Irvine offers cycling enthusiasts 44.5 miles of off-road bicycle trails and 282 miles of on-road bicycle lanes.More

Irvine Blog - Posts from Local Experts

Posts for October 2013

Creepy crawly fun for kids at Pretend City's Bug Bog

Posted by: Sharlene Earnshaw
Posted on: Wednesday, Oct 23, 2013

When I was a kid, I was a bit of a bug collector. My friends and I would collect ladybugs, ants, snails, roly pulleys- you name it. If we could trap it in a little container, we were interested. These days, I spend more time avoiding bugs then I do collecting them but I still admit to having a bit of a fascination with those tiny little critters.  In the spirit of Halloween, Pretend City Children's Museum has tapped into little tykes' fascination with creepy crawlies and put together the Bug Bog Scavenger Hunt.

 Bug Bog Dr Strangebug

Bug bogDr. Strangebug will serve as your child's guide through this fun scavenger hunt designed specifically for young children as they explore eight different bug-themed areas and look for them in simulated habitats. The bugs that your kids will encounter on their hunt are plastic which takes away the creepy factor and allows for plenty of hands-on exploration.  Kids will love searching for critters in a log, a cave, the water, and even the desert.  At the end of their hunt, children will be excited to discover a wall of terrariums featuring actual, real live bugs!  Kids can get eye to eye with everything from meal worms to millipedes.  They will also be thrilled to take home a set of trading cards featuring the very bugs they hunted for in the Bug Bog. 

If your family can't make it out in time for Bug Bog, there is still plenty to get excited about at Pretend City.  As the name implies, this children's museum allows little kids to play grownup as they shop in a pretend grocery store, build a pretend home, serve Mommy food at the pretend restaurant (currently sponsored by Wahoo's, an Orange County fish taco institution), create art in the art studio, perform on the music stage, or cruise in little foot-powered cars all over the city. Kids, ages 2-7 in particular, find the place irresistible. In addition to all the permanent exhibits, the museum also plays host to special activities and events throughout the year, from Christmas to Chinese New Year. 

Pretend City

The Pretend City Bug Bog is open for exploration now through October 31st and is $3.00 for the first child, $2.00 for the second, and $1.00 for the third tyke in your brood. Mom and Dad are free.





Filed In: History

Happy Birthday James H. Irvine!

Posted by: Ellen Bell
Posted on: Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013

October 16th would have been the 146th birthday of James Harvey Irvine.

Chances are, the intensely private founder of the Irvine Company wouldn't have wanted much of a celebration. Irvine was a man of few words who preferred to let his actions speak for him. No other member of the Irvine family had greater impact on the city that would one day bear his name. 

Happy Birthday James Harvey Irvine 

His father, also James Irvine, was an Irish immigrant who was lured to California during the Gold Rush. James Harvey Irvine didn't need to seek his fortune. He was born into San Francisco high society, the privileged son of a newly-wealthy man. But Irvine never rested on his father's success. He was serious and determined and believed in the ability of every man to make his own way in the world.

Instead of observing life from the lofty position of privilege, James H. Irvine experienced life firsthand, choosing to ground himself in the natural world. When he was 21 years old, he and his friend Harry Bechtel rode high-wheeled velocipedes from San Francisco to San Diego. The trip took three months to complete. 

Happy Birthday James Harvey Irvine


On his 25th birthday, James Harvey Irvine inherited the 110,000 acre Rancho San Joaquin, also known as the Irvine Ranch, which covered more than one-fifth of present day Orange County. At the time, the only asset of the Irvine Ranch was its potential. The vast, undeveloped pastureland was populated with more sheep than people. 

Happy Birthday James  Irvine


Happy Birthday James Irvine

James Irvine not only inherited his father's land, but his love for it as well. He preferred to think of himself as a farmer, not a landowner.

With shrewd business judgement and formidable self-discipline, he transformed the sleepy, sheep grazing operation into an agricultural powerhouse. 

