The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey

We were invited guests of the venue. – The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey has come to the Pomona Fairplex this Christmas season! It’s a one-of-a-kind immersive drive-thru experience that brings to life the beloved stories, characters and themes of The Elf on the Shelf. You know…those cute little elves in red that show up at your house during the month of December.

From the comfort and safety of your vehicle, the experience takes you on an hour-long adventure to help save Christmas after Santa Claus encounters a sleigh mishap. Get ready to be transported through a series of larger-than-life, holiday dreamworlds to help find the magic Santa needs to fly again, including a Toy Repair Workshop, Gingerbread Village covered in decadent candy, Arctic Winter Wonderland, Santa’s Magical Grotto, and so much more.

The venue incorporates all social distancing rules and health safety precautions. You do not have to wear a mask if you have your vehicle windows rolled up, but if you roll them down, you must wear a mask.

Use PROMO CODE 2ELFNOV for a discount on select dates in November!

Tickets and reservations to The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey are available for November 12, 2020 through January 3, 2021.

Your Arrival.

When you first arrive at The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey, you pull up to the entrance and check in. A friendly elf will make sure that you have the elf app properly working so that you can listen to the adventure on your journey.

They will also give each child in the vehicle a package that includes a pen, blank letter to write to Santa, a candy can and a lollipop. You can also purchase a few merchandise items if you want at this time!

Make sure to download the The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey app onto your phone before you get to the fairgrounds. By doing this, it will be a lot less hassle when you arrive. It also will be an better experience if you can connect your phone to your vehicles sound system so everyone in the car can hear. But this is not necessary.

As you drive through the experience, you will see 16 different signs that tell you when to turn the page on the app. This will start the next chapter of each story and narrate your adventure.

Before you start your magical journey, you have a chance to purchase concessions. Choices include holiday rice crispy treat pops, popcorn, candy, roasted and drinks. You order straight from the app and pull into a designated area to pick it up before heading on your way.

One of the elves will hand you your refreshments on a tray!

Also, now is a good time to get those letters to Santa written. You will need to give them to the elves fairly quickly, so don’t delay.

Here are some of the letter’s my kids wrote!

Now You’re Ready for The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey!

Turn of your headlights and get ready to enjoy an hour long experience of The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey…

The magic begins right away with thousands upon thousand twinkling lights. You will be greeted by some of Santa’s helpers that will let you know that Christmas cheer is down! Your job is to look for magic bells and restore Christmas cheer.

That’s right…you must save Christmas!!!!!!

This is where things get fun.

Time to drive through the Shrinking’ Tunnel…

You’ve now been elf’ed!

Now that you are small as an elf, you enter into a magical world of wonder. So many twinkling lights and fun sights to see. The elves are performers and you get to see them dancing, doing acrobatics and bringing The Elf on the Shelf story to life.

Soon, you are greeted by an elf that will take your letters to Santa.

Then, along the rest of the way through The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey you will meet many different elves. They will update you on you progress of saving Christmas.

Here are some photos of our experience…

Plus, We Got to see Santa!

At the end of our journey, we saw no other but the big guy himself. The youngest kids were especially excited to see Santa Claus at the end of the route. He took time to get his picture taken and talk to us from afar. It was the perfect ending to our night.

Now that You Saved Christmas.

Santa’s sleigh is all better, and you now have lots of cheer. This means the Christmas has been saved. Time to head back through the Shinkin’ Tunnel.

Remember those letters to Santa? They actually give them back to you. But since you are big now and not elf sized, your letters are now tiny. I wish I had taken a picture, but they turned out so cute, and are the perfect size to hang on the Christmas tree. (If you look close, you can see my husband holding one)

Finally, once the journey is complete, guests can enjoy a drive-thru holiday retail experience. After a year with so many twists and turns, the journey promises to deliver enough oversized wonder and moments of magic around every corner to make audiences of all kinds into wide-eyed believers.

What We thought of The Elf on the Shelf Experience.

We LOVED The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey. The whole family. In fact it was better than we expected. The entertainment was professional and fun, the props and sets where high quality. They experience was about an hour, so we didn’t feel rushed. And we were thrilled to actually get to do something Christmasy outside our home. I also want to note how safe and clean the experience was, and all the actors wore masks and took precautions when visiting our car.

It was such a great way to get in the holiday spirit. And to be honest, we will probably go again a second time! Thanks for the great time The Elf on the Shelf.

Ticket prices start at $19.95 for children and $24.95 for adults. Spanish narration for the attraction will also be available as an option. Tickets are expected to sell out due to the limited-run. For more information regarding The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey, ticket pricing and packages, how to buy, visit www.elfontheshelfjourney.com. Don’t forget to us PROMO CODE: 2ELFNOV for aa discount on select dates in November.

Happy Elfing!

Need Some More Christmas Fun?

Check out all these Christmas Events happening in Orange County and Southern California.

Need Some Holiday Gift Ideas?

2020 Holiday Gift Guide for Toddlers

2020 Holiday Gift Guide for Teens

Holiday Gift Ideas for Toddlers 2020

Best Holiday Gift Ideas for Toddlers

It’s that time of the year! Time to shop for all your loved ones. But you may be needing some Holiday Gift Ideas for Toddlers. I don’t know about you, but when it comes to finding presents, it can be overwhelming to find Christmas gift ideas for toddlers. There are so many options.

This post contains affiliate links.

Learning Gift Ideas for Toddlers

Learning Toys Make Great Toddler Gifts!

1. Ladybug’s Garden Memory Game – These ladybugs want to put your memory skills to the test! Choose one of the five double-sided puzzle cards and then fit it into place under the top layer of the puzzle board, making sure all the holes are covered by the 20 wooden ladybugs before you begin the game. On your turn, simply grab two ladybugs from the board. If the pictures they reveal are a match, then you get to keep the ladybugs!

2. Melissa & Doug Alphabet Wooden Lacing Cards – Practice letters and build fine motor skills at the same time! This value-packed learning set has a shaped lacing board for every letter of the alphabet. Each one features a colorful illustration on one side and a label on the back, complete with oversize uppercase and lowercase letters.

3. Citrus Fraction Puzzle – 16 piece wooden puzzle to learn about fractions by cutting citrus fruits aprt in various segments.

4. Wooden Rainbow Stacker – This Montessori toys consist of 12 different colored and size arcs, which are suitable for little hands to make a grab for it. Rainbow arches help children learn colors and shapes, improve hand-eye coordination and motor skills, and inspire their creativity. Stacking and nesting can stimulate reasoning skills.

5. Classic Hi Ho Cherry-O Kids Board Game – Children can gather toy fruit and practice their math skills with this Hasbro Hi Ho! Cherry-O game. It includes a game board with a basket, as well as a spinner with an arrow and base. Collect fake cherries, blueberries and apples! Whoever picks all the fruit from their tree first is the winner of the game.

6. Grapat Bowls and Acorn Sorting Game – Designed to stir the imagination and teach fundamental skills, these colorful wooden bowls, acorns and tongs can be played with in an infinite variety of ways.

7. OSMO – Osmo merges tactile exploration with innovative technology, actively engaging children in the learning process. Put your device in a compatible Osmo Base with the red reflector over the device’s camera. Play with physical game pieces — draw, code, spell, and more. Osmo scans the table and your child’s creations come alive on the screen!

8. My Weather Station Toy Set – This delightful set will foster your little one’s interest in – and awareness of – sunny days, rainy afternoons, and everything in between.

Imaginative Play Toddler Gifts

Give the Gift of Imaginative Play

9. Plan Toys Dentist Set – Perfect for your next imaginary check-up, this play dentist set includes four toy dental tools, a toothbrush and a set of teeth (three spare teeth included!). Plus, it all comes in a convenient doctor case.

10. Antsy Pants Stepping Stones – Jump, hop, and work on balance with ease by setting these stepping stones up in different patterns. Fun colors and varying sizes promotes active play while improving balance, coordination and confidence through hopping, jumping, balancing and stretching . Fun to play alone or pair with a balance beam, tumbling mat or tunnel to create an obstacle course.

11. Melissa & Doug® Metal Shopping Cart – Your little one will look forward to play time with you or with friends with this Melissa and Doug Shopping Cart set. This toy is a child-sized replica of the regular metal carts typically used at the grocery store

12. Melissa & Doug: Let’s Explore – Collection – Let’s Explore™ encourages kids three and older to connect with the natural world through imaginative play! Discover the joy of outdoor adventures that instill curiosity and confidence while inspiring kids to say, “Let’s Explore™”! There are over a dozen sets, all of which are great holiday gift ideas for toddlers.

