crafted jewelry, photography, ceramics and other mediums will be featured. Artists have been selected by a jury for their ability to express the vast and varied world of art in their particular art form. This exciting venue will include Art Activities to delight both children and adults, including The Rad Hatter, face painting and weaving.
Other highlights include: Participation by the Coronado Ferry Landing's Galleries and Artists, Coronado Art Association's Artists in Spreckels Park, and entertainment throughout both days.

FREE Train rides you whole family will enjoy on the 3rd Sat. and Sunday of the month!

Do you have lil' train lover like I do? Boy, do I have a little nugget for you.  In Costa Mesa on the 3rd Sat. and Sunday of the month the whole family can enjoy a train ride...FREE!!

Public ride days are the highlight for the club.   They are conducted on the 3rd Saturday and Sunday of each month from 10 am until 3:30 pm.   In 2006 we gave rides to over 30,000 people.   The club has a variety of engines and riding cars.   Trains on public ride days are made up of 5 to 6 bench cars that seat 5 to 6 adults and children.   Rides are FREE however, donations are welcome and help with the upkeep of the railroad.
Our primary interest is running a safe and first class railroad. Members take great pride in the design and engineering of the facility.   Many dedicated volunteers donate countless hours keeping this railroad safe for all who share the joy in "riding the rails".

A typical trip takes about 12 minutes and covers two loops of the park.   Bridges and terrain variations are just part of the scenery as is the back end of the Costa Mesa Golf Course.  

COSTA MESA - Costa Mesa Model Train Rides. Time: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Cost: Free admission. Location: 2480 Placentia Ave., Costa Mesa, CA. Call: (949) 54-TRAINS.  

Friday, September 9, 2011

O.C. zoo in Irvine. Only $2.00 per person.

Orange County Zoo
Nacho the bear relaxing at OC Zoo.
Nacho the bear relaxing at OC Zoo.
The Orange County Zoo is located inside beautiful Irvine Park in the city of Orange. The Zoo is nestled among the majestic 477 acre wilderness park.

The Zoo's focus is on animals and plants native to the southwestern United States. Animals on exhibit include black bears, mountain lions, bald eagle, island foxes, ocelot, red-tailed hawk, great horned owls, porcupine, coyotes, turkey vultures, coati and more. The zoo also features a barnyard with domestic goats, chevoit sheep, jacob sheep, pot-bellied pigs, doves and pheasants.

Orange County Zoo - Admission Fee:
$2.00 per person ages 3 years and over; Ages 2 years and under are free

Entry Fee for Irvine Regional Park:
$3.00 per vehicle weekdays & $5.00 per vehicle weekends (Major Holidays: $7.00 to $10.00 per entry as posted)
Audio tour now open. Dial (714) 249-4086 on your cell phone to begin the audio tour. Refer to the guide (available below and at the zoo). Enter the animal exhibit number followed by the “#” key. Listen to fun and interesting information about the zoo’s animals. Hear from our animal keepers, veterinarian, education coordinator, curator and manager and learn more about our animals. Discover what our bears get to eat everyday, what the coyotes’ names are, how old our bald eagles are, what treats we give to the raccoon, why are animals are here at the zoo, where they came from, and more fun information! The cell phone tour is free and you can even put it on speaker phone for your family or friends to hear!

Orange County Zoo- 1 Irvine Park Road  Orange, CA 92869  (714)973-6847

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

LA County art museum is FREE this week!

Want to see some Picasso, Chagall and other masterpieces for free?

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is offering FREE every second Tuesday of the month.
lacmaonset1If you’ve never been to this museum, it’s worth the drive up there to the mid-Wilshire district of Los Angeles to see their excellent collections of art from around the globe. They have works by famed artists such as Picasso, Chagall, Modigliani, along with world art such as Korean art, Art of the Americas, and much, much more. My kids especially like the Egyptian gallery.
They also offer free multimedia tours of the galleries that you can check out while you’re there.
Parking in their structure is $7. You can also find free parking in the neighborhoods nearby, but look at the signs carefully to make sure you’re not violating any parking codes. Make sure you don’t park on Wilshire Blvd. between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. even at a meter, because you will get towed!
Incidentally, the La Brea Tar Pits are right next door, and they’re fascinating as well, if you find skeletons of giant Ice Age beasts to be interesting.
There’s a nice park adjacent if you want to pack a picnic lunch. There’s also a Marie Calendars nearby and other restaurants as well.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Museum Day- FREE- Sept. 24th

In the spirit of Smithsonian Museums, who offer free admission everyday, Museum Day is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian magazine in which participating museums across the country open their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day Ticket...for FREE.
  • Only an official Museum Day ticket is eligible for FREE entry. Official tickets can be found here on the Museum Day website soon, stay tuned.
  • One ticket per household, for two people.
  • A ticket will gain entry to only one of the participating museums, excluding parking and special events and exhibits.
  • If museum reaches capacity, museum has right to limit the number of guests until space becomes available.

