Over The Top Mommy

Orange County

{Giveaway} Brea Mall Holiday Gift Guide + Enter to Win

I was invited to attend a holiday media event at Brea Mall in exchange for coverage. All opinions are my own. 

Brea Mall is one of my favorite shopping destinations in Southern California. With 5 major department stores, over 175 specialty shops, a variety of popular eateries and a full-service spa, it’s easy to spend an entire day there. brea-mall-signRight now, with all of the season’s hustle and bustle, Brea Mall is a great place to find something for everyone on your holiday shopping list. It’s also a great place to find something for yourself, while you’re there. I absolutely love their holiday decor this year. Everything looks so festive and really gets you in the holiday spirit and excited to shop! brea-mall-holiday-gift-guideI was invited to a special Holiday Gift Guide sneak peek event at Brea Mall, to get a closer look at some of the top gifts at Brea Mall this year. There were several retailers there, showcasing some of their most popular gifting items for this year year. It was a fun event and helped me put together this Brea Mall Holiday Gift Guide Light bites and sips for the event, were provided by Nordstrom Cafe and CPKbrea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-light-bitesbrea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-2017Williams-Sonoma – This is a great place to shop for the gourmet on your list. Offering a selection of professional-quality cookware, small kitchen appliances, cooking utensils, and decor to match your cooking and entertaining style. They also have a great selection of gourmet foods for purchase. I loved all of their holiday place settings and decor. They also offer the Insta-Pot at a great price! It’s the hottest item right now in the cooking world.brea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-williams-sonoma-1Lululemon – As a top brand for workout wear, Lululemon is a “go-to” stop for men and women of all ages. Their workout attire is both quality and fashionable. They also have an entire line of “Athleisure” clothes that allow you to be fashionable and comfy at the same time. If you’re traveling, their new winter pieces, including warm jackets, offer warmth and comfort without being heavy. How perfect would they be for winter travel? brea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-lululemon-1brea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-lululemon-2Swarovski – Nothing shines like Swarovski crystals. They have some beautiful jewelry pieces as well as gifts for friends, colleagues, and teachers on your list. This year they even have several Star Wars-inspired pieces. brea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-swarovskiKiehl’s – This year, Kiehl’s collaborated with Disney to create a collectible and adorable line of products together that you’ll want to get your hands on. This line of skin and body care is for men and women and benefits Feeding America. Together, Kiehl’s and Disney are working to raise 1.1 million meals for those in need through this collaboration. It’s a great line of products that came just in time for the holidays.brea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-kiehls-1brea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-kiehls-x-disneyGodiva – Chocolate and Christmas go hand in hand and Godiva has treats and gifts perfect for gift giving to family, friends, and colleagues. There are beautifully arranged gift baskets already wrapped up and ready to give. You can also have a hand-selected box of chocolates packed. There are so many beautiful collections in the store, you just have to stop by to see them. Be sure to grab a treat for yourself while you’re there, too. brea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-godivaTypo – You can find a great range of gifts, stationery, art, craft, decor, cards, decorations, lighting and seasonal gifts and more at Typo. brea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-typo-2

brea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-typo-1Ben Bridge Jewelers – If you’re looking for a special piece of jewelry to give as a holiday gift, there are so many exquisite pieces in the store. Their Toscano Collection of handmade pieces is exclusive to Ben Bridge.  In addition to jewelry for all occasions, you can also select from beautiful time pieces by top brands for both men and women.  brea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-ben-bridgeTommy Bahama – You can never go wrong with a gift that brings a little bit of the Island Life to someone. Tommy Bahama has a wonderful collection of island-inspired fragrances and candles that smell absolutely heavenly! They also offer fashions for men and women that are perfect for getting in that “Aloha” mood, even when you’re not on vacation. tommy-bahama-fragrancesbrea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-tommy-bahama-candleBoxLunch -This is another retailer I love because they give back to those in need.  BoxLunch is the destination to shop for pop culture-inspired gifts, accessories and apparel for men & women. brea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-box-lunchMorphe – One of the Brea Mall’s newest retailers to open is Morphe, If yo haven’t caught wind of Morphe on social media, it’s an amazing cosmetic brand that offers the latest looks in makeup in an affordable price range. They will also help you achieve whatever look you’re envisioning for yourself this holiday season. In addition to the cosmetics, Morphe offers false eyelashes, brush sets, and other gifting options for the beauty lover on your list.brea-holiday-gift-guide-morpheMicrosoft Store – Right now, if you stop by the Microsoft Store in the mall, you can tell them your “wish” this holiday season and it might even be selected to come true! While you’re there, you can also  check out the full line of products fit for the tech needs in your life.brea-holiday-gift-guide-microsoftbrea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-microscoft-wishBe sure to stop by these retailers when you visit Brea Mall, in addition to all of the other specialty shops. I can assure you, you will knock out all of your holiday shopping in this great destination shopping location.brea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-retailersbrea-mall-sign

If you’re like me, and you have a whole lot of holiday shopping left to do, don’t worry! Brea Mall is offering special extended holiday hours right now and is open extra late. For more information about the center’s hours, go here. Don’t forget to stop by and see Santa while you’re out holiday shopping. He’s awaiting your arrival and keepsake holiday photos are available for purchase.

brea-mall-holiday-gift-guide-santaBrea Mall has tons of great gifting options for your holiday needs! You can also purchase Simon gift cards, as well as many other kinds of gift cards at Customer Service, which is located in next to Starbucks. Have you finished your holiday shopping yet? If not, consider stopping by Brea Mall soon.

giveaway

I love hosting giveaways for my readers so stop by my Instagram HERE and enter to win a $50 Simon Mall Giftcard. How to enter and rules are listed on the post. Thanks for reading! Happy Holidays!

