Well I don’t know about you, but I don’t plan to have a lot of plans this January other than recovering from the December holidays and trying to pack away all my decorations before the end of the month. That said, my kids will still have energy to burn as always, plus may be a little more stir-crazy than usual given the colder weather, so we’ll want to get out of the house for some fun activities. And lucky for us, Orange County manages to have a ton of neat family-focused events related to Martin Luther King Jr Day, the start of Lunar New Year, and much more in what is typically a slow month on the calendar!
Here are my top picks for fun January 2019 Orange County events:
Supporting local theater can be sweet. The Orange County Children’s Theater will be presenting this fun production of Roald Dahl’s classic tale about a magical chocolate factory through the eyes of a boy at Huntington Beach’s historic theater.
Tickets: Adults $29. Seniors 60+ and students $15.
From their website: “The Cat in the Hat tells the story of Horton, an elephant who discovers a speck of dust that contains the Whos, including Jojo, a Who child sent off to military school for thinking too many “thinks.” Horton faces a double challenge: not only must he protect the Whos from a world of naysayers and dangers, but he must guard an abandoned egg, left in his care by the irresponsible Mayzie La Bird. Although Horton faces ridicule, danger, kidnapping and a trial, the intrepid Gertrude McFuzz never loses faith in him. Ultimately, the powers of friendship, loyalty, family and community are challenged and emerge triumphant.”
From their website: “Join Jacque Tahuka Nunez, an Acjachemen descendant and cultural storyteller on 2nd Saturdays. Learn and participate in the rich cultural heritage of the Acjachemen people! Jacque will lead an hour cultural presentation that includes storytelling, song, dance, and hands-on activities. Each 2nd Saturday adults and children alike can participate in a different activity. Come to one, or come to all!” Also, every Saturday and Sunday at the Mission you can step into the everyday lives of Mission Native Americans by panning for gold, making an adobe brick, and stringing an arrowhead necklace.
Native American Programming is free to Members and included with paid admission to the Mission. Adults: $10. Seniors (60+): $9. Children (4 to 11 years): $7. Children under 3 years: Free. Additional crafts are $10 for all three ($5 for members).
From their website: “Mozart’s musical fairy tale, with its imaginative setting and spectacular music, is brought to life in a special version designed just for you and your family! Fantastical life-size puppets, talented professional singers and special guests from Chapman University join Pacific Symphony to bring this classic opera to life!
“Join in the fun at the interactive Musical Carnival, where kids can test drive a musical instrument, meet and interact with musicians from Pacific Symphony and Pacific Symphony Youth Ensembles, watch local ensembles perform, create special crafts that connect to each concert’s theme and participate in learning activities that align with state and national educational standards. Activities begin at 9 a.m. for 10 a.m. concertgoers and 12:15 p.m. for 11:30 a.m. concertgoers.”
Tickets start at $15 (Grand Tier sold out).
From the Facebook page: “Martin Luther King, Jr. changed the world with his uncompromising vision of equality, justice, and peace. To celebrate the life and legacy of this American inspiration, people from all over Los Angeles come to the annual City of Long Beach Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace & Unity Parade Celebration. Each year on a day in January, the MLK Peace & Unity Parade Celebration takes place at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park in Long Beach.
“The MLK Peace & Unity Parade Celebration starts at Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue and Anaheim Street. The parade winds its way through the city with an international group of marchers before ending at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park. After the parade ends, the celebrations continue with food, live music, games, and rides.”
Free and open to all ages.
From their website: “Every child is unique, and they should know that no matter how different their friend may look from them, everyone should be treated fairly. On this special day at Pretend City, we want to have an open discussion with your child about equality. Don’t miss out on this important life lesson for your child!
- Smart Art (in the Art Studio): Peace Dove > Today in our Art Studio we will learn all about the word Peace and create a Dove of Peace handprint to encourage peaceful play at Pretend City and at home.
- Cultural Connection (11:30am): > As children create their very own self-portrait, they will engage in discussions that show them that even though we are different in many ways (skin color, hair color, eye color, age, etc.) – everyone is special, and we have many of the same hopes, dreams and feelings on the inside.
- Loud & Proud (3:00pm): Martin Luther King > Dr. King had a dream of peace! What is your child’s dream? After we sing-a-long to the Martin Luther King Song children will be given the opportunity to share their dream with others.”
Included with museum admission. $13.75 adults and children over 12 months. Military and their families $10.50.
January 13 + 27
My son is currently obsessed with archery, having done it once at a recent school festival, and I have been looking for a good introduction to the sport of archery. So this event on the OC Parks calendar caught my eye. Join Mile Square Park staff for a beginning archery class which includes safety instruction!
Free! Please note that participants must be ages 12 and up so this is not for younger children. Also, online registration is required and can be done through the link in the title above.
From their website: “Discovery Days at Centennial Farm give guests an opportunity to take a self-guided tour through the farm with volunteers nearby to provide information and answer farm-related questions. Reservations are required for groups of six or more children.” My kids love visiting Centennial Farm and getting to meet all the animals up close. Last time were there, baby pigs just a couple weeks old were on display and they were so tiny and cute! This is a great way for children to learn about animals, nature, and farm life.
Free admission (but donations greatly appreciated).
One neat aspect about wintertime in SoCal combined with daylight savings time is that even kids with a relatively early bedtime get to see the stars and planets in the nighttime sky. Unlike during the summer when it stays light out far later, January is a great month for staring up at the man in the moon. Join Anaheim’s Central library staff as they view the wonders of the solar system! Then afterwards there will be fun hands on moon-themed activities for all ages.
Free but you must RSVP using the link in the title above for tickets.
Kids are introduced to basic yoga poses in a light and fun environment while improving coordination, concentration and coping skills They’ll also learn breathing techniques, meditation, and relaxation while engaging in fun activities. Cost is $8 and you must register.
Jan 25 – February 17
From their website: “Ring in the Year of the Pig with 24 days of Lunar New Year celebrations at Disney California Adventure park, Jan. 25 to Feb. 17. A joyous celebration of Asian cultures, Lunar New Year welcomes guests of all ages to commemorate traditions with beloved Disney characters, and welcome another year of good fortune.
“Enjoy multicultural performances, fun-filled activities, beautiful décor, delicious cuisine and themed merchandise. One of the highlights is “Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession,” a bright and bold parade hosted by Mulan and her faithful dragon, Mushu. This year, the parade will feature the Three Little Pigs as a special treat for the Year of the Pig.”
Included with the cost of a park ticket. One day one park tickets for Disney California Adventure start at $91 for kids 3-9. $97 for adults. Children 2 and under are free. Parking is additional.
From their website: “We’re teaming up with PBS SoCal for a beautiful day in our neighborhood! Along with a meet and greet with Daniel, we’ll have fun learning stations too!” This sounds like a fun way for little ones to meet Daniel Tiger and have an edutaining day at the Children’s Museum at the same time.
Free with Museum admission but reservation must be made in advance. CMLH Members get to Meet Daniel Tiger 1 hour before the general public.
Join the Bella Terra Kids Club for this penguin themed event! There will be penguin themed Storytime, crafts, singing and dancing. Attendees are offered free kids meals with the purchase of other items at select locations in the Bella Terra shopping complex. RSVP for a chance to win their book of the day and a Cinemark Concession Supersaver for one Junior popcorn and a small fountain drink, or a two pack of general admission tickets to Pretend City!
Free but RSVP is required.
This is just a sampling of family-friendly January 2019 Orange County events! We hope your 2019 is off to a wonderful start, and that this is your best year yet!