Winter Fest Returns to Orange County on December 21st!

Orange County’s biggest winter tradition is returning! Winter Fest at the OC Fair & Event Center will run from December 21st, 2017 through January 7th, 2018 – giving families more time in the new year to enjoy the wide variety of wintry activities offered at Winter Fest OC!

[Read more…]

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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Spicy Pork “Barba-Cola” Tamales with La Morena Chipotle Peppers and Coca-Cola

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MejoresRecetas #CollectiveBias

When I think of the Holidays here in Southern California, I think of a few things – actually getting to wear boots and sweaters for a few weeks, extravagant tree-lighting ceremonies, and an abundance of delicious tamales.

Pork Barba-cola tamales

Tamales are known as a very labor-intensive food item. From slowly cooking the filling meat to a tender perfection, to hand kneading the masa dough and letting it rest, to carefully wrapping the tasty little packages in corn husks, there is a lot of work and a lot of love that goes into making them. That’s why it’s such a wonderful gift to receive when someone gives you a batch of tamales. You know that a lot of time and energy went into making them.

Traditionally, tamales are usually made on Christmas Eve, with the tamale-prep going late into the night, and the finished product finally being ready to eat on Christmas Day. The filling for these tamales are slow-cooked over night in the crock pot, and with the filling made ahead of time, I like to invite a few friends over to help with the assembly. It goes much faster, and everyone is happy because the end result is delicious tamales!

El Super Entrance

To make these, I first headed to El Super in Santa Ana to get my ingredients. [Read more…]

Santa is Coming to Irvine Park Railroad! (Giveaway)

The giveaway at the bottom of this post is provided by and will be fulfilled by Irvine Park Railroad. SoCal Locale is responsible for winner selection. Read more to find out how to enter to win an Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train prize package valued at $93.00! (All photos courtesy of Irvine Park Railroad)

Christmas Train (1)

Christmastime is magical at Irvine Park Railroad! Starting nightly, November 27th through December 23rd, your favorite local railway transforms into a holiday wonderland!

Santa and Mrs. Claus

During this time, the train runs a little differently than normal. Instead of the usual round trip around the park, the Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train makes a special stop at the North Pole! (Regular train rides are available from 10:00am to 4:00pm.)

Santa on State

Tickets for the train ride must be purchased online in advance. Tickets are only valid on the day and time selected, so plan accordingly. Times begin at 4:00pm. Some days have already sold out. You can buy your Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train tickets here. (Note: If, after 4:00pm, all tickets have not sold out for the day, you may purchase the unsold tickets in person.)

Having Fun in the Coloring Corner

The Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train is a very popular Orange County event. They recommend arriving as early as possible to ensure you don’t miss your ticket time. There are a variety of free activities for families to enjoy while waiting to board the train, such as the Christmas Coloring Corner, Story Time with Mrs. Claus, and Frosty’s Maze.

Carnival Games

There are also games, ice fishing, bounce houses, and cookie decorating activities that cost one activity ticket per person. Every child who plays a game wins, so no one walks away empty-handed.

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While you’re at Irvine Park Railroad, visit the Christmas Tree Ranch and take home your perfect Christmas Tree. The Christmas Tree Ranch offers three types of Christmas Trees; Douglas Fir, Noble Fir, and Grand Fir, with prices ranging from $40 to $150.

Santa Sitting on the Train

Santa is excited to see everyone at Irvine Park Railroad this Christmas season! For more info and ticket sales, be sure to visit the Irvine Park Railroad website. And don’t forget to enter below for a chance to win an Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train prize package! The prize includes:

  • 4 Christmas Train Tickets
  • 4 Activity Tickets
  •  1 Wheel Fun Rentals at Irvine Park Bike Rental (excludes the double surrey)

Good Luck!

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