Category Archives: Activities

Arts Alive Festival workshop combines art with wine, cheese

During this year’s two-day Arts Alive Festival, patrons will have the chance to tap their creative sides through a host of fun activities and workshops.

Celebrating the art and culture of the 1990s, the festival is from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1 at the Oso Viejo Community Park on the Village Green at 24932 Veterans Way.

Workshops galore for all ages are planned for this special weekend including one specifically enticing for adults. Professional artist and art educator Renee Keady will lead a fun class that combines art with wine and cheese.  She will show folks how to make their own “mandala.”  The word mandala loosely translates to mean “circle” and can be created by using a series of concentric circles and patterns to produce a balance of visual elements symbolizing unity and harmony.

Along with great workshops, festival-goers will enjoy watching street painters transform the blacktop into magnificent works; arts and crafts; musical and dance performances as well as tasty fare, a beer-and-wine garden and first-time regional student art show.

Volunteers are also sought to help with workshops and in other roles during Arts Alive. To join our volunteer team, complete the online volunteer application here or email with your name, contact information and availability.

Laguna Hills accepts Mission Viejo’s proposal for animal care – The City Council has decided to part ways with OC Animal Care in favor of a proposal from Mission Viejo Animal Services.

Laguna Hills Mayor Barbara Kogerman said the quality of service and proximity of Mission Viejo’s facility, along with dismay with the county’s weathered shelter and high euthanasia rates were among the reasons for the transition.

“This is a city of animal lovers and this is a city that deserves to have the kind of service that the Mission Viejo facility offers,” she said at Tuesday’s council meeting.

The plan is to make Mission Viejo the provider for animal control and sheltering for the city, but the decision is contingent on whether Rancho Santa Margarita accepts Mission Viejo’s proposal.

Mission Viejo’s City Council sent Rancho Santa Margarita and Laguna Hills cost proposals on March 8 that if both approve, would mean lower costs for Laguna Hills.

Rancho Santa Margarita’s council votes on the proposal Wednesday night.

“It is a benefit to all three cities,” Kogerman said. “I am assuming Rancho will approve it.”

If they don’t, she said Laguna Hills would either have to stay with the county or find another alternative by the April deadline cities have to respond to the county’s 10-year contract with OC Animal Care.

Assuming Rancho Santa Margarita accepts Mission Viejo’s proposal, the transition would cost Laguna Hills $580,855 in the first year, $198,851 more than if they contract with the county.

The cost is broken down into $170,155 for first-year operating costs, $345,700 for a one-time capital contribution in building modifications and $65,000 for a new animal service vehicle.

The second year would cost the city $188,558; $173,558 in operating costs and $15,000 in yearly capital costs.

Laguna Hills Assistant City Manager Don White said they expect going with Mission Viejo will pay off in the long run.

“After the first year’s capital contribution, the cost differential is a modest increase at 14-15 percent,” White said. “It is staff’s opinion that Mission Viejo is in a better position to control costs over the long run.”

Laguna Hills began looking for an alternative to OC Animal Care after a Grand Jury report in May criticized county officials for neglecting the condition of the animal shelter in Orange.

Even though the county plans to start building a new shelter in Tustin in June, Laguna Hills residents, including Jean Bland, were happy with the decision.

“It is such a relief,” Bland said.

Bland has advocated leaving OC Animal Care for 15 years, and criticizes the county for its euthanasia rates.

“With all that is going on in the world today, one of the biggest fears of residents should not be that their animal gets out and winds up in the county shelter,” she said.

According to Laguna Hills’ staff report, the euthanasia rate at the county shelter is 6 percent for dogs from Laguna Hills and 48 percent for cats. The overall rate for all animals was 33 percent in 2014. By comparison, Mission Viejo reports a 7 percent overall euthanasia rate.

If Ranch Santa Margarita agrees to contract with Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills’ City Council will come back on April 12 to vote on the contract. If the contract is approved, the transition to Mission Viejo could begin in Janunary 2017.

