My kids were on Spring Break last week and we wanted to do something special with them during their time off. Hoping to avoid getting on a plane or going on a long road trip (Are we there yet?), we looked into what we could do locally that would be unique, fun and inexpensive (sorry Micky Mouse). I floated the idea of going camping and (shockingly!) all three kids and my wife were excited about it. After a quick trip to the storage unit to collect our gear, we loaded up the car and headed to Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park, all of 20 minutes from our home! Are you kidding?! We could have been in the High Sierras and it wouldn’t have been any better.

The campground was mostly empty so we had our pick of where to set up camp. The friendly ranger (seriously, the rangers were ALL incredibly helpful and nice) directed us to the choicest spots. Every site had a fire pit, running water and nice flat areas for tents. We picked a picturesque spot overlooking the stream (with water flowing) and surrounding hillsides. The tents and camp were set up in no time, immediately followed by the kids scrambling around, chopping wood, discovering critters (hello, little snake), taking pictures, climbing trees and having a great time. After a few epic rounds of frisbee golf, we embarked on the most important task of all: finding just the right sticks for marshmallow roasting. Over the course of the next few days, we issued a severe blow to the world’s population of Smores.

This honestly could not have been more convenient or nicer (did I mention inexpensive?). Everyone had a great time and it was so close by. The rangers in the OC Park system must receive outstanding training, because each and every one was exceptionally knowlegable, helpful and kind. Hats off and thank you to those in charge!

Having done a little research on great things to do close to home, I thought I would share some other awesome events that are on the horizon right here in South Orange County:

Laguna Beach Gate & Garden Tour, May 5:

Newport Beach Stand Up for the Cure, May 6:

Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, May 6:

OC Marathon, May 6-7:

Martini Madness for Pacific Marine Mammal Center, May 7

Doheny Blues Festival, May 20-21:

Dana Point Art Fest, May 21:

Laguna Beach Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry, May 21:

Newport Beach Wine Festival, May 26-28:

So there you have it! Now don’t let me hear “But there’s nothing to do…”

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