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Family Guide to Knott’s Spooky Farm Weekend Days Through Oct. 29 and Halloween

I was invited as a guest of Knott’s Berry Farm to spend a day in the Park and received media tickets in exchange for this post All opinions are my own. 

 

One of our most favorite places to visit is Knott’s Berry Farm. Referred to as “American’s 1st Theme Park” Knott’s is located in the heart of Orange County and offers a variety of seasonal family friendly offerings in addition to dozens of rides, shows, roller coasters, and attractions in 5 themed areas. knotts-spooky-farm-logo
This time of year, you’ll find family friendly fun at Knott’s during Halloween time. Knott’s Spooky Farm is an annual datytime family-friendly celebration that takes place on weekend days through October 29, as well as Halloween day. This kid-inspired “spooky” celebration offers a a variety of fun activities, geared towards children ages 3-1, throughout the park ,which are included in the price of your regular park ticket. (or Season Pass) (Please note: some activities may be offered at a nominal fee.)knotts-spooky-farm-entranceWe spent a day there last weekend and it was so much fun. Since the weather is almost always perfect here in Southern California, it really turned out to be the perfect “Sunday Funday” for us, between all of the Knott’s Spooky Farm activities to the regular attractions, included water rides. Since there’s still plenty of time to head to Knott’s Spooky Farm this year, I want to share about all of the fun things you can explore on your visit. Here’s my family guide to Knott’s Spooky Farm, which includes all of the things I think you won’t want to miss!knotts-spooky-farm-witchGo Trick-or-Treating in Ghost Town
Children, ages 3-11, are invited to trick-or-treat throughout Ghost Town and will receive a Knott’s trick or treat bag upon entrance to the Park. There are different trick-or-treat stations, which you can find on the Knott’s Spooky Farm map. knotts-spooky-farm-candyChildren will be able to interact spooky (but very friendly) shopkeepers and ghosts in Ghost Town. Children are welcome to dress up in costumes. Adults are too. (no masks please.)knotts-spooky-farm-trick-or-treatingVisit the Creepy Crawlers of Calico in Livery Stable
This year, Stanley Scarecrow has opened his Livery Stable to guests of all ages to come in and get up close and personal with the Creepy Critters of Calico, if you dare! You’ll find insects and other creepy crawlers, rats, and even a white python! The horses at the stable are also dressed up for the occasion.knotts-spooky-farm-livery-stable-rats

knotts-spooky-farm-livery-stable-horsesEnter the Peanuts Costume Contest 
Be sure to head over to Camp Snoopy Theatre for the Peanuts Costume Contest. Children in costume are welcome to enter. The costume contest will be held each weekend day at 3:45 p.m.  Afterwards, stay and dance with your favorite Peanuts characters at their dance party.knotts-spooky-farm-peanutsCatch a Performance of “The Monsters Are Coming, Charlie Brown” Stage Show 
Also in the Camp Snoopy Theatre, catch a performance of “The Monsters Are Coming, Charlie Brown” on stage. Watch the Peanuts Gang perform this fun story. They’ll have you singing and dancing right along with them to classic Halloween tunes! Several shows a day are offered. This year, Camp Snoopy Theatre is presented by HERSHEY’s.knotts-spooky-farm-mapTake “A Trip to Camp Spooky” on The Grand Sierra Railroad in Camp Snoopy
While you’re visiting Camp Spooky, be sure to take a ride on the Grand Sierra Railroad. This year, special for Knott’s Spooky Farm, guests will find added 2D and 3D Hallowen themed characters and effects as The Grand Sierra Railroad has been transformed into a one-of-a-kind experience that will take riders on an adventure to Camp Spooky, along with the Peanuts Gang.knotts-spooky-farm-trick-or-treating-2Take a Ride on Halloween Hootenanny
This Halloween season, the Timber Mountain Log Ride mystically converts into the Halloween Hootenanny by adding a new family friendly twist to a park favorite. Every year the citizens of the Timber Mountain invite the mysterious creatures that live out in the woods and caverns of the area to join them as they celebrate the season at the Halloween Hootenanny. The ride’s interior will feature new fun surprises as guests venture past the Calico Coffin Creeper band, the town’s green witch and splash down Skull Mountain through a labyrinth of jack-o-lanterns. The seasonal ride will also feature an original song performed by Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies. Open for day and night guests, this is the perfect family experience for all to enjoy this Halloween season.

knotts-spooky-farm-halloween-hootenannyDecorate a Pumpkin in the Pumpkin Patch
Over in Calico Patch, you’ll find the Pumpkin Patch. For an additional fee, you can purchase a pumpkin to decorate for your own home, while you enjoy the atmosphere of the season!

knotts-spooky-farm-pumpkin-decoratingVisit the Ghastly Gallery
Cruise over to the Boardwalk Ballroom for a slate of entertaining activities including a live show and opportunities for your little ghouls to participate in drawing their best “monsterpiece.”

Join the Dia de Los Muertos Celebration
in the Fiesta Stage area for an interactive, non-scary, educational celebration of the season. The themed area offers a walk through village filled with photo ops, educational activities and face paintings at a nominal fee.knotts-spooky-farm-dia-de-los-muertos-1knotts-spooky-farm-halloween-hootenannyA 2018 Season Pass is the best way to experience Knott’s Spooky Farm. With a 2018 Season Pass you will get to enjoy all of the Seasons of Fun next year but will also receive one free admission to use in 2017. You can get your Season Pass now at the Best Offer of the Year! A Regular Season Pass includes unlimited admission in 2018 to Knott’s Berry Farm with no blackout dates, and a Gold Season Pass includes unlimited admission in 2018 to both Knott’s Berry Farm and the newly expanded Knott’s Soak City Waterpark with no blackout dates. Regular passes are just $92 or nine easy payments of $10.22 and Gold Season Passes are $110 or nine payments of just $12.22. These offers end October 29, 2017. Applicable taxes and fees apply online. Payment plans are only available at knotts.com.knotts-spooky-farm-city-hall-porch

knotts-spooky-farm-treat-bag-2017Knott’s Spooky Farm runs weekends September 30 – October 29 from 9:00am to 4:00pm, Halloween Day from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, and is included with regular park admission. For more information on all the exciting things that are going on at Knott’s Berry Farm, click here. You can also follow the conversation using #KnottsSpookyFarm.
knotts-spooky-farm-costumesA very special thank you to Knott’s for hosting our family. 

