Why I LOVE my Knott’s Berry Farm Season Pass and a GIVEAWAY!!!!!

knotts-season-passes-benefits if you have been a fan of Sandy Toes and Popsicles over the years, then you know how much i LOVE Knott’s Berry Farm. i share lots of the fun things the boys and i have experienced at Knott’s throughout every season. the main reason we are able to spend so much time at Knott’s Berry Farm is because we each have a Knott’s Berry Farm season pass. this way we can go to all the events that are happening year round. we enjoy our time at Knott’s so much, that i am here, trying to convince you that you also need to get annual passes for you family. did you know a Season Pass not only provides park admission to Knott’s Berry Farm all year long, but ALSO include some cool perks? it’s true….there are even more perks to having a Season Pass beyond its great value (and no blackout dates)!!!! check out some of my favorite reasons for owning a Knott’s Season Pass. (continue reading to find an AWESOME giveaway!!!!) knotts-berry-farm-rides

Always Something New to Do

at Knott’s Berry Farm they call it Seasons of Fun because the offerings always change based on the season. during spring, you can head to Knott’s Boysenberry Festival, the best time for food at Knott’s, and a salute to the birthplace of the Boysenberry. it’s a month-long food festival featuring boysenberry-inspired dishes that are both sweet and savory, plus there is a lot of fun, family friendly entertainment. The Best Boysenberry Festival EverBoysenberry Festival in Southern CaliforniaThe Fun Stick at Knott's Berry Farm Boysenberry Festival summertime means Calico comes to life with Ghost Town Alive! making friends with the citizens of Ghost Town and taking part in cowboy shenanigans make for a memorable summer. Ghost Town Alive at KnottsKnott's Ghost Town Alive NewpaperKnott's School House summer also brings fun in the sun for Gold Season Passholders at Knott’s Soak City, where several new water slides are coming. and don’t forget fireworks on the Fourth of July! Knott's-Soak-City fall is the season of Knott’s Spooky Farm, the park-wide, family friendly Halloween celebration with trick-or-treating and fun costumes geared for children. Spooky HollowKnott's Camp Spooky Trick or Treating as winter approaches, Santa Snoopy and dancing lights fill the park for Knott’s Merry Farm. nightly snow fall and festive holiday shows make Christmas time at Knott’s quite charming, special and unique. Knott's Berry Farm Train at ChristmasVann with Santa at Knott'sKnott's Berry Farm Carolers countdown the final moments of the year and ring in the New Year At Knott’s Berry Farm with a spectacular midnight fireworks celebration. Knott's New Years Eve Celebration all this plus hundreds of special memories are included with your Knott’s Berry Farm season pass!


Season Passholders receive discounts on select merchandise and food and dining throughout the park. and yes, that includes the signature Knott’s jams and preserves. Passholders also receive discounts on tickets to the largest Halloween event in Southern California, Knott’s Scary Farm. knotts-pass-discounts

Early Ride Time

during the summer and select days throughout the year, Season Passholders receive early entry into Knott’s Berry Farm. during early entry, the park is open exclusively to Passholders, which means you can be one of the first in line when the new ride, Sol Spin, opens in Fiesta Village next spring! Gold Season Passholders also receive early entry to Knott’s Soak City on select days in the summer. with early entry, Passholders can get first dibs on the best lounge spots and the first chance to enjoy the new slides opening next year.pony-express-at-knottsKnott's New Ride Voyage to the Iron Reef Lasers

Season Passholder Events

one of the best things about being a Season Passholder is that you will receive exclusive opportunities to attend previews of the Seasons of Fun events. PLUS, Knott’s holds a special Merry Farm preview party for Season Pass holders in November where you get the opportunity to experience all the holiday entertainment and shows before regular park guests. now that is AWESOME! Knott's Berry Farm Snow and Glow there are a million reasons why i LOVE our Knott’s passes, and i hope that you have a chance to enjoy a a season pass as much as my family does. and maybe you will even see us at the park one day. make sure to say “hi” if you do! head over to the Knott’s website and check out the Knott’s Berry Farm season pass options.


here is your chance to win (2) Knott’s Berry Farm 2017 Season Passes!!!!! contest ends December 23th at midnight. enter via rafflecopter below. to leave a comment, scroll down to the bottom of this post. winner will be chosen randomly and must be 18 years or older and a resident of the United States. Good luck!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

{ This is not a sponsored post. Knott’s has provided season passes for the giveaway. All thoughts and opinions are my own. }

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical PLUS giveaway!

rudolph-and-clarice-1Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical has taken the country by snowstorm!!! and now you can see it live at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. the “most famous reindeer of all” from the longest running and highest rated holiday television special will be live on stage on December 23rd and 24th for 4 performances. the boys and i are super excited to attend this live musical, it will be the perfect holiday performance to begin the Christmas weekend.


Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical is the Stage Adaptation of CBS’ Highest Rated Christmas Special of All Time. following two successful years of touring North America, the world’s most famous reindeer and a holly jolly cast of iconic characters including Hermey the Elf, Yukon Cornelius and the Abominable Snow Monster will help Santa save Christmas during three North American tours visiting more than 50 cities this holiday season.


in 1964, the beloved stop-motion animated television classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, made its network television debut delighting audiences across the country. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical is rapidly becoming a tradition for generations of children and adults and we are so excited to bring the show to fans in Hollywood,” says producing partner Jonathan Flom.

rudolph-hermey-and-yukonprojections, costumes and characters will be faithfully brought to the stage against a backdrop of nostalgic set designs. The cast brings high energy to classic songs and dialogue, while irresistible and loveable puppets highlight the charming “roughness” from the television show’s stop-motion effects. Flom says, “We address all of the familiar story elements from the television special with a talented cast and puppeteers who help recreate the magic on stage. Since the special itself is a classic musical, the stage show does not feel at all like an adaptation and audiences are surprised and delighted when they hear full performances of additional iconic songs associated with the TV special, such as “Fame and Fortune” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”


the story tells the tale of a young Rudolph who, because of the appearance of his bright, shining nose, is excluded from the Reindeer Games. He flees Christmastown and meets up with new friends Hermey the Elf and Yukon Cornelius.  after finding The Island of Misfit Toys, Rudolph journeys home, where a snowstorm of epic proportions is threatening Christmas. can Rudolph rescue his family and friends and help Santa save the holiday? take the family to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical and find out!!!!


Get Tickets to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical at the Dolby Theater

Tickets range from $38-$104 and can be purchased at the Dolby Theatre Box Office, through all Ticketmaster outlets, or by calling (800) 745-3000. *children ages one and older require a ticket.

Rudolph’s partnership with PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center continues this year. A new illustrated storybook, T.E.A.M. Rudolph and the Reindeer Games, will be available this year only at the stage show performances and other locations where Rudolph is appearing, such as at theme parks, zoos, aquariums and science centers. A portion of the proceeds from all sales of the books will be donated to PACER.


here is your chance to win a Family 4-pack of tickets Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical at the Dolby Theater on December 23, 2016 at 7 p.m. to  game system with a charger. just enter via Rafflecopter below. contest ends December 18th at 11 p.m. winner will be chosen randomly and must be 18 years or older and a resident of the United States. Good luck!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Christmas with the Critters at Rancho Las Lomas


For the past couple years, our family has been going to the Rancho Wildlife Foundation’s annual Christmas with the Critters event. it’s a tradition of ours and a fun Christmas activity for Orange County families that is also a fundraiser for the Foundation. we’ve always had such a nice time, especially because it’s so beautiful at Rancho Las Lomas – a spectacular private resort and zoological garden in Orange County. it’s hidden away in the foothills and is used for weddings, film and photo shoots, and special events.

Christmas with the Critters is happening this weekend, and we are excited to enjoy a festive day at the Rancho Wildlife Foundation. there will be a visit from Santa, bounce houses, crafts, live holiday musical performances, and more! the resident exotic animals will also be open their Christmas presents, including a Bengal tiger, zebras, African servals and other beautiful animals. i wanted to share some of the photos from the last year…it was so beautiful and made for the perfect afternoon.


