Category: Holidays

Groundhog Day Fun

Groundhog’s Day is Monday, February 2nd. Although we don’t have Groundhog’s here in Sunny Southern California, Groundhog’s Day provides a great learning opportunity.

If you want to do a little something special with your little one’s there’s a Groundhog Day event’s coming up at a great children’s bookstore here in Tustin and I’ve included a few links  with a variety of useful information, crafts, books and a simple dessert.


My new favorite children’s bookstore, Once Upon a Storybook, will hold a a special Groundhog Day storytime on Monday, February 2, 2015 from 3:30 – 4:30 pm.

They have a special storytime with some Groundhog Day stories and make a cute craft! This event is best suited for kids K-4.

Once Upon a Storybook is located at: 17300 E. 17th Street #C, Tustin, CA

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Here’s a link for some simple facts about groundhog’s from Kidsplayandcreate.com

Kids, Play & Create

I have been using dltk-kids.com for years. I love this site! As far as Groundhog’s Day, it is filled with coloring pages, letter tracing pages, songs, poems, crafts & history. If you have little ones – you might want to bookmark this site – it’s a fantastic resource.

Groundhog s Day Graphing

Books & Science experiments from kcedventures.com

Books & Science Experiments from kcedventure.com
Books & Science Experiments from kcedventure.com

Groundhog Day pudding from we-made-that.com   we-made-that.com

we-made-that.com

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Creavitiy is Knocking!

This post was sponsored by Kiwi Crate.Opinions are completely my own.The links in this blog post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on these links, I will receive a small commission from Kiwi Crate.

 

Kiwi_Crate1Valentine’s Day just around the corner.This means it’s time to start thinking about Valentines Day parties and cards for my daughter’s class. Let creavitiy come knocking on your door with Kiwi Crate.

Valentine's Day Project for Kids

You can get lost on Pinterest (as I often do) looking for the perfect kid-friendly project but Kiwi Crate has made it easy for us!. Kiwi Crate is an award-winning, monthly subscription service that provides all the hands-on materials to inspire creative, educational fun. With themes like Music, Color, Robots, and Safari, these crates deliver everything needed for unique activities that you and your kids can enjoy together.

For a limited time only, start a Kiwi Crate subscription with the Limited Edition: Valentine’s Day Pop-Up Kids’ Project and save 25% on your 1st month PLUS free shipping with promo code: LOVE at checkout. HURRY supplies are limited!

Kiwi_Crate_Valentines_box1
*Your crate will ship within 2-3 business days with guaranteed delivery before Valentine’s Day! Promotional code does not apply to non-subscription purchases

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MLK Jr. Day of Service

MLKdayofService

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a day that not only celebrates the life work of Dr. King but it is also recognized as a Day of Service.

It’s easy to serve your community but just in case you need some ideas, I have some for you.

First, In order to get the entire family ready for a Day of Service I have included a couple of videos, a craft and a link to great site for kids that features a video and activities about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Get your family in on the idea of serving and their hearts will be full.

We love books in our family but sometimes watching books come to life are a great option (especially when you haven’t had time to go to the library). This video is the book “Martin’s Big Words”

 BrianPop has nice video and activies just for kids.

Brianpop

 

I thought these cute and quick little “Dream Catcher” crafts from rainbowswithinreach.blogspot.com made from two felt pipe cleaners and yarn – so easy and cute.

Dream Catchers from rainbowswithinreach.blogspot.com
Dream Catchers from rainbowswithinreach.blogspot.com

 The Dream Catchers craft would be great to make while listening to Martin Luther King Jr’s  “I have a Dream Speech”

All For GoodAs far as serving your community Allforgood.org is a website that you can just plug-in your zip code and it provides you with tons of volunteer opportunities.

Startasnowball logoStartasnowball.com also has some family friendly community service ideas. Although this post is a couple of years old, there are all still relevant and full of great ideas.

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Dia de los Reyes Magos

The other day my son asked “can we take the wreath off the door now?” To which I replied “no, not until after Dia de los Reyes!”

