Halloween Fun at Great Wolf Lodge Southern California

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the Great Wolf Lodge Southern California is all ready for Halloween! for the entire month of October, guests can participate in all the Halloween activities that are happening around the resort. actually, at Great Wolf Lodge, it’s called Howl-o-ween, and even better…all the howl-o-ween activities are included in your stay for no extra cost. the boys and i went last weekend to check out the festivities, and once again we had a fantastic time. Great Wolf Lodge is one of our most favorite places to spend time as a family, and a weekend of family fun is just what we needed.

click here for special Great Wolf Howl-o-ween Deals.

when you enter the lodge, you are greeted by the biggest spider you have ever seen. but don’t worry, it is made of balloons…as well as all the other creepy crawlies climbing up the walls. there is also a giant spider web, and a spooky haunted house in the lobby. all of which are pretty spectacular.

spider_web_halloween_great_lodgegreat_wolf_lodge_decorated_for_halloweengreat_wolf_lodge_garden_grove_haunted_housegreat_wolf_lodge_haunted_housespooky_fun_at_great_wolf_lodgecat_pumpkin

of course, as soon as you check in, you are going to want to run to the water park, but be sure to come back to the lobby each evening dressed in your costume (if you brought one) to participate in all the fun Halloween activities. when you check in, you will be given a schedule so to not miss one.

Trick-or-treating is one of the favorites. just follow the treat map to get your trick-or-treat bag, and then to one of the seven trick-or-treat stations located on the first two floors of the Great Wolf Lodge Southern California.

great_wolf_lodge_halloween_trick_or_treat_mapmy boys chose to dress up as a cat and a shadow (aka black morphsuit). very interesting choices, but whatever makes them happy. right!img_5714_retthere’s no age limit on the trick-or-treating and you can get a fun treat or candy at each of the stations. just follow the signs all around the lodge.great_wolf_lodge_trick_or_treat_trailhalloween_fun_great_wolf_southern_californiapeep_hunting_great_wolf_lodgegreat_wolf_lodge_halloween_treatsspooky_fun_witch_at_great_wolf_lodgetrick_or_treat_station_great_wolf

there’s even a teal pumpkin station that has an allergy-friendly treat. it is really important to the GWL that everyone gets to enjoy the fun.

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another thing!….while you are out trick-or-treating or out exploring the lodge during the day, keep you eyes peeled for PEEPS! yes, PEEPS. there are 12 of them hidden around the lodge. if you can spot them all and write them down on the contest card, you can have a chance to win a special Howl-o-ween prize at story time each evening. so don’t forget to get your card and fill it out.

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other Howl-o-ween activities at the Great Wolf Lodge include a costume parade and Halloween story time with Wiley.

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there is also a Monster Mash Dance Party each evening which the kids just love! so much fun.

halloween_dance_party_great_wolf_lodgeat dinnertime, if you eat in one of the Great Wolf Lodge restaurants such as the Loose Moose Kitchen…one of our faves, look for some of the Halloween desserts. there’s pumpkin pie, pumpkin treats, and yummy cupcakes of course.

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besides all the Halloween activities, there are still all the standard fun things to do at the Great Wolf Lodge. from the water park to playing Magiquest to fun afternoon activities and crafts in the lobby. let me share some of the photos from our stay.great_wolf_lodge_baby_water_slideflowrider_wakeboarding_great_wolf_lodgegreat_wolf_lodge_flowrider_freebest_family_water_parks_californiagreat_wolf_lodge_wave_poolgreat_wolf_lodge_kid_areacraft_time_great_wolf_lodge_socalcraft_time_great_wolf_lodgeplaying_bingo_great_wolf_lodge

did i mention everyone gets orange Howl-o-ween ears when you check in for your stay during October. aren’t they cute! even my teenager loved them.popsicleblog_at_great_wolf_lodge_socalMagiquest! magiquest_great_wolf_lodge_southern_californiahalloween_fun_in_orange_countyteen_fun_great_wolf_lodgemagiquest_great_wolf

and where else can you play video games in your pajamas at 9:00 at night!playing_games_in_pjs_great_wolf_lodge

and as you probably know, i am expecting a baby girl in just a couple months. so this time my stay was a bit different. i couldn’t do the waterslides like last time, so i had sometime to myself when all the boys were off playing. but i must say…i still had a great time.pregnant_mommy_great_wolf_lodgei went to Scooops Spa and got an ice cream pedicure! yes, it really did come with ice cream.scooops_pedicure_great_wolf_lodgeice_cream_pedicurei played in the kiddie area with my youngest, Vann.

