The winter season has been bringing much needed rain to the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, but the skies are clearing up and giving nature lovers an opportunity to get back outside and enjoy Southern California’s Mediterranean climate. The favorable weather is perfect for kids with cabin fever, and the Landmarks welcome families to register for programs that help children learn about the natural habitat while enjoying fresh air and exercise. From the Junior Ranger Walk in OC Parks’ Laguna Coast Wilderness Park to Wee Wonder Walks in the City of Irvine’s Bommer Canyon, there’s an activity for nearly all ages.
Programs are open to the public with required preregistration, welcoming children to enjoy a variety of activities throughout the local lands. The programs include stewardship activities, where children as young as 8 can join volunteers as they roll up their sleeves and care for the habitat. The Native Seed Farm and Quail Hill and Augustine Nurseries invite kids and their parents to plant native seeds that will be planted throughout the open spaces, helping young ones understand the full-circle spirit of the Landmarks.
“The rain has been hugely beneficial to the Landmarks, and now that it’s passing we’re excited to get nature lovers of all ages out on the land. While many of our trails are open, it’s still important to check our website to ensure programs are up running. From there, it’s time to gather the family and head to the Landmarks!"
Landowners including OC Parks, the City of Irvine, and the City of Newport Beach work within the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks to offer a wide range of programs for children. The programs are open to the public with registration, but space is limited and early registration is recommended. Remember to wear layers and bring water, sunscreen, and snacks. Click the links below to join a family-friendly program on the Irvine Natural Landmarks during the winter season!
- Junior Ranger Walk on Sunday, 1/29 invites kids 8 and over to earn their Junior Ranger Badge as they learn about survival in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. The program is free, parking is $3, and the mild hike travels 2.5 miles.
- Wilderness Access Day: Limestone Canyon on Saturday, February 4 is great for hikers 12 and over, and offers outdoor enthusiasts a chance to explore the trails in OC Parks’ Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve.
- Wee Wonder Walks: Nature’s Patchwork Quilt on Thursday, February 9 kicks off at 10 a.m. in the City of Irvine’s Bommer Canyon. Children ages 2 – 6 are welcome to discover native plants and wildlife then enjoy making a craft or story time.
- Dig in! Plant Wildflowers at the Native Seed Farm is a reoccurring program great for kids 8 and over. Nature lovers can roll up their sleeves and feel the earth beneath their fingertips and they harvest and plant native seeds. Wednesday programs are great for home-schooled children, and Saturday programs are great for all curriculums.
For more information regarding family-friendly activities and stewardship programs on the Landmarks (and to ensure registered programs are not cancelled due to weather) visit LetsGoOutside.org/activities.