Thursday Mar 21

September 2013

Readers' Choice 2013: Family Fun

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Readers' Choice 2013

Family Fun



“I am glad the readers of ParentingOC magazine have recognized what we have known for many years, that Huntington Beach has the best beach in Orange County. There is no place in Orange County that has so many miles of open coast area, clean and well maintained sand and restrooms, and fun recreation activities for all ages.” – Mayor Connie Boardman

Did you know: Beach Maintenance is responsible for cleaning 3.5 miles of beach front, this includes raking the sand; sweeping bike paths and parking lots; blowing sand off steps, corners and sidewalks; they also clean over 100 fire rings; hand pick trash; clean more than 100 restroom stalls and dump 850 trash cans.

Huntington Beach Marketing and Visiting Bureau | 714-969-3492 / 800-729-6232 |



Train rides, hiking, horseback riding, boating, fishing, picnicking, playground-Irvine Regional Park has it all! The rolling foothills surrounding the park are filled with a variety of wildlife and the tranquil landscape greatly enhances the park's beauty. One day spent in Irvine Regional Park and you’ll realize why it’s been chosen by readers as this year’s best park.

Did you know? Irvine Park opened in 1897 as the first county park in the State of California.

1 Irvine Park Road, Orange | 714-973-6835 or 714-973-3173 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



"We love taking our 16 month old to the Aliso Viejo Aquatic Center and, more importantly, she loves it. From a mom’s perspective, the center has everything – a snack bar for convenient lunches and snacks, lifeguards for added safety, available swim lessons, and golf course and mountain views that make you feel like you’re on vacation just minutes from home. From my toddler’s point of view, the pool offers a splash pad that always invites giggles, a “big kid” pool where she can play and practice swimming, and a separate adult area which means she can splash and be silly all she wants without me constantly telling her to be quiet so she doesn’t annoy others just trying to relax."-Jennifer Small, Dana Point

Did you know?: The fastest and most efficient swim stroke is the “crawl” freestyle.

29 Santa Barbara Dr. | Aliso Viejo, CA 92656 | 949.425.2559



Hiking enthusiasts have chosen Peters Canyon as their top pick for hiking in OC. Offering a unique blend of native habitat, Peters Canyon encompasses 340 acres of coastal sage scrub, riparian, freshwater marsh and grassland habitats. The park offers a variety of graded roads and trails providing opportunities for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians and is home to many resident and migrating waterfowl.

Fun fact: Peters Canyon was used as a U. S. Army training area, known as Campo Commander, during World War II.

8548 E. Canyon View Ave., Orange | 714-973-6611 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


"Mission San Juan Capistrano is a place that I grew up visiting on school trips from Santa Ana with my classmates from St. Anne's. Now, I enjoy taking my two daughters to the celebration on St. Joseph's Day and we love taking guests from out of town. The Mission is a beautiful symbol of Old California - and serves as a reminder of the rich history of native people and cultures that overlap in Southern California. In a county where we often celebrate the "new" - it is wonderful to see that the Mission continues to be a gathering place for the community and visitors." -Monica Guillena, Laguna Niguel



“The OC Fair has been a tradition for as long as I can remember and I have carried on that tradition with my own son. We love the fair because it is a great place to spend some quality family time. Where else can you ride rides, play games, see outrageous food (and occasionally partake!), people watch, and enjoy a demolition derby all in the same day? We also particularly enjoy the top notch musical acts. My son still thinks he saw the real David Bowie at the fair because the tribute band was so good!” -Melissa Aldridge, Orange

88 Fair Dr. Costa Mesa | 714-708-1500 |



Bowling has always been a fun family activity, and Irvine Lanes knows how to cater to all age levels. That’s why it won the readers choice for best bowling alley. It is also extremely budget friendly, with games only $2.50, shoe rentals $3 and no food item exceeds $2.25. They also have Galaxy bowling, which takes place on the weekends from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., and includes music, fog, lights and unlimited bowling!

“My first time bowling at Irvine Lanes was while I was at UCI back in 1982. I have returned many times since then, such as with my boyfriend (my future husband) around 1985, and both our daughters' birthdays! Until now, I didn't realize how much Irvine Lanes has been a part of some wonderful memories.” -Jennifer Pascua, Irvine

3415 Michelson Drive, Irvine | 949-786-9625 |


“My children have been to Disneyland 76 times so they are experts on hidden Mickeys and talking to cast members. They love Splash Mountain (Song of the South) Zippity Doo Dah!”-Mike Mantusiak, Huntington Beach

1313 Harbor Blvd. Anaheim | 714-781-4000 |



“The Santa Ana Zoo is home of the fifty monkeys. Our intimate size allows visitors to get close to the animals and is perfect for the stroller crowd. We are a wonderful place for families to spend time together enjoying the animals. ” –Kent Yamaguchi, Zoo Director.

Fun Fact: Joseph Edward Prentice, who donated the land for the zoo, wrote in the grant deed to the city of Santa Ana that the zoo must maintain at least 50 monkeys at all times. There are currently 56.

1801 E. Chestnut, Santa Ana | 714-836-4000 |

Other Readers' Choice Sections

Introduction  Family Fun • FoodKids Play Health Care
Health Care
Mom & Dad House & HomeEducation

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