Events

10 Ways to Save at the OC Fair

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Orange County’s beloved  OC Fair opened yesterday and will be entertaining kids and adults Wednesdays – Sundays now through  August 14th.

The OC Fair is a ton of fun, but can also end up being a ton of money if you don’t know about some of the OC Fair discounts so I wanted to highlight these 10 ways to save at the OC Fair for you.

From experience, if you have kids that  love the rides, by far the best deal is to go on a Wednesday or Thursday and get the $30 unlimited wristband. Then it’s just done and you don’t have to worry about reloading your ticket or running out of rides. Best value for sure.

If planning the day of the week, Thursdays are great because kids get free admission all day, you can get the unlimited wristband AND take advantage of the $2 Taste of Fair food noon – 4p.  Huge savings. We are going this Thursday (yay!) Follow our adventure on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

10 Ways to Save at the OC Fair 

1. Read & Ride

Kids ages 5-11 can read 2 books to earn 3 free carnival rides. Click here to download the book report form. Completed book report forms can be redeemed for ride tickets at the Centennial Farm Information Booth during Fair hours.

2. We Care Wednesdays

FREE admission and one (1) free carnival ride per person each Wednesday with appropriate donation (donation changes weekly.) Click here for the schedule.

3. $30 Unlimited Carnival Ride Wristband

Sold until 5p, valid until 8p on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Enjoy all the rides you can handle for one price plus 2 free games. Required Fair admission sold separately.

4.  $2 Taste of Fair Food

Thursdays Noon – 4p. Enjoy $2 samples of select Fair treats.

5. Kids Day

Thursdays all day children 12 & under receive FREE Fair admission.

6. $2 Rides and $2 Games

Fridays Noon – 4p. Rides and games are only $2 each in the Main Carnival and Kiddie Carnival.

7. Seniors Day (60+)

Bring grandma and grandpa to the Fair! Fridays all day $2 discount on Senior admission plus FREE Ferris wheel and merry-go-round rides.

8. Rise & Shine: Saturdays and Sundays

Early admission pricing every weekend of the Fair. $3 general admission for everyone 10 am – 11 am (Discounted tickets are sold until 11 am and must be used by Noon on the day of purchase.)

9. FREE Off-Site Parking (Weekends Only)

Free parking and shuttle service is available on Saturdays and Sundays from the Experian parking structure located off the Bristol Street exit of the 405 Freeway. Follow the signs to “Experian.” The shuttle operates from 10 am-1 am Saturday & Sunday only.

10. Active Military & Veterans 

Active-duty military and veterans receive free OC Fair admission and are eligible to purchase ½ price general admission tickets. Promotion is valid all 23 days of the 2016 OC Fair. Military ID required.

 For complete information on everything this year’s OC Fair has to offer visit www.ocfair.com

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Odysseo Debuts in Irvine

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Disclosure: Media tickets provided to facilitate this review. 

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If any of you drive along the 405 and 133 intersection, you can’t miss the Big White Top under construction for the last month.

Every time we drive by, my boys are fascinated with “what they are building?!” When signs went up, we were thrilled to see it was Odysseo by Cavalia! For those of you not familiar, this show is known as the world’s largest traveling production with a cast of 65 horses, trainers, musicians and acrobats that produce one TRULY magical experience.

It is the work of Artistic Director, Normand Latourelle, a pioneer with Cirque du Soleil, and an incredible team of set designers, musicians, choreographers and costume designers.  Click here for more info on Odysseo Orange County.

dualriders

Photo credit: Odysseo

I simply love horses.  Their grace, power, strength and pure beauty are really inspiring to me.  When I heard I had the chance to see this show with my family I was ecstatic.

I went in thinking the show would be, of course, a horse show (and it is!) but also SO much more. The performers interact with the horses in various acts that run the gamut. Some are exciting and fast, doing simply unbelievable acrobatics, and then some acts were beautiful and soft.

It was breathtaking to watch one trainer lead nine horses in choreographed formations around the arena with no leads or bridles.  Just gentle commands and a lot of praise.  Their connection to these horses (which have to train as long as SIX years to be in this production!) is seriously awe-inspiring and their true gratitude and love for these majestic animals really shines through.

Click here for some direct links to actual footage of the show for a preview of the magic…

horseacro

Photo credit: Odysseo

We took my son and a friend, who are both 6, and they REALLY loved it.  There was a mix of equestrian, aerial artists in rings and silks (my son’s favorite part of the show), acrobats and more. We were mesmerized for the entire show.

The run time start to finish was about 2 1/2 hours, which included a 30 minute intermission. The Big White top is surprisingly comfortable and climate-controlled – we were told it costs $10,000 to cool or heat the tent for each production.  Parking was super easy and organized and they have plenty of food, snacks (hello Dipping Dots?!) , beer and wine for sale inside the tent.

