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Five OC Holiday Break Educational Activities

Posted by on Dec 26, 2016 in Christmas, Education, Family, Holiday | 0 comments

  The holidays provide an excellent opportunity for kids to be able to participate in educational activities outside the classroom. Most schools provide more than a week off for kids in elementary and middle school, which leaves a lot of time to fill between holiday family activities. There are tons of things parents have wanted to do with her kids but they simply didn’t have time to experience during the first semester of the school year. Now that kids are at home for winter break, there are some excellent holiday educational activities in and around Orange County. Aquariums There are several beautiful aquariums within close driving distance of cities in Orange County. They provide a great field trip for people of all ages and can be pretty educational as well. Whether a kid is in first grade or fifth,...

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Bringing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to Life

Posted by on Dec 26, 2016 in Christmas, Entertainment, Holiday, Theatre | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the venue Earlier this week, we were invited to watch the musical Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. We were so excited when we received tickets for the musical because we have been watching the classic 1964 Claymation movie almost daily. The Dolby Theatre is relatively new and every seat has a perfect view of the stage. It made the experience that much more special. My three-year-old son and one-year-old daughter both love the movie, as do my husband and I. It brought me back to when I was growing up and would watch the movie with my parents. The musical follows the sequence of the beloved movie and is narrated by Sam the Snowman. They had performers and even puppeteers to enhance the performance making it feel as if you were...

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Explore Your Imagination at Pretend City

Posted by on Dec 23, 2016 in Christmas, Events, Museums | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the venue If you have ever enjoyed playing dress up or playing make believe as a child, plan a visit to Pretend City with your kiddos! Whether you were running around in your firefighter jacket and fire boots or having a cup of tea in your princess dress with matching tiara, give your kids the chance to explore their imaginations. I wish Pretend City was around when I was a child, even now as an adult, I can’t wait to go back and see my boys play and learn so much. Pretend City is exactly that; an entire city for your kids to explore hands on and truly be a part of a magical world. Let’s start with what this exciting kid-sized city offers: Bank with ATMs Post office Grocery store Restaurant Farm...

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Disney’s World of Color – Season of Light

Posted by on Dec 22, 2016 in Christmas, Disney, Featured, Holiday, Theme Parks | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of Disney Disney’s World of Color is our all-time favorite show to watch when visiting the Disneyland Resort. This year, Disney debuted World of Color – Season of Light, and it is the best yet providing more lights, music, and magic for families to enjoy when visiting the Disneyland Resort this holiday season. The show begins with a tribute to the end of fall and then goes into the heart of the holiday season. The light spectacular features all of your favorite Disney characters and music. Our children’s favorite part of World of Color – Season of Light is the scene with Stitch from Lilo and Stitch – their favorite Disney film. When I saw Bambi appear, my heart melted. There is so much love in this show, and if you look closely, you’ll...

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Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party

Posted by on Dec 21, 2016 in Christmas, Disney, Events, Featured, Holiday, Theme Parks | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of Disney One of our favorite things to do at the Disneyland Resort during the holiday season is to watch the Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party. The costumes, the music, and the magic always get our family into the Christmas spirit. The street party happens multiple times throughout the day at Disney California Adventure Park. The first thing that your family will see are the beautiful folklorico dancers leading the parade followed by Panchito, José Carioca, and Donald on a large float. The folklorico dancers give an epic performance offering families a taste of the Latin-American culture. A street party wouldn’t be complete without Mickey and Minnie Mouse. The two beloved Disney characters join in on the celebration complete with their Latin-American inspired outfits. They show off their dance skills to guests visiting Disney...

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Hilarious Holiday Fun at Elf the Musical

Posted by on Dec 21, 2016 in Christmas, Entertainment, Events, Holiday, Theatre | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the venue If you are looking for something fun to do with your children this holiday season, Elf the Musical at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts is the place to bring them. Elf is my youngest son’s favorite holiday movie, and the minute that I saw Elf the Musical was coming to Orange County, I knew that I had to get tickets to bring him to see the show. With my two older children off for holiday break and my youngest still in school, I couldn’t wait to lift his spirits by surprising him with a night out at the Segerstrom Center. The minute that he heard me say, “Elf the Musical,” he screamed with excitement. Since it’s just a couple of days before Christmas, we left early to beat the traffic...

