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Orange County Christmas Dining Guide

Posted by on Dec 11, 2019 in Christmas, Dining, Events, Featured, Holiday | 0 comments

In Orange County during the holidays the only white powdery ground cover Bing Crosby should be crooning about is the beach sand. The holiday season in balmy OC is all about sea views, ocean breezes, elegant dining and outdoor family fun. The always elegant Montage Laguna Beach has decadent dining options for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day throughout the resort. Hotel Irvine is throwing a family holiday bash in The Backyard, and at Fashion Island Hotel, holiday guests will be treated to a five-course dinner or bountiful buffet. MONTAGE LAGUNA BEACH Christmas Eve at The Loft Tuesday, December 24, from 5 to 10 p.m. Overlooking the Pacific, The Loft offers a four-course celebratory Christmas Eve menu highlighting seasonal options such as Roasted Carrot Soup with applewood-smoked bacon, Braised Veal Cheek, Pan Roasted Branzino and Gingerbread Semifreddo. $135 for...

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Holiday Events at Long Beach Exchange

Posted by on Dec 6, 2019 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

Come enjoy the spirit of the holidays this season at Long Beach Exchange! Throughout the entire month of December, the whole family is invited to enjoy festive photo opportunities, live music, holiday-inspired goodies from SusieCakes, and more! With an array of delicious eateries and holiday offerings throughout the center, LBX will quickly become your one stop shop for holiday fun. See below for dates + details on what’s in store this season: Saturday, December 7th 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Bring your little elves for an exclusive Alison Bernier photo session complete with an adorable photo backdrop + props. Plus, children are invited to meet Santa himself while families enjoy live music performed by the Jazz Baker Band. Sunday, December 8th 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Snap some festive photos with a holiday-themed photo booth provided by Fotovibe. Guests...

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Holidays by Design at SOCO + The OC Mix

Posted by on Dec 6, 2019 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

Calling all of Santa’s little helpers! With the holiday season upon us, SOCO + The OC Mix invites children and families to celebrate with the center’s annual Holidays by Design event series. Beginning Saturday, November 30 and taking place every Saturday through December 21, families are invited to enjoy a variety of festive activities and shopping that will be offered throughout the center, including Holiday Storytime with Mrs. Claus, a complimentary, winter wonderland-themed photo booth for children and families, live holiday music from local performers, and more! PHOTO BOOTH A pop-up photo booth will be located inside the OC Mix where guests can take beautiful holiday photos in front of a seasonal backdrop (complete with props that are perfect for this jolly time of year). The photo booth will open at 11:00 a.m. each Saturday and close at 2:00...

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Festival Ballet Theatre: The Nutcracker

Posted by on Dec 4, 2019 in Christmas, Family, Featured, Giveaways, Holiday | 2 comments

Festival Ballet Theatre’s family-friendly breathtaking production features superb colorful scenery and dazzling costumes, which make this age-old tradition sparkle like new. Be swept away by Tchaikovsky’s iconic score as the Sugar Plum Fairy, our heroine Clara, and a cast of hundreds take you on a magical journey to mystical lands. This full-length traditional production is choreographed and directed by Festival Ballet Theatre’s Artistic Director, Salwa Rizkalla, and features world-renowned guest artists, FBT’s professional company dancers, and exceptional young talent from across the Southland. Guests Artists Include: Tara Ghassemieh Luiz, Festival Ballet Theatre Vitor Luiz, Former San Francisco Ballet Saturday, December 7 at 7pm Sunday, December 8 at 1pm Beckanne Sisk, Ballet West Chase O’Connell, Ballet West Friday, December 13 at 7pm Saturday, December 14 at 2pm & 7pm Sunday, December 15 at 1pm & 6pm Maria Kochetkova, Former San...

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Gingerbread House Workshop at Davio’s Irvine

Posted by on Nov 19, 2019 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

This holiday season, Davio’s Irvine is throwing a house party, a gingerbread house party, that is! On Sunday, December 15th, from 12:00PM to 2:00PM, children of all ages are invited to participate in one-of-a-kind, hands on workshop! Join Pastry Chef Lena Huynh as she leads a demonstration and workshop, teaching guests how to build personalized gingerbread houses fit for the North Pole! The event is $55 per child (excluding tax & gratuity), and adult admission is free. Each participating child will receive one gingerbread house to decorate (with delectable decorations included) as well as a delicious lunch prepared by the Davio’s culinary team! In the generous spirit of the holidays, we ask that each family help in one small way: arrive at the workshop with one unwrapped toy and help the Illumination Foundation spread the seasonal joy! The Illumination Foundation (IF) is a non-profit,...

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10th Annual Christmas with the Critters + Giveaway

Posted by on Nov 19, 2019 in Christmas, Events, Giveaways, Holiday | 25 comments

Bring the whole family for our 10th annual Christmas with the Critters event to celebrate the holidays! Your ticket includes lunch catered by 24 Carrots Catering and Events, live music, a visit with Santa, bounce house and everyones favorite part is watching our animals open their presents. Join us for some holiday shopping, crafts, keeper talks and much more. Discounted pre-sale tickets are now available, purchase them before they sell out! Date and Time Sunday December 8th 11am – 3pm Tickets Tickets will be available at the door for additional $5 $8 valet parking All proceeds benefit Rancho Wildlife Location Rancho Las Lomas, Inc. 19191 Lawrence Canyon Silverado, CA 92676 Giveaway Enter to win 4 tickets to Christmas with the Critters by leaving a comment below, on our Facebook post, sharing our Facebook post or by tagging your friends...

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Capistrano Lights at Mission San Juan Capistrano

Posted by on Nov 18, 2019 in Christmas, Events, Giveaways, Holiday | 25 comments

The jewel of California’s missions, Mission San Juan Capistrano will kick off its 30 day Capistrano Lights nightly Christmas tree lighting programming with a special Opening Night event on Saturday, December 7, 2019. Opening Night requires a special ticket to attend. During opening night, guests can enjoy the beautifully decorated historic grounds which also includes 10 community Christmas trees decorated by local community groups such as the Inn at the Mission, Mission Hospital and SEAS Productions. As Mission San Juan Capistrano guests enter the grounds, they will receive a special candle to place within the Ruins of the Great Stone Church to make a personal prayer or wish for the coming year. Guests attending Opening Night can visit and take “selfies with Santa” in the Mission’s 18th century historic Sala building, meet Mrs. Claus, view the Mission’s beautiful 10’...

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2019 Chinese Lantern Festival

Posted by on Nov 13, 2019 in Christmas, Events, Featured, Holiday | 0 comments

This November, the Chinese Lantern Festival returns for the holiday season to the Pomona Fairplex with its brand-new illuminated production themed “Blooming Seasons”. Bigger and brighter stunning lanterns, up to 30 feet high, include an 85-foot-wide lantern arch, 100-yard-long breathtaking Ceramic Chinese Dragon, along with ridable “mythical creatures” children’s rides — all on display from the Glade to Lagoon at Fairplex Pomona (1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona, CA 91768) from Thursday, November 21 – Sunday, January 5, 2020. Inspired by the art of Chinese lantern making, dating back 2,000 years ago, guests will experience a vibrant light show with mixed-media lanterns. Throughout the hillside, brilliant lanterns depicting the Amazon Jungle, fruit tree groves, peach blossoms, maple leaves, poppies, cactuses, squirrels, foxes, and more. Each lantern is made of modern materials and eco-friendly technology with brilliantly-lit colored LED lightbulbs, musical...

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6th Annual Festival of Trees

Posted by on Nov 13, 2019 in Christmas, Events, Featured, Holiday | 0 comments

Sponsored Celebrate the holidays this year by starting a tradition of hope and giving with South County Outreach. This year, families are invited to participate in an extraordinary event called the Festival of Trees. The Festival of Trees is to help raise awareness and funds for the housing programs at South County Outreach. At South County Outreach, they have provided over 10,493 nights of shelter to working poor and homeless families in 2018. During the event, beautifully decorated trees will be displayed at Park Place Irvine from November 16th through December 6th. Guests are invited to come and admire the beautiful trees and bid on their favorite tree to bring home and enjoy during the holiday season. We are encouraging families to bring their children to admire the beautiful trees and help raise awareness of the work that South...

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You’re Invited: Duck the Halls Tree Lighting 2019

Posted by on Nov 11, 2019 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

Sponsored Your family is invited to The Market Place in Irvine for the “Duck the Halls” Tree Lighting event. The family-friendly event is the perfect way to start the holiday season, Anaheim Ducks style! During the event there will be fun games, activities, entertainment, and more. Including: Visits with Wild Wing and Power Players Anaheim Ducks Photo Booth Giveaways Anaheim Ducks interactive hockey rink & games Christmas Tree ornament craft area Christmas Tree Cookies, Hot Cocoa, and Christmas Lollipops Face Painting, Balloon Twisting, and Stilt Walkers will also be in attendance! After attending the tree lighting, The Market Place has a fantastic variety of dining options. If your family is looking for something quick and easy there is In-n-Out. Or for those wanting to dine-in, there is Lazy Dog, TAPS, Islands and more. When Sunday, November 17th 4pm –...

