Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro

I have the perfect place to head to today that is not only fun and of course educational- it will only set you back a couple (think $5 or less) of dollars and provide you and your family with a memorable experience.

My kiddos have been obsessed with marine life recently as you can probably tell. I believe that learning should be through immersion and when my kids show an interest in something, I want them to experience things hands on. This past Friday we had a couple of hours to play and decided to take them to the Cabrillo Aquarium in San Pedro.

The Cabrillo Aquarium is a smaller aquarium that is steps away from the ocean. Many people are unaware of it’s existence. It was great because even on a busy 3rd of July, the aquarium was easy to maneuver around with a double stroller and it was nice not to bump into other people or strollers.

The Susan Lawrencz Miller Exhibit hall is home to three major environments- rocky shores, beaches and mudflats and open ocean. Your kiddos will be able to learn about the different marine life that lives in each habitat and much more.

The aquarium is also home to an aquatic nursery and this was a big hit with our family. The nursery at the aquarium is staffed by the friendliest and incredibly helpful volunteers. The volunteers were able to answer all of the kids questions and also explained what was going on in each tank. There is also a fun little craft area designed specifically for the kiddos, which was also a bit hit with our family.

I would have to say however, that our favorite part of the aquarium was the exploration center. The kids loved the ecological play area. They were able to dress up as different sea life and also able to put on a sea life puppet show. My personal favorite was 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. My 13 year old niece absolutely loved this area.

We had a fantastic time learning about the wonderful sea life found in Southern California waters. You want to know the best part- we had a great time for only $7.Admission to the aquarium is FREE but donations are suggested. The suggested donation is $5 for adults and $1 for children or seniors. We had an incredible couple of hours for only a little more than $5. Parking is a $1 an hour – make sure to take cash with you.

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

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
3720 Stephen M White Drive
San Pedro -90731

For additional information head on here. Have a wonderful weekend!!

10 under $10 or Free!!

I love love Newport Beach and I wanted to pass along a list 10 fun things that you can do in Newport Beach for Under $10 or free!! This is perfect ! Some outings you can do with the kids and some are perfect for a fun date night! Check it out!
10 Under $10 (or FREE) for Summertime Fun in Newport Beach

1. Across The Seas: A History of Navigation at Newport Harbor Nautical Museum
Learn how to navigate across the seas with an all-new exhibit “Across The Seas: A History of Navigation,” a comprehensive multimedia exhibition that highlights the history and practice of the art of sea navigation. The exhibit combines modern technology with a historic setting, giving visitors an exciting new way to explore history, from the earliest days that seafarers looked to the skies to guide them, to the latest satellite guided systems. Visitors can also experience a fully equipped planetarium, which will offer them a chance to learn about celestial navigation.
Dates: Now through December
Cost: $5 for adults, $3 for students and seniors. Children under 12 and NHNM members get free admission.

2. Astronomy Night at the Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center
Join members of the Orange County Astronomers in the Newport Back Bay for Astronomy Night, an inspirational 2-hour tour of the night sky. This program is open to all ages and will include a presentation and observation with telescopes. There is no fee for this program, only a suggested donation of $2 per participant.
Dates: July 17 (8 pm), August 14 (7:30 pm)
Cost: No fee, suggested donation of $2 per participant

3. Balboa Island Evening Stroll
Discover the charm and nighttime delights of Balboa Island as its merchants stay open later-than-usual and offer refreshments to visitors during the first Friday of every month from 6pm to 9pm.
Dates: First Friday of the month; ongoing
Cost: FREE

4. Cinema Orange Documentary Film Series
Co-sponsored by the Newport Beach Film Festival and The Orange County Museum of Art, the 2009 Cinema Orange summer series showcases documentaries celebrating art, architecture and design from the recent Newport Beach Film Festival. This season’s programming includes a collection of films that explore art, architecture, design, advertising, modernism and photography featuring prominent artists such as Milton Glaser, John Lautner and Julius Shulman. Click for Movie Schedule
Dates: Now through October 29
Cost: FREE

5. Corona Del Mar Fashion Walk
For an evening of fashion, food & fun journey to Corona del Mar Village Shops for the inaugural season of the Corona Del Mar Fashion Walk, a hip new tradition that brings together the Village’s premier fashion boutiques and restaurants along PCH. Hosts for the event include Recycled Rags, On Que Style, Mottini, Bellissima Consignment, Oysters Bar & Grill, Bungalow Restaurant and Landmark Steak House.
Dates: Second Thursday of the month; ongoing
Cost: FREE (except for whatever impulse shopping occurs)