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Christmas Memories at the Irvine Park Railroad

Posted by on Dec 21, 2016 in Christmas, Holiday | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the venue We have been taking our children to the Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train since my oldest son was first born. This year was our 14th year attending the special holiday event. While we were at Irvine Park Railroad this year, I spent some time reflecting on all of the magical memories we have made at the park and felt a little sad that I only have a couple of more years to spend time at the park with my children before the all go off to college. Our evening began by waiting in line anxiously to board the Christmas train. Families were all bundled up in their warmest jackets, and my children were giggling together while talking about what they were going to ask Santa for Christmas. Once our time came...

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Whoville House in Mission Viejo

Posted by on Dec 20, 2016 in Christmas, Featured, Holiday | Comments Off on Whoville House in Mission Viejo

  Taking the kids driving around to look at Christmas lights is one of our favorite holiday traditions. This year, we wanted to explore some new houses that we have never visited before, and the Whoville House in Mission Viejo is one of our new favorites. The house is located at 26152 Cordillera in Mission Viejo, and this is the 23rd year that the owners have been decorating their house themed after “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” When you family first arrives at the house, we recommend finding a legal parking spot and walk over to admire the lights. You’ll see a wide variety of handmade/hand-painted wood cut-outs, and there is a small photo opportunity with “The Grinch” wood cut-out. Bring your family this year to admire the beautiful work done by the family to create a magical Whoville...

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Holiday Fun at The Aquarium of the Pacific

Posted by on Dec 19, 2016 in Christmas, Holiday, Museums | 0 comments

 We were invited as a guest of the venue. This year, our family got into the holiday spirit at The Aquarium of the Pacific! During the month of December through December 23rd, the Aquarium of the Pacific is celebrating Aquarium Holidays with tons of animal fun for families to enjoy. With so many exciting things to visit and see, the Aquarium of the Pacific offers many treats. There is a Santa Diver that appears daily in the Honda Blue Cavern. Along with a photo of Santa with the fish, families are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to visit with Santa in front of the beautiful Honda Blue Cavern, as well as with Holiday Aquarium characters. On weekends, be sure to catch the Penguin Walk on the 2nd floor at the Northern Pacific Gallery. There is a gingerbread house...

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It’s a Winter Wonderland at Discovery Cube OC

Posted by on Dec 19, 2016 in Christmas, Events, Featured, Holiday | 0 comments

 Sponsored Your family will be immersed in the holiday season at the Winter Wonderfest at Discovery Cube OC. Our family went this morning for opening day, and it was one of the most magical visits we have experienced at Discovery Cube OC. Winter Wonderfest is happening in the back parking lot of Discovery Cube OC and features fun for children of all ages. When we first arrived, our kids ran right towards the giant sledding slides. There are two levels of tubing slides, one is for younger children, and another is for the thrill seekers. Our kids started on the smaller slide and then quickly moved up to the higher slide. They could have done tubing all day, but there was more fun to be had during Winter Wonderfest. Then there were my kids second favorite part of the...

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Orange County Christmas Dining 2016

Posted by on Dec 19, 2016 in Christmas, Dining, Family, Holiday | 0 comments

  Once the last present is opened, and all the holiday stress is behind all of us, treat yourself to dining out on Christmas Day. Let someone else do all the cooking, so you can focus on spending quality time with your family vs. working in the kitchen. We have compiled a list of Orange County restaurants that are offering Christmas Day dining options. If you’re looking for Christmas Eve dining options, we have included some too. Hurry… reservations are filling up fast!! Las Brisas 361 Cliff Drive Laguna Beach, CA 92651 SEAFOOD TOWER – $79 (half) $149 (full) lobster, oysters, ceviche, shrimp, king crab cocktail STARTERS Fresh Fruit SOUP OR SALAD Roasted Butternut Squash Soup crème fraîche, fried kale Roasted Baby Beet Salad arugula, candied walnuts, goat cheese, ginger vinaigrette ENTRÉES Steak and Eggs – $60 skirt steak,...