Connect with Brea Mall on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

 

Guide to Making the Most of the Holidays at the Disneyland Resort

It’s the merriest and most wonderful time of year at the Disneyland Resort. The hustle and bustle along Main Street, U.S.A. and Buena Vista Street is in full swing. With holiday decor and twinkling lights all around, both parks are adorned and ready for guests of all ages to visit this holiday season.disneyland-holidays-sleeping-beauty-castle-adornedDisney-Holidays-Buena-Vista-StreetOur family spent a day out at the resort taking in all of the sights, sounds, and holiday fun to be had. I think it’s my most favorite time of year to visit.disneyland-holidays-with-mickeyFrom riding special holiday attractions like “it’s a small world” Holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday to watching A Christmas Fantasy Parade and “Believe….in Holiday Magic” Fireworks to enjoying holiday treats and offerings in the Festive Foods Marketplace at the Disney Festival of Holidays, we had an excited and jam-packed day.disneyland-holidays-castle-1I feel as giddy as a little girl when I visit Disneyland Resort this time of year. Of course, I could actually say that about every visit there! Do you feel that way too?holidays-at-disneyland-resort-its-a-small-world-2Since there’s so much to do at Disneyland Resort this holiday season, I’ve put together a a guide for you to be able to make the most of your visit. You don’t want to miss out on any of the magic of both parks. I highly suggest a multi-day ticket, so you can take more time exploring each of the parks’ holiday offerings. However, it is possible to fit a lot of the holiday magic into just one day. Here’s my best advice. I hope it’s helpful.guide-to-making-the-most-of-holidays-at-the-disneyland-resortSpend some time planning before you go
I’m a definite planner so before each of our visits, I’ve found myself looking online, on the Disneyland Official Site, looking at Park Hours and the Entertainment Schedule for the day we’re going to visit. It’s a great way to plan ahead and have an idea in your head of how you should map our your stay. The site also has a ton of other info, including Disneyland Resort hotel information if you’re looking to make it a complete vacation experience.disneyland-holidays-mainstreet-at-nightDownload the Disneyland Mobile App
It’s the most magical app and the official app for the Disneyland Resort. Download it on App Store and/or get it on Google Play. The Disneyland Mobile App allows you to do such things as see park hours and maps, check wait times, buy park tickets, check FASTPASS return times, see restaurant menus and make dining reservations, view Disney PhotoPass photos, locate Disney Characters, and so much more. For more info about the Disneyland Mobil app, go here.disneyland-appDo add Disney MAXPass to your ticket
By now, you’ve probably heard a lot of talk about Disney MaxPass. If you haven’t, it’s a great feature to add to your park ticket (or Annual Pass) for $10 a person. MaxPass allows you to schedule your FASTPASS reservations to your ticket ELECTRONICALLY from your phone, through the Disneyland app. What this means is you don’t have to walk over to the attraction you’re hoping to grab a FASTPASS for. You can just schedule it from your phone. You can even be in the other park as you make your reservation. It’s such a great feature. Plus, it allows gives you access to download , save, and share, all of your PhotoPass photos from the day. Character photos, family photos, photos from designated attractions! It’s a great option to add and I highly recommend exploring it, especially during the holiday season. For more information about MaxPass, go here.disney-max-pass-imagedisneyland-resort-celebrate-summer-max-passMake a dining reservation beforehand
There are so many dining options at Disneyland Resort. Some are quick dining while others are table service. There are also grab & go food options throughout both parks. I highly suggest you make 1 dining reservation ahead of time. During the holiday season, the table service restaurants can be extra busy and I know for our family, when the hunger hits, there’s only one way to make everyone better and get them back into a good mood: FOOD! It’s easy to make a dining reservation on the app or on the site. You can also call 714) 781-3463.to make one.disneyland-grilled-cheeseStrive to make it to park opening
There are a couple advantages of making it there before opening. I feel like the parking situation is lighter when it’s early in the morning. Also, if you are there early, you’ll have better access to FastPass+ reservations, especially for the big ticket attractions that tend to “sell out” quickly. My favorite reason to get to the parks before opening is to be able to experience “Rope Drop”, which is a fun countdown right before they allow guests to head into the park. Also, if you make Rope Drop in Disneyland Park, you’ll be able to see a bunch of Cast Members all along Main Street, U.S.A. as they are giving out High 4’s to guests! (They wear Mickey gloves so that’s why it’s a “High 4”). There’s truly nothing like being in one of the parks at opening though.