January 6th is “Dia de los Reyes Magos” also known as “Three Kings Day” or “Epiphany”. This holiday is celebrated throughout Latin America, Spain, and within the the Latino/Hispanic communities of the United States. The day marks the 12th day after Christmas and is the day when the Kings (Magi) arrived with gifts to present to the baby Jesus. So in this house, Christmas decorations don’t get put away until December 7th.

Traditionally, a few days prior to “Dia de los Reyes” children write letters to the Kings (Magi) with a request for a toy; then on the evening the 5th of January children leave their shoes out awaiting gifts from the Kings. January 5th is also the day when the wise men/kings are placed into the nativity scene. The For many the 6th of January is the day when gifts are exchanged rather than Christmas. This is also the day of a grand culinary feast.

Within the Mexican community the feast usually includes Tamales, mexican hot chocolate and the iconic “Rosca de Reyes” (Kings Cake).

 “Rosca de Reyes” is a mexican sweet bread that is shaped ito a circle or oval to signify a wreath (Rosca is wreath is spanish) and also the shape of a the kings crowns. The “Rosca de Reyes” is baked with dried fruit on top to represent the jewels on the crowns and also holds a special surprise baked inside. A small plastic baby figurine that represents Jesus is placed inside the bread. The symbolism of the baby Jesus hidden inside of the bread is to that of hiding the birth Jesus as King Herod had ordered that all baby boy’s be murdered.

At the dinner celebration the “Rosca de Reyes” is served as the dessert and whoever finds the baby in their bread is then expected to host a dinner party for “Dia de la Candelaria” (Candlemas Day) on February 2nd.

Rosca de Reyes Box
Rosca de Reyes Box

In the United States, you can find “Rosca de los Reyes” bread in Hispanic bakeries and markets such as Superior, Northgate Gonzalez, El Super, El Toro and Cardenas or you can bake it yourself with this recipe from Mexicoinmykitchen.com or this fantastic looking recipe from MuyBuenoCookbook.com

Rosca de Reyes
Rosca de Reyes

You can get your kids in on the celebration with these great crafts & videos to further explain this tradition.

Dia De Los Reyes Activity Sheet from Mommymaestra.com
Dia De Los Reyes Activity Sheet from Mommymaestra.com
  • Mommy Mestra – is a fantastic blog and has a great selection of Dia de los Reyes activity sheets, crafts, music and books.
  • Nick Jr. – Dora has a Three Kings Cake & Mexican Hot Chocolate recipes, coloring pages, crafts, party decorations and party invitations.
  • Highlights for Kids features a audio clip with Spain’s celebration of Three Kings Day.
  • DLTK’s Kids – is loaded with Three kings Day crafts, bible stories & songs.
  • Crayola has a simple explanation of the holiday along with a simple camel craft and a Three Kings craft.

I hope you have fun celebrating this special day with your family, Feliz Dia de los Reyes Magos!

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My New Year’s Wish

Happy New Year!!! I want to by saying “Thank you”. I appreciate that you have come to my blog and are reading my posts. I hope that you are finding the family-fun activities that encourage family time, nature and STEAM related events helpful.

I started this blog to refine my life, my purpose and place. As our pastor Rick Warren says “Our deepest life message often comes out of our deepest pain. For me that would be the loss of my son due to a drunk driver. So, naturally the holidays are concerning to me.

I pray that each and every one of you and your families have a fun and safe New Year’s. Next, let’s be realistic, it’s New Year’s, people will drink and that’s fine – just please don’t drink and drive. So, with this mind – I have a request….actually, I am pleading with you.

I have put together a list of options for planning a safe ride to and from your destination on New Years Eve, there are even options that will help get their car home, safely.

I am asking that you please pass this information along, repost this entire post, like it and/or share it on facebook, email it to someone, share it on any social media outlet you use. If we can help just one person, save one life – it’s worth it.

