Visiting the LA Waterfront at the Port of Los Angeles

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of LA Waterfront. All opinions are 100% mine.

since having the baby, i feel like i have spent way too much time in my bedroom hanging out with the baby. as you know, i like to be out and about with the kids. so last weekend it was time stop spending all my time inside, stop binge watching television, and time to binge-whale-watch! so our family headed out to check out a place we’ve never been before, the LA Waterfront. Since we love the sea we checked out a few places from the curated site: LA Waterfront for Sea Explorersthe LA Waterfront is the happening place to be for all things seafood and ocean water fun. there are great restaurants – you can get amazing seafood, Mexican food and there is a trendy microbrewery. you will also find the aquarium, museums and historical landmarks, a giant indoor craft marketplace, and family-friendly beaches. the LA Waterfront has lots of possibilities for things to do. for us, it was a new place to play, dine, shop, and explore. there’s something for everyone, with activities to enjoy ranging from the Battleship Iowa to enjoying eclectic downtown art. it’s a unique slice of Los Angeles, where the past meets the present at the doorstep of America’s largest trade gateway. if you like boating around the ocean, you can spend your day searching for whales, dolphins and other marine mammals with Year-Round Whale Watching & Harbor Cruises. Los Angeles Waterfront Cruises Sportfishing and Whale Watching are currently running Whale Watching trips every single day. Gray Whales, Blue Whales, Humpback Whales, large pods of Common Dolphin, Bottlenose Dolphin, California Sea Lions, and Harbor Seals can been seen at this time. if you like Sport Fishing, the Sport King departs daily for a 3/4 day Catalina Island and local freelance trips. during the summer months you may be able to catch Yellowtail, White Seabass, Barracuda, Bonito, Calico Bass and Sand Bass. during the winter months, Sheephead, Whitefish, Rockfish, Sculpin and Salmon Grouper are in season. the Los Angeles Maritime Museum is also located on the LA Waterfront. it’s the largest maritime museum in California and features more than 700 ship and boat models.  a variety of navigational equipment and a fully operational ham radio station the building was designated as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 146 in 1975, and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.

the boys were most excited about visiting the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium which is adjacent to Cabrillo Beach and the Port of Los Angeles. they love aquariums and learning about ocean life, so this was a perfect way to spend the rest of the afternoon. this historic Frank Gehry-designed aquarium displays the largest collection of Southern California marine life in the world. and guess what?!!! it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to visit. admission is actually Free! but a suggested donations of $5 for adults and $1 for children really helps the aquarium operate. here are some photos from our visit… before we headed home, we spent some time at Cabrillo Beach which is located in front of the Cabrillo Marina Museum and near Point Fermin Park. it’s family-friendly and has two separate areas – inside the breakwater and outside the breakwater.

the inside break water is where the water is tranquil and calm, ideal for a relaxing picnic. there is a great playground for the kids, and the water was nice for the boys to run a splash in without getting to wet. next time we will have to bring our swimsuits. and the outside breakwater is where windsurfers and kayakers take on the ocean waves. there’s a fishing pier, which is a favorite destination for whale-watching and especially during grunion season. we have never been to a grunion run. that will have to be added to our bucket lists.

picnics! there may be no area in Southern California that’s better stocked with quiet spots to lay out a blanket and a spread of food: one of the few spots remaining where there are seaside fire pits fitted for grilling. it started to get cold, so while the hubby took the younger kids and baby to the car, Jackson and i took a walk on the north side of Cabrillo Beach to check out the view. we saw the tide pools, wind surfers and sail boats. it was a nice ending for the day.at last, it was time to go home. we had a good time checking out the LA Waterfront. we are always up for a new adventure, and the fresh sea air did our bodies good. back over the bridge we went. until next time!Visit Sponsors Site

2017 Easter Egg Hunts and Spring Events in Orange County


springtime is here, and it’s time to celebrate with bunnies and Easter egg hunts! how about taking the kiddies to a fun Spring fling or and Easter Egg Hunt. there are tons of family-friendly and kids Easter events and happenings in Orange County this spring! here’s a list to help you find the ones your family will enjoy most. check them out…

Aliso Viejo
Spring Celebration and Pancake Breakfast – April 8, 2017 free
Brunchin’ with Bunny and Egg Hunt at Renaissance ClubSport  – April 16, 2017 (reservations needed)

Anaheim
Easter Celebration at Downtown Anaheim – April 11, 2017 free
Easter Egg Hunt at Ronald Reagan (Toyon) Park – April 8, 2017 free
Easter Festival at the Anaheim Indoor Market  – April 16, 2017 free
Easter Bazaar & Eggstravaganza at The Phoenix Club – April 9, 2017
Spring Fling at Oak Canyon Nature Center  – April 15, 2017
Anaheim Plaza Easter Event  – April 16, 2017 free

