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.The 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.In 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!
Month: March 2017
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California is rallying thousands of supporters across Southern California to join together in support of critically ill children and their families at the annual Walk for Kids, a fun, family-friendly 5k (3.1 miles) event that raises funds for the life-changing services provided by RMHCSC..
With a fundraising goal of $2.1 million, RMHCSC dedicates 100 percent of the money raised directly to serving local families right here in our community, continuing its mission to provide a “home away from home” when it’s needed most – enabling families to stay near their hospitalized child at little to no cost. No eligible family is ever turned away due to inability to pay.
There are seven walks taking place throughout SoCal between March 25 – April 23 (details provided below). Supporters can sign up for $25, donate directly or learn more about WFK by visiting http://www.walkforkids.org; 100% of funds raised will directly support critically ill children and their families right here in the local community.
Sunday, April 2
- Los Angeles — Exposition Park, 700 Exposition Park Dr., Los Angeles, CA, 90037
- Ontario — Citizens Business Bank Arena , 4000 E. Ontario Center Pkwy, Ontario, CA, 91764
- Pasadena — Central Park, 275 S. Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA, 91105
Sunday, April 9
- Anaheim — Honda Center, 2695 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, CA, 92806
Sunday, April 23
- Long Beach — Shoreline Park, Aquarium Way, Long Beach, Calif., 90802
Sunday, April 23
- Long Beach — Shoreline Park, Aquarium Way, Long Beach, Calif., 90802
This year, LA sports icons, the Clippers, Kings, and Galaxy, will join brands like McDonald’s and Chobani in providing on-site experiences with family-friendly games, activities, Kids Zones, food, music and more. Each walk will also feature an ambassador family who will share their inspiring story.Here’s how YOU can help support this great cause
From March 20 to April 7, Southern California McDonald’s customers can also support Walk for Kids by visiting a participating McDonald’s restaurant and purchasing a “Shoe” for $1. The shoes will then be displayed with the donor’s name in a designated area of the restaurant. In 2016, area McDonald’s restaurants generated more than $418,000 from shoe sales alone. 100 percent of the proceeds from the shoe sales will directly benefit RMHCSC programs.
Additionally, Southern California McDonald’s will donate $.25 from each McCafé Shamrock Chocolate beverage purchased to RMHC during the week of March 11-17. The iconic Shamrock Shake has been a key part of fundraising for RMHC since 1974 when the first Ronald McDonald House was opened.Built on the simple idea that nothing else should matter when a family is focused on healing their child – not where they can afford to stay, where they will get their next meal, or where they will lay their head at night to rest – RMHCSC helps families with critically-ill children stay together, connecting them with others facing similar challenges through its six Ronald McDonald Houses in Bakersfield, Inland Empire (Loma Linda), Long Beach, Los Angeles, Orange and Pasadena, and two Ronald McDonald Family Rooms. The Chapter also operates the cost-free, medically supervised Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times, helping ill children and their siblings rediscover childhood and develop the self-esteem and self-efficacy often lost as a result of the disease.
To learn more about Walk for Kids, donate directly or register by starting or joining a team for $25, visit http://www.walkforkids.org or follow the conversation on social media using #WalkforKids.
About Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California
Now celebrating 40 years of service, RMHCSC has been dedicated to improving the health
and well-being of children and families across Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside,
San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Through its six
Ronald McDonald Houses® in Bakersfield, Loma Linda, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Orange
and Pasadena and two Ronald McDonald Family Rooms®, the Chapter helps families with
critically-ill children stay together while connecting them with others facing similar
challenges. The Chapter also operates the cost-free, medically supervised Camp Ronald
McDonald For Good Times®, helping ill children and their siblings rediscover childhood and
develop the self-esteem and self-efficacy often lost as a result of the disease.
