In the 1980s while sending out invitations to my taste of the arts talent celebration events at The Gazebo in Peninsula Park near Balboa Pier to local and global recipients of my distribution I began using the terminology "Balboa Village" to avoid the frequent confusion from Balboa Island and other Balboas all over San Diego, Los Angeles and The Valley which I then revised to "The Balboa Village FUN Zone" because my events have always been created with the intention of enticing oceanfront guests to explore the FUN throughout the entire 3 block radius of both destinations for the full seaside amusement park experience between the beach and harborside FUN Zone boardwalk with breath taking panoramic views from The Ferris Wheel or while dining at one of the amazing bayfront restaurants + new and rare vintage arcade games + water sports + FUN tours + whale watching + anti mall affordable unique boutique fashion and gift stores + MUCH MORE and hopefully in the near future restoration of the carouselle and LIVE MUSIC.

In the meantime please Contact Tina4Music@yahoo.Com if you would like to help sponsor our next "Balboa Taste of The Arts Talent Celebration"

VIEW Balboa FUN Zone news, articles, multimedia images, music videos, film productions, and photos of previous attractions and community efforts to STOP & RESTORE gradual removal of historic nostalgic FUN

Most recent is at the top 

Oldest history is at the bottom






Photos by Newport Beach historian Jim Fornier Creator of www.TalesOfBalboa.Com



In construction 


"Saving The Historic Balboa FUN Zone" Photo Gallery Project

May 2016 

$234,398 LED lighted Arch proclaiming Balboa Village the 'Home of the Fun Zone' on Balboa Blvd at Adams Street gets Newport City Council OK

Discovery Cube's Ocean Quest


www.Exporocean.Org is now Discovery Cube OceanQuest Previously www.NHNM.Org Newport Harbor Nautical Museum



April 21, 2016 

Newport Harbor’s iconic but struggling Balboa Fun Zone could get a boost in a long-running effort at revitalization through a merger to be announced today by Discovery Cube Orange County and the ExplorOcean nautical museum and education center





January 25, 2016

From Mike Glenn 

Throwback to The Fun Zone (when it was fun) & How We Got to Where We are Today

Loyal family owned vendors EVICTED


January 4, 2016

ExplorOcean Replaces Tom Pollack with new chief Linda Mayer



December 2015 

Just before Christmas 2015 Balboa Bikes was forced to close completely after a fire which at the time of this post is under




August 17, 2015

Having lived in Newport Beach for more than 50 years, Ralph Rodheim feels certain about one thing: Balboa Village is not having an identity crisis. The commercial district that stretches between Palm and A streets along the Balboa Peninsula has gone through a variety of modifications

April 1, 2015

Yelp review from Mike Glenn www.SaveNewport.Com


This so-called museum is a farce at best.  What kind of museum destroys the very essence of Balboa, then claims to have preserved it?  ExplorOcean has destroyed the FunZone.  It is their property and they can do what they want, but it is laughable that they claim to be a non-profit of preservation when the only thing of significance that they have done is to destroy history.


In addition to the blight that they have caused in Balboa, they also play in local politics, getting politicians to gift them land and other special deals for prices lower than $1/day for a $10m plot of land-- less than they would pay in taxes if the land had simply been given to them.  The owners are awful.  Their politics stink, the place is vacant and not entertaining.


I go by all the time and never see anyone in there.  Not. One. Soul.  I have gone several times in hopes that I could be turned around.  The place is vacant.


"Hey, can you tell me how to get to ExplorOcean?" Said no one, ever.



March 19, 2015

From Mike Glenn

Do you remember the Fun Zone when it still attracted local kids and tourists?  Here is a collection of some of the older shots that I have found.

Now’days, ExplorOcean has purchased the building.  The rides were pushed out in exchange for a museum that I’ve literally never seen kids in.  Rumors abounded: The shops had their rents denied for renewal.  Boat companies on the shoreline were forced to sell their own companies to ExplorOcean for pennies on the dollar.  Meanwhile, as ExplorOcean destroys the FunZone, they also continue to bleed money.



