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Trains on the tracks On the third...

COSTA MESA

August 09, 2003

COSTA MESA

Trains on the tracks

On the third weekend of each month, engineers climb aboard their

trains and travel on three miles of track at Fairview Park to display

their steam and diesel engines. The public is welcome to join them at

the park at Placentia Avenue and Estancia North. The Orange County

Model Engineer program started in 1989, when engineers wanted to

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display their engines, while educating and entertaining the community

about the past. (949) 548-7246.

Mobile Skate Park

The Recreation Division's Mobile Skate Park travels to various

park locations throughout the city three days a week to provide

skateboarders and in-line skaters a state-of-the-art skate park.

Participants are required to have a signed waiver and release form to

use the park. Appropriate safety equipment, including a helmet, elbow

and kneepads, are required at all times. Access the city's Web site

at www.ci.costa-mesa.ca.us to get a form. Call (714) 327-7560 for schedule of days, times and locations of the skate park.

NEWPORT BEACH

Balboa Fun Zone

Children can ride the Ferris wheel, the merry-go-round and the

bumper cars, as well as play video games, pose for a portrait or

browse through souvenir shops along the boardwalk, at the Balboa Fun

Zone, which has been attracting businesses since 1936. The fun zone

offers many eating choices, including Balboa Bars, which are

chocolate-covered ice cream bars sprinkled with toppings. Open daily

from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. 400 E. Bay St., Balboa Peninsula. (949)

673-0408. www.BalboaNewportBeach.com.

Upper Newport Bay Ecological Preserve and Nature Preserve

Canoe and kayak tours are available to experience six diverse

habitats for more than 200 bird species that either live there or

visit during the birds' Pacific flyway migration. Campfire programs

are also offered, as are free two-hour walking nature tours departing

from Shellmaker Island every first and third Saturday at 9 a.m. Call

the Department of Fish and Game at (949) 640-6746, or the Friends of

the Newport Bay at (949) 646-8009.

Upper Newport Bay Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center

Adults and children can explore 15 hands-on interactive exhibits

and communicate with the Newport Bay Naturalists and Friends through

interpretive educational opportunities or watch a ''visual poem'' of

Upper Newport Bay presented on five monitors, showing such acts as

birds in flight and the flow of running water in an estuary. The

10,000-square-foot interpretive center offers hands-on opportunities

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