Shipley Nature Center- FREE

Shipley Nature Center is an 18-acre natural area located in Huntington Beach, California. Situated within Huntington Central Park, the nature center is not only a sanctuary for the local wildlife, but it is also a haven for the residents and visitors of Orange County.

Our hours of operation are Monday-Saturday from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. We invite you to visit us and experience the beauty of nature.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Children's Museum FREE this Sunday!!

Have you hear about the San Diego Children’s museum? "The New Children’s Museum" in San Diego opened in the spring of 2008 and is a dynamic and state of the art museum that will be sure to delight you and your sweet peas . They’re called The New Children’s Museum because there’s always something new to experience

From intriguing new exhibitions, hands-on art projects and engaging artworks, kids of all ages will always find a new source of wonder!! 

Think: fun and educational.

This exciting museum offers FREE admission on the Second Sunday of the month, thanks to a generous donation from Target. Target Free days at museums are usually a bit busy so plan on going a little early or later in the afternoon. For additional info head here. Target Free Second Sunday, 10am–4pm
The Museum is located at 200 West Island Avenue in downtown San Diego

Sunday, September 4, 2011

FREE admission to the OC museum of ART 9-11-11

Free Second Sundays is one of the best ways for Orange County families to spend time together enjoying art. Thanks to the generous support of the Visionaries, Target, and The Capital Group Companies Charitable Foundation, admission is free on the second Sunday of every month. Join us for all day family fun on these special days! Activities from 11 am-4 pm.

Target Free Second Sundays September 11, 2011: Grandparent's Day Celebration Join OCMA in a tribute to grandparents! Come together for a free day of family fun with special hands-on projects and entertainment commemorating the family tree. Note: galleries will be closed for installation during this event.

Free sundays at the LACMA

12:30–3:30 pm | Free, see locations below
Join us on Sundays for programs designed especially for families. Make art, explore the museum, or join a bilingual gallery tour. Most of all—have fun!
We Want Pie
September 11, 18, 25
Join us on Sundays for programs designed especially for families. Make art, explore the museum, or join a bilingual gallery tour. Most of all—have fun. Enjoy A Slice of Pie on September 18. Please note that there will not be an Andell Family Sundays program on September 4.
North Piazza | Free with general admission
Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Andell Family Sundays is supported by Andrew and Ellen Hauptman and the Hauptman Family Foundation.

FREE Train Rides in Southern California- 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month.

My little guy LOVES trains. I think between baseball and trains he could live (even without food) if all he had was his baseball stuff and trains.  I found this FREE event and can't wait to take him.  Hope you can join me this month.

The Riverside Live Steamers offers free train rides to the public on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month. The Steamers run operate at Hunter Park in Riverside.
Hunter Park 1496 Columbia Avenue, Riverside, California (951) 683-9628

Back in the 1950's, Joe Hunter, a well known Riverside industrialist, realized that steam locomotives were disappearing from the railroads that passed through Riverside. Knowing that future generations would not know the excitement of seeing, smelling and hearing the sounds of steam locomotives, he had a vision. Why not duplicate a steam train in miniature?  Setting aside 40 acres that surrounded his industrial complex, Mr. Hunter had a 4,300 foot railroad built. While the railroad was being constructed, a locomotive and three cars were built.

During the past forty-four years, RLS has greatly expanded the original railroad to more than 10,000 feet of track, built three buildings and the station. With the cooperation of the city, six additional cars were built in 1972.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Grape Day Festival-FREE!

Grape Day Festival

The theme of this year’s Grape Day Festival and Parade is “It’s A Grape Big Wonderful World.” The free community celebration will take place on Saturday, September 10, 2011. With roots back to 1908, Grape Day is an opportunity to celebrate Escondido’s heritage, while also enjoying what the community offers today.
The day kicks off for the first time with a 5K fun run at 7:30 a.m. Then the whimsical parade will travel on Grand Avenue between Escondido Blvd and Juniper beginning at 9:30 a.m. The parade features dignitaries, equestrians, floats, marching groups, bands and antique automobiles.