Have you been to Tanaka Farms yet? It’s a real, working farm in the heart of Orange County They offer a variety of seasonal farm tours throughout the year, for your family to experience together.We recently had the opportunity to take a farm tour with some friends, to kick off Strawberry Season. The strawberry tour is a one-hour long, wagon ride around the 30 acre farm. As we sat in a wagon pulled by a tractor, our tour guide discussed the different farming methods used at Tanaka Farms, as well the history behind it.Throughout the tour, we stopped to see where different fruits and vegetables were being grown and even got to sample many of the ones in season. It’s a great way to get your kid to eat their vegetables!The last stop on our tour was the most exciting one for us. It was in the strawberry patch! Before getting out of our wagon, our guide gave us a mini lesson on how to properly pick the strawberries.Next, we got to walk through the strawberry patch to pick our own strawberries and fill up our own one pound basket of strawberries to take home! If you take this tour, you’re also allowed to eat strawberries as you’re picking. They are so sweet and delicious this year! It was so much fun!Tanaka Farms offers Strawberry Tours on Saturday and Sunday, every half hour, from 9:30-2:30. No reservations are required but a 20-30 minute arrival beforehand is recommended. They also offer tours Monday through Friday but reservations are required and can be made by calling (949) 653-2100 ext. 204 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. School and group tours are also offered and require a reservation. The cost for the farm tour is $18 for adults and children, with children 2 years of age and younger free.Strawberry season at Tanaka Farms is such a fun time of year to visit. For more information about dates and times for the tours, go here. Be sure to make it out this season for the strawberries! I promise they are delicious!While you’re at Tanaka Farms, you’ll also want to stop in at their fresh produce stand to purchase the freshest, most beautiful fruits and vegetables around. They also offer a variety of other delicious products for purchase.Connect with Tanaka Farms on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
American Girl is one of my daughter’s favorite brands. As a mom, it’s one of my favorites as well. Not only because I love the dolls and all of the adorable products, but also for all American Girl does to empower and encourage girls to be whatever they dream of and to pursue their goals.
My daughter loves to read the American Girl books, especially the ones that come with the historical dolls and are representative of that doll’s time period. Even more fun is when the stories are taken from the written form to the onscreen versions. Have you watched any of the movies on Prime yet? I’m excited for the third and newest American Girl Story – Ivy and Julie 1976: A Happy Balance to stream on Prime Video. Starting March 24, this Amazon Original Special will be availalbe to stream on Prime Video in the US, UK, Germany and Austria. The first two original American Girl specials for Prime Video, An American Girl Story – Melody 1963: Love Has to Win and An American Girl Story: Maryellen 1955: Extraordinary Christmas, were based on the characters Melody Ellison and Maryellen Larkin from the BeForever historical-inspired character line. Both specials are also currently available to stream on Prime Video.I was excited for the opportunity to stream the latest Amazon Original Special, Ivy & Julie 1976: A Happy Balance and I absolutely adored it. Without posting any real spoilers, I can share about some of the elements in the film really resonated with me.
Here’s a brief synopsis of Ivy and Julie 1976: A Happy Balance:
A story set in San Francisco in 1976. Ivy Ling (Nina Lu, BUNK’D) is a 10-year-old Chinese-American girl who struggles with finding a balance between her two cultural identities: Chinese and American. With her family’s Chinese traditions and obligations, she wishes to be like her all-American best friend, Julie Albright (Hannah Nordberg, General Hospital). When her gymnastics tournament and family’s big Chinese New Year dinner land on the same day, Ivy relies on Julie to guide her with a difficult choice. The special also stars Gwendoline Yeo (American Crime) and Lance Lim (School of Rock).
