Environmental Nature Center- ENC- Newport Beach

I had the opportunity to visit the Environmental Nature Center this past weekend and had to share some of the highlights of our trip to this little gem.

The Environmental Nature Center or ENC is located in Newport Beach and a great place to take your kiddos to learn about nature. The ENC is home to three and a half acres of land that are dedicated to learning about our beautiful surroundings. The center is home to 15 plant communities that range from a fresh water marsh to a redwood forest. It’s a great place to take the kids for a little hike and enjoy listening to birds and taking in the beautiful plants and flowers. My kiddos loved walking along the trails and pointed out every single bird, insect and plant out to me. They had a blast walking around. It’s a nice place to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

The center is also home to a butterfly house. We had a great time walking around and taking a look at the various butterflies that were flying around(just a bit of a warning- your 4 year old might talk about their adoration for butterflies but when they are face to face with one might change his or her mind). We just kind of stood around and observed the caterpillars and the different types of butterflies. The butterfly house is open during spring/summer.

After checking out the butterfly house and walking around the trails we headed inside the center to check out their exhibits. They have a small section with books, coloring pages and a place for the kids to relax and enjoy. There is also a snake exhibit. My daughter loved it. My two and a half year old son HATED it. I made a mistake of picking him up to observe a snake that just happened to be striking against the glass and well that was that. My son started screaming and ran out to the parking lot and refused to come back inside. Thankfully we had checked out most of the center before our snake experience.

It’s a great place to take the kiddos to explore nature. I will definitely coming back. There are a couple of different events planned each month. There is a full moon walk coming up on Friday May 8th that sounds like a great one for the family. Check out their event section on their site for some great programs and events that are coming up.

Almost forgot. The Environmental Center is open Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm and Saturdays from 8am to 4pm. Admission is free but donations are always welcomed. For additional info click here.

Environmental Nature Center- ENC
1601 Sixteenth Street
Newport Beach, CA 92663

Eco Events in Orange County- Fiesta Del Agua and Butterly House Opening

There are two fabulous events in Orange County that are free and loads of fun for the entire family.

The first is sponsored by the Rancho Santa Margarita Water District for its annual Fiesta de Agua Water Education Festival and Family Fun Day on Saturday, May 2. Your family can learn more about the latest water conservation techniques and tools, like synthetic turf, low-water-use appliances and drought-tolerant plants and check out a sample yard.

There will be lots of activities for the kids, including water science experiments, crafts, face-painting, games and entertainment. The “prehistoric” reptile display and show was one of the most popular attractions last year, and the tarantulas, lizards and giant snakes will be back again this year to delight kids and adults alike.

Hot dogs, popcorn and snowcones will be available for the whole family.For the second year in a row, Fiesta de Agua will be held at the District’s Oso Reservoir in Rancho Santa Margarita. This natural setting will provide opportunities for bird watching, guided nature walks and enjoying the outdoors. The festival will be held from 10 am to 2pm.

The second event is one that my daughter has been looking forward to since I first leaned about it. It’s the Environmental Nature Center’s Butterfly House Opening and Eco Fair. The open house and fair will be held from 10 am to 3pm on Saturday May 2nd. You will be able to explore Orange County’s only Butterfly House, which is home to OC native butterflies and nectar plants. There will also be butterfly and caterpillar face painting for the kids and nature scavenger hunts in the Center. You will also be able to buy native host plants to start your own butterfly garden. The fair will also have crafts and eco games. If your kiddos love butterflies- this is a can’t miss event.

Environmental Nature Center address is 1601 16th Street, Newport Beach, CA 92663, 949-645-8489. For additional information click here.