Imaginology 2015 at the OC Fairgrounds

In 2014, the Kids Expo in Orange County was completely overhauled into something even better, it’s now called Imaginology, Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead, April 24 – 26th at the OC Fairgrounds.

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Photo: TravelCostaMesa.com

STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. Kids all ages, from 3 to 18, are invited to showcase their talents with both individual and group project competitions. There are all kinds of exhibits and hands-on activities for everyone.  Did I mention, it’s free?

Somethings to look forward to:

Tour the Centennial Farm & learn about agriculture and farm animals.

  • Watch milking and oxen team demonstrations
  • Take a FREE tractor pulled wagon ride
  • Experience the Bug Barn
  • See a real worm farm
  • Plant seeds and make terrariums
  • Pet baby chicks and petting zoo animals
  • Play farmer in the Pretend Farm
  • Learn leather-stamping

Visit the Imaginology Action Gallery & learn more about S.T.E.A.M.

  • Create hand crafts with free art-making materials
  • Get your hands dirty and make a pinch pot
  • Play with science and engineering toys
  • Exhibit science-related art and craft projects
  • Paint a pet portrait
  • Experience sewing on a sewing machine
  • Compete in a chess tournament or learn
    how to play
  • Earn prizes in a scavenger hunt

National Park Free Entrance Days

On select holiday periods throughout the year, the National Parks have free admission.  This coming weekend, February 14th through 16th is one of those weekends. These are such an amazing asset to America and people from all over the world come to see these natural wonders.  Below are the California National Parks taking part in this:

  • Cabrillo National Monument
  • Death Valley National Park
  • Joshua Tree National Park
  • Lassen Volcanic National Park
  • Lava Beds National Monument
  • Muir Woods National Monument
  • Pinnacles National Monument
  • Sequoia National Park
  • Whiskeytown National Recreation Area
  • Yosemite National Park

One of the other parks included is Zion National Park in southern Utah. We made a visit this past Christmas and enjoyed the sights. The regular admission price is $25 per car, good for 7 days.

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The weather was crisp and the views were spectacular!

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There are many opportunities for children to explore Zion National Park. During the summer, free ranger programs especially for youth are offered throughout the park, and children ages four and up can complete an activity booklet to become a Junior Ranger in Zion. Easy family-friendly trails such as the Riverside Walk, the Par’us Trail, and Emerald Pools offer hiking opportunities, while the Zion Nature Center has fun activities and exhibits for kids to explore.

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People have called the canyons and plateaus of Zion National Park home for over 10,000 years. The remnants of their time here exist throughout the park and are protected by the National Park Service. These structures, from humble granaries to improbable highways, stand as testaments to the ingenuity of those that came before us.

*Fee waiver includes: entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.

More fun things to do during the holiday break that are free or cheap!

Hooray !!! It looks like rain will be leaving us tonight/tomorrow and a little sunshine will be heading our way! ! I can’t wait to take the kids somewhere. They have been going stir crazy and are ready for some exploring.  Here are a couple of suggestions that will entertain your kiddos and are either free or not very expensive.I  posted this list last year for winter break. It’s an oldie but goodie!
1. The California Science Center. I can’t rave enough about this wonderful place. It is at the top of the list in my book for something to do in So Cal that is fun, different and oh did I mention that it is absolutely FREE!(all you have to do is pay for parking). Pack a lunch or splurge a little and enjoy Mcdonald’s on the first floor of the museum.
2. The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium- While it is is not the Aquarium of the Pacific or Scripps, it is a great little aquarium that has the most amazing staff and some fun exhibits.The Aquarium is absolutely FREE and parking is a $1 an hour
3. The Getty Museum and Getty Villa- These two beautiful jewels sit perched on a hill with a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean. Both are FREE  to the public and while many of you may be thinking- no way- my kiddos would be bored out of their mind, think again! My kiddos had a blast on our last visit  and they have a fun kids area that your kiddos will never want to leave!
4. Enviromental Nature Center– pack a good pair of shoes and enjoy a fun hike on the center’s trail. Also stay a bit to explore the Center. It’s a fun little place your kiddos will enjoy. Did I mention it’s FREE?
5. Zimmer’s Children’s Museum– In my opinion one of the best children’s museums in the area. The theming is out of this world and not very crowded. While the museum is not free, admission prices are reasonable($5 for kids and $8 for adults) It’s a great alternative to the movies.
6. Hit your local dollar theater. We love the dollar theatre. It’s fun, cheap and the kids have a great time. The best part is that our entire family can catch a flick and get some treats for less than $10! You can’t beat that!
7. Travel Town Museum– a family favorite. This little train museum is pretty darn cool and admission is absolutely free. Make a day at Griffith Park by bringing some toys and have some good old fashioned fun playing in one of the many playgrounds or by taking a little hike.

8. Natural History Museum– Los Angeles. Love Night of the Museum? well you will definitely love the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. Your family will fall in love with this amazing museum and the best part is that although it does not offer free admission- admission prices are pretty darn reasonable. Children under 5 are free, kids 6-12 are $2 and adults are $9. For less than 20 bucks you can treat your family to an incredible day and learn a thing or two. I love it!
9. Santa Ana Zoo in the afternoon. Did you know the Santa Ana Zoo offers half price off after 2pm? We love the Santa Ana Zoo and it has one of the best play areas. It’s shaded, there is a snack bar  and a play area for the tiny tots and another for the older ones. We love sitting in the aviary and having a few moments of peace and quiet. It’s a fun little place that my family loves!

10. La Habra Children’s Museum– This great little museum is a perfect place to let your kiddos romp around. There are hands on exhibits, a preschool playroom, a train car to explore and much much more. Admission is $7 a person and children 2 and under are free of charge.