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Top Holiday Drone: DJI Global Mavic Mini

Posted by on Nov 4, 2019 in Christmas, Holiday, Tech, Toys | 0 comments

Sponsored Do you have someone in your life that loves photography and adventure? Then the DJI Global Mavic Mini from Best Buy makes for the perfect holiday gift. This drone has everything you could ever want out of a drone and more. It’s not too early to start finding the ideal tech holiday gifts, and this is guaranteed to be at the top of your loved one’s list. Create Smooth, Vivid Shots Stabilized Gimbal Camera Transform any moment into a work of art.Mavic Mini supports 12MP aerial photos and 2.7K Quad HD videos. A 3-axis motorized gimbal provides superior camera stability and ensures clear, ultra-smooth footage. Remote Controller See what your Mavic Mini sees.A dedicated remote controller maintains an HD, low-latency video feed at a distance of up to 4 km. [3] Detachable control sticks can be easily stored...

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Counting Down the Days Until OC Children’s Holiday Business Fair

Posted by on Oct 31, 2019 in Christmas, Events, Family, Giving Back, Holiday | 0 comments

This is the third in a series of posts following the path of two young entrepreneurs, 7-year-old Johnny and his 11-year-old sister, Cali, as they prepare to produce, market and sell jalapeno poppers at the OC Children’s Holiday Business Fair, which will be held at Orange County Rescue Mission’s Village of Hope on Saturday, November 2, from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. The Fair will feature unique booths hosted by students from local elementary and middle schools as well as children living at Village of Hope. All participants are between the ages of 6 and 14. Johnny and Cali decided to sell jalapeno poppers, along with a jalapeno popper combo with a soda, because they love to eat them at family gatherings and want to share the delicious treats with everyone else. With the Fair date rapidly approaching, the...

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Tommy Bahama Holiday Cocktail Recipes

Posted by on Oct 16, 2019 in Christmas, Dining, Holiday, Recipes | 0 comments

Liven up your holiday celebration with fun and festive cocktails from Tommy Bahama. The Coconut Eggnog Martini and Happy Huladays Cocktail are a great way to celebrate the season. Simply follow the recipe here or stop by any Tommy Bahama Restaurant, Bar & Store or Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar and enjoy! The Coconut Eggnog Martini is a rich creamy cocktail that packs a nice kick with equal parts Jim Beam® and Cruzan® Coconut rum. For added flavor, coconut milk is combined with heavy cream, vanilla and nutmeg for an out-of-this-world eggnog full of flavor. Coconut Eggnog Martini Recipe 1 part Jim Beam®, 1 part Cruzan® Coconut Rum, 2 ½ parts coconut eggnog (recipe below). Shake all ingredients well with ice, strain into a martini glass and sprinkle with nutmeg. Coconut eggnog: 5 egg yolks, ¾ cup sugar, 1 cup...

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Wonder of Lights at the L.A. Zoo

Posted by on Oct 8, 2019 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

An annual tradition for holiday-loving Angelenos, L.A. Zoo Lights is proud to invite the Los Angeles community to explore a wild wonderland of light, under the stars at the beautiful L.A. Zoo located in world-famous Griffith Park. Zoo Lights guests can enjoy seasonal treats and visits with Santa for an exciting and festive family-friendly experience every night throughout the entire holiday season. Beginning Friday, November 15, guests may enjoy new features for the 2019/20 season, including the world’s largest illuminated pop-up storybook, more light animals than ever before, beautiful hand-crafted Chinese silk lanterns, and a high-tech interactive display where dancing lights respond to guests’ voices. Every evening from Nov 15 – Jan 5, Zoo grounds will transform into a holiday wonderland with a disco ball forest, whimsical 3-D animations, a water-laser show and much more. Guests will be greeted...

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The Magic of The Nutcracker at The Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Posted by on Dec 21, 2018 in Christmas, Entertainment, Events, Holiday, Theatre | 1 comment

We visited as a guest of the venue Every time I watch the Nutcracker ballet, it just gets more and more amazing. I have to say when I saw it this year at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, I never wanted it to end. The dancers and the costumes were mesmerizing, and the traditional dances made me want never to take my eyes off the stage. We arrived at the theater and took our seats, eagerly waiting for the show to begin. We the dancers finally came out it was fun to start humming in my head some of the original Nutcracker songs that no one can forget. As I watched the dancers spin around and around, I was captured into a world of fairytales and magical nutcrackers. When the Nutcracker turned into a real person, I was...

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Celebrate the Season at South Coast Plaza

Posted by on Dec 20, 2018 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of the venue There is something magical and exciting going on at The South Coast Plaza. From now until December 24th, you can visit Santa’s Village in Carousel Court. South Coast Plaza really goes all out to give families a great experience. Their Santa is top notch. He is sweet, jolly and charming. If by chance your child is freaked out by Santa ( like my toddler) he is very patient with them, and he tries his hardest to get them happy and calm. The sweet Elf is also great, and my daughter loved her. After you take your pictures, Santa hands you a candy cane. My Daughter was very excited about this. When you walk up to Carousel Court, you will see the beauty within. The Carousel is filled with Santa’s reindeer and...

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The Countdown to Christmas at Pretend City

Posted by on Dec 20, 2018 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of the venue Pretend City Children’s museum has a Countdown to Christmas going on right now. Each day leading up to Christmas they will be ”unwrapping” a new holiday activity at the museum. My son and I were invited to a Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus. What a treat this visit was. All the children in attendance had a nice one-on-one conversation with Santa while they ate their pancakes and fruit. They also had hot cocoa and marshmallows to enjoy. Once done eating the children decorated a star for their craft and sung Christmas carols with Santa and Mrs. Claus. We enjoyed this a lot. The kids also were read a story by Mrs. Claus. Just when we thought things couldn’t be better, the kiddos were invited to take pictures with Santa and...

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Majestic Lights at the The Chinese Lantern Festival

Posted by on Dec 20, 2018 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of the venue If you are looking for a visually beautiful experience that is not Christmas lights, look no further, The Chinese Lantern Festival at the Pomona Fairplex is a must-see experience. The Chinese Lantern Festival is open Thursday- Sunday weekly until January 6,2019. At first, I thought the festival was going to be those lanterns you release into the sky, but boy was I wrong. This Festival is not about that at all. The lanterns are huge. They are real works of art filled with bright LED lighting. Everywhere you turn you will see beautifully crafted Chinese lanterns in a variety of shapes and sizes. They have it set up, so you walk down paths and each path brings you to something beautiful. One area my son loved was the Dinosaur area. Here...

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Final Two Nights to Experience The Journey to Christmas

Posted by on Dec 19, 2018 in Christmas, Entertainment, Events, Holiday, Theatre | 0 comments

Journey to Christmas is sure to become a new holiday tradition to share with your loved ones. Heartfelt and beloved music drives these captivating stories, each performed by a stage full of incredibly gifted singers, dancers and musicians. “Traveling” from heartwarming modern day family gatherings back to the very first Christmas, Journey to Christmas brings the story to life in a contemporary and theatrical style with beautifully projected imagery, stunning lighting, and of course a little Christmas magic. Friday night only…SANTA is coming! Santa will be available for visits in the lobby before and after the show so make sure and bring your cameras! Bring your camera! The Last Two Performances are: Friday, December 21st at 7:30pm Saturday, December 22nd at 2pm Price Mezzanine: $30.00 Orchestra: $35.00 Tickets are currently available online. Recommended Age: 3 & Up Location: PYLUSD...

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Chevrolet Owners Can Help Support The American Red Cross While Tracking Santa Claus

Posted by on Dec 19, 2018 in Autos, Christmas, Family, General Motors, Holiday | 0 comments

Santa Claus is coming to town, and starting Dec. 24, kids can find out exactly where he is with a simple push of the blue OnStar button. Chevrolet and OnStar, in collaboration with the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), will provide OnStar members with real-time updates on Santa’s whereabouts, leveraging NORAD’s official Santa location data. NORAD uses sophisticated systems, such as the North Warning Radar System and geo-synchronous satellites with infrared sensors, to follow Santa on his journey around the globe. In the spirit of the season, Chevrolet and OnStar will also donate $1 to the American Red Cross for each Santa Update button push received in the United States. Limitations apply. Program Details: Santa Update calls can be made anytime between 6 a.m. EST on Dec. 24 through 5 a.m. EST on Dec. 25. Chevrolet owners with an active...