13. Melissa & Doug Sushi Slicing Wooden Play Food Set – Add wasabi, if you like! This elegant 24-piece wooden sushi set is packed in a beautiful storage box and includes sliceable sushi rolls, shrimp, tuna, easy-use chopsticks, a cleaver and more! Sushi rolls make realistic chopping sounds when sliced!

14. Little Tikes Kids’ First Sink & Stove – Kids can pretend to cook and wash dishes just like their parents with the realistic Little Tikes First Sink & Stove. The combo sink and stove is packed with features: a working water pump, clicking knobs, and more. Plus, it makes realistic sounds when kids turn the knobs on the stovetop burners. Pretending to cook, wash dishes, and do other chores helps kids gain a sense of responsibility, an important part of social-emotional learning.

15. Melissa & Doug Tip & Sip Toy Juice Bottles – Pretend to pour refreshing drinks, and watch as the liquid disappears! Stock play kitchens, grocery stores and picnic baskets with Grape, Orange, Cranberry, Apple, and Berry Mix bottles. The reusable menu card lets kids three and older place orders and offers creative combinations to spark play ideas.

Classic Gift Ideas for Toddlers

Parent Approved Toys

16. Tonka Steel Classics – Tonka Steel Classics are meant to last. Perfect for kids who love trucks and construction equipment. These nostalgic trucks are heirloom quality.  

17. Kids Mini Golf Toy Set – Your little one will love creating their own tricky course with this mini golf set that comes with a variety of bridges and obstacles to build.

18. Tonie Audio Box – Meet the Toniebox – a new audio system designed for little listeners. Turn it on, pop a Tonie on top and let the audio adventure begin! Listen to stories and songs from your favorite characters including Cinderella, Woody from Toy Story, Nemo, the Little Mermaid and Lion King. Snuggable and durable: Soft enough to cuddle, tough enough to handle hands-on kids.

19. Antsy Pants Tumbling Mats – Your little one can jump, tumble and summersault on these soft rainbow mats. Featuring a foam fill that will keep your kiddos from getting hurt as they land on it. Whether your kiddo is into cheerleading, martial arts or gymnastics, this mat is sure to be a favorite. It also folds flat for easy storage.

20. AirFort – No pillows, no sheets, no mess! Create an air fort instantly wherever you have an outlet. This unique spin on a play tent comes in an easy-to-carry, compact travel bag and attaches to any classic box fan with the included durable adhesive fan tabs. Just secure the mouth of the tent to the fan, turn the fan on, and watch as your tent rises up to full size in 30 seconds!

21. hello Kid’s Unicorn Sparkle Toothpaste – Say hello to brush time magic. Unicorn sparkle toothpaste tastes like rainbows and sunshine, and works brilliantly. It’s thoughtfully formulated with natural flavor, sparkles, and high quality sweeteners like xylitol and stevia. Free + Vegan + Bubble Gum Flavor.

22. Cuddle + Kind Dolls – Heirloom-quality dolls, hand knitted from Peruvian cotton. They are suitable from birth and are 13″ or 20″ full height. Cuddle + Kind dolls generate love all around as their purchase helps feed hungry children and one of the reasons they make the perfect holiday gift ideas for toddlers. For every doll purchased, cuddle + kind will donate 10 meals to children in need in the USA and around the world. Dolls are Fair Trade–Certified™ and are made using practices to protect the environment, build sustainable livelihoods and boost economic empowerment.

Building Sets for Toddlers

Gifts the Keep Toddlers Busy

24. Construction Plate & Utensils & Dinosaur Plate & Utensils – Make every meal a construction site of creativity or a dinosaur discovery with these fun plates and utensils.

25. SpinAgain – It’s a stacking toy with a spin—literally! Drop the vibrant discs onto the threaded corkscrew pole and go ooooh as they spin fast and smooth to settle onto the reversible base. Choosing how to set the base is half the fun for your toddler. Pick either the wobble base or turn it over for a solid seat. Each disc is dual-colored, and from largest to smallest, they form a dynamic rainbow.

26. Kinetic Sand – Mold and build endless creations with the Kinetic Sand Folding Sandbox. You’ve seen play sand before, but you’ve never felt anything like this. It’s the squeezable sensory sand where you can feel the fun. From making castle-themed shapes to small tunnels, it feels just like the wet beach sand but doesn’t stick to anything but itself.

27. Magna Tiles – Magna-Tiles are designed to promote imagination and creativity. Magna Tiles’ geometric shapes are translucent and brightly colored. Use them on the light table, with a flashlight, or build near a window allowing sunlight to shine through like stained glass. Make flat, 2-D patterns or cool 3-D structures while developing fine motor and visualization skills. So many sets to choose from…all making great holiday gift ideas for toddlers.

28. Indoor Bowling Set – If you know any mini bowlers, this indoor bowling Set will be right up their alley. It features a bowling ball and 10 pins made from natural rubber, plus a pin setup template. Soft yet durable construction means little ones can set ’em up and knock ’em down, again and again! 

29. Sesame Street Magna Tiles – Ride along with the Sesame Squad for lots of fun and learning on the Sesame Street School Bus! Practice counting numbers then flip the tiles and build a bus that will take your little learners on a ride to a place “where the air is sweet”! This Sesame Street School Bus set helps build STEAM skills, allows your little ones to identify numbers, practice counting and number order, and much, much more.

Sand and Beach Toys for Toddlers

Sand and Beach Toys Toddlers Love

30. Bilibo Mini – 6 Color Combo Pack by MOLUK – There’s only one thing that’s as dazzling as the color of six Bilibo Minis – their amazing versatility. When there are no instructions, natural curiosity sets the course. Filled with water, sand, snow, rice, dried beans – Bilibos mesmerize. Their curves, slick outer shells, and versatile interior spaces make them poster toys for indispensable fun.

31. Small World Toys® Water Pump Toy – Make the water flow! Immerse the pump bottom in water to the indicated level, then move the handle up and down to make the water flow! Transparent pump allows kids to see how it works.

32. Surfer Dudes Wave Powered Mini-Surfer – Introducing the world s first self-righting, self-surfing, surfer dude toy. the perfect beach toy for kids and adults. don t just sit in the sand. Just toss your dudes into the surf and they ll automatically turn around and catch a wave! no batteries required! The secret is in our patented self-righting hydrodynamic manta wing and unsinkable board! sweet! There are 7 cool surfer guys and girls to choose from.

33. Pop-Up Beach Pool – Digging a hole in the sand is all you need to place the Arena. You can relax at the beach while your child plays safely in the water next to you.

34. The Big Dig Sand Escavator – The Big Dig from Breyer gives your kids a rideable toy that will provide all-season fun! Great for the backyard, beach, or the playground where your construction worker can dig sand, move dirt, or shovel snow. With its sturdy metal construction, The Big Dig can handle it all! It features two-handed controls for digging and dumping, a 360 degree boom and rotating, contoured seat, and a sturdy, wide base. 

35. Sand and Snow Castle Kit – Become beach royalty this summer with these epic sand castle building tools. The set comes with two tower molds, which can be combined to create multi-level castles. The split-mold design is able to press stone wall ridges into damp sand, for a realistic effect. Also includes a rectangular brick mold, a cutter for making perfect, and an additional, multipurpose tool for adding freehand details to your structures. The kit comes with a mesh bag that can be rinsed off, keeping the sand at the beach and not in your house. And when summer is over, there’s no need to pack it away, because these tools can also be used to make amazing snow castles. This is why we included this set in our holiday gift ideas for toddlers guide.

36. Sand Ice Cream Set – Pile on tons of sensory fun with our colorful cones, cups and scoops—perfect for use with our Kinetic Sand (sold separately below)! Kids play ice cream parlor as they scoop sensory sand into our kid-sized containers…building fine motor skills as they go! Set includes 20 plastic pieces—4 scoops, 8 cones and 8 cups.

37. HABA Sand Play Tanker Truck – Play in the sandbox or at the beach gets more power with these awesome trucks. Tanker Truck is perfect for transporting and pouring water with a removable filling funnel. Steam Roller doubles as a sieve, filtering granules of sand and leaving cool patterns in the sand as it rolls. Kids can move some serious ground with the Excavator, with a sand shovel mouth that can open and close thanks to the simple locking mechanism.

Crafty that Toddlers Will Love

Toddler Art Supplies

38. Mini No-Spill Paint Cups & Brushes – Our pint-sized paint cups are perfect for beginners…with specially designed tops that keep paint from spilling—even when tipped! The 6 durable plastic cups each hold 5 ounces of paint…and come complete with color-coordinated lids and brushes. Brushes feature natural bristles; cups measure 2 1/4″ tall.

