Every year, one of our favorite things to do is go to the Festival of Light at the Mission Inn in Riverside. This year we got a sneak preview (just by chance) of the gorgeous Mission Inn in all it’s glory.
This year marks the 25th year of the Festival of Lights. The beautiful Mission Inn is decorated with 200 animated figures including angels, elves and Dickens carolers, freshly fallen snow, a gorgeous Christmas Tree and tons of lights!
Don’t miss appearances by Santa Claus and our the chance to stand under the world’s largest man-made mistletoe.
The theme for 2017 is “Sweet 25”. The fun and exciting candy-theme celebration will begin with their very special “Lights On ” ceremony on Friday, November 24th, at 4:30pm.
The theme is carried throughout the exterior of the hotel and include the new Candy Stroll, Sweet Dreams suite, Kelly’s Spa specials, weekly delectable specials featured in our award-winning restaurants, and delicious candy-themed Casey’s Cupcakes.
The Festival of Lights runs from Friday, November 24, 2017 through Saturday, January 6, 2018.
The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa is located at 3649 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, CA 92501
The event is free, parking fees vary.
Join the fun at the ENC’s annual Fall Faire and Pumpkin Patch! Look forward to Pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, native plant sale, delicious food and drinks from local vendors, crafts and games for the kids. The Fall Faire has been an ENC tradition since 1977.
Buy a re-usable ENC canvas bag for $5 to participate in the Craft Crawl. Walk along the trails at ENC as the kids go station to station making awesome eco-friendly & nature-inspired crafts!
Francisco the Bug Guy and the Orange County Bird of Prey Center will be on hand with their live hawks and owls. Take a ride on a friendly pony or visit a variety of barnyard animals in our petting zoo! Bring the kids and play super fun games, winners can enter to win prizes in our children’s auction. There’s something for everyone!
The Fall Faire & Pumpkin Patch takes place at the Environmental Nature Center, on Sunday, October 15, 2017 from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
ENC is located at 1601 E. 16th Street, Newport Beach, CA 92663
images courtesy of www.facebook.com/pages/Environmental-Nature-Center
I love Halloween, it’s fun, it’s playful, kids wait all year to dress up and collect candy door to door or attend their favorite Harvest Festival. For some kids in the hospital, this day must take on a different method of getting in on the fun. This is where Ethan’s “Book for Treats” comes in!
Ethan, creator of Ethan and Choco’s Book Club, knows first hand what it’s like to be in the hospital on Halloween. This brave young man has a goal and you can help me reach it while providing a treat to some kids within our community. Ethan is looking to collect 300 Halloween-themed books for kids who are inpatient at CHOC Children’s Hospital during Halloween!
There are several ways to donate to this cause. You can visit our local children’s book store Once Upon a Storybook and purchase a book, then just leave it in the “Ethan & Choco’s Book Club Basket” (they have an awesome Halloween display as well) and/or you can take a look at Ethan’s Halloween Wish Book list that is available on Amazon http://a.co/1o8eo3B – any books purchased through Amazon will be sent directly to ECBC.
This is a great way to give back and bring a smile to a kids face. Happy Halloween!
My family and I go to Roger’s Garden every year for their Halloween Boutique and I can tell you this place never disappoints! This year the Halloween Boutique’s theme is: Magic & Mayhem.
If you love Halloween as much as I do, you simply can’t miss this. Rogers Garden is a Garden Center like no other garden center I’ve ever been to.
The Halloween Boutique is made up of several rooms all decorated differently within an overall theme. It’s hard to focus on all the details in the room (at least for me) because there is so much to look at. You can browse around for hours and still find things you missed.
My family and I look forward to this as a way to welcome in the fall every year and get ready for Halloween.
Here’s the details for this years boutique:
WALK THROUGH FOUR DIFFERENT CURATED STORES:
The Owl Post | General Store – Are you expecting a package? Come and check to see if one of our Owl’s has delivered it. And while you are here, we are a full service convenience store, offering all of your décor supplies. Truly a one stop shop in the land of Magic & Mayhem.
Weezer’s Joke Emporium – Apprentice mischief-makers stop here! Filled to the brim with hilarious jokes, tricks and candy we are waiting to fill your basket with surprises. A prankster’s paradise!
Wykeham’s Wizarding Supplies – Lurking in the shadows, a world of magic beckons. Shop for the perfect wand, brows our selection of spell books or get lost in the gaze of a crystal ball.
Morgan & Murkes Apothecary – Phrenology, palmistry or a simple potion; pick your poison, it’s all here. Loaded with skeletons and skulls the apothecary is ready to fix what ails you.