Again, thank you for going along with me on this journey, I wish you and yours a very Happy New Year’s.

Annette – Project Refined Life


Tipsy Tow

Statistics show that traffic-related fatalities increase significantly around the holidays. As such, the Auto Club sponsors a complimentary Tipsy Tow service on New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July, which offers free rides to drivers who have been drinking. Avoid becoming a statistic and help guests stay safe by following these tips:

  • Ensure all guests have a ride to and from their destination in a car driven by a non-drinking designated driver
  • Plan activities that take the focus away from drinking, and make non-alcoholic beverages readily available
  • Serve high-protein snacks to slow down alcohol absorption
  • Stop serving alcohol at least 90 minutes before a party ends, and serve guests coffee or dessert
  • Take car keys from intoxicated guests who plan to drive home

Tipsy Tow service provides a complimentary ride and vehicle tow up to seven miles from the point of pickup to drivers who have consumed alcohol on New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July. Tipsy Tow service is available to members and non-members. Ask for a Tipsy Tow by calling 1-800-400-4222.

AAA-tipsy-tow-facebook


$10.00 Rides with Flywheel

Nothing’s worse than waking up New Year’s Day with regrets. So while we can’t do anything about that champagne hangover, we can make sure you have a #SurgeFreeNYE.

Seriously! We’re celebrating the launch of two brand new Flywheel cities, Sacramento and San Diego, and the end of 2014 with a night full of $10 rides.

From 8pm Wednesday (12/31/14) til 3am Thursday (1/1/15) all Flywheel rides in San Francisco, Seattle, Sacramento and San Diego will be charged a flat rate of $10. Rides exceeding $50 will be charged the metered balance.

And to help make sure you get a ride on such a crazy night, Flywheel is incentivizing our drivers with a generous tip. Pretty sweet.

Last New Year’s Eve people were charged up to seven times the normal rate by other services – not cool! This New Year’s Eve is all about the Benjamins (staying in your wallet).

If you don’t have it yet, get the app: iOS | Android  – Questions? Shoot us an e-mail or drop us a tweet.

flywheel


Get a Ride with Lyft and Uber

To keep everyone safe on the roads, MADD has joined forces with Lyft and UBER. Together, we urge all adults that if your plans include alcohol then plan ahead and designate a non-drinking driver before the celebrations begin.

Both services will be donating to MADD’s mission – Every ride can save a life.

UBER: Enter promo code MADDNYE from 6:00 p.m. local time New Year’s Eve to 6:00 a.m. local time New Year’s Day and UBER will donate $1 to MADD for every ride nationwide. Lyft: Starting 6:00 a.m. local time December 29 through 6:00 a.m. local time New Year’s Day, pledge to get home safe at Lyft.com/NYE and $1 per pledge nationwide will benefit MADD.

Uber_Lyft


Designated Driver Services

DrinkingAndDriving.Org (DADO) 501c3 is a great website that teaches and Inspires the Prevention of Drunk Driving has a National Directory of Designated Driver Services,

The services offered in this site include Designated Driver service that will drive you home in your own car or pick up services.

DADO-logo-glow


Free Bus Rides on New Years Eve 

Celebrate the New Year, by letting OCTA do the driving!

To promote safe travels, OCTA is continuing its tradition of offering free bus rides on New Year’s Eve. From 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014 until 2:30 a.m., Thursday, January 1, 2015, ride any fixed-route bus, and your ride is free!

Nearly 100,000 people have taken advantage of this special, free bus service over the past 12 years. With 600 buses travelling on 77 designated routes and stopping at over 6,500 bus stops in Orange County, taking the bus is the safest way to celebrate the New Year!

Extended bus service in Fullerton – Heading to Fullerton’s annual First Night in Fullerton event, then be sure to take the bus and avoid the parking hassle? OCTA is providing extended service on Routes 24, 26, 43, 143 make riding the bus and easy and convenient way to enjoy this special event.