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Winter Fest OC 2018 + Giveaway

Posted by on Dec 17, 2018 in Christmas, Family, Giveaways, Holiday | 82 comments

Winter Fest OC, Southern California’s largest winter experience, returns to the Orange County Fair & Event Center December 20th through January 6th. Get into the holiday spirit as Winter Fest features 40,000 square feet of new attractions and brings back popular activities including an outdoor ice-skating rink, ice tubing at Snowflake Summit, real Snow Play, and so much more. With a record-breaking attendance in 2017, Winter Fest OC will debut its fourth consecutive year with new entertainment and attractions including SoCal Dicken’s Village, Candy and Snowflake Wonderland, and an expanded Festival of Lights tunnel. New to Winter Fest This Year: SoCal Dicken’s Village – Take a trip down memory lane through the 1800’s with holidays past, present, and future. Decorate Christmas cookies, listen to holiday storytelling, visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus (through Christmas Eve), take a pony ride,...

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OC Rescue Mission in Need of Holiday Gift Donations

Posted by on Dec 13, 2018 in Christmas, Giving Back, Holiday | 0 comments

The OC Rescue Mission is calling on the local community to help deliver holiday cheer to the 193 formerly homeless men, women and children living at the Village of Hope. The Rescue Mission has announced an urgent need for holiday gift donations, which the children at the Village of Hope will give to their parents. Specific donation items needed include new: Slippers Wallets Reusable Water Bottles Journals Baseball caps Scarves Socks Belts Hair accessories Donations of the above items may be dropped off at the Orange County Rescue Mission’s Village of Hope, located at 1 Hope Drive in Tustin, California, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00p.m., Monday through Sunday. Contact Katie Roberts at 714-247-4389 or email [email protected] for more information. New Gift Catalog Allows Community to Donate to Specific Needs The Rescue Mission has also announced its...

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Must-Have Devices and Tech Accessories for Kids and Family

Posted by on Dec 13, 2018 in Christmas, Family, Holiday, Shopping, Tech | 0 comments

Sponsored Brighten up the holiday for the whole family this season! Verizon makes it easy to stay connected, start the New Year off in style and stuff stockings the right way. Check out our top tech must-haves tech gifts for kids and family: For Him: ● Google Home Hub – For the guy that has everything, this takes it to the next level. Now questions come with visual answers. Play YouTube videos on its 7 inch touchscreen, see a rundown of the day, and keep track of all those holiday gatherings. Plus when it’s time to entertain, you can easily set the mood by playing songs from a number of popular music services – including Spotify. ● Google Pixel 3XL – ‘Tis the season for family photos – whether it’s a reaction from that must have gift, or just...

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Celebrate the Holidays at The Aquarium of the Pacific + Giveaway

Posted by on Dec 13, 2018 in Christmas, Events, Giveaways, Holiday | 41 comments

Get into the holiday spirit now through December 23, 2018, at the Aquarium of the Pacific during the month-long Aquarium Holidays celebration. Aquarium Holidays features special holiday décor, daily penguin parades at 10 a.m., shopping, snowfall in the Great Hall, daily screenings of the original cartoon Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, a special holiday menu in Café Scuba, and daily appearances by Santa Diver and the Aquarium characters in their holiday outfits. There is currently a beautiful display of gingerbread houses! On weekends the Aquarium will have a snow play area, children’s crafts, and photo opportunities with Santa. A toy drive runs daily through December 23rd and supports the Long Beach Fire Department Spark of Love Toy Drive. Aquarium guests who donate a new, unwrapped toy – at a $15 value or more – will receive a...

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Our 16th Year Celebrating Christmas at Irvine Park Railroad

Posted by on Dec 12, 2018 in Christmas, Events, Featured, Holiday | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of the venue Sixteen years ago, we had just adopted our first born son and started the holiday family tradition of bringing our kids to the Santa Train at Irvine Park Railroad. Over the years, I always thought that our children would at one time outgrow the tradition, but every year they ask to return to create more memories together. This year was extra special, as we visited on my birthday. Our family all went to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, The Melting Pot. I know? There are so many delicious dining options in Orange County, but I love cheese ~ what can I say? After dinner, we drove over to Irvine Park Railroad to ride the Santa Train to the North Pole. We had a 7 pm train ride and arrived...

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Pirates Take Over Christmas at Pirate’s Dinner Adventure

Posted by on Dec 12, 2018 in Christmas, Entertainment, Events, Holiday, Theatre | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of the venue Yo Ho, Yo Ho! It’s a pirates life this holiday season at Pirate’s Dinner Adventure in Buena Park. This year, the pirates have taken over Christmas and have kidnapped Santa and Mrs. Claus during an interactive stage show. Will they be rescued in time for Christmas? You’ll have to come see the show to find out! Pirate’s Dinner Adventure has been one our long-time favorite family traditions to do during the holiday season, and their holiday show this year is bigger and better than ever. We made reservations to attend the show on Saturday and didn’t tell the kids until we arrived. The minute that we pulled into the parking lot, they screamed with delight. We always plan to arrive early to enjoy the complimentary appetizers, drinks, and pre-show. This year...

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Lido Theater Celebrates the Season with Annual Showing of Holiday Classic, It’s a Wonderful Life

Posted by on Dec 12, 2018 in Christmas, Entertainment, Events, Film, Holiday | 0 comments

Ring in the holidays by enjoying the classic seasonal film, It’s a Wonderful Life at the landmark Lido Theater in Newport Beach, Friday, December 14 through Monday, December 17, shown at 1pm and 7pm each day. In addition, on Saturday, December 15 at 6pm, movie goers can visit with Santa, and enjoy carolers and complimentary hot cocoa prior to the 7pm movie starting. Harkening back to the Golden Age of Hollywood, the stunning Lido Theater celebrates its 80th anniversary this year and is the perfect setting to enjoy the award-winning Frank Capra movie that has become a holiday favorite. Released in 1946, the drama tells the story of an angel sent to help a frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed. The Lido Theater opened in 1938 with Jezebel, the...

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Mother and Daughter Holiday Spa Day at Burke Williams

Posted by on Dec 12, 2018 in Beauty, Christmas, Featured, Giveaways, Holiday | 8 comments

We visited as a guest of the venue The stress of the holiday season is in full swing. As a full-time working mom, I have been extra stressed with trying to get up the holiday decorations and shop for all our friends and family. With it being my daughter’s first year in High School, I have seen the pressures of the end of semester and finals getting to her, so I planned a relaxing mother and daughter spa day at Burke Williams. Burke Williams is one of my all-time favorite places to relax, refresh and rejuvenate. From the minute that we walked into the spa, we both felt a sense of calm come over us. We checked in at the front desk and escaped for a day full of pampering and bliss. We made sure and arrived at the...

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I’ll Be Next Door for Christmas: Interview with Juliette Angelo

Posted by on Dec 10, 2018 in Christmas, Entertainment, Film, Holiday | 0 comments

Sponsored With Christmas just around the corner the movie, I’ll be Next Door for Christmas, needs to be on your Christmas watch list. If you are not convinced enough that you need to watch it allow me to convince you some more by sharing some insight on one of the leading actresses mindset when making the film. I had the honor of having an email interview with the star of the movie, Juliette Angelo. I started out by asking her if she could relate to the Christmas hating character she was, or if any of her family members were like the ones in the movie. She answered with, “I come from a very large, very Italian family who love to go all out for Christmas. Decorations, food, gifts, the works. I can understand what it is like to be...

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Make a Holiday Toast with Ammunition Wines

Posted by on Dec 8, 2018 in Christmas, Dining, Family, Holiday | 0 comments

Sponsored We are officially knee deep in the holiday season. Holiday parties are happening almost every night where friends and families are making toasts in celebration of a fantastic year and with the excitement of all the goodness coming to everyone in the New Year. When hosting my friends in my home during the holiday season, I only want to serve them the highest quality wines, and I have recently fallen in love with Ammunition Wines. Ammunition is the shared vision of two guys who had a dream and decided to make it happen. Andy and Bill partnered together to produce world-class wines from Sonoma County and bring them to their friends and family as a celebration of their shared American heritage. After some not-so-careful consideration, they pooled some money together with a few of their friends and started...

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The Holidays Set Sail at The Queen Mary

Posted by on Dec 8, 2018 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

We attended as a guest of the venue We know the Queen Mary is a stunning jewel all on her own but during Christmas it becomes a timeless holiday experience. With the sprinkling of Christmas cheer throughout from bow to stern. As you stroll the hallways and decks, drinking in the history of the majestic ship you are entertained by familiar songs from Caroler’s, spunky Bell Hops and cheerful interactions with Mrs. Claus. You can leisurely take your time exploring both the ship and discover all of the Christmas activities available to you. Visit the Gingerbread Village where you build your own sweet home; or the Stocking Shop and let the creativity shine though while creating your stocking to hang on the mantle. Mrs. Claus will delight your little ones as they gather round with hot chocolate to hear...

