Summer Fun at the Cove

It’s been a great summer at Crystal Cove! There has been no shortage of fun activities for artistic exploration and scientific enrichment. Here is a roundup of the activities we have going through the end of August:

Our free Wednesday Community Days from 10:00am to 4:00pm are full of creative opportunities for kids to learn and express themselves artistically, with watercolor painting, origami, and sea-glass jewelry making. Cottage #22, our Marine Research Cottage, is outfitted with educational exhibits including abalone and microscopes with plankton samples. It’s a great place for kids to learn about the wonders of the ocean right outside the cottage deck.

“My favorite part of Community Days is interacting with the kids,” says The Conservancy staff member Shelbi, “The kids love painting and playing games, and it’s a lot of fun to work with them.”

“I’ve been doing this for about 7 years, and I’ve only missed 11 days,” says Rick Boufford, who enthusiastically hosts the sea-glass jewelry making station. “Sometimes we have over 150 kids per day. I just love it, just seeing the joy on the kid’s faces, seeing them come back over and over. It originally started by accident, I was down in the Historic District with my niece, and a Crystal Cove Conservancy staff member told me that they needed someone to make jewelry in the new Education Commons they were building, and I’ve been coming ever since.”


Our Great Plein Air Experience art classes have been incredibly successful, and for the first time we completely sold out 11 classes totaling over 130 students. Students created masterpieces at the string of easels facing the ocean at our historic Beaches Cottage #13, as the instructors watched over them carefully, giving artistic guidance.

Alan Nowell is one of our very talented and thoughtful instructors. “I love it,” he said before the class starts. “I go up and down to each student, and really try to work with them individually, giving them tips on perspectives, hues, darks and lights. Everybody is eager to learn and have a great time. It’s really special.”


And when the sun begins to set and the crowds begin to depart, what better place to spend a cool summer evening than watching a classic movie with ocean waves lapping next to you? Our free Classic Movie Nights have been a big hit with park visitors. This is a great chance for us to give back to the community. Our first feature was the very fun and colorful adventures of Alice in Wonderland, followed by the wacky Beach Blanket Bingo and the classic and much loved Casablanca.

“We come every year,” visitor Susan told us as she picked out candy for her three kids from our snack bar. “We love it! Where else can you do this? It’s so great what The Conservancy has been doing for this community.”

For more information on our August events, please visit

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