Here are the boys practicing their horse acrobatic skills…future performers maybe?!  This cracks me up 🙂

acrobat boys

Odysseo Orange County was able to extend their run of the show due to an overwhelming response in ticket sales. Shows run Tuesday through Sundays now  through. March 13th. Click here to find the calendar of show dates  and to purchase tickets.

  odysseo collage

Has anyone else been able to see this amazing show? Please comment below! Thank you Odysseo for a truly memorable experience.

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Bubblefest XIX at Discovery Cube OC

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Our family was lucky enough to be invited to attend Bubblefest 2015 at Discovery Cube complimentary to share our experience with you. 
Bubblefest 2015

What an event!  I am excited to share about my family’s experience at Discovery Cube OC’s Bubblefest XIX – their amazing annual spring bubble extravaganza that features everything bubbles, now through April 12th, 2015.

Not only do bubbles bring total delight to kids of all ages, I found that my kiddos were actually learning about some of the science behind bubbles (which was an added bonus)!

There are lots of bubble events and activities to see and do. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect…

The Mega Bubblefest Laser Show

This is a must-see show!  We found it to be the highlight of the event.  Get ready to be blown away with the “Bubble Scientist,” Deni Yang, and his world-famous “Mega Bubble Show!”  We learned that Deni travels all over the world performing his bubble show, and actually holds two World Records in bubble-making.  Pretty cool.

My hubby and I were secretly wondering just how many different bubble tricks could really take place in 45 minutes – and let me tell you – A LOT.  It seemed like parents and kids alike were all oohing and ahhing over the bubbles, lasers, music, lights, and special effects – a professional show worthy of any family-friendly Las Vegas spectacle.  It featured exciting tricks like smoking bubbles, spinning bubbles, bouncing bubbles, human-sized bubbles, and more.

Mega Bubblefest Laser Show_2

My favorite bubble sequence was when Deni crated an underwater bubble and laser masterpiece, where the audience really felt like they were floating and swimming in bubbles under the sea.

My kids loved the “snow” show where thousands of bubbles were released, making it appear as though we were playing in the snow.  You could hear squeals of pure delight and giggling from all areas in the theater.

Speaking of the theater, it is a newly renovated 10,000 sq. ft. gorgeous venue space that is a first-of-its-kind in the museum world, with the ability to transform from a world-class exhibit hall to a 500 seat theater.

Mega Bubblefest Laser Show Times:

9:30 a.m.*, 11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 3:30 p.m.

*Member show – Members, get your tickets for the 9:30 am show for just $4!

Check Out These Fun Outside Attractions

Bubble Spheres

You can climb inside a giant bubble sphere and see what happens if you try to walk, crawl, sit, or lay down. My little Nathan was in heaven!

Bubble Spheres

“Me” In A Bubble

‘POP’ a pose inside a giant bubble and have your photo taken – the kids thought this was hilarious.

Me in a Bubble

Hexagon Bubbles

Kids can practice making different shaped bubbles with this interactive exhibit.

Giant Bubble Making

Bubble Wall

You can learn how heat and dryness affect bubbles and try to put your hand through a bubble wall without it popping.

CO2 Chamber

Kiddos can blow bubbles through a chamber of carbon dioxide and see if their bubble floats or sinks through the CO2. Keep an eye on the bubble to see if any changes occur!

Flow Patterns

You can learn about fluid dynamics and flow patterns by placing different types of objects in flowing water. Try turning the objects and using different angles to see how the flow patterns change.

Cube Jr. 5 & Under Bubble Zone

Bubble enthusiasts can create giant bubbles and learn colors and shapes in this 5 & under Bubble Zone. Perfect for littles.

Food Options

A variety of yummy food trucks will be available daily during Bubblefest for breakfast and lunch. Additionally, 5% of all food truck purchases will be donated to the Cube!

The Details:

Bubblefest is an additional charge of $5 for members and $7 for non-members on top of general admission to Discovery Cube OC.  General admission prices are as follows: adult ($16.95), senior ($12.95), and children 3-14 ($12.95).

Children 2 & under do not need a Bubblefest ticket, however they must sit on an adult’s lap during the Mega Bubblefest Laser Show. Any child that requires their own seat must have a Bubblefest ticket.

Your Bubblefest admission fee will cover the Mega Bubblefest Laser Show, water spheres, and all outdoor activities.

Need Directions?

Discovery Cube Orange County
2500 N. Main Street
Santa Ana, CA  92705

For directions and parking information, click here.

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Halloween Fun at Knott’s Berry Farm

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Disclosure: Expedia partnered with us to present this Halloween travel adventure. Visit their Viewfinder travel blog for more insider tips and tricks. 

During the month of October, Knott’s Berry Farm transforms the park into what is probably the most well-known Halloween events in all of Southern California ~ Knott’s Scary Farm.  But what many might NOT know, is Knott’s Berry Farm also hosts an equally NOT so scary Halloween event for kids 3 – 11 on weekends in October when the popular kids’ area, Camp Snoopy is transformed into Camp Spooky.

