Month: December 2015
Visitng the pre-parade float decorating has become a tradition for my family. Decorating the floats is a very slow and delicate process which you have to see to appreicate. I’m looking forward to see this years parade as the this years parade theme is “Find Your Adventure”.
My daughter’s favorite part of th pre-parade float decorating is watching the volunteers glue on on things like seeds, barley, beans, corn husk and dried flowers and in many cases – one bean at a time.
The float decorating areas smell amazing in the days right before the the parade. I’ve said it before – If you are anywhere near Pasadena, you must see the pre-parade float decoarting at least once in your lifetime.
General admission is $10.00 per person and FREE for children 5 and under. Tickets may be purchased on-site for December 29th & December 30th and are valid for all three float decorating locations. Ticket sales may stop when venues reach capacity. Advance tickets are available through Sharp Seating Company at 626.795.4171 or www.sharpseating.com.
Float decorating locations are held at Rosemont Pavilion, Brookside Pavalion & Rose Palace.
There’s plenty of fun to be had outside of the float decorating halls as well. My girls enjoy driving the FREE airplanes rides provided by Our United State Aire Force and the Pop-Up Park provided by The National Park Service.
After the Rose Parade, you can view all of the floats up close. The post Parade viewing will be held from Friday, January 1, 2015 to Sunday, January 3, 2015.
Following the Rose Parade, the floral masterpieces are parked along Sierra Madre and Washington boulevards in Pasadena, allowing visitors to further appreciate the design and workmanship that goes into their creation. Visitors are able to walk within a few feet of the floats and see for themselves the creativity and detail of the floral displays. Tournament volunteer members – “white suiters” – are on hand to answer questions.
Post Parade Viewing times are as follows:
- Jan. 1, 2016: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm (ticket sales end at 3:00 pm, last entry at 4:00 pm)
- Jan. 2, 2016: 7:00 am – 9:00 am (reserved for seniors & disabled visitors)
- Jan. 2, 2016: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (ticket sales end at 3:00 pm, last entry at 4:00 pm)
- Jan. 3, 2016: 7:00 am – 9:00 am (reserved for seniors & disabled visitors)
- Jan. 3, 2016: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (ticket sales end at 3:00 pm, last entry at 4:00 pm)
Tickets are available for $10 through Sharp Seating Company.
Street parking near the event is limited. To accommodate the large number of expected attendees and to make each visit more enjoyable, the Tournament of Roses Association provides easy and convenient shuttle bus service from three Park-N-Ride locations. Shuttle riders have access to a priority entry line upon arriving at the venue.
PARK-N-RIDE tickets are available for $3.00 per person, round trip. Children 5 and younger ride free.
While your at the post-parade viewing event look for the National Park Service at all of the post-parade entrances and stop at the #LARangerTroca. Kids can earn a Junior Ranger Badge and get sworn in as a Junior Ranger.
There are plenty of Family-Friendly New Year’s events for New Year’s to attend. From attending an amusement park to ice skating, there’s something for everyone. Please, have a fun and safe New Years with your family.
Museum & Daytime Events
Noon Year’s Eve at Discovery Cube OC (be sure to check out the Science of Gingerbread and Winterfest while you’re there)
New Year’s Eve Celebration at Bowers Museum – Kidseum
Annual Noon-Year’s Confetti Countdown! at Pretend City in Irvine
Annual Noon-Year’s Confetti Countdown!
Noon Years Celebration at Kidspace in Pasadena
New Year Noon Party at the Children’s Museum at La Habra
Pennypickles Workshop in Temecula
New Years Eve Balloon Drops at Zimmer Children’s Museum in Los Angeles
Rose Parade Float Viewing in Pasadena
Night Time Events
Chill at Queen Mary in Long Beach. Ice Skating, Ice Tubing, Ice Village & more.
New Year’s Eve Grape Drop in Temecula
Family & Friends New Year’s Celebration in Rancho Santa Margarita
First Night in Downtown Fullerton
N.Y.E.L.A. at Grand Park in Downtown L.A.
Mission Inn Festival of Lights in Riverside
New Years Skating Parties
Holiday Skate Center in Orange – New Year’s Eve All Night Skate, Thursday, December 31st 8:00 pm – Friday, January 1st 6:00 am. Family-friendly all night skate party. $25.00 admission
Fountain Valley Skating Center in Fountain Valley – New Year’s All Night Skate, Thursday, December 31st 9:00 pm – Friday, January 1st 7:00 am., family-friendly all night skate party, complete with games and dancing. $25.00 admission or $12.00 each for Family Admission from 9:00 pm-1:00 am. One parent must be present for family admission.