Utilize Disney PhotoPass Services
PhotoPass photographers are all throughout both parks and are your best bet to capture the best shots from your visit. They are equipped with professional equipment and are set up in front of attractions, with characters, and some other fun places. They also know how to capture your best side, in the day or nighttime. I already shared that one of the benefits to adding MaxPass to your day is the ablity to access all of your PhotoPass photos from the day. It’s the best money you’ll spend and our own family loves to use one of the PhotoPass photos for our own holiday card.disneyland-holidays-photopass-with-tree-1Seek out special holiday-inspired attractions
During the holidays at Disneyland Resort, there are a few attractions that have holiday overlays and you won’t want to miss out on experiencing any of them. In Disneyland Park set sail aboard “it’s a small world” Holiday and hop on a dune buggy in Haunted Mansion Holiday. In Disney California Adventure Park, be sure to get over to CarsLand and take a holly jolly spin on Mater’s Jingle Jamboree and Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl. Once January 7 passes, these specially transformed attractions will go back to their original versions. (Kind of like what happened to Cinderella at midnight.)holidays-at-disneyland-resort-its-a-small-world-1Enjoy all the holiday treats
Although there are many foods I enjoy eating when I’m visiting the parks, my most favorite this time of year are the holiday treats. Whether it’s a special bakery treat, a hand-twisted candy cane or something warm and festive to sip on, the holiday treat offerings at the Disneyland Resort are not to be missed!disneyland-holidays-festive-treats-1Watch A Christmas Fantasy Parade
There are usually 2 performances of “A Christmas Fantasy Parade” each day. It’s a beautiful parade that the whole family will enjoy watching together. All of your favorite characters and princesses make an appearance, dressed in holiday attire, as do Santa and Mrs. Claus.disneyland-holidays-santa-in-parade-1

disneyland-holidays-a-christmas-fantasy-parade-gingerbread-manFireworks are a must!
There’s nothing ore magical than watching the nightly “Believe…in Holiday Magic” Fireworks at Disneyland Park. It’s one of our family’s favorite parts about nighttime in Disneyland Park during the holidays. Be sure to plan out where you’ll want to watch it from and try to get a spot a little early.disneyland-holidays-fireworksSave room for “The Festival of Holidays” food
Over at Disney’s California Adventure Park you’ll find 12 different kiosks set up for the “Festival of Holidays”. For more information about the foods and offerings this year, go here.disneyland-holidays-festival-of-holidays-sign-1Celebrate the season with the entertainment at Disney Festival of Holidays
In Disney California Park, there is a full lineup of holiday-inspired performances that’ll warm your heart. Be sure to check times for live music and dancing, as well as performance times of the Disney ¡Viva Navidad! street party.disneyland-holidays-viva-navidad-signLook for special holiday merchandise – Every year, I look forward to the newest holiday EARs available in the shops. I had a tough time deciding this year between the black sequinned Minnie EARs with a plaid bow or the red sequinned ones with a green bow, so I bought both! I just coudn’t resist! There is so much fun holiday-inspired merchandise to choose from this time of year. It makes my Disney heart happy!disneyland-holidays-mickey-merchandisedisneyland-holidays-merchandise-ears-1disneyland-holidays-red-sparkly-earsThere’s truly no better time like the present to create new holiday memories that will last a lifetime and no better place to do so than the Disneyland Resort! Do you have plans to visit this year? Share with me in the comments. Just be sure to do so before January 7th! Happy Holidays!\\

Some images are property of Disney. 

Celebrate the Holiday Season at Knott’s Merry Farm

I was invited to attend a media event at Knott’s. All opinions are my own. 

I get as giddy as a little girl when I spot signs of the holidays at Knott’s Berry Farm. From decorated Christmas trees to holiday music and all of the festive treats, I consider myself lucky to live in Southern California where you can celebrate the holidays while still enjoying the beautiful sunny weather outside. I am all about making the most of this time of year with my family and Knott’s Merry Farm is an annual tradition for us. knotts-merry-farm-family-1I think one of the things I love most about visiting Knott’s Merry Farm each holiday season is knowing I can expect some of my usual favorites to be there but I also to get excited for what’s new each year, in addition to all of the regular attractions we normally enjoy on our visits.knotts-merry-farm-hot-cocoaThis holiday season, it looks like the culinary team at Knott’s stepped up their festive treats game, more than usual, to catch the eyes and the palettes of all the visiting foodies. Not only will you find traditional favorites such as Mrs. Claus’ milk & cookies, hot cocoa with candy cane topping, roasted nuts, and but this year, you can feast on such offerings as tamales, Christmas pizza, and candy cane churros!knotts-merry-farm-tamalesknotts-merry-farm-christmas-pizzaMmm!  There were so many yummy treats to try, you should definitely bring an appetite with you, I almost forgot about the attractions and entertainment!knotts-merry-farm-candy-cane-churroHere are the special entertainment offerings this year at Knott’s Merry Farm:

  • “Merry Christmas, Snoopy!” (in the Charles M. Schulz Theatre) – This festive ice show continues to be a favorite, year after year and is perfect for guests of all ages. The show stars the Peanuts Gang and a cast of world-class ice skaters. Watch Snoopy enjoy all of the best parts of the season including trimming the Christmas tree, awaiting Santa’s arrival, and attending the Christmas Ball! “Merry Christmas, Snoopy!”is guaranteed to warm your heart.knotts-merry-farm-snoopy-on-ice-2
  • “It’s The Merriest Christmas Show Ever, Charlie Brown!” (at the Calico Mine Stage) – Audiences can dance and sing along to a live performance of this charming holiday show. It continues to delight audiences as The Peanuts Gang star in this toe-tapping, merry musical sure to bring out the Christmas joy in all.knotts-merry-farm-christmas-show-ever
  • “A Peanuts Guide to Christmas” (at the Camp Snoopy Theater) – The Peanuts Gang offer their take and unique wisdom on surviving the holidays, while singing you a mashup of their favorite holiday tunes.
  • Charles Dickens’A Christmas Carol and O. Henry’s A Gift ofthe Magi (in the Bird Cage Theater)- Knott’s melodrama company bring classics to life.knotts-merry-farm-decorations-birdcage
  • Snow and Glow Show (in Calico Ghost Town) – After the sun sets, enjoy this show with nightly falling snow set to thousands of sparkling lights and traditional Christmas music. knotts-merry-farm-snow-and-glow

Don’t forget to look for The Calico Bell Choir, strolling throughout Ghost Town, singing the songs of the season! knotts-merry-farm-carolers-2

If you’re looking for Santa  you can find him, along with many festive holiday treats, inside of Santa’s Christmas Cabin. Commemorative Santa Photos are available for purchase.knotts-merry-farm-christmas-treeKnott’s is the perfect place to spend many a day together with friends and/or family creating new memories together, which is a great reason to grab a 2018 Knott’s Season Pass. They make great holiday gifts and include one free visit to enjoy Merry Farm in 2017, unlimited visits in 2018 with no blackout dates, discounts on select food and merchandise,  and access to exciting year-round seasonal events.knotts-merry-farm-holiday-decorA Regular Season Pass includes unlimited admission in 2018 to Knott’s Berry Farm and a Gold Season Pass includes unlimited admission in 2018 to both Knott’s Berry Farm and the newly expanded Knott’s Soak City Waterpark with no blackout dates. Now at the lowest price of the year, Regular Season Passes start at just $92.00 or six easy payments of $15.33 and Gold Season Passes are $110 or six payments of just $18.33.These offers end January 7, 2018.Applicable taxes and fees apply online. Payment plans are only available at knotts.com.
knotts-merry-farm-trainHave you been to Knott’s Merry Farm before? If so, share your favorite memory with me in the comments. Happy Holidays! knotts-merry-farm-family-2

 

Shop, Dine and Visit The Spa at the Glen at Brea Mall + Gift Card Giveaway

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

Have you been to Brea Mall lately? It’s the perfect place to go for a day out. brea-mall-insideNot only can you shop but there are tons of dining options, including restaurants and an entire food court. The center features five major department stores including Nordstrom, Macy & Macy Men Children & Home, jcpenney, and Sears, and more than 175 specialty shops. It’s also home to a full-service day spa, The Spa at the Glen. the-spa-at-the-glen-5On my last trip to Brea Mall, I got an extra special treat: a pedicure! Who would’ve thought you could shop, dine AND go the to spa, all in one trip?the-spa-at-the-glen-4The Spa at the Glen is located inside Brea Mall and provides world class spa treatments performed with care and skillful touch Services include massage, body scrubs and wraps, facial treatments and professional skin care, manicures and pedicures.the-spa-at-the-glen-1the-spa-at-the-glen-2You can schedule an appointment for a service and enjoy the spa amenities either before or after your service. (Next time I’m going to go and spend the entire day inside the spa.)the-spa-at-the-glen-3Why not plan a relaxing day of shopping, dining, and a visit to The Spa at the Glen on your next trip to Brea Mall? It’s a beautiful facility and allows you to be pampered before, during, or after your shopping trip. the-spa-at-the-glen-6enter-to-win-a-50-brea-mall-gift-cardI’m hosting a giveaway on my Instagram page for one (1) of my readers to win a $50 Brea Mall Gift Card. You must enter on my Instagram where you see this photo. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents, 18 years of age and older. For more information about how to enter to win, please go here. Entries will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on 11/23/17. One (1) winner will be chosen via Random Number Generator and announced on my Instagram post. Winner will be verified and contacted via DM on Instagram. Winner must be able to pick up gift card prize in person at Brea Mall. Good luck everyone! Thanks for reading!

To learn more about The Spa at the Glen, or to request an appointment, please visit their site here or call 714.990.2090. For more information about Brea Mall, please connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Some images may be property of Brea Mall and used with permission. 