Knott’s logo is property of Knott’s and used with permission. 

 

5 Great Reasons to Stay at The Grand Legacy at the Park in Anaheim

I was provided with accommodations in order to write this post. All opinions are my own. 

 

I recently stayed at the Grand Legacy at the Park in Anaheim with a group of girlfriends and it was so much fun! We were there on the weekend of CHOC Walk in the Park and it was so convenient to stay there because this hotel is just across the street from the Disneyland Resort in the heart of Anaheim.
grand-legacy-at-the-park-friendschoc-walk-pin“The Grand” isn’t a new property, although it was recently renovated in a big way, but the hotel has been a family favorite for over 40 years. grand-legacy-at-the-park-lobby-1Today I want to give you just 5 of the reasons you should book a stay sat the Grand Legacy at the Park on your next trip to Anaheim.5-great-reasons-to-stay-at-the-grand-legacy-at-the-park-in-anaheimLocation, location, location
The Grand Legacy at the Park is a prime location, literally across the street from Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park, and the Downtown Disney District. What this means is you have easy access to walk to and from the Parks. There’s really something to be said about staying so close by. You don’t have to even think about driving to the Resort and paying for parking there. It’s also convenient because you have the option of returning to the hotel to rest and recharge at any time during the day, if you need to. Families traveling with children know the importance of naps and this location allows you to go back and do so easily, without having to travel very far. Sometimes you realize you might need to change your outfit or shoes, grab a jacket, or even go back and get something you forgot to bring to the Parks. Knowing your hotel room isn’t very far away is really reassuring. For me, location is key, especially on a family vacation.disneyland-resort-celebrate-summer-mickeyThey have newly renovated rooms and suites grand-legacy-at-the-park-lobby-2The Grand Legacy at the Park went through a major renovation just last year, which included a brand new lobby and new suites, some that are even facing the Disneyland Resort!grand-legacy-at-the-park-room-2grand-legacy-at-the-park-bathroom-2 grand-legacy-at-the-park-bathroom-1The hotel offers renovated rooms that range from Classic 2 Double Beds up to Grand Legacy 3 Room Suites. Whichever room you stay in, you’ll find all the comforts of home with these amenities:

  • a mini-refrigerator, microwave
  • tea and coffee-making facilities
  • Wi-Fi
  • complimentary Tarocco toiletries

grand-legacy-at-the-park-tarocco-1

grand-legacy-at-the-park-tarocco-2Other amenities you’ll find at the Grand Legacy at the Park include a complimentary Snack Bag” (includes seasonal fruit, water, a granola bar, and string cheese.) which you can grab and take with you in the morning if you’re leaving early but don’t want to take the time to have a full breakfast.There are also 2 self-service coin laundries available on property, along with 24 hour dry-cleaning. Roll-away beds and cribs are available for Deluxe, Premier, Luxury, and Suites at no extra charge and are based on availability. Car parking is $15.00 plus 17% tax/fees per car, per night, with a limit of two cars per reservation. For reservations in our Classic, Deluxe, and Premier rooms, the second car parking fee will be $25.00 plus 17% tax/fees per night. They also offer valet at no additional cost for your convenience. While you’re staying at The Grand, you’ll also want to take advantage of the heated pool, which features a beach entry and a kids area. grand-legacy-at-the-park-hotel-poolThe Grand Legacy at the park is home to Anaheim’s ONLY Rooftop Bar
Another really great reason you’ll want to stay at the Grand is because up on the rooftop, you;ll find Anaheim’s only rooftop restaurant & bar, The FIFTH. thefifth-logo-grey-300x154You can enjoy an assortment of artisan cocktails, craft beers, and delicious small plates perfect to share in the 5000 square foot open-air rooftop.grand-legacy-at-the-park-the-fifth-drinks There are fire pits and plenty of seating all around, allowing guests to get a fabulous view of the Anaheim skyline, along with the nightly Disneyland® Resort fireworks. (when available)the-fifth-1 The FIFTH is also a great location for a special occasion or celebration and is available to book for private parties. For more information about reserving the space for your special occasion, you can email:  info@thefifthoc.com. Please note: The FIFTH welcomes guests of all ages but becomes 21 & over at 10pm each night.grand-legacy-at-the-park-the-fifth-with-friendsThere are great food options adjacent to the hotel
One of the unique features about this hotel is there are food options you’re going to love, adjacent to the hotel. They are actually just outside of the hotel and offer you the option of eating there or bringing the food back to your hotel room. grand-legacy-at-the-park-jimboys-tacosYou’ll find a Jimboy’s Tacos, Pizzaterian, and a Creamistry. When I’m traveling, especially with my family, I like to have several options to choose from so that everyone can find something to eat that they like.creamistry-mint-chipcreamistry-rainbow-sprinklesFor your convenience, there’s also a Discount Tickets & Tours and an Alpha Gift  Mart also located next to these eateries.