Watch this preview of American Girl Story –Ivy & Julie 1976: A Happy Balance:
First of all, I loved the fact that the story was set in 1976 but presented what still seem to be common “modern day challenges” for families. As a mom of a pre-tween daughter, I, too, encounter the struggle between getting my daughter to do what our family is going and wanting to do what she wants to do. I feel like my own daughter can really relate to Ivy’s character because they are both at the age where girls tend to struggle with trying to fit in.I love the friendship between Ivy and her best friend, Julie, and how much they care about one another and are a support system for each other. In the story, they are each dealing with different issues but really listen to each other for advice when it comes to their uncertainty about what to do about each of their own unique situations. These are the kind of girls you want your own daughter to hang around with. (Too bad they’re fictional characters, right?)
It seemed as though people, especially other children, in the 70’s weren’t quite as sensitive and accepting of different cultures they way they are now. Ivy was very hesitant to share about her own family’s culture with the other girls in her gym. It was understandable though because the other girls seemed unfamiliar with these other cultural traditions, like when “Chinese School” was mentioned and none of the other girls knew what that was. while her parents and grandparents want her to become more educated about her Chinese roots. She reminds me of myself, as a kid, when she fights almost every cultural influence in her family, the way I fought my parents at her age when they wanted me to be more educated about Judaism. I felt like I could personally relate to Ivy and her struggle with trying to be a “typical” girl in the 70’s because I hid the fact that I was Jewish when I was younger for fear of being teased. How awful is that?
Ivy’s grandparents are so much more than just typical grandparents and the scenes where they appear with her really warmed my heart. While her mother is attending law school full-time, in addition to her father working to support the family, Her grandparents go beyond their traditional role as they lend a hand with the children on quite a few occasions.while her mother is attending law school, in order to achieve her own dreams. Although the grandparents seem so “traditional”, Ivy comes to know that deep down, they really “get her”.
I cried a lot of happy tears watching An American Girl Story – Ivy & Julie 1976: A Happy Balance, which most likely stems from my being a mom. My daughter also loved the film. Also, it has a happy ending and those are my favorite kinds of endings.
Prime members can now stream this special at no additional cost to their membership. Enjoy using the Amazon Prime Video app for TVs, connected devices including Amazon Fire TV, and mobile devices, or online at http://www.amazon.com/originals. Customers who are not already a Prime member can sign up for a free trial at http://www.amazon.com/prime. For a list of all Amazon Video compatible devices, visit here.
You know that “Spring has sprung” when you start to hear about the upcoming Boysenberry Festival at Knott’s Berry Farm. Knott’s is actually the birthplace of THE boysenberry so a festival to celebrate this time of year seems fitting for the occasion. Since I grew up in Southern California, I’ve always associated Knott’s with Boysenberry Punch, Mrs. Knott’s Boysenberry Pie, and Boysenberry everything!. This year Knott’s Boysenberry Festival begins on April 1st and will offer park guests 23 days of special boysenberry offerings, After attending a media tasting and getting a sneak peek at this year’s menu, I’m pretty sure this year’s Boysenberry Festival is going to be the best one by far!Knott’s has a line-up of over 70 mouthwatering boysenberry-inspired foods and drinks to choose taste this year. You’re not going to want to miss out on any of it! I was absolutely wow-ed by some of the new offerings this year’s Boysenberry Festival! First of all, they’ve got an incredible Boysenberry Pizza that will drive your palette crazy! It’s made with arugula, smoked ham, and goat cheese, and topped with Knott’s very own boysenberry Sriracha sauce. It was delicious!Another new menu item is the boysenberry ravioli! Who would’ve thought? This ravioli dish is packed with boysenberry flavors and so savory! Also new for this year is the freshly-baked boysenberry fry bread! Mmm!Some other guest favorites from years past, which will be offered again this year, include:
- lip-smacking corn on the cob with boysenberry butter and mayo
- finger-lickin boysenberry BBQ wings
- the famous Fun Bun
- savory boysenberry meatballs
- sweet boysenberry cream soda
- creamy chocolate covered boysenberry cheesecake on a stick
- crispy, deep fried alligator bites paired with farm-made zesty boysenberry aioli
Guests who want to take home the exquisite Boysenberry BBQ sauce, Boysenberry Butter, Boysenberry Dressing and Boysenberry Chipotle Sauce can do so by stopping by the Berry Market located in the California MarketPlace and General Store located in Ghost Town. *Select items are available on the online Berry Market store.One of the best ways to experience the Boysenberry Festival is with a Boysenberry Bites Tasting Card. For only $25, the tasting card includes generous portions of six delectable treats:
Guests at the Boysenberry Festival can also visit the Wine and Craft Brew Garden, which is located inside of Ghost Town’s Wilderness Dance Hall. Those guests who are 21 years of age and older can enjoy 4 craft brews and over 50 different wines from 36 producers including boysenberry beer and boysenberry wine. There’s also a tasting card iavailable for only $25, which includes 6 tastings paired with snacks.