Brea
Bunny Photos at The Brea Mall
Brea Community Eggstravaganza at Brea Jr. High – TBD free
North Hills Church Easter Egg Hunt at Brea Sports Park  – April 16, 2017 free

Buena Park
Spring Eggstravaganza at Henery Boisseranc Park – April 15, 2017 free
Egg Hunt at OSH – April 15, 2017 free

Cerritos
Easter Egg Hunt at Cerritos Knabe Regional Park – March 26, 2016 free
Easter Bunny Photos at Los Cerritos Center

Costa Mesa
Springtime at South Plaza
Egg-Citment at Tanager Park – April 15, 2017 free
Spring Fling at Soco – April 8, 2017 free
Miniature Train Rides and the Easter Bunny at Goathill Junction – April 15 & 16, 2017 free

Coto De Caza
Wagon Wheel Canyon Association’s Spring Event – TBD free

Cypress
Spring Egg Hunt at Oak Knoll Park  – April 15, 2017 free

Dana Point
Easter Egg Hunt at Pines Park – April 15, 2017 free
Easter Egg Hunt at Sea Canyon Park – April 15, 2017 free

Fountain Valley
Egg Hunt at Fountain Valley Recreation Center & Sport Park – April 15, 2017 free

Fullerton
Family Easter Celebration and Pancake Breakfast at First Presbyterian Church – April 16, 2017 free

Huntington Beach
Easter Egg Hunt and Family Day – April 15, 2017 free
Easter Brunch at Old World – April 16, 2017
Egg Hunt at OSH – April 15, 2017 free

Read More…

Spring-a-Palooza at Great Wolf Lodge SoCal

Spring-a-Palooza at Great Wolf Lodge SoCal

Spring is upon us and Great Wolf Lodge Southern California is hosting Spring-A-Palooza to celebrate! right now through April 16th, guest who stay at the lodge can enjoy some springtime fun. besides all the fun that Great Wolf Lodge offers it’s guests – including the waterslides, fun activities and sleeping accommodations, right now guests can enjoy Spring-a-Palooza!

Great Wolf Lodge Southern California is dressed up in flowers and fun spring colors. baby Dani and i came to check it out while we were at Great Wolf Lodge’s 1st Birthday party.

Click Here for Some Great Deals at Great Wolf Lodge Southern California!

Spring-a-Palooza at Great Wolf Lodge SoCal

make sure to stop by the front desk on your way in and get some spring colored Wiley ears and guess how many jelly beans are in the jar! there is a prize for the winner who guesses it correctly.

Spring-a-Palooza at Great Wolf Lodge SoCalSpring-a-Palooza at Great Wolf Lodge SoCal

activities at Spring-a-Palooza include a fun scavenger hunt that takes you through the resort, spring crafts, spring stories and dance parties.

Spring-a-Palooza at Great Wolf Lodge SoCal

in the lobby you will also find some giant spring-themed baskets that different departments have decorated for a contest. you can vote for the one you like best!Spring-a-Palooza at Great Wolf Lodge SoCalSpring-a-Palooza at Great Wolf Lodge SoCalSpring-a-Palooza at Great Wolf Lodge SoCalin the afternoons, you can get some fresh squeezed lemonade and meet your favorite pals Wiley and Violet.
Spring-a-Palooza at Great Wolf Lodge SoCalSpring-a-Palooza at Great Wolf Lodge SoCal

and when you check in, be sure to pick up a the list of activities with there times and places so that you don’t miss out on any of the Spring-a-Palooza fun. Dani and i couldn’t resist getting her picture in the spring photo backdrop. what a sweet little flower she is. she also can’t wait to come back and visit for here first hotel sleepover and waterpark adventure.Spring-a-Palooza at Great Wolf Lodge SoCal

so if you want to enjoy Spring-A-Palooza fun at the Great Wolf Lodge Southern California, hurry and book your stay. Spring break availability is filling up fast, and Spring-A-Palooza ends on April 16th! Click Here for Some Great Deals at Great Wolf Lodge Southern California!

Great Wolf Lodge Southern California Turns 1

Birthday Party at Great Wolf Lodgeit’s official been one year since Great Wolf Lodge Southern California opened here in Orange County! and last week, baby Dani and i headed over to the lodge to celebrate at a special birthday party. to commemorate this exciting occasion, artist Linda Mihara was commissioned to create the world’s largest origami birthday cake!