39. Crayola Wonder Mess Free – Life can be messy, but it doesn’t have to be with Crayola Color Wonder! Crayola Color Wonder Mess Free Markers, Paint, and Stamps allow for creating without the mess. How? The Color Wonder inks only appear on the special Color Wonder Paper—not on skin, clothing, or furniture. From character themed Color Wonder Coloring Pages to Travel Activity Sets, there are plenty of no mess gift ideas for kids and toddlers. No matter the set you choose, all make great holiday gift ideas for toddlers.

40. Ooly Toddler Art Supplies – All kinds of colorful, fresh and inspiring products full of unexpected delight. Seriously fun stuff to make your art space, creative space, school space or home space more fun.

41. Play-Doh Slime Variety 6pk – It’s a slime party, and your little slime fanatic is invited! With Play-Doh Foam and 4 different kinds of Play-Doh slime, there’s plenty of fun to go around. 2 cans of Play-Doh Krackle slime has beads mixed in for a satisfying crackle in your hands. 1 can of Super Cloud fluffy slime has a light texture that feels like a cloud, and Super Stretch stretchy slime goes to amazing lengths! The foam beads and airy texture of Play-Doh Foam bring a different feel to the mix, and classic Play-Doh slime brings the goopy, slimy fun we all know and love.

42. Little Partners Deluxe Learn & Play Art Center – Keep your child’s imagination flowing with this Little Partners Deluxe learn and play art center.Includes a chalk board, magnetic dry erase board, eraser, roll-down paper, 4 non-spill paint containers, 2 fabric folding storage bins and 5 paper holding clips.

43. Kids Stamp Set – These bug stamps are so fun! Create your own bugs with leg, wing, body and antenna stamps. Includes 25 stamps, a double-ink pad, and one storage box.

44. Ooly Toddler Art Supplies – All kinds of colorful, fresh and inspiring products full of unexpected delight are definitely awesome holiday gift ideas for toddlers. Seriously fun stuff to make your art space, creative space, school space or home space more fun.

45. Foam Sensory Paint – Add sensory fun to arts & crafts with our foam paint—in 5 dazzling colors! Each bottle contains stimulating foam paint…and comes with a handy plastic pump. Children just squeeze out a dollop and use their fingers to paint, explore the texture…and mix the vibrant colors.

46. Rainbow Dot Markers – Creating artwork as vibrant and beautiful as a rainbow is easy with this pack of 12 dot markers by Creatology. All that your kids need to do is dab the spongy tip onto their canvas. They can layer the dabbed ink to create a spectrum of unique shades.

Yep, still more holiday gift ideas for toddlers!!!

Holiday Ride-On Gift

Toddler Ride On Toys

47. bilibo by MOLUK – Tortoise shell and sand toy, swing and spinner, cradle for dolls and a shell to build with in the snow – Bilibo is all this and much more. So what exactly is a Bilibo? Well one clue is the fact that it does not come with an instruction manual. Kids can do what they like with it!

48. Step2 Unicorn Up & Down Roller Coaster – Coast into the magical world of unicorns on the Step2 Unicorn Up & Down Roller Coaster™! Full of fun and whimsy, this unicorn-themed coaster is ready for kids to ride into fantasy land aboard an adorable unicorn car. Lock the steps into the platform, where the unicorn awaits the journey through 9 feet of rainbow riding track. Two easy-grip handles, foot rests, and a high back ensure a secure ride on the unicorn car. A motion activated light and sounds add to the magic as little ones ride!

50. Balance Bike – It’s easier for kids to learn how to ride a bike if they have good balance and coordination. This no-pedal balance bike moves as your child pushes and kicks, much like a scooter. Your kiddo will learn how to balance as they roll along.

51. Micro Kickboard Mini Plus Kick Scooter – The Micro Kickboard – Micro Mini Plus Lighted Wheels Scooter is a smooth gliding toy your kiddo will love taking for a ride. Its lean-to-steer design adds to the stability that lets kids steer the scooter by leaning their body left and right. This feature, while being fun, improves intuitive learning in kids and develops balance and coordination. High-quality wheels and a flexible fiberglass reinforced deck absorbs bumps in the sidewalk.

52. Little Tikes Hopper – The Little Tikes Mega Hopper Ball will have your child bouncing for hours! This awesome hopper ball helps your little one build sensory integration, coordination, balance, motor planning and bilateral skills, while encouraging them to be more active!

53. Dinosaur Hoppity Hop & Unicorn Hoppity Hop – Hop to it! These T-rex and Unicorn hoppity hops are made of bouncy soft material. Have a seat and grab the neck tight before jumping and away you go! Easy to inflate and deflate for on the go and storage.

And finally,

54. Mercedes-Benz GL450 SUV Powered Ride-On – The 6V Mercedes battery-powered toy is an exciting ride for any young driver! The luxury ride-on drives at 2.5 mph and comes loaded with features like working LED headlights, an MP3 Jack and a working radio. Press the sounds on the steering wheel for realistic car sounds, and use the two opening doors to climb in and out. Built for kids aged 3 and above, the 6V Mercedes has a premium design with a clear windshield, folding mirrors and realistic chrome rims. Rubber traction strips on the wheels let your child cruise on multiple surfaces.

Wow…that’s a lot of gifts! Ready for some more Holiday gift ideas for teens?

Hope you like these ideas!

These are just 54 of our 2020 Holiday Gift Ideas for Toddlers, but there are many more to come! Be sure to check out our other gift guides to find that perfect something for that perfect someone.

More 2020 Gift Guides for Those You Love

Holiday Gift Guide For Teens

Holiday Gift Ideas for Teens

Christmas Events in Orange County 2020

Christmas Events in Orange County 2020

It’s a tradition to make this guide to Christmas in OC as a gift to all of my readers! Even though we are facing a health crisis, there are still ways to enjoy the holiday season safely. All of the events on this list are family-friendly Christmas Events in the OC and Southern California. So mark your calendars with your top choices, and get ready to make this holiday season, one that your family will always remember!

( Check back! More events will be added as they’re announced. Have an event you would like to include? Please email jillparkin {at} gmail.com)

Holiday Light Displays in the OC


List of Over 60 Christmas Light Displays in Orange County
• Nellie Gail Road in Laguna Hills
• Candy Cane Lane | El Corzo Street in Rancho Santa Margarita
• Birch Street in Brea
• Belquest Drive in Lake Forest

Capistrano Lights
December 3, 2020 – January 3, 2021 |  5:30 – 9:00pm  |  San Juan Capistrano Mission
Nightly tree lighting in the Ruins of the Great Stone Church on select evenings. Enjoy the Mission in lights, say a prayer or make a wish for peace and goodwill and sing along with the cheerful songs of the 30-foot Christmas tree. The Front Courtyard features a 10-foot wreath, perfect for a holiday photo op. Stroll through the Mission grounds and enjoy seeing our community Christmas trees, festively lit and themed for the occasion. Face masks and social distancing will be required and enforced.

Outlets of San Clemente World’s Tallest Tree
November 7, 2020 – January 4, 2021  |  Outlets of San Clemente
Celebrate the holiday season at Outlets at San Clemente with a photo under the World’s TALLEST fresh-cut Christmas tree…all the way from Mt. Shasta at 125ft tall!. FREE

Holidays at Fashion Island
November 20, 2020 – January 1, 2020 | Fashion Island Newport Beach
Beginning Friday, November 20, you are invited to take in the sights and smells of our signature live 90-ft fir tree and, of course, take photos! Keep an eye out for NEW Santa & Friends photo experiences throughout Fashion Island to take fun photos with our augmented reality holiday characters, activated by QR codes.

Holiday Photo Stations
In addition to multiple holiday photo stations placed throughout Fashion Island, bring your family to the Christmas tree in the Neiman Marcus – Bloomingdale’s Courtyard for complimentary photos. A digital copy of the photo will be emailed to you. 

Virtual Santa Experience Delight your children and family with a personal virtual visit from Santa Claus! It’s safe, convenient, and fun. Connect with Santa via a video call for only $25. Reservations required.

Holidays at the Irvine Spectrum Center
November 27 – December 24, 2020 | Irvine Spectrum Center
Irvine Spectrum Center’s beautifully-decorated 75-foot tree in Giant Wheel Court will come to life at night with a choreographed light show every 30 minutes in the evening.

Keep an eye out for NEW Santa & Friends photo experiences throughout Irvine Spectrum Center to take fun photos with our augmented reality holiday characters, activated by QR codes. Locations include Regal Court, Giant Wheel Court, and Apple Court. In addition to multiple holiday photo stations placed throughout Irvine Spectrum Center, bring your family to the holiday tree in Giant Wheel Court and the lighted ornaments near Regal Theatres for complimentary photos Nov. 27-29 (4pm – 9pm), Dec. 4-6, 11-13, 18-19 (4pm – 9pm), Dec. 20-23 (3pm – 8pm), and Dec. 24 (2pm – 6pm). A digital copy of the photo will be emailed to you.