Last weekend we had the opportunity (compliments of Expedia) to visit Camp Spooky and report back with our experience and tips on how to get the most out of your visit.

Camp Spooky 

This daytime family event happens every weekend in October and on Halloween Day from 10am – 5:30pm and Camp Spooky attractions and activities are included with your general admission.

If you take advantage of their 3-Day Advance Ticket Purchase for a one day admission ticket, you can purchase an adult ticket for only $39 (kids 3 – 11 are $35.) So for a family of 4, our one day ticket total was roughly $155.  A great deal in my opinion!

Geared towards kids ages 3 – 11, your little ghosts and goblins (or in my case matching marathon runners) can dress up in their costumes and enjoy Halloween festivities like a Mini Monster Maze, Peanuts costume parade, “The Monsters are Coming Charlie Brown” show on the Camp Snoopy Theatre, and a Potion Parlour where little ones can make their own magic potions.

Halloween Fun at Camp Spooky 

When you first walk into Camp Spooky, immediately to the right past the Woodstock’s Airmail Ride, you can find the Monster Mini Maze, a cute little maze full of fun photo opps and a little trick-or-treat candy station at the end.

Monster Mini Maze

At the main stage, the Camp Snoopy Theatre puts on a very cute musical show at various times thoughout the day full of Halloween-themed songs like Ghostbusters (dare you to not have that stuck in your head all day) and Weird Science. It was nice to take a break and sit in the shade to watch your favorite Peanuts characters sing and dance.

camp snoopy theatre

One of my kids’ favorite Camp Spooky activity was the super darling “Potion Parlour” located inside the Grizzly Creek Lodge restaurant.  For $2 / potion, kids are given a little bottle and directed downstairs to create their magic concoction.

Camp Spooky employees are there to help assist with the potion making, which included choosing from a variety of mixtures (Kool-Aid and Sierra Mist?!) to create their color potion of choice. Kids could pick their potion name from choices like “Bug Me Not”.

My little one felt the need to display her magic potion’s power by putting it on her runner’s vision.

Potion Parlour

Knott’s Berry Farm Rides for Kids 

One of the things I love most about taking my kids to Knott’s Berry Farm is the wide variety of rides available, especially for little ones.

Camp Snoopy rides cater to wee ones, with prime ages for in that area being around 2 – 7, however even my 8 year old had fun on some of the rides. And so did we! The area is fairly small, so it is the perfect place to take toddlers and young kids without having to do a lot of walking.

BUT, there are also a lot of rides for older kids. It’s nice the park map is easily marked with ride codes based on “thrill factor” so you know what you are getting into.  We were able to take my oldest on mid-sized roller coasters and of course, our favorite, the Log Ride.

KnottsRides

Knott’s Berry Farm Camp Spooky Tips 

1. Have your kids wear their costume. It’s a great excuse to get an extra wear out of it – plus makes the experience feel more festive.

2. Keep your eye out for the Mini Monster Maze. It’s easy to miss but can be found right in front of the Camp Snoopy Theatre to the right when walking in.

3. Go early.  The earlier in the day, the less crowded, and we were able to go from ride to ride with little to minimal wait.

4. Check the weather! We have been having CRAZY hot weather this fall in So Cal, so check the forecast and make sure you dress appropriately.  The day we went it was 95 degrees, so we even brought a little spray bottle to mist ourselves while walking around.

5. Check show times when you arrive.  Plan to attend a show somewhere in the middle of the day when you could all use a little rest, and arrive at least 10 minutes early to get a good seat in the shade.

6. Buy your tickets online at least 3+ days in advance. This saves a LOT of money!

7. Bring a stroller if you have kids 5 or under.  My girls are 5 and 8 and we even brought a jogger, even though they are far beyond stroller age.  I like bringing a stroller to a theme park. It’s a good place to store extra stuff, and when the kids get tired, it’s nice to stick them in it to get from Point A to Point B much faster!

stroller Knott’s is Great for Kids! 

Knott’s Berry Farm really is a great place to take kids of all ages. I love the ease of it. Parking is easy (no shuttles), and it was not very crowded. Even the Log Ride, which is a main attraction was only about a 15 minute wait.

Camp Snoopy rides were all 5 minutes or under. It’s so nice to not have little ones wait in long lines.

I hope this has been helpful if you plan to take your children to Knott’s Berry Farm to experience Camp Spooky. I guarantee it will be a not-so-scary fun time!

knotts closer

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Halloween in OC Compliments of Popsicle Blog

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Halloween Events in OC 2014

Our friends over at PopsicleBlog.com have put together a list of 60 Halloween Events in OC 2014 for families which is so spooktacular I had to share.

Putting together a list like that for local Orange County parents is not easy. I know firsthand just how long it must have taken her to put together that list. We are talking HOURS and HOURS.

So, for that, we all say THANK YOU Jill!

Click here to visit Sandy Toes & Popsicles 60 Orange County Halloween Events for Kids and Families.

And Happy October everyone!

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