OC Rescue Mission Calls for Urgently Needed Thanksgiving Donations

As the holidays quickly approach, the Orange County Rescue Mission is preparing to host its 52nd annual Thanksgiving dinner, which will feed more than 660 homeless families and individuals in the region.OC-rescue-mission-logoThe organization has announced an urgent need for food donations from the local community. Thanksgiving dinner is an important gathering for both the Village of Hope residents and those living in surrounding areas, many of whom have never had the opportunity to take part in a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. The Orange County Rescue Mission is currently experiencing a shortage of food, and they urgently need the help of the community in order to provide a memorable holiday experience for these men, women, and children in need.

ORANGE COUNTY RESCUE MISSION THANKSGIVING 2016
ORANGE COUNTY RESCUE MISSION THANKSGIVING 2016

“The holiday season is a time to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for, and all that we can do to help others. We hope the community will join us in embracing the holiday spirit, and helping us to give back to those less fortunate.” – Jim Palmer, President of the Orange County Rescue Mission

The Rescue Mission is currently in need of:

ENTREES:

  • 106 whole turkeys
  • 48 whole hams
  • 160 pounds of ground pork

SIDES:

  • 200 pounds of potatoes
  • 360 boxes of stuffing
  • 80 pounds of cranberries
  • 120 cans of corn

VEGETABLES:

  • 120 bags of green beans
  • 100 bags of carrots
  • 30 pounds of mushrooms
  • 650 onions

EXTRAS:

  • 90 containers of butter
  • 24 pounds of garlic
  • 100 boxes of breadcrumbs
  • 75 pounds of bacon

If you’d wish to donate any of the items listed above, you may drop off donations at the Orange County Rescue Mission’s Village of Hope, located at 1 Hope Drive in Tustin, California, or contact Ashley Binder at 714-247-4343 or [email protected]. The donation warehouse is open between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
About the Orange County Rescue Mission
The Orange County and Inland Empire Rescue Missions are part of a privately funded non-profit organization that uses Biblical principles in its programs such as relationships, finance, and parenting. The Rescue Mission’s innovative facilities and programs provide food assistance and shelter in addition to counseling, education, job training, mental wellness, life skills training, and medical services to provide a solid foundation for the transition to a self-sufficient life. Its programs and dedication to going above and beyond have earned the organization numerous recognitions including Charity Navigator’s highest rating of 4-Stars. To make a donation or inquire about volunteer opportunities with the Rescue Mission, please contact (714) 247-4320 or visit http://www.rescuemission.org.

Irvine Park Railroad’s 22nd Annual Christmas Train + Tickets Now on Sale

I received tickets in exchange for writing this post. All opinions are my own. 

It’s truly the most wonderful time of the year because the holiday season has begun! One of our family’s most favorite holiday traditions, is to visit Santa, over at Irvine Park Railroad. Every year, we can’t wait to take a ride on their Christmas Train to “The North Pole” to visit Santa and have our family’s photo taken with him.irvine-park-railroad-christmas-train-family-santa-photoCome with family and friends and take this enchanting night ride through historic Irvine Regional Park to meet Santa Claus. The train departs every 15 minutes from the brightly-lit train station and drop passengers off at the North Pole. Visitors may take their own pictures with Santa or may purchase a picture taken by Irvine Park Railroad. Each 5” x 7” photo will be presented with an Irvine Park Railroad frame and available for pickup shortly after being taken. irvine-park-railroad-smiling-with-santaAt the North Pole, visitors may purchase coffee, hot chocolate, freshlypopped popcorn, hot pretzels, and cookies from Santa’s Snack Shop. A full kitchen menu is available at the train station. After visiting with Santa, hop back aboard the train and enjoy the colorful Christmas lights and decorations, as well as the magical “Tunnel of Lights”, on the ride back to the station.Here’s a video that gives you a glimpse of this magical event:

The Christmas Train event sells out quickly every year and tickets for the 22nd Annual Christmas Train just went on sale so I’m advising you to grab your train tickets now, ONLY available for purchase on their site if you have hopes of riding the train to see Santa. (Please go here for ticket info and purchase.)  Please note, there will be no exchanges of tickets once you’ve selected your date and time and ordered yours.
Tip: If you’re planning on visiting with a large group, purchase your tickets together in one transaction to guarantee you are on the same train, at the same time.irvine-park-railroad-christmas-train-santas-villageThere are many activities for children to enjoy in Santa’s Village, located next to the train station. These activities are all available to visitors when the Christmas Train runs, regardless of whether or not guests have train tickets. (since at some point, train tickets will be sold out)
Santa’s Village activities this year will include:

  • Story Time with Mrs. Claus
  • Christmas Cookie Decorating
  • Carnival Games
  • Ice Fishing
  • Santa Claus Moon Bounce
  • Christmas Coloring Corner
  • Picture Standsirvine-park-railroad-christmas-train-mrs-claus

irvine-park-railroad-christmas-train-ice-fishingPricing for these activities varies and can be found by visiting http://www.irvineparkrailroad.com.irvine-park-railroad-christmas-train-1The Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train is open beginning Friday, December 1st through Saturday, December 23rd. Please visit their web site for hours and to purchase tickets. irvine-park-railroad-christmas-train-ticketsIrvine Park Railroad is located inside of Irvine Regional Park. The address is:

Irvine Park Railroad
1 Irvine Park Road
Orange, CA 92869

The parking for Irvine Regional Park is $3.00 per vehicle on weekdays and $5.00 per vehicle on weekends; parking for the Christmas Train is free after 5:00 PM.irvine-park-railroads-christmas-train-signFor pricing, park directions and more information, please visit http://www.IrvineParkRailroad.com.

