Adventure Parks

Part of our summer bucket list includes visiting some of the parks we’ve never been to in the area. We recently told Samantha and Amelia that we were going to the Adventure Park in Irvine, but when we didn’t end up being able to go that day, I was badgered with pleas of  “Adventure Park! Adventure Park!” for the better part of a week until we finally found the time to go. Gotta hand it to them for making up a name that proved irresistible to kids!

The Adventure Park was one of those designated “nature play” zones. There were some traditional play structures, but most of the park was designed to let kids run around and get messy.  I guess they think our Orange County kids aren’t getting enough exposure to actual nature or adventure…

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The park had a giant lego building area and random manipulative scattered around.

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The uncomfortable-looking cement slide was a favorite.


For obvious reasons, the most popular attraction at the park was the giant mud pit. There were kids of all ages (babies!) romping barefoot in the mud, slinging it with glee and scooping it up with giant tonka trucks the park provided.

I had heard about the mud pit and came prepared with a change of clothes for the girls, assuming that, given their penchant for puddle-stomping, they would head straight for the mud. Instead, they wanted absolutely nothing to do with it and looked at me like I was crazy when I told them to go jump in.

It saved me a massive clean-up effort, but I was slightly disappointed at the loss of good picture opportunities it would have afforded! Have I instilled my OCD-ness on them?

The other day, Amelia and Samantha jumped in the front seat of the minivan and pretended to drive, turn on music, etc. Amelia turned to Samantha with a bottle of hand sanitizer and yelled, “PUT ON THIS HAND SANITIZER, SAMMY!” There’s nothing like your kids impersonating you for you to realize what you must sound like!

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Just outside of the “Adventure” portion was a traditional park with lots of play equipment and fields. The girls enjoyed the non-adventure part of the park the best. Sigh.


Regular old swings. Oldies but goodies.


Meredith was along for the ride and was fascinated by it all.

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Another park we visited recently was the Lake Forest Sports Park, which was hosting a Dino Days event the day we went. I was tempted to stay for their outdoor showing of Jurassic Park, but the animatronic dinosaurs were already a little freaky for them. Amelia, in her most woeful voice, told me after watching one of the robot velociraptors tear open a piece of robot animal flesh that she was, “Definitely going to remember this tonight.”

No night terrors occurred, but I don’t want to make going to bed any harder than it is already.

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Rainbow snow cones make even the most vicious dinosaur encounters a little bit happier.


Lots of love,


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