The festival in Grape Day Park begins at 9:30 a.m and goes until 4 p.m. The free festival includes grape stomping, free grapes provided by Jimbo’s Naturally!, entertainment stage highlighting dances from around the world, demonstrations, vendor booths, fun zone, international food court, bake sale, History Center museum tours and more. Also new this year is a beer garden sponsored by Stone Brewing Co. Reigning over the festivities will be Grape Day Queen Greta Kertz, who is being honored for her many years of community service in Escondido.

Grape Day is sponsored in part by the County of San Diego at the request of Supervisor Pam Slater-Price, and the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians. For more information or directions to Grape Day Park contact the Escondido History Center at 760 743-8207 or visit them at

FREE introductory scuba classes

Every third Saturday of the month, Sport Chalet is offering free “PADI Discover Scuba Diving” afternoon clinics.
All you need to bring is your bathing suit and desire to learn. Each class is slated to last from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Note that these classes aren’t offered at every Sport Chalet store, only the ones with scuba pools.  You should call in advance and register.
Click here to learn more about the Sport Chalet free scuba classes
Scheduled class dates:
  • April 16, 2011
  • May 21, 2011
  • June 18, 2011
  • July 16, 2011
  • Aug. 20, 2011
  • Sept. 17, 2011
  • Oct. 15, 2011
  • Nov.  19, 2011
  • Jan. 21, 2012
  • Feb. 18, 2012
Sport Chalet stores in and around Orange County with scuba pools:
  • BREA Imperial Center East 2500 E. Imperial Brea, CA 92821(714) 255-0132
  • HUNTINGTON BEACH 16242 Beach Blvd. Huntington Bch, CA 92647 Phone: (714) 848-0988
  • IRVINE Park Place 2983 Michelson Dr. Irvine, CA 92612 Phone: (949) 476-9555
  • LA CANADA, CA La Canada Flintridge Town Center Two Sport Chalet Dr. La Canada, CA 91011 (818) 790-9800
  • LAKE FOREST Foothill Ranch 26532 Towne Centre Dr. Lake Forest, CA 92610Phone: (949) 588-6044
  • MENIFEE Countryside Marketplace 30054 Haun Road Menifee, CA 92584 (951) 301-7675
  • MIRA LOMA Eastvale Gateway 12399 Limonite Ave. Mira Loma, CA 91752 (951) 685-3150
  • PALMDALE Palmdale Marketplace 39180 10th St. W. Palmdale, CA 93551 (661) 266-3232
  • RANCHO CUCAMONGA Foothill Marketplace 12449 Foothill Blvd. Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91739 (909) 987-4321
  • REDLANDS Citrus Plaza 27550 W. Lugonia Ave. Redlands, CA 92374 (909) 335-3800
  • SAN MARCOS Grand Plaza 177 South Las Posas Dr. San Marcos, CA 92078 (760) 744-1804

Dana Point Tall Ships Festival- FREE

Toshiba Tall Ships Festival

Toshiba Tall Ships Festival- September 9 – 11, 2011

(Sunset parade September 9) Watch the tall ship come into harbor!! with cannon ball fight to make it complete!

This year, the Ocean Institute is celebrating its 26th year hosting the Toshiba Tall Ships Festival! Come and explore the majesty and wonder of tall ships through the smells, sounds and sights of real working tall ships. Interactive living-history encampments including blacksmiths, scrimshaw artists, and the infamous Port Royal Privateers are sure to entertain and amaze guests of all ages and are not to be missed.
Inside the Ocean Institute, explore our work on protecting the local watersheds through hands-on labs and art activities, get up-close and personal with some of the ocean’s most amazing sea creatures, including sea stars, jellies, rays and octopus. New this year, your child may participate in our Friendly Pirate School! Watch as your child learns to talk like a pirate, walk like a pirate and sing like a pirate!
These are just some of the fun & exciting activities that will be a part of this year’s spectacular Toshiba Tall Ships Festival. Come celebrate with us as we celebrate the area’s rich maritime history!

2011 Tall Ship Festival Activity Prices:  Grass Park Activities, Chantey Concert, Art & Craft Show, Food Court, Living History encampments and Vendor area FREE.

Friday, September 2, 2011

UCI Arboretum is Free!


