Archives For Nature Activities

Melon Tours at Tanaka Farms

Maruska —  July 17, 2017

Melon Tours at Tanaka FarmsLooking for something to do during the summer?  Take a melon tour at Tanaka Farms for a fun outdoor family experience. During the tour you will take a wagon ride around the 30 acre farm, taste delicious fruits and vegetables, learn about their farming methods, see how veggies and fruits grow, and before leaving choose your very own melon to take home. 

Know Before You Go:

  • Bring water, sunscreen, hats and a bag where you can put the melons and leftover veggies from the tour.
  • The kids will be full once the tour is over, especially after tasting four different kinds of melons. Maybe don’t feed them a large breakfast or lunch just before your tour.
  • During my tour we got to taste cilantro, carrots, corn, zucchini, yellow squash, cantaloupe, watermelon, seedless watermelon and yellow watermelon.
  • Bring wipes. Your kids will need them after sampling several delicious melons
  • Avoid wearing sandals/flip-flops, open-toed shoes or high heels. 
  • The guides provide very fun facts about the farm and fruits/vegetables but it is often hard to hear them unless you sit close by. The guides stand in between the two wagons so try to sit as close as you can to them.
  • For part of the tour, you will sit on hay bales, so I would advise to avoid shorts. Or bring something to lay down before you sit :).
  • It is free for 2 and under, take advantage of that! 

Hours:

Weekends: every half an hour from 9:30am to 2:30pm. No reservation needed.

Weekdays: days and hours change every week. Click here to see the schedule.  

Price:

$ 18 for ages 3+. Free for children 2 and under.

Deal:

If you have 10 paying kids, kids pay $14 (includes a melon to take home). Adults pay $7 (no melon). So get your friends together and take advantage of this discount. If you are planning a group visit, you need to make a reservation by calling 949-653-2100 ext. 204.

Address:

Tanaka Farms, 5380 University Drive, Irvine, 92612.

949 653-2100

 

Looking for a free outing this summer? Hop on the “Summer Breeze” bus in Irvine, take it into Laguna Beach, ride a trolley to Shaw’s Cove for the tidepools, then hop back on the trolley to walk around town or grab a bite to eat before taking the bus back. All for free! 

Highlights:

  • Summer Breeze is up and running! Park off the 133/405 and take the bus into Laguna Beach for free! 
  • The free parking lot is where the 133 and 405 meet in Irvine. There are lots of signs directing you there and you can see the lot from both freeways 
  • If you’re following our trip schedule, you’ll want to take the North bound Coastal Trolley from the Laguna Beach Transit Center once the bus lets you off at the Transit Center.
  • Exit the Trolley at Shaw’s Cove for amazing tidepooling (the trolley drivers are all very friendly… you just need to call out to them that you’re getting off when they announce Shaw’s Cove). It’s about 5 stops from the transit center. 
  • Walk down the long steps to the beach and then to the right for excellent tidepools.
  • We went tidepooling at around noon and saw a ton of animals including sea anemones, hermit crabs, sea slugs, fish, and crabs of all shapes and sizes. 
  • After you are done visiting the tidepools, take a south bound Trolley back into town. You’ll pass Main Beach and want to exit at Broadway and PCH to walk around town. There are lots of restaurants and shops. You can also pack a picnic and have lunch on Main Beach or play on the playground there. Our 5 and 7 year olds loved the Kush Fine Art Gallery in town. It’s at the corner of PCH and Forest Avenue and is free. The curators were very welcoming and friendly. 
  • Once you’ve seen enough of the town, head back to the Laguna Beach Transit Center and catch a bus back to Irvine. Remember they arrive every half hour so budget your time accordingly. 

Know Before You Go:

  • The Summer Breeze bus only runs on weekends through September 3rd
  • Summer Breeze busses run on the hour and half hour starting at 11 AM until midnight on Saturday and Sunday
  • There is a docent that may greet you and give you information about the tidepools once you get to the rocks. He or she can show you some awesome marine life. 
  • Remember to check the tide schedule. You’ll want to go at low tide for the best viewing.
  • There are NO bathrooms at Shaw’s Cove beach so plan accordingly! There are portable bathrooms at the bus stop in Irvine and possibly at the Transit Center. There are also bathrooms at Main Beach. 

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. 

Ready for a truly magical hike? Take a trek on the Aliso Summit Fairy Tale. Legend has it that fairies were flying over Laguna Niguel and the fairy queen broke her wing. They made an emergency landing on the trail and loved it so much that they decided to stay. They’ve built a bunch of tiny houses for us to see! Our favorite was the fairy bakery and bookshop! Even my 2 boys were excited to see what was next, and hiked the whole way without whining, “Are we there yet?”

Highlights:

  • over 20 fairy houses, each cuter than the next!
  • Gorgeous view of Aliso and Wood Canyon Wilderness park, you can see all the way to the ocean!
  • Perfect trail for kids…wide, flat and smooth, with only a slight hill. The trail is suitable for jogger strollers and bikes.

Know Before You Go

  • Parking is on the street, so keep an eye out for the signs
  • The trail is not paved; plan on wearing sneakers
  • The trail isn’t a loop
  • Your kids may want to bring a small gift to leave for the fairies– they love anything from nature or something sparkly!
  • Brush up on your fairy knowledge before the hike. Your kids will have lots of questions! Lots of fairy FAQs on this website!

How to Get there

The Aliso Summit Fairy Trail is located at 30775 Aliso Summit Trail, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677.  The trail is open from sunrise to sunset. Free public parking is available on Pacific Island Drive. 

Amy Dilling, Blog Contributor

About the Author
Amy and her husband have to boys 3 and 6. She loves to find fun places to keep her active guys busy! Parks, beaches and special events are on her top list of things to do with her family.