Ugly Dolls Backyard Movie Party

I had fun setting up a backyard movie party for the kids the other night in celebration of UglyDolls the Movie coming out on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On Demand this week. Of course we had to have an UglyDolls party. We made popcorn with gumdrops and strawberry lemonade. We also brought out blankets and pillows to lay out on the grass. Movies under the stars are so much fun! Plus, included with the movie, is an all-new sing-along edition that is stuffed with fun bonus features.

UglyDolls, is a fun and quirky animated musical centered around the unique town of Uglyville. It is inspired by the global plush phenomenon and based on the UglyDoll characters created by David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim, UglyDollsis filled with colorful and adorable characters and packed with powerful messages of inclusion and empowerment.

The best part is that UglyDolls features a star-studded voice cast including Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, Janelle Monáe, Blake Shelton, Pitbull, Wanda Sykes and Gabriel Iglesias. This talented cast brought their characters to life!

In Uglyville, weird is celebrated, strange is special and beauty is embraced as more than simply meets the eye. When Moxy (The voice of Kelly Clarkson) and the UglyDolls discover Perfection, a town where dolls are seen through a strict model of attractiveness, they confront what it means to be different, struggle with their desire to be loved, and ultimately discover that you don’t have to be perfect to be amazing.

The humorous and heartwarming film comes home with vibrant bonus content such as featurettes that reveal how the talented cast brought their characters to life, hilarious games with the cast and a sneak peek of the exclusive sing-along edition’s interactive entertainment. Plus, there is also an exclusive, all-new sing-along edition and stuffed with exciting bonus features allowing fans everywhere to dive deeper into the world of Uglyville.

We loved the message of of inclusion and empowerment that UglyDolls shared. It was the perfect movie to watch this summer at our backyard movie party. We hope you too can grab a couple of huggable UglyDolls to cuddle up with and have your own UglyDolls Party. Since it’s out on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On Demand now, you can watch it as much as you’d like!

{Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. We were given the Ugly Dolls DVD and party supplies. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own!}

The Best Summer Ever at Great Wolf Lodge

(Make sure to head down to the bottom of this post for the BEST DEAL EVER!)

Where can you got this summer, to play on waterslides all day, have story time with Wiley the Wolf, make s’mores and sing campfire songs to end the day? Look no further to Great Wolf Lodge! There are so many new things and special deals happening this summer at Great Wolf!

I have mentioned many time before about how much our family loves Great Wolf Lodge. It’s the first vacation that we have taken as a family where I’ve felt care-free. My kids always have the best time, and everything is in one place. No loading up the car for meals or going places. I think every family can have a blast…especially with these new summer deals! You gotta fit a stay at Great Wolf into your summer finale plans. Check these out…

Great Wolf’s Summer Camp-In

If you haven’t heard, Great Wolf Lodge has taken the summer tradition of camping and turned it outside-in with an all-new family escape called Summer Camp-In! From Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, all Great Wolf Lodge resorts will celebrate the joys of camping with an array of special activities and events designed for families to participate in together.

The lodges themselves will be decked out for summer camp and resort staff will be dressed in camp counselor gear. Select guest rooms will have a camp theme with everything from pennant bunting and yellow gingham bed scarves to actual in-room tents and campfire lanterns. The camp-themed rooms are exclusively for the Summer Camp-In celebration and will provide guests with a true feeling of being in the great outdoors. 

Then, get ready for nonstop with pool parties, character appearances, games, music, feasting on flame-grilled barbecue “camp cuisine” and more. When the sun goes down the fun turns up with campfire sing-alongs, summer camp Story Time, dance parties and more. From outdoor yoga to camp bingo, moving their feet in a conga line or a kick-off-your-sandals pool party, families will blaze trails to summer fun like never before. Here are a few highlights of summer fun at Great Wolf Lodge:

  • Character Breakfast: Wiley the Wolf, Oliver Raccoon, Sammy the Squirrel and other characters will treat guests to a morning breakfast buffet with some flag-raising fun, tasty food and festivities. Enjoy counselor-led songs, dances, napkin twirling and photos and autographs from Wiley and friends.. 
  • Pool Party: Guests can jump in and have a splash-tastic time with games, DJ music and refreshments all poolside. Activities include how low can you go in the limbo, rubber duck races, corn hole toss and a conga dance to cap it all off. 
  • Trailblazer Challenge: Sign up for select activities and earn a badge for every game you complete. Participate in different arts and crafts projects such as friendship bracelet making and rubber ducky decorating, family trivia and corn hole challenges. When campers collect ten badges, they earn the ultimate honor – the title of Trailblazer. 
  • BBQ: Got a hankerin’ for a camper feast served hot off the grill? Mouthwatering BBQ anchors dinner menus at the resort’s main restaurant. After all, no summer camp should be without BBQ and all the fixins’. Step right up, campers!  
  • S’mores: Families should make sure to leave s’more room for that savory staple of summer camp as a special s’mores dessert bar will be featured during the Summer Camp-In celebration. 
  • Campfire Ceremony: End the day with family around a crackling fire. From the ceremony of lighting the fireplace the nighttime fun begins. There’s singing, face painting, s’mores, silly story-swapping, character shows and the time-honored Great Wolf Lodge tradition, Story Time. Groove the night away at a rollicking, DJ-led dance party under the stars. Linger longer for nighttime bowling or a hole in one mini golf challenge.

Did you read about the S’MORES? Great Wolf Lodge’s Master S’morelier has created some specialty s’mores for Great Wolf Lodge Guests! Imagine flavored marshmallows with interesting toppings – Passionfruit, Bacon -Infused, or Dulce de Leche. Wow, I bet they are amazing. They will be offered alongside traditional versions at a decadent s’mores dessert bar nightly at the lodge’s Summer Camp-In Jamboree. The s’mores dessert bar is only available during the Summer Camp-In celebration where guests can purchase a s’more from the dessert bar starting at $1.99, with the Master S’morelier creations starting at $2.99. YUM!

For more information on Great Wolf Resorts and its brands of indoor water park resorts, visit

Introducing Day Passes to the Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark

Now you don’t have to stay over night toplay at the Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark! Great Wolf Lodge has announced that it is offering day passes to the waterpark for the first time ever. Yipee. Previously only available to guests staying on property, families can choose to howl for a single day with a brand-new waterpark day pass starting at $50 per person, available at all of its U.S. resorts this summer.

Best End of Summer Great Wolf Lodge Deal!

This is the best deal I have ever seen at Great Wolf Lodge. Summer is heating up and Great Wolf Lodge Southern California is announcing its HOTTEST sale yet with savings up to 58% off

Great Wolf’s indoor waterpark is a pleasant 84-degrees all year-round and to celebrate, they are offering their first-ever 84 Degrees Sale! For one day only on August 4, 2019, guests will be able to book rooms starting at $84/night for stays from September 2 to October 31, 2019, at any U.S. location. This rate is available for stays Sunday-Thursday and blackout dates apply. To book, use promo code 84DEGREES online at, or mention code while booking over the phone (new reservations only).

101 Tips for Visiting Knott’s Berry Farm

Best Tips for Visiting Knott's Berry Farm

We LOVE Knott’s Berry Farm!!! We love it so much that we’ve been over 100 times and would love to share all our Best Tips for Visiting Knott’s Berry Farm with you. Hopefully you can use some of them to make your visit to Knott’s extra enjoyable! There are 101 tips on this list…Do you have any more??

Get the best prices at Knott’s

1) Pre-purchase your tickets, food and parking online so you are not paying full price at the gate. You can get tickets on the Knott’s website for less.

2) You can get discounted tickets on Goldstar!

3) Knott’s has bring-a-friend days for Season passholders where you can get up to 4 friends in for a discounted price.

4) Get a Season Pass – for a low price, you can enjoy Knott’s all year long. This is the best deal ever in my opinion!

General Tips for Visiting Knott’s

5) Check to check how the general crowds will be in the park that day.

6) Follow Knott’s on Facebook and Instagram for special news updates

7) Knott’s has fun happenings all year long called Season of Fun – you will want to visit all year long to experience all the seasons!

  • Peanuts Celebration
  • Boysenberry Festival
  • Ghost Town Alive! & Summer Nights
  • Knott’s Spooky Farm
  • Knott’s Merry Farm

8) You can rent a locker to hold all your stuff all day. Lockers are located near the Ghost Town Bakery in Ghost Town.

