Get out with the family on the first weekend in October and enjoy Orange County's great diversity of parks, from Irvine's big city park, to redwood groves to inland canyons.
Events are typically free, and parking is only $5 per vehicle or less.
1. Irvine Park Railroad Pumpkin Patch – Begin the countdown to Halloween with train rides, hay rides, a haunted house, a hay maze, face painting and more. The patch is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free, but parking is $5 and fees for activities vary. More information is at http://irvineparkrailroad.com/.
2. Redwood Grove Hike in Brea – Join park staff on an easy 1.1-mile hike in Carbon Canyon Regional Park's redwood grove. The hike begins at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday and 9:30 a.m. on Sunday. The hike is free, but parking costs $5 per vehicle. 3. Trabuco Canyon Nature Walk – Join park naturalists on a light to moderate walk on mostly paved roads in O'Neill Regional Park. Meet at 9 a.m. Saturday at the nature center just inside the main entrance. The walk is free, but parking is $5 per vehicle. 4. Bats of Orange County – Join Ranger Brad Barker for a 45-minute presentation about bats, then follow him on a 30-minute walk in search of the winged mammals. The free event begins at 6:15 p.m. Saturday evening at O'Neill Regional Park. Parking is free also.
5. Walk on the Wild Side in Fountain Valley – A park naturalist will lead you on a 1-mile hike to see birds, hawks, insects, butterflies and native plants. Bring a hat, binoculars, drinking water and comfortable shoes. The hike begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at Mile Square Regional Park. Meet at the entrance to the Natural Area near parking lot F. Parking is $5 per vehicle.