Candy Cane Challenge Calling all scavenger hunt enthusiasts! Can you find all the candy canes at Irvine Spectrum Center? Grab a participation card from Guest Services, complete the quest, then get a sweet reward and be entered for a chance to win a prize!

Holidays at Kaleidoscope
December 2020 | Kaleidoscope, Mission Viejo
Will be announced soon

HIKARI – A FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS
November 27, 2020 – January 10, 2021  | Tanaka Famrs
Join us for a celebration filled with joy and light! Literally translated, Hikari means shine in Japanese, and this holiday season we have really made Tanaka Farms shine with over a mile of twinkling lights! As you drive through our 30-acre farm, you will be dazzled by farm-themed lighting from trees, to scarecrows, tractors…even our sugarcane got the holiday light treatment! Plus, every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we have a very special visit from Santa, himself!

Newport Dunes Lighting of the Bay 
November 27, 2020 – January 1, 2021  |  Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort
Join us in celebrating Newport Dune’s 30th annual Lighting of the Bay. Stroll the bay and savor the sights and sounds of the holidays. The Back Bay will glow from sunset to sunup with festive floating holiday lights. On Friday and Saturday nights, cocktails and food will be available from Moe B’s Munchies beachfront grill for family picnics. Roast s’mores around the fire as you experience the bay aglow and immerse yourself with the holiday spirit. Masks are required when physical distancing is not possible and for the ordering of food or entering any indoor spaces such as our market or restrooms. Due to COVID-19, we will not be able to host an opening celebration. FREE

Holiday Events at Bella Terra
November 20 – December 24  |  Bella Terra, Huntington Beach
Santa & Mrs. Claus will be dropping by Bella Terra on their sleigh to take social distanced photos with all the children. Drop off your letters for Santa in Santa’s Mailbox at Bella Terra and Santa & Mrs. Claus will read your letters live on Facebook the following Tuesday from 6-7pm. On select dates, classic Christmas Carolers or our favorite Holiday Characters will be roaming throughout Bella Terra and spreading holiday cheer.

Magical Snowfall – Every half and hour from November 27 – December 24 it will magically snow in 3 different locations throughout Bella Terra.

Holiday Music – Enjoy live holiday music on the Green every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night from 6:30 – 9:30 PM and Saturday and Sunday from 12 – 3 PM.

Hot Cocoa & Carols with Peet’s – On select dates, enjoy hot cocoa from Peet’s Coffee and listen to your favorite Holiday carols on the Green.

Holidays at South Coast Plaza
November 14 – December 24, 2020 |  South Coast Plaza
Celebrate the joys of the holiday season with us. From great gift ideas to memorable visits with Santa, it’s the most wonderful time of the year at South Coast Plaza.  

Pavilion of Holiday Trees – Experience a one-of-a-kind exhibit at South Coast Plaza this holiday season. Features over 35 beautifully decorated trees on view November 14-December 4. Specialty trees include those decorated by the American Dance Movement, American Friends of the Louvre, Lang Lang International Music Foundation, Mariinksy Theatre and PBS SoCal. The trees are available for purchase through an online auction to benefit Southern California, national and global arts organizations. The Pavilion of Holiday Trees exhibit is free and open to the public during shopping center hours. Park near the North parking structure and follows signs toward The Pavilion.

Santa’s Outdoor Wonderland – Join Santa at a safe distance for professional photos in the South Coast Plaza West Parking Structure. Although the holidays are different this year, Santa’s Outdoor Wonderland retains the spirit of the season with a rustic winter forest setting. Photos with Santa are by available on a first-come, first-served in person appointments. Text messaging will alert when your appointment time is ready. Appointments cannot be made in advance or over the phone. Photos with Santa are available weather permitting so please check our website for updates. Social distancing guidelines will be followed.

Around the World with Santa – Head over to South Coast Plaza Carousel Court and wave to Santa — seated on his sleigh behind protective glass — and delight in imaginative images of children and landmarks from around the globe that are sure to put you in the holiday spirit

Holidays at the Harbor
November 11, 2020 – January 3, 2021 | Dana Point Harbor
Dana Point Harbor Partners is spreading seasonal cheer with the annual holiday light display that will illuminate the Harbor. Each night throughout the holiday season, the Harbor’s magnificent light display will illuminate the evening sky for guests of all ages to enjoy. Themed light exhibits throughout the Harbor will include Candy Cane Lane, a “Merry Kiss Me” arch, lighted trees, and much more.

Holidayz at the Great Park
November 21, 2020 – January 3, 2021 | Orange County Great Park
‘Tis the season for family fun and holiday cheer at the Orange County Great Park, where the park will be transformed into a winterscape featuring holiday-themed art, music, and lights. Take a stroll through the Palm Court and visit Air Santa, our larger-than-life modern take on Santa’s transportation as he prepares to depart with his load of gifts and toys. Browse the Palm Court, Artist Studios, and Hangar 244 promenade for interactive displays, festive photo backdrops, and the best selfie stations you’ll find this season!

Holiday Art on a Sock – Create a stocking to hang by the chimney with care, as a local artist provides a step-by-step lesson to paint a fun and festive design. Class fee of $50 is per participant and includes supplies. Registration is required by 3 p.m. December 2.

Gingerbread House Decorating Workshop – Parent and child can decorate a gingerbread house together while receiving fun tips from staff. All decorations and supplies are provided, so you can enjoy this sweet traditional activity without any of the fuss and mess of cleanup yourself! Class fee of $55 is for one parent and child, and includes supplies for one gingerbread house. Space is limited and this class will fill, so register early.

Night of Lights
December 3, 2020 – January 3, 2021 |  OC Fair & Event Center
A magical interactive drive through a winter wonderland of lights. This one mile drive will include over one million lights, including animated lights to music, Christmas tree lighting spectacular, plus a winter wonderland drive-thru.

Holidays at the Ritz-Carlton
November 21 & 22, 2020 |  4 – 6 pm  |  Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel
Two social distanced Open House and Tree Lighting Ceremonies will take place with KTLA Channel 5 Host Wendy Burch as the MC. Festivities include holiday music, a special appearance from Santa Claus, hot cocoa, and light the spectacular 40-foot tree on the front drive. Donations of new toys, non-perishable food items, children’s books, and dog treats and toys will be collected for Miracles for Kids, Orange County Rescue Mission, and local dog shelters. Advance reservations required, limited capacity.

Sand-sational Extravaganza – on November 21, the Ritz-Carlton will unveil of a new large-scale sand sculpture and sand vignettes in the lobby. This year’s theme highlights ocean inspirations, local surf culture, and our community partners including Surfers Healing and Canine Companions for Independence.  

Holiday Storytelling – on December 4, 5, 11, 12 at 5pm, Children and families are invited to enjoy a selection of holiday storytelling. Donations of new children’s books will be collected for Miracles for Kids. Limited capacity and complimentary to attend.

Gingerbread House and Holiday Cookie Decorating – On December 6 & 13, Gather with the family to decorate your very own large-scale gingerbread house and holiday cookies with tips and tricks provided by the resort’s expert pastry team. Complimentary hot cocoa served and other beverages available for purchase. Reserve your space by calling resort services at 949.240.2000.

Holidays at MainPlace Mall
November 24 – December 24, 2020 | MainPlace Mall
Announcement coming soon!!!!

Elf on a Shelf Magical Holiday Journey
November 12, 2020 – January 3, 2021 | Pomona Fairplex
Get ready for an all-new, one-of-a-kind immersive experience with The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey, all from the safety of your own car! This year Christmas Spirit is running low, so during test flights Santa’s sleigh had to make an emergency landing at Fairplex in Pomona. Now the Scout Elves have assembled there, and they need your help! Join them on a drive-thru quest to build more Christmas Spirit, as you and your elf-loving crew magically shrink down to elf size and embark on a fun expedition to help repair Santa’s sleigh. Enjoy a dazzling light spectacle with toy-repair workshops, gingerbread villages, and all the sights and sounds of the holidays, blended with a touch of high-spirited fun that only Santa’s favorite Scout Elves can deliver. Assemble your family and friends and help save Christmas at The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey!

Tree Lighting Ceremonies in Orange County

Dana Point Winter Festival and Tree Lighting
December 5, 2020  |  12:00 – 5:30pm  |  La Plaza, Dana Point
This annual event features Santa, entertainment, an artisan craft fair, sledding with real snow, carolers and food trucks! The tree lighting takes place at 5:15 pm with free hot chocolate and cookies.

