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Cowabunga in Dana Point

Posted by on Sep 22, 2016 in Cool Places | 0 comments

  Looking for a fun FREE way to entertain your kids?  With summer coming to an end and my summer bucket list drying up, I thought it be fun for my kids to get out and search for something more than a Pokémon. I had heard that Dana Yarger, a Dana Point resident and an ambassador to the Elephant Parade from a few years back, had begun looking for a new project to bring to the city. This time the project was in the shape of cows known as Cowabunga. The statues will be auctioned off at the end of the summer with proceeds going to Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times. The camp is a program of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California which hosts children diagnosed with cancer and their families.  My kids and I started at 9...

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Escape Bus Epic Adventure

Posted by on Sep 13, 2016 in Cool Places, Entertainment, Theatre | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the venue My kids have been begging me to let them do an “escape” experience. They have heard all of their friends talking about the different escape experiences around OC, but when I researched them, they all seemed the same. That was until I learned about a new escape experience called the Escape Bus. I anxiously awaited the announcement of their first stop, and when it was going to be just a couple of blocks away from my son’s school in Santa Ana, I made reservations right away. The bus is a traveling escape room experience, so you need to check their website to find out where is going to be their next stop. When we arrived, the yellow school bus was parked on the street in front of the 4th Street Market...

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Best Places for Summer Treats in OC

Posted by on Jul 31, 2016 in Cool Places, Dining, Family, Holiday, Summer | 0 comments

  One of the best parts about summer is taking the kids for refreshing sweet treats. From ice cream to cookies to milk tea, these are some of the best places to take the kids for summer treats in Orange County. Honey & Butter Irvine Spectrum Center 633 Spectrum Center Dr Irvine, CA 92618 Honey & Butter has been our favorite place for summer treats this year. They not only have a super cute store, but they also make the most adorable themed macarons. We’ve had a Winnie-the-Pooh macaron and Pokemon macaron paired with homemade ice cream. I recommend coming early for their themed macaron’s because they are selling out fast – especially during the summer. Dad’s Donuts 318 Marine Ave Newport Beach, CA 92662 Nothing tastes more like summer than a frozen banana or Balboa bar from Dad’s...

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Five Best SoCal Drive-In Theaters

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in Cool Places, Family, Featured, Summer | 0 comments

  Some of my favorite childhood memories were watching the latest summer blockbuster hit out of the back of my parent’s station wagon at the drive-in theater on Beach Boulevard. Years later, that was the last drive-in in Orange County to close, but many remained open in Southern California for us to relive the same memories with our children. A couple are not too far outside of Orange County, and it makes for a great end of summer family night out. Have fun creating movie memories at one of these SoCal Drive-in Theaters. Mission Tiki 10798 Ramona Ave Montclair, CA 91763 Families can see two movies back-to-back at Mission Tiki. They are open seven days a week, and we recommend arriving early on weekends (this is a popular location). Adults are $9, and kids ages 5-9 are $1....

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OC Waterfall Hikes

Posted by on Jul 14, 2016 in Cool Places, Family, Hiking Trails | 1 comment

  There are two things that I love in life – waterfalls and sea caves. There is nothing better than getting to splash water on your face from a waterfall after a summer hike. When planning a summer hike with your family, surprise them with a beautiful waterfall at the end of one of these OC waterfall hikes. Holy Jim Waterfall Hike This probably the most popular waterfall hike in Orange County. The hike provides plenty of shade along the way for younger children and isn’t too far to reach the waterfall. The only downside is that the waterfall is usually just a small trickle of water coming down the rocks. Getting to the start of the hike can be a challenge because the road is extremely bumpy but it is worth it. Falls Canyon Falls This waterfall was...

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Best Beach Parks in the OC

Posted by on Jul 13, 2016 in Cool Places, Family, Featured, Parks | 0 comments

 Sponsored Orange County is home to some of the most beautiful beaches, hiking trails, and parks in Southern California. During the summer, families are often spotted spending time with their children at one of the best beach parks in the OC. I teamed up with for its #SoCalSummer series to share some of the best beach parks in the OC. Bring along your beach gear and get ready to have an unforgettable summer day at one of these exclusive OC beach parks. Marina Park This park is often referred to by locals at Lighthouse Park because of the giant lighthouse slide in the center of the park. It is located right in the heart of Newport Beach on the Peninsula and is also the newest beach park built in Orange County. The park features plenty of grass for...

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Escape from Reality

Posted by on Jul 12, 2016 in Cool Places, Family | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the venue Even in the midst of a busy day at home with all of the chores that surround you, sometimes you wish you could just escape the reality of it all. Well…you can! The Escape Key Entertainment presents an opportunity for you to go on an adventure through different “game rooms” where you truly experience a mystery all its own. Each mystery presents different obstacles that you solve with the help of your date, by yourself or with 5 friends. There are a variety of rooms that are available at Escape Key Entertainment. The various rooms available at this location are the casino room,and what we experienced, the mystery of Senator Payne. Our journey started off while watching an introduction video about our mystery. Then with a walk up the stairs, you...