Calskate in Grand Terrace – New Year’s Eve Cosplay, Thursday, December 31st 7:00 pm – Friday, January 1st 7:00 am, $25.00 admission includes skate rental
Chino Skate in Chino – New Year’s Eve Party, Wednesday, December 31st from 8:30 pm – Thursday, January 1st 12:30 am, Cost: $14.00 Admission plus $3.00 skate rental. Price includes hats, horns, games and prizes. Meal deals will be available at $5.00 which Includes 2 Slices of pizza and a regular soda.
Roller City 2001 in Riverside, Thursday, December 31st begins at 6:00 pm – Friday, January1st at 1:00 am, family-friendly, casino night, live bands, bingo, raffles, balloon drop & more. $ 25.00 admission
New Year’s Ice Skating
Ice Skating at Spectrum in Irvine, Thursday, December 31st 11:00 am – 9:15 pm & Friday, January 1st 11:00 am – 12:15 am – Outdoor Ice Skating $19.00 includes skate rental, $15.00 if you bring your own skates, $15.00 for toddlers- includes double-blade ice skate rental (sizes 8T – 12T only)
Olaf’s Ice Skating at Downtown Disney, Wednesday 31st & Thursday, January 1st 3:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Outdoor Ice Skating Adults $17.00, Children (ages 3 to 9) $15.00, Active Military $10.00, includes skate rental & helmets
Ice at Santa Monica in Santa Monica, Thursday, December 31st 10:00 am – 10:00 pm & Friday, January 1st 2:00 pm – 10:00 pm. $15.00 admission includes skate rental
Pershing Square Ice Rink in Downtown Los Angeles, Wednesday, December 31st & Thursday, January 1st 10:00 am – 12:00 am – Outdoor Ice Skating. $15.00 admission includes Skate Rental
Fantasy on Ice at Horton Plaza in San Diego, Thursday, December 31st 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Friday, January 1st, 10:00 am – 10:00 pm, Outdoor Ice Skating – helps support Rady Children’s Hospital, Adult $14.00, Child $12.00, Military $10, RCHSD Employee $10.00
Viejas Outlet Center Ice Skating Rink in Alpine, Thursday, December 31st & Friday, January 1st, 12:00pm – 10:00 pm, the World’s Largest Outdoor Ice Skating Rink, Adults & Teens $15.00, Ages 12 and under $13.00, Military Personnel with ID get $2.00 off, Groups of 10 or More get $2.00 off, Bring your skates for $2.00 off.
Disneyland – Crazy bust but many people wouldn’t think of spending thier New Year’s any where but the Happiest place on earth. Celebrate the New Year with Mickey and his friends.
Grinchmas at Universal Studios – Enjoy the spectacular lighting of the one-of-a-kind, curved Seuss-ian tree, Experience a picturesque evening snowfall, Join Cindy Lou and Who friends as she reads the Dr. Seuss classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, See musical performances and the Grinch and Who holiday performance, take part in activities such as photos with the Grinch and his dog Max, send a postcard to the Grinch and a book will be donated to a child in need, decorate a gingerbread man cookie with frosting, candy and other edible sweets (purchase required) and design your own holiday ornament.
Kids New Year’s Eve at Legoland – “Midnight” comes early for families at LEGOLAND California Resort celebrating the new year together without missing their bedtimes. LEGOLAND California re-creates the Times Square ball drop with a giant LEGO brick falling 22 feet in the air, Grammy-nominated artists and special celebrity guest who will lead the countdown for San Diego’s largest Kids’ New Year’s Eve Party!
Join in the festivities with party hats and special glasses for viewing fireworks. The party concludes just in time for our countdown at 6 p.m. with a fireworks display illuminating the sky and providing a great ending to an amazing year.
Ring in the New Year at Knott’s Berry Farm – The countdown to the New Year is on at Knott’s Berry Farm! Knott’s is the place to ring in 2015 with a night full of special family-friendly experiences, including live musical acts, exclusive stage shows, and Merry Farm entertainment, culminating in a fantastic fireworks show.
It’s time for the monthly Family Science Sunday at the Muth Interpretive Center at the Upper Newport Bay Nature Center. Once a month, families enjoy FREE activities with a different educational theme to explore inside the Muth Interpretive Center classroom.