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Snow Days with the Critters at the Santa Ana Zoo

Posted by on Dec 7, 2018 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

“Snow Days with the Critters,” the Santa Ana Zoo’s exciting winter event, welcomes visitors to the Zoo during the weekend of Saturday, December 15 and Sunday, December 16 from 11 AM – 2 PM, rain or shine. The event is included with the price of admission and is FREE for children 2 and under, as well as for members of the Zoo. On Sunday, December 16, Santa Ana residents can visit the Zoo and enjoy this event for FREE! Proof of residency is required. “Snow Days” is an annual all-Zoo event welcoming winter and celebrating the joys of the season, including snow! Watch animals receive icy treats and snow enrichment, listen to festive music, enjoy the winter decorations, discover how animals adapt to surviving in freezing environments, create cool crafts, and listen to delightful winter stories. There will even...

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Holiday Teen Favorites at the Disneyland Resort

Posted by on Dec 6, 2018 in Christmas, Disney, Events, Featured, Holiday, Theme Parks | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of Disneyland   Holiday’s at the Disneyland Resort is something my family has been celebrating since I was a child and it is one of those traditions that I will never get tired of experiencing. From the beautiful lights to the yummy treats at Disneyland, it is a magical way to celebrate the holidays. This year I went with my mom, and we got to experience the holidays just as they began. One of my favorite things every year at is the Disneyland Christmas tree. Every year at Disneyland they have the most fantastic tree that I could stare at for hours. This year I had the privilege of meeting some of the women who make the bows to decorate the tree along Main Street U.S.A. I had so much fun talking to them...

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Visit Whoville to Experience Grinchmas at Universal Studios Hollywood

Posted by on Dec 6, 2018 in Christmas, Events, Featured, Holiday, Theme Parks, Universal Studios Hollywood | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of the venue Every year our family looks forward to celebrating the holidays at Universal Studios Hollywood. Our favorite part of the holiday celebration is getting to experience Grinchmas. The Grinch and all of his friends from Whoville have come to Los Angeles to celebrate the holiday season with your family. This year, I brought my daughter with me to Universal Studios Hollywood to experience Grinchmas. The minute that we left the parking structure, we were immersed in the Christmas spirit. The first thing that we noticed was the giant 40-foot tall Christmas tree that features 200,000 LED icicles! The tree sparkles every night, and the lights are choreographed to the sounds of the season – plus Santa also makes a special appearance too. As we walked through Universal CityWalk, we admired all the...

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A Western Wonderland: 44th Annual Boat Parade of Lights

Posted by on Dec 6, 2018 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, the County of Orange, OC Parks and Dana Point Harbor invite families to celebrate the season with “A Western Wonderland” at the 44th Annual Boat Parade of Lights. Enjoy festive family activities with a western twist on select dates December 7-15 by the water’s edge. The 44th Annual Boat Parade of Lights will take place on December 7, 8, 14 and 15 and feature the theme “A Western Wonderland.” On each evening of the parade, OC Parks will host free family activities throughout Dana Point Harbor including games, crafts, live entertainment and selfies with Santa, all with a western twist. Festivities begin each day at 4:30 p.m. and the Boat Parade of Lights starts at 7:30 p.m. “Dana Point Harbor will embrace the holiday spirit with western themed festivities and exciting entertainment during the 44th Annual...

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HGTV Presents Santa HQ

Posted by on Dec 5, 2018 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

Hosted Embrace a new way to get your kids and family excited about the Christmas holiday with this hands-on experience in a winter wonderland. As you wait in anticipation to meet and take a picture with Santa, let your child’s magical experience take flight! I brought my brother, my 9-year old niece, and my two sons, who are 4 & 6 years old and we were all in awe of this glorious experience. We first took turns at the Naughty or Nice O’ Meter. The kids got to log in their own name on a tablet, which put their name up on the big screen as the meter began, lights were flashing, and the kids were giggling waiting to see their results! It was so personal and so exciting. Luckily they were all on the nice list! We entered...

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Christmas at the Mission: Capistrano Lights 2018

Posted by on Dec 5, 2018 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

From now through Jan. 6, Mission San Juan Capistrano is hosting Capistrano Lights 2018: a nightly tree lighting on The Mission grounds; the celebration will begin at 5 p.m. every night. After the festive ceremony, guests are welcome to explore the San Juan Capistrano’s downtown and historic Los Rios District, known for its picturesque holiday displays, unique dining options, holiday shopping and wine tasting. Additionally, throughout December, families will have the chance to meet an 18th century St. Nicholas for “Selfies with Santa or Mrs. Claus,” in the historic Sala building. Explore the ancient Mission grounds and snap a picture with Santa Claus himself; event dates are December 8, 9, 15, 16 and 22, from 1 to 3 p.m. For more fun, join Mission San Juan Capistrano for “Winter Break: Crafts and Activities for Kids”. The holiday series will...

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9th Annual Christmas with the Critters + Giveaway

Posted by on Dec 4, 2018 in Christmas, Events, Giveaways, Holiday | 6 comments

Join us for our 9th annual Christmas with the Critters for a fun festive day! The children will enjoy crafts, holiday music, bounce house, Santa, watching the animals opening their Christmas presents and listening to keeper talks, while the parents can enjoy holiday shopping, silent auction, lunch and beverages. Tickets: $17 for Adults $11 3 years -12 Free 2 years and younger – No food included When: Sunday December 9th, 2018 Time: 11:00am – 3:00pm Where: 19191 Lawrence Canyon Silverado CA, 92676 Lunch catered by 24 Carrots Catering and Events Holiday shopping opportunities -Tickets will be available at the door for additional $5 -$8 valet parking – All proceeds benefit Rancho Wildlife 501(c)3 GIVEAWAY!! Enter to win a Family Four Pack to Christmas with the Critters event (value of $56) by leaving a comment on our Facebook post or...

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Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for Growing Minds

Posted by on Dec 4, 2018 in Christmas, Holiday, Shopping | 0 comments

Samples provided When looking for the perfect gift to place under the tree this holiday season, educational gifts always make the perfect gifts to give. After getting my degree in Early Childhood Education, I fell in love with how Lakeshore makes educational games and products that makes learning fun for young children. Every year, I purchase something special for my kids from Lakeshore, and these are my top picks this year to gift to your children. Royal Kingdom Adventure Castle $49.99 Fantasy and adventure abound in this mighty fortress built for endless entertainment—just beware of the dragon! The castle walls open to reveal exciting play spaces, where the wizard counsels the king and queen, and the knights and guards defend the kingdom. There are chambers to explore, stairs to scale, towers for keeping watch…even a dragon’s lair! The castle...

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Christmas at The OC Zoo

Posted by on Dec 4, 2018 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

The County of Orange, OC Parks and the animals of the OC Zoo invite the young and the young at heart to celebrate the holiday season on Saturday, December 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Christmas at the OC Zoo invites guests to watch the loveable resident animals open treat-filled gifts, and treats hidden inside of Christmas trees throughout the day. Children can join the holiday fun with seasonally inspired crafts. Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be visiting with children and spreading holiday cheer, and the jolly fun continues with games and a photo station. Reservations are not required to enjoy Christmas at the OC Zoo. The holiday activities are free with paid zoo admission. Join the festive fun with OC Parks and the animals of the OC Zoo! December 15 – Christmas at the Zoo 10 a.m....

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Ring in the New Year at Universal Studios Hollywood

Posted by on Nov 30, 2018 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

Universal Studios Hollywood rings in 2019 with EVE, Hollywood’s biggest and most exciting New Year’s celebration, including an all-new Ultimate EVE package, on Monday, December 31, with extended theme park hours to 2:00 a.m. EVE is included in the price of theme park admission and invites guests to spend the day and night enjoying its many popular rides and attractions with a special park-wide party starting at 9:00 p.m., featuring multiple DJs and live music entertainment hubs, that will culminate simultaneously at midnight with a traditional New Year countdown and a spectacular fireworks display. The all-new Ultimate EVE package is a featured addition to this year’s event, inviting guests to celebrate in style. Package highlights include theme park admission starting at 6:00 p.m., access to private lounges, buffet dining, private cash bars, reserved VIP viewing areas for the dazzling...

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Dana Point Harbor Boat Parade begins Next Week

Posted by on Nov 30, 2018 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

Families are invited to celebrate the season with “A Western Wonderland” at the 44th Annual Boat Parade of Lights. Enjoy festive family activities with a western twist on select dates December 7-15 by the water’s edge. The 44th Annual Boat Parade of Lights will take place on December 7, 8, 14 and 15 and feature the theme “A Western Wonderland.” On each evening of the parade, OC Parks will host free family activities throughout Dana Point Harbor including games, crafts, live entertainment and selfies with Santa, all with a western twist. Festivities begin each day at 4:30 p.m. and the Boat Parade of Lights starts at 7:30 p.m. “Dana Point Harbor will embrace the holiday spirit with western themed festivities and exciting entertainment during the 44th Annual Boat Parade of Lights,” Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District, said....

