Thursday, December 31, 2015

REVIEW: Winter Fest at the OC Fairgrounds | @WinterfestOC #WinterfestOC


With all the choices of fun winter festivals, which ones do you choose?  While we would love to do them all, it's not realistic.  New this year in the OC was a new Winter Carnival at the OC Fair and Event Center and we were invited to check it out.

The first thing that you notice as you walk into the carnival is the largest ornament you have ever seen!  We had to walk inside and take a selfie. :-)




One thing you will notice is that while the area is at the OC Fair Grounds, the carnival is on a much smaller scale but packed with fun things.  You don't feel like you have to walk miles to have fun. 

My kids jumped on the opportunity to go snow tubing and spent a good half hour laughing and racing.

There are a few stands with food and hot drinks but not a ton of choices to choose from. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Winter Wonderfest at Discovery Cube | @DiscoveryCubeOC #CubeWinter


Last weekend, I was invited to visit Discovery Cube's newest Holiday exhibits at their new Winter Wonderfest.  It doesn't snow often in Southern California and it was nice to get the kids in warm clothes and have a little snow fun.  Winter Wonderfest opens to the public tomorrow and here is a sneak peak of what you can expect.


There are several slides for kids of all ages.  There are little toddler size slopes all the way up to a 2 story steep slide that will leave you breathless!  

A snow area is available to build snowmen and throw a snowball or two.  We loved making snow angels!


If your little ones need a break from the cold, there is a great engineering area where kids can build race tracks for marble racing out of pool noodles and used toys.  What a great idea for a rainy day!


When you have had enough of the wet stuff, be sure to check out the Science of Gingerbread inside the Discovery Cube.  Every year, the museum takes entries for a friendly Gingerbread house competition.  A few of my favorites included Nightmare Before Christmas, Theme Parks, Eiffel Tower and so many more!


Visit the Gingerbread Derby to make your own edible race car.  Do you have scouts in your family?  This is a great dry run for the Pinewood Derby next month.  Fun scouting activity.

My little Sweet Tooth girl was intrigued by the Science of Sugar demonstration.  Her eyes filled with wonder as the scientist created her favorite treats.


Before you leave, there is a great interactive Science of Hotwheels exhibit where kids can prepare for a career in NASCAR pit crew, drivers and racing.


On our way out, we stopped to watch the Science of Snow show where the audience is invited participate with a special "snowfall" ending.

We enjoyed our time at Discovery Cube and we love how there are different exhibits all the time so every time we go, it never gets old.  How better to teach our children about the world except through hands-on science?

Thanks Discovery Cube for a fun winter outing.  We look forward to seeing what you have in the future.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Ramona Bowl Amphitheatre: A Hidden Gem in San Jacinto Valley | @RamonaBowl #Travel

Hemet

Although I have lived in Southern California all my life, I had only heard of San Jacinto Valley and its hidden treasures.  I was fortunate enough to be invited on a press trip to enlighten me on some of the hidden gems only an hour east of Los Angeles.

One of the most memorable places I visited hosts the longest running outdoor plays(The Ramona Pageant) every year.  The Ramona Bowl Amphitheatre sits on the hillside over looking the Gorgeous San Jacinto Valley.

View

What makes this Amphitheatre unlike anything else you have ever known is the natural setting of the Bowl.  The stage is cut into the canyon on the hillside.  The natural acoustics create a setting that brings the story through your soul.  The Ramona Bowl was created in 1923 when the Chamber of Commerce(and later the Ramona Pageant Association) bought up 160 acres in and around the canyon to preserve the Bowl for generations to come.  This also prevented the land from being encroached upon by large companies.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

What's New at Stacked? December Tasty Treats | @FoodWellBuilt #FoodWellBuilt #spon

Stacked

December at Stacked brings all new flavors and tasty treats.  You could even say they make "Food Well Built".  Since every month brings new menus, I like to try a variety of food when I am invited to media tastings.