Pines Park Tree Lighting
December 7, 2020  |  3 – 5:00pm  | Pines Park, Dana Point
This annual event features Santa, entertainment, an artisan craft fair, sledding with real snow, carolers and food trucks! The tree lighting takes place at 5:00 pm with free hot chocolate and cookies.

Brea Tree Lighting
December 3, 2020  |  6:30pm  |  Brea Civic & Cultural Center
Light up the holiday at the City of Brea’s annual tree lighting celebration. Live music and entertainment will put everyone in the holiday spirit. Watch the holiday tree light up the evening and see children’s eyes sparkle when Mr. and Mrs.Claus drop in for a visit. Pictures with Santa are available for a fee. Cookies and hot chocolate will be served. FREE

Buena Park Tree Lighting
December 4, 2020  |  5 – 8pm  |  Buena Park City Hall
Gather around the tree at this free event to enjoy the sights and sounds of holiday cheer. Tree lighting, music, and photo opportunities! Santa will make his grand entrance on an Orange County Fire Authority truck. In honor of this season of giving, the event is also host to a Toy Drive benefiting local charities. We encourage attendees to bring a new, unwrapped gift for children. FREE

Orange Tree Lighting Ceremony and Candlelight Procession VIRTUAL
December 6, 2020  |  5pm  |  Online
Due to State Health Guidelines we will be unable to gather for our traditional fall events this year. Please join us at 5pm on Sunday, December 6 as we present our virtual tree lighting ceremony on the city of orange website and across our social media platforms including facebook, nextdoor, youtube, instagram, and twitter. FREE

La Palma Tree Lighting VIRTUAL
December 10, 2020  |  6pm  | Online
Watch with your friends and family this annual holiday favorite, this year, brought to you virtually. Details coming soon. FREE

Ladera Ranch Tree Lighting
December TBD  |  5:00 – 8:30 p.m.  |  Town Green, Ladera Ranch
Christmas Tree Lighting & Santa at the Town Green, corner of Sienna Parkway & Mercantile Way (details to be announced closer to the event). FREE

Laguna Niguel Christmas Tree Lighting VIRTUAL
December 4, 2020  |  6pm  |  Online
A Celebrate the holidays with a virtual tree lighting event! Experience holiday magic from the comfort of your own home by joining City Council as they light the City’s Christmas tree. Head to the City of Laguna Niguel’s Facebook page @CityofLagunaNiguel to watch all the holiday cheer LIVE beginning at 6pm. FREE

Drive-by Christmas Tree Celebration Laguna Niguel
December 5, 2020  |  6 – 9pm  |  Laguna Niguel City Hall
Come take a scenic drive through our holiday wonderland! This year’s celebration will feature multiple displays that illuminate the holiday spirit, as you drive through sprinkling snow flakes and listen to the sounds of the season! There will be special guest appearances featuring Santa and his friends! Cars may begin to line-up at 5:45pm and the last car to go through will be at 9pm. FREE

South Coast Plaza Tree Lighting Ceremony VIRTUAL
November 21, 2020  | 6:30pm  |  Town Center, Costa Mesa
South Coast Plaza’s annual tree-lighting will be a virtual event for its 39th year, hosted by Misty Copeland, Principal Dancer of the American Ballet Theatre. The virtual show will feature performances by the Orange County School of the Arts and a special visit from Santa. FREE

Drive-in Movie on the Meadows | Santa Clause 3
December 4, 2020  |  5pm | Vista Hermosa Sports Park, San Clemente
The City of San Clemente is bringing SANTA CLAUSE 3 to the meadows at Vista Hermosa Sports Park! Register your vehicle, for only $15. Each parking spot will be marked in advance with have 6ft of distance on both sides. Listen through your radio with an FM transmitter. Restrooms will be provided with continuous cleaning and monitoring. Registration Required.

Drive-in Movie on the Meadows | The Grinch
December 18, 2020  |  5pm | Vista Hermosa Sports Park, San Clemente
The City of San Clemente is bringing THE GRINCH to the meadows at Vista Hermosa Sports Park! Register your vehicle, for only $15. Each parking spot will be marked in advance with have 6ft of distance on both sides. Listen through your radio with an FM transmitter. Restrooms will be provided with continuous cleaning and monitoring. Registration Required.

Winter in the Grove
December 5, 2020  | 5 – 9pm  | Village Green Park, Garden Grove
Load up the family car and come drive through out winter wonderland, complete with festive, holiday scenes, exotic cars, and enjoy treats and activities courtesy of local community groups! Kettle corn and other snacks will be available for purchase along the route, with your drive ending in a unique photo opportunity from the safety of your car with our holiday tree and Santa Claus.

Christmas at Franklin’s Escape Room
December 1 – February 1, 2020 | 10:00am – 10:00pm | Escape Room Era, Anaheim
Adrenaline courses through you as you have one hour to uncover clues, solve riddles and puzzles, and find the greatest toy ever invented to save Christmas for all the boys and girls in the world! You are immersed in Christmas at Franklin’s, one of the escape rooms of Escape Room Era, testing your wits, creativity, speed, and teamwork. Whether your team consists of coworkers, family, friends, or schoolmates, you’ll be bonded by your memorable experience at Escape Room Era.

Corona Del Mar Christmas Walk
Month of December |  Corona Del Mar Business District
The 2020 Christmas Walk has been “REIMAGINED” and will be celebrating and promoting the CdM village businesses for the entire month of December with various holiday promotions, activities, and contests for the entire community to enjoy! Festivitiees include Corona del Mar merchant promotions throughout the CdM Business District. A Holiday Lighting & Decor Contest featuring CdM businesses and Judged by Peoples Choice. Pop-up live entertainment featuring holiday music & local art displays, and tree lighting ceremony. FREE

Candy Caneland
December 5, 2020  |  11 am – 3pm | Ehlers Event Center, Buena Park
Get into the holiday spirit and join us for a Christmas drive-thru experience complete with holiday scenes and music. Kids will get a special wave from Santa and a treat! Reservations are required. FREE

Letters to Santa Laguna Niguel
November 14 – December 11, 2020  |  Laguna Niguel
Would you like to receive a letter from Santa? Santa has asked us to help him by collecting letters in our “North Pole” mailbox located in front of Crown Valley Community Center. The mailbox will be available from Saturday, November 14 through Friday, December 11. Santa will be able to write one return letter per family at one address in Laguna Niguel or write to children who include a self-addressed stamped envelope. FREE

Gnome Around Town
November 30 – December 18, 2020  |  Laguna Niguel
Follow our friendly holiday gnome on Instagram @CityofLagunaNiguel as he adventures throughout the City through the month of December! As he visits our local parks, restaurants, and businesses, follow him on his adventures, and guess where he is for a chance to win a prize! FREE

Where to Get Santa Photos or Christmas Photos in Orange County

Santa Claus is Coming to Pretend City
December 9, 12, 15 & 18, 2020  |  9:30am  |  Pretend City Children’s Museum
Santa Claus is coming to town! More specifically though Pretend City! Meet jolly ‘ol Saint Nick, tell him your holiday wishes, and pose for a photo! You don’t want to miss out on this exclusive holiday happening at our museum! Don’t forget to bring a camera!

Christmas Family Photos in Laguna Niguel
December 6 – 8, 2020  |  5 – 8pm  |  Laguna Niguel City Hall
This holiday season, we are offering the opportunity for you and your family to take photos by our beautifully decorated Christmas tree located at City Hall. Reservations required. 10-minute time slots will be available between 5-8pm to take photos in front of three holiday scenes. Please register your family, including your furry friends. Registration will be available starting Tuesday, December 1 at 9am. 8 persons max per group. One time slot per family.

• Fashion Island Santa Hours.
• MainPlace Mall Santa Hours
• Brea Mall Santa Hours
• The Shops at Mission Viejo Santa Hours
• Irvine Spectrum Santa Hours

Pet Photos with Santa in Orange County

Santa Paws Photos
December 4 & 5, 2020  | 10am – 3pm | Dana Point Harbor
Pet Project Foundation will host the 9th Annual Santa Paws. The cost is only $15 for a picture. Start a family tradition with these keepsake photos of your beloved pets. All proceeds benefit the homeless animals at the San Clemente – Dana Point Animal Shelter.

Home For the Holidays Pet Adoption Event
December 1 – 15, 2020 | Irvine Animal Care Center
This year, the 14th annual Home for the Holidays Pet Adoption Fair is going digital! While we can’t gather in person, we can still come together to help animals from all over find new adoptive homes. Join the Irvine Animal Care Center online and on social media to find your newest furry family member this holiday season. You can also learn about other participating shelters and rescue groups with available animals for adoption, and how to support pet-related vendors the center’s life-saving programs. 

