Summer is slowly winding down. The OC fair just ended so you may be looking for more Orange County summer events to do with your kids to keep them entertained before school starts. By the way, that photo above was taken with my iPhone, no filter, at the fair the other night on a family roller coaster ride. I’m kind of in love with it. Especially because I know the squeals and joy that was in our roller coaster car, that resembled a mouse, that night. It really made me want to make sure that I take the kids on fun outings and keep trying new things before we get back in to the grind of homework, sports and bed times.
I’m not sure if you have heard of the OC Parks Summer Concert Series cohosted by KROQ. Every Thursday, the entire summer, there have been rad concerts at various parks around Orange County. Last week we took the family to Miles Square Park, in Garden Grove, to see one of my fave bands, Gardens and Villa. There was a food truck and Front Porch Pops and an awesome atmosphere for seeing live music. We missed the opener (thanks rush hour traffic!) but got to see the band – whose frontman grew up locally, play for over an hour. And the kids loved it. My littlest danced his heart out. My oldest just chilled. There are still two more weeks of shows before the series winds down, both at Bluff Park in Dana Point. Do not miss them! Moonsville Collective plays August 21 and Matt Costa (Do NOT miss him! And plan ahead, this one might have more of a crowd as he is a local favorite!) plays, August 28th. All shows are from 6 – 8 pm. Bring a picnic blanket and lawn chairs, bring your dinner or buy it there. I wish we would have started this earlier in the summer!
And if you are looking for something to do during the day, Kaleidoscope Center in Mission Viejo has a ton of family friendly businesses open year round as well as fun special events for the summer.
This past Tuesday, my boys and I checked out the percussion event. It was loud and super fun. The shows begin at 11:30 am and run for an hour. They are all interactive and engaging and the kids had a great time!
Tuesday, August 19th, is a free Magic Wizard show! I am sure the kids are going to love it! And Tuesday, August 26th, the series ends with the Kids Carnival from 11:30 – 2:30 pm. Proceeds will benefit Make-A-Wish (so bring a new toy or backpack and you’ll get game tickets!) and will feature bounce houses, games, face painting and more! The organizers assured me this will appeal to kids of all ages so be sure to come and check it out.
I had no idea that the Kaleidoscope center had SO many great activities all in one place! I hadn’t been there in years so after the percussion event, my kids and I spent the rest of the afternoon there having a little adventure.
We started off our afternoon with lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings. Full disclosure, they comped our meal. That was super nice of them and we totally appreciated it! I had never been to a Buffalo Wild Wings before and didn’t know what to expect. While the restaurant is pretty much sports-themed, the staff was crazy friendly and fantastic. (If you go to the Kaleidoscope location, ask for Taylor! She was our server and she was awesome!) Each booth has a little touch-screen gaming system that kept my boys entertained. $1 got them 4 credits, or about 4 games). And the screen kept them entertained well after the money ran out. The food was delicious and it was easy to find something for my son with food allergies to eat. We tried the fried pickles, because duh, you have to. And my wrap was super yummy. We will definitely be back! Thank you so much for having us, Buffalo Wild Wings!
Next we headed to Jump N’ Jammin which the kids were super excited for! Everyone MUST wear socks, including adults, so don’t be a loser like me and have to buy some there. For about $25 the kids and I got a few hours of fun. Cubbies are kept behind the counter to hold your shoes and bags. Nick, the assistant manager, told me all about how safe the facility is and I loved knowing that my kids could run wild and I didn’t have to stay on top of them the whole time. That is really good for me. I tend to hover… There is one inflatable and then a number of obstacle style areas for the kids to play in. They also have a horizontal climbing wall that is really fun. For the moms, they offer a wi-fi password, a little vending machine area with plenty of tables and also a selection of magazines to keep you entertained. The music they played was pretty good and I never once got bored as the boys played and made new friends. They also have a drop off program which I will totally be using in the future! There are some limitations so check with Jump N’ Jammin first.
Our last stop of the day was to Laser Quest. Since we had never played before and I wasn’t sure how my youngest would handle being in the dark (and could he even carry the pack?!) so we opted to play one game. For two kids it was about $20 and one game was seriously plenty for my kids (ages 5 and 8). The staff was really fun and friendly and even though we were the only people in the building, they really made us feel welcome and gave us all their energy. Because we were the only ones playing, they let me go in too which was awesome since I could be there in case my youngest freaked out but also, I’ve never played laser tag before so it was cool to see what it was all about. The packs are pretty heavy and although my 5-year-old made it through the game, he struggled a bit and by the end was super tired. The room is dark, although there is a lot of black lights so it is never pitch black, and it took him about two minutes to warm up to it then he was off on his own, running through the mazes trying to shoot his brother. I think they had a lot of fun. We will certainly be doing this again.
Aside from Jump N’ Jammin and Laser Quest, the center has a movie theater, Color Me Mine, Howie’s Game Shack and for tween girls, Bold Girlz. One of my son’s told me that next time we would bring Dad with us so they could go play laser tag and I could go to Bold Girlz by myself. :) So nice of him. And there are several great restaurant options too. Check out the Kaleidoscope center directory to see the center has to offer!
One thing I’m really excited about is the opening of a Union Market in the fall. The Tustin location is about ready to open and I know that Mission Viejo residents will be glad that there will be some great dining options in their neck of the woods pretty soon!
My boys and I spent about 5 hours at the Kaleidoscope Center and had a blast. I highly recommend it for family time! We’ve already talked about going back to paint and play games at Howie’s Game Shack. Maybe we’ll see you there.