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Celebrate the Holidays at Heritage Hill Historical Park

Posted by on Nov 28, 2018 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

The County of Orange and OC Parks invite you to experience the traditions of the holidays at Heritage Hill Historical Park this winter season. December 7-9 will welcome the park’s 33rd Annual Candlelight Walk. Join us for three enchanted evenings and experience the historic park in a unique way that only happens once a year. Hundreds of luminarias will light the park’s pathways as strolling carolers and musicians fill the night air with seasonal music. The historical buildings will be aglow with Christmas lights and holiday decoration and will be staffed with docents to share each building’s history. Children can visit with Santa in the Arbor, enjoy crafts with Mrs. Claus, watch puppet shows in the Wagon Wheel Corral, and sit at a school desk while storytellers from OC Public Libraries spin holiday tales in the one-room El Toro...

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Knott’s ‘Merry’ Farm Tree Lighting

Posted by on Nov 26, 2018 in Christmas, Events, Holiday, Knott's Berry Farm, Theme Parks | 0 comments

We attended the event as a guest of Knott’s We kicked off the holiday season this year at a very special tree lighting as Knott’s Berry Farm became transformed into Knott’s Merry Farm. The evening of the tree lighting, I picked up my daughter from school, and we went to Knott’s Berry Farm for a lovely mother and daughter night out. When we first arrived, we went to Santa’s Christmas Cabin to visit with Santa. My daughter sat next to Santa and whispered all her Christmas wishes into his ear. After visiting Santa, we walked around and did a little holiday shopping at the Christmas Crafts Village. Throughout Ghost Town are many vendors selling handmade crafts that make the perfect holiday gifts. Then the time had come for the giant tree located in the heart of Knott’s Berry Farm...

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Join Frosty, Rudolph and Santa at the Kaleidoscope Tree Lighting

Posted by on Nov 20, 2018 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

Kaleidoscope in Mission Viejo will deck the halls with a Cheery & Bright Tree Lighting on Friday, December 7 from 6 to 9pm. The evening of family fun will include holiday crafts, face painting, a photo booth, visits with Santa, and festive food sampling inside Union Market Mission Viejo. Children of all ages will be enchanted by A Storybook Nutcracker brought to life by students from the Pave School of the Performing Arts, and a high-energy holiday song and dance performance by students from OCSA’s (Orange County School of the Arts) MONTAGE! The dancers will be joined by Frosty, Rudolph and Santa himself for a countdown to light the 20-foot Noble Fir. For more information, follow Kaleidoscope on social media at @GoKaleidoscope, visit www.GoKaleidoscope.com or call 949.542.4407. About MONTAGE! MONTAGE! features several of Orange County School of the Arts...

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2018 Nutcracker Performances in Orange County

Posted by on Nov 2, 2018 in Ballet, Christmas, Entertainment, Events, Featured, Film, Holiday, Theatre | 0 comments

Affiliate Featured The Land of Sweets is coming to you! Discover all the Nutcracker productions bringing a bit of holiday magic to Orange County. American Ballet Theatre Performance of The Nutcracker Segerstrom Center for the Arts 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA The ballet will perform December 14th through the 23rd. Tickets – Start at $29. “This Nutcracker is cracking good!” raved the New York Post when American Ballet Theatre premiered this delectable holiday favorite. As the lights dim and Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score fills the air, young Clara enters a dreamlike journey amid magical toy soldiers, mischievous mice, sparkling snowflakes and a glittering Christmas tree! With an impressive cast of more than 100 performers, ABT’s The Nutcracker features set and costumes by Richard Hudson (Tony Award winner, The Lion King), with choreography by ABT Artist in Residence Alexei...

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Irvine Park Railroad’s 23rd Annual Christmas Train + Giveaway

Posted by on Oct 12, 2018 in Christmas, Featured, Giving Back, Holiday | 42 comments

It’s the season, once again for Irvine Park Railroad’s annual Christmas Train. Come with family and friends and take this enchanting night ride through historic Irvine Regional Park to meet Santa Claus. The train will depart every 15 minutes from the brightly-lit train station and drop passengers off at the North Pole. Christmas Train tickets may be purchased to ride the train at a specific date and time — get in line and board the train any time during the hour for which you purchase tickets. Tickets may be purchased online ONLY and can be purchased beginning November 1st; tickets may not be purchased in person. Visit www.IrvineParkRailroad.com for details. While waiting to board the train, there are many activities for children to enjoy in Santa’s Village located next to the train station. Activities will be open when the...

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Holiday Family Fun: Winter Fest OC

Posted by on Jan 1, 2018 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 1 comment

We visited as a guest of the venue Winter is my favorite season, and part of that is because of the holidays and all the fun lights and decorations. I also love the cold weather and sipping on hot cocoa with my family. This year, my family and I attended Winter Fest OC at the OC Fair Grounds. I knew from the minute I heard of it that it was going to be a blast and I was right! The event featured so many fun activities that we stayed until eleven o clock at night! There is ice skating, carnival rides, snow tubing, food, and many more fun activities. My younger brothers favorite was the ice skating, while my older brother and I loved all of the thrilling carnival rides. Snow tubing was an enjoyable way to bring the...

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Winter Wonderland: CHILL at The Queen Mary

Posted by on Jan 1, 2018 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of the venue Now that you have some time between the holidays, you should check out the all-new CHILL at The Queen Mary! Whether you are looking for something fun and wildly different with the family, an outing as a couple or perhaps you want to gather a group of friends to play in the cold; it’s a great afternoon or evening of fun! CHILL at The Queen Mary is a winter wonderland full of activities that make you smile! First thing you’ll notice is you are surrounded by the most amazing 38,000 sq. ft. Ice Adventure Park; you won’t know which activity to choose first with ice bumper cars, zip lining, sledding and our favorite; outdoor ice skating! We’re not talking about a small ice rink; you get to wander and skate on...

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SoCal Firefighters: FREE Tickets to CHILL at Queen Mary

Posted by on Dec 23, 2017 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

The world-famous Queen Mary and Urban Commons, the current Queen Mary lease holder, will offer SoCal Firefighters a FREE ticket to the all-new CHILL in appreciation of their efforts in fighting the recent California fires. Featuring the first-ever Ice Adventure Park in the U.S., the newly-inspired CHILL offers a rush of icy family fun with nightly entertainment throughout the park including international cultural celebrations, live music, Rockettes-style dance performances, fireworks, choreographed light shows, DJs, dancing, tasty food, a nightly Christmas Tree lighting ceremony and much more. “This is a special time of year for many communities and their families,” said Dan Zaharoni, Urban Commons Chief Development Officer. “We wanted to find a way to show our appreciation for the unwavering support and dedication of our local firefighters during these past weeks and current days. We know many towns and...

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Giving the Gift of Handmade Gifts

Posted by on Dec 22, 2017 in Christmas, Crafts, Holiday | 0 comments

Sponsored One of our favorite gifts to give are those that are handmade. This holiday season, we took a break from the holiday stress and spent an afternoon decorating stockings to fill with Welch’s holiday fruit snacks for some of our family and friends. We decided to fill the stockings with Welch’s fruit snacks vs. candy because they are made with real fruit (which is the first ingredient), they are 100% DV vitamin C, 25% DV Vitamin A&E, fat-free, gluten-free, and have no preservatives – making them a great alternative to candy. It was a fun afternoon as my kids added buttons, bells, and stickers to the red stockings. Once we were done decorating the festive stockings, we filled them up with lots of Welch’s fruit snacks before delivering them. When our friends saw the handmade stocks, it brought...

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Pretend City Holiday Fun

Posted by on Dec 20, 2017 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of the venue Pretend City Children’s Museum has a Christmas countdown going on. Each day they will “unwrap” a holiday activity for you and your family to enjoy. Each of these days has a Storytime with a new book read each day. My family and I went to check this Christmas countdown out. All I can say is… What a treat! Everything in Pretend City is lit up and decorated beautifully. You really feel the holiday magic when you step inside. On our visit Pretend City Children’s Museum went all out for us and had a great pancake breakfast with Santa. We got to enjoy this event with a few other families, and it really made my kiddos feel special. I mean what kid would not love a private breakfast with Santa? After we...

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The Birth of the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade

Posted by on Dec 20, 2017 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of the venue For 109 years Newport Beach has invited locals and guests from afar to marvel it the beauty of the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade.  Year after year our family tradition has been to watch these lights float on top of the water bringing with them holiday cheer.   This year, as I stood along the beach at Marina Park watching the smiles on the faces of my children and that of strangers nearby, I wondered if John Scarpa and Joseph Beek realized how greatly they impacted the holidays in Orange County. If you don’t recognize the names, then please read on and learn about how two mean brought magic to Newport Beach.   Over 100 years ago, Scarpa and Beek established what was then called the Tournament of Lights. Scarpa owned a gondolier company...

