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?

 

 

Winter Fest Freebies at The Triangle in Costa Mesa!

Are you planning on going to Winter Fest? The Triangle has some fun freebies to make an exciting day out even more fun!

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Before or after your visit to the snowy fun, show your same-day Winter Fest tickets at the following spots in The Triangle for your freebies!

  • Creamistry: ticket holders can receive 10% off an ice cream order, or one free topping.
  • H2O Sushi & Izakaya: one complimentary appetizer per party, with a purchase of $20 or more.
  • La Vida Cantina: enjoy one complimentary appetizer or dessert per table, excluding seafood appetizers.
  • Saddle Ranch Chop House: ticket holders can receive one complimentary Cotton Candy Tower dessert and a complimentary bull ride with any purchase (one each per table)
  • Tavern + Bowl: receive a free shoe rental and/or a complimentary appetizer with the purchase of an entrée when you show same-day Winter Fest tickets

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The Triangle is located in the heart of Costa Mesa, just moments from the OC Fair & Events Center. The 200,000 square foot lifestyle center offers popular dining, entertainment and services, including a convenient car wash on the first level of the parking structure. The Triangle is conveniently located at the end of the 55 Freeway, where Newport Blvd., Harbor Blvd. and 19th Street intersect. The center offers seven levels of free parking, as well as a Valet on the first level near Tavern + Bowl. For more information on The Triangle, follow them on Facebook or visit their website!

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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.

 

Get Your Sugar Rush at the OC Fair & Event Center Dec 5-6

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Need a little sweetness in your life? Big Bite Events has just the thing for you. Coming down with the recent success of their Big Bite Bacon Fest in Long Beach, they’ve announced their newest concept in “foodtainment,” Sugar Rush.

Sugar Rush is a one-of-a kind combination dessert showcase and sweet market experience. Festivalgoers will also enjoy chef demonstrations, live entertainment, games and crafts for kids. As with all Big Bite Event productions, there will be plenty of fun themed games and entertainment to keep everyone busy!

The event is packed with entertainment, competitions, demonstrations, walk-about tastings, and shopping from dozens of the best pastry chefs and confectioners in Southern California.

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Karina Jimenez of Viva Los Cupcakes is the chef behind an award winning specialty cupcake company which draws inspiration from Mexican regional foods and desserts to create new and unique cupcake flavors like the ‘Tamal con Mole” cupcake. (Pictured above.)

Olivia, owner and founder of Unbaked: A Cookie Dough Bar, makes sweet dreams come true with 100% safe-to-eat edible raw cookie dough.

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In celebration of National Cookie Cutter week, Sugar Rush is inviting both professional confectionary and pastry chefs along with amateur dessert artisans to participate in the Sugar Rush Cookie Competition. This competition will offer everyone a chance to put a favorite family cookie recipe to the ultimate test. There will also be a Sugar Cookie Art Display Competition, which will bring together a cookie, an artist and a cause to battle for the best sugar cookie art display. All entries will be put on display for the festivalgoers to bid on via a silent auction, with 100% of the auction proceeds being donated to a local charity.

Regular tickets are still available and start at $20. VIP tickets for Sugar Rush are also available and include one-hour early admission before general admission guests, a VIP swag bag, chocolate and spirits pairing and access to the VIP Sugar Lounge. The event will open at 11 a.m. for VIP, 12 p.m. for general admission and continue until 5 p.m. daily. The event will be held at the OC Fair & Events Center in Costa Mesa.

 

For more information about this one-of-a-kind sweet experience and to purchase tickets visit www.SugarRushOC.com.

 

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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