As you can see, there is lots to see and do at Knott’s Boysenberry Festival this year! In addition to all of these food and beverage offerings, there’s also an entire lineup of live entertainment during the festival, which I’ll be sharing more about once it begins. To see a schedule of the live entertainment, go here.
You can join in on the “Boysenberry Conversation” by sharing your own Boysenberry Festival pictures on Twitter and Instagram using #BoysenberryFestival. What are you most excited for at this year’s Boysenberry Festival?
I cannot believe it….Gru has an identical twin brother! His name is Dru! How hilarious is this poster for the upcoming “Despicable Me 3”? Now I really can’t wait to see the film and learn the history of these two brothers! I can only imagine how opposite they must be!
From the creators of Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2, and Minions, Illumination brings us another chapter in the adventures of Gru, Lucy, their adorable daughters—Margo, Edith and Agnes, and don’t forget those adorable Minions too!
Watch this hilarious new trailer:
Joining Steve Carell (Gru and Dru) and Kristen Wiig in Despicable Me 3 is Emmy, Tony and Grammy Award winner Trey Parker, co-creator of Comedy Central’s global phenomenon South Park and the Broadway smash The Book of Mormon. Parker voices the role of villain Balthazar Bratt, a former child star who’s grown up to become obsessed with the character he played in the ‘80s, and proves to be Gru’s most formidable nemesis to date.Despicable Me 3 is directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda and co-directed by Eric Guillon. It’s written by Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio and the animated film is produced by Illumination’s Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy, and executive produced by Chris Renaud.Are you as excited for Summer now as I am? DESPICABLE ME 3 is in theaters June 30! Get the latest news about the film by following along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Join in on the conversation at #DespicableMe3.
I can’t believe it’s already been a year since Great Wolf Lodge Southern California opened! I was so honored to be invited to a special celebration for their 1st anniversary, complete with special birthday hat wolf ears, character photos, and delicious cupcakes. Guests staying at the resort and media were in attendance and got to hear from Great Wolf Lodge General Manager Phil Cunningham. To celebrate their 1 year anniversary/birthday, Great Wolf Lodge Southern California collaborated with artist Linda Mihara and had her create the world’s largest origami cake, which was unveiled at the ceremony. The details of the artwork were incredible and my favorite piece of the “cake” were the origami animals on top.During my visit to Great Wolf Lodge Southern California that afternoon, I was also treated to a very special lunch, prepared by Great Wolf Lodge Executive Chef Hany and his team. They put together a menu for lunch that was absolutely amazing! Chef Hany prides himself on using only the freshest and finest ingredients to resort guests. A majority of the produce is locally grown and I appreciated how sensitive they were to special dietary needs and allergies of guests when preparing the dishes. Great Wolf Lodge does an amazing job at catering to guests of all needs and sensitivities. We feasted on a variety of foods which are included on the resort’s menu during Spring-a-Palooza.Spring-a-Palooza will take place at Great Wolf Lodge locations, March 10 through April 16, 2017 this year, the Spring-a-Palooza event is offered at all of the Great Wolf Lodge resorts to families visiting, as a way to commemorate the turn of the season.