All the activities are self guided and may include hands on exhibits, outside hikes, crafts and more. The classroom has plenty for your children to explore: live animals, puzzles, games, puppets and the most lovely tree house that the kids adore.
Be sure to ask the front desk about the 12 minute movie in the theater. All ages are welcome, and no registration is required.
- When: Sunday, December 27, 2015 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
- Where: Upper Newport Bay Nature Center/Muth Interpretive Center, 2301 University Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660
- Cost: FREE
Wishing everyone a very
Yesterday, my girls and I had a wonderful afternoon at Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary located in the lovely Modjeska Canyon. The drive through the wooded streets sets the pace for what’s in store.
As you pull into the sanctuary, you can immediately feel the charm of this special spot that is tucked away at the end of the end of the road.
The Nature Science Center is a great combination of exploration, hands on STEM activities, live animals, a gift shop and even has a few snacks available. There is plenty for the little’s to do and the staff is friendly and helpful.
The sanctuary is a peaceful place to observe, discover and explore. As you walk there is a helpful tips for everyone to get the best results for observation of wildlife and to be respectful of habitats that exist here. There are maps available at the entrance to guide you there the 12 acre preserve.
The sanctuary has tree lined paved and dirt paths with surprises around every corner. The sanctuary is the home to a 70 year old tortoise named “Henry”. The day was cold so Henry was in hiding when we visited.
The dirt paths inside the sanctuary were closed as it had just rained but we had a great time exploring the rest of the sanctuary and sitting in the Observation Porch.
After taking in the beauty of the sanctuary we visited the Sensory Garden and hiked the Chaparral Trail, which is a short but moderate hike. The well maintained dirt trail has a gorgeous natural stairway to some fantastic views and observation spots.
Be sure to use the spotting scopes at both the Sanctuary and on the Chaparral Trail or bring a pair of binoculars for even better views.
If you’re looking for a more adventurous hike or a mountain bike ride, try the Harding Truck Trail. This is said to be a challenging trail/ride. Please visit Alltrails.com and MTBproject.com for more details.
Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary is hosting an Open House on December 29, 30 & 31, 2015 from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. This is a walk-in program and pre-registration is not required for individuals. The open house will include somthing for the entire family to do.
- Enjoy a guided easy one hour nature walk at 12:00 pm. An Animal Aambassador will tell stories about local history and talk about the wildlife that visits Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary
- Children can make nature themed crafts, such as bird feeders, a sun catcher a reindeer hat and more
- Sip on FREE Hot Apple cider and cookies in the Nature Science Center (while supplies last)
- Learn all about the flora and fauna of Orange County from the staff
Although there is no entrance fee to visit the sanctuary, donations are greatly appreciated. Suggested donations is $3.00 per person Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary is located at 29322 Modjeska Canyon Road, Silverado, CA 92676
Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary is owned and operated by California State University, Fullerton. Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm and will be closed on Thursday Dec. 24 and Friday Dec. 25, as well as New Years Day.
The sanctuary hosts several special events during the year including, Summerfest, Bat Night and a Gray Wolf presentation from Wolf Totem Ambassadors.
Bring in the New Year Kidseum style at Bowers! They have fun day of crafts and New Year’s themed projects planned.
In the Art Studio, kids will create hand-made reusable confetti poppers and colorful noisemakers that they can use at home during the real countdown. The kiddos will practice countdowns every hour on the hour, beginning at noon, to be ready for the New Year’s countdown. Kids can practice making as much noise as possible with their hand-crafted noise makers and practice shooting their confetti!
In the Glow Cave, kids will make glowing wish wands that will even glow in the dark when you take them home!
There will be a final countdown at 3:00 pm with a balloon drop in the center of Kidseum filled with colorful confetti!
- When: Wednesday, December 30, 2015 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
- Cost: Ages 2 and Up: $6, children under 2 and members are free, Adults receive free admission to Kidseum with current Bowers Museum ticket stub (Adults $13.00)
If you’re looking for something fun and educational to do with the kids during this holiday break try the Family Time Tidepool Walk at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.
CMA’s Educators conduct tours of the Point Fermin tidepools. You’ll attend an informative slide show in the John M. Olguin Auditorium, then go on the naturalist-led ramble on the rocks to see animals in their natural habitat. Outdoor clothing and sneakers advised. Young children must be accompanied by adults.
If you’ve never visited this awesome aquarium – you must!!! This place is absolutely great. Not only does it have all of the fantastic aquariums, sea life and touch tanks but it also has a hands on Exploration Center and Aquatic Nursery and a Library.