grand-legacy-at-the-park-ticket-machineIt’s in the heart of Orange County and close to many other nearby attractions 
Although I keep mentioning Disneyland Resort, Grand Legacy at the Park hotel is also close to a variety of other nearby attractions and destinations in the Orange County area, some of which include:

  • Anaheim Gardenwalk
  • Anaheim Convention Center
  • The Grove of Anaheim
  • Angel Stadium
  • Honda Center
  • Anaheim Packing House
  • Knott’s Berry Farm
  • Knott’s Soak City
  • Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament
  • Pirates Dinner Adventure
  • Discovery Cube OC

The Grand Legacy at the Park is really a great hotel to stay at when you’re visiting Southern California. Whether it’s for a family vacation, a convention, a runDisney event, a business trip, etc. you’ll be pleased to know that they also run incredible specials year-round and have great packages, even offer an Annual Passport Special, so you’ll want to sign up here to receive their newsletter in your inbox. Hotel guests can even purchase Disneyland® Resort tickets at the front desk. To check rates or make a reservation, please visit here or call 714.772.0440 or 800.854.6097.

Grand Legacy at the Park is located at

1650 S. Harbor Blvd.
Anaheim, CA 92802

You can connect with Grand Legacy at the Park on Facebook ,Instagram, and Twitter.

Some images and logo are property of Grand Legacy at the Park. 

 

LEGO® Ninjago® Days at LEGOLAND California Resort 9/23-24 + Enter to Win 4 Park Hopper Tickets

I received media tickets for entry to Legoland California. All opinions are my own. 

 

In celebration of the new film, The LEGO® NINJAGO® Movie™    LEGOLAND® California Resort is having LEGO Ninjago Days on September 23rd & 24th! lego-ninjago-daysLEGO® NINJAGO® Days are new for this year and guests will be able to join their favorite ninjas – Lloyd, Jay, Kai, Cole, Zane and Nya – to experience LEGO NINJAGO attractions, meet LEGO NINJAGO characters, and celebrate the September 22 opening of Warner Bros. Pictures’ all-new big-screen animated adventure THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE!  With unique building activities, giveaways and more, you won’t want to miss out on the fun! Have you watched the trailer yet? Here it is:

Guests at LEGOLAND California Resort will have the opportunity to “become a ninja” with fun activities throughout the day! Here’s what you’ll find:

THE LEGO® NINJAGO® MOVIE Character Meet & Greets
Meet the stars of the movie in LEGO® NINJAGO® World!legoland-ninjago-ninjaMystery Mosaic LEGO® Build -Work together to build a LEGO mosaic and check out the LEGOLAND Calfiornia Facebook page to see it completed! Please note: This activity will be available on a first come, first serve basis. 

Miniland Scavenger Hunt- Join in on the hunt to find the ninjas in Miniland U.S.A! . Complete an entry form for a chance to win a LEGO® NINJAGO® prize pack!

WB Family GameSpace featuring THE LEGO® NINJAGO® MOVIE Video Game – Master new skills and upgrade your weapons in your training to find your inner ninja in this brand new video game. The LEGO NINJAGO Movie Video Game will allow players to delve into the world of the new big-screen animated adventure The LEGO NINJAGO Movie. In the game, players battle their way through waves of enemies with honor and skill as their favorite ninjas Lloyd, Nya, Jay, Kai, Cole, Zane and Master Wu to defend their home island of Ninjago from the evil Lord Garmadon and his Shark Army. To do so, they must master the art of Ninjagility which allows them to traverse Ninjago by wall-running, high-jumping and battling the foes of Ninjago to rank up and upgrade the ninja’s combat skills. Players can harness the power of Spinjitzu combat to defend Ninjago together.legoland-ninjago-world-now-openAll of the activities available during  LEGO Ninjago Days  are included with the price of a regular park ticket. For more information or to purchase your tickets ahead of time, please go here.giveaway-enter-to-win

I’m also part of a great group giveaway right now. A few of my closest blogging friends and I put together this giveaway for one lucky reader to win a 4-pack of LEGOLAND Calfornia Park Hopper tickets. To enter, go to the Rafflecopter below. Good luck everyone! Thanks for reading!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway open to US residents only. No purchase necessary to enter. All readers have an equal chance to win, however, you must enter to win. A winner will be randomly selected via RaffleCopter and notified via email. I will attempt to contact the winner for 3 days. If the winner cannot be reached by email, a new winner will be selected the same way. There are several different ways to earn entries. One prize per household. The winner will receive, free of charge, the prize mentioned above. This prize has no cash value and is not available for exchanges. Prizes are not transferable or refundable and must be accepted as awarded. The winner is responsible for any and all other costs and expenses not listed above. Not liable for unclaimed prizes or fulfillment.

Let’s Go Back to School Shopping at Brea Mall

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

 