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and went in the wave pool and lazy river. there is still so much to do. i i highly suggest that any mom take some time to herself and get one of those ice cream pedicures.lazy_river_great_wolf_lodgei also want to mention how much i love the Paw Passes. the Paw Passes can be purchase at check-in, and include a bunch of activities offered at the resort (at a discounted rate) and include things like a Magiquest game, arcade credits, a treat, and more. there are different ones to choose from, so you can decide the best one to meet your needs. i love them because the kids can pick the things they want to get throughout their stay. this time we had custom bracelets on our Paw Passes, which was something we hadn’t tried yet. the boys really liked designing and picking out their bracelets. it was a fun souvenir to come home with as well!

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wow! what a great weekend our family had!

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each night little Vann ended up like this. all tuckered out from all the fun we had.great_wolf_lodge_beds

Howl-o-ween at the Great Wolf Lodge was the perfect was to get into the holiday spirit. i can see us coming for a stay every year during October because it was so much fun. and if you are interested in a stay, click here for special Great Wolf Howl-o-ween Deals.

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Thank you Great Wolf Lodge for hosting our family for Howloween! #SoCalHowloween #GWLSoCal

Spooky Halloween Juice Sparklers

Spooky Juice Sparklers

today the boys and i had some fun in the kitchen and came up with a fun Halloween afternoon snack that is also great for Halloween parties and anytime you want to have some spooky treats. Juicy Juice sent over a bunch of their 100% juices and we thought it would be fun to come up with a Halloween juice recipe. and we sure did. the boys helped me come up with these Spooky Eyeball Fruit Kabobs to top off some Juicy Juice Sparklers that we made using a couple of Juicy Juice’s 16 flavors. they turned out super awesome, much better than expected. so i really want to share how you make them.

plus, the great thing about this recipe is that it is made with Juicy Juice. with all the treats and candy kids get during the Halloween season, the last thing you want to give them is a soft drink or punch. Juicy Juice contains no high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar or artificial sweeteners. a recent “Truth in Juice” nationwide survey conducted by Juicy Juice revealed confusion in the juice aisle. nearly half of moms surveyed said that two major brands other than Juicy Juice sell only 100 percent juice products, while in fact those other brands market certain juice drinks with ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors. Juicy Juice has a great tool on the website to help moms and dads read labels on their juices to really understand what they’re giving their kids.

Juicy Juice Recipe

now, how to make your own Spooky Juice Sparklers. this is actually a snack and a beverage in one. all you need is: 2 of your favorite flavors of Juicy Juice, seltzer water, melon balls, grapes, blueberries, gummy worms and wooden bamboo skewers.Juice Sparklers Ingredients
first you want to make the Spooky Fruit Kabobs. using a straw or small spoon, scoop a hole in two melon balls big enough for a blueberry. these will be the “eye balls.” on a wooden skewer, slide both melon eyeballs and two grapes onto the skewer. 
Halloween Punch Ideas lay the skewer across the drinking glass and lay two gummy worms across. if you would rather use pieces of fruit roll up or carrot strips, those work great too.Halloween Juice Recipeafter you make the Spooky Fruit Kabobs. it’s time to make the sparkling juice. pour equal parts of two Juicy Juice flavors and seltzer water into each glass. your Spooky Juice Sparklers are now complete! super easy and so simple to make. even the kiddies can help.
Halloween Drink Ideaspair the Spooky Juice Sparklers with a Halloween shaped sandwich or other Halloween snack and surprise the kiddies with an after school Halloween surprise or make them for your schools class parties. Halloween Sandwich Ideas
my boys loved them! especially because the Juicy Juice was “bubbly,” and it tastes extra fancy when you mix two flavors of juice.Best Halloween Party Ideasand the Spooky Fruit Kabobs were yummy too!

Halloween Fruit KabobsHalloween Party Food Ideas Halloween Snack Ideas
you can get Juicy Juice and all the ingredients at your local grocery store, Target and Walmart. i hope you enjoyed our recipe for Spooky Juice Sparklers. we sure enjoyed them.

Juicy Juice Recipes

and wait…..

Juicy Juice Fall “Match and Win” Game

finally, how about a chance to win a $5o gift card instantly! just click the image below and you’ll be directly to the Juicy Juice Fall “Match and Win” game. rules and regulations will also be found there. good luck!