Mmmmm….pasta! lunch is included with purchase of entrance tickets, and Vann couldn’t get enough.


the boys also got to decorate cookies…


and meet Santa Claus!


visiting the animals is the best part. my boys LOVE animals, so this is a big treat to be so close to the animals.

zebras-at-rancho-las-lomaslamas-at-rancho-las-lomas-orange-countythere is a white tiger that lives on the premises, if you look carefully, you can see him.tiger-at-rancho-las-lomaswhite-tiger-at-rancho-las-lomas-orange-countybirds-at-rancho-las-lomasanimals-at-rancho-las-lomas-orange-countybird-cages-at-rancho-las-lomaswe spent the afternoon, walking around the resort, enjoying the beautiful scenery, checking out the vendors, and enjoying festive music. there are a lot of fun features including an old fashioned telephone booth, swings and fountains.the best thing that happened, was that my husband and i won one of the silent auction prizes we bid on – a two night stay at the resort with an animal feeding experience. we can’t wait to use it this month.
fountain-at-rancho-las-lomas-orange-countyfloors-at-rancho-las-lomas phone-booth-at-rancho-las-lomasswinging-at-rancho-las-lomas

if you want to attend Christmas with the Critters, it’s all happening this Sunday December 11th, 2016
 at 11:00am – 3:00pm.

Rancho Las Lomas
19191 Lawrence Canyon
Silverado, CA
949-589-7900 info@ranchowildlife.org || www.ranchowildlife.org
Valet parking is required $8.00 per car.



here is your chance to win a family 4-pack to Christmas with the Critters. just enter via Rafflecopter below. contest ends December 7th at noon. winner will be chosen randomly and must be 18 years or older and a resident of the United States. Good luck!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Family Fitness on the Orange County Great Park Thrive Walk

This post is sponsored by Kaiser Permanente Orange County.


i’ve been working with Kaiser Permanente Orange County hospitals in Irvine and Anaheim for the past few months, and have been pretty impressed in the services and amenities that they offer not only their patients, but also the community. i recently wrote about their awesome farmers markets, yummy recipes they offer online, and the prenatal programs that they offer. now i wanted to share about the Thrive Walks that are located at the Orange County Great Park and also at their Irvine and Anaheim Hospital locations, and also wanted to share some tips for family fitness and keeping our children healthy.

What is the Thrive Walk?

Kaiser Permanente Orange County has three Thrive Walks located in Orange County. each are 1 mile long walking paths that promote wellness through walking and exercise – all while incorporating elements of nature and design to calm the mind, body, and spirit. the boys and i wanted to check them out for ourselves, so the other evening, we headed over to the Orange County Great Park for a family walk in the park. it was just what we needed to calm ourselves from a busy weekend, get our bodies moving, and was the perfect way to spend some quality time together.


the Orange County Great Park is a great place for families to get active. you can bring your bikes, scooters or rollerblades and run and play on the many paths and trails throughout the park. there’s also a carousel, playground and a giant Great Park Ballon that you can ride up into the sky for a small fee.


here we are ready to head over to the Thrive Path.sunset-at-the-orange-county-great-park

the Thrive Walk at the Orange County Great Park is located around the North Lawn and winds around the grass fields and reflection pond. it’s pretty easy to find using this map. the turquoise line represents the Kaiser Thrive Walk. you can park in the Squadron Parking lot for free, then walk to the Thrive Path. it’s nicely paved, perfect for walking, running or biking, and there are special tips and motivational quotes on signs along the path.

the-orange-county-great-park-thrive-walkbike-path-at-the-orange-county-great-parkthings-to-do-at-the-orange-county-great-parkkaiser-thrive-walk-at-the-orange-county-great-parkthere are also mile markers along the path, so you know how far you have walked. it was fun for us to look for the next marker and see how long it took for us to get to each tenth of a mile.walking-the-thrive-walk-at-the-orange-county-great-parkthe-orange-county-great-park-at-dusk

in addition to our family checking out the Kaiser Thrive Walk, i was also able to have a great chat one afternoon with Dr. Hemesh Patel, a physician at Kaiser Permanente. he gave me some great tips on family fitness and keeping your family active and healthy. one great tip was the 5210 plan. a plan to help keep your kids active and prevent obesity – the number one health risk in kids today.

The 5210 Plan

5 – make sure to eat at least 5 fruits and veggies per day.

2 – kids should have no more than 2 hours of screen-time per day. this includes: electronics, television and hand-held devices.

1 – make sure kids get 1 hour of physical exercise per day. activities such as walking, riding bikes, running around at the park or playground, and team sports are great examples of good exercise.

0 – kids should drink zero juice or sugary drinks per day. this includes: all juices, sports drinks, sodas and flavored drinks.


Families that Exercise Together, Stay Healthy Together

Evening walks, running in the backyard, going to the park, bike rides, hiking and playing together are great ways to stay active together as a family. Making a habit of exercising together will create healthy habits for your children. They will view exercise as fun and not a chore.


