Holiday TrainFest & Toy Drive at LA Union Station

Celebrate the spirit of the season while also giving back to the community during the Holiday TrainFest and Toy Drive at Los Angeles Union Station!

The free, family-friendly event will run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m on Saturday, December 16th on Track 14 at Los Angeles Union Station. Attendees are invited to enjoy highlights such as holiday refreshments, a visit from Santa Claus, vintage rail cars, and an 874,346-pound steam locomotive decked out for the holidays.

During the festivities, staff will be on hand to collect donations of new, unwrapped toys in support of Toys for Tots as well as brand new socks that will be donated to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. Last year, at the first Holiday TrainFest more than 1,200 toys were collected during the four-hour event. This year’s event will continue to provide opportunities to brighten spirits and support those in need during the holidays.

This year’s Holiday TrainFest will feature:

  • The historic Santa Fe 3751 steam locomotive for attendees to get up close and personal with;
  • Vintage rail cars from the 1940s and 1950s decorated for the holidays for guests to tour;
  • Amtrak® and Metrolink train cars to explore;
  • Holiday refreshments, including hot cocoa and cookies;
  • Local police, and firefighters with a vintage 1930s-era fire engine;
  • Holiday music;
  • And of course, Santa Claus!

Arrive to the event in style by train from points throughout southern California, including Orange County, Ventura County, San Bernardino and the Antelope Valley using Amtrak Pacific Surfliner or Metrolink service. Visit PacificSurfliner.com or MetrolinkTrains.com for additional information, including schedules and fares.

For more information about the Holiday TrainFest and Toy Drive at Los Angeles Union Station, visit PacificSurfliner.com/TrainFest.

Home for the Holidays Pet Adoption Fair

The City of Irvine Animal Care Center will host its 11th annual Home for the Holidays pet adoption fair from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10. More than 30 pet rescue groups and animal shelters will bring about 600 homeless dogs, cats, rabbits and small animals for adoption.

Over the past decade, more than 2,300 pets have found homes through this event. Home for the Holidays also features dozens of pet-related vendors, gourmet food trucks, a silent auction, low-cost microchipping and an opportunity drawing. Each animal available for adoption is spayed or neutered, microchipped and evaluated by a veterinarian. Cats and dogs are vaccinated appropriate to age.

Suggested donation for the event is $2 per person or $5 per family. Parking is free.

Visit cityofirvine.org/animals to see a list of participating rescues, shelters, vendors and food trucks.

Frozen Themed Holiday Event

On Saturday, December 9th between 12-2pm, little ones (and their parents) are invited to come by Plaza Antonio to do a “meet and greet” with the snow princesses from Frozen and take a printable photo with Santa!

There will be balloon art, face painting, a kid-friendly DJ spinning holiday music, a photo booth, giveaways, and more! Children will be able to take photos with Santa and receive a special treat.

Pure Barre Santa Margarita will hold a magical wand making station, Starbucks will be featuring the “Frozen Frappucino” – an exclusive for the event, Sherwin-Williams will be offering 30% off paints & stains during the event, and  The Lil’ Dickens Carolers will also be roaming the center to spread the sounds of holiday cheer!

For more information and to RSVP, visit the event page.

Kat Meoz “Christmas In Hollywood” Video Premiere with LA Radio Legend Rodney on the Rocks

LA garage rocker Kat Meoz recently released the video for the song “Christmas In Hollywood.” The song is featured on Rodney Bingenheimer’s “Santa’s Got a GTO, Vol. 2” holiday compilation, and Rodney himself makes a cameo in the video. [Read more…]

Santa Gets High-Tech at Santa HQ

In partnership with HGTV, three SoCal shopping centers are hosting an interactive Christmas experience – Santa HQ. We were invited to check out the big guy’s arrival at Lakewood Center and enjoy some fun activities and a free photo package.

Santa HQ adds a special twist to your typical mall Santa. In the digital era we live in, it’s only natural that Santa gets an upgrade too! The interactive experience is fun for the whole family, and keeps the kids engaged and in awe while they wait for their turn with the big guy. [Read more…]

Brighten Your Holiday with Magic of Lights in Fontana!

(This post is being shared on behalf of our partnership with US Family Guide.)

During the 2017 holiday season, the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana will transform into a holiday spectacle!

[Read more…]

Have a High-tech Holiday with Santa HQ at Los Cerritos Center

Disclaimer: We were invited to check out the Santa HQ Welcome Party, a free event open to the public. We did receive a complimentary photo with the big guy as a thank you. No other compensation was received, and all thoughts and opinions are the author’s.

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Los Cerritos Center is bringing a special twist to your typical mall Santa. Everything is upgraded these days, why can’t Santa’s HQ be too? [Read more…]

Winter Fest is Coming to the OC Fair & Event Center

Winter is coming to the OC Fair & Event Center! Absolute Event Solutions (AES) is bringing something new and different to the OC with an all-new holiday spectacular, Winter Fest. The inaugural event will be a whimsical winter wonderland for Southern California residents that features unlimited ice tubing, the world’s largest walk-through ornament, festive entertainment, ice skating, VIP rink-side cabanas, live reindeer, a nightly Christmas tree lighting ceremony with snowfall, seasonal-themed eateries, libations, a carnival and much more.

Winter Fest will begin each morning with a snow-capped opening moment led by resident master magician, Jimmy H.  The fun and entertaining Chainsaw Chicks will also be at Winter Fest, carving out fantastic ice sculptures while engaging the crowd with their unbridled charm. Additional live entertainment includes local bands, strolling carolers, and performances by community organizations from around Orange County.

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Worried about the weather? Many of the Winter Fest attractions are inside buildings throughout the fairgrounds, so they can be enjoyed even in the rain!