Summer feels like it’s still in full swing but as it starts to wind down and we get closer to the start of a new school year, there’s a lot to consider when planning for back to school! I’ve embraced the summer so much, I saved all of my back to school shopping until the last minute. It’s ok though, I work better under pressure! I also know I can find everything on my shopping list at Brea Mall.brea-mall-signWith several years of back to school shopping under my belt, I feel like I’m getting better at it each year. I’m definitely a list maker, so here’s my shopping list: back-to-school-shopping-listMy regular back-to-school shopping list has necessities on it such as clothing and shoes and backpacks and lunchboxes.mac-accessories Nowadays, schools also request your child(ren) come to school, equipped with a laptop or other device because they’re “21st Century Learners”. What this means for me as a parent, is that there are now even more school necessities to shop for.school-technology-needs Not only devices but also accessories for the laptop, carrying cases, and anything else that a student might need to be successful in this technological age of implementing digital technologies in the classroom.
apple-store-macbookThis year, I broke my back to school shopping into 2 trips. I wanted to get over to the mall by myself to check out the laptop options for myself, without my daughter there making me feel rushed. Thank goodness Brea Mall has an Apple store! I love going into Apple to look around at all of the latest laptops, iPads, Apple Watches, iPhones, etc. I will admit that it can be a bit overwhelming for me. Luckily for me, “Peter” from the Apple store, took a lot of time to help me pick out the right laptop for my daughter to use for her schooling. The “Beats” they have at Apple are also really cool so I picked up a pair of those too because my daughter’s been begging for some. apple-beatsBrea Mall also has Brookstone, which is another great place to shop for school technology needs, in addition to some other things. I found another pair of wireless headphones for my daughter to take to school. These are great quality and offered at a great price but also won’t have me worrying about her “Beats” getting lost at school. brookstone-headphonesBrookstone also had a great selection of portable batteries/chargers, which she is going to need to carry in her case. brookstone-portable-chargerFor the main back-to-school shopping trip, my daughter and I like to make an entire day out of it. We love to start out at the Starbucks and make our shopping plan while we get something to drink. Then we shop, take a break to have a late lunch at one of the eateries there, and then shop some more. It’s a fun annual tradition and something we really enjoy doing together. brea-mall-directoryI always love to see all of the latest trends for kids when we go back to school shopping. This year there are too many to choose from: dinosaurs, unicorns, cute monsters, super heroes, camo, sparkly stuff, etc. I wanted to buy it all! Not only am I shopping for my daughter, I also like to pick up a few things for my nieces and nephews. back-to-school-gymboreeSome of the stores we checked out this year at were Cotton On Kids, Gymboree, GapKids,  Journeys, Justice, and Vans, but Brea Mall has over 175 specialty shops and several popular restaurants. back-to-school-justice

back-to-school-gap-kidsback-to-school-vansHave you finished your back to school shopping yet? Maybe I should ask if you’ve even started yet? Leave me a comment and tell me if you have any back to school tips, tricks, or ways to make it easier on your own family. I’d love to hear all about it!back-to-school-cotton-on-kids

Connect with Brea Mall on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram too.giveaway I’ll be hosting a Brea Mall gift card giveaway soon on my own Instagram so be sure to keep your eye out for it. Good luck with your own back to school shopping!

{Giveaway} 7 Reasons to Love LEGOLAND California Resort + Enter to Win 4 Park Hopper Tickets

Southern California is the hub of so many family friendly things to do. One of them is LEGOLAND California Resort and luckily for us, it’s only about a 45 minute drive from our home. Since that’s practically a hop, skip & a jump away, we find ourselves there quite often.legoland-keychainOver the years, we’ve really come to love LEGOLAND more and more! There are just so many fun things to see and do there and even with a pre-tween daughter, I still get asked by her, to go to LEGOLAND. lego-bff-sleepover-friendsHere are just 7 of the reasons we love LEGOLAND California Resort:

There are fun attractions for all ages! 
LEGOLAND has over 60 great shows and attractions. I love that there are some geared towards small children, some geared towards families, and even many for “big kids”, like my daughter and her friends, We are never stuck trying to find something to go on when we’re at the Park. Did I mention that my daughter and her friends enjoy all of the rides though? (including those intended for younger guests.) legoland-attractions-1legoland-technicMiniland USA is amazing! 
A visit to LEGOLAND needs to include a stroll through Miniland USA. The area is located in the heart of the park and features iconic structures and figures, made of LEGO bricks by Master Model Builders. Some of the sites to see there are the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Grand Central Station in New York City, and the strip in Las Vegas. There’s even a large LEGO Star Wars area in Miniland USA where guests can embark on a journey through the seven different LEGO Star Wars scenes.legoland-miniland-usa-1one-world-trade-center-legoland-4LEGO Character Meet and Greets are cool!
One of the fun ways to capture memories are by taking photos with some of the LEGO costume characters you run into in the Park. We’ve met Wyldstyle, Emmet, UniKitty, pirates and knights, friends in LEGO Ninjago World, and the LEGO friends.legoland-wyldstyleGranny’s Apple Fries Are a MUST! (among other LEGOLAND snacks) 
It’s no secret that I love finding good things to eat. You know this if you follow me on Instagram. I cannot visit LEGOLAND without getting myself an order of Granny’s Apple Fries. These sweet treats are Granny Smith apples, cut into “fries” shapes, deep fried to perfection, and coated in sugar and cinnamon. They’re served with whipped cream for dipping and are out of this world! legoland-apple-friesLEGO Friends Heartlake City is adorable!
One of my daughter’s favorite areas in the Park is LEGO Friends Heartlake City. Back in 2015, the LEGO Friends Heartlake City area opened inside the Park and it’s so much fun to visit because you feel like you’ve stepped right inside of one of the LEGO Friends episodes. The color palette and the decor in HEARTLAKE city adorable and there’s also a stage in the center of the area where LEGO Friends perform several times a day.legoland-lego-friends-benchBrick or Treat Nights are fun! 
LEGOLAND offers a special ticketed event every fall called Brick or Treat. The tickets (or portion to add on to your regular ticket) is very reasonable and allows you to get into the park fora fun and not so spooky night of Halloween fun. There are trick-or-treat stations set up around the park for guests of all ages, even the adults, to go “trick or treating”. Some of the stations even give out LEGO brick sets. There are also cute Halloween decorations throughout the Park, special dance parties, a costuem contest, and a few other surprises. It’s one of our favorite things to do each Halloween season. Oh, and everyone can dress up. Even the adutls. You can read my post about our experience at Brick or Treat herelegoland-brick-or-treat-pumpkinlegoland-brick-or-treat-costumesLEGOLAND Waterpark! 
Our family loves the fact that we can spend part of our day at the Resort, inside the LEGOLAND Waterpark. Since the weather is so nice in Southern California, the waterpark is usually open all the way through October, so we like to visit a couple of times each season.legoland-waterpark-1 There are all types of slides inside the waterpark, some more “thrilling” than otheres, just depending on how “brave” you are. legoland-waterpark-lazy-river Inside of the LEGOLAND waterpark there are also play and splash areas, a Lazy River, and plenty of seating, including Cabanas that you can rent ffor the day.  (for a fee.) Also, a new area called “Surfers Cove” was recently added to the waterpark. *Please note: You need to purchase a Park Hopper ticket to gain access to the LEGOLAND Waterpark area, as it’s inside of LEGOLAND.legoland-california-resort-giveaway

