Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center and Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve

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If your driving along Irvine Ave., in Newport Beach, you might not even notice this 10,000 square foot building. The Interpretive Center is built into one side of the bluffs, and has the most spectacular views of the Bay. I’ve discovered that many people who live in the area are unaware of the Interpretive Center and all it has to offer.

Visiting the Interpretive Center is FREE. Kids can make themselves at home and explore the many puzzles, books, puppets, coloring pages and study the various “pets” in terrariums: snakes, frogs, spiders, etc.

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There is an interactive display that shows children the various wildlife to be found in the bay and the importance of keeping it clean. In the theater, you can watch a short film “Saltmarsh Seasons” that the friendly staff will invite you to view at any time.

A few years ago, I was drawn to the Interpretive Center to have my oldest daughter attend one of their weekly classes – Tideland Tykes/Wild Tales ( ages 2-8, $5.00 per child).  They read a story, go for a nature walk on one of the trials, point out animal tracks and talk about the bay. Afterwards, they go back to the Interpretative Center and do a craft or coloring page. This place is in our “favorites” list. The Interpretive Center is also home to Family Science Sundays (which are FREE).

When we go as a family on the weekend, we usually let our girls play inside, have our lunch in the covered outdoor amphitheater, then we go for a walk on one of the many trials. It is truly lovely here.

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They also hosts regular coastal clean up and restoration days(great for scouting groups or as a family event). The clean up days are a great way to teach your kids one of the many ways to take action in your community and how important it is.

The center is open from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM Tuesday through Sunday. Admission and parking are free.

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 For more information on their Program and Events. For more information, call (949) 923-2290.

The Interpretive Center is located at the corner of University and Irvine Ave. Directions can be found at newportbay.org

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