In the Winter Fest Promenade, enjoy a variety of food and beverage options in a holiday atmosphere. Family-friendly dining will also be available in the Slippery Slope Ski Lodge (known as Baja Blues Restaurant during the OC Fair), featuring a ski-lodge vibe with holiday-themed cuisine and drinks, mountain décor, nightly live entertainment, and staff decked out in ski gear.

At the end of the Winter Fest Promenade stands a 30-foot Christmas tree, where you can gather around sundown at 5:30 p.m. for a heartwarming tree lighting ceremony with snowfall. Near the beautiful Christmas tree will be two of Santa’s reindeer, available for viewing and feeding!

Adults will love the Mistletoe Lounge, which will be offering holiday-themed cocktails, international craft beers, and comfortable seating amid the holiday décor and entertainment of the Winter Fest Promenade.

Tickets for Winter Fest for Monday through Friday start at only $10 online, $15 onsite for children age 4 – 11, and $20 online, $25 onsite for adults. Ticket Prices Saturday and Sunday are $15 online, $20 onsite for children age 4 – 11, and $25 online, $30 onsite for adults.  Children 3 and under are free.  Purchasing tickets online is highly encouraged to not only save money but also ensure the desired event date is not sold out.

Ticket prices include admission to event, plus the following activities:

  • Unlimited ice tubing down Snowflake Summit
  • One complimentary carnival ride
  • One complimentary carnival game
  • Entry to bounce houses for kids
  • Reindeer viewing and feeding
  • Access to the world’s largest walk-through ornament
  • Nightly Christmas tree lighting ceremony with snowfall
  • Craft making and games for kids
  • Daily & nightly entertainment

Not included in admission, but available to purchase onsite for $15 per person, is access to the 6,000 square foot ice skating rink inside the Hangar building! Beloved holiday films will be projected onto a theater-sized screen in the background of the rink for skaters to enjoy as they glide across the ice. Santa has even transported several sleighs from his collection to the Hangar building, and they will be on display for the first time ever at Winter Fest.

Elegant rink-side VIP cabanas will also be available for only $99 per session while they last, and accommodate 2 – 10 people but can adapt to fit parties of up to 100. The VIP cabanas offer exclusive menus with seasonally inspired food, cocktails, a private ice rink entrance and private servers. VIP cabanas are perfect for groups, parties, or a date with a loved one.

Can’t get enough winter fun? Adult season passes for unlimited admission into to all 17 days and nights of Winter Fest are available for $45 advance and online (limited supply); children’s season passes (ages 4-11) are available for $25 advance and online (limited supply).

For more information on Winter Fest and to purchase tickets, visit www.WinterFestOC.com.

 

Holidays are Jolly at Aquarium of the Pacific Holiday Treats Festival

The Aquarium of the Pacific has another great event coming up this weekend! The animals at the aquarium get to celebrate Christmas early as Santa dons a SCUBA suit to drop off treats for everyone! Santa will be visiting penguins, sea otters, seals, sea lions, birds, fish, and even swimming with sharks this weekend, December 5th and 6th at the Holiday Treats festival!

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The animals are not the only ones celebrating, though! Families in attendance can meet and greet penguins up close, see Santa Diver in action, and take photos with Santa in his traditional attire as well as with some holiday costumed characters.

snow angels

The festival will also feature Hanukkah storytelling and dreidel activities, holiday music, crafts, shopping, gingerbread house displays and more! To top it all off, snow will fall in the Aquarium’s Great Hall and guests can enjoy a snow play area on the front lawn (weather dependent).

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The Aquarium Holidays celebration will continue through December 24 with snow falls in the Great Hall, Santa Diver, and character appearances daily and music, penguin walks, visits from Santa, and the snow play area on weekends

For program times, head over to the Aquarium Holidays website.

The Holiday Treats Festival is open Saturday through Sunday, December 5th and 6th, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and is included in regular admission prices. Admission is $28.95 for adults (12+), $25.95 for seniors (62+), and $14.95 for children (3-11). Admission is free for children under 3 and aquarium members.

Don’t forget to show THIS FLYER for a free child admission with a paid adult!

For more information, directions, and tickets, visit the Aquarium of the Pacific website.

(All photos courtesy of the Aquarium of the Pacific)

Holiday Time at the New Outlets at San Clemente

Have you been to the new Outlets at San Clemente?

The Outlets at San Clemente is the first and only ocean-facing outdoor outlet shopping and dining destination in Orange County.

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The center is currently open, though they are still adding new shops and dining locations. Upon completion, the center will boast nearly 70 retailers and more than a dozen dining options, including four restaurants offering scenic ocean views.

Outlets Map

We stopped by The Outlets at San Clemente and were delighted to see how they were decked out for the holidays. The Christmas tree is stunning, and we found Santa and Mrs. Claus sitting at the bottom of it. They’ll be available to meet and take photographs with starting on Black Friday.

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We also spotted Santa’s reindeer, waving and jingling from above some of the stores. The attention to detail in the decor at the Outlets at San Clemente is just outstanding.

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Many of the shops in the Outlets at San Clemente are already open! You can find great deals at some of your favorite high-end retailers such as Calvin Klein, Cole Haan, Columbia Sportswear, GUESS, Tommy Hilfiger, Nike, and more.

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If you have some free time this week and want to beat the Holiday shopping rush, you’ll find the Outlets at San Clemente to be a beautiful and relaxing place to shop. Most of the stores already have their sales started.

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Fresh air, beautiful decor, scenic views, and a relaxed shopping environment that is great for the whole family. What more can you ask for? Oh yeah, dogs are welcome at the Outlets at San Clemente too!

Keep updated on the various holiday events and new shops and dining options opening at the Outlets at San Clemente by following them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Happy Shopping!

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