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A Day at the Races: Santa Anita Park

Posted by on Apr 6, 2016 in Cool Places, Events | 0 comments

 We attended as a guest of the venue We were recently invited to enjoy a day at Santa Anita Park and take in this iconic location in Arcadia. As visitors who had never visited a racetrack, we were intrigued and excited to learn more about the gorgeous park both past and present. Upon our arrival, we immediately notice the beautiful Art Deco design of the surrounding structures and the track; as we are greeted at the Club House. We’re in heaven as this is one of our favorite era’s! The recent $40 million renovation has us feeling as if we are stepping back in time for an elegant afternoon watching the races and meeting up with friends and family. A wonderful observation of the patron’s in attendance, they have fun and take the time to get dressed up and...

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The World’s Largest Treehouse at Bravo Farms

Posted by on Feb 18, 2016 in Cool Places, Road Trips, Yosemite | 1 comment

  While on our way to Yosemite National Park, we had to make many stops along the way. While on one of our stops along the freeway, we discovered the world famous seven story treehouse at Bravo Farms in Traver. It was one of the most exciting discoveries while on our adventure, and one of the neatest places to explore while on your way to visiting Yosemite. We could have spent all day at Bravo Farms, and had trouble getting the kids to leave. There are nicknacks galore and so many neat little things to discover. The world’s tallest treehouse is the highlight of visiting Bravo Farms. It is seven stories, and I even had fun climbing up the small wooden staircase to the top of the massive treehouse. Playing in the treehouse is free, however, a donation is...

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Frozen Bananas and Balboa Bar at Dad’s Donuts

Posted by on Feb 11, 2016 in Cool Places, Dining | 0 comments

  When the weather starts to get warm, our favorite thing to do is head down to Balboa Island for a famous frozen banana or Balboa bar at Dad’s Donuts. I’ve been getting a frozen banana from Dad’s since I was a little kid, and now I get to share this special tradition with my children. It’s not just the frozen bananas and Balboa bars that make Dad’s so popular, but also their famous hippo cookies. These cookies have been an icon of Balboa Island for many years, and a favorite to all locals. I don’t know what they put into these cookies, but the minute that you sink your taste buds into them, it feels like childhood again. On hot days, like we have been having recently, there is usually a good sized line to get a refreshing...

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Jeffrey Stein Children’s Music Garden at Alta Vista Gardens

Posted by on Feb 8, 2016 in Cool Places, Featured, Parks, San Diego, Travel | 0 comments

  The Jeffrey Stein Children’s Music Garden at Alta Vista Gardens is one of the most magical places on earth. While I was coming home from a mother/daughter getaway in San Diego, my daughter had mentioned that she read about this park online, and wanted to visit it. I was so excited that she was researching parks that she wanted to visit so we stopped while on our way home from San Diego. The minute that I stepped out of the car, I was in awe. It is a park that you’ll want to spend the entire day at with your children. Just like visiting Legoland or the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, you’ll have enough to keep your kids occupied for an entire afternoon at the Alta Vista Gardens – so pack a lunch and get ready to...

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Back Bay Science Center in Newport Beach

Posted by on Jan 31, 2016 in Cool Places, Featured | 0 comments

  Every time we go bike riding around Back Bay, I am reminded of how much I have wanted to take the kids to the Back Bay Science Center in Newport Beach. The science center is only open on select days because it is a facility that is used to do research in the waters surrounding our community. I had planned to visit the science center this morning, and then when it started to rain, I didn’t let it stop us, so we drove over for some education and fun. The cold weather kept everyone away which meant that our kids had the entire staff of scientist and volunteers there to give them an incredibly enriching morning. The staff gave them a personal tour of the facility and talked to them about all the different animals, organisms and more....

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Balboa Island Museum

Posted by on Jan 31, 2016 in Cool Places, Featured, Museums | 0 comments

  Many years of my childhood was spent riding my bike around Balboa Island. Many of my friends lived on the island when I was a child, and for a long time, we were just a short boat ride away on Lido Island. I love bringing my kids back to Balboa Island, and this past week, we took the time to explore the Balboa Island Museum. The museum is in a historic home that is loaded with history from the island. When we first arrived, we were greeted by a volunteer and a historian who talked to us about the different artifacts within the museum. The tiny house that has been transformed into the museum is full of rich history of Balboa Island, and most of the artifacts/images were donated by locals on the island. The kids spent almost...