Birthday Party at Great Wolf Lodge

the giant paper cake stands 9 feet tall and took more than 2 weeks to create. it featured paper bears and trees, plus it was topped with a candle and a howling wolf!!! an origami cake was chosen, because paper represents the first anniversary. so a paper cake was perfect!

Birthday Party at Great Wolf LodgeGreat Wolf Lodge Birthdaythe General Manager, Phillip Cunningham shared his gratitude for the Southern California community for making the Great Wolf Lodge’s first year such a success!!! then we celebrated with cake! those in attendance, hotel guests and media were treated to delicious cupcakes.  Click Here for Some Great Deals at Great Wolf Lodge Southern California!Birthday Party at Great Wolf LodgeBirthday Party at Great Wolf Lodge

Time for Lunch

we then headed to eat a special lunch the Chef Hany Ali created with his team. it was amazing and showcased the fabulous food that is being offered at Great Wolf Lodge Southern California. they have really focused on bringing fresh, less than 5 ingredient dishes to their guests. and their love of food shows. check it out….those colors!

Birthday Party at Great Wolf Lodge

Birthday Party at Great Wolf LodgeFood at Great Wolf LodgeFood at Great Wolf LodgeFood at Great Wolf LodgeFood at Great Wolf LodgeFood at Great Wolf Lodge

and Chef Ali couldn’t resist holding baby Dani for a minute while i enjoyed his fabulous food. he really is the best…and so caring. he’s made sure to make some of my favorite vegetarian dishes the past few time we’ve visited. he has remembered us every time.

Head Chef at Great Wolf Lodge

it was so much fun celebrating this special day with Great Wolf Lodge SoCal, after all, my family and i have created some amazing memories there this past year.

A Year in Review at Great Wolf Lodge SoCal

there have been many firsts in Great Wolf Lodge Socal’s first year, and our family was very excited that we could celebrate each little milestone with them. here are some of our family’s favorite moments this past year.

our family took our first ever visit to an indoor waterpark…

Great Wolf Lodge Southern California Review

my boys played Magiquest for the first time…

Magiques at Great Wolf Lodge

i got my first ice cream pedicure at Scooops!

Spa Time at Great Wolf Lodge

my son surfed on the Flowrider for the first time…

Surfing at Great Wolf Lodge

i felt confident enough to walk around in a swimsuit without a towel in public for the first time…

Toddler Time at Great Wolf Lodge

my husband rode the drop out slide Wolf Tail for the first time…

Best Waterslides at Great Wolf Lodge

i’ve met a bunch of my Sandy Toes and Popsicle blog readers just by chance…how cool is that!

Mom Time at Great Wolf Lodge

we celebrated Halloween at Great Wolf Lodge SoCal for the first time…

Halloween at Great Wolf Lodge

our first pajama dance party…

Family Fun at Great Wolf Lodge

we even checked out the Snowland rooms during Great Wolf Lodge SoCal’s first Christmas.

Snowland at Great Wolf Lodge

and finally, Baby Dani’s first visit to celebrate Spring-a-palooza and Great Wolf Lodge’s 1st Birthday!

Spring-A-Palooza at Great Wolf Lodge

our family has definitely had an amazing time celebrating all the fun that Great Wolf Lodge Southern California has had to offer during their first year open. we are so glad it came to Orange County…it’s one of our favorite places ever. we feel like family every time we visit.

Happy 1st Birthday Great Wolf Lodge SoCal!!!

we hope there are many more years of fun in your future. Click Here for Some Great Deals at Great Wolf Lodge Southern California!

Birthday Parties at Great Wolf Lodge

The Boysenberry Festival is Coming to Knott’s!!!!

Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Parkit’s almost Boysenberry Festival time at Knott’s Berry Farm, and i can’t wait! it’s one of our family’s favorite events of the year at Knott’s. and this year, it will be a three week long celebration instead of two…yay!!!!! it’s all happening April 1st through the 23rd, so you better make plans to go.

last week i attended a media preview event at Knott’s, and had a chance to try some of the new food items that will be offered at the Boysenberry Festival. there will also be some of the oldies but goodies at the festival this year. i’ve been waiting for them to come back!

especially the FUN BUN. a deep fried cinnamon roll topped with obey gooey boysenberry cream cheese icing.

The Fun Bun at Knott's Berry Farm

did you know that Walter Knott created the boysenberry? that’s why it’s so iconic to the Farm. the year was 1920 when Walter and Cordelia Knott moved to the community of Buena Park, California to farm 20 acres of rented land. here they harvested, and sold the first boysenberry, a cross between a loganberry, red raspberry and blackberry. today, all boysenberries in the world can trace their roots back to Knott’s Berry Farm. and BOYSENBERRIES ARE YUMMY!!!!!

this year there will be over 80 unique boysenberry inspired food and beverage options available for guests to try throughout Ghost Town! like meatballs with boysenberry barbecue sauce….