giveaway-enter-to-winAre you ready for some exciting news? I have teamed up with a group of other bloggers to host an amazing giveaway! One winner will win 4 LEGOLAND California Resort Park Hopper tickets! It’s simple to enter, just leave a comment on this post AND go below and enter through the Rafflecopter. Good luck and thanks for reading!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 “Giveaway open to US Residents Only. No purchase necessary to enter. All readers have an equal chance to win, however, you must enter to win. A winner will be randomly selected via RaffleCopter and notified via email. I will attempt to contact the winner for 3 days. If the winner cannot be reached by email, a new winner will be selected the same way. There are several different ways to earn entries. One prize per household. The winner will receive, free of charge, the prize mentioned above. This prize is not available for exchanges and has no cash value. Prizes are not transferable or refundable and must be accepted as awarded. The winner is responsible for any and all other costs and expenses not listed above. Not liable for unclaimed prizes or fulfillment.”

CHOC Children’s Opens New Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with All Private Rooms

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

 

CHOC Children’s Hospital opened its new neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) with 36 all private rooms, a feature that will allow parents the opportunity to stay close to their newborns receiving intensive care. This is such wonderful news and will be of service to so many families in need.choc-childrens-nicu-birdseyeThe 25,000-square-foot unit nearly triples the size of the hospital’s previous Level 4 NICU, which included an open layout that grouped patients in pod-style beds.choc-childrens-nicu-level-4The new unit, located on the fourth floor of CHOC’s Bill Holmes Tower, creates a homey atmosphere with sleeping quarters and storage space outfitted in warm colors and wooden accents to help parents feel more comfortable while their infants receive highly specialized care for extended periods of time.choc-childrens-nicu-private-room

“CHOC is proud to offer private rooms to our smallest patients and their parents. No one’s vision of parenthood includes a NICU stay, but our new unit will provide parents with the space and privacy to get to know their new baby, and reassurance that they’ll be nearby while their newborn receives the highest level of care.” – Dr. Vijay Dhar, medical director of CHOC’s NICU.

Private NICU rooms are a new standard for improved patient outcomes. Benefits for babies cared for in single-family rooms include higher weight at discharge and more rapid weight gain. Also, they require fewer medical procedures and experience less stress, lethargy and pain. Researchers have attributed these findings to increased maternal involvement. A private-room setting provides space and privacy sought by parents to breastfeed, practice skin-to-skin bonding, and be more intimately involved in their baby’s care. Further, individual rooms allow parents to stay overnight with their newborn, and give staff more access and interaction with the family and patient.choc-childrens-nicu-room2In addition to private rooms, the new space includes other features that will enhance patient care. Should an infant need a sudden surgical procedure, three rooms within the unit can quickly be converted into space for surgeries. The unit will also include a life-saving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) unit. Rooms that adjoin can be used to accommodate triplets.choc-childrens-nicu-same-handedSafety features include same-handed rooms, wherein equipment is positioned in the same location among all rooms to reduce human error; room-adjacent nursing alcoves; and an in-unit nutrition lab for the preparation of breast milk and formula.choc-childrens-nicu-family-dining-areaCHOC’s new unit also features a family dining space, a room dedicated for siblings, a lactation room and other amenities to ensure the comfort of the entire family.
choc-childrens-nicu-family-play-areaFor several decades, CHOC has served infants requiring the highest level of care. With the unit’s opening, CHOC’s neonatal services now include 72 beds at CHOC Orange and the CHOC Children’s NICU at St. Joseph Hospital, and 22 beds at CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital. In addition, a team of premier CHOC neonatologists care for babies at hospitals throughout Southern California.choc-childrens-nicu-receptionA suite of specialized services comprises the CHOC NICU: the Surgical NICU, which provides dedicated care to babies needing or recovering from surgery; the Small Baby Unit, where infants with extremely low birth weights receive coordinated care; the Neurocritical NICU, where babies with neurological problems are cohorted; and the Cardiac NICU, which provides comprehensive care for neonates with congenital heart defects.choc-childrens-nicu-wall-of-hopePlease visit http://www.choc.org/nicu to learn more about CHOC’s neonatal services.

Images are property of CHOC Children’s and used with permission. 

 

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Announces Exciting Additions at D23 Expo

Oh my goodness, so many exciting announcements came out at this year’s D23 Expo!  Walt Disney Parks and Resorts announced an extraordinary line-up of brand new attractions and experiences coming to its parks and resorts around the world as it continues to revolutionize the guest experience! disneyland-resort-bob-chapekWalt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek  unveiled more than a dozen new experiences coming to Disney parks and resorts and gave a sneak peek at much-anticipated projects in development and I’m excited to share them with you! D23-expo-bob-chapek-speaks-to-fansSeveral Imagineers joined the presentation by providing details of the creativity, imagination and innovation in development around the world. Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios John Lasseter also shared his enthusiasm for plans to include a larger Pixar presence at Disneyland Resort. In addition, there was an announcement that Fantasmic! returned to Disneyland Park last night, two nights earlier than it’s original date of  July 17th, in honor of the Expo. fantasmic-mickey

“On the heels of the many new and incredibly popular experiences that just debuted this year, the best is yet to come. We have ambitious plans for our parks and resorts around the world. We’re investing in the guest experience like never before, and we’re doing it all in way that is only possible at Disney!” Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

From new lodging and transportation options that make getting around more fun, to original
storytelling and immersive experiences based on guests’ favorites, Disney continues to provide unparalleled vacation destinations for guests across the globe in even more exciting ways than ever before.

