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Irvine Blog - Posts from Local Experts

Posts for April 2013

Ticket Giveaway Contest fo SCR's The Night Fairy!

Posted by: Terry Winkler
Posted on: Monday, Apr 22, 2013

SCR Night FairyThere are two easy ways to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see The Night Fairy  directed by Oanh Nguyen.  Enter a comment below or leave a comment on the Night Fairy photo on our Destination Irvine page on Facebook.

Flory is a fairy no taller than an acorn, who loses her exquisite wings in a fight with a bat, falls into the garden of a "Giantess" and takes up residence in a birdhouse. This magical story from a Newbery Medal winner is as visually bewitching as the night fairy herself. But Flory is as fierce and ferocious as she is elegant, and she's about to discover that she needs every drop of bravery-and equal amounts of understanding and compassion-in her new life among the daylight creatures.

Age Recommendation: Theatre for Young Audiences and Their Families is a multi-generational experience for all ages (except children under the age of four and babes in arms). The only requirement is that each audience member occupy a seat and sit quietly through the performance while having a wonderful time.

SPECIAL $18 DISCOUNT CODE for Destination Irvine readers:

Night Fairy - $18 adult and child tickets for these performances:

Sat Jun 1 at 4:30 p.m.

Sun Jun 2 at 4:30 p.m.

Fri Jun 7 at 7 p.m.

Sat Jun 8 at 11 a.m. & 2 p.m.

Use code 8379. Limit six tickets per household. Offer applies to seats in section A only. Special offer not applicable to previously purchased tickets and cannot be combined with other offers. Enjoy some great live theater with your kids!  

 South Coast Repertory Theater

May 24 - June 9 ? Julianne Argyros Stage

Tickets: $20- $32. See last page for performance times.

Irvine Ranch Historic Park

Posted by: Ellen Bell
Posted on: Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013

Long before it was a bustling, master-planned community, Irvine was an agricultural ranch.


Irvine Historic Park

It was owned by generations of the Irvine Family, who managed operations from the agricultural headquarters on the northwestern border of their ranch.


Irvine Historic Park




The site was chosen in 1876, because it was close to the stagecoach station in Tustin City.





James Irvine authorized the construction of the house that would become the home of his descendants for decades.





The house was the central point of the agricultural headquarters that surrounded it. There was a small office off the front hall and workers would eat meals on the screened porch


Irvine Historic park



Soon, buildings were added as ranch operations expanded. A Mess Hall, Bunkhouse, Blacksmith Shop and Carriage Barn all sprang up at the intersection of Irvine Blvd and Myford Road. For years, this was the nerve center of an agricultural powerhouse.


Irvine Historic Park






Today, a visit to the Irvine Ranch Historic Park takes you back to the city’s roots; when the primary crops were lima beans and citrus instead of residential villages and business towers.





Located on the corner of Jamboree and Irvine Blvd, The Irvine Ranch Historic Park features a collection of original structures from simpler days.






Irvine Historic Park













The 1906 Mess Hall is still there, where Irvine Company employees heard the clanging of the cook's triange before lunch.


Meals were served "ranch style" and, after the Irvine Company headquarters were moved nearby the late 1960's, there would be as many as 125 people at a setting.


When former Irvine Company president invited distinguished guests from Farnce, they were delighted to enjoy the kitchen specialty of enchiladas, tacos and beans.  




It was also the place where James H. Irvine hosted annual Christmas Dinners for his veteran employees.


Irvine Historic Park 


The Irvine Ranch Historic park is a collection of old structures, silent reminders of a very different time.

The Bunkhouse still stands, near a row of Foremen Houses. The paint on the red Carriage Barn has worn a bit over the years, giving it a vintage charm.


Irvine Ranch Historic Park 


The jewel of the Irvine Ranch Historic Park is The Katie Wheeler Library. This beautiful white mansion is an exact replica of the original Irvine Family Home.
Irvine Ranch Historic Park 

Design architects consulted original blueprints and took great care to ensure that that new building matched the former home.


Irvine Ranch Historic Park 


The large, Georgian country home witnessed many of the joys and tragedies of the Irvine Family.


It was in this home that James H. Irvine’s first grandchild, a girl named Katie, was born in 1920. Four days later, Katie’s mother Kathryn became ill with pneumonia and died.


Over the years, the home was the setting for decades of holiday celebrations and family dinners.


It was also the place where Myford Irvine, the sole surviving son of James H. Irvine, died tragically in his basement office. His suspicious death, due to multiple gunshot wounds, was ruled a suicide.


Irvine Ranch Historic Park








In 1965, the iconic home was severely damaged by fire.Three years later, it was demolished.





The Katie Wheeler Library was built on the former home site and opened to the public in 2008.

Visitors to the Katie Wheeler Library are treated to a trip back in time, where they can  imagine the members of the Irvine Family seated by the fireplace or walking up the main staircase.
Portraits and personal photos are on display and there is a self-guided tour available for those who want to learn more about the Irvine Family.
Irvine Ranch Historic Park
 If you visit on Tuesday mornings, there is a Farmer’s Market on Old Irvine Blvd. 
Irvine Ranch Historic Park

It seems fitting to stroll among booths of fresh fruits and vegetables in the heart of the former agricultural ranch.


After all, it’s only a few steps from the home of James Irvine, who considered himself a farmer first, landowner second.