Boysenberry Meatballs at Knott's

boysenberry crepes…
boysenberry pizza…

boysenberry treats including….boysenberry cotton candy, boysenberry trifle, boysenberry panna cotta, boysenberry flautas and even boysenberry candy.

Boysenberry Cotton Candy at Knott's

and don’t forget about the FUN STICK!!!! a pice of cheesecake dipped in funnel cake batter, fried and drizzled with boysenberry cream. this was one of my favorites.

The Fun Stick at Knott's Berry Farm Boysenberry Festival

here are some of the items in the 2017 line-up!

Savory Foods
• Marinated Boysenberry Meatball on a Stick with Boysenberry BBQ Sauce
• Deep Fried Alligator & Fries with Boysenberry Aioli
• Boysenberry Short Ribs over Rice
• Boysenberry Ravioli *New For 2017*
• Boysenberry & Apricot Pulled Pork Sandwich in a Boysenberry Bun Combos
• Corn on the Cobb with Boysenberry Butter and Boysenberry Mayonnaise
• Boysenberry Pizza made with arugula and goat cheese
• Boysenberry BBQ Wings
• Boysenberry Salad

Desserts
• Boysenberry Churro Sundaes with Boysenberry Ice Cream
• Boysenberry Stuffed Churros
• Boysenberry Fry Bread *New For 2017*
• Build-Your-Own Mini Boysenberry Pies
• Boysenberry Pie, Tarts & Turnovers
• Boysenberry Cheesecake
• Boysenberry Panna Cotta with Almond Crumble
• Boysenberry Triffle
• Boysenberry Ice Cream & Ice Cream Cones
• Fun Bun: Fried Cinamon Roll with Boysenberry Cream Cheese Topping
• Fun Stick: Fried Cheesecake on a Stick with Boysenberry Sauce
• Boysenberry Flautas
• Boysenberry Cookiewich Sandwich
• Boysenberry Cotton Candy
• Chocolate Covered Boysenberry Cheesecake on a stick *New For 2017*
• Boysenberry Nutella Crepes *New For 2017*

Drinks
• The “Walter Knott” (Ice Tea & Boysenberry Punch)
• Boysenberry ICEEs & ICEE Floats
• Boysenberry Latte
• Boysenberry Beer & Wine
• Boysenberry Cream Soda *New for 2017*
• Boysenberry Milkshake

The Boysenberry Bites Tasting Card

the main thing you are going to want to get is the Boysenberry Bites Tasting Card. for only $25, the tasting card includes generous portions of six delectable treats: Boysenberry Pizza at Wagon Wheel Pizza, Boysenberry Ravioli at Spurs Chophouse, Boysenberry Buffalo Wings at the Gold Trails Hotel, Boysenberry BBQ Meatballs at the Bank of Calico, Boysenberry Fry Bread at the Gourmet Churro Factory, and Boysenberry Pana Cotta at the Ghost Town Bakery. this is probably the best way to experience the Boysenberry Festival.

and for those who love wine and beer, you can visit the Wilderness Lodge and enjoys some Knott’s Boysenberry Festival Wine & Craft Beer Tasting. guests can try 4 craft brews and over 50 different wines from 36 producers including boysenberry beer and boysenberry wine.

Wine Tasting at Knott's Berry

you’re also going to want to come to Knott’s during the Boysenberry Festival, not only for the  boysenberry food, but also for lots of spring fun happenings on the Farm. from flowers, to spring decorations, fun photos props, shows happening in Calico Square, the Easter Beagle Meet & Greet in Camp Snoopy, 80’s Dance Party on the Boardwalk, DJ Cruz in Fiesta Village and the live stage show, Snoopy’s Boysenberry Jamboree.

Spring Fountain at Knott's Berry Farm

and before you leave the park, stop and check out the blooming wisteria, the oldest living thing at Knott’s Berry Farm. they are super beautiful and located right next to the Geode Shop near the entrance to Ghost Town.

admission to the Boysenberry Festival is included with park admission, however, there is an additional charge for all food and beverage. the Boysenberry Festival only goes for three weeks, so hurry and visit before it ends this year on April 23rd, 2017.

in the meantime, i’ll be whipping up some boysenberry foods with some special boysenberry ingredients i got from Knott’s. you can get some too when you visit.

happy boysenberry eating!!!!