The 10 Scariest Haunts in Southern California

If Horror is your thing, Southern California is a great place to get your scare on. With a variety of haunts that go from skipping a beat, to stopping your heart completely, SoCal has something for everyone. We’ve listed our favorite haunts in order of slight fright, to unescapable terror. Do you dare visit one of our Top 10 Scariest Haunts in Southern California?

Top 10 Scariest Southern California Haunts [Read more…]

Orange County’s First Paella Festival Is Almost Here!

We’re partnering with the Paella Wine & Beer Festival to giveaway two tickets to their OC debut! Read more to find out about the festival and how to enter for a chance to win admission for two – a $200 value.

Orange County’s first ever Paella Wine & Beer Festival is coming to the Orange County Fair and Event Center THIS Saturday, August 26, 2017 from 4-9 p.m.

Photo Courtesy of the Paella Wine & Beer Festival

The Paella Wine & Beer Festival is a series of one-day events celebrating Hispanic culture and Spanish cuisine held in Southern California, with separate events taking place in Los Angeles, San Diego and starting this year, Orange County.

The San Diego and Orange County festivals serve as the semi-final competitions for the 57th annual World Paella Championship, which will take place in Sueca, Valenciana, Spain, on September 10, 2017. Nearly 50 local chefs will compete with their own paella recipes for the chance to represent the United States at the World Paella Championship.

Chef Leo Razo of Villa Roma in Laguna Niguel will attempt to set a record during the event with the largest paella ever made in the United States – enough to feed 3,000 people!

Entry to the 2017 Orange County Paella Wine & Beer Festival includes unlimited wine, beer and paella for the entire event!

Attendees will be able to drink and eat to their heart’s delight and enjoy an experience reflecting what one would find while strolling through a lively outdoor market in Spain. There will be live entertainment including Flamenco performances and Spanish rock, and local vendors will offer tapas, sangrias, cocktails, cultural art, and much more.

For more information on the event visit paellawinefest.com. Enter the giveaway below for a chance to win two tickets to this weekend’s event!

GIVEAWAY

Use the form below to enter for a chance to win two tickets to the 2017 Orange County Paella Wine & Beer Festival.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will be chosen at 9pm PST, Friday night, August 25th 2017, and will be contacted immediately upon being chosen. Winner will be provided with two promotional codes to be redeemed for their free tickets on the ticketing website. Must be 21 or older to enter and a resident of Southern California. Transportation and lodging are not included.

The World Fabulous Drag Brunch at House of Blues Anaheim

The new House of Blues Anaheim kicked off a new monthly event this summer featuring wild entertainment, mimosas and an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet. The World Fabulous Drag Brunch is held on the first Saturday of each month and is hosted by the always fantastic Willam Belli – actress, author, YouTuber and former RuPaul’s Drag Racer.

(FTC Disclosure: SoCal Locale attended the World Fabulous Drag Brunch with a complimentary ticket to facilitate our post. No other compensation was received.)

The hot and hilarious new show features performances from Willam as well as several other amazing ladies – and the occasional gentlemen. The World Fabulous Drag Brunch brings your favorite drag stars up close and personal while you enjoy the one of the biggest and best brunch food selections in Orange County!

The amazing House of Blues brunch buffet includes tons of Southern-inspired favorites including jambalaya, jalapeno-cheese cornbread, collard greens, a prime rib carving station, and chicken and waffles as well as brunch classics like french toast, smoked bacon, fresh fruit, homemade pastries, and more!

Food and non-alcoholic drinks are included with admission, and you can buy a World Fabulous Mimosa Bucket for just $25, with enough champagne and juice to share with a friend or two if you’re feeling generous!

Willam (and friends) will delight and entertain you with music, moves and a dose of comedy. The World Fabulous Drag Brunch is perfect for a wild Saturday morning with friends and special celebrations that call for a dash of glitz.  Get your tickets at houseofblues.com/anaheim!

The World Fabulous Drag Brunch

1st Saturday of the month

The NEW House of Blues Anaheim (at GardenWalk)

400 West Disney Way, Suite 337, Anaheim, CA

Tickets: $45

Parking: 2 hours free with validation

Flowerchild Family Music & Arts Festival Debuts at OC Great Park

Flowerchild Family Arts & Music Festival is making its debut at Orange County Great Park on September 17th, 2017!

The Flowerchild Family Arts & Music Festival, presented by Munchkin, Focuses on pregnancy and family life, blending music, art, and all-ages entertainment and activities. Attendees can discover the newest trends in popular baby brands, participate in a variety of engaging activities for children in the outdoor Munchkin Activity Village, and enjoy an indoor vendor-filled shopping village, as well as live music, and more!