Holidays at the Disneyland Resort Will Include Joyful New Fun at Cars Land And More Beginning November 10

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

The Happiest Place on Earth is about to get merrier, once again, as Holidays at the Disneyland Resort returns Nov. 10, 2017. The magic is endless at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Parks, through Jan. 7, 2018. Park guests will experience festive cheer as the entire resort transforms into a winter wonderland, filled with seasonal attractions, joyful entertainment, jolly décor and themed treats. holidays-at-disneyland-resort-its-a-small-world-2This festive season, available in the Parks through Jan. 7, 2018. includes the return of favorite holiday experiences, including Festival of Holidays, “World of Color – Season of Light,” and the “Believe … in Holiday Magic” fireworks spectacular. The Holidays at Disneyland Resort is one of our family’s favorite times of year to go and experience all of the holiday magic together! holidays-at-disneyland-resort-dca-treeExperience beloved Holiday traditions in both Parks, from snowfall on Main Street U.S.A., to glistening décor, delicious Disney-themed treats and eats, holiday entertainment and the one-of-a-kind transformations that create “it’s a small world” Holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday and merry new merchandise including fun items with the “ugly sweater” theme, along with home décor and festive holiday headwear., halloween-time-at-disneyland-resort-haunted-mansion-holiday-signHere are some of the highlights in each park:

At Disneyland Park

  • Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle is a guest favorite with shimmering icicles and more than 50,000 twinkling LED lights. In the evening, the spectacular “Believe … in Holiday Magic” fireworks and its magical snowfall finale captivate guests and create unforgettable holiday memories. disneyland-holidays-castle-daydisneyland-holidays-castle-night
  • A 60-foot Christmas tree with nearly 1,800 ornaments welcomes guests on Main Street, U.S.A. This picturesque sight is a popular backdrop for family and friends to take holiday photos year after year.
  • Disney characters celebrate the season in “A Christmas Fantasy” parade, a daily procession with floats, music, marching “tin soldiers” and holiday cheer. Santa, who makes a jolly appearance in the parade, also will be found welcoming guests at his special location in Critter Country.holidays-at-disneyland-resort-a-christmas-fantasy-parade-2holidays-at-disneyland-resort-a-christmas-fantasy-parade-1
  • The “it’s a small world” attraction shines brighter than ever as it transforms into “it’s a small world” Holiday to celebrate children around the world and the holiday traditions of their countries. The iconic music of “it’s a small world,” written by the legendary Sherman Brothers, is weaved in between the joyous caroling of holiday favorites “Jingle 3 Bells” and “Deck the Halls.” As a special treat this holiday season, FastPass will be available for this attraction.holidays-at-disneyland-resort-its-a-small-world-1
  • Haunted Mansion becomes Haunted Mansion Holiday, celebrating the collision between Christmas and Halloween with Jack Skellington and his friends from “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.”halloween-time-at-disneyland-resort-haunted-mansion-holiday-facade

At Disney California Adventure Park

  • The residents of Radiator Springs decorate their establishments with festive fun along Route 66, while two Cars Land attractions put the magic in overdrive as they transform for the first time this holiday. Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters becomes Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree becomes Mater’s Jingle Jamboree. Mater and Luigi add even more cheer to the seasonal fun by singing new holiday tunes for the occasion.holidays-at-disneyland-resort-carsland-1
  • At Santa’s Holiday Visit, at Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, guests will play festive Elf Games, enjoy cookie decorating and maybe have a chance to meet Santa Claus and his mischievous elves.
  • The nighttime spectacular, “World of Color – Season of Light” celebrates the warm and heartfelt spirit of the holidays as it illuminates Paradise Bay with a sparkling winter fantasy that combines classic holiday songs with memorable moments from treasured Disney and Disney•Pixar animated films.
  • In anticipation of the new Disney•Pixar film “Coco,” guests will enjoy the Coco Sneak Peek experience at Bug’s Life theater from Nov. 5-Jan. 7, along with special décor.
  • “a bug’s land” transforms for the holidays, too, as Flik and his bug friends deck their land with oversized lights and ornaments.
  • Carthay Circle along Buena Vista Street features a 1920s-inspired holiday theme to emulate Los Angeles as it appeared when Walt Disney first moved to California. A stunning, 50-foot Christmas tree features vintage-style ornaments and surrounding buildings are adorned in old-fashioned seasonal decorations.