Taking the bus is easy – Even if you’ve never ridden the bus before, it’s easy to ride the bus. Use our simple onlinetrip planner to find out where to catch the bus, and the time it leaves. It’s a good idea to plan your return trip at the same time as not all buses travel past midnight. Remember to arrive at your bus stop 10 minutes before your bus is expected to arrive. If you’re traveling before 6:00 p.m., be sure to have your $2 bus fare ready; exact change is required. Riding after 6:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve? Your ride is free! Don’t forget to plan your trip home as well, not all buses run past midnight.

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Family-Friendly New Year’s Events

Image from Pasadenanow.com
Image from Pasadenanow.com

Looking for Family-Friendly New Year’s events? I’ve got them! Here’s a list of family friendly day & night time New Year’s events. Please, have a fun and safe New Years with your family.

Museum  & Daytime Events

Noon Year’s Eve at Discovery Cube OC and LA (be sure to check out the Thomas the Train and the Science of Gingerbread exhibit at Discovery Cube OC)

Noon-Year’s Confetti Countdown at Pretend City in Irvine

Noon Year’s Celebration at Kidspace in Pasadena

New Year’s Noon Party at the Children’s Museum at La Habra

Pennypickles Workshop in Temecula

Parent and Me Time at Shipley Nature Center in Huntington Beach

Rose Parade Float Pre-Parade Viewing in Pasadena

Night Time Events

New Year’s Eve Grape Drop in Temecula

Kid’s New Year’s Eve Party at Zimmer Children’s Museum in Los Angeles

Family and Friends New Year’s Celebration in Rancho Santa Margarita

New Year’s Waterfront Celebration in Downtown Long Beach

First Night at Fullerton in Downtown Fullerton

New Year’s Eve in L.A. at Grand Park in Downtown L.A.

Mission Inn Festival of Lights in Riverside

Illuminocean at Dana Point Harbor

New Years Skating Parties

Holiday Skate Center in Orange – New Year’s Eve All Night Skate, Wednesday, December 31st 8:00 pm – Thursday, 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, Wednesday, December 31st 9:00 pm – Thursday, January 1st 7:00 am., family-friendly all night skate party, complete with games and dancing. $25.00 admission

Calskate in Grand Terrace – New Year’s All Night Glow Party, Wednesday, December 31st 7:00 pm – Thursday, January 1st 7:00 am, family-friendly ballon drop, cash prizes and more. $25.00 admission

Chino Skate in Chino – New Year’s Eve Party, Wednesday, December 31st from 8:00 pm – Thursday, January 1st 12:30 am, family-friendly party including hats, horns, games & prizes. $12.00 admission, $3.00 skate rental

Roller City 2001 in Riverside, Wednesday, December 31st 6:00 pm – Thursday, January1st 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, Wednesday, December 31st 11:00 am – 9:15 pm &

Thursday, January 1st 11:00 am – 10:45 pm – Outdoor Ice Skating $18.50 includes skate rental, $15.00 if you bring your own skates, $14.00  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

Chill at Queen Mary in Long Beach, Wednesday December 31st 7 Thursday, January 1st, Includes Ice Skating, Ice Tubing & Ice Village, special pricing of $36.99 for an adult and child (ages 4-11) admission.

Ice Palace in Aliso Viejo – Holiday Family Night Public Session, Wednesday, December 31st from 6:15 pm – 8:00 pm – Family friendly indoor ice skating complete with family friendly music videos. $15.00 admission, $4.00 skate rental

Ice at Santa Monica in Santa Monica, Wednesday, December 31st & Thursday, 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 – 9:30 pm – Outdoor Ice Skating. $9.00 admission, $3.00 Skate Rental

Mission Inn Festival of Lights Ice Skating in Riverside, Wednesday December 31st & Thursday, January 1st 12:00 pm – 11:00 pm – Outdoor Ice Skating,  $12.00 per hour/per person, $3.00 skate rental, Wednesday Family Night Special a group of four (4) can skate for one (1) session for $40