This month's lunch date with my hubby had us starting off with our favorite, Candied Bacon.  This melt in your mouth delicacy is sure to please almost anyone!  I am sure this appetizer alone is the reason I am not a vegetarian.  LOL  Soaked in maple syrup, it is cooked to perfection.

Stacked     Stacked

The second appetizer was the Sweet Chili Wings.  Do you like a sweet and spicy start to your meal or just eating wings on its own?  These were too spicy for my children but hubby and I were fans.  This would make a great Football Party treat.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Review: Disney On Ice Frozen | @DisneyOnIce #Frozen #DisneyOnIce #ad

Disney On Ice Frozen

Everyone by now has seen Disney's Frozen and knows all the lyrics but you have NEVER seen it like this!  Last night my family was invited to review Disney On Ice Frozen at the Staples Center.

There is nothing quite like the magic of seeing the story come to life on ice with the gracefulness of ice-skating.  All of our favorite characters flying across the Staples Center performing the show that many parents would like to forget.  Just kidding.  Although, we could sing the songs in our sleep, the car, house, etc., there is absolutely NOTHING like hearing thousands of people singing it at once!

Disney On Ice Frozen

We got to the beautifully decorated Staples Center a little early and walked around for possible Christmas shopping.  My daughter loved everything at first sight and it was hard to choose just one.  I had an eye on a best friends locket which may or may not have come home with me.

The show was about to start.  I had treated us to McDonalds sundaes and the kids were happy.

Disney On Ice Frozen

Friday, December 11, 2015

A New Family Holiday Tradition! L.A. Zoo Lights! | @LAZoo #ChristmasLights

Photo Credit Kim Pham
Do you remember heading up to Griffith Park to enjoy the spectacular Christmas Light displays? Driving or walking through the magically lit up pathways?

A few years ago, they discontinued the light displays but returned last year. This year promises to be better than ever! "L.A. Zoo Lights: A Dazzling Wonderland" brings a menagerie of animals to life through:
  • 3-D Animated Projections 
    • LED/Projected Elephants delight you in Holiday Sweaters while colorful monkeys scamper about the grounds. 
  • Flurries of Illuminated Snowflakes
  • Musical Light and Water Show
  • Glittering Light Tunnels and so much more!
LA Zoo Lights 2015
Photo Credit Kim Pham

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Fishing With Santa at Whittier Narrows FREE For Kids | @TVFishing

This weekend holds the most unique Santa experience we have in Southern California.  Your children have a chance to fish with Santa!  Every year, Whittier Narrows Recreation Area hosts a FREE Fishing With Santa Event.

My kids look forward to catching dinner and spending time with their friends.  Santa is the cherry on top.  This provides a great opportunity to get your family photo for your Christmas Cards, it's not too late.

You don't know how to fish?  Don't worry, there are many volunteers and older kids walking around helping bait hooks and remove fish.

Wait, you don't have fishing rods or bait?  No worries!  Rods are on loan with unlimited bait for all participants(as long as supplies last).  BONUS:   Every participant has a chance to win their own fishing rods in the FREE raffle after lunch.

6 Reasons You Should Go to Legoland This Weekend | @LegolandCA #LegolandCA


LEGOLAND is only an hour away from Orange County, when was the last time you took the family?  I was fortunate enough to be invited as a LEGOLAND media guest for the lighting ceremony last week.

What is new at LEGOLAND?  Snow Days and Winter Nights have started and with that brings a park full of fun activities.  What are my family's top activities there?


1.  SNOW FUN!  Head up to the Snow Play areas for a Southern California style winter wonderland.  There are two snow areas with:

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

WIN VERA Gourmet Dog Treats For Your Pups Stockings! | @VeraTreats #Giveaway





Christmas is almost here and our pets deserve presents too!  Luckily, I have been able to treat them a variety of treats, being a True Science Ambassador.  


Every month, my fur-babies get spoiled with different delicious choices and I am happy to say, VERA Gourmet Dog Treats don't look or smell like dog food!  YAY!  In fact, if I saw it next to beef jerky, I wouldn't know the difference. 