December 23, 2014

Balboa Fun Zone yielding to educational space

For generations, the scruffy but lovable Balboa Fun Zone was a whirl of lights and bumper cars and waterfront amusement rides. But then ExplorOcean bought a chunk of the property facing Newport Harbor and exchanged the kitschy Scary Dark Ride and bumper cars for a learning center focused on science education. But as the new owners continue to remold the area into a place for learning, longtime merchants and wistful residents wonder whether the fun has gone out of the Fun Zone. the nonprofit ExplorOcean — formerly known as the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum — has been a key player in the transformation of the Balboa Fun Zone from a 1950s-style seaside amusement park to an educational space that emphasizes science, technology, engineering and math.




June 18, 2014 Balboa Peninsula Aerial Flight




October 29, 2013

360 degree view of Balboa Peninsula and Newport Harbor



SAVE the Big Corona Fire Pits


SAVE the CDM and Newport Fire Pits





July  13, 2013




July 10, 2013




July 1, 2013


The Balboa FUN Zone     Tina Hoffman Interview




Rituals: The Slo-mo hurricane. Sandy wiped out the fun zones of the Jersey Shore overnight. Here, (Balboa) it’s a less dramatic erosion.







June 28, 2013





June 21,  2013 California Travel Tips

reporter endearingly calls it "The Old Fashioned FUN Zone" 


Balboa Fun Zone - Newport Beach




June 12, 2013



May 30, 2013


May 24, 2013




May 16, 2013

 ExplorOcean, the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum, has announced the appointment of Tom Pollack as chief executive officer replacing former CEO Rita Stenlund who resigned

ExplorOcean Announces New Leadership Team




March 27, 2013


Our home and business in neighbor city of Newport Beach is also facing the same endangerment of fire pits with the excuse of scientifically proven health risks however less in comparison to residential fire places & bbqs, cigarette smoke, exhaust from autos, boats, airplanes, lawn mowers etc....As even observed by coastal commissioner Esther Sanchez at the hearing last month you can review at


Hey Tina Hoffman. What about something like this for the fire pits?

Did you know that Fire glass produces more heat than real wood, and is also environmentally friendly.

There is no smoke, it’s odorless and doesn’t produce ash. You are able to stay toasty warm without cutting down trees and the specially formulated glass crystals give off no toxic deposit.



Thanks Courtney !!! I LOVE THIS !!! And it's gorgeous !!! Especially in comparison to the only other alternative suggestion I have received so far...aka COW DUNG lol !!! We will just have to find out cost and practical way to keep the glass contained ...maybe a metal mesh screen cover or something ? Well let's get the word out for our genius friends to figure it out before the FINAL DEADLINE in May. In the meantime I will add to our Chronicles of Balboa lol aka "Help SAVE Balboa Village & The FUN Zone History of FUN" Photo Video NEWS Journal since 2002 at &;-) ♪♫ >♥< ♪♫




March 6, 2013



Maybe by the next extended deadline in May we can try to discover a scientifically proven economical way to ecologically convert the fire pit structures and update content burning regulations to reduce legitimate health risk concerns even tho scientifically proven less in comparison to injuries resulting from water, sand, sun, boats, automobiles, airplanes, cigarette smoke, residential BBQ smoke, junk food consumption and other activities related to LIVING at the BEACH as also observed and stated by Coastal Commissioner Esther Sanchez "No real comprehensive analysis of harm compared to other activities. BBQs from residents contribute more than fire rings. What it looks like to me how it's been presented is this is a way to control the public by getting them off your beach". "


In my opinion her intelligently presented insightful and transparent opinion deserves many new LIKES at VIEW the meeting highlights at AND SEE HOW TO HELP at &;-) ♪♫ >♥< ♪♫


PS *!* Please be sure to LIKE Esther's page at and send her a BIG THANK YOU message there or email &;-) ♪♫ >♥< ♪♫ 