Tickets for the festival are $10 per person (children 12 months and younger are free), and include all of the activities listed below and more!

  • Mommy & Daddy #TreatYourself area with chiropractic, massage, mom mini makeovers, nail color change, boho braids, and more…
  • Live music performances throughout the day, and special performances by princesses and fairies!
  • Facepainting presented by Charles Schwab!
  • Magical sparkling crafts and coloring for children!
  • PhotoBooth tent with custom backdrops and award winning photographers specializing in newborn, child and family photography. Get your photo taken with a princes, mermaid or fairy!
  • Multiple play areas where your children can get a workout learning how to tumble, build, craft and play with MyGym, Munchkin, Pretend City, Imaginarium and more!
  • Princess Story time with classic stories read by Tinker Princess, Mermaid princess, Flower Fairy and more.
  • Family Yoga with Kind Karma Family Yoga.
  • Educational booths with access to some of the region’s best educators and doulas to answer questions about birth, breastfeeding, babywearing, postpartum care, and more.
  • Nursing Lounge to enjoy breastfeeding in private with complimentary water and products from Lansinoh and Milk Makers.
  • Outdoor Explore Area with outdoor crafts and STEM activities for children.

There will be a food truck and concessions available on site, as well as multiple food vendors nearby at the Great Park Farmer’s Market. Attendees are encouraged to pack snacks, a lunch, and drinks and eat picnic style in the beautiful Great Park!

Plus, the first 100 families (with purchase of festival tickets) will receive a free gift bag filled with amazing goodies and freebies valued at over $100! (Gift bag sponsors include Pretend City, Munchkin, Luv2Nosh, MAM, Lansinoh, Lollaland, Wee Likely, Luna Grill, Corner Bakery, Aquarium of the Pacific, Stuck On You, and more!)

Don’t forget to bring it with your best boho style! Prizes will be awarded throughout the day for the best-dressed flower children!

Tickets can be purchased at flowerchildfestival.org, and 10% of proceeds will benefit MOMS Orange County. Parking for the event is free!

Flowerchild Family Arts & Music Festival

Orange County Great Park, Irvine, California

September 17th, 2017

10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Parking: Free

Admission: $10 per person (12 months and under free)


The Summer Movie Express is Back at Kaleidoscope in Mission Viejo!

Most South County schools are out for the summer, and many parents are looking for ways to keep their kids busy, stay cool, and save money. Thankfully, the annual Summer Movie Express at Kaleidoscope’s Edwards Stadium 10 in Mission Viejo is back!

The summer-long series features second-run family movies, rated G or PG, for only $1 admission per person. Movies are shown on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10am from June 20 through August 16.

This year’s featured movies include:

  • Kung Fu Panda 3
  • Ice Age: Collision Course
  • Trolls
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
  • Monster Trucks
  • Penguins of Madagascar
  • Rio 2
  • The Boxtrolls
  • The Secret Life of Pets
  • Sing
  • Happy Feet 2
  • Cats & Dogs 2: The Revenge of Kitty Galore
  • The Lego Batman Movie
  • and more!

Tickets are available for purchase at the box office and all movies start at 10am. Each week, two movies will be shown on both days. A portion of the proceeds from the Summer Movie Express goes to the Will Rogers Institute.

For a full list of featured movies, and info on other participating theaters, click here!

Imaginology returns to OC Fair & Event Center April 21st!

It’s that time of year again! Families, students, and fun-lovers alike will enjoy STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) activities during the FREE Imaginology event at OC Fair & Event Center this Friday through Sunday, April 21-23.

Imaginology is where curious people of any age can discover opportunities to fuel their imaginations with a variety of “makeshops” and workshops. Imaginology attendees are encouraged to explore and learn through hands-on experiences and exhibits ranging from woodworking to crocheting, prehistoric pets to futuristic robotics, and tech play to farming.

This exciting, three-day exploration celebration is open Friday April 21st from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, April 22nd and 23rd, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free and many of the hands-on activities are included. Parking is free on Friday, and $8 on Saturday and Sunday.

There’s so much to explore during this fun and educational weekend! Here’s what you can find at Imaginology:

Creative learning: Students can participate in activities including sun prints, clay sculpting, sewing, tech play, cardboard building projects, crocheting and more. Local professionals and Imaginology staff lead the demonstrations and all necessary equipment and supplies are provided. Participants can take home the crafts and artwork they create.

Free family group contests: Family members and friends can team up at Imaginology to compete in onsite contests to decorate the best sawhorse or scarecrow. There are awards and prize money. It’s free to enter and basic materials (sawhorse, scarecrow, clothing and some decorations) will be provided but teams are encouraged to bring their own decorations to make their entry unique.