Irvine Ranch Historic Park

13042 Old Myford Rd.

Irvine, CA 92602


Irvine Farmers Market – Tuesdays

9am – 1pm  (rain or shine) 
Filed In: Insider Scoop, Events

The Youth Expo Experience Invites Families to "Ham It Up" Apri 12-14 at the OC Fair & Event Center

Posted by: Terry Winkler
Posted on: Sunday, Apr 07, 2013

The OC Fair & Event Center (OCFEC) announces the return of the Youth Expo Experience, an annual family event that celebrates the talent of local students, April 12-14, 2013. This year's theme is "Ham It Up!" and hours are Friday 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission is free all three days and many activities are free of charge. Parking is free on Friday and $5 on Saturday and Sunday. Friday is also Field Trip Day, when schools are encouraged to attend as a group. For more information, visit


Local students check out exhibits at the annual Youth Expo Experience at the OC Fair & Event Center. Youth Expo 2013 is April 12-14.
(OC Fair & Event Center)

Youth Expo attendees can also experience Vital Link's STEM and the Arts Career Showcase, which encourages students to consider careers in the professional fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). Held every day of Youth Expo, the STEM Showcase will include a robotic competition, competitive exhibits, displays and workshops.

Additional, family-friendly events and competitions for the Youth Expo weekend include:

  • "Make & Take" Activities: Free hands-on learning demonstrations in ceramics-making, portrait painting, cartooning and various handicrafts will be offered every day for youth ages pre-kindergarten through high school. All the necessary equipment and supplies are provided and local professionals and Youth Expo staff lead the demonstrations, while participants get to take what they make home with them.
  • Youth Projects: Local students show off their talents in art, creative writing, woodworking, science, fashion and photography.
  • 4-H Competitions: Local youth are judged on their abilities to raise small livestock, their understanding of animal and veterinary sciences and their display projects on community service, aerospace, entomology, electricity and more.
  • Lil' Sprouts Jr. Farm and Garden Contest: An opportunity for children to show off their green thumb and see who can grow the best fruits, vegetables and flowers. Contest categories include divisions for both fruits and vegetables, terrariums and more.
  • Youth Chess Tournament: On Saturday, April 13 from Noon-4 p.m., chess enthusiasts of all ages and levels are invited to compete. Entry fees are $10 per person and $5 for each additional family member.
  • Building Industry Education Council (BIEC) 24th Annual Design⁄Build Competition: Watch as future architects and builders compete to see who are the best young home builders in Southern California.
  • Gourmet Food Trucks and Local Fundraising Food Booths: Enjoy gourmet food truck fare on Saturday and Sunday from Fresh Fries, Ragin Cajun, Piaggio On Wheels, Chunk N Chip, TJ's Woodfire Pizza, Waffles de Liege, Kala Truck, Bakery Truck, Tropical Shave Ice and Spudrunners (food trucks will vary each day). Plus, every day of Youth Expo, local youth groups will be selling snacks, drinks and lunch.
  • Centennial Farm: Families can check out the gardens and animal pens, plus enjoy free hay rides, oxen team demonstrations, hands-on arts and crafts, a Bug Barn, leather-making demonstrations and scavenger hunts.
  • Amusements & Carnival: Roll around like a hamster in the human-powered Land Bubbles or take a spin in the carnival. Fees apply to amusements and carnival rides and games.

The Youth Expo Experience 2013 is sponsored by YMCA OF ORANGE COUNTY, LEGOLAND® California Educational Field Trip programs, and ScholarShare - California 529 College Savings Plan and is underwritten by the OC Fair & Event Center. For more details on this year's event, visit

The OC Fair & Event Center is located off the 405 and 55 freeways at 88 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa. For more information, please visit, become a fan on, follow us at or call (714) 708-1500.

Filed In: Dining

Ignite your Urban Seoul

Posted by: Amanda Nguyen
Posted on: Sunday, Apr 07, 2013

I was so excited to take part in a tasting of the new Korean/Asian/Mexican fusion restaurant and tapas bar, Urban Seoul located in the Diamond Jamboree Center; and I'm even more excited to share my foodie experience with you. 


Brought to life by chef Kacy, he intermixed his life experiences, heritage and LA upbringing into tangible culinary, cultural delights with the Urban Seoul menu.  



 Could a burger be anymore flavorful and juicy? The Kalbi burger sliders are made of marinated beef and pork patty, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions, and a secret sauce (which adds a slight spicy kick) on a morning bun. Inspired by the In-N-Out Double Double, these sliders are sure to have your taste buds doing a double take.

The Pork Belly Tacos, influenced by the street tacos of LA, has cripsy pork belly, kimchi, dress lettuce, queso fresco, gochu jang aioli, and house hot sauce (all sauces are made in-house!) I love the combination of the crispy texture and spicy flavor!

I have a sweet spot for quail eggs and crispy foods, and the Spicy Rice Cake dish is the best of both worlds bringing together crispy rice cake, fish cake, onions, boiled quail egg, spicy sauce, and green onions.


The kimchi pancake quesadillas are a refreshing take on the classic quesadillas; these are made of a special kimchi pancake batter stuffed with grilled chicken, cheddar and mozzarella cheese, and kimchi sour cream. 

Chef Kacy and the Urban Seoul staff are very welcoming and well versed in the stories behind each dish on the menu. The prices are great, I totally dig the community atmosphere (be seated at a table or at the bar with open kitchen) and industrial decor mixed with vibrant artwork, and most importantly, the food!


 Check out more details for Urban Seoul here and other great restaurants in Irvine on Destination Irvine's 'Where to Eat' feature page!

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