Read More…

Fun Holiday Gift Ideas for Teens 2020

Holiday Gift Ideas for Teens

It’s that time of the year! Time to shop for all your loved ones. But you may be needing some Holiday Gift Ideas for Teens. I don’t know about you, but when it comes to finding presents, it’s the hardest job to find good Christmas gift ideas for teens.

This post contains affiliate links.

Musical Gift Ideas for Teens

1.Make Your Own Guitar Pick Punch – Turn unwanted plastic, like expired credit cards and IDs, into custom guitar picks.

2. Studebaker Retro Street Bluetooth Boombox – Hit the street with retro style and major sound when you play your favorite hits from this Bluetooth-enabled boombox by Studebaker. Play CDs, listen to the radio and stream digital playlists. Features a top handle for easy toting and telescoping antenna. Complete with a colorful LED equalizer.

3. Kala Far Out Ukulele – Whether heading for the surf or cruising in town, our Surf ukes are a go-to for beach vibes all year round. Enjoy the sound of summer in style, and make waves wherever you go. Your teen will love learning to play the ukulele!

4. Victrola Record Player Bundle – Bring retro back. The Victrola portable suitcase turntable is an absolute classic which includes built-in Bluetooth technology to wirelessly stream music from any Bluetooth enabled device. Bundle includes a 3-Speed Turntable, Record Storage Case and Replacement Needles. Features an RCA Aux-in and headphone jack, built-in stereo speakers, and a 3.5 mm aux-in jack for playing music from any non-Bluetooth device.

5. Taylor Swift ‘1989’ LP Vinyl Album – Featuring the mega-hit single ‘Shake It Off,’ this Platinum-certified album is a hot splash of Taylor Swift’s signature pop sound.

6. Harry Styles ‘Fine Line’ LP Vinyl Album – The sophomore solo release by Harry Styles, this two-record album offers up the hit singles ‘Lights Up’ and ‘Watermelon Sugar’ among it’s pop-rock offerings.

7. Squier by Fender Stratocaster Beginner Pack – Learn to play the guitar with this beautiful Fender Squier guitar. Includes free 3-month subscription to Fender Play, Frontman 10G guitar amplifier, padded gig bag, instrument cable, instrument strap and picks

8. Bluetooth Beanie Hat – Have you tried wearing earbuds with a hat over them in winter? Uncomfortable and inconvenient. A bluetooth beanie makes it possible to listen to music and enjoy outside winter activities simultaneously. This beanie made of quality thermal insulation, lets you enjoy outdoor winter activities while listening to music. The built-in speaker and microphone lets you pick up calls directly!

9. Vinyl Record Cleaning Brush – Made from carbon fibers, the AudioQuest record brush gently reaches into the groove, pulling out dust and dirt that would otherwise snap, crackle, and pop through your speakers. Don’t let those little intrusions turn into big interruptions.

Christmas gift ideas for teen girls and teen boys

Fun Phone Accessories

10. Phone Disco Light – Get your groove on whether you’re on or off the dance floor thanks to this disco light by Kikkerland Design. It plugs right into your phone’s lightning port and lights up to the rhythm of your music. Compatible with iOS.

11. Pastel Rainbow 10FT USB to Lightening Cable – This 10 foot cable is super fun with it’s rainbow colors and super long! You can never have enough phone cables. Right?!!!

12. iRoller Touchscreen Cleaner – Keep your screens crystal clear with this smart cleaner that removes smudges with ease.

13. OtterBox Mobile Device Detail Kit – Your phone goes through a lot —day in and day out. Keep the OtterBox Mobile Device Care Kit on hand to wipe away grime in a flash. Three specially designed brushes whisk away dust, lint and dirt from ports and jacks. The micro-fiber cloth clears smudges and fingerprints. And the 70% alcohol cleaning wipes wash grungy surfaces.

14. Clip-on Selfie Light Ring – Enjoy your perfectly lit selfies! Take away unflattering shadows with this clip-on selfie light ring. Simply clip-on a smart phone or computer monitor. It includes a built-in rechargeable battery so you do not need extra batteries, just a USB Cord. The dimmable ring goes from low-high brightness with three-level dimming options. Has 36 LED lamp beads for long life.

15. Mini Smart Phone Tripod – Take fun group photos with this mini flexible tripod with remote shutter and universal clip. Works for smart phones and sports Gopro. You can easily switch between Wrap Mode, Grip Mode and Stand Mode for your preferred use. Tripod legs are flexible and adjustable for any angle as the skid resistant rubber feet enable great stability. 

16. Cleaning Dusters – Makes a great stocking stuffer. Easily clean your electronics with these Insignia™ cleaning dusters that utilize compressed gas with ozone-safe formula for efficient use and environmental friendliness. The 2-pack ensures you have a spare on hand.

17. Cable Bites for iPhone Cable Cords – These adorably cute animals are here to protect your iPhone cables!! Prevents the cable from disconnecting.

Gifts for the Gamer

18. Nintendo Switch, Ring Fit Adventure – An adventure game that’s also a workout! Explore a fantastical adventure world to defeat a bodybuilding dragon and his minions using real-life exercises! Traverse grass-swept plains by jogging in place, attack enemies with overhead shoulder presses, and refill your health meter by striking some yoga poses. Two new accessories, Ring -Con and Leg Strap, measure your real-world actions and help turn them into in-game movements. With additional minigames, Ring Fit Adventure is great escape for players of all skill levels and schedules. You can also check your estimated pulse rate with the built-in IR Motion Sensor.

19. Nintendo Games for Switch and Switch Lite – There are so many fun games for your Nintendo consoles. Our favorites are: Animal Crossing, Just Dance 2020, Pokemon Sword, Pokemon Shield, Minecraft, Super Smashbrothers, Luigi’s Mansion 3, and Mario Party.

20. Nintendo Switch Console – Nintendo Switch makes one of the ultimate holiday gift ideas for teens. It is the best home video game system that provides single and multiplayer thrills at home or on-the-go. At home the system rests in the Nintendo Switch dock, which lets you play on a TV in the comfort of your living room. By simply lifting Nintendo Switch from the dock, the system instantly transitions to handheld mode, and the same great gaming experience that was being enjoyed at home now travels with you. Its 6.2-inch screen displays bright, high-definition gameplay at the park, on an airplane, in a car, or at a friend’s apartment. This bundle includes the Nintendo Switch console and Nintendo Switch dock in black, with contrasting left and right Joy-Con controllers-one blue, one red. It also includes all the extras you need to get started.

21. Nintendo Switch Lite Console – Introducing Nintendo Switch Lite, a new version of the Nintendo Switch system that’s optimized for personal, handheld play. With a built-in +Control Pad, and a sleek, unibody design, Nintendo Switch Lite is great for on-the-go gaming at a great price. Compatible with popular games such as Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and more.

22. Logitech 7.1 Surround Sound Wired Headset – Three dimensional audio that goes beyond 7.1 channels to make you feel like you’re right in the middle of the action

23. Gaming Gift Cards – This is what the teens really want. You can find a gift card for any system your favorite teen has. From monthly subscriptions to individual games, there are lots of gift card options.

24. Razer BlackWidow Tournament Chroma V2 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard – Designed specifically for gaming: Razer™ Mechanical Switches provide optimized actuation and reset points so commands are executed with blazing fast responsiveness. The ergonomic, magnetic wrist rest is made of plush leatherette to maximize comfort over extended gaming sessions.

On-the-go Things Teens Love

25. Sticker Packs – Stickers are back and all the rage. Put them on laptops, Macbook, skateboards, luggage, cars, bicycles, bedroom walls, travel cases, snowboards, PS4, XBOX ONE, SWITCH…ANYWHERE!!!

26. C7SKATES Premium Quad Roller Skates – Stand out while you glide through the roller rink in these quad-format roller skates by C7skates. Premium design features a faux leather lace-up boot with a padded build, propped on lightweight aluminum trucks with carbon bearings, classic wheels and toe stopper.

27. RazorX DLX Electric Skateboard – This is the new era of skateboards. The RazorX DLX electric skateboard has a stealthy smooth, hub motor that hits speeds up to 12 mph (19 km/h). The rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack keeps you riding for up to 40 minutes of carve and cruise action. Use the wireless, hand-held remote for an instant connection to the powerful hub motor, with variable-speed control to help ease into and out of the throttle for a smooth, controlled ride.