500 attend South Orange County Senior Day in Mission Viejo – About 500 people attended South Orange County Senior Day on Friday morning at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center to learn about issues facing local seniors, an organizer said.

The free event kicked off with a keynote presentation by UC Irvine neurology professor Claudia Kawas, who spoke about brain disorders, including dementia. She also shared some findings from her study of people 90 and older, which was featured on “60 Minutes” in 2014.

Participants then chose between two sessions: Driving and car problems seniors face, and how to prevent being a fraud victim.

There were also free meals and vendor booths, as well as medical screenings by UC Irvine nurse practitioner students, said Erik Weigand, district director for Sen. Pat Bates, who co-sponsored the event along with Assemblyman Bill Brough.

Mission Viejo hopes renovated aquatic center will revive Nadadores club – MISSION VIEJO – The city is on track to start a $7.8 million renovation of the Marguerite Aquatics Center after the Summer Olympics, a move that could help bring the home of the world-renown Mission Viejo Nadadores swimming and diving club back to its glory days.

The improvements to the aging complex will include replacement of the only dive tower in Orange County. The new tower will feature 12-foot-wide platforms, which will make it the only facility in the West Coast capable of hosting synchronized diving competitions, city officials said.

“We will have the best outdoor diving platforms in the United States,” said Jim Montrella, a Nadadores board member who was an assistant coach for the U.S. Olympic Team in 1976. “I expect that we will host more swimming and diving competitions not only of the beginning and the medium level but of the national and international level.”

Construction is scheduled to begin in September and is expected to take 1 1/2 years to complete, Assistant City Manager Keith Rattay said. That gives Nadadore swimmers and divers time to train at the complex for the upcoming Olympic trials in June and July.

More than a half century ago, Mission Viejo Co. designed its master-planned community around sports and recreation to attract young families to the end of the road in Saddleback Valley.

The epitome of the developer’s endeavor was the Marguerite Aquatics Center and its tenant, the Nadadores.

Featuring an eight-lane 50-meter pool, a 25-meter pool with a 10-meter dive tower and a shallow training pool for children, the complex was one of the premier aquatic facilities in the country when it opened in 1972, Montrella said.

The elite Nadadores club has produced Olympic champions, including Greg Louganis and Brian Goodell, and hosted world-class meets, putting Mission Viejo on the map. The club’s success was inspirational for other sports and help turned Orange County into a hotbed for Olympians.

However, the 44-year-old complex has deteriorated, showing visible wear and tear.

Although the complex still meets the minimum standards for national and international competitions, it lacks additional features that newer facilities have and sanctioning bodies are looking for, Montrella said.

The City Council in June approved a proposal to improve nearly everything at the center, including all the pools, the decking and the dive tower. The Nadadores, the primary user of the center, pledged to contribute $1.36 million toward the project.

The council is scheduled to discuss the city’s funding agreement with the Nadadores at its Feb. 23 meeting, City Manager Dennis Wilberg said.

The city has hired Aquatic Design Group to develop the design and working drawings of the new facilities. The proposed dive tower will be 46 feet tall and have a lockable access gate from either the rear or side of the tower base, according to the latest design presented to the council.

The tower will have 10-meter, 7-meter, 3-meter and 1-meter platforms.

The pools will have larger deck and spectator space, as well as more teaching stations for lessons.

“Now we’ll be able to do more,” Montrella said. “The upgrade is going to improve the opportunity.”

Coming Community Event In Mission Viejo 2016

July 4th Street Faire & Fireworks Spectacular
Held yearly on Olympiad Road and in the area adjoining Lake Mission Viejo, this Faire provides a classic Fourth of July celebration for the city of Mission Viejo. Rides and games enhance an exciting carnival atmosphere for all ages. Local clubs and organizations are invited to set up booths for food, drink, crafts, gifts and games. These booths act as fund raisers for the participating organizations and help make the Faire more enticing to visitors. Free entertainment includes music, dance and comedy for the enjoyment of children and adults alike, with performers drawn from local talent as well as professionals from outside the area. As would be expected for a Fourth of July Faire, the event climaxes at dusk in a spectacular fireworks display.