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Winter Wonderfest: A Perfect Way to Keep Cool This Hot Holiday Season

Posted by on Dec 19, 2017 in Christmas, Events, Holiday, Museums | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of the venue Oh, the weather outside is frightfully hot with the record-breaking heat this holiday season which means my plans for snow play up in the mountains during the holidays has been postponed.  Thank goodness for the Discovery Cube OC’s Winter Wonderfest!  You read it right…snow is coming to Orange County.  Year after year the Discovery Cube OC brings joy, snow, and fun to children and adults. To experience tubing down a huge 75-foot ramp, sledding, and playing in real snow you need three important things.  1. Warmish jacket. It may be in the high 70’s but baby it gets cold outside next to the ice.  2. Gloves!!! Any kind of gloves would do, but I highly recommend waterproof ones so that your fingers don’t freeze from making snowmen and throwing snowballs. 3....

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Holiday Traditions at the Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train

Posted by on Dec 18, 2017 in Christmas, Holiday | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of the Irvine Park Railroad It is hard to believe that it was 15 years ago that our family started the holiday tradition of visiting Santa at the “North Pole” at the Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train. It has been a tradition that our family has kept every year since our first son was born. This year was bittersweet for me because I was worried that my two teenagers would not want to attend. They have grown up so much over the past year, and things that used to spark the magic in their hearts, don’t as easily anymore. I waited until the day we were visiting the Irvine Park Railroad to tell my two teenagers, and to my surprise, they were ecstatic to relive the magic of the holidays at the Irvine Park...

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The Magic of the Disneyland Candlelight Ceremony

Posted by on Dec 18, 2017 in Christmas, Disney, Featured, Holiday | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of Disney For the past three years, I have had the esteemed honor of attending the Disneyland Candlelight Ceremony as a guest of the Disneyland Resort. This year was very special to me because the ceremony was held on my birthday. After spending the day interviewing the cast of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, I got dressed up to attend the ceremony with one of my best friends, my daughter Ella. Knowing how popular the traditional event is at the Disneyland Resort, we arrived early and had dinner at the Uva Bar in Downtown Disney before entering Disneyland Park. We enjoyed a delicious steak dinner paired with a fresh, crisp salad, and it was the perfect prelude to our magical evening. Once the time had come, we entered the park and got in line...

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Celebrating the Holidays at Rancho Las Lomas

Posted by on Dec 18, 2017 in Christmas, Holiday | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of the venue This past weekend, my family and I attended the event “Christmas with the Critters” at Rancho Las Lomas. The grounds of Rancho Las Lomas are just gorgeous. My husband and I came here many years ago for a wedding, but this was our first time checking out the zoo with the kids. We saw all kinds of exotic animals such as zebras, peafowls, reptiles, African Servals, Macaws, and our favorite, a White Bengal Tiger named Lilly. We were lucky to have walked by during feeding time and got to observe the Zookeeper feed Lilly a snack and learn some interesting facts about her too. All the cages at the zoo were decorated for Christmas and Lilly was a typical playful “kitty” batting and chewing at the colorful streamers that adorned her...

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Holiday Pirate Dinner Adventure

Posted by on Dec 16, 2017 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of the venue Arg! Pirates have kidnapped Santa over at Pirate’s Dinner Adventure, and your family is invited to embark on an epic journey full of swashbuckling holiday fun. The holiday version of Pirate’s Dinner Adventure is the best yet and one that your family is not going to want to miss seeing this holiday season. Your adventure will begin by capturing a keepsake photo in front of the giant pirate ship. From there, you’ll be invited into the building where there will be tray passed appetizers, drinks, and an interactive pre-show. Then it will be time for the fun to begin. Your family will take a seat inside of the tiered audience where you’ll be immersed in a pirate-themed holiday story. There will be action, adventure and lots of holiday cheer. While watching...

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Creating Holiday Memories at Santa’s Village

Posted by on Dec 14, 2017 in Christmas, Featured, Holiday | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of the venue One of my favorite childhood memories was driving up to the mountains to spend time with my family at Santa’s Village. When I learned that Santa’s Village had finally reopened to the public last year, I wanted to bring my children, but our holiday season was too busy to make the trip. This year, I made it a priority to bring my children to experience the magic of Santa’s Village, and it was an experience that they will never forget. We had thought about spending the weekend in the mountains but decided to make it a day trip in our Kia Sorento. We left early and arrived at Santa’s Village right when they were opening. I signed the waiver, got our tickets, and the fun began. As we entered Santa’s Village,...

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Get into the Holiday Spirit at Roger’s Gardens

Posted by on Dec 11, 2017 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

Roger’s Gardens in Corona Del Mar never disappoints, especially around the holidays. This year, Rogers Gardens has transformed into “Joyeux Noel,” a glittery and fantastic shop full of pure holiday magic! Inside, Christmas trees stretch way up high, completely drenched in sparkling ornaments and twinkling lights. Each tree has its own unique theme and accessories to go along with it. There’s always a bit of whimsy in the displays at Roger’s too; my girls got a kick out of the table & chairs mounted on the ceiling! Outside, a toy train zips through a sea of tiny trees. Plush, velvety poinsettias add pops of red throughout the gardens. Now through December 23rd (11am to 6pm in the Amphitheater), you can even take pics with Santa! As I mentioned in my post around Halloween, there are lots of expensive breakables...

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Celebrate the Holidays at Universal Studios Hollywood

Posted by on Dec 11, 2017 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of the venue Get into the holiday spirit with your family this year at Universal Studios Hollywood. Not only can your family be immersed in the magical world of entertainment, but also create memories that will last a lifetime at the family-friendly theme park. This year, the holidays are bigger and better than ever at Universal Studios Hollywood as they are transforming The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, bringing back Who-ville at Grinchmas, and there are Mischievous Minions abound. As night falls, your children will be in awe as they witness the transformation of Hogwarts castle in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It is a spectacular sight as the castle becomes adorned with twinkling lights, getting everyone into the holiday spirit. While exploring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter don’t miss sipping on...

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Take a ‘Holiday’

Posted by on Dec 11, 2017 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

Who doesn’t love live music?  Who doesn’t love a craft cocktail after a long work week?  And who doesn’t every once in a while just like to go out with the girls or have a date night with the hubby and cut loose?  Ummm, I know I sure do! Now I like to dance, but I don’t know most adults over 30 who enjoy a loud nightclub or pumping DJ mixes.  Of course to each their own, but when it comes to live music, I really just appreciate a great sounding local band that I can sing along with and get some of my moves out.  I preface “my moves” with needing a bit of liquid courage, but then again when you’ve got your girls by your side or your man on your arm, it’s really just about having...

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Taste of CHILL at The Queen Mary

Posted by on Dec 7, 2017 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of the venue We were recently invited to the Taste of CHILL to sample bites and beverages from the six regions across the Globe that will be showcased at the all-new CHILL. The 38,000-square foot Ice Adventure Park features Ice Skating, an Ice Track, Amsterdam Bumper Boats, a Shanghai Speedway, a Zip Line, Ice Shuffleboard and a two-story, 140-foot-long Ice Tubing slide. CHILL at The Queen Mary will open on December 13th and run thru January 7th. The one-of-a-kind experience will allow you to celebrate the traditions of Christmas from six different regions of the world; exploring international fare, the cultures, dancing and live performances. After tasting what will be offered for all of us, we can’t wait to play and explore the world again through food. Come hungry because it’s amazing! You’ll find...

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Back Bay Bistro: Brunch with Santa

Posted by on Dec 7, 2017 in Christmas, Dining, Holiday | 0 comments

Back Bay Bistro welcomes guests to celebrate the holidays with family, friends, great food and Mr. Claus himself at Brunch with Santa on Saturdays, December 16 and 23. The restaurant will be open on Christmas Eve as well with a special Sunday Brunch with Santa featuring fresh seafood and bottomless mimosas. Brunch seatings are available from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. with a visit from Santa from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. For those who wish to dine out on Christmas Eve, Back Bay Bistro is hosting a gourmet, six course Christmas Eve dinner highlighting seasonal sides, three main course options and festive desserts with seatings from 4 – 7:30 p.m. Christmas Eve Dinner Menu: First Course Winter Mixed Greens with candied pecans, cranberries and blueberries with raspberry vinaigrette Second Course Roasted Tomato Bisque with garlic croutons and asiago...