The Grand Lobby at the resort is Spring-a-Palooza central. Guests will find colorful spring decorations throughout, including a special Great Wolf Lodge character-themed garden for children to explore.During Spring-a-Palooza, Great Wolf Lodge will offer additional entertainment options for guests to enjoy, with special spring-inspired activities and events taking place daily. Some of the scheduled events include:
- Spring Picnic: A time-honored spring tradition gets a Great Wolf twist, as guests can grab a blanket, spread it out on the floor and enjoy an afternoon picnic in the Grand Lobby. Guests can sip complimentary Minute Maid beverage available from the Great Wolf Lodge character-themed Lemonade Stand and play a few rounds of DzTake A Wiley Guessdz card game.
- Bubble Dance Party: This special Spring-a-Palooza event fills the Grand Lobby with cascading bubbles while Great Wolf Lodge’s Ambassadors of Fun keep energy-levels high with a family-friendly dance party.
- Spring-a-Palooza Story Time: Great Wolf Lodge’s nightly Story Time takes on a spring theme with a new tale featuring the Great Wolf Lodge characters called DzNatural Wonders.dzKids are encouraged to wear their favorite jammies to the Grand Lobby for this event and will have the opportunity to meet one of the Great Wolf Lodge characters in person.
- Spring Scavenger Hunts: Great Wolf Lodge will introduce two self-guided scavenger hunts as part of Spring-a-Palooza. The “I Spy Spring” scavenger hunt will have guests looking high and low in the Grand Lobby to find a dozen hidden objects and claim a prize. The “Spring Sprint” scavenger hunt has guests solving clues that will take them on a journey throughout the lodge. When all 10 clues are solved, guests are rewarded with a prize.
- Character Themed Flower Gardens: A highlight of the Spring-a-Palooza celebration is the colorful springtime gardens found in the Grand Lobby. The gardens are designed and hand-crafted by Pack Members from the resort. Surrounded by a fence, the collection of flower pots are inspired by the Great Wolf Lodge characters. Guests are encourage to stroll around the garden and vote for their favorite display.
- Jelly Bean Guessing Game: A gigantic jar filled to the brim with jelly bean candies sits in the Grand Lobby and guests are invited to enter a contest guessing how many delicious treats are within the jar. The guests closest to the correct number without going over will be entered for a chance to win a Great Wolf Lodge Gift Card.
- Spring Themed Crafts: During Spring-a-Palooza, the resort’s Ambassadors of Fun will host several spring-inspired craft making events for kids of all ages. Character-themed crafting projects include Oliver’s Crazy About Bugs Jar, Violet’s Springtime Noodle Doodle, Brinley’s Don’t Blow Away Kite and Wiley’s Can You Spot It Binoculars.
In addition to admission into the indoor water park, all of the Spring-a-Palooza events are also complimentary to guests staying at Great Wolf Lodge through April 16. A complete listing of daily activities and times can be found in the Lodge Life event schedule, which is provided to guests upon check-in. As you can see, there’s so much Spring fun going on at Great Wolf Lodge during Spring-a-Palooza that you won’t want to miss out!
For more information about Great Wolf Lodge, please visit greatwolf.com.
The countdown is on until the release of Disney’s live action feature film “Beauty and the Beast” in theaters nationwide on March 17 in IMAX & 3D! I cannot wait for this movie.
As a huge lover of the original animated version of “Beauty and the Beast”, released in 1991, I am excited to see how this live version compares to the original. How can you not be excited for this adaption of everyone’s favorite Disney Classic?I’m also excited to see it because I’m a huge Emma Watson fan. Not only is she a talented actress, her voice is amazing too! Have you watched the “Beauty and the Beast” Official Trailer yet? (Be sure to grab a tissue.)