The UCI Arboretum is a 12.5-acre botanic garden and research facility located approximately one mile from the University of California, Irvine. The Arboretum features plants and communities from the California Floristic Province and also has an extensive collection of South African species.


Arboretum hours: Open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed on holidays


FREE, there is no charge for entering and enjoying the Arboretum.


The UCI Arboretum is located just south of the corner of Campus Drive and Jamboree Road on the UCI North Campus.

Caspers Adventure hikes and campfires- FREE!!

Caspers Wilderness Park, 33401 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano

Please join us at Caspers Wilderness Park for Adventure Day! A family fun-filled event will be celebrated with a full schedule of musical entertainment, natural history tours, arts and crafts, wildlife exhibits, games and food. Families and friends of all ages can partake in the Adventure Day activities. Caspers Wilderness Park will host wildlife-inspired games of ring-toss, cowboy lasso, scavenger hunt and storytelling.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Calico Ranch near Julian fun day trip with the family!

Calico Ranch is a family-run apple and pear orchard located near the historic town of Julian. The farm has remained in production since it was first planted in the early 1930's. The Young family has owned the 30 acre orchard for more than nineteen years.  As one of the last remaining apple orchards in the Julian area where the public can enjoy the fun of picking their own fruit, Calico Ranch offers the possibility of a unique family experience.

Hours of Operation -  Visit thier webite for more info and directions. Last year due a late season frost they lost many of their apples, so be sure to check their site before heading up. or call them.
About Our Apples - More than 130 varieties of apples are grown on-site as well as several varieties of pears. At Calico Ranch, we implement an integrated pest management system which is a safer, minimized and wiser use of pesticides and herbicides. We offer a different variety off apples and pears each weekend depending on which become ripe at that particular time of the season. Whether you come for the U-Pick experience or just to visit our Easy-pick fruit stand, we hope that your visit will be a memorable one.

While in Julian you can also visit:

Target FREE Holiday Mondays- Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Visitors of all ages are invited to a FREE day at the museum thanks to Target.
Upcoming Programs
Target Free Holiday Mondays
Visitors of all ages are invited to a free* day at the museum
Labor Day
Monday, September 5 | 12–8 pm | *Free, tickets required

Join us for a free* day at the museum (all day) and enjoy a live performance by La Santa Cecilia. La Santa Cecilia, named after the patron saint of musicians, is a hybrid band influenced by Latin culture, rock and world music. Hear them perform live on the museum’s plaza at 12:30 and 2:45 p.m. join a bilingual tour of the modern Latin American art and more.
* Does not include free admission to the Tim Burton exhibition or any specially ticketed exhibitions. To ensure a safe and pleasant visitor experience tickets to the Boone Children's Gallery on Target Free Holiday Monday will be timed and distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Pick up your free timed ticket in the Boone Children's Gallery on the day of the event. Timed tickets allow for a thirty minute visit.
Join us for a FREE day at the museum (all day!) and enjoy a live performances.

***On a side not you can go any day After 5 PM, you may pay what you wish at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. ***

More about LACMA:  
With 100,000 objects dating from ancient times to the present, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is the largest art museum in the western United States. A museum of international stature as well as a vital part of Southern California, LACMA shares its vast collections through exhibitions, public programs, and research facilities.
LACMA’s seven-building complex is located on twenty acres in the heart of Los Angeles. 
LACMA’s collections encompass the geographic world and virtually the entire history of art. Among the museum’s special strengths are its holdings of Asian art, housed in part in the Bruce Goff-designed Pavilion for Japanese Art; Latin American art, ranging from pre-Columbian masterpieces to works by leading modern and contemporary artists.

FREE museums this weekend.

It's here,The first weekend of the month! Time to get some culture in and spend some fun time with your family, Here's the list below of museums in the area offering free admission this weekend. Some are only for B of A customers, so if you are a B of A client you are in extra luck this weekend, with even more choices for a family adventure.
  • Target Free Admission at La Habra Children’s Museums- Saturday
  • Target Free Admission at Bowers/Kidseum- Sunday
  • Museums on us- First weekend of the month- Free Admission to museums/aquariums WITH your bank of America card. Some of the Museums offering admission are- Birch Aquarium at Scripps, The New Childrens’ Museum in San Diego, Discovery Science Center (Saturday only), LACMA,   Autry Museum, Muzeo, and The Living Desert Zoo in Palm Springs