9) There are 4 ATM’s inside of Knott’s – at Lee’s Last Stop Service store near Xcelerator, inside Classic Candy near the Charleston Fountain, at Peppermint Patty’s Candy Cabin in Camp Snoopy, and inside the General Store in Ghost Town.

10) Follow the hashtag #Berrybloggers on Instagram for insider tips on visiting Knott’s.

11) The First Aid Center is in Ghost Town near Ghost Rider.

12) Buy a Single Day FunPix card to document all of the fun you’re having at Knott’s!

13) Take a peek into the parks from the comfort of your own home through one of the Knott’s Webcams. You may be able to see how crowded it is.

14) Learn more about California History by checking out the California Mission models located throughout Fiesta Village

Tips for Rides at Knott’s

15) The longest lines in the park is usually Ghost Rider, Pony Express, and Silver Bullet. Try to get to the park at opening, and ride these coasters first.

16) Use the Knott’s App to check for ride wait times.

17) If you want to skip the lines, you can purchase a Fast Lane Pass for an additional fee. This is AMAZING for crowded days. You only need to purchase for those who want to ride coasters and thrill rides.

Tips for Shows at Knott’s

18) The shows at Knott’s are popular, so make sure to arrive at least 15 minutes before the shows begin.

19) The Snoopy on Ice Show happens during Merry Farm, and is a must see!

20) At the Wild West Stunt Show, you can sit in one of the stage coaches if you get there early. Best place to sit if you want some shade.

21) Meet Native Americans at the Native American Dance presentation. It’s filled with amazing movement, mesmerizing stories and fascinating culture and history.

Tips for Knott’s Berry Farm Food

22) Purchase a Single Meal Deal online for less than inside the park. Includes one entrée, side and a regular size fountain drink at any of the 16 participating locations throughout Knott’s Berry Farm.

23) Purchase an All Day Dining Plan. You’ll never go hungry, and you’ll save a bundle all day long. Enjoy an entrée and a side at any of the 16 participating locations throughout Knott’s Berry Farm every 90 minutes for one low price. (Drinks not included with this one.)

24) These food locations inside Knott’s accept dining plans:

  • Beachy Keen’s Pizza
  • Boardwalk BBQ
  • Calico Fry Company
  • Cantina
  • Coasters Diner
  • Fiesta Dogs
  • Fireman’s BBQ
  • Grizzly Creek Lodge
  • La Papa Loca
  • Panda Express
  • Sutter’s Grill
  • Sutter’s Pizza
  • Wilderness Broiler

25) Purchase a refillable drink cup for unlimited refills on the day of purchase. Refills are $1 after that. 

26) Special Dietary Needs

27) Want a Knott’s chicken dinner but don’t want to dine at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant? You can get a full chicken dinner to go at Chicken-To-Go located outside the park next to Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant. You can even bring it into the park.

28) Make reservations for Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant on OpenTable so you don’t have to wait in line.

29) There are Starbucks located at the entrance to Knott’s and inside the park at Gourmet Coffee Hut near the Charleston Fountain. Hint: You can get the exclusive Boysenberry Frappuccino year round at these Starbucks.

30) Funnel cakes, popcorn, and churro sundaes make great sharable treats.

31) There is a Johnny Rocket’s and a Panda Express located within the park if you are looking to get food that is more familiar to you.

32) At the Classic Candy Store, they sell 2-foot licorice ropes in lots of yummy flavors. It’s buy 2 get 1 free!

33) You can get a boysenberry pie milkshake at the Ghost Town Grill. AMAZING

34) Need to feed a family. You can purchase full sized pizzas at Wagon Wheel Pizza, Beach Keen’s Pizza and Sutter’s Pizza

35) You can purchase alcohol at Judge Roy Bean’s Hitchin’ Post, the Calico Saloon, Boardwalk BBQ and the Cantina.

36) You can get the best deals on single cookies, cupcakes and donuts at the Ghost Town Bakery.

37) Knott’s sells Boysenberry Icees, a flavor only sold at Knott’s.

38) Want to have a special Snoopy experience while eating breakfast? Go to the Amber Waves Breakfast Buffet at the Knott’s Hotel. Snoopy comes during breakfast for a visit. Make sure to double check the times at which he comes.

