Ladera Ranch, California is a master-planned community. In 2002, its first 100 residents began calling the 4,000 acres adjacent to San Juan Capistrano “home.” Geared towards families, Ladera Ranch offers several kid-friendly activities so parents can avoid driving to other congested Orange County cities. For example, each spring, the community hosts a fun-filled day of egg hunts, carnival games, bounce houses and more at Founders Park.
Ladera Ranch clubhouses (laderalife.com) offer a wide range of interactive classes designed specifically for kids. Tap into your little one’s artistic nature with some fun classes. Kids ages 5 and younger get to experiment with music, playing on keyboards and dancing to rhythmic rhymes, in Music Together (musictogether.com) classes, while they can learn the Spanish language through movement and finger plays during Playtime in Spanish (playtimeinspanish.com) classes. Adolescents might enjoy all types of sport classes including basketball, skateboarding and tennis, as well as honing their speed and agility skills through First Down Sports Performance training. And kids who are pet lovers can get a handle on an unruly pet by attending dog-obedience training classes.
A Ladera Ranch membership card (laderalife.com) entitles kids to splash in over 10 seasonal and year-round pools. Avendale Village Clubhouse Pool (no website; 1 Daisy Street; 949-218-0900) appeals to children of all ages, featuring both a wading and junior Olympic pool. Terramor Aquatic Park (no website; 26281 O'Neil Drive-Ladera Ranch) caters to younger children with a small splash and play area. After swimming, the kids can enjoy the bike course constructed specifically for little tykes. Clubhouse swim lessons are available through Evolution Swim Academy using former Olympian Felipe Delgado’s curriculum. Sunsational Swim School (sunsationalswimschool.com) makes house calls, offering flexible private swim lessons. Instruction is tailored to a child's individual learning style and development level.
You can rent a party room at one of Ladera Ranch's clubhouses (laderalife.com) -- and then hire a party company to host a kids' party. Traveling Tea (travelingtea.org) will come to Ladera Ranch to put a new twist on the standard tea party. The company provides costumes, makeup, music, crafts and favors, transforming the clubhouse -- or your living room -- into a fairyland. Boys are always welcomed at these parties -- and Traveling Tea provides them with capes, temporary tattoos and special favors. Or, you can hire Creative Parties for Kids (creativepartiesforkids.com) to bring your child’s favorite characters, such as Little Bunny Foo Foo, Spiderman or Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie, to life. You can choose from a variety of party packages and customize them to suit your child's interests. For example, kids can search for hidden treasure at a pirate party, dance with Snow White at a fairy princess party or interact with a magician in a magic show.
The Ladera Ranch library (ocpl.org/libloc/lr,), part of Orange County Public Library system, offers infant, toddler and family story times, as well as access to 32 other Orange County library collections. Ten miles of trails meander through Ladera Ranch (laderalife.com) making it a hikers/bikers' paradise. Stroll toddlers along Sienna Botanica’s paved trail or race adolescents on mountain bikes at the Ladera Ranch-County Regional Trail. Take time to recuperate at one of several neighborhood parks nestled along the trail system. Pack a picnic, swing with a little one, or play catch with a future little leaguer on a baseball field. Bring along pets and enjoy the dog areas at Wagsdale Dog Park.