Vendor Info
Vendor Application
Volunteer Signup
Waiver Only
Sponsorship Package 
Shuttle Bus Route 
Street Map

Gifts & Goodies Holiday Boutique
November 19, 2016
8 AM – 5 PM
Norman P. Murray Community Center

Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in one of South Orange County’s most popular shopping experiences. All booths are located inside so, rain or shine, come and enjoy the fruits of more than 75 artisans. They will be displaying many holiday decorations, gift ideas, ornaments and specialty items to help with your gift shopping list this year. Free Admission


Boutique Flyer
Vendor Application
Boutique Vendor Location Map

Boutique Vendor List
Boutique Food Court Menu

Santa's Arrival & Celebration
November 22, 2016

3 – 5 PM – Festival Celebration
5 – 6 PM – Entertainment
6 PM – Santa Arrives

Civic Center Plaza
200 Civic Center Dr.

Join the celebration as Santa arrives in Mission Viejo! The celebration begins at 3:00 pm. and this spectacular event is open to "children" of all ages. There will be game and activity booths where children can do “make and take” items and also build an ornament to help decorate Santa’s workshop trees. Santa will arrive on a fire engine and will help bring in the holiday spirit by turning on the holiday lights in Mission Viejo.


Santa's Arrival Cover Letter
Santa's Arrival & Celebration Application

Santa's Workshop
November 30 – December 21
(Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays)
6-8 PM 
Civic Center Plaza
200 Civic Center Dr.

Jolly Ol’ Santa Claus will plan several return visits to his Workshop. Along with Mrs. Claus and the elves, Santa will greet all visitors with a cheerful, Ho! Ho! Ho! and a peppermint candy cane. You are welcome to take pictures of your visit. Santa will be in his workshop from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. each of these nights.

Orange County’s HO Scale Modular Model Railroad Club
November 27 – December 4
1-8 PM Daily

Saddleback Room
Civic Center Plaza
200 Civic Center Dr.

The magic of the railroad comes to life in the Saddleback Room at City Hall. For a limited time this beautiful display of HO trains and landscapes is open to the public and admission is free.

** We are pleased to announce the new addition of the Lego Town and Train Display that will
also be in the Saddleback Room Nov 29 – Dec 6

Holly Jolly Lights Tour
Friday, December 9
Reception at 5 PM – Tour at 6-7:30 PM
Reception at 7 PM – Tour at 8-9:30 PM

Saturday, December 10
Reception at 5 PM – Tour at 6-7:30 PM
Reception at 7 PM – Tour at 8-9:30 PM

Civic Center Plaza
200 Civic Center Dr.

Bring your family, friends and your co-workers and join the Mission Viejo Activities Committee this holiday season for a fun evening. Before climbing aboard the Holly Jolly Lights Tour for your scheduled tour, enjoy the festivities planned just for you. Your ticket includes an outdoor party with live entertainment, a holiday cookie and hot chocolate, a marshmallow for toasting and a warm fire.

Limited Seating
Tickets available November 1 (these tickets sell out fast)
$10 per person
To register call 470-3062 or online 

Holiday Home Lighting Contest
Deadline December 2
Preliminary Judging December 5 & 6
Final judging December 7

All Mission Viejo residents are encouraged to brighten their neighborhood and share the holiday spirit by competing in the annual Holiday Lighting Contest. Prizes will be given to the top five homes.  Applications are available by calling 830-7066 or on this website. Winners receive a floral centerpiece and a display sign announcing their title. Maps to the locations of winning homes will be available when Santa is in his workshop and also on this website.


