Scott Giffin compiled these listings. Please fax, mail or e-mail press releases at least two weeks ahead of time. Events are free unless otherwise noted.
AFTER SCHOOL PARKS & PLAYGROUNDS PROGRAM, BOLSA CHICA, 13660 UNIVERSITY ST., (714) 897-5911; LIBERTY PARK, 13900 MONROE, (714) 891-6678; SIGLER PARK, 7200 PLAZA, (714) 892-9029.
Mon.-Fri.:After School Parks & Playgrounds Program. The city of Westminster offers youth a fun place to spend after-school hours. Elementary school children can enjoy an assortment of free activities in a supervised and positive environment. Activities include play days, crafts, games, sports and special events. This is a drop-in program—participants do not sign in and may come and go freely, 2:30-5 p.m.
AQUARIUM OF THE PACIFIC, 100 AQUARIUM WAY, LONG BEACH, (562) 590-3100; WWW.AQUARIUMOFPACIFIC.ORG. $18.95; children, $10.95.
Daily: Whales-—A Journey With Giants. Visit the aquarium's new exhibit and learn about the planet's largest living animal—the blue whale. Through a compelling multisensory experience of light, sound and imagery, the aquarium's Great Hall will transform into the underwater realm of these gentle giants, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sat.-Sun.: Wildlife & Whale Cruise. Embark on the RV Challenger and search for gray whales, bottlenose dolphins, sea lions and migratory waterfowl. A marine naturalist will lead the search. Activities will also include an educational multimedia presentation and hands-on learning activities for children. Reservations recommended, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Adults, $28; children, $16.
CASPERS WILDERNESS PARK, 33401 ORTEGA HWY., SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, (949) 923-2210.
Sun.:Nature Walk. Short hike that explores the oak and sycamore woodlands, 8:30 a.m. Parking, $5. Meet at the Ol' Corral.
CITY OF IRVINE OPEN SPACE PRESERVE,NATURE CENTER PARKING LOT, 1 SUNNYHILL DR., IRVINE, (949) 724-6738; WWW.IRVINEOPENSPACE.ORG. The IRLR Trust is currently seeking volunteers, including docents, to help with open space programs within the land preserve. For information, contact (949) 720-5512 or email@example.com.
Fri.: Full Moon Hike. Experience Bommer Canyon under a moonlit sky during this docent-led, two-mile hike. Ages ten and older. Free, but pre-registration required, 7-9 p.m.
CRYSTAL COVE STATE PARK, 8471 PACIFIC COAST HWY., LAGUNA BEACH, (949) 497-7647; WWW.CRYSTALCOVESTATEPARK.COM.Parking, $10.
Sat.: Historic District Walk. Learn about the colorful past of the Cove, 10 a.m. Meet near the trailer in Los Trancos parking lot.
Sun.: Gray Whale Sunday. Scan the ocean for migrating whales. There will be whale paraphernalia and games for kids. Binoculars and spotting scopes provided, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Meet at Pelican Point parking lot two.
DOG BEACH ZONE IN LONG BEACH, BETWEEN ARGONNE & ROYCROFT AVES. (A FEW BLOCKS EAST OF BELMONT PIER), LONG BEACH; WWW.DOGZONE.ORG.
Daily:Dog Days in Long Beach.Fido, enjoy a legal romp on the beach. You and your canine buddies can now play in the surf without fear of being whisked away by Animal Control. Be sure to bring your human companion. There are a few rules (aren't there always?)—such as only one dog per adult and you must wear your collar and tags at all times, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
DONNA O'NEILL LAND CONSERVANCY, LOCATED OFF HWY. 74, FIVE MILES EAST OF THE 5 FWY., (949) 489-9778; WWW.THECONSERVANCY.ORG.
Sat.:Trail Clearing.Help clear the Conservancy's trails. Do great work in beautiful surroundings. Drinks and sandwiches provided, 8-1:30 a.m.
ENVIRONMENTAL NATURE CENTER, 1601 SIXTEENTH ST., NEWPORT BEACH, (949) 645-8489.
Thurs., Jan. 12:Little Naturalists—Outrageous Owls. Children ages two to five will enjoy this parent and child playtime with an owl theme. Participants will listen to real owl calls, practice their own owl hoots, enjoy a story and more. Call to register, 11 a.m.
Mon.:Little Naturalists—Terrific Trees. Hands-on fun for children ages two to five and their parents. Learn about what trees need to grow, collect leaves, plant seeds, enjoy story time and more. Call to register, 11 a.m.
Thurs., Jan. 19:Walk with a Founder. Take a walk with ENC founder Robert House and learn about California's plant communities and the center's history. Bring a sack lunch. Call to register, noon-1:30 p.m.
LAGUNA COAST WILDERNESS PARK, 20101 LAGUNA CANYON RD., LAGUNA BEACH, (949) 923-2235; WWW.OCPARKS.COM. Parking, $3; lot open 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Daily: Willow Canyon. There's now open access daily, so check out this beautiful wilderness area and share the trails with hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians, 7 a.m.-sunset.
LONG BEACH'S ADOPT-A-BEACH PROGRAM, OCEAN BLVD. & GRANADA AVE., LONG BEACH, (562) 439-3316; JUSTINRUDD@AOL.COM; WWW.BEACHCLEANUP.ORG.
Daily:Sweep Up Butts & Debris in Belmont Shore. Help sweep up cigarette butts from sidewalks and gutters before they enter storm drains and, ultimately, end up on local beaches. Students can receive an hour of service-learning credit. You can choose any time between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. Call or e-mail to schedule, then pick up gloves, broom, long-handled dust pan and service-hour verification sheet at Holly's Hallmark, 5012 E. Second St., Long Beach.
LONG BEACH SINGLES SAILING ASSOCIATION, GOLDEN SAILS HOTEL, 6285 E. COAST HWY., LONG BEACH, (562) 430-1715; WWW.LBSSA.ORG.
Tues.:Meeting. Discuss sailing, powerboating, Catalina trips, parties, dances and planned excursions. No experience necessay, 7 p.m. $10; first-time visit, $5.
OCEAN INSTITUTE, 24200 DANA POINT HARBOR DR., DANA POINT, (949) 496-2274; WWW.OCEAN-INSTITUTE.ORG.
Every Thurs.-Fri.: Public Tour. Enjoy a 45-minute behind-the-scenes tour of the center, 3:30 p.m. $2.