holidays-at-disneyland-resort-carsland-2The popular Festival of Holidays is back with the sights, sounds and tastes of diverse cultural festivities and plenty of Disney magic! holidays-at-disneyland-resort-viva-navidadThis heartwarming holiday celebration is inspired by Christmas/Navidad, Hannukah, Diwali, Kwanza and Three Kings Day. Guests will experience:

  • The new Holiday Sunset Concerts: Fun dance parties featuring performing groups Phat Cat Swinger (Friday-Monday) and Mariachi Divas (TuesdayThursday) at Paradise Park
  • The soulful a capella group The Sound, which joins returning holiday performances by Mostly Kosher, Blue13 Dance Company and the Holiday Toy Drummers
  • The lively “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!,” with authentic music, dance, décor, crafts and special greetings by Disney characters, including Princess Elena of Avalor
  • The Festive Foods Marketplace, serving multicultural holiday fare at marketplace kiosks, including a range of flavors: beef corn tamale a la plancha with spicy rojo sauce, braised lamb cheeks with Mediterranean cauliflower, sweet potato pie and fruit and nut rugelach
  • Fun family activities, with holiday arts and crafts, face painting and cookie decorating
  • A festive celebration of Three Kings Day in the final days of Festival of Holidays, Jan. 4-7festival-of-holidays-coloring

The Downtown Disney shopping, dining and entertainment district and all three Hotels of the Disneyland Resort join in the holiday festivities with twinkling lights and ornaments, holiday displays, special entertainment and holiday dining with themed menus. Guests can follow the scent of gingerbread into the lobby of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa to find a big treat – a giant gingerbread replica of the hotel itself.

A very special “Holiday Time at Disneyland” tour is available for guests who wish to experience a close-up look at this festive transformation of the Disneyland Resort. This walking tour shares favorite Disneyland holiday traditions from around the world, along with reserved seating for “A Christmas Fantasy” Parade, delicious holiday treats, a collectible pin and more.

disneyland-holidays-photo-passWill you be visiting the Disneyland Resort for the Holidays this year with your family? This is the place where traditions are shared, memories are made and new experiences make the spirit of the season shine even brighter. Be sure to keep your eyes on the Disney Parks Blog for the more updates about holiday happenings!

 

Spooky Science Exhibit at Discovery Cube Orange County Through October 31

I was invited to a media preview in order to write this post. All opinions are my own.

Calling all ghouls and goblins, this year’s Spooky Science is hosting the Monster Academy at Discovery Cube Orange County, where students will learn hair-raising science lessons from some of the world’s most famous monsters. discovery-cube-OC-spooky-science-logoThe Monster Academy features a “day-scare” learning center designed exclusively for teaching junior monsters what it takes for school success. Activities focus on creative play, shapes and colors as part of an Early Learning Core Initiative and electricity, chemistry, and optical illusions as part of a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Proficiency Core Initiative.spooky-science-exhibit-contributorMy contributor spent a very special evening at Discovery Cube Orange County with some other “young monsters”, participating in the Monster Academy. Some of the activities to explore during your visit include:

  • Frankenstein’s laboratory where you’re sure to spark amazement with his new Van de Graaff generator!
  • A station where you get to make your very own slime.
  • The Monster Academy Talent Show where each “monster” will showcase their hidden science talents!

spooky-science-exhibit-slime-1All of the “Spooky Science” activities will be available through October 31 and are included in the price of regular admission. For more information or to purchase your tickets online, please visit http://www.discoverycube.org.spooky-science-exhibit-1Connect with Discovery Cube OC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Logo is property of Discovery Cube OC and used with permission. 

 

Family Guide to Knott’s Spooky Farm Weekend Days Through Oct. 29 and Halloween

I was invited as a guest of Knott’s Berry Farm to spend a day in the Park and received media tickets in exchange for this post All opinions are my own. 

One of our most favorite places to visit is Knott’s Berry Farm. Referred to as “American’s 1st Theme Park” Knott’s is located in the heart of Orange County and offers a variety of seasonal family friendly offerings in addition to dozens of rides, shows, roller coasters, and attractions in 5 themed areas. knotts-spooky-farm-logo
This time of year, you’ll find family friendly fun at Knott’s during Halloween time. Knott’s Spooky Farm is an annual datytime family-friendly celebration that takes place on weekend days through October 29, as well as Halloween day. This kid-inspired “spooky” celebration offers a a variety of fun activities, geared towards children ages 3-1, throughout the park ,which are included in the price of your regular park ticket. (or Season Pass) (Please note: some activities may be offered at a nominal fee.)knotts-spooky-farm-entranceWe spent a day there last weekend and it was so much fun. Since the weather is almost always perfect here in Southern California, it really turned out to be the perfect “Sunday Funday” for us, between all of the Knott’s Spooky Farm activities to the regular attractions, included water rides. Since there’s still plenty of time to head to Knott’s Spooky Farm this year, I want to share about all of the fun things you can explore on your visit. Here’s my family guide to Knott’s Spooky Farm, which includes all of the things I think you won’t want to miss!knotts-spooky-farm-witchGo Trick-or-Treating in Ghost Town
Children, ages 3-11, are invited to trick-or-treat throughout Ghost Town and will receive a Knott’s trick or treat bag upon entrance to the Park. There are different trick-or-treat stations, which you can find on the Knott’s Spooky Farm map. knotts-spooky-farm-candyChildren will be able to interact spooky (but very friendly) shopkeepers and ghosts in Ghost Town. Children are welcome to dress up in costumes. Adults are too. (no masks please.)knotts-spooky-farm-trick-or-treatingVisit the Creepy Crawlers of Calico in Livery Stable
This year, Stanley Scarecrow has opened his Livery Stable to guests of all ages to come in and get up close and personal with the Creepy Critters of Calico, if you dare! You’ll find insects and other creepy crawlers, rats, and even a white python! The horses at the stable are also dressed up for the occasion.knotts-spooky-farm-livery-stable-rats