The big D23 Expo announcements included:

  • An Unprecedented First Look at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
    Fans were elated to hear their Star Wars stories will come to life in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the newly announced name for the Star Wars-themed lands. Chapek shared exciting new details and a glimpse inside the two anchor attractions, including one that puts guests right in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance where guests will feel like they are inside a hangar bay on a Star Destroyer. Guests will also have the chance to fly the Millennium Falcon, where each guest is critical to the mission’s success. milleninum-falcon-attractionChapek also revealed many characters that guests will meet, including BB-8, Chewbacca, Rex and Kylo Ren. Representing the largest single-themed land expansion at 14 acres each, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open in 2019, with the first land debuting at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, then at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando.star-wars-battle-attraction
  • Timeless Transformation of Epcot Revealed
    Looking ahead to the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World, there are grand plans to complete the transformation that started with the debut of New Fantasyland in 2014. There are plans across Epcot to realize the original vision of the park while making it more timeless and relevant than ever before. Patterned after the number one family attraction at Disneyland Paris, Ratatouille will be added in an all-new space in the France pavilion at World Showcase. Walt-Disney-World-Epcot-RatatouilleEpcot will also see the addition of a brand new E-ticket attraction based on the rockin’ and action-packed world of Guardians of the Galaxy, the next step in how guests can encounter these characters at Walt Disney World Resort.Walt-Disney-World-Epcot-Guardians-ExteriorWalt-Disney-World-Epcot-Guardians-Interior In Future World, a new Green Mission at Mission: SPACE will take guests on a stunning tour around the Earth, and an updated Orange Mission will make the trip to Mars even more spectacular. Walt-Disney-World-Epcot-Mission-SpaceAdjacent to Mission: Space will be a new restaurant that will invite guests to travel high above the earth for an unforgettable dining experience.Walt-Disney-World-Epcot-Space-Restaurant
  • More Thrills than Ever Planned for Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom
    Disney remains at the cutting edge of deeply immersive, creative storytelling that draws guests into new worlds, and it is a legacy that lives on in every new Disney Parks experience. The first ever Mickey-themed ride-through attraction, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, will come to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Walt-Disney-World-Mickey-attractionWith a new original story and lovable attraction theme song, this new state-of-the-art ride-through attraction will take guests on a journey inside the wacky and unpredictable world of Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts using new technologies that transform the flat cartoon world into an incredible dimensional experience.
    Chapek also announced that the highest rated attraction at Shanghai Disneyland is coming to Walt Disney World Resort. A thrilling, Tron-themed attraction will be added in a new area near Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom.Walt-Disney-World-Magic-Kingdom-TronWalt-Disney-World-Magic-Kingdom-TRON-2Additionally, a new live entertainment theater coming to Main Street, U.S.A., based on the iconic Willis Theater in 1920s Kansas City, will bring world-class entertainment to the world’s most popular park.Walt-Disney-World-Magic-Kingdom-Theatre
  • Pixar Fun at the Happiest Place on Earth
    In addition to announcing the summer 2018 opening of Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Chapek was joined by Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios John Lasseter to unveil plans for Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure, where the pier will take on a brand new look as more favorite Pixar characters and stories come to life, from The Incredibles, to Inside Out to even more Toy Story. Chapek also announced there is more Pixar in store during Pixar Fest at Disneyland Resort. Starting in 2018, this limited-time offering will include a new fireworks spectacular as well as special characters and entertainment moments.As part of the celebration, the Pixar Play Parade will return to Disneyland Resort, this time at Disneyland Park and the fan favorite Paint the Night Parade will move to Disney California Adventure, one of Disney’s longest parade routes.Disneyland-Pixar-Pier
  • Disney Cruise Line to Double the Size of its Fleet by 2023
    Chapek surprised the crowd by announcing that Disney Cruise Line will add one more ship in its expansion to take family cruise vacations to a whole new level. Joining the other two new ships that were announced just last year, all three ships will be powered by one of the cleanest-burning fuels available, liquefied natural gas. When all three ships are completed by 2023, Disney Cruise Line will have nearly doubled the size of the fleet.Disney-Cruise-line-seventh-ship
  • Immersive Hotel Concepts
    Among the announcements were projects that infuse even more exciting experiences for resort hotel guests in ways that are only possible at Disney. To the delight of fans, Chapek confirmed ambitious plans to create the most experiential concept ever in an immersive Star Wars-themed hotel at Walt Disney World Resort. Dedicated entirely to the galaxy of Star Wars, it will be a one-of-a-kind experience where a luxury resort meets a multi-day adventure in a galaxy far, far away.Walt-Disney-World-Star-Wars-Themed-ResortWalt-Disney-World-Star-Wars-Themed-Resort-2Adding to the immersive resort hotel slate, Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel at Disneyland Paris will transport guests to the action-packed world of Super Heroes, including Iron Man, The Avengers, Spider-Man and more. Guests will be able to explore the Marvel Universe through its comic art, films, Super Hero costumes and more, displayed in the style of a contemporary art galleryDisneyland-Paris-Hotel-New-York-LobbyDisneyland-Paris-New-York-HotelLeading up to the July 17 opening of Copper Creek Villas & Cabins, Chapek also announced the proposed 15th Disney Vacation Club property, Disney Riviera Resort, coming to Walt Disney World Resort near Epcot.Disney-Vacation-Club-Riviera-Resort
  • Seamless Transportation Options
    Completing the immersion so guests never have to leave the story while on a Disney vacation, Chapek announced plans that will make getting around Walt Disney World Resort even more fun. An all-new Minnie Van service will provide a point-to-point transportation service in a way that only Disney can do, giving guests an even more seamless resort vacation from start to finish.Walt-Disney-World-Minnie-Van-ServiceAdditionally, a whole new transportation system called Disney Skyliner will give guests a birdseye view of Walt Disney World Resort. This brand new system will connect Disney’s Art of Animation, Pop Century and Caribbean Beach resorts, as well as the proposed new Disney Riviera Resort, with Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the International Gateway at Epcot.Walt-Disney-World-Skylinerwalt-disney-world-skyline-2
  • Honoring the Heritage of Disney Parks
    In a memorable tribute to the legacy of beloved attractions, entertainment and characters, fans enjoyed a special one-time-only performance of entertainment numbers from Disney Parks through the years. Following the return of the Main Street Electrical Parade, Chapek hinted there are even more fan favorites in store from Disney Parks’ storied past.