Games and activities: Enjoy interactive and innovative activities that make learning math exciting, interesting and fun. Families and students can try cool games and get involved in activities such as Blockopolis, Ice Caves, Conic Connections, Code Breaker and Math & Golf.

Centennial Farm: Guests can check out animals and crops on the three-acre working farm and enjoy free tractor rides, an oxen exhibit, blacksmithing, sheep-shearing demonstrations, radish-seed planting, cow milking and the OC Beekeepers exhibit.

4-H competitions: Local youth are judged on their abilities to raise small livestock, their understanding of animal and veterinary sciences and their projects on community service, aerospace, electricity and more.

Vital Link STEM + the Arts Career Showcase: Vital Link provides resources to help students discover and consider professional careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) with exciting competitive displays, workshops and competitions.

More free activities: Exhibitors will offer things to do and see including Wild Science Activity Area, Adventureland kids’ area and family-friendly entertainment.

For more information, visit http://www.ocfair.com/steam/ or head over to the OC Fair & Event Center to see for yourself!

Sabroso: Craft Beer, Tacos, Music, and More! Tickets on Sale Now

The Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco & Music Festival is back for its 4th year, and this time they’re heading to the beach!

The ultimate taco and craft beer celebration, presented by KLOS and powered by Gringo Bandito, is proud to announce an all-new location at the scenic Doheny State Beach in Dana Point on Saturday, April 8th, 2017.

This year’s music lineup will be headlined by Orange County-based, multi-platinum rock band The Offspring, along with performances from Sum 41, Rival Sons, Lit, and Unwritten Law, as well as the world’s first and only heavy metal mariachi band, Metalachi. There will also be roving mariachi band performances throughout the festival.

During the festival, taco lovers can indulge themselves in $3 gourmet tacos from top local chefs and restaurants, who are competing for the coveted Sabroso “People’s Choice” awards. Attendees can select their favorite via a Text-To-Vote system during the event. There is also a “Best Of Show” award, chosen by a panel of highly acclaimed and pre-selected food judges.

The 2017 Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco & Music Festival will feature renowned craft breweries including Bottle Logic, Bootleggers, Riip Brewing, Pizza Port, TAPS Fish House and Brewery, Stereo Brewing, Fall Brewing, Barley Forge, Ritual Brewing, Modern Times, Artifex Brewing and more.

If music, beer, tacos, and the beach aren’t enough, attendees will also be entertained by lucha libre style wrestlers like Red Spider, La Golosa, Lady Lee and Mariachi Loco, who will take to the ring for four action packed qualifying matches, followed by a championship match.

Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco & Music Festival will run from 1:00 PM – 9:00 PM on Saturday, April 8. VIP entry begins at noon, to include an extra hour of complimentary exclusive tastings in the VIP lounge. The festival is only open to attendees 21 and older.

For more info and tickets, head to www.SabrosoTacoFest.com!

How to Get the Most Fun for Your Money at the OC Fair! (Giveaway!)

The OC Fair is coming up in just a couple of weeks and it’s no secret that this is one of my absolute favorite things to do every Summer with my family. We haven’t missed a year since we started going when my oldest was little! I usually save up a little cash ahead of time so that we can thoroughly enjoy our visit without breaking the bank. You might be surprised at how much FREE and cheap fun the fair can offer! Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post for an awesome giveaway too!

How to Save Money at the OC Fair! [Read more…]

Newport Beach Film Festival is Back!

The Newport Beach Film Festival attracts over 55,000 to the normally quiet beach-front town, but it’s more than just a collection of films. This year is the Newport Beach Film Festival’s 17th year running. Since 1999, the festival has become a premier destination for many of the major film titles on the festival circuit, and has grown exponentially, emerging as one of the largest film festivals on the West Coast and gaining top status on lists from influential magazines such as Variety and MovieMaker.

Photo Credit: Newport Beach Film Festival

Photo Credit: Newport Beach Film Festival

It may sound out of reach for most locals, but the Newport Beach Film Festival prides itself on being accessible to the entire community. Anyone who loves movies is welcome to attend screenings, panels, and even the opening night gala.

Opening night at the Newport Beach Film Festival brings the absolute best in film, food, and fashion together in the center of one of Southern California’s most iconic outdoor shopping destinations – and home of Style Week Orange County – Fashion Island. Featuring dishes from 25 of the top local restaurants, a bar with top shelf brands – such as Tito’s Vodka, Remy Cointreau, and Stella Artois, Opening Night is one that locals look forward to all year long.