Kaiser Permanente has some great information and resources on their website on how to stay active and eat healthy. they also offer classes to their patients. AWESOME!

i can definitely see our family heading on more evening walks in the future, especially once our new little one has arrived. i think it will be a lot of fun to put the baby in the stroller and walk with the boys in the parks around our community. it was also nice to stop every once in a while along our route and let the boys just play. they enjoyed rolling in the grass, throwing rocks in the pond and gathering sticks. seeing them being happy outdoors in nature is so much more rewarding than seeing them on the couch with their eyes fixated on a screen.


by the time we finished our walk, it was dark…even though it was only around 6:30 pm. as you can see, we had a great time.


finally, don’t forget that the Kaiser Permanente Orange County hospitals in Irvine and Anaheim also have Thrive Walks, you are welcome to use them at your convenience, and enjoy the special design features and waterfalls that are located along their paths. they’re just another way Kaiser Permanente is helping to keep our community on the Path to Thrive.

60 Christmas Light Displays in Orange County

the best orange county christmas light displaysUpdated for December 2016

Christmas Lights!!!!! i just love it when houses AND even neighborhoods go all out decorating their home with twinkly lights and decorations for the holidays. all that work putting up the outdoor lights gives the community the special gift of Christmas magic. here is a list of over 60 Christmas Light Displays in Orange County that you can visit.

Aliso Viejo
King Elder Lane
Bough Avenue (Nightmare Before Christmas House)

Anaheim Hills
Bel Air Neighborhood (Riverview & Santa Ana Road near Weir Canyon)

306 Barryknoll Street
151 S. Jeanine Way
2118 W. Minerva Avenue

Balboa Island
327 Sapphire Avenue

515 Cedar Avenue
Birch Street (Kraemer & Birch)

Buena Park
8073 Calendula Drive

Codo De Caza
Gooseberry Court

Costa Mesa
3150 Bear Street
467 East 19th Street
Lilac & Santa Ana Avenue
77 Fair Drive (City Hall) – Peanut’s House

5208 Cumberland Drive

Dana Point
Monarch Beach Homes

Fountain Valley
16559 Euclid (Mile Square Park. The entire neighborhood decorated.)
Brookhurst & Heil
18323 Stanislaus Street (Light Music Show, entire roof decorated)

Woods and Amerige
Mountain View Avenue & Fullerton Creek Road
Sparkle Ball Street, North Yale

Garden Grove
6531, 6541, 5521 Belgrave Avenue
12112 Wutzke Street

Huntington Beach
Bolsa Chica Avenue (past Bolsa)
16889 Algonquin Street 
La Cresta Drive

Ladera Ranch
Bramford Street
Shively Street

Laguna Hills
Mawson Drive

Laguna Niguel
Nellie Gail Road
Elder Court
5 Tunis

Lake Forest
22981 Belquest Drive
Ashbrook Street
24952 Greenbay Drive
Rimrock Street, Peachwood & Tamarisk (Trabuco Canyon & Lake Forest Drive)
Rushford Drive
25141 Steinway Circle

La Palma
Houston Avenue
Tiara Lane

Mission Viejo
26152 Cordillera (Whoville House)
23446 Bolivar Street
27093 Pinario
Via Amistoso Street

Newport Beach
El Paseo Street on Lido Peninsula
Harbor Island Drive
Saphire Avenue

451 N. Citrus Street
1431 North Shaffer Street
Locust & Glassell
Pine Street
7633 E. Saddlehill Trail
1767 N Lindenholz Street

444 Normany  (“Frozen” House)

Rancho Santa Margarita
22 El Corazon
20 El Corzo (Candy Cane Land)
11 Twilight Lane

San Clemente
Talega Seaside Neighborhood
Talega Stella Mare Neighborhood

Santa Ana
1306 Richland Avenue

Trabuco Canyon
Wagon Wheel Neighborhood

Red Hill Avenue & Olwyn Drive
2351 Caper Tree Drive
1151 Windsor Lane

Bolsa Chica & Westminster Boulevard
5755 Westminster Boulevard

Yorba Linda
East Lake Village (Village Center Drive & Avenida De Las Polmas)
W. Oriente Drive (Lights set to music)
18665 & 18974 Seabiscuit
4712 Via Del Rancho

(have any suggestions?  let us know! )

PLUS…..have you seen this list of 100 Christmas Events in Orange County??????