knotts-spooky-farm-livery-stable-horsesEnter the Peanuts Costume Contest 
Be sure to head over to Camp Snoopy Theatre for the Peanuts Costume Contest. Children in costume are welcome to enter. The costume contest will be held each weekend day at 3:45 p.m.  Afterwards, stay and dance with your favorite Peanuts characters at their dance party.knotts-spooky-farm-peanutsCatch a Performance of “The Monsters Are Coming, Charlie Brown” Stage Show 
Also in the Camp Snoopy Theatre, catch a performance of “The Monsters Are Coming, Charlie Brown” on stage. Watch the Peanuts Gang perform this fun story. They’ll have you singing and dancing right along with them to classic Halloween tunes! Several shows a day are offered. This year, Camp Snoopy Theatre is presented by HERSHEY’s.knotts-spooky-farm-mapTake “A Trip to Camp Spooky” on The Grand Sierra Railroad in Camp Snoopy
While you’re visiting Camp Spooky, be sure to take a ride on the Grand Sierra Railroad. This year, special for Knott’s Spooky Farm, guests will find added 2D and 3D Hallowen themed characters and effects as The Grand Sierra Railroad has been transformed into a one-of-a-kind experience that will take riders on an adventure to Camp Spooky, along with the Peanuts Gang.knotts-spooky-farm-trick-or-treating-2Take a Ride on Halloween Hootenanny
This Halloween season, the Timber Mountain Log Ride mystically converts into the Halloween Hootenanny by adding a new family friendly twist to a park favorite. Every year the citizens of the Timber Mountain invite the mysterious creatures that live out in the woods and caverns of the area to join them as they celebrate the season at the Halloween Hootenanny. The ride’s interior will feature new fun surprises as guests venture past the Calico Coffin Creeper band, the town’s green witch and splash down Skull Mountain through a labyrinth of jack-o-lanterns. The seasonal ride will also feature an original song performed by Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies. Open for day and night guests, this is the perfect family experience for all to enjoy this Halloween season.

knotts-spooky-farm-halloween-hootenannyDecorate a Pumpkin in the Pumpkin Patch
Over in Calico Patch, you’ll find the Pumpkin Patch. For an additional fee, you can purchase a pumpkin to decorate for your own home, while you enjoy the atmosphere of the season!

knotts-spooky-farm-pumpkin-decoratingVisit the Ghastly Gallery
Cruise over to the Boardwalk Ballroom for a slate of entertaining activities including a live show and opportunities for your little ghouls to participate in drawing their best “monsterpiece.”

Join the Dia de Los Muertos Celebration
in the Fiesta Stage area for an interactive, non-scary, educational celebration of the season. The themed area offers a walk through village filled with photo ops, educational activities and face paintings at a nominal fee.knotts-spooky-farm-dia-de-los-muertos-1knotts-spooky-farm-halloween-hootenannyA 2018 Season Pass is the best way to experience Knott’s Spooky Farm. With a 2018 Season Pass you will get to enjoy all of the Seasons of Fun next year but will also receive one free admission to use in 2017. You can get your Season Pass now at the Best Offer of the Year! A Regular Season Pass includes unlimited admission in 2018 to Knott’s Berry Farm with no blackout dates, and a Gold Season Pass includes unlimited admission in 2018 to both Knott’s Berry Farm and the newly expanded Knott’s Soak City Waterpark with no blackout dates. Regular passes are just $92 or nine easy payments of $10.22 and Gold Season Passes are $110 or nine payments of just $12.22. These offers end October 29, 2017. Applicable taxes and fees apply online. Payment plans are only available at knotts.com.knotts-spooky-farm-city-hall-porch

knotts-spooky-farm-treat-bag-2017Knott’s Spooky Farm runs weekends September 30 – October 29 from 9:00am to 4:00pm, Halloween Day from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, and is included with regular park admission. For more information on all the exciting things that are going on at Knott’s Berry Farm, click here. You can also follow the conversation using #KnottsSpookyFarm.
knotts-spooky-farm-costumesA very special thank you to Knott’s for hosting our family. 

Knott’s logo is property of Knott’s and used with permission.