Juicy Juice Contest Giveaway

Halloween Onion Ranch Cheese Ball

Halloween Appetizer Cheese Ball

this Pumpkin Shaped Onion & Ranch Cheese Ball made the perfect appetizer for my Halloween party. the kids and adults devoured it, they liked it so much. i love cheese balls, and had the idea to make one in the shape of a pumpkin. i decided that carrots would make the perfect coating to give it the right color, and since my boys like ranch flavor, i decided to make it with ranch dressing mix. i just love how it turned out. and the flavor was perfect. nice and flavorful with the ranch and green onions, but nice and mild so it was a crowd pleaser. i will be making this again and again.

to make this Pumpkin Shaped Ranch & Onion Cheese Ball, all you need is 2 cups cream cheese, 1-1/2 cups shredded cheese, 3/4 packet Ranch Dressing mix, and 1/4 cup chopped green onions.
Onion Ranch Cheese Ball Recipecombine all the ingredients until fully combined.Onion Ranch Cheese Ball

then scoop the cheese filling onto a piece of plastic wrap. wrap it up, an place into the refrigerator until it has chilled and hardened a bit.How to make a cheese ball next, chop some shredded carrot up into small pieces.Halloween Onion Ranch Cheese Ball recipe carefully unwrap the plastic wrap from the cold cheese ball, and place it on the bed of carrots. with your hand, coat the carrots onto the cheese ball. then roll the cheese ball around in the carrots to make it nice and round and to full coat it in the carrots.Halloween Onion Ranch Cheese Ballthe finishing touch will be to place a small piece of celery on the top of your cheese ball pumpkin. serve with crackers or chips….i prefer Wheat Thins.
halloween-appetizer-cheese-ball-recipeenjoy! this festive pumpkin shaped cheese ball is perfect for any Halloween or Thankgiving party, or anytime of the year. you can coat it in cracker crumbs, or nuts if you would prefer it not look like a pumpkin. it’s really yummy!halloween-pumpkin-cheese-ball-recipeHalloween Appetizer Cheese Ball recipeto make it, all you need is 2 cups cream cheese, 1-1/2 cups shredded cheese, 3/4 packet Ranch Dressing mix, and 1/4 cup chopped green onions. mix all the ingredients together and form a ball on plastic wrap. wrap it up and place in the refrigerator for a few hours. once chilled, roll in shredded carrots and place a piece of celery in the top for the pumpkin stem. keep chilled until ready to serve.  and make sure to serve it with Wheat Thins, they make the best dippers and taste great with this dip.

 

Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland

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i posted a few weeks ago about how much i enjoy Halloween Time at Disneyland. in addition to the fun you can have visiting Disneyland during Halloween, you can also attend Mickey’s Halloween Party. this fun and festive Trick-or Treat party is a separate ticketed event that is only open to those who have purchased tickets. you may wonder what is the difference between Halloween Time at Disneyland  and Mickey’s Halloween Party…well, let me tell you.

there are a few things that are unique to Mickey’s Halloween Party that you won’t see at the park everyday during Halloween Time. one which is the Mickey’s Costume Party Cavalcade. a Halloween parade that runs from a “The Small World” and to the Main Street Town Hall and back, with all your Disney favorites dressed up for Halloween. this is performed twice nightly.

Michey's Halloween Party at Disneyland California

(photo courtesy of Disneyland Resort)

you can also get your picture taken with Disney Villians who arrive in a spooktacular way to Disneyland’s Main Street. a Disney Villains Carriage Arrival happens all throughout the evening so the Villians can change places. this ghostly carriage is pulled by ghostly horses who bring the Villians to their stations. it is spooktacular!

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one of the new attractions at Mickey’s Halloween Party this years is the Monsters University Show and Dance Party at Tomorrowland Terrace. my kids had a blast dancing with their friends all over the dance floor.

and they have a Mike & Sulley spirited Monster Scare-Off which all the kids loved. it was a cute show.

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be sure not to miss the musical light show played on the walls of the “It’s a Small World” ride….

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(photo courtesy of Disneyland Resort)

and of course the Trick-or-Treating throughout Disneyland Resort. there are lots of treat trails throughout the park. and there are even healthy treat options. of course my boys loved this part and came home with loads of candy.

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a trip to Mickey’s Halloween Party wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Haunted Mansion Holiday. it has been transformed with a mix of Halloween spookiness and Christmas tradition. Haunted Mansion Holiday is inspired by the classic animated film “Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas.” this year, Jack’s return to the Haunted Mansion includes the traditional Halloween/Christmas gingerbread house in the Mansion Ballroom, with special spooky surprises in this year’s design.

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(photo courtesy of Disneyland Resort)

but i would have to say the best thing about Mickey’s Trick-or-Treat Party “Halloween Screams” fireworks show hosted by “Master of Scare-omonies” Jack Skellington. it is a boo-tiful fireworks spectacular exclusively for Mickey’s Halloween Party guests. it is my all-time favorite Disneyland Firework Show.

halloween-screams-fireworks-disneyland all these great attractions along with everything else happening during Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort is available to guests at Mickey’s Halloween Party. it is not to be missed. we just love going each year, as it has become one of our family’s favorite Halloween Traditions. if you want to go, there are thirteen Halloween parties happening this year. hurry and get your tickets now. there are already sold out nights due to it’s popularity.