28. FJÄLLRÄVEN Kånken Backpack – These backpacks are super popular with teens. Simple, stylish and functional, the Kanken backpack from Fjällräven is at home on the city streets or country trails. A lightweight backpack with removable cushion helps pad the contents until you’re ready to take a rest.

29. Glow-in-the-Dark Capture the Flag Game – Capture the Flag REDUX is an exciting nighttime Glow-in-the-Dark outdoor game for groups of friends. Play Capture the Flag anywhere with space to run, in the dark, using futuristic lights!

30. HYDRO Flask – Perfect for the trail, the beach or everyday use, this large-capacity bottle is a hydration must-have. Pick from all the new colors…it’s a teen must-have.

31. Spikeball – Spikeball is easy to play and easy to set up! Includes a net, 3 balls, a drawstring bag and instructions. With rules combining four square and volleyball, this fun game is played by two teams of two players each.

Wow…that’s a lot of gifts! Ready for some more Holiday gift ideas for teens?

Holiday Gift Ideas for Teens

Crafty Fun for Teens

32. Prismacolor® Advanced Hand Lettering Set & Prismacolor® Beginning Hand Lettering Set – This advanced hand lettering set from Prismacolor will make the perfect addition to your art and craft supplies. It includes everything you need to give your scrapbooks, journals or handmade cards an artistic touch. 

33. 12″x 12″ Letterboard – Everyone needs a letterboard to showcase their favorite phrases and messages.  Includes hangers for easy display and a woodgrain-finish frame. Comes with 181 Letters & Characters in a unique uppercase font

34. Calligraphy and Hand Lettering for Beginners : An Interactive Calligraphy & Lettering Workbook – This calligraphy and hand lettering book for aspiring calligraphers offers instruction and exercises to teach you the art. Includes sources to choose the right materials for your tool kit, the basic terminology that is commonly used, calligraphy background information, essentials on Foundational Hand, Roman or Latin Hand, Gothic Hand and Modern Script and much more!

35. 12 x 12″ Iridescent Letterboard – Need a more fancy letter board? How a bout this letterbord with an iridescent frame and white slats. Includes 180pc black plastic letters and symbols.

36. Tombow Dual Brush Pen Art Markers  – These dual brush pens have a flexible brush tip and fine tip in one marker. The brush tip works like a paintbrush to create fine, medium or bold strokes while the fine tip gives consistent lines. The water-based ink is blendable and the resilient nylon brush retains its point stroke after stroke. 

37. Colorful Letters for Letterboards – Brighten up your own personal letterboard with these colorful letter packs by Die Cuts with a View. They come in a variety of colors and fun fonts.

38. TULIP® One-Step Party Tie-Dye Kit – Make your own tie dye tshirts and clothing with this party-size Tulip tie dye kit. I would say many would recommend this as holiday gift ideas for teens. It includes supplies for up to 36 projects including 18 easy-squeeze bottles in 14 different dye colors in an easy plastic storage tub. Includes gloves, rubber bands, and instruction guide with different tie dye techniques. Dyes are machine-wash safe and colors will stay vibrant even after repeated wash.

Christmas gift ideas for teens

Teen Toy Gift Ideas

40. World’s Smallest Uno Card Game – Your favorite rainy day card game in a miniature scale for even more fun. Features all the Uno signatures, scaled down, perfect for playing on-the-go.

41. Super Nee-Doh – The perfect thing for stress + fidgets, this oversized glob balls come in assorted colors and even fruit shapes. They have a soft texture you can knead, pull, throw and squish ‘til you’re satisfied! Strong + durable, it won’t break open and its responsive material always returns to the original shape.

42. Big Mouth Inc. Tiny Hands – When you’re looking for the best joke to keep up your sleeve, Tiny Hands are the hilariously perfect choice! You just hold on to the handles to conceal your real hands and then start to surprise (creep out) everyone you know!

43. Crazy Aaron’s SCENTsory Thinking Putty – These thinking putties not only smell good, but have a fun light & soft texture that never dries out,. So they are great for teens to relieve stress during online learning or during a tough day. Stretch it, bounce it, pop it, tear it, and sculpt it! Putty comes in fun flavor scents like Pizza, Chocolate, and Orangesicle. Finally, they’re made of non-toxic silicone that is easily removed from solid surfaces and made in the USA.

44. Magnetic Dart Board – Bullseye! This dart board is a modern update to the classic version. We’ve ditched the dangerous darts in favor of magnets, making it even more fun (and safe) to aim for your target.

45. 5 Surprise Mini Brands Surprise Ball – Open up this surprise blind box ball to reveal a kitschy collection of miniature figures of your nostalgic faves, from Airheads to Wet Ones and everything in between. Every ball is different. Holiday Gift Ideas for Teens have never been so fun!

Tech Christmas gift ideas for teens

Tech Gift Ideas for Teens

46. Canon – SELPHY CP1300 Wireless Compact Photo Printer – Produce colorful photos at home or on the go with this Canon SELPHY wireless printer. Its compact size lets you take it with you anywhere, and its 3.2-inch LCD screen offers an intuitive interface for selecting your favorite photos to print. This Canon SELPHY wireless printer offers different photo sizes, including square and traditional rectangle shapes.

47. Oculus Quest 2 Virtual Reality Headset – Oculus Quest 2 is all the rage and offers an easy to use, next-level VR experience. Thanks to a fast processor and a high-resolution display, you’ll be immersed in another realm. Just pop the headset on, set up with the smartphone app and get set to jump into VR, without the need of a PC or console. The redesigned Oculus Touch controllers intuitively enable you to transport your movements directly into your VR games or experiences.

48. CYXUS Blue Light Blocking Gaming Glasses – Nowadays we’re constantly bathing in artificial blue light. Eyestrain and headache can be caused by harmful digital blue light comes from digital device. These Blue light blocking technology—HEV-Absorb Technology, will reflect harmful blue light directly, prevent blue light from passing through the lens to your eyes. Suitable for the people who use digital device everyday.

49. Color Changing Strip Light Kit – The EEEkit 300 LED strip light kit is 16.4 feet, waterproof, and color changing. The RGB LED strip light tape comes with a remote control requires a 12V 2A Power Supply. Perfect for home lighting, decorating your room or lining space.

50. Smoko Airpods Silicone Cases – These fun-shaped AirPods cases by Smoko are perfect to carry your AirPods in. They come in lots of cute designs. The soft-touch silicone design with a lid and side loop to attach a keychain.

51. Polaroid Now Instant Camera – Capture memories in an instant with this Polaroid camera, featuring built-in features designed for effortless shooting with precise results. Autofocus, self-timer and flash ensure accurate pictures, while double exposure mode offers endless possibilities for creativity.

52. Apple AirPods – The new AirPods combine intelligent design with breakthrough technology and crystal clear sound. Powered by the new Apple H1 headphone chip, AirPods now feature hands-free access to Siri using just your voice. And up to 3 hours of talk time on a single charge.

Christmas gift ideas for teen girls

Bedroom Gift Ideas for Teens

53. Lap Desks – These might be unusual holiday gift ideas for teens, but so is 2020. No matter where you are, study in style! These adjustable lapdesks have a wood surface that opens to three compartments for storing study essentials. Its durable handle makes it easy to carry on the go. Plus, its soft base provides maximum comfort throughout long study sessions.

54. Light Up Real Moon Lamp – Even on nights when the full moon isn’t in clear sight, this nightstand-friendly lamp lets you fall asleep to the moon’s glow. With a click of a button, they can switch  between 16 different moon colors, instantly changing the vibe of their space. 

55. Gemstone Sensor Nightlights – These ethereal nightlights are made with the sparkling stone of your choice, whether that’s amethyst, rose quartz, or white quartz, and powered by long-lasting LED bulbs. Equipped with a built-in sensor, light up automatically when a room gets dark, shutting off again as daylight returns.

56. Teen Lounge Furniture – Teens need a cozy spot to sink in and prop themselves up for movies, games or afternoon lounging. Check out these great choices from PB Teen.

57. Fairy Lights – These LED string lights feature 90 closely-arranged light bulbs that glow brightly and bring a romantic touch to any setting.

58. Porcelain Dinosaur Planters – These dinosaur planters make an adorable accent on your windowsill, by your bed, or on the coffee table. Just don’t tell T-Rex that he’s adorable—he has a reputation to uphold.

59. Shoppe Geo Reveal Stone Collection – These curated collections of crystals, minerals, and stones are a perfect gift for the yogi or crystal healing enthusiast in your life. Each piece is specially curated to bring positive energy into your home and elevate your everyday living.

Christmas clothing gift ideas for teen girls and teen boys

More Gift Ideas for Teens

60. Vans Shoes – Vans are very popular with teens and my go-to holiday gift ideas for teens. You can never have enough and can always use a new pair!