I’m so overwhelmed, in a good way, by all of these amazing announcements and can’t wait to see it all come to fruition at Disney Parks and Resorts! What are you most excited for?

Images are property of Disney Parks. 

 

Old Fashioned Family Fun at Knott’s Ghost Town ALIVE! Now Through Sept. 4

I was invited by Knott’s to a special media day in the park. All opinions are 100% my own. 

 

Knott’s Berry Farm holds fond childhood memories for me. The whole park has so much real-life history in it, dating back to when the Knott Family actually lived on the property with a farm, a chicken dinner restaurant, and an old-fashioned Western ghost town. It was from there that they built the theme park around it known as Knott’s Berry Farm, America’s 1st Theme Park.knotts-ghost-town-signLast summer in celebration of Ghost Town’s 75th Anniversary, Knott’s introduced a fun, interactive experience for guests called Ghost Town ALIVE  The concept of a working ghost town for guests to interact with was brought to fruition and I had so much fun experiencing it. You literally feel as if you’ve stepped back in time when you’re there in Calico, in the Wild West. There are townsfolk, cowboys, bandits, judges, all kinds of interesting people who live there in the beloved town of Calico.knotts-ghost-town-alive-town-hallknotts-75th-ghost-town-celebration-saloonI was elated when I found out that Ghost Town Alive! was returning this summer! It is a must-do for families visiting the park! There are so many fun ways to participate in all of the town’s happenings. You can become an honorary citizen of Calico and help out in the quest to capture the Mayfield Gang, which recently escaped the custody of Sheriff Wheeler.knotts-ghost-town-alive-us-in-jailIn our case, we were actually part of their gang, we were “bad guys”. I don’t think we were “bad”, just a bit “misunderstood” is all. Sheriff Wheeler saw right through us, just by looking at the color of our bandanas and took us right into custody, locking us in the town’s jail!knotts-ghost-town-75th-anniversary-photographersHere are just some of the things you can do in Calico during Ghost Town Alive!:

  • Grab a copy of the Calico Gazette, hot off the press
  • Participate in the town election and vote for the Mayor
  • Witness a wedding in Town Hall
  • Go to school in a one-room schoolhouse
  • Go to the Barbershop for a “shave” and a mustache
  • Help deliver a package from the Post Office
  • Visit the animals in the Livery Stableknotts-ghost-town-alive-schoolhouseknotts-ghost-town-75th-celebration-jail

Every evening, the town’s “story” culminates with a town-wide celebration in Calico Square at the town’s Hoedown. It’s so much fun for guests to dance and mingle with the townsfolk of Calico.
In addition to all of the fun action happening in the town of Calico, Knott’s also has an extensive lineup of entertainment this summer. The live entertainment continues with:

  • The explosive Wild West Stunt Show (Ghost Town)
  • The high kickin’ Calico Saloon Show (Ghost Town)
  • Get “krazy “when Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies mount their toe tappin’, knee-slappin’, gut-bustin’ country comedy show that will have audiences clamoring for more! In the evening a group of krazy talented performers will have guests kicking up their heels with vine dancing, a down home jug band and dueling fiddlers and banjos! (Wagon Camp Stage)
  • The renowned “Traveling Circus” also returns to Knott’s for another season of exhilarating performances. Set on the Calico Mine stage in Ghost Town, come witness a spectacle; see awe-inspiring stunts, and death defying acrobatics in “Circus of Wonders.” The astonishing 30 minute spectacular will be action packed with all-time favorite circus attractions such as the Trapeze, Tightrope, Aerial Acrobatics, Trampoline, and of course, clowns, incorporating lighting and pyrotechnics, making this nighttime show a totally unique event! Select dates, June 10 – August 20.
  • While you’re in the park, be sure to catch the all-new show, Snoopy’s Magnificent Magical Revue, starring the World’s Most Famous Beagle, Snoopy! This family-friendly show features Magician Extraordinaire Greg Wilson as he teams up with Snoopy and the entire Peanuts Gang to perform a jaw-dropping magic show and lavish musical production. Guests may even find themselves part of the act! Watch Snoopy’s Magnificent Magical Revue on select dates through August 20 .The show is dark Wednesdays. (in the Charles M. Schulz Theatre.)knotts-ghost-town-alive-snoopy

If you haven’t experienced Knott’s Ghost Town Alive! yet, you’ll want to head to Knott’s Berry Farm this summer, before September 4, to be part of this authentic western adventure. It’s definitely an action-packed experience and fun for the entire family and is included in the price of a Knott’s ticket (or Season Pass.) This summer is the perfect time to grab a Knott’s Regular Season Pass, which offers unlimited visits in 2017. Knott’s Gold Pass also includes admission to Knott’s Soak City Waterpark, whcih we enjoyed visiting recently. knotts-soak-city-sungearFor more information about Knott’s Season Passes, go here. To read more about Knott’s Ghost Town Alive!, go here.