His critics said he was aloof, distant and unemotional. Those who knew him best defended his reticence as the defense mechanism of a wealthy and powerful man.

They also spoke of his tremendous personal loss and natural shyness that caused him to guard his emotions in public.
Irvine didn't suffer fools easily. He detested social niceties as a waste of time. But he was a man of his word, fiercely loyal to his family and generous with those in need.  

Today, the legacy of James Harvey Irvine still has an impact on his former ranch. In 1894, he formed the Irvine Company and remained its sole shareholder until his death 53 years later.

In 1897, he donated more than 160 acres of his land to form Orange County Regional Park, now Irvine Regional Park, which has preserved the beauty of Santiago Canyon for more than a century.

Most notably, he contributed to the success of the future city of Irvine. James H. Irvine may never have envisioned the place that would eventually be named for him. His determination to keep his ranch intact provided a "giant blank slate" that planners used to design the master planned community.  



Ellen Bell is the author of Irvine: Images of America 



Happy Birthday James Irvine

Walk, Run, or Bike for Breast Cancer Awareness!

Posted by: Amanda Nguyen
Posted on: Friday, Oct 04, 2013

October is not only the time of pumpkin patches, warm & rich colors, and spiced beverages; but also a time to bring awareness to Breast Cancer! Aside the backdrop of Halloween 'boo'-tiques and storefronts, candy and jack-o-lanterns, and festive decorations is the color PINK! Numerous retailers and restaurants are offering pink items for you to don and menu deals for the month of October to highlight and benefit breast cancer charities. Aside from wearing pink and purchasing pink merchandise, you can show your support by joining in on a walk, run, or bike event benefiting breast cancer research, patients, and survivors. Here are a few events coming up in or around the OC area:

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5k

Segerstrom Center for the Arts Founders Hall
600 Town Center Dr, Costa Mesa

Sunday, Oct 6 2013 7:00 AM

Phone (877) 740-9255

No Fee, More Details Here

Making Strides is your chance to join the American Cancer Society and thousands of people in your community to change the course of breast cancer forever. Come walk with us. There is no registration fee and everyone is welcome. Donations are accepted.Donations accepted

Trek Breast Cancer Awareness Ride


3000 Bellflower Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90808

Phone:(562) 421-4646  

Saturday, October 12, 2013 from 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM (PDT)

Price $30; Family registration (4): $25

Buy Tickets Here

Join the FIGHT against BREAST CANCER with Jax Bicycle Center by participating in the 8th annual Trek "Breast Cancer Awareness Ride" Saturday, October 12th!

Ride to raise awareness for breast cancer prevention, screening, treatment and to help fund a cure.

  • Fun-Family/ Beginner 15 Mile Ride
  • Intermediate/ Advanced 35 Mile Ride (Rest Stop/ SAG Support at Turn Around, Jax Bicycle Center - Huntington Beach)
  • Prizes! Prizes! Prizes! Trek has partnered with some great companies to provide awesome door prizes along with a Sweepstakes to win a Trek Lexa!
  • Goodie bags for all pre-registered riders!
  • BBQ Lunch provided by Jax Bicycle Center following the Ride!

Two Wheels One Planet

420 E 17th St
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Phone (949) 646-7717

Saturday, October 12, 2013 from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM (PDT)

Price $30; Family registration (4): $25

Buy Tickets Here

Please join us Saturday, October 12, for our 8th Annual Ride as we ride to raise awareness for breast cancer prevention, screening, treatment and to help fund a cure.

  • Fun-Family ride for all ages and abilities around Newport Back Bay on the San Diego Trail!
  • Prizes! Prizes! Prizes! We have partnered with some great companies to provide awesome door prizes along with a Sweepstakes to win a Trek Lexa !
  • Goodie bags for all pre-registered riders
  • Marked route and on-route support
  • Refreshments

The Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure in Newport Beach passed, but you can still get involved and partiicpate in other events!