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Discovery Cube OC Winter Wonderfest + Giveaway

Posted by on Dec 7, 2017 in Christmas, Events, Featured, Giveaways | 14 comments

Sponsored Snow is coming to Orange County at Discovery Cube OC, so bundle up and experiment with ramps and friction, while enjoying all-day snow play and tubing at Winter Wonderfest. Experience a lesson in physics as you whoosh down a huge 75-foot ramp on inflatable tubes. But, where do you move the fastest — near the top or bottom? Find other frosty delights in the snow play area, where snowmen are under icy construction with the help of your imagination! Sledding down a snow-covered hill is part of the snow-filled festival, too. Slip your hands in some mittens and dig deeper into this brrr-illiant topic. Winter Wonderfest is fun for the entire family and allows kids and adults to experience a snow-filled day without leaving Southern California! Dates: December 16th-17th December 22nd-January 7th Where: Discovery Cube OC 2500 N...

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Festival of Holidays: Cultural Holiday Celebration

Posted by on Dec 4, 2017 in Christmas, Disney, Holiday, Theme Parks | 0 comments

We visited as a guest of Disney One of our favorite ways to celebrate the holidays at the Disneyland Resort is by experiencing the cultural celebration, Festival of Holidays. The holiday celebration is inspired by Christmas, Navidad, Hannukah, Diwali, Kwanzaa and Three Kings Day. It offers families an opportunity to savor the flavors of the holidays with delicious culinary creations, participate in activities and enjoy fantastic entertainment. Food The food is one of our favorite parts of the Festival of Holidays. As your family scrolls through Disney California Adventure, you’ll discover colorful marketplaces that will take you on an epicurean adventure. There are 11 different festive food offerings with the roasted turkey slider and Reuben Potato Smash being our two must-have foods. Entertainment The Disneyland Resort is known for providing the best entertainment in Orange County, and the entertainment...

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8th Annual Christmas with the Critters + Giveaway

Posted by on Nov 29, 2017 in Christmas, Events, Giveaways, Holiday | 11 comments

You’re invited to bring the family to Christmas with the Critters and enjoy a festive day at the Rancho Wildlife Foundation. There will be a visit from Santa, bounce houses, crafts, live holiday musical performances, and more! You can even watch the resident exotic animals open their Christmas presents, including a Bengal tiger, zebras, African servals and other beautiful animals. Lunch is included with the purchase of entrance tickets! Sunday, December 17th 11am to 3pm Pre-sale general adult tickets $15, 3-12 years $10, 2 and under are free. Door general adult tickets $20, 3-12 years $15, 2 and under are free. Where: Rancho Las Lomas 19191 Lawrence Canyon Silverado, Ca 92676 Parking is required $8 per car. GIVEAWAY!! Enter to win 4 tickets by leaving a comment below or on our Facebook post. We will pick one random winner...

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10 Great Holiday Gifts Under $50

Posted by on Nov 28, 2017 in Christmas, Holiday, Shopping, Tech | 1 comment

Sponsored Looking for the perfect gift for a teenager or the person who has everything? Verizon has some great holiday gift ideas this year and these are our top picks to buy for less than $50! Google Home Mini: add smarts to your home (even multiple rooms). Get hands-free help in any room with this voice-activated speaker. It’s powered by the Google Assistant. You can ask it questions and tell it to do things. Square Credit Card Reader: the perfect gift for the someone on your list running a small biz. Griffin Stylus – have a tablet or looking to be a bit more precise with your touchscreen, the Griffin Stylus will give you precision without pricing you out. Cases – from Kate Spade, to Tech 21, protect your devices without breaking the bank. The UA Protect Grip Case...

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Mom’s Night Out Holiday Cooking Class

Posted by on Nov 27, 2017 in Christmas, Dining, Education, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

Enjoy a night out with friends or a special date night where you can learn some cooking basics, drink wine, eat what you cook, and have a great time! The classes provide hands on, practical culinary experience under the guidance of Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA)’s renowned Chef Instructors in their world-class teaching kitchens. Monday, December 4th – Fresh Pasta Anyone? Monday, December 11th – A Night in the Mediterranean Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Cost: $60 per class Ages 21+ Cost of registration includes beer and wine! Registration is currently available...

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Kaleidoscope Celebrates the Season with Community Tree Lighting

Posted by on Nov 24, 2017 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

Kaleidoscope in Mission Viejo will ring in the holidays with a festive Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony for the community on Saturday, December 2 at 5pm. Co-hosted by Mariners Mission Viejo, the evening will begin with free children’s activities, a holiday boutique with local artisans, and at 7pm, holiday caroling and entertainment will culminate in the Christmas tree being lit. Local families are invited to enjoy a holiday photo booth, face painting, cookie decorating, and an ornament craft. At 7pm, visitors will enjoy a sing-a-long style program of classic holiday carols with planned surprises. Hot cocoa will also be served. In addition, restaurants inside Union Market Mission Viejo, on the upper level of Kaleidoscope, will donate 10% of sales from the evening to Mariners MV Outreach. The non-profit program recently established a disaster relief initiative in Puerto Rico, to provide...

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You’re Invited to the Vue Holiday Celebration + Tree Lighting

Posted by on Nov 22, 2017 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

You’re invited to Vue Newport’s festive Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting in the Vue Front Plaza on Friday, December 1 from 6:00-7:30 pm. This magical holiday celebration for the entire community will feature live music by nationally acclaimed Golden Coast All-Stars, sweet treats, scrumptious hot cocoa, and the first annual Vue Newport Tree Lighting. This is a free, family-friendly event that is sure to become a holiday tradition on the Newport Beach Peninsula. Vue Newport is a luxurious new community on the Bayfront in Newport Beach. www.vuenewport.com. The Vue Front Plaza is located at 2240 Newport Boulevard, Newport Beach, CA 92663. When: December 1st Time: 6pm to 7:30pm Cost:...

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Celebrate the Season with Holiday Movie It’s a Wonderful Life

Posted by on Nov 21, 2017 in Christmas, Entertainment, Film, Holiday | 0 comments

Ring in the holidays by enjoying the classic film, It’s a Wonderful Life at the Lido Theater in Newport Beach, Friday, December 15 through Thursday, December 21, at 7pm nightly, with additional 1pm matinees on Sat., Dec. 16 and Sun., Dec. 17. In addition, at the 7pm showing on Saturday, December 16, movie goers can visit with Santa, and enjoy carolers and complimentary hot cocoa prior to the movie starting. Harkening back to the Golden Age of Hollywood, the Lido Theater is the perfect setting to enjoy the award-winning Frank Capra movie that has become a holiday favorite over the years. Released in 1946, the drama tells the story of an angel sent to help a frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed. The Lido Theater is located in Via...

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Crystal Cove Tree Lighting and Winter Family Festival

Posted by on Nov 20, 2017 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

Join Crystal Cove Conservancy for the 21st Annual holiday winter family festival and tree lighting to be held on Saturday, December 2, featuring Orange County’s only “on the beach” holiday tree. Crystal Cove Conservancy, the non-profit partner of Crystal Cove State Park, will host their 21st annual complimentary all-day family event on the beach in the Crystal Cove Historic District. The Historic District will be decorated by volunteers with traditional mid-century décor to bring the holiday magic to all of those who love Crystal Cove. Festivities begin at 10:00 a.m. with a seasonal bazaar featuring handcrafted treasures by local residents and artists as well as old-fashioned holiday decorations. All proceeds benefit Crystal Cove Conservancy and their mission of preservation, conservation and education. The excitement builds when Santa arrives at 4pm for family photos, followed by the 21st annual tree...

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Gingerbread House Decorating Events in Orange County

Posted by on Nov 16, 2017 in Christmas, Holiday | 0 comments

One of my favorite family traditions is to decorate a gingerbread house with my children. Families who want to make gingerbread house decorating special this year can do it at one of these special gingerbread house decorating events happening this holiday season in Orange County. Fantastical Holiday Gingerbread and Confection Journey of Oz’s Emerald City at Island Hotel Newport Beach Unveiling on Monday, November 27, through December There’s no place like home and There’s No Place Like Island Hotel during the holiday season. This year’s magical hand-built gingerbread plus vibrantly colorful sweets presentation will “bring to life” everyone’s favorite, “The Wizard of Oz,” written by L. Frank Baum in 1900. Now 117 years later, hotel visitors can fondly follow the Yellow Brick Road into Munchkin Land and go on to The Emerald City. Expect the display to follow Dorothy...

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Give the Gift of a Disneyland Resort Experience + Giveaway

Posted by on Nov 16, 2017 in Christmas, Disney, Family, Featured, Giveaways, Holiday, Theme Parks | 17 comments

Sponsored Discover how easy it is to give friends and family members an experience at the Disneyland Resort. Giving a Disney Vacation makes it easier than ever to give theme park tickets or a dining experience, or even a Disney vacation to Walt Disney World and other Disney destinations. Mickey and Minnie Mouse sent our family some special gifts this holiday season for us to share some great gift ideas that you can give a loved one this holiday season. Give a Disney vacation experience Now, it’s easier than ever to give the gift of a Disneyland Resort experience – or a Disney vacation! You can give gift cards for theme park tickets, dining experiences, hotel stays and more! Star Wars Experiences Something you can do January through March The Force is strong with guests at the Disneyland Resort...