39) You can bring a small amount of food into the park for those with dietary restrictions. Just don’t bring in fast food with the wrappers still on. Make sure to pack it in ziplocks and tupperware containers. You can also bring unopened water and sports drinks into the park.

40) The best donuts are found at DoughKnott’s located near the entrance to Knott’s Berry Farm.

Tips for Knott’s Season Pass Holders

41) Season Passholders get early entry into Knott’s all summer long.

42) Use your Season Pass to get 10% – 20% discounts on food and merchandise. Save 15% at the Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel.

43) Join Knott’s Season Passholders Group on Facebook, and/or search for Knott’s Groups on Facebook to chat with other Knott’s Season Passholder’s and fans!

44) You can load your Season Pass (and other family member’s passes) onto the Knott’s App on your phone so that you don’t have to get your season pass card out.

45) Purchase an All Season Souvenir Bottle for unlimited drink refills all year long.

46) There’s a new refillable popcorn Snoopy bucket. You can refill with popcorn for $1 all year long.

Tips for Using the Knott’s App

46) Trust me. Load the Knott’s App onto your phone. It can help you navigate the park with ease.

47) The interactive map on the app helps you find your location and every ride, restaurant, shop and show easily.

48) While inside the interactive map, choose the category you would like to view. Then press the location symbol on the top right of the screen for detailed descriptions.

49) Knott’s App has show times and wait times for all the rides!

50) Knott’s App has sections for all the rides in categories so you can choose the ones that are best for you – coasters, thrill, family, and kids.

51) You can attach your FunPix photos to the app.

Tips for Birthday Parties at Knott’s

Although Knott’s doesn’t have a formal birthday package, you can still enjoy your birthday at Knott’s. Read this blog post on How to Celebrate Your Birthday at Knott’s, and follow these tips below for the best Knott’s Birthday ever.

52) Get a Happy Birthday Button at Guest Services.

53) Purchase Happy Birthday Snoopy Ears

54) The Knott’s Bakery sell birthday cakes that are delicious and very reasonable in price.

55) During Ghost Town Alive! you can have the birthday person’s name added to the newspaper. Just talk to one of the characters.

Tips for Knott’s with Kids

56) Use the “Parent Locator Service” for your kids. Register your child with the Information Office when you arrive, so that if he or she is found without you, your cell phone number will be on file. They give you wristbands to help.

57) Camp Snoopy has the most of rides for kids and toddlers…plus a cute Snoopy show at the Campy Snoopy Theater,  a family-friendly restaurant called Grizzly Creek Lodge and a baby changing center.

58) Use the Knott’s App to check height restrictions ahead of time to avoid meltdowns

59) Visit and get your picture taken with Snoopy and the Peanuts gang at Beagle Scout Headquarters located near Flying Ace. Snoopy and his friends are there throughout the day. Your best chance to catch them is directly after the shows at the Camp Snoopy Theater.

60) If there a lot of day camps when you are visiting, save visiting Camp Snoopy until the afternoon when the day camps start to leave the park.

61) Cheapest souvenirs are pressed pennies. Make them at the Penny Press near the Mystery Lodge. You will need two quarters and a penny for each pressed penny you want to make. You can even buy a pressed penny book at the Mystery Lodge to keep them organized.

62) There is a mini play area in Camp Snoopy with logs to climb on and shade.

63) Are your kids too short to go on the Calico Rapids River Ride? Walk down to the area near the entrance of Pony Express. There they can have fun blasting the Calico River Rapids riders with water while you wait for the rest of your party to ride it.

64) There is a carousel in Fiesta Village with lots of cool vintage carousel animals. It’s a great ride for younger kids to enjoy while the big kids go on the other rides in Fiesta Village.

65) In Camp Snoopy, there is a suspension bridge that takes you into a cave behind the waterfall. It’s fun and cool!

66) Are your little ones thrill-seekers? Have them board their first roller coaster, Timberline Twister in Camp Snoopy.

Tips for Knott’s with Babies

66) There is a nursing room with changing tables and rocking chairs located in Camp Snoopy near the Timberland Twister. (kiddie roller coaster)

67) Addition Baby Changing Stations at located at the Mystery Lodge, Excelerator Bathrooms and the Market Place (outside the park near Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant).