Wednesday March 6, 2013




Center photo by www.JasonAnthonisen.Com



Wednesday March 6, 2013 8:30 AM *!* PLEASE ATTEND

in person or in spirit by SENDING eMAIL TO


From Jason Ornelas Anthonisen "For those that don't know yet the city of Newport beach has decided to remove all the fire rings from Newport beach and Corona Del Mar! We have been fighting and gathering signatures. Newport cannot remove the rings without consent of the California Coastal Commission. Thankfully the CCC has decided to recommend that the rings stay BUT they have to have a hearing and if we don't have supporters show up to the hearing then it won't be good for us as I was advised by the CCC. Please try to get the day off and set up a car pool to head down and SAVE THE FIRE PITS for future generations. If you can't make it then please send email letter in support to Jeff at We know that the location in San Diego is far and inconvenient. The CCC has no control over the location unfortunately. It's for a good and and an excuse to enjoy a sunny day in San Diego after. Thank you for your support!." VIEW EVENT DETAILS at AND


*!* JOIN Efforts to SAVE BALBOA Village & FUN Zone History of FUN *!*

at AND



HELP bring back The Historic Carousel

presently in storage awaiting restoration to where it belongs





Newport Beach 

City Manager Dave Kiff

3300 Newport Blvd.

Newport Beach, CA 92663

(949) 644-3001



California Coastal Commisioner

Oceanside City Council

300 North Coast Hwy

Oceanside, CA 92054 

(760) 435-0971 


California Coastal Commision
Fernie Sy
200 Oceangate, 10th Floor
Long Beach, CA 90802-4416
(562) 590-5071


February 28, 2013


Pro/con: Debating removing beach fire rings

Nancy Gardner: Pits create a health and safety issue for beach-goers, nearby residents

Jack Wu: Ring foes use smoke to hide real motives – keeping undesirables away - See more at:

- See more at:




February 25, 2013

Newport Beach fire pits should stay, coastal panel staff says

The rings are a low-cost amenity for beach visitors and removing them will set a bad precedent, the Coastal Commission's staff recommends in a report.



January 25, 2013




Friday 5-9am AND 1-7pm  Live KNX 1070 Newsradio Broadcast from The FUN ZONE 600 E. Bay Ave  KNX 1070 Newsradio will broadcast live Jan. 25 from ExplorOcean at 600 E. Bay Ave. The public is invited to stop by and meet KNX's personalities: Dick Helton, Vicky Moore, Frank Mottek, Chris Sedens and Diane Thompson. •Admission on that day will be free and refreshments will be served.


by sharing your thoughts, stories, photos & videos with our Coastal Commission & at our every 2nd Tuesday 8:30am Balboa Improvement meetings at www.Newport-Landing.Com & at our Balboa community Facebook pages with upcoming notification of opportunities to "SAVE The Balboa Village FUN Zone" before the ferris wheel, arcade & surrounding merchants are also displaced (as shown in former Newport Nautical Museum now Explorocean future plans video at DejaVu' already evicted historic carousel of cherished memories (watch last day VIDEO at scary dark ride, bumper cars, tin soldier spinning drums (see last day photos at Balboa Village FUN Zone FB group) candy store, ice cream store, shell shop, retro diner, wall climbing rock n bounce bungee jump, Plein air painters art gallery & The Balboa Market landmark (with historic murals of beach FUN nostalgia painted by legendary local artists) demolished to "put up a parking lot" and destruction of 100 yr old gorgeous plush ficus trees previously providing the main source of atmosphere for The Historic Balboa Main Street PLUS MUCH MORE tragic disregard for the preservation of Newport Beach history

AND please "Like" our new page 

&;-) ♪♫ >♥< ♪♫



January 1, 2013

Balboa Fun Zone gearing up for nautical upgrade

INTERVIEW with Explorocean's capital campaign chairman Tom Pollack



September 2012

City of Newport Beach MASTER Plan for Balboa



August 2012

US BANK Selects Balboa Inspired Menagerie Entertainment 

As Business Partner of The Month





May 14, 2012

Newport to ask Coastal Commission to OK fire pit removal





March 2012

Opportunity to HELP 

Save Balboa & Corona Del Mar Fire Rings

aka more of our cherished history voted to be removed by Newport Beach city counsel


PLEASE Sign & Share Petition at Jason's Blog

"I can sometimes smell the bonfires from my place (I love that smell btw).  If i poke my head out the window I can see them.  That smell and the sound of the waves and the occasional sea lion barking = heaven. Yet because Mr. Charles Farrell doesn’t like the smell of a little smoke they all of a sudden motion to remove them? You should not have bought and moved into a home that had fire pits in front of it if you don’t like it!"