Vera premium dog treats are made with the highest butcher quality cuts in chicken and beef, wholesome ingredients and free of artificial colors and flavors. They are also:
  • 95% real meat or chicken
  • No animal by-products
  • Soy, corn and wheat free
  • Made in Ireland

I found that VERA dog treats make a great reward for my 4-legged kids but be careful, the treats can be high calorie(50 calories each) if fed too much. A little breaking up and it worked great.   


My dogs can be picky but they dove right into these treats.  If for any reason your dogs do NOT like them, the treats are 100% guaranteed.  Return the unused portion at Petco.
Where can you find them?  ONLY at Petco OR win them HERE!


WIN VERA GOURMET DOG TREATS BELOW!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 7, 2015

What's New at Queen Mary's Chill BONUS Discount | @TheQueenMary #QMChill


Ice Kingdom

One of my family's favorite holiday traditions is back better than ever!  I am talking about Queen Mary's CHILL!  There is something so majestic about this infamous ship and all of the festivities that it shares.  I was lucky to attend a media night and get a peek at the over 15 activities before it was open to the public.

I don't know if it is because my kids are getting older and they can appreciate the beauty of the Ice Kingdom and all its glory but this year was more fun than ever!  


CHILL

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Top 12 Discounts for 2015 Southern California Holiday Events

Boat Parade

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TOP EVENT DISCOUNTS

Before making holiday plans, be sure to see if you can get a better price by taking a look at the following deals I have found for you.  

L.A. Zoo Lights Deal $8-$15 for admission

Adult or Child Ticket to Holiday Waterfront Tour of Lights Trolley through Long Beach starting at $10 


Alamitos Bay Holiday Lights Guided Hydro-bike tour.  $30 
Snow Tubing at Mt Baldy Starting at $25
If you find any other discounts, please let me know so I can share them with everyone!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Meet the Cast of Disney's Liv and Maddie Only at Queen Mary's CHILL | @TheQueenMary #LivandMaddie


Join Dove Cameron and the cast of Disney’s Hit Show
LIV AND MADDIE at Queen Mary's CHILL!

Do you have kids crazy about Disney's Liv and Maddie?   Now they have a chance to meet them and get their autographs!  Take this opportunity to check out the COLDEST place in Southern California, CHILL at the Queen Mary, December 8th, 2015.

Join the cast to celebrate the holidays and experience the incredible attractions at CHILL including The Ice Kingdom, ice tubing down the Glacier Glide, ice skating in front of the majestic Queen Mary ship, and a special 4D theater experience.

The cast will be at two autograph signing sessions at the CHILL ice skating rink taking place from 6:30 – 8:45 p.m.

TICKETS:
  • CHILL guests can have the opportunity meet the cast of Liv and Maddie by purchasing a regular CHILL event ticket. No additional fees apply.
  • CHILL tickets start at $34.99 for adults and $24.99 for kids (ages 4-11). Tickets are available online at http://queenmary.com/events/chill/ or at the event box office.
WHEN
s
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Autograph signing 1: 6:30 - 7:15pm
Autograph signing 2: 8 - 8:45pm
Cast and guests enjoy CHILL: 8:45 - 10pm

WHERE:
The Queen Mary’s CHILL
Ice Skating Rink
1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90802

​http://queenmary.com/events/chill/

2015 Southern California Christmas Boat Parades: Don't Miss Them

Long Beach

2015 Los Angeles/Orange County Boat Parade Schedule

Dana Point - Boat Parade of Lights

When
: Friday, December 11; Saturday, December 12;
Friday, December 18; Saturday, December 19
At 7:30pm

Viewing Locations: Dana Point Harbor 34555 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, CA


You can view the parade free from anywhere in the Harbor, or make reservations at one of the waterfront restaurants. 


There are also boat rides with Santa December 5th from 10 am to 2 pm from the Dana Wharf Sportfishing Dock.  Check out availability and more info below.