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Couples Night Out at OC Brew Ho Ho

Posted by on Dec 19, 2016 in Christmas, Dining, Events | 0 comments

 We attended as a guest of the venue In the midst of the holidays, we wanted to take some time for us; the big kids wanted to have some fun! So we popped over to Brew Ho Ho, Holiday Ale Festival on December 10th at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim. After all, we know our local area creates some amazing brews! We saw the list of breweries participating and although we had only visited a handful; this was a great way to learn about more of them. Each brewery gave a couple of choices; usually, a sampling of their most liked beer and a clever, holiday blend available seasonally. This event was the perfect way to explore with over 80 breweries participating; some familiar but several we didn’t even know about yet. Choices. So many choices. Which tent should...

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Ideas for Kids

Posted by on Dec 17, 2016 in Christmas, Family, Holiday, Shopping | 0 comments

 Sponsored If you’re like me, then you are stressing about finishing your holiday shopping. Every year, I tell myself that I am going to start shopping early, and every year I end up shopping at the last minute. With all the popular toys sold out in stores, it can be frustrating for parents, so we made this great last minute holiday gift guide for kids. Happy holiday shopping!! Boogie Board LCD Writing Tablet The Boogie Board Original 8.5 eWriter is the model that started the paperless writing revolution. Ultra light (4 oz) and thin (1/8“), one just isn’t enough. Get one for on the go, in the office and multiple places around the house – almost anywhere you’d keep memo pads or scrap paper. Wet Head Game Wet Head is a water roulette game. Fill Wet Head with cold...

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Dine Inside of a Life-Size Gingerbread House

Posted by on Dec 17, 2016 in Christmas, Dining, Family, Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the venue While our family was visiting Great Wolf Lodge this holiday season, we had the most memorable experience dining inside of a giant life-size gingerbread house. The gingerbread house is located in the lobby of the resort and is adorned with candy treats. The gingerbread house features: 663 pounds of gingerbread dough 5,635 Square feet of Gingerbread 70 Gallons of Icing 1,152 Peeps 450 pounds of Mike & Ikes 135 pounds of gumdrops 85 hours of icing 160 hours of house creation Everyone who visits Great Wolf Lodge during the holidays is drawn to the beauty of the life-size gingerbread house. Inside of the house is a circular table where families are invited to have an unforgettable dining experience. The second it was time for our family to dine in the gingerbread...

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You’re Invited: A Christmas Chalk Walk

Posted by on Dec 16, 2016 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

  The chalk artwork of over 150 artists will decorate the parking stalls at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) in Aliso Viejo this weekend. “A Christmas Chalk Walk” is a free community event on December 15, 16 and 17 from 6 to 9 p.m. The public is invited to enjoy drawings of snowmen, Nativity scenes, Santa and other Christmas-themed artwork by professionals and amateurs of all ages. Live music, free hot chocolate and cinnamon rolls and a Nativity scene featuring local high school students are all part of the celebration. “The artists have such a passion for doing this,” says Kristen Kamerman, director of activities for the LDS Church Laguna Niguel Stake. “They find joy in sharing their talent. “Some finish in one day and some stretch it out,” says Kamerman. All artists will complete...