6. First Fridays Comedy Sapphire Lounge at the Radisson Hotel Newport Beach
Every first Friday of the month follow the sound of laughter to the Sapphire Lounge at the Radisson Hotel Newport Beach where “First Fridays” Comedy Night starts at 8:00pm (now thru Dec. 25, 2009). Featuring professional comedians and stand-up comics in the intimate setting of the Sapphire Lounge, “First Fridays” is Orange County’s new comedy hot spot. This is a no drink minimum and a full menu is served until 10:30pm, plus free parking. Please visit: for more
Dates: First Friday of every month: ongoing
Cost: $10 at the door for the 90-minute show (Radisson hotel guests are free – must show room key), 21 and up with ID.

7. Movie Mondays at Orange County Performing ArtsCenter
The alfresco “Movie Mondays” offers the biggest and most popular musical films under the stars and all for free. Held at Segerstrom Hall’s 46,000 sq. ft. plaza where guests can bring beach chairs, snacks and beverages. This summer’s movies include: the original classic version of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” with Gene Wilder, the 80’s smash-hit “Footloose” starring Kevin Bacon, and the international sensation “Mamma Mia!” with Meryl Streep, among others. Click for Movie Schedule
Dates: Every Monday through August 3. Movies begin at dusk (around 8pm)
Cost: FREE

8. Movies on the Beach at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina
Families of all ages can enjoy watching classic movies on the giant inflatable screen on the beach at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina. Movies start once the sun goes down. Arrive early to reserve a great spot and munch on your favorite movie treats! Movies begin at dusk (7:30 pm). Click for
Movie Schedule
Dates: Now through August 28
Cost: FREE; parking $10

9. Target® Free Second Sundays at Orange County Museum of Art
OCMA visitors can enjoy free admission to the Museum and access to family-friendly activities and programs on the second Sunday of every month, courtesy of the Target® Corporation. Group discounts are not available during special exhibitions.
Dates: Second Sunday of the month; now through end of 2009
Cost: FREE

10. Shorty’s Historic District Fun Tour
This one didn’t exactly meet our price cap but it’s so cool, we had to include it! This fun 2.5-hour educational tour is a fun combination of group theatre and ‘who-done-it’ mystery as participants go back in time to see what really happened in the Crystal Cove Historic District. Read for a part in a 1930’s Crystal Cove film shoot, investigate the case of the ‘missing’ cottage, shop for candy from a 1935 beachside store, and determine if the Crystal Cove resident named “Shorty” really had a pet sea lion that lived in his
bathtub. Crystal Cove’s beach cottages were built between 1920 and 1935 and are a rich part of California seaside history. This Living History program is a fun introduction to the colorful characters that lived in Crystal Cove’s Historic District. Class size limited to 20.
Dates: Fridays, 9 am – 11:30 am; July 1 through September 15
Cost: $25 for adults/$20 for Crystal Cove Alliance Members

For more ideas on summertime activities and visitor information in Newport Beach, contact the Newport Beach Conference & Visitors Bureau at (800) 94-COAST (26278) or visit

AMC Theaters Summer MovieCamp

I’ve been meaning to post this for some time and keep forgetting. I am always looking for a great deal and when a great deal just so happens to support a great cause – it sweetens the deal even more. If you are looking for something to do this summer make sure to check out AMC Theaters Summer MovieCamp.

Every Wednesday morning at 10 am from June 17- Aug 5 you can enjoy a fun family flick for only $1.00. The proceeds from admissions and concessions from the Summer MovieCamp will benefit Variety- The Children’s Charity and the Will Rogers Institute. It’s a fantastic deal and a sure way to keep the kiddos entertained and beat the heat. The best part is that you will be helping two great organizations.

Here is the upcoming schedule

June 17: Space Chimps

June 24:Kung Fu Panda

July 1:Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

July 8: Tale of Desperaux

July 15: Horton Hears a Who

July 22: The Spiderwick Chronicles

July 29: Nim’s Island

August 5: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

For additional info click here.

To learn more about the Regal Entertainment Group’s Free Summer Movie Deal on Tues and Wed mornings -click here