Temecula on Ice at Town Square Park in Temecula, Special New Year’s Eve Skate Wednesday, December 31st 10:00 pm-­12:30 am – Outdoor Ice Skating, $25 w/FREE Skate Rental (No reservations first come basis. No coupons or discounts) Thursday, January 1st, New Years Day 10:00 am – ­9:30 pm-­‐normal schedule (see website for schedule) $10.00 admission, $4.00 Skate rental, $6.00 Bobby skate aid

Skating by the Sea at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, Wednesday, December 31st & Thursday, January 1st 11:00 am – 9:00 pm $25.00 per person, for a 90 minute session, includes skate rentals

Fantasy on Ice at Horton Plaza in San Diego, Wednesday, December 31st 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Thursday, 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, Wednesday, December 31st & Thursday, January 1st, 12:00pm – 10:00 pm, the World’s Largest Outdoor Ice Skating Rink, Ages 12 and up $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.

Amusement Parks

Disneyland – The Happiest place on earth will probably be the busiest place on earth but kids (and adults) love it! Celebrate the New Year with Mickey and his friends. Fireworks are set for 9:00 pm and 11:59, Fantasmic is set for 8:30 pm, 10:30 pm and 11:59 pm.

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.

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Celebrate New Year’s with the Kids

ZimmerMuseum

Zimmer Children’s Museum celebrates New Year’s with 5 balloon drops on Wednesday, Dec 31, 2014.

Let the countdowns begin! Decorate your own sparkly party accessories and noisemakers as Zimmer Museum rings in 2015! The balloons drop at 11:15 am, 12:15 pm, 1:15 pm, 2:15 pm and 3:15 pm! Yep! That’s 5 balloon drops in one day!

  •  Zimmer Museum is located at 6505 Wilshire Boulevard #100, Los Angeles, CA 90048 
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Family & Friends New Year’s Celebration

RSM_family_&_Friends

Join the City of Rancho Santa Margarita as they celebrate 15 years of incorporation at their annual “Celebrating Family and Friends” community gathering on New Year’s Eve.

Admission is FREE, and live entertainment will include classic rockers the 5150’s, magician Mark Gibson, Troy Ritchie from “The Voice”, roving entertainers, a laser light show, BMX exhibition, a dance party hosted by DJ Jerry, and much more. 

 

 

  • Where: RSM Civic Plaza/Central Park, 22232 El Paseo, Rancho Santa Margarita, California

  • When: Wednesday, December 31, 2014 from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Master magician Mark Gibson will take the stage at 5:00 p.m. Seats are limited and available on first come first serve basis. The first 50 in attendance to the Magic Show will receive a complimentary voucher for unlimited use on all inflatable attractions.

Gourmet food trucks and specialty food booths will offer a wide variety of culinary choices, ranging from snacks and appetizers to dinner and desserts.

This event is an alcohol-free, family friendly community festival featuring games, visual arts, music, inflatables, and interactive art activities.

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New Year’s Eve Waterfront Family-Friendly Celebration

Long_Beach_new_years

Downtown Long Beach will host a massive celebration this New Year’s Eve with two incredible events beginning at 5 p.m.

Produced and sponsored by the Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA), New Year’s Eve in Downtown will begin with a family-friendly event in the Waterfront Amphitheater at Rainbow Harbor followed by a high-energy street party on Pine Avenue. For more information on the Pine Avenue Celebration featuring Fitz and the Tantrums, click here.

Family-Friendly Waterfront Celebration (Free) – Beginning at 5 p.m., Downtown’s waterfront amphitheatre will come alive with a flurry of activities. Live bands including the return of swing band, Phat Cat Swingers, will energize the crowds throughout the night.  And children’s activities including face painting, balloon artists and a trackless train will keep the whole family entertained. At 9 p.m., the sky will light up for an East Coast countdown with a ten minute fireworks spectacular, sponsored by Gladstone’s, from Rainbow Harbor’s lighthouse peninsula. Don’t miss the final hour of live music as families welcome the New Year together.

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