LEGOLAND® Beach Retreat Now Open at LEGOLAND Florida Resort

This is not a sponsored post. Images and logo are property of LEGOLAND Florida Resort. All opinions are 100% my own. 

 

Have you heard the exciting news? LEGOLAND® Beach Retreat is now open at LEGOLAND Florida Resort! These all-new accommodations give guests great new reasons to play and stay!legoland-florida-beach-retreat-1Filled with creative LEGO® theming inside and out, the village-style vacation resort features brightly colored bungalows grouped into 13 horseshoe-shaped “coves” named after popular LEGO Minifigures. The fun begins almost immediately, thanks to a drive-through check-in process that will take you from your car to your cove in minutes. This speedy service makes staying at LEGOLAND Beach Retreat as carefree as a day at the beach.legoland-florida-beach-retreat-4Designed to look like larger-than-life LEGO sets, 83 bungalows offer 166 separate rooms that sleep up to five, including a cozy area just for kids with a bunk bed, trundle bed and privacy curtain.legoland-florida-resort-beach-retreat-6legoland-florida-resort-beach-retreat-7They’re an ideal solution for families and groups traveling together, or for those seeking a fun new way to vacation at LEGOLAND Florida Resort. Each cove has its own outdoor play area within view of the bungalows’ shaded patios, where mom and dad can relax while kids romp and run.legoland-beach-retreat-2Opening less than two years after the debut of the popular 152-room LEGOLAND Hotel, and with its own unique, outdoor-themed amenities, LEGOLAND Beach Retreat more than doubles accommodations at the Florida vacation destination. Along with picturesque lake views and a giant LEGO lighthouse featuring a real rotating beacon, highlights also include:

  • A giant swimming pool next to The Lighthouse, with an adjacent sandy area perfect for building sandcastles and the resort’s biggest outdoor play structure for kids.
  • Sandy’s Castle Restaurant, featuring a bountiful menu of entrees, sides and desserts designed to please the palates of kids and grownups alike. A delicious breakfast buffet is included with each night’s stay.
  • Bricks Beach Bar, offering an eclectic menu of made-to-order food, drinks and creative cocktails served both poolside and indoors.
  • Palm Tree Traders, a large retail shop stocked with LEGO building sets and Minifigures, apparel, toys, swimwear, snacks and sundries.
  • A hands-on LEGO building station where kids can contribute their original creations to a giant sandcastle made out of thousands of LEGO bricks.
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the site.
  • Complimentary transportation to the theme park entrance, as well as complimentary parking in LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s main parking lot for guests who choose to drive.
  • Early access to the LEGOLAND Florida theme park, with exclusive use of some of the most popular attractions, including the all-new LEGO NINJAGO® World and LEGO NINJAGO The Ride.

legoland-florida-resort-beach-retreat-5Located three-quarters of a mile from the theme park entrance on the tranquil shores of Lake Dexter in Winter Haven, Fla., LEGOLAND Beach Retreat represents the latest milestone in the largest period of growth and expansion in the five-year history of LEGOLAND Florida Resort, with theming and architecture unique among the eight LEGOLAND resorts worldwide.legoland-florida-beach-retreat-3The Florida site is the first LEGOLAND resort in North America to offer a second accommodation type for overnight and multi-day stays. Nightly room rates start at $135 (plus tax and resort fee) and vary by season, date and availability. Packages including theme park tickets also are available, and Awesomer and Awesomest Annual Pass Members receive a 10 percent discount year-round. To book a stay, visit http://www.LEGOLAND.com/florida or call (877) 350-5346, daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.legoland-florida-resort-beach-retreat-logo

About LEGOLAND Florida Resort 
More than 50 rides, shows and attractions inspired by the LEGO and DUPLO® brands await at LEGOLAND Florida Resort, including experiences based on “The LEGO Movie™,” LEGO NINJAGO, LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS™, LEGO City, LEGO Technic and LEGO Friends. Upcoming events included with park admission include including KIDZ BOP Weekend (April 28-30), LEGO® Star Wars™ Days (May 6-7 and 13-14) and LEGOLAND Knight Lights (every Saturday and Sunday in July, plus Tuesday, July 4).

You Are Invited to Kaleidoscope’s Easter Garden Party on 4/15

The Easter Bunny will hop into town on Saturday, April 15 from 12 to 2:30 pm, when he visits with youngsters at Kaleidoscope’s Seventh Annual Easter Garden Party.kaleidoscope-garden-party-2017The free family event will kick off with an Easter egg hunt at 12 noon, beginning in Kaleidoscope’s courtyard. Passport cards will be given out to the first 300 children, directing them to the participating shops and restaurants where they will receive candy-filled eggs and prizes. The completed passports can then be handed in for a chance to win a Grand Easter Basket. Children should bring their own baskets to collect eggs.kaleidoscope-easter-bunnyIn addition, the Easter Garden Party will offer a complimentary photo opportunity with the Easter Bunny for guests who bring their own camera. The fun afternoon will also include free face painting, a balloon artist, and a petting zoo with bunnies, baby goats, chicks and ducklings. It’s going to be so much fun and a great family event! Hope to see you there!

This is not a sponsored post. Images and logo are property of Kaleidoscope Center. All opinions are 100% my own. 

 

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