Museums Free For All

Maruska —  January 17, 2017

Museum Free for All

Museums Free for All is back on January 29th, 2017. Here is a list of museums that will open their doors free of charge:

  • Annenberg Space for Photography
  • Armory Center for the Arts
  • Autry Museum of the American West
  • The Broad
  • California African American Museum
  • Columbia Memorial Space Center
  • California Science Center 
  • Craft Folk & Art Museum
  • Descanso Gardens
  • Fowler Museum at UCLA
  • Frederick. R. Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine
  • The Getty Center
  • The Getty Villa (Timed tickets are required)
  • Hammer Museum
  • Japanese American Museum
  • Kidspace Children Museum
  • Laguna Art Museum
  • La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
  • La Plaza De Cultura Y Artes
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) 
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA)
  • Museum of Tolerance 
  • Natural History Museum
  • Orange County Museum of Art
  • The Paley Center for Media
  • Pasadena Museum of California Art
  • Petersen Automotive Museum
  • Pomona College Museum of Art
  • Santa Barbara Museum of Art
  • Skirball Cultural Center 
  • Sunnylands
  • Zimmer Children’s Museum 

If you have other plans on January 29th, click here for a list of museums in the greater Orange County area that you can enjoy for free on a regular basis.

Snow Tubing at Mt. Baldy

Maruska —  January 12, 2017

Mt BaldyDid you know that you can go snow tubing by driving just an hour from Irvine?  Last week I went to check out Mt Baldy with my family, and we had a blast.  We drove for about 30 freeway minutes (with no traffic) and then drove about 30 minutes up the mountain.  Right now, there is a Groupon deal for Mt Baldy tubing that saves you a lot of money.  

Their website suggests that you arrive 30 minutes prior to the beginning of the session, but that was not enough.  We went on a Friday and arrived at 11:30am, with plans to go tubing at 12:30pm, but this session was already full. They only had a few spots left for the 2:30pm session, so some people who had made the drive up had to turn around and go home, and this was on a Friday!  If you go, I would recommend getting there early in the morning ensure that you actually get to go tubing.
We then enjoyed a beautiful chair lift ride up the mountain.  The top of the mountain is 5000 feet above sea level!  It’s beautiful, and from the top, you can enjoy the breath taking view and crisp clean air.  Since we had extra time, we enjoyed lunch at their mountain top restaurant, The Notch.  They served a casual lunch menu with a kids menu.  I got the burger and fries and I thought that it was pretty good.  If you do get the burger, consider splitting it.  It was $13 and it was a huge portion!  Perfect for sharing.   After eating, we just walked around and took pictures and played in the snow.  They entire top of the mountain is covered in snow, so it was a treat to have the extra time to play in in the snow before our tubing session.  
The actual tubing session was a blast. It’s amazing that in just a day trip, you can leave behind you the beaches, malls, and crowded freeways and enjoy the mountains.  Go soon before it’s too late!

Know Before You Go:

  • To get to the snow tubing area you need to ride a chairlift, so take this into account if you are afraid of heights.
  • Sessions are sold on a first come first served basis so get there early in the morning to ensure you will be able to snow tube.
  • Tubes are provided.
  • Wear appropriate snow clothes and boots so that you can stay dry in the snow. 
  • Mt. Baldy doesn’t have moving carpets, so after you go down the hill, you have to walk back up!  


Regular price for adults: $45 at Mt Baldy, starting at $29 online.

Regular price for kids over 42″: $35 at Mt. Baldy and starting at $27  online.

For kids 36″- 42″: $20 at Mt. Baldy and starting at $ 23 online (which doesn’t make sense, but that is what they show online).

Parking: $5 cash



Right now there is a Groupon deal, for only $25 a person. After purchasing the Groupon, you must activate the voucher ahead of time.  When you arrive, they will have your name on their list.  There is no internet service when you arrive, so you must do this from home.  The Groupon includes a 20 minute scenic ride to the top of the mountain, and 90 minutes of tubing. Tubing sessions are on a first come, first served basis!

Tubing sessions:

Tubing sessions are on a first come, first served basis for the following start times: 8:30am, 10:30am, 12:30pm, 2:30pm  

Height Restriction:

Must be 36″ to go tubing.  I didn’t see them measure anyone, and some kids looked shorter, but this is what they have posted.


Mt. Baldy, 8401 Mt Baldy Rd. Mt Baldy, CA 91759
~Michelle, Blog Contributor

About the Author
Michelle and her husband have one daughter, Juliette, 4.  Michelle serves at The Children’s pastor at The Crossing Church.  Michelle loves taking Juliette on adventures in Orange County!  When she has time, she loves to make videos to capture the memories that they create so that they can enjoy them for a lifetime.


Tucker Wildlife SanctuaryTucker Wildlife Sanctuary is another hidden gem in Orange County. Located in the heart of Modjeska Canyon, this sanctuary includes family-friendly nature trails, a bird observation porch, a sensory garden, and lots and lots of wildlife. They even have a wonderful Natural Science Center with interactive exhibits, live animals, animal taxidermy, and several children’s activities. This is an amazing place to visit with kids of all ages.

Inside the Natural Science Center

Inside the Natural Science Center

Things You Should Know:

  • The drive itself is quite an adventure. Just a few minutes after leaving Lake Forest, you start seeing horses in people’s backyards. Once we got closer to the Sanctuary we had to stop because several chickens were crossing the street. You totally feel like you are in another world.
  • There are several picnic tables just outside the nature center, so feel free to bring a picnic.
  • You can use a stroller to explore the Oakwood trail located across the street from the nature center. However, you will need a baby carrier to explore the sensory trail or the Chaparral trail which are the two trails next to the Natural Science Center.
  • The sensory garden can be walked easily by toddlers and preschoolers since it is really short.
  • The Chaparral Trail is short but it is a little steep, so your toddler might not like it. But give it a try. It is worth it. Preschoolers and older kids can easily walk this trail.
  • You can park across the street from the Natural Science Center for free.
  • There are lots of animals living in this area, so your kids can look for track casts along the trails. You can use this map to try to identify them.
Chapparal Trail

Chapparal Trail


Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary
29322 Modjeska Canyon
Silverado, CA, 92676


Tuesday-Sunday 9am-4pm. Closed on Monday and major holidays.



Oakwood Trail across the street from the Natural Science Center