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Dining Guide for Families in Orange County

Family Fun at California Pizza Kitchen

From when my now 10 year old was 5, he would request his birthday family dinner be held at CPK.

The front of California Pizza Kitchen Irvine Spectrum

So for the past 5 years we would spend his birthday dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) in Spectrum or the one off Michelson which is now closed.  My son was devastated when he learned his beloved restaurant had closed only to be overjoyed to hear that CPK would open one up in the Woodbridge section of Irvine.   The restaurant was in the most perfect location for our family.  Three blocks from my mother in law in one direction and three block in the other direction from my mother.  Our family couldn’t have asked for a better spot unless it was inside my own home.  So this location has now become my son’s CPK, it hadn’t even opened and he called it his.

California Pizza Kitchen in Irvine

Naturally we had to go and my son was so blown away with Next Chapter – CPK.  Oh that’s right they not only revamped their look and menu, but they also revamped their name.  Don’t worry they still have old favorites but they also added so much more and they also have a seasonal selection.  I will let the pictures do the talking for me but what I will say is that I truly didn’t have a meal at Next Chapter that I didn’t love.  From the pairing of ingredients that I would never think would work to the classics my taste buds were doing the happy dance.

Fish at CPK

Steak at California Pizza Kitchen

Fresh salad at CPK

Pizza with Brussels Sprouts

Chicken and vegetables at CPK

Pizza with egg at CPK

Amazing dessert

Ice cream with caramel drizzle

Smores in a jar

What I love most about CPK is how clean the restaurant is.  I’m not OCD but I do appreciate going to a restaurant, especially a busy one and seeing it shine.  This last week my kids were invited to tour CPK and make their own pizzas.  It began with the kids sitting up at the pizza bar learning about food safety.  Step 1 wash your hands, step 2 if the dough touches anything but the designated areas you have to throw it out and step 3 have fun.  My kids started kneading the dough and throwing it up, not catching it and letting it drop.  Thankfully they all got fresh dough to make their own pizzas and the tossed dough was well tossed (into the trash).

Tossing pizza at CPK

Learning how to make pizza at CPK

Neka learning how to make pizza at CPK

CPK Kids

Pizza making birthday party at CPK

Kids learning how to make pizza

Pizza oven at CPK

Once their pizzas were topped we were lead on a behind the scenes tour by our amazing host Mike.  Mike was fabulous.  He kept the kids educated, engaged and laughing.

CPK Kids

Birthday party at CPK

We walked into the kitchen and were given detailed information about who does what and what was what.  From the prep team to the dishwashers we met everyone and saw how smoothly the restaurant was run.  The kids loved the tour and had an even better time eating their works of art once the tour was over.

Behind the scenes at CPK

In the CPK kitchen

The CPK kitchen is so clean

Going into the freezer at CPK

If you’re thinking about a fun and unique birthday party for your child then I recommend having it at CPK.  It’s fun, easy and you don’t have to clean anything up.  For more information about Next Chapter – CPK or to find the nearest one to you please visit their website at

I’m an OC mom of two and photographer. I love living in Southern California and want to expose my children to all that it offers. I love taking my kids on adventures and capturing their every moment so much so that my kids find it odd if I don’t take their pictures. You can see my work on

We dined as a guest of CPK

California Pizza Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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