Monday, August 19, 2013

FAMILY FUN MONTH: Minnesota Girl in LA Embraces Her City

In celebration of August being Family Fun Month, the Center is delighted to share stories by some of Orange County’s favorite family bloggers. 

By Jamie Gall of Minnesota Girl in LA

Since moving to Los Angeles, I have very much explored the Southern California area and have made the most of this fascinating region. My family fun ideas are all about embracing your neighborhood, and here are some of our suggestions for Orange County neighbhoords: 

1) Take in a Concert at the Park 
Throughout the summer there are a variety of concert-in-the-park opportunities. Check local city or community websites or community publications for dates and times. Take the family out for these evenings of fun. Pack a picnic dinner and enjoy yourselves and offer your children great opportunities to hear beautiful music live. They’ll never know it’s educational. 

2) Museum and Special Attractions FREE Admission Days 
Museums often have free admission days at least one day during the month. Grab the family and explore a new or favorite museum, historic attraction or landmark during your summer or back to school travels. These are also great suggestions for school or club fieldtrips. Call their education departments for more information. 

Segerstrom Center for the Arts: FREE docent-led tours – Segerstrom Hall 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays; Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall and Samueli Theater 10:30 a.m. Saturdays 
Bowers Museum in Santa Ana: Target FREE 1st Sundays on the first Sunday of every month 
Orange County Museum of Art: FREE 2nd Sunday of every month 
Laguna Art Museum: FREE 1st Thursday of every month from 5-9:00 p.m. 
Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana: Bank of America FREE Day, 1st Sunday of every month 
Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine: FREE 

3) Game Night 
Look through your closet of games, and everyone picks their favorite. Then spend the night playing games together as a family. This was always a tradition in my household growing up whenever I visited my grandparents. 

4) Take in a Farmer’s Market 
Nothing’s better than seeing fresh produce all around you, but what’s great about farmer’s markets is that you’re helping the farmers in your community. As they bring you fresh products each week, you stock up and enjoy those special treats at home. Take the family for a farmer’s market outing together. 

Residing in SoCal, we are very fortunate. If we wanted to attend a farmer’s market each day of the week we truly could. 

Some of my favorites include: 
Sunday: Irvine Great Park: 10am to 2pm 
Tuesday: Huntington Beach - 5 to 9pm, Irvine Regional Park - 9am to 1pm 
Wednesday: Tustin El Camino Real and 3rd Street - 9am to 1pm 
Thursday: Orange County Fairgrounds - 9am to 1pm 
Friday: Pier Plaza: Huntington Beach: 1pm to 5pm 
          Mission Viejo Civic Center: 9am to 1pm 
Saturday: Laguna Beach - 8am to 11am 

5) Be a Tourist in Your Own City 
When was the last time your family took a day to just explore the city around you? Has there always been a park you’ve wanted to go to? Do it! Is there a historic building or place in your town you’ve always wanted to try? Now is the time to do it. Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today. There are various places around town that offer fun tours including the Orange Food Tour or sign up for a Historic Walking Tour. 

6) Make it an ART Night 
Los Angeles and Orange County love the arts. Embrace them with an art walk night, an evening when the neighborhood art galleries open up their doors to the public. Take in art as a family.

Laguna Beach: 1st Friday of the month 
Santa Ana: 1st Saturday of the month 
Downtown Fullerton: 1st Friday of the Month 
Anaheim Art Walk: 2nd Saturday of the Month 
Huntington Beach Art Walk: 3rd Thursday of the Month 

Or spend a day in Laguna Beach taking in the art festivals: Festival of Arts, Art-A-Fair and Sawdust. 

7) Give Back to Your Community 
A family that volunteers together stays together, right? Join a local group that makes lunches for the homeless. Spend a day volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House or a day with an organization you truly love. It is a very rewarding experience for the entire family. 

8) Outdoor Summer Movies 
During the summer, one of my favorite things to do is to head to the beach and catch a classic outdoor movie. Whether it’s at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, in Long Beach right on the beach or in other fun summer settings. 

9 ) Food, Food, Food 
Food is a big staple in our lives. Create a family jar with a list of fun food places your family has always wanted to visit, and on a day you’re wondering where to go pull from the jar. That will be your location for the day. Los Angeles and Orange County have a lot of amazing food places around. 

10) And Take In The Theater 
End your summer by taking in a show at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. There are a variety of family friendly shows happening throughout the rest of the season.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts campus. Photo by RMA Photography Inc.


Jamie is a Minnesota girl who has landed herself in the big city of LA. She is an avid city explorer, fan of the arts, and enjoys sharing her adventures with the world to inspire others to get out and begin exploring on their own.

Keep the family fun going in September when ANYTHING GOES sails to Segerstrom Center!

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