- When: The Family Time Tide pool Walk takes place Wednesday, December 23, 2015 from 12:30 – 2:00 pm. The Aquarium is open Tuesday through Friday – 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The aquarium is closed on Mondays, Thanksgiving and Christmas
- Where: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is located at 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro, CA 90731
- Cost: Admission is donation based, suggested donation is $5.00 for adults and $1.00 for children and seniors. Parking is $1.00 per hour.
Looking for a way to take your kids to snow without going to the mountains? Break out your mittens, boots, and snow hat for a day of winter wonderland fun!
Play in real snow, build a snow family, perfect your snowball making skills, and make snow angels at Kidspace Museum in Pasadena.
In addition to a full days worth of playing in the the snow, the kids can look foward to the these snow and winter themed activities throughout Kidspace:
|Snow Play – All-ages and Toddler Zone||During Open hours||Free with admission|
|Cookie Decorating||11:00am – 3:00pm||$3|
|Seedlings Give-away||During open hours in the Kidspace Gardens
(while supplies last)
|Free with admission|
|Snow Flakes Craft||During open hours at Flutterby’s Art Center||Free with admission|
|The Smells of Winter||Open – 4:45pm||Free with admission|
|“Wish-teria”- Holiday Wishes on
|During open hours under the Wisteria Pergola||Free with admission|
|Arctic Animals||During open hours in the Nature Exchange||Free with admission|
|Snow in LA with Kidspace Educators||10:30am & 3:00pm||Free with admission|
|Weeble Wobble Penguins||One hour after opening – 4pm in Imagination Workshop||Free with admission|
|Weather Station||During open hours at the Gazebo||Free with admission|
|Snow/Winter Themed Activities for Ages 3 and Under||Story Time – 11:15am & 4:15pm (ECLC)
Messy Winter Art – 1:15pm – 1:45pm (Kirby’s Kid’s Corner)
Winter Wonder Box – 2:15pm – 2:45pm (ECLC)
|Free with admission|
- When: Saturday, December 26 and Sunday, Decemeber. 27, 2015 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and Monday, December 28 through Wednesday, December 30, 2015 from 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
- Where: Kidspace Museum, 480 North Arroyo Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91103
- Cost: Adults & Children: $11.00, Infants (under age 1): FREE
For the next few nights my family and I are taking in as many Christmas lights displays as possible unitl Christmas Eve. Tonight, I finally get the chance to take my children to visit the very poplar Snoopy House holiday display in Costa Mesa.
The Snoopy House has been a holiday tradition for 48 years, attracting an estimated 80,000 visitors annually. In 2011, with the fate of the Snoopy House in jeopardy, the City of Costa Mesa agreed to host the display and provide other assistance. This partnership with the Jordan family saved the holiday tradition, provided an even larger venue for it and additional features including nightly live music and free train rides for children.
Snoopy House, which features holiday scenes populated by “Peanuts” characters, is available for viewing from 5:30 to 9:00 pm. nightly through Wednesday, December 23, 2015 in front of Costa Mesa City Hall located at 77 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa.
You’ll also have the chance to get those last minute photos with Santa. Santa will make special visits every night from 7:00 to 9:00 pm and families will receive free photos.
If get hungry or need a hot drink, nonprofit youth groups will be on hand as a fundraising opportunity selling beverages and snacks.
Are you ready to experience some fun and interactive Science at the Library? Bring the kids to the Tustin Library and an educational evening to learn how animals survive in the winter!
Kids will learn about migration, hibernation and adaptation through games and fun activities. This event is best suited for kids 12 and under and their families.
- When: Tuesday, December 29, 2015 from 7:00 – 8:00 pm
- Where: Tustin Library, 345 E Main St, Tustin, CA 92780
- Cost: FREE
Calling all Jr Star Wars fans….Jedi, Sith Lords, and Padawans included! Join Columbia Memorial Space Center this Friday, December 18th and Saturday, December 19th for Star Wars days!!
These are some of the out of world Star Wars take home activities you can look forward to: How to build a lightsaber, How to program a robot or droid, Build a Force glove, Make your phone a hologram projector & Star Wars snowflakes.
They will also be handing out free pop corn tickets for the new Cinemark XD that just opened up across the street! Please come dressed in your favorite Star Wars costume!
