If you have visitation time with your kids, but you’re not sure where to take them, there are many affordable and fun places to go in the Orange County area. We’ve put together a list of the most interesting and affordable places to take your kids if you have custody over the weekend.
Mission San Juan Capistrano
Mission San Juan Capistrano is known as the “Jewel of the Missions” and is one of the best known historical missions in California. Many tourists visit the mission to explore the gardens and the historic buildings of the complex. If you go in the spring, swallows migrate thousands of miles from winter grounds to the mission. The Festival of the Swallows is celebrated each year at San Juan Capistrano with traditional bell ringing and a parade to mark the birds’ return. The Amtrak Pacific Coastliner can take you and your kids straight to the mission and back again.
Orange County is just a short drive away from some incredible beaches. Laguna Beach is a good example. It has about seven miles of beautiful coastline to explore, including a lifeguard tower built in the 1930s. Nearby there are also many public art and local galleries, including the Laguna Art Museum. Another good option is Crystal Cove State Beach, which is located off the Pacific Coast Highway between Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach. Parking is about $15 for the day, and the beach features beautiful cottages and interesting tide pools.
If you and your children are active and enjoy the outdoors, there are many hiking trails to choose from in Southern California. The Bolsa Chica Wetlands in Huntington Beach are one example. Bolsa Chica is one of the last remaining wetlands in Southern California. You and your family can check out the hiking trails, watch birds, and enjoy nature there. Newport Beach Back Bay is another potential trip. People hike, bike, and kayak for fun in that area. Quail Hill Loop Trail Irvine is part of the City of Irvin’s open space preserve. The trail is a little over two miles long, so it isn’t too overwhelming for children. There is free parking available at the trail head, and if you bring your cell phone, audio tours are available.
Goat Hill Junction Train Rides
Goat Hill Junction is a great place to take kids who love trains. Every third weekend of the month, Goat Hill Junction offers free train rides for kids of all ages. The train ride lasts about 15 minutes, and you can board as many times as you like.
This is one of the last family operations left in Orange County. During different seasons, the farm will grow strawberries, tomatoes, watermelon, and pumpkins. They offer tractor-pulled farm tours, where kids can see different fruits and vegetables grown in the fields. The farm also has a produce stand on site that sells fresh organic produce. The farm tours are reasonably priced, and kids two years of age and under can attend for free. Watermelon tours are available from July to August, pumpkin patch tours are available through the month of October, and strawberry tours are available from March through June.
Santa Ana Zoo at Prentice Park
Again, if your kids are animal lovers, they may enjoy a visit to the zoo. Entry fees are reasonably priced, and the zoo features 90 different species in 35 exhibits. It’s small enough that younger children won’t get too exhausted by the walk, and the zoo also features a fun miniature train ride called the Zoofari Express.
Old Towne Orange
If you want to stay relatively close to home, the City of Orange 1920s Old Town District is a great place for a lazy weekend. Walk around and enjoy an array of antique stores, cozy sidewalk restaurants, and soda fountains.
If you find you need more or less time with your kids because your schedule has shifted, don’t hesitate to talk to our skilled Orange County child custody mediation attorney. Modification of child custody isn’t easy, but it will go significantly smoother with the assistance of a qualified attorney. Alternative Divorce Solutions is a firm dedicated to helping divorcing couples resolve their divorces peacefully and with as little stress as possible. Let us see what we can do for you.
Contact us at (949) 558-2624 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today.