{disclosure: this is not a sponsored post. we were invited guest of Disneyland Resort to the party. all thoughts and opinions are a gazillion times my own.}

50 Orange County Halloween Events for Kids and Families

50 Orange County Halloween Events for Kids and Families

CLICK HERE FOR AN UPDATED LIST OF HALLOWEEN ACTIVITIES

the Halloween season has arrived here in Orange County and events are popping up all around Southern California! i have compiled this list of over 50 Orange County Halloween events…most of which are family-friendly, that are scheduled around the OC and SoCal this season. so get your calendar out and pick the ones that look the most fun for you and your family. get ready to make this Halloween season one your family remembers! (be sure to check back here, as more events will be added to the list as they are announced.)

Camp Spooky at Knott’s Berry Farm
Weekends in October   |   Camp Snoopy at Knott’s
this daytime, non-scare event is a celebration of cheer rather than fear! you can enjoy shows, activities and of course, trick or treating. kids can take part in the “Monster Dance Party and Costume Parade,” sing and dance along with the Peanuts gang at the “Peanuts Halloween Spooktacular,” and walk through the “Haunted Harvest” cornfield maze.

Mickey’s Halloween Party
September 27th, October 1, 4, 8, 11, 15, 18, 21, 23, 25, 28, 30 & 31st   |   Disneyland Resort
party with Mickey Mouse, go trick or treating & watch the spectacular Halloween Screams Firework Show. guest of the party get to enter Disneyland 3 hours before the party to enjoy the park!

Halloween Time at Disneyland
September 13th through October 31st   |   Disneyland Resort
Disneyland is dressed up for Halloween! Check out the decorations and enjoy special Halloween activities throughout the park.

Irvine Park Pumpkin Patch
September 21st – October 31st   |   Irvine Regional Park, Orange
the best pumpkin patch around. be prepared to spend the day roaming through pumpkins, decorating cookies and running through and hay maze! you can enjoy pony rides, haunted house, face painting, bouncy houses, games, food and best of all….the train ride!

Boo at the Zoo
October 19, 20, 25, 26, 27 & 30th   |   Santa Ana Zoo
a family-friendly costumed extravaganza, trick-or-treating in a “Merry not Scary” Zoo atmosphere, educational animal presentations, storytelling, entertainment with a grand finale costume parade! for the older kids, there is a “Teen Scream,” a haunted house filled with thrills and chills.

Pretend City’s Bug Bog
October 8th-31st  | Pretend City Children’s Museum
Dr. Strangebug will lead you through a bug scavenger hunt where kiddies can collect different types of play bug to receive a treat at the end of the hunt. there are also real bugs on display and kids can enjoy the bug adventure as many times as they would like during their time at Pretend City. Must purchase museum admission plus $3 for bug bog pass. (fun!)

Pretend City’s Halloween Bug Bash
October 31st  • 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  | Pretend City Children’s Museum
Enjoy a full day of Halloween activities at the museum including Halloween crafts, Spooky Snacks, Bug Cafe, dancing, dental screenings and more! Plus, we are your costume for some trick-o-treating.

Tanaka Farms U-Pick Pumpkin Patch Tours
September 27th – October 31st   |   Tanaka Farms, Irvine
take a wagon ride around the farm, wander through the corn maze, pick your own vegetables, visit our petting zoo, take pictures by “Tanaka’s Pile of Pumpkins” & finally pick your own pumpkin right off the vine. on the weekends there is a Fall Harvest Festival with food, games, atv rides and more!

Historic Yorba Cemetery Tour
October 5th • 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.    |   Woodgate Park, Yorba Linda
enjoy a guided tour through Orange County’s oldest private cemetery. FREE

Knott’s Scary Farm
September 27-28 & October 3-6, 10-13, 17-20, 24-27, 30 & 31st   |   Knott’s Berry Farm
be prepare to get SCARED!!!! this event is definitely not for the kiddies. send your teenagers or make a date night at this frightfully scary night of terror. you can go through the monster mazes, watch the traditional Hanging Show, and be sure to try out the new interactive Trapped Maze. a pre-show buffet is offered at an additional price.

Aliso Viejo Fall Harvest Festival
October 19th • 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. |  Grand Park, Aliso Viejo
Costume parade, family games, pony rides, art and crafts, balloons, music & games. Bring (3) canned food items to be entered in an opportunity drawing for a prize. FREE

Soka University’s Annual Halloween Fair & Haunted House
October 25 & 26th • 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.  |  Soka University Recreation Center, Aliso Viejo
university student clubs will once again combining their ghastly talents to host this fun family event. it will offer games, activities and food booths. you can also enter the haunted house at an additional cost! FREE

Teen Ghost Hunters Night
October 4th  |  7:00 – 9:00 p.m.  |  Crown Valley Community Park,  Laguna Niguel 
Teens will break into groups and attempt to record “para-normal” activity while exploring areas of the park. Everyone will meet back in the viewing room and share their findings while enjoying pizza! $5

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