Check out events happening in Irvine for this month HERE!

Happy October!


 *Images via event websites

Fall Harvest in a Box at Tanaka Farms

Posted by: Ellen Bell
Posted on: Tuesday, Oct 01, 2013

It all started with a simple decision.

Like taking a daily multi-vitamin or flossing regularly, I wanted to make healthier choices.

So I signed up for Tanaka Farms' produce service.  Each week I will receive a box of feshly picked, locally grown fruits and veggies to help me expand my dietary horizons.

Maybe you're like me: you fill your grocery cart with the same old standbys every time you visit the market. You gravitate to sweet corn and carrots. You fear swiss chard and kale. And even when you do happen to purchase fresh produce, it remains trapped in its plastic bag, withering and ignored in the back of the refrigerator vegetable drawer. 

Tanaka Farms

Enter Tanaka Farms and its popular CSA program.  

CSA, or Community Supported Agcriculture, has used the latest communication technology to connect farmers with a larger base of customers.

This online marketplace allows for direct to customer deliveries, which is more profitable for the farmer and far more convenient for the consumer. 

Over the past 25 years, the nationwide CSA movement has become a popular option for families wishing to find fresh-from-harvest food.

It's the ultimate win-win situation. 

I use my grocery dollars to support local farmers. In return I receive a new variety of farm-fresh veggies every week, ready to pull me out of my nutritional rut.

It all began on Saturday morning when I received my first little box full of mystery produce.

I could have arranged for home delivery through Winder Farms, but since I live less than five miles from the stand, I decided to pick it up myself.   

tanaka farms

You don't choose your weekly selections with CSA. Each box's contents are chosen based on what's fresh right now.  As the weather changes, so does the variety of fruits and vegetables that are inside. 

I opened my box with anticipation, anxious to see what surprises were in store....

Green Leaf Lettuce, A few potatoes, a bunch of far, no big stretch.

The local historian in me was happy to find Valencia oranges and green beans since they were both signature crops on the former Irvine Ranch. ...Okay, the Irvine Ranch grew lima beans, but it was close enough.

There was a melon that I didn't have to thump, smell or squeeze to choose the right one.

Finally, there were six ruby red tomatoes and the darling of nutritionists everywhere: kale.

tanaka farms Like a contestant on the Food Network show, Chopped, my challenge was to use all of the ingredients laid out on my table before the week was through.

Tanaka Farms 

Saturday: I made a chopped garden salad for the neighborhood potluck dinner. Just looking at my bowl full of fresh vegetable loveliness made me feel healthier already.

On Sunday, I cooked up a pot of vegetable minestrone, starring the potatoes, carrots and, my new best friend, kale. I could have opened a can of store bought tomatoes from the shelf, but I peeled the fresh ones instead. My Inner Martha Stewart cheered with glee.

My Monday morning greek yogurt was made much brighter with chunks of succulent cantaloupe mixed in.

On Tuesday, I needed some inspiration for the green beans. I checked out the Tanaka Farms website and followed Chef  Bonnie's suggested recipe for Citrus Green Beans. 

Wednesday afternoon, I sliced up some Valencia oranges and made a pitcher of  infused fruit water to serve with dinner.

By Thursday, my goal was reached. My little brown box was empty and ready to be refilled for the next week. My family had consumed an entire box of produce in five days with minimum effort and delicious results.

I can't wait until next week!

 tanaka farms

Tanaka Farms CSA Produce Boxes

Large Box $30
Small Box $20

Every other week service available as well 

5380 University Drive, Irvine CA 92612 

2017-2018 Visitors Guide
Visitors Guide
Whether here for a business trip or a family vacation, let our free Visitors Guide be your constant companion.  More
E-Newsletter image
Destination Irvine's quarterly newsletter is a great way to stay informed about Irvine, the center of Orange County.  Sign up
36 Executive Park, Suite 100 ยท Irvine, CA 92614
Phone: 949-660-9112
Powered by Translate