Just in time for the film’s release, Evite has created a special Be Our Guest – Beauty and the Beast custom category of invitations that Disney fans are going to love! There are 10 invitations in the category to choose from, suitable for different events like Girls’ Movie Night Out, Dinner Party, Awards Party, Birthday for Kids, etc. How fun is that? Here are some of the designs.
- a plain, white ceramic mug
- fine and regular tip permanent markers (oil-based, paint markers work best)
- paper towels
- baby wipes
Directions for decorating your mug:
- Make sure your mug has been washed and is completely dry.
- Find an inspirational picture of Chip’s face to use as a guide.
- Start by coloring the rim of the mug with yellow (or gold) and use a black marker to create the “chip” at the top.
- Making sure the handle of the cup is centered as the nose, and start with black, drawing his face, including eyes, eyebrows, and mouth. Color in the eyes with blue and draw on cheeks with pink. *If you make a mistake, immediately wipe off your error with a baby wipe and dry the area with a paper towel before re-drawing.
- After you’ve drawn the face, use yellow (or gold) to color the handle. (a.k.a. the nose)
- Allow the mug to dry for a few hours.
- Before using the mug for anything, it needs to be baked in the oven. Start by placing the mug, on a cookie sheet, in a cool oven.
- With the mug already inside the oven, turn the oven on to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes.
- Turn off the oven and allow the mug to completely cool down inside the oven. This will prevent cracks.
Note: The mug is best if washed by hand.Although “Beauty and the Beast” opens in theaters everywhere on 3/17 in IMAX & 3D, you can now purchase your tickets on pre-sale by clicking here. I already purchased tickets for all of my friends who are coming to my potluck party because I plan on being there on opening night! Have you gotten your tickets yet?Don’t forget to follow Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest movie news! Connect with Evite on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, too.
Did you know that nearly 400 million guests have embarked on the swashbuckling adventure, Pirates of the Caribbean, at Disneyland Park? The lyrics to its theme song–“Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me)”– are something that’s recognized around the world and guests on the attraction can often be heard singing them in unison as they venture through the attraction.On March 18, 2017, this popular attraction celebrates its 50th anniversary and guests at Disneyland Park are invited to celebrate this special occasion with pirate-themed entertainment, exclusive merchandise and special food and beverage offerings, all beginning March 16.
Guests may feast upon special, pirate-themed food at French Market Restaurant, Mint Julep Bar, Harbour Galley, Royal Street Veranda, Cafe Orleans and Blue Bayou Restaurant. (Blue Bayou also celebrates its 50th anniversary on March 18).Food items vary by location and will include:
- Buccaneer Pulled Pork Sandwich: Jerk-spiced Pork, Sweet and Tangy Barbecue Sauce, Pineapple Caribbean-style Slaw and Fried Yucca
- Lost Treasure Beignets: Lemon-flavored Beignets with gold shimmer dust
- Jolly Roger Punch: Spiced Tropical Juices with hints of Pineapple, Orange and
- Calypso’s Caribbean Chicken Stew: Caribbean-seasoned Chicken stewed with
Onions, Carrots, Celery, Tomatoes, Potatoes and Yucca
- Golden Churro: Gold-dusted Churro
Friday, March 17: Pirate-themed entertainment comes alive throughout New Orleans Square, including performances by the Bootstrappers and Lucky the Pirate.
Saturday, March 18: Even more entertainment will be added on the attraction’s official
anniversary, including appearances by the legendary pirate himself, Captain Jack
Sparrow.Limited-edition, anniversary merchandise will be available for purchase in New Orleans Square, while supplies last. Pirate Speak! collectible cards will be available for guests who wish to talk like a pirate. Guests may discover additional special surprises on March 18.
The original Pirates of the Caribbean attraction set the bar for future theme park attractions with masterful storytelling and technology that introduced approximately 120 Audio-Animatronics characters. The popular attraction has inspired five films and the fifth, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” is set to open in theaters May 26, 2017.