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U-Pick Oranges at La Verne Heritage Foundation

Posted by on Jan 30, 2016 in Best of OC, Cool Places, Featured, Health | 0 comments

  It’s Orange Season!! Since we love Orange County, we couldn’t miss taking the kids orange picking this weekend in La Verne. It is just about an hour drive out of Orange County, and worth every moment creating memories in the u-pick oranges grove preserved by the La Verne Heritage Foundation. The u-pick orange grove is open to the public on Saturdays (during the season) from 9 am to 3 pm. The cost is just $5 a bag, and my two kids spent hours frolicking around the groves while trying to find the perfect oranges to bring home. Before we got started, we were able to enjoy a complimentary tour of the famous Weber House. The tours are available on Saturdays from 10 am to 1 pm. The Weber House is one of the oldest houses in La Verne...

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Queen Califia’s Magical Circle ‘Beetlejuice Park’ in Escondido

Posted by on Jan 30, 2016 in Cool Places, Parks, San Diego | 0 comments

  After visiting Grape Day Park with the kids earlier this month, one of our readers mentioned that we need to visit Queen Califia’s Magical Circle in Kit Carson Park in Escondido. The park was just a short drive away from Grape Day Park and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and ever since we were told about it, we couldn’t wait to make a drive to Escondido to see it. The park looks like something right out of the movie “Beetlejuice”, and my kids immediately nicknamed Queen Califia’s Magical Circle, Beetlejuice Park. The morning that we planned to visit, unfortunately, the park was closed. My kids were slightly devastated, but they still got an opportunity to see the park through the cracks in the fence. It is only open on the second Saturday of the month from 10...

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The Broad Art Museum in Los Angeles

Posted by on Jan 26, 2016 in Cool Places, Featured, Museums | 0 comments

  I love art, but I love sharing my love for art with my children even more. Whenever we have time to getaway to LA for the day, we usually end up at one of the local art museums with The Broad Museum being one of my all-time favorites. Ever since The Broad opened in February of last year, families from all over the Southland have been eager to tickets. Tickets have been sold out for months, but I wasn’t going to let that stop us from getting a chance to experience it over winter break. What many people don’t know is that they do have a standby line for guests who do not have an advanced ticket. Unfortunately, the line is often 2-3 hours long, which is not easy for parents with younger children to bear. Even with...

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Tour the Original In-N-Out in Baldwin Park

Posted by on Jan 24, 2016 in Cool Places, Featured, Museums | 1 comment

  In-N-Out is a staple for OC Natives. We have grown-up eating their famous burgers, and all have our favorite “off the menu” In-N-Out creation. In-N-Out first opened their doors in Baldwin Park, and while the original sign does still stand, they have created a replica of the original In-N-Out that your family can tour for free! While it is a replica, it is where the original In-N-Out did once stand. During the holiday break, I took the kids up to Baldwin Park to tour the replica. Unfortunately, it was closed on the day that we went to visit, but that didn’t stop us from looking at it through the cracks of the gate. The replica is super cool, and every In-N-Out fan should plan a visit. Everything in the replica is just like the original, and it stands...

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Hidden Orange County Waterfall Hike – Falls Canyon Falls

Posted by on Jan 23, 2016 in Cool Places, Hiking Trails | 9 comments

  There are two things that I love in life. Sea caves and waterfalls. Over the summer, we shared many different places to discover hidden sea caves, and this winter we are excited to share different hidden waterfalls. I have always wanted to find the hidden waterfall in Orange County, Falls Canyon Falls, but was never successful at finding it until recently. I followed directions from many people online – and every set of directions that we had read took us to a dead end (especially the instructions on Yelp). I was so committed to finding it this year, that I hiked almost eight miles, got a severe case of poison oak, and discovered many hidden graves. Just when I thought we were not going to find it and was about to head home, I saw a little girl...

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Visit a Real Oasis Camel Dairy Farm in San Diego

Posted by on Jan 22, 2016 in Cool Places, San Diego | 0 comments

  The Oasis Camel Dairy Farm has been on my bucket list to visit for many years. It is only open to the public on select days, and the days that they are open have usually conflicted with our kids busy weekend schedules. This past weekend, we finally had a day free when the farm was open, so we planned a visit along with our kids grandparents. The drive took a little longer than we had anticipated. The farm was almost as far as Julian but was well worth the long drive. They are open to the public starting at 1 pm and the show is at 1:30 pm. We arrived just in time for the show, and so glad that we did not miss it; it was one of the biggest highlights of our visit. We had paid...

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The Columbia Memorial Space Center

Posted by on Jan 6, 2016 in Cool Places, Family, Featured | 0 comments

  Did you know that the city of Downey has a space museum?  I didn’t but I’m sure glad I found out about it.  Nestled between Kaiser Hospital Downey and the Downey Landing shopping center lies The Columbia Memorial Space Center.  You can’t miss its unique design or the space rocket up in front surrounded by planets, and the Columbia Memorial Space Center is going to be one of your families favorite places for exploring and learning about space. Why would such a museum be in Downey instead of Los Angeles? The site of the museum is the former Boeing/Rockwell/North American plant where all of the Apollo Command/Service Modules were built and were the Space Shuttle was conceived. Downey’s rich aerospace history dates back to World War II when Vultee Aircraft set up shop in Downey and produced 15% of...

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