- When: Friday, December 18t, 2015 and Saturday, December 19, 2015 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Where: Columbia Memorial Space Center, 12400 Columbia Way
Downey, California 90242
- Cost: Adults and Children 4 years and older: $5.00, Children 3 years and younger: FREE, CMSC & ASTC Members: FREE
The Muckenthaler Cultural Center’s annual Holiday Festival features various activities, including home and gallery tours, performances and an arts & crafts fair. Plus, delicious food vendors and exclusive craft beer selections.
The family-friendly event also provides free art workshops for kids, a children’s play area, and a special appearance by Santa Claus.
Musical performance to be showcased will include: The Darden Sisters and The Sugar Daddies, as well as the following dance groups; Corona Dance Company, Ballet Folklorico Monte Alban, CF Dance Group and the American Martial Arts Academy.
A clothing Drive will be taking place as well, so look through you closet and bring along some gently used clothing. Donations are being accepted at the St. Juliana table. .
St. Juliana Church in Fullerton is currently gathering donations of men’s and women’s clothing for staying warm and dry, such as jeans, pants, shirts, sweaters, jackets, shoes and NEW ONLY socks and underwear please. The clothing will be distributed at the emergency shelter for homeless people in Fullerton.
- When: Sunday, December 20, 2015 from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
- Where: The Muckenthalet Cultural Center, 1201 W Malvern Ave, Fullerton, CA 92833
- Cost: FREE
We spent the Thanksgiving weekend in Big Bear Lake. It’s was an absolutely beautiful weekend. This was the first time my girls where in the snow and to make it even more perfect it snowed for two days. You can see the joy on their faces in the picture.
I love Big Bear! When my boys were young, we went snowboarding there just about every weekend during the snow seasons. Then and now I did what any responsible parent would do, we layered up in the appropriate clothing and snow jackets to endure the weather.
During our Thanksgiving weekend , we stayed at the Black Forest Lodge (which is a great place to stay), its so close to the village our car trips were short. I encouraged everyone to keep their jackets on as we were entering in and out of the car so quickly. I didn’t want the girls (or ourselves) to get cold – don’t judge, we live in Orange County.
Even this morning I drove the girls to school with our jackets on. Well, guess what…It turns out that driving around with your jackets on puts you and your kids in danger! Although you adjust the seat belt to fit snug around your jackets, the jacket just creates more room between them/you and the seat belt. You are NOT secure.
Thanks to Subaru for sharing this video from the Today Show as part of their Rossen Reports showing just how dangerous it actually is. I had to share this information with you, from now on, our jackets will come off in the car. I urge you to watch this video and make a vow to “Unbundle this Winter”. Adults are in just as much danger as kids.
Please share this post with your family and friends. Take the vow to #unbundlethiswinter
Once Upon A Storybook is hosting a “Polar Express Party”, this party was such a hit last year, they decided to double the fun this year! On Monday, December 21, 2015, they will host two Polar Express Parties, one at 5:30 pm and another at 7:00 pm.
The activities will include singing Christmas carols, a reading of The Polar Express, some hot, hot, hot, hot chocolate (sorry the song was ringing in my head) and speaking of ringing – how about some ringing magic bells (to hear them you must believe), AND a visit from good ole’ St. Nick!
Please RSVP quick as they expect both parties to fill up.
When: Monday, December 21, 2015 5:30 and 7:00 pm
Where: Once Upon a Storybook is located at 17300 E 17th St #C, Tustin, CA 92780
Cost: $10 per child. To reserve your child’s spot for this special event email susie
@onceuponastorybook.us or call (714) 669-4377 or even better – visit the bookstore to complete your Christmas shopping and make your reservation in person.
The Fullerton Arboretum presents an Open House, Victorian Christmas Heritage House Tour.Costumed docents will be on hand in each room to explain how Christmas was celebrated “in the old days”.
The Walk-through tours of the period-decorated Heritage House will be today December 13, 2015 from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm and Sunday, December 6, 2015, 2015 from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm.
Father Christmas will stroll the area around Heritage House for photo opportunities with children and families. Candy canes provided for good little boys and girls.
Ginger cookies and cider/punch to toast the season along with seasonal vocal and instrumental performances on the porch of Heritage House from 2:30 – 3:00 pm – singing along is encouraged!
- When: Sunday December 13 & Sunday, December 20, 2015 from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
- Where: Heritage House at the Fullerton Arboretum, 1900 Associated Rd.
Fullerton, CA 92831
- Cost: This is a FREE event with a suggested donation of $5.00