Info: (949) 923-2255  http://www.danapointharbor.com/boat-parade-of-lights/

Huntington Harbor Boat Parade
16889 Algonquin Street
Huntington Beach, CA 92649


Don't forget to check out the beautiful houses decorated along the route.

When: December 12 and 13th 5-8pm
Where: Parade Route

Info: Phone (714) 840-7542 http://www.hhboatparade.org/

Holiday Family Fun in San Pedro and Wilmington: December 5th and 6th, 2015

Huntington Harbor


PORT OF LOS ANGELES HOLIDAY SCHEDULE
The 53rd Annual Harbor Holiday Afloat Parade, to be held on Saturday, Dec. 5th, starting at 6:00 PM kicks off the beginning of great family fun!  Don't miss out!

Friday, December 4th: 11:30AM – 1:30PM, Victorian Ch

ristmas Luncheon in the Stagecoach Barn, Banning Museum, 401 East ‘M’ Street, Wilmington. Elegant plated lunch, holiday entertainment and special sneak preview of Victorian-decorated Museum. Call (310) 548-2005 for tickets and reservations.

Saturday, December 5th: 11AM – 2PM, Wilmington Winter Wonderland, snow, face painting, games, holiday crafts and Radio Disney at the Wilmington Waterfront Park, ‘C’ Street and Neptune Ave. in Wilmington

Saturday, December 5th: 4PM – 6PM, Holiday Boutique, entertainment, music, food, games and other festivities at Banning’s Landing, 100 Water Street (end of Avalon Blvd) in Wilmington

Saturday, December 5th: Starting at 5:30, Battleship IOWA, carolers, ‘Kids Corner,’ complimentary hot cocoa, coffee, cookies, food trucks & Santa Claus. View the boat parade from the deck. For tickets: https://tickets.labattleship.com/mainstore. For more information contact: events@labattleship.com

Saturday, December 5th: 6PM – 9PM, Downtown Harbor, ‘Holidays by the Sea’ sponsored by the Port of Los Angeles, features a decorated Christmas Tree, entertainment, arts and crafts, food and other activities. 5th Street & Harbor Blvd, San Pedro
Saturday, December 5th: 8PM, Golden State Pops Orchestra at the Warner Grand, 478 W. 6th St, San Pedro. Join Maestro Steven Allen Fox, the GSPO and Chorale (led by Choir Maestra, Marya Basaraba) for a rousing performance of holiday film music and traditional favorites. Doors open 7:00 p.m., concert 8:00 p.m. Tickets and info: gspo.com or Box office: (310) 548-7466

Saturday, December 5th: 8PM, local favorite band WAREHOUSE ONE headlines at the Annex with their ska-rock originals, covers, and classic holiday songs with the band LAW and opener Head Hi, Grand Annex, 434 W. 6th St, San Pedro. Reservations and Tickets: (310) 833-4813

Saturday & Sunday, December 5th & 6th: 11AM – 4PM, ‘Victorian Christmas’ at the Banning Museum, 401 East ‘M’ Street, Wilmington and ‘A Civil War Christmas’ at the Drum Barracks Civil War Museum, 1052 N. Banning Blvd, Wilmington. Events include self-guided museum tours, children’s crafts, a visit from Queen Victoria and jolly St. Nick, blacksmith demonstrations, wreath making lecture, local food and craft vendors, and a horse-drawn trolley ride between the museums. 

FREE Admission and carriage rides

Sunday, December 6th: 1PM – 3PM, Holiday Spirit of San Pedro Parade, Pacific Ave from 13th St to 6th St and east on 6th St to Palos Verdes St.

Sunday, December 13th: 12 noon – 2PM, Wilmington Heart of the Harbor Holiday Parade, Avalon Blvd between ‘E’ Street and ‘M’ Street in Wilmington.

If your club, marina, business or organization is planning an activity, we’d like to know about it, so we can add your event to this list. Please submit your information to news@laharborholidayafloat.org and we’ll add it to the schedule, along with a link to your website.