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10 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays at Disneyland

Posted by on Nov 14, 2017 in Christmas, Disney, Featured, Holiday, Theme Parks | 1 comment

We visited as a guest of Disney It is the most magical time of the year to bring your family to the Disneyland Resort. The entire resort is adorned with twinkling lights, majestic Christmas trees, and festive decorations. The holidays begin at the Disneyland Resort, and these are ten ways to celebrate the holidays with your family at Disneyland. Watch a Christmas Fantasy Parade. The holiday parade is guaranteed to get your family into the holiday spirit. There are magical floats, festive music and a surprise visit from Jolly Old Saint Nicholas. Be immersed in a magical world while taking a boat ride into it’s a small world. The attraction comes to life at night with a beautiful display of lights and inside families are introduced to holiday traditions from around the world. Have a frightfully fun time experiencing...

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Enter into the Discovery Cube Gingerbread House Competition

Posted by on Nov 13, 2017 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

Sponsored One of my favorite family holiday traditions is to decorate a gingerbread house together. Ever since my children were toddlers, I always wanted to decorate a gingerbread house and enter it into the Discovery Cube OC gingerbread house competition, but with our busy schedule, I never made time to do it before Thanksgiving – until this year. It is our first year entering the gingerbread house competition, and I brought our family to Discovery Cube OC to decorate our gingerbread house in their kitchen. The Orange County School of the Arts: Culinary Arts and Hospitality (OCSA CA&H) students were at the gingerbread house decorating party and helped us to create unique gingerbread houses to be on display throughout the holiday season at Discovery Cube OC. Being the OC Mom Blog, I knew that I wanted to make an...

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The Magic of Christmas + Giveaway

Posted by on Nov 13, 2017 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 12 comments

Sponsored The Young Americans has announced the dates of its 28th season of The Magic of Christmas presented by KOST 103.5 at LaMirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. December 7th – 17th, 2017. After a sold out 2016 season, and by popular demand, additional shows have been added this year making this season the longest run of The Magic of Christmas ever! Ticket prices range from $18-$64 and include weekend matinées and evening performances. Tickets available now at lamiradathetre.com. This ‘fun for the whole family’ holiday musical stars 250 cast members from the world renowned – non-profit performing group The Young Americans. Artistic Director Bill Brawley and his production team will turn La Mirada Theatre into a winter wonderland with 6000 costumes and over 30 festive scene changes. The creatively produced and choreographed musical numbers include 60+holiday favorites such...

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Take Your Children for a Ride on the Polar Express

Posted by on Nov 12, 2017 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 21 comments

Embark on a magical’Polar Express’ train ride from Southern California to visit with Santa Claus himself at his “North Pole” workshop. On Dec. 1,2,3,8,9,10,15,16 and 17, ride the train from the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, where elves will lead your family in Christmas songs, holiday trivia games and storytelling. Santa greets the guests as they arrive at the workshop. At the workshop, children will be able to play in a play area and enjoy craft activities. Other activities include Thomas the Tank Engine play tables, a visit and photos with Santa, and cookies and hot chocolate. Before boarding the train guests can visit with Mrs. Claus and enjoy refreshments at Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen at Pinacate Station, see the model railroad layout, write a letter to Santa and shop at the vendor booths and the museum gift shop....

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27th Annual Lighting of the Bay Celebration

Posted by on Nov 7, 2017 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort will kick off the holiday season with the 27th annual Lighting of the Bay celebration featuring a full schedule of seasonal festivities on Friday, November 24 from 3-8 p.m. Families will enjoy live chorale performances, cookie decorating, holiday crafts and train rides. Santa will take center stage at dusk as he arrives by stand-up paddleboard and flips the magic switch to illuminate the bay with more than 50 electric Christmas trees and holiday decorations. An outdoor screening of a holiday movie will wrap up the evening with hot cocoa and cider. Additional food and bar concessions will be available for purchase. EVENT SCHEDULE: 3 p.m. – Live performances of holiday favorites by OC Children’s Song Group, Newport Harbor and Corona del Mar High School Choirs 5:30 p.m. – Santa arrival and Lighting of the Bay...

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Orange County Christmas Boat Parade Cruises

Posted by on Nov 6, 2017 in Christmas, Featured, Holiday | 0 comments

Sponsored It’s the most wonderful time to bring your family to admire twinkling lights while cruising around one of our local harbors during a Christmas boat parade. Local yacht companies are offering affordable pricing for families to experience the Christmas Boat Parade unlike ever before – on the water! Holiday Lights Cruise: Newport Harbor’s Sparkling Boats, Homes, Docks & More Cost: Comp – $15 SoCal may not have snow, sleds and mittens for the holidays, but Newport Beach boasts dazzling Christmastime light displays sparkling from the boats, homes, docks and businesses along the harbor. Now a holiday tradition dating back more than 100 years, locals go “all out” with roof-top animated scenes, dancing Christmas trees, special effects and more (there are even prizes awarded). Hop onboard a 75-minute Holiday Lights Cruise on Davey’s Locker Ships, and be a part...

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Muzeo Museum’s Polar Express Pajama Parties

Posted by on Oct 27, 2017 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

Put your PJs on and bring a blanket for Muzeo Museum’s Polar Express Pajama Parties! Don’t miss this magical Christmas journey! Includes admission to Muzeo Express: Holiday Model Trains and viewing of The Polar Express Meet the conductor in their exhibit! Make a Christmas craft to take home! Enjoy hot chocolate & treats! Guests can bring blankets to sit on the floor, or use chairs provided. Recommended for ages 5-12. Cost: Children $15 Adults $10 (Members FREE w/ Children’s Ticket) Special Ticket: 2 Children / 1 Adult $35 Tickets are available online Dates: Sat. Nov 25, 2017 4:30pm – 7:00pm Sat. Dec 2, 2017 9:00am – 11:30am Location: Muzeo Museum 241 S. Anaheim Blvd. Anaheim, CA...

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The Queen Mary’s All-New CHILL International Holiday Celebrations

Posted by on Oct 24, 2017 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

The world-famous Queen Mary invites guests to embark on an international holiday expedition this winter with the unveiling of the all-new CHILL, open December 13, 2017 through January 7, 2018. Featuring the first-ever Ice Adventure Park in the U.S., the newly-inspired CHILL offers a rush of icy family fun with nightly entertainment throughout the park including international cultural celebrations, live music, Rockettes-style dance performances, fireworks, light shows, DJs, dancing, tasty food, a nightly Christmas Tree lighting ceremony and much more. Experience the 38,000-square foot ice park honoring international holiday celebrations with one-of-a-kind entertainment and traditions of Germany, Switzerland, China, Russia, Holland, and the North Pole. Embark in traditional Chinese entertainment in CHILL’s version of the Forbidden City with nightly performances by Shaolin Monks and experience first-hand the beautiful rhythmic movements of the traditional Lion Dance. CHILL’s Kung Fu Forest...

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Irvine Park Railroad’s 22nd Annual Christmas Train + Giveaway

Posted by on Oct 16, 2017 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 68 comments

It’s the season, once again for Irvine Park Railroad’s annual Christmas Train. Come with family and friends and take this enchanting night ride through historic Irvine Regional Park to meet Santa Claus. The train will depart every 15 minutes from the brightly-lit train station and drop passengers off at the North Pole. Christmas Train tickets may be purchased to ride the train at a specific date and time — get in line and board the train any time during the hour for which you purchase tickets. Tickets may be purchased online ONLY and can be purchased beginning November 1st; tickets may not be purchased in person. Visit www.IrvineParkRailroad.com for details. While waiting to board the train, there are many activities for children to enjoy in Santa’s Village located next to the train station. Activities will be open when the...

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The Queen Mary’s All-New CHILL

Posted by on Sep 19, 2017 in Christmas, Events, Holiday | 0 comments

Embark on an international holiday expedition this winter as the world-famous Queen Mary introduces an all-new CHILL unveiling December 13, 2017 through January 7, 2018. Featuring the first-ever Ice Adventure Park in the U.S., the newly-inspired CHILL offers a rush of family fun celebrating holiday traditions from around the world. The 38,000-square foot ice park will offer an ice skating track, ice bumper cars, ice tricycles, a zip line, ice shuffleboard, a two story, 100-foot-long ice tubing slide and many more festive winter activities. Visit CHILL for an icy expedition honoring international holiday traditions and the cultural celebrations of Germany, Switzerland, China, Russia, Holland, and the North Pole. Start the CHILL holiday adventure in Germany and experience the famous Munich Market and Gnome’s Wishing Well, then ice skate over to Switzerland to cozy up in the Alpine Lodge with...

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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, there’s...

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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 House....

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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, huevos...

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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 their...

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