Summers at the Cove

Image credit: J. Christopher Launi


Summer is Coming…

As you begin planning your summer, make sure to leave plenty of time to come visit the Cove. Save the date for these can’t-miss events that Crystal Cove Conservancy has planned throughout the summer.

Great Plein Air Art Experience

Break out the brushes for the Great Plein Air Art Experience, a favorite for art-loving visitors to the Cove, where participants can experience Crystal Cove’s 100-year-old tradition of plein air art firsthand.  Spend a relaxing day outside Cottage #13 with one of our local plein air artists, while capturing the beauty of the Cove on canvas.  No experience is required, and all supplies and paints will be provided.  For ages 18 and up. Make sure to register soon, because these workshops will sell out!

“The Crystal Cove Plein Air Workshop is an opportunity not to be missed. I have attended several, and each time had a delightful time. At my first experience, I arrived having never stood before an easel nor placed a dab of paint on canvas. Due to the design of the program and the kind, nurturing instructor, I left with a new set of skills and a greater appreciation of painters and their work. Over the years, I have watched many others enjoy a similar experience. Mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, groups of friends have all attended and loved it. And, of course, there is the setting. Standing in that beautiful Cove is enough to make any day a joy. I recommend it highly.”

– Jackie Wiseman-Sanford, participant of the Plein Air Art Experience.



Family Plein Air Art Exploration

If creativity runs in your family, bring everyone down to the beach and spend the morning bonding while painting!  During this three-hour program, families will explore the basics of plein air painting and work together to create their very own masterpieces that capture the Cove’s summer spirit.

“We were so excited to learn about plein air art in such a beautiful historic place. Our instructor was so much fun! My kids and I have very different artistic abilities but the instructor was able to give us personalized tips to improve our own unique styles. We picked beachy still-life subjects together as a family and then painted our arrangement from different perspectives. It makes me smile each time I see our Crystal Cove artwork hanging proudly in our home reflecting our individual points of view.”

– Christie Sweeney, participant of the Family Plein Air Art Experience.


Historic Films on the Beach

This summer, head back in time with Crystal Cove Conservancy as we celebrate the Park’s cinematic history.  For three memorable evenings you, your family and your friends are invited to sit back, relax, and bask in nostalgia as we show three classic movies at twilight on the beach. Starting at 8pm, all movies will be shown outside “Beaches” Cottage #13 and are free to the public. NEW THIS YEAR. We will be hosting a reception for Crystal Cove Conservancy members with light refreshments and themed activities to get you ready for the film!

On July 13th join us for our first movie night, Mary Poppins (1964), a beloved Disney classic starring Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins), a magical nanny who comes to care for the mischievous Banks children.  She uplifts their spirits through the beauty of music and ends up bringing the entire family closer.

On July 27th come watch the king and queen of summer fun, Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, in their first of seven beach related films, Beach Party (1963).
Celebrating surf, sand, rock & roll, and, of course, teenage love.  There’s no better place to watch it than Crystal Cove, a setting with a long tradition of beach parties.

On August 24th, we will be ending our movie night series with a Humphrey Bogart romantic favorite, To Have and Have Not (1944), which is on the list of historic movies filmed right here at Crystal Cove.  Directed by Howard Hawks and based on the Ernest Hemingway novel, this romance-war adventure film is not one to miss.


Community Days

Get over the mid week hump at Community Days in Crystal Cove’s Historic District, where you and your friends and family can take part in fun activities for people of all ages.  Stop by the Education Commons and let the serene surroundings stimulate your inner artist.  Create watercolor masterpieces and your very own charm to take home, using sea glass taken directly from the beach.  While there, learn about the unique history of Crystal Cove through a guided tour of the historic district.  See novel sights as you peek inside cottages that are normally closed to public access.

Once finished in the Education Commons, head over to Cottage #22, the Park & Marine Research Facility.  Here you can examine many of the fascinating organisms found within the park.  Look for birds and marine mammals on the front deck, head inside to inspect a plankton sample taken directly from the tidepools, then go out back and take part in an abalone research project.  You can help UC Irvine scientists better understand abalone, as they try to determine the ideal size to release them into the wild.  Come by the tank and help weigh, measure, and perform strength testing on these muscular mollusks.

Visit us during Community Days throughout the summer and make Wednesday the high point of every week!  Community Days will be held every Wednesday starting June 28th to August 30th from 10am-4pm.

All activities are free. For all of our Summer Events $15 day use fee still applies. Make sure to check our calendar for more information on upcoming summer events!

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