NBFF Opening Night

Photo Credit: Newport Beach Film Festival

This year’s lineup includes showcases in the categories of Action Sports; Art, Architecture & Design; Collegiate; Documentaries; Family; Environmental; Music; and Shorts. There are a number of films features from the UK, Europe, and Pacific Rim, as well as a Latino showcase. There is truly something for everyone.

Photo Credit: Newport Beach Film Festival

Photo Credit: Newport Beach Film Festival

For the complete schedule and to purchase tickets to your screening of choice, visit http://www.newportbeachfilmfest.com/.

Everything You Need to Know About Winter Fest 2015

(Disclosure: My family was offered free admission to this event to check it out. We were not required to share our thoughts, but I thought it might be helpful to share our experience with those who are on the fence about going.)

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Winter Fest opened last night, Friday December 18th with mixed reviews. I attended with my family and though at first I wasn’t sure what to expect, as the night unfolded we ended up having a really amazing time. If you’re still on the fence about going, here’s everything you need to know before you decide.

Admission

Tickets are priced different. Monday through Friday adults are $20 and children are $10, when bought online. On Saturday and Sunday the tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children. At the gate all tickets are $5 more.

Save more money by buying your tickets online in advance and use the promo code “REINDEER” for an extra $5 off each ticket.

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Activities

Here is what you get just for the price of admission:

  • Coupon for 1 free ride and 1 free carnival game
  • Unlimited ice tubing at Snow Summit (must be 42″ or taller)
  • Entry to one of two bounce house for kids
  • Reindeer viewing and feeding
  • Nightly Christmas tree lighting (5:30pm)
  • Intermittent snowfall (Check with a staff member for times)
  • A few simple Christmas themed crafts
  • Model train display
  • Photo opps (walk-through ornament, Christmas tree, cut-out photo stands, great decorations)
  • Daily and nightly entertainment throughout the event

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Here is what you have to pay extra for:

  • Unlimited ride wristband ($20 when purchased online)
  • Ride tickets (if you don’t do the wristband)
  • Carnival Games
  • Pictures with Santa
  • Face Painting
  • Caricatures
  • Ice Skating ($15 per person, plus $5 for skate assistance if needed)
  • Snow Summit fast pass ($10)
  • Food and drink

Food

There are limited food options at the event. I counted eight food (not dessert) stands, five or six dessert/snack places and one sit-down restaurant. I am not sure their stance on bringing in your own food and drink, but it might be worth looking into if you’d like to keep the cost down. You can also show your same-day Winter Fest tickets at The Triangle for some awesome freebies, so you might want to consider eating there. More info on that here.

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The types of food I noticed were pizza, chicken wings, chicken fingers, corn dogs, BBQ, tacos/nachos, and rice bowls.

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The sit-down restaurant is a fun ski lodge theme, and a great choice for a family meal.

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Desserts were ice cream, candied nuts, various cookies, cupcakes and cake pops, cotton candy, kettle corn and more.

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Nightly Snowfall

The nightly snowfall is to the left of The Hangar building as you’re facing it, and to the right of the Rice Bowls stand. The snow comes on intermittently throughout the night, and also during the Christmas Tree lighting. Be sure to stand on that side of the tree during the ceremony to be close to the snow.

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Time and Money Spent

I’ve had a lot of people ask me if it’s “worth it” to go. Here’s my time and money breakdown, and I’ll leave it to you to decide the value of a nice night out. Parking is $7 – cash only. For the average-sized family, I would give yourself around four hours to experience the event. It was not crowded on the night we went, but between the carnival rides and games, Snow Summit, reindeer feeding, bounce houses, model trains, crafts, and eating dinner, it took around that much time to experience everything. We could have kept on riding down Snow Summit, but it was getting late. If you buy the discounted online admission for a weeknight, it’s only $40 for two adults and two children over the age of 4. I recommend the unlimited ride wristbands for the kids ($20 each), and if you have a few snacks and drinks there, expect to pay around $120 total for a fun evening with your family. If you decide to ice skate, have some beers, or get a pic with Santa, you’ll have to add a little more to your budget.

Personally, we had the most fun tubing and riding the carnival rides. It felt like a smaller and more intimate version of the fair to me, and I really liked that it wasn’t crowded. For families with very small children I am not sure it would be the best event for you, but if you have kids between 5 and 10 years old, I think you would really enjoy a night (or day) at Winter Fest OC. The biggest complaint I’ve heard was the cost, but I think it’s possible to enjoy the event without spending too much as long as you’re prepared!

 

Does Winter Fest OC sound like something your family will experience this year? Did you already visit? What did you think?