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Merry Grinchmas at Universal Studios Hollywood

Posted by on Dec 16, 2016 in Christmas, Events, Featured, Holiday, Theme Parks, Universal Studios Hollywood | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of Universal If you haven’t found yourself singing a holiday carol, go to Universal Studios Hollywood during Grinchmas! Last weekend, my husband and I took our two young sons for our very first time. Grinchmas let us embrace the holiday spirit in full swing; it was a great, fun-filled Sunday. As we entered the park, our ears were welcomed by sweet carols and the sound of laughter. My 4-year old son, Piercen, and I caught ourselves singing along to Jingle Bells. Instant happiness! My 2-year old son, Harlen, was smiling ear to ear, pointing at the sparkling lights, ornaments and some characters he recognized, Spongebob Squarepants and Curious George were the first of many. Every nook and cranny were decorated for the holidays with a ton of detail. I loved it and appreciated every...

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Frontier Communications Twelve Days of Giving

Posted by on Dec 15, 2016 in Christmas, Family, Giveaways, Giving Back, Holiday, Tech | 0 comments

 Sponsored What do you love about the holidays? We love to spend the holidays giving back. Tis’ the season for giving. Frontier Communications is giving back to the community this holiday season with their Twelve Days of Giving Sweepstakes. They are giving back to local charities and customers from now until December 21st on their Instagram page. Every day during the sweepstakes, Frontier Communications will announce a different prize and charitable contribution, on their website, and on their Instagram page. Then consumers are encouraged to enter the sweepstakes by sharing a picture on Instagram of ‘what you love about the holidays.’ In the Instagram post, make sure to include the hashtags #Frontier #12daysofgiving and #Sweeps – don’t forget to tag @FrontierSoCal. Once you’ve shared your picture on Instagram, then complete the Twelve Days of Giving Sweepstakes entry form. Then...

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The Return of The Main Street Electrical Parade

Posted by on Dec 15, 2016 in Christmas, Disney, Featured, Holiday, Theme Parks | 0 comments

  Last night was the start of the 108th annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, and Disney surprised families by introducing a beautiful Main Street Electrical Parade-themed boat. The boat will give families a small glimpse of the magic that the Main Street Electrical Parade has provided guests for many generations. Disney introduced the special boat at the parade in celebration of the return of The Main Street Electrical Parade which will return to Disneyland Park for a limited engagement starting on January 20th. It will be the parade’s return to Disneyland for the first time since 1996. It will feature a 23-foot-tall Clock Tower looming over Cinderella’s Ball, a smoke-breathing dragon, and more. Guests who wish to be among the first to welcome the parade back to Disneyland may purchase a special, separate ticket for an after-hours premiere...

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Top 10 Disney’s Festival of Holidays Food Offerings

Posted by on Dec 14, 2016 in Christmas, Disney, Holiday, Theme Parks | 0 comments

 We attended the festival as a guest of Disney Families are invited to go on an epicurean adventure at Disney California Adventure Park during the Festival of Holidays celebration. There are festive food booths located throughout the theme park offering delicious culinary creations throughout the holiday season. While at the Disneyland Resort this year, I was able to eat my way around Disney California Adventure Park and these are my top ten favorite dishes. Roasted Turkey Slider with cranberry sauce and gravy located at the Winter Sliderland You’ll have a taste of Thanksgiving with every bite of this flavorful slider. The slider packs all the flavors of the holiday season inside of a soft, warm bun. Braised Beef Short Rib with mashed potatoes and sauerbraten sauce Locate at Heritage Cottage This dish has a German influence and is rich,...

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DIY Snow Globe Ornaments

Posted by on Dec 14, 2016 in Christmas, Crafts, Family, Holiday | 1 comment

 Sponsored I love making crafts during the holiday season, and I find that handmade crafts make for the perfect holiday gift. Every year, I make ornaments with my children so that they can give them to their grandparents as Christmas gifts. Since I make the ornaments with my children – it has to be simple craft. I got inspired to get crafty this week and get started working on this year’s ornaments from my favorite Snowman, Holiday Hal, who has been sharing some creative holiday crafting tips on the Voya Financial Facebook page where I normally get tips/tools to help us plan for retirement.I figured that if a snowman can find time to do holiday crafts then so can I. Holiday Hal got me thinking a lot about snow and inspired me to make these simple DIY snow globe...

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