When: September 1, 2017 – October 31, 2017
Where: Roger’s Gardens, 2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd. Corona del Mar, CA 92625
Cost: FREE but bring your becuase there’s tons of neat stuff!
I am the Earth
And the Earth is me.
Each blade of grass,
Each honey tree,
Each bit of mud,
And stick and stone
Is blood and muscle,
Skin and bone.
It’s time to register for The Great Park’s Spooktacular Fun Days! Get your costume’s ready and enjoy fall activities for the kids of all ages. This FREE event not only provides your family a day of fun but also helps support our Orange County Food Banks.
Donate to scare away hunger by simply bringing a bag of canned goods or non-perishable food and each child 12 and younger will gain access to the Pumpkin Patch or Trick or Treat Town (while supplies last).
Enjoy traditional family-friendly fall activities including: kids crafts, petting zoo, carnival games, Harvest Walk, entertainment, gourmet food trucks and much more.
In order to take part in this spooktacular day of fun you must sign up. Registration is required for each child (12 & under); space is limited. Free admission and parking.
Activities are for children 12 & under, therefore accompanying adult ticket registration is not required. Event date options include:
- Saturday, October 15, 2016 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
- Sunday, October 16, 2016 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
- Saturday, October 22, 2016 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
- Sunday, October 23, 2016 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Registration for Spooktacular Fun Days begins September 14, 2016 at noon.
The Great Park is located at Marine Way and Sand Canyon Irvine, CA 92618
Please note: Special event entrance for the Orange County Great Park is located off I-5 or I-405 at Sand Canyon on Trabuco Road/Great Park Boulevard in Irvine.
Halloween Boutique??? Yep, it’s time! For me the sure sign that Fall is on it’s way is visiting Rodger’s Gardens Halloween Boutique. This year the theme is “Grimm Tales” and it opens today, Friday, September 2, 2016.
My family and I have made a tradition of visiting this spectacular showcase. Each year, we look forward to the new theme and new chilling features each room holds.
I love gathering inspiration for our home with the works of artists like: Joyce Stahl, Vergie Lightfoot and Nicol Sayer. These decorations go way beyond Pumpkins and gourds. These are pieces of art and are simply amazing.
The Grimm Tales theme takes you through forested rooms that display a completely new spin on classics like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty and Hansel & Gretel.
While your visiting Roger’s Gardens be sure to stop by the brand new restaurant Farmhouse Cafe Who wouldn’t want to eat here? The garden is beautiful and the restaurant supports an open feeling with all the charm that exists within the garden.
Halloween Boutique Date/Time
- When: Open daily from 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
- Where: Roger’s Gardens 2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd., Corona del Mar, CA 92625
Please help keep families together and safe this weekend by designating a driver or call Uber for a ride. Wishing you and yours a very happy and safe 4th of July weekend.
Annette – ProjectRefinedLife
As the 4th of July weekend approaches, the media will be entirely too busy reporting on drunk driving fatalities. This is one of the deadliest weekends throughout the year for alcohol-related crashes. During the four-day holiday in 2014, 164 people were killed in drunk driving crashes – a 50% increase over an average day.
MADD refuses to accept this as normal. And, this week, we are proud to announce an enhanced partnership we believe will save lives – begining this weekend!
MADD introduced the phrase designated driver to the American lexicon 30 years ago in 1986. This week, I am pleased to say that Uber has evolved the definition of “designated driver.” So, that in addition to your non-drinking driver or public transportation, Uber is standing by as well as MADD’s official designated driving app.
For almost a decade, MADD has put technology at the forefront of our Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving®. Two years ago, this July 4th, we announced a partnership with Uber to keep drunk drivers off the road. As a team, we have spent the last two years raising awareness about the dangers of drunk driving by coordinating events with local and national leaders, participating in public service campaigns, and encouraging both riders and drivers to leave the keys at home and keep their communities safe.
Uber, like MADD, cares about our cause of getting drunk drivers off the road. They care about rider and driver safety, and they are dedicated to research that helps reduce drunk driving.
This holiday weekend, like all weekends, we want Americas roads to be safe and rid them of drunk drivers. Please join our mission to end drunk driving by donating today. Uber will DOUBLE your donation.
Together, we will make a difference. Have a safe July 4th weekend. Thank you and God Bless America!
Looking for a an Easter Egg hunt this weekend? Here are some of this years Easter Egg Hunts and/or Spring Celebration going on this weekend. Happy Easter!
