Archives For Beyond Orange County

Parnell Storybook Zoo

Maruska —  September 7, 2017

pernell-storybook-zooParnell Storybook Zoo is a charming farm animal zoo just north of Orange County, in Whittier, CA. You can meet the friendliest pigs, cutest mini horses, goats, rabbits, and more, all for free. It is a very small zoo, so consider it a short visit. There are semi-shaded areas that you could bring a lunch to and picnic. Right behind the zoo you can find a playground, basketball court, and baseball diamonds. We went on a Saturday and parking was a breeze. This is the perfect laid back, hassle free stop for your next family outing.


Parnell Storybook Zoo
15390 Lambert Road
Whittier, CA 90604
(562) 567-9400
Facebook page


Daily 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.


Free Admission.
Parking: Free, on premises

Heather Shadd
Blog Contributor

About the Author

Heather and her husband Jessie have a very active 3-year-old son and sweet baby girl. Heather loves to check out new activities and places around Orange County that is not just kid friendly, but parent friendly as well. Anything that includes food and coffee she is there in a flash. She is constantly taking pictures of pretty food. It is sort of an addiction. She works hard throughout the week to play even harder during the weekends. She is very active in Moms groups and she and her husband are co-founders of a Geek Parents Group.

Free Flight Exotic Bird Sanctuary

Maruska —  September 4, 2017

Looking for a unique way to spend a morning? Recently our family visited “Free Flight Exotic Bird Sanctuary” in Del Mar and we fell in love with all of the birds with their zany personalities. This non-profit organization takes in exotic birds whose owners can no longer care for them. Our boys were delighted to talk to parrots, listen to them sing (one even called out a cell phone ring tone), offer a variety of birds fruits and veggies, pet them, watch them tear apart cardboard during “enrichment” and feed the koi fish. Plus, because “Free Flight” is a 501(c)(3) organization, you know your admission is going towards caring for these animated, lively creatures! “Free Flight” is just south of the San Diego Botanical Gardens so make a fun family day of it!


2132 Jimmy Durante Blvd
Del Mar, CA, 92014


Daily: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm, except
Wednesdays: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Closed on major holidays.


Adults: $7
Children under 13: $3



Kelly, Blog Contributor

About the Author
Kelly and her husband have two boys, ages 5 and 7. She loves taking her boys on adventures around Southern California that focus on learning, getting their wiggles out, and having fun! When she isn’t fulfilling her mommy duties she teaches at a local elementary school and community college. 

Apple Picking in Oak Glen

Maruska —  August 24, 2017
Apple Picking

Click on Image to Enlarge

Labor Day weekend is the official start of apple season and I can’t wait to take my kids to Oak Glen to pick some delicious apples. I don’t know if you have ever taken your family here, but let me tell you, it is a magical place and there are tons of things to do with the kids. On our last visit we picked apples at the Riley apple farm, then we made our own cider and lastly we saw a pirate show in town which was completely free and really entertaining.

They also have tons of other activities such as hayrides, archery, knife throwing, toy making, butter churning, petting zoos, and so much more!

Click here to find information about Oak Glen. You can then click on Ranches/Farms on the left side to see all the U-Pick options.


  • Make sure you check the farm website before heading to Oak Glen to check on the crop condition and availability.
  • Bring jackets, just in case. I went at the beginning of October last year and in the shade it was cold, probably 60 degrees. But it is probably much warmer right now. 
  • The free pirate show used to be at the Parrish pioneer ranch at 12:00pm and 2pm every Sunday. From their website it seems that the pirate show is still going on this year, but I can’t vouch for that.
  • Click here is to see a map of Oak Glen so you can find things easily.
  • To give you an itinerary idea, last year I left Irvine around 8:30am and got there at 9:40am. We stopped at the Riley’s Apple farm, picked apples, then made apple cider. At 12pm we saw the pirate show, then went to eat and then headed back.
  • I was told that the Snow-Line orchard opens at 9am and makes delicious hot fresh apple donuts and hot apple cider. Perfect for breakfast.