PETITION Signed by Tina4Music@Yahoo.Com:

As a mother of 4th generation Newport BEACH natives, our entire family continues to be in horrified disbelief to have already lost too much significant Newport BEACH history and opportunities for our descendants to experience any nostalgic family FUN to create their own cherished memories dejavu removal of The Balboa Carousel of Cherished Memories,  Scary Dark Ride, Spinning Tin Soldier Drums, FUN zone  Rock n Bounce wall climbing, bungee jump, Historic Balboa Market with historic mural painting of nostalgic beach FUN, 100 yr old gorgeous plush ficus trees previously the main source of atmosphere beautification on  Historic Balboa Main Street, Parkers Seafood/Emerald Forest restaurant concert venue, The Historic Balboa Theatre, 1940s Bubbles restaurant concert venue, The Historic Bank of America  A+ restaurant concert venue, The historic Reuben E Lee Riverboat restaurant concert venue, and FUN in the FUN zone replaced by a so called museum with a history of removing nostalgia & history vs discovering & preserving it for the enjoyment of present and future generations as is expected from a real museum receiving community donation$ ...BEACH residents, merchants and visitors whose unfortunate health and/or finances are negatively affected by BEACH activity including water, sand, bonfires, music and laughter aka FUN should be moved elsewhere. End of story.



 PLEASE Sign & Share Petition at Jason's Blog


March 13, 2012

Newport council votes to remove beach fire rings

March 12, 2012

With council vote, the city now has to get approval from the California Coastal Commission before any fire pits are removed




R.I.P. Historic Balboa Carousel of Cherished Memories

after 75 yr anniversary celebration





Tragic Removal Of Historic Carouselle

aka eviction by The Newport Nautical Museum 

making room for Explorocean project


October 7, 2011

Balboa Fun Zone Carousel Removal

The Fun Zone at Balboa is coming apart. The Nautical Museum is not renewing leases related to the historical fun zone. Not much is left out of their grips.

"I don't agree with it. They are messing with our heritage"




 president and spokesperson have invited open communication, comments, inquiries and feedback at the location anytime during business hours and at the website and "Newport Harbor Nautical Museum" facebook page but I have been receiving reports of community comments and inquiries including regarding violations of officially approved Balboa Fun Zone design disappearing from the nautical museum feedback pages so you might like to also share your reviews, inquiries and comments at yelp


PHOTO GALLERY "PROJECT: Saving The Historic Balboa FUN Zone"



Museum expansion will harm Fun Zone


Prostestors did it right at Fun Zone

Museum should pay homage to old Fun zone ( "Pay Homage" aka "Historic FUN Zone Mausoleum" already in construction &;-(


Students Rally To Save Fun Zone


Fun Zone Carousel listed on e-Bay Among the iPods, cameras, family heirlooms and bestsellers being auctioned off

The new center won't affect the Ferris wheel, arcade shops or other elements of the three-block Fun Zone, Rita Stenlund, president of ExplorOcean/Newport Harbor Nautical Museum


"deep-sixing the Fun Zone is bad for business....It's killing this town slowly,"




November 5, 2011

"Always Remember The 5th of November"

Corona Del Mar & Newport Harbor Students

Protest Removal Of Historic Carouselle

after 75 yr anniversary celebration




Click Arrows Below to View VIDEOS







Newport Nautical Museum Explorocean Preview








Balboa Penninsula $40 million Ocean Center will Kill Fun Zone

Newport Museum plans for rides, simulators

Fun zone takes on nautical vibe


ExplorOcean set to unveil plans, info center


Historical Carousel Merry Go Round EXECUTION VIDEO


The Last Ride ( Before Carousel Execution )


Party like it's 1936 at The Balboa Fun Zone 75th Anniversary


Locals enjoyed harbor cruises, carousel and Ferris wheel rides for $1



Balboa Carousel to land somewhere off of I-405


Balboa Fun Zone Celebrates 75 years


Fun Zone Carousel for sale on eBay


EVICTION NOTICE by Newport Harbor Nautical Museum STORY


Summer Fun: Balboa Fun Zone Carousel will be looking for a new home in September 2011


Carousel at Balboa needs to find a new home




April 19, 2011

The Newport Harbor Nautical Museum, also known as ExplorOcean, has appointed Huntington Beach resident Rita Redaelli Stenlund as its new president.