Home Lighting Application Form (PDF)
Holiday Lights Tour Driving Directions (PDF)

Letters to Santa
November 30 – December 21

Santa promises to answer every Christmas wish list deposited in the mailbox next to his workshop. Bring your letters to Santa and the Big Guy will personally respond to the delight of adults and children alike. Make sure to get your letter off early so that Santa has plenty of time to get your list memorized. Be sure to print names and addresses clearly.

Air Festival takes flight in Mission Viejo

Mission Viejo, CA – Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 16 when the Up in the Air Festival takes flight in Mission Viejo – featuring crafts, disc-dog shows, entertainment, exhibitors, food, remote-controlled planes and synchronized kites to music.

The free family event is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Village Green at Oso Viejo Park, 24932 Veterans Way.

Fueled by title sponsors PKSA Martial Arts and the City, the action-packed event includes live music, professional juggling, martial arts and Zumba Gold demonstrations, bubble stations, kids crafts, a trampoline ride and food booths serving up hot dogs, hamburgers, kettle corn and more. Clickhere for a schedule of events.

For more information, visit the Mission Viejo Activities Committee’s website at

United States at the International Youth Diving Meet in Dresden, Germany April 21-24.

Mission Viejo, CA – Mission Viejo Nadadores diver Camryn (Cami) Hidalgo is one of eight divers from around the country who will represent the United States at the International Youth Diving Meet in Dresden, Germany April 21-24.

As part of Team USA, Cami, a junior at Capistrano Valley High School, will compete in the 1-meter, 3-meter and platform as an individual and on teams. Divers were selected by USA Diving based on combined results from the 3-meter and platform junior events at the 2015 AT&T USA Diving National Championships where Cami earned silver medal honors in both events for her division.

Cami plans to stick to her recipe for success that has served her well during years of training as a member of one of the world’s greatest swimming and diving organizations.

“I hope to do well in Germany, but my goal is just to do my best for each event and stay focused no matter what happens,” she said.

Coach Ivan Bondarenko said Cami embodies what the Nadadores organization is all about.

“She is courageous, bright and, most importantly, a person of integrity,” he said. “We are so proud that she received this selection by Team USA, which is a very significant demonstration that Mission Viejo Nadadores divers are making an impact at the highest levels of the sport.”

The community can support Cami, her teammates and Olympic Trial qualifiers this month at the Greg Louganis Invitational Meet April 15-17 at the Mission Viejo Aquatics Complex, 27474 Casta Del Sol. This will be the final meet held on the historic 10-meter platform before the complex’s renovation begins.

Admission is free. For more information, visit

The Mission Viejo Library will showcase the amazing talents of origami artist Giancarlo Paniagua.

Mission Viejo, CA – Giancarlo’s innate curiosity and love for art began at an early age. To express an idea, he used colors and paints and later learned about Egyptian art, Hieroglyphs and cave painting. Being home-schooled gave him the chance to explore more in-depth subjects so he studied Van Gogh, Monet and impressionist and Chinese calligraphy artists. He later embraced the works of Picasso, Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo and Okefee.

Eventually, Giancarlo took a formal painting class and found origami after seeing an inflatable box he wanted to create. The young artist learned the elaborate folding process of origami from reading library books and watching videos. He memorized some of his favorite shapes like the fox and grasshopper and perfected his craft.

At only 8 years old, Giancarlo has accomplished more than artists four times his age. His fascinating work will be on display at the Mission Viejo Library from April 11 to May 20. The facility is located at 100 Civic Center.

Help strike out cancer by bowling for a great cause on Sunday, April 17.

Mission Viejo, CA – The Mission Viejo Activities Committee Youth Team is hosting a bowling fundraiser to benefit the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Saddleback Lanes, 25402 Marguerite Parkway.

A $20 fee includes two hours of unlimited bowling, shoe rental and the chance to make a difference while having a ball. Pizza and drink specials will be available.

To buy your bowling ticket,

Check out the Relay For Life Bowling flyer