68) Need a shady spot to rest? Here are some of my favorite shady spots around Knott’s:

  • Ghost Town near the Pitchur Gallery
  • Camp Snoopy near the waterfall and Grizzly Creek Lodge,
  • Under the patio cover at Boardwalk BBQ
  • Tables and area near Charles M. Schultz Theater and Wheeler Dealer Bumper Cars
  • Entrance near the Mystery Lodge

69) They sell baby necessities at Snoopy’s Camp Store

70) Knott’s allows strollers and wagons into the park.

71) Use Parent Swap and avoid having to stand in line twice for height-restricted rides.

Tips to Stay Cool at Knott’s 

72) Get wet on the water rides. Timber Mountain Log Ride and Grizzly Creek Rapids are the two rides at Knott’s Berry Farm that have water. Make sure to bring extra socks or to wear waterproof shoes to avoid having to walk around in wet shoes all day.

73) Head into one the indoor shows to rest your feet and some air conditioning. (Charles M. Schultz Theater, Birdcage Theater, Calico Saloon)

74) Eat a meal inside one of the Knott’s restaurants.

75) Bring a portable fan or water misting spray bottle.

76) Boysenberry soft serve from The Churro Factory. Enough said.

77) Purchase a cooling bandana to take with you into the park. These work great!

Tips for Visiting Knott’s for the First Time

Although there are tons of great things to do at Knott’s, these are my tops picks if you are visiting for the first time!

78) Ride the Timber Mountain Log Ride and Calico Mining Ride. These rides are iconic.

79) Eat at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant. The fried chicken is famous, and the reason Knott’s is here today.

80) Visit Calico Ghost Town. This is the oldest section of Knott’s and full of history. If you see a cowboy or one of the townspeople of Calico, ask them to tell you a little bit about the history.

81) Take a picture with the cowboy statues next to the Calico Hotel and the saloon girl statues near the Calico Saloon.

82) Get your family photo taken at the Pitchur Gallery. They dress you up in western wear and take an old fashioned photo. It’s an amazing keepsake and so much fun.

89) Visit the Berry Patch across from Silver Bullet to learn more about the little berry that started it all, the boysenberry, which helped create California’s First Theme Park.

83) Now you must get a slice of boysenberry pie at the Ghost Town Bakery, Farm Bakery, Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant or Ghost Town Grill since boysenberries were founded here.

84) See a show at the Charles M. Schultz Theater. Snoopy on Ice or the summer shows are top notch entertainment.

85) Get a funnel cake. Preferable topped with boysenberry topping.

86) Ride the Calico Railroad. You may get a visit from some robbers in this real life working Steam Engine.

87) If you are brave enough to ride Hangtime, do it! It’s the first and only dive coaster in California, and towers over 150 feet with a beyond vertical drop. Yikes!

88) Take a jar of Boysenberry preserves home with you to enjoy Knott’s after you leave.

90) You can ride a real stagecoach pulled by the Knott’s horses. It’s located near Calico Square next to the entrance of Fiesta Village.

Tips for Visiting Calico Ghost Town

Calico Ghost Town is the oldest area of the Farm. Here are some fun things to check out while in town.

91) Say hello to Sad Eye Joe–he’s been serving (on the wrong side of the law) a LONG time! He’s locked up in a jailhouse in Ghost Town, where he’s been sitting since 1880. If you peek through the bars, he’ll talk to you. Want Sad Eye Joe to surprise your friends? Tell the hotel manager some information about them.

92) Find the beating heart grave at the Boot Hill Cemetery. You must stand on top of the graves to feel the heartbeat.

93) You can pan for real gold at Knott’s. Panning for gold is located near the entrance for Ghostrider.

94) Visit the Blacksmith and have him show you a demonstration on making horseshoes.

95) Bird Cage Theatre hosts great musicals and shows throughout the year. Stop by and rest your feet while watching one of their iconic shows.

96) You can meet the real animals of Knott’s at the Livery Stable.

97) Visit the Old Schoolhouse. A real school house from 1879 that was brought to Knott’s Berry Farm in 1952. The teacher in the schoolhouse is a real historian and will tell you all about it. 

98) Visit the Western Trails Museum, located across from the Bank. It is filled with curiosities from the days of old.

99) You can watch people actually knit and sew year round in Ghost Town.