Celebration Church Easter Egg-Stravaganza Brea – This is known as the biggest Easter egg hunt in Brea! Join in on Saturday, March 26th from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Brea Jr. High Park. This is a FREE community event. (Bring a few dollars if you would like food.) Over 20,000 Easter eggs, 40 Game and Activity Booths, Relay Races, Arts & Crafts, Pictures with the Easter Bunny, Face Painting, Golden Egg and Bigger Prizes, and More! Click on the registration link to learn more and to register!
Tom’s Farms Annual Easter Egg Hunt Corona – Enjoy live music at Tom’s Farms Annual Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday March 27, 2106. Enjoy additional attractions such as the train ride, the carousel, tractor driving, petting zoo and more.
Easter Egg Hunt and Family Fun Day Huntington Beach – Stop by and hunt for candy, take a picture with the Easter Bunny, play a game at the many game booths, enjoy the live band and visit booths from various community services. Saturday, March 26, 2016.
Egg Scramble – Irvine – Mariners Church will have face painting, food, games and other family friendly activities! Saturday, March 26th at 2:45 and 6:45 pm
Etnies Egg Hunt and Festival of Colors Lake Forest – Etnies Skate Park in Lake Forest will celebrate on Saturday with Eggs hidden throughout the Skatepark that will have small prizes in each one. Please bring your own basket as they will have limited supplies for the event. The egg hunt starts at 11:15 am sharp. The Festival of Colors will begin at 12:00 pm. Each event has a fee of $5.00 per person, per event fee. Please be sure to arrive early.
Big Bunny’s Spring Fling Los Angeles – Hop Over to the LA Zoo and Botanical Gardens to meet “Big Bunny”. On March 25th, 26th & 27th – have the kids pet some real bunnies, there will be face painting, musical entertainment, bunny-ear crafts, and costumed characters.
Living Desert Zoo’s Easter Eggstrvaganza, Palm Desert – Join the Easter Bunny and his strolling friends for two days of fun activities. Start the day in Gecko Gulch for an Easter Egg and enjoy crafts, face painting, bounce houses, a parade, games and prizes and more! March 26th & 27th.
Egg Hunt at Kidspace Pasadena – On Saturday & Sunday, March 26th & 27th there will be hundreds of candy-filled eggs will be hidden throughout at the Kidspace Gardens just waiting to be found! Families can also create spring art, learn the bunny hop, pet real bunnies with Bunny World Foundation, and more!
Egg Bowl Pasadena – The FREE egg hunt is held inside the Rose Bowl Stadium on Saturday March 26th. This FREE event provides fun for the whole family with games and activities for children and teens. This is Pasadena’s largest egg hunt with over 60,000 eggs. Nominal fees apply for major attractions and food. For a fee, there is also an optional VIP Bunny Brunch. Please check the website complete details.
Spring EGGstravaganza La Jolla – Birch Aquarium celebrates the arrival of spring and the changes it brings by joining them for an Eggstravaganza on Easter Sunday, March 27th! Explore animal eggs, discover changes in the sea by making your own plankton, create a shark egg craft, and participate in an “underwater egg hunt” – no baskets needed, Activities are included in regular admission.
Easter Egg Hunt Tustin – The City of Tustin’s 47th annual Easter Egg Hunt will take place on March 26th. Events begin bright & early 8:30 am at Tustin Sports Park. Enjoy an Egg Hunt, Jumpers, Magician, Wild Animal Show, Petting Zoo, Pony Rides, Games Booths and Pictures with the Easter Bunny.
Easter at Saddleback Chruch in Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Corona, Irvine North, Irvine South, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Los Angeles, Newport Mesa, Rancho Capistrano, San Clemente & South Bay will all have Easter events for kids of all ages. Please check individual locations for egg hunts and times.
Egg Drop at Crosspointe Church, Yorba Linda – Celebrate Easter with an amazing 30,000 egg drop from a helicopter. Enjoy an encouraging message, great music, food trucks and more. The event is being held at Yorba Linda High School on Sunday March 27th and begins at 10:30 am.
Bring the entire family to experience President’s Day aboard the “Battleship of Presidents.” There will be presidential impersonators and famous military reenactors, vintage vehicles. food trucks, and more.
At 10:30 am there will be a special ceremony honoring President’s Day and the 73rd birthday of our ship. at 11:00 am we will serve birthday cake and pastries while they last.
Don’t forget to tour the battleship, enjoy the new Interactive Tour and Vicky scavenger hunt.