61. Women’s Bp. Sophie Criss Cross Plush Bedroom Slipper  – Supersoft and plush, this fuzzy slipper with crisscrossed straps makes you feel like you’re having a spa day any time you slip it on.

62. Sanuuk Chiba Chill Slippers – Rock the perfect combination of classic sandal comfort and bold style with the Sanuk® Chiba Chill slipper shoe! They have faux shearling lining for cozy comfort.

63. Chapstick Holiday Collection – Get the flavors of the season. This delicious flavor mix is sure to spread holiday cheer. Each pack contains a variety of flavors including: 2 Candy Cane, 2 Sugar Cookie, 2 Vanilla Latte, 2 Holiday Cocoa, 2 Pumpkin Pie.

64. Joah Love Face Masks – Looks like face masks will be around for a while. These Joah Love ones are soft, trendy and have a great design to keep you protected.

65. Holiday Shave Kits – No matter who you are, it’s nice to get a fresh new shaver and shaving products. Check out these great holiday edition kits.

66. Smile Face Crew Socks – These happy socks with embroidered smiley face patch at the ankle will bring a smile to all who see them. 

67. Shoe Cleaning Kit – A great stocking stuffer! Keep your sneakers clean with these shoe cleaner kits.

68. Vans Fanny Pack – Great for anyone to use as a traditional fanny pack or cross over bag. They are the new way to carry your things on the go.

69. BATISTE Mini Dry Shampoo Trio Gift Set – ‘Tis the season for gorgeous hair, so give the gift of this dry shampoo trio by Batiste. Includes mini sizes of the Original, Volumizing and Tropical scents, perfect to throw in your bag (or stocking) for on-the-go touchups.

And finally,

70 . The Comfy – The Original Oversized Blanket Sweatshirt is one of the ultimate holiday gift ideas for teens. The Comfy is this year’s BIG THING. This genius combo of sweatshirt and blanket may not land you on the best-dressed list, but who cares! You’ll be sitting pretty and protected in an oversized halo of warmth. Super-soft (and super-fun), this blanket sweatshirt is lined with cozy sherpa, ideal for lounging in the lap of laziness, cheering from the stands in ultimate coziness, or (when coffee isn’t enough) chasing the morning chill away. Everyone – get comfy!

Hope you like these ideas!

These are just 70 of our 2020 Holiday Gift Ideas for Teens, but there are many more to come! Be sure to check out our other gift guides to find that perfect something for that perfect someone.

The New Amazon Fresh in Irvine, California

Amazon Fresh in Irvine

A new Amazon Fresh Grocery Store has come to Irvine, California! This is the first one of its kind to come to Orange County and the kids and I were excited to check it out. We wanted to see what it is all about and how things work. The new Amazon Fresh in Irvine is located in the Marketplace at 13672 Jamboree Road, Irvine, CA 92602. It’s really easy to find as it is right off the 5 freeway.

Amazon Fresh comes to Orange County, California

Amazon Fresh’s goal is to offer shoppers a seamless grocery shopping experience, whether shopping in-store or online. The store claims it will have consistently low prices for all, and FREE, same-day delivery and pick-up for Prime members. Its goal is to introduce new ways to make grocery shopping more convenient, including the Amazon Dash Cart, new Alexa features to help customers manage their shopping lists and better navigate aisles.

The Amazon Dash Cart

The entire reason my kids wanted to check out the new Amazon Fresh store. The new Amazon Dash Cart is a smart shopping cart that is designed to make a quick grocery trip quicker. This is because it allows you to skip the checkout line. You sign into the cart using a QR code on your Amazon app, then place your bags in the cart. Now it’s time to go shopping in the store. When you’re done shopping, you can exit through the store’s Dash Cart lane without having to go through the checkout. The cart uses a combination of computer vision algorithms and sensor fusion to identify items put into the cart.

Although the Dash Cart was super exciting, we found that it was a very small. It was not big enough to hold all the food we needed to purchased and also work properly. I would say if you need a lot of groceries, it is easier to just use a regular cart.

They also have regular carts if you prefer to shop regular, and mini carts for the kids. My daughter was offered some super cute fruit stickers that made her very happy, and added to the whole shopping experience to make it fun. However, we she did run that little shopping cart into a few shoppers. Oops!!!!

What to Expect at Amazon Fresh in Irvine

At Amazon Fresh we found a wide assortment of national brands and produce, meat and seafood, as well as a range of prepared foods that are made fresh in-store every day.  

We found anything from fresh-baked bread and made-to-order pizzas, to rotisserie chickens and hot sandwiches like our brisket panini. We also found brands such as 365 by Whole Foods Market organics, plus national brands like Coca-Cola and Kraft Mac and Cheese. It made us happy to find local brands like Good Culture cottage cheese, Tosi snack bars, Mother-in-Law’s Kimchi and Rockenwagner Bakery; regional favorites like Duke’s Mayo, Ellenos Yogurt and Boston Chowda; and new Amazon exclusive brands like Fresh and Cursive.

Repacked meals and meals to-go are a big thing at Amazon Fresh stores. This really reminds me of Wholefoods!

Fresh Made Food at Amazon Fresh
Deli Meals to Go at Amazon Fresh in Irvine

There is also a table area to enjoy your food and beverages at. It will open up as soon as Covid-19 restrictions open up.

Amazon Fresh Food Court Seating

Amazon Fresh claims they offer low prices. For the most part, we found that to be true. Like our favorite ice cream for under $5.

Cheap food at AmazonFresh

I did notice that the prices were equivalent to the sale prices on the items I normally buy. There were $0.15 cent bananas, $0.89 cent freshly baked bread, $1.79 freshly baked pizza slices and $4.97 rotisserie chickens. I must say that the rotisseries chickens were very tiny! Milk was $2.69, so a great price. My kids especially liked that is came in different shaped jugs.

Amazon Fresh Inexpensive milk

Fun Finds at Amazon Fresh

When it comes to products, we found that Amazon Fresh offered a big selection in some items, and a limited selection in others. We were able to find most of the brands we normal purchase and use…along with a bunch of new ones! This was exciting because we were able to buy some new brands that look really good. We will keep you updated.

It was funny to find cereal of every size on the the cereal aisle. They had regular, family size and even giant size. So. Many. Sizes. The biggest box of Rice Krispies we’ve ever seen was there….of course we had to buy it.

Cereal selection at Amazon Fresh

And have you ever seen so many varieties of Hershey’s chocolate syrup?

Chocolate Syrup at Amazon Fresh

It makes it easy to treat yourself to flowers when they are only $5 a bunch. This is another fun find!

Fresh Flowers at Amazon Fresh in Irvine Caliornia
Fresh Flowers at Amazon Fresh

Can You Buy Fresh Meat?

Yes! There is a meat section located inside the grocery store with a selection of seafood, beef, chicken, pork and more. All of the meats are freshly packaged daily and are ready to purchase.

Packaged Meat at Amazon Fresh

You Can Ship Your Packages!

Get two things done in the same place. Yes, you can I pick up and return Amazon.com packages at the Amazon Fresh store. Your packages can be sent to an Amazon Fresh store for secure delivery. Returns are hassle free—you don’t need a box, label, or tape. Also, you can purchase Amazon products such as an Alexa.

Mail and Receive Packages at Amazon Fresh Stores
Mail and Receive Packages at Amazon Fresh Stores

Safety at the Store

Wondering about the safety measures during this time at Amazon Fresh? They applied the same safety measures in place at Whole Foods Market, such as requiring face coverings and daily temperature checks for all employees and vendors entering the store, face coverings for all customers entering the store, also offering free, disposable face masks for those who want one. All stores are operating at 50% capacity. Amazon Fresh has stated that nothing is more important than the health and safety of their employees and customers.

Check out at Amazon Fresh

When checking out at Amazon Fresh, you can choose a couple of options. If you chose a Dash Cart, you can go to the Dash Line. Since the cart has already scanned your items to your app, you just press accept on the app and go on your way.

Checkout at Amazon Fresh Stores

You can also checkout with cash, or use the app at the regular checkout lanes. Amazon Fresh stores accept cash and SNAP benefits at all stores. If you have a bigger haul, this is where you’ll go.

Checking Out at Amazon Fresh

It was fun to check out the new Amazon Fresh store in Irvine. It’s always great when new stores open and support the community by creating hundreds of high-quality local jobs. And did you know that Amazon Fresh donates surplus food from its Amazon Fresh stores to local food banks. They have already donated over 180,000 lbs. of food (equivalent to over 150,000 meals). We love that.

Welcome to Orange County Amazon Fresh.

Amazon Fresh Grand Opening