October 2010 

R.I.P The Historic 1938 Balboa Market

and Murals hand painted by local artisans


The demolished Balboa Market with nostalgic murals property was giving to explorocean for parking currently one level metered "a 3-story parking garage– which nobody nearby had the right to build or the land to build it on. ExplorOcean just got that right during the taxpayer land giveaway sponsored by the Newport Council"




October 12, 2010

Balboa Market  Built in 1938, demolished in fall 2010. Here for 72 years, gone in two days.






January 26, 2010

The City of Newport Beach Announces Plans to Purchase the Old Balboa Market Building

On Tuesday, January 26, 2010 the Newport Beach City Council voted to pay $3.5 million for the long shuttered Balboa Market Building. It is anticipated the building will be razed this fall to create 38 additional parking spaces.




At the meeting with BID members were, left to right, Bob Black, David Muller, Donald McDonald, Dayna Pettit and City Councilman Mike Henn



January 20, 2010


Newport Harbor Nautical Museum aka Explorocean chief departs 

replaced by Rita Stenlund scroll up to April 20 2011



The FUN Zone is still FUN

September 9, 2009 

"The fun zone's a great place to take your family...We're here to stay...It's like Mayberry at the beach"  Owner of carouselle and ferris wheel Patrick Moore  www.TheBalboaFunZone.Com





Bring The FUN Back to The FUN Zone

December 4, 2007 

The Balboa Fun Zone isn't dead-it just looks that way

May 14, 2007

BUSINESS WATCH: Bringing fun back to Balboa...

Fun Zone business owner Tina Hoffman begins new family tradition in hopes of attracting some community and merchant spirit to the 'village.'

Tina Hoffman runs a special events and promotions company in the Balboa Fun Zone, so when she heard some people saying lately the Fun Zone has gotten dull, she did what comes naturally.Hoffman — who owns Menagerie Entertainment, a special events and entertainment production and promotion company — said she wants everyone to know there's still plenty of, well, fun to be had in the Fun Zone despite some of the rides being taken out and replaced by the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum.Hoffman has organized a monthly event to generate some community and business spirit to the "village" during the slower months of the year. For the first Fridays of each month, she's asking merchants to make donations for raffles."I want to start a new family tradition and I thought, 'Let's start a Fun Zone Friday event,'" she said in her small studio office filled with colorful gifts and other playful objects she uses to fuel her passion for creativity.


Bumper Cars, Spinning Tin Soldier Drums,

Scarey Dark Ride + Candy Store + Shell Shop



Last Chance To Experience Historic  FUN Zone Rides


My 4th generation Newport Beach native daughters Christiana, Victoriana & Eviana

Born in Balboa






Our FUN Zone Angel Patrick Moore




R.I.P. Reuben E Lee, Bumper Cars, Candy Store, Shell Shop, Carousel Merry Go Round


Pat Michaels: us "undesireables" will continue to frequent the fun zone"



The Laughing Lady


Click here to see and HEAR



Streamliner Diner

 photo by





100 year old plush Ficus trees

previously the main source of atmosphere beautification on Main Street










Adolescents - 1988 - Balboa Fun Zone (full album)



INXS Devil Inside filmed at The Balboa FUN Zone






Balboa Video from Movie Girl Most Likely A brief glimpse of Newport Balboa Savings and Loan circa

From Mike Glenn www.SaveNewport.Com



 1972 Movie  Can I Borrow A Dime By Gary Winn



Vintage Movie from Balboa Newport Beach

From Mike Glenn www.SaveNewport.Com




 1956  The Girl Most Likely Movie Opening 

Newport Bay Balboa Island Ferry


Balboa Peninsula in the 1950's

From www.Explorocean.Org



Newport Harbor History



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Select Demos & Original Songs From My Radio Circus