Mission San Juan Capistrano is only 25 minutes away from Irvine, Ca. It is one of the most visited places by school age kids to learn about early California life. The mission is open to the public and March is the perfect time to visit as the swallows return to the mission.
This spring you won't want to miss visiting Mission San Juan Capistrano. We live near the beautiful Mission San Juan Capistrano in Orange County, CA. Living nearby means that we get to visit often on the weekends. Early this year we decided to get an annual pass to encourage visiting without rushing through the mission. The annual pass came with a free audio guided tour and a cookbook. The kids had fun listening to the audio. The audio gave them the freedom to walk ahead and discover on their own. We had fun listening to the history of the mission.
The mission has beautiful reminders of the past. We used our imagination to see what these ruins might looked like in it's glory days. What can be seen are the walls were made out of different types of seashells, quartz, rock and cement. Standing there all of us got to see first hand the architecture design of 1776. The design clearly shows the hard work that went into building the mission. It is a must see mission as it is often referred as "the Jewel of all missions."
The Mission was founded on All Saints’ Day November 1, 1776, by Spanish Catholics of the Franciscan Order. The purpose of the mission was to teach the Native Americans Indians the religion of the Catholic church and to protect the lands from the French and British hands. This brings to mind how much history took place at these beautiful grounds.
For a few moments we were transported to the past. The mission holds tools and items that were used when the mission was in full use. We all discussed what life meant living in November 1776 nearby. The kids were shocked to find out that everyone had to do heavy labor. The most shocking was that there was no fast food like McDonald's. The worst for them was that there was no running toilets. Our discussion went on and on about life in 1776. The best part is that all of us are thankful to be alive now not back then.
In total there are (21) missions built throughout California that you may visit all year long. Sharing a list that was taken from 21 California Missions.
California Mission Order and Date Founded
San Diego de Alcalá July 16, 1769 by Father Junipero Serra
San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo June 3, 1770 by Father Junipero Serra
San Antonio de Padua July 14, 1771 by Father Junipero Serra
San Gabriel Arcángel September 8, 1771 by Father Pedro Cambon and Father Angel Somera
San Luis Obispo de Tolosa September 1, 1772 by Father Junipero Serra
San Francisco de Asís (Mission Dolores) June 26, 1776 by Father Francisco Palóu
San Juan Capistrano November 1, 1776 by Father Junipero Serra
Santa Clara de Asís January 12, 1777 by Father Junipero Serra
San Buenaventura March 31, 1782 by Father Junipero Serra
Santa Barbara December 4, 1786 by Father Fermin Lasuen
La Purísima Concepción December 8, 1787 by Father Fermin Lasuen
Santa Cruz August 28, 1791 by Father Fermin Lasuen
Nuestra Señora de la Soledad October 9, 1791 by Father Fermin Lasuen
San José July 11, 1797 by Father Fermin Lasuen
San Juan Bautista June 24, 1797 by Father Fermin Lasuen
San Miguel Arcángel July 25, 1797 by Father Fermin Lasuen
San Fernando Rey de España September 8, 1797 by Father Fermin Lasuen
San Luis Rey de Francia June 13, 1798 by Father Fermin Lasuen
Santa Inés September 17, 1804 by Father Estevan Tapis
San Rafael Arcángel December 14, 1817 by Father Vicente de Sarria
San Francisco Solano July 4, 1823 by Father Jose Altimira