- When: Monday, February 15, 2015 from 10:30 am – 4:30 pm
- Where: Battleship Iowa, 250 S. Harbor Blvd. San Pedro, CA 90731
- Cost: The event is Free, Parking fees apply
The Richard Nixon Foundation is hosting their annual Presidents Day Celebration on Monday, February 15, 2016 with FREE admission all day!
Get there early and you’ll have the chance to meet Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln at the front entrance of the Nixon Library starting at 10:00 am (okay so of course it’s not really them but they look like them).
A fascinating talk with the three presidents will follow in the magnificent White House East Room at 11:30 AM.
If you are among one of the first 250 visitors, you can enjoy a free slice of cherry pie compliments of Polly’s Pies. Click here for FREE event registration.
- When: Monday, February 15, 2016 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Where: The Richard Nixon Library & Museum – 18001 Yorba Linda Boulevard Yorba Linda, CA 92886
- Cost: FREE
During this time the museum galleries are currently undergoing a major renovation and are not open to the public. However, visitors will be able to tour Richard Nixon’s original birthplace, the final resting places of President and Mrs. Nixon, the presidential helicopter, the First Lady’s gardens, and the full-scale replica of the White House East Room.
Come mingle with our Founding Fathers during the 23rd Annual Presidents Day Celebration at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Presidents Day, Monday, February 15, 2016
This celebration includes fun for the whole family, including crafts, musical entertainment, storytelling, and presidential and first lady lookalikes. Hot dogs, pie, and other all-American food will be available for purchase.
- When: Monday, February 15, 2016 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
- Where: Ronald Reagan Presidential Museum, 40 Presidential Dr, Simi Valley, CA 93065
- Cost: Presidents Day activities are FREE and open to the public. Regular Museum admission rates apply to view the Ronald Reagan Presidential Museum and the spectacular Air Force One Pavilion.
Feliz Dia de los Reyes Magos or Happy Three Kings Day or Epiphany, whichever you choose to celebrate, this is a tradition my daughters look forward every year. They are always excited the day we have our “Baby Bread”. I mark it as the official end of the Christmas season.
If you haven’t picked up your Rosca, get to your local panderia (mexican bakery) such as La Poblana Bakery in Old Town Orange or one of the many hispanic markets that offer “Rosca De Reyes”.
This year I’ll be giving the Rosca from French’s Bakery of Costa Mesa a try. I called early this morning and they said they have plenty of both their Pineapple with cream cheese and Apple Rosca’s available. They have locations in Costa Mesa, Irvine, Mission Viejo & Orange and are celebrating their 50th anniversary.
If you’re in the Los Angeles area you might want to try a Rosca from the very yummy Porto’s Bakery, located in Burbak, Glendale & Downey. In addition to the traditional Rosca, they also have Galette Des Rios.
Ohhhh don’t forget your Ibarra Chocolate to go along with your Rosca, Happy Day of the Kings!
I would like to wish all of you a very Happy New Year. Along with my wishes for you to have a wonderful new year’s eve celebration with your family and friends comes my plead and prayer for everyone to be safe. Remember how precious life is and how it can change in the blink of an eye. If you’re attending a party of an event, please designate a non- drinking driver of call tipsy tow.
The Automobile Club of Southern California is offering its free Tipsy Tow service during the New Year’s Eve holiday for the 20th year. The community service, which over two decades has taken thousands of drinking drivers off the road on New Year’s Eve, is available from 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 31, to 6 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 1, to help remove drinking drivers from the road. Tipsy Tow is available in the 13 Southern California counties served by the Auto Club.
In Orange County, The Orange County Transportation Authority is offering free rides from 6:00 p.m. on Thursday to 2:30 a.m. on Friday.
If you’re in the Los Angeles area Metro is your designated driver for New Year’s Eve. To help you ring in the New Year safely, Metro will operate 24-hour, overnight service on Metro Rail, plus Orange and Silver Lines. Free rides will be offered for all bus and rail service from 9pm on December 31, 2015, until 2am on the morning of January 1, 2016.
All Metro Rail Line Stations with latched gates will be unlatched during this time. Regular fares are in effect at 2am on New Year’s Day.
A One-way fare is $1.75 and includes transfers to other Metro lines for up to two hours to complete a one-way trip. A $7 Day Pass covers unlimited travel starting on date of purchase until 3am the next morning.
Note: All Metro Rail lines and the Metro Orange Line will operate all night every 20 minutes on New Year’s Eve. The Metro Silver Line will operate every 60 minutes during this time.
Remember, you could safe someone’s life by calling UBER or using one of the services to help you get home safely. AAA estimates a first time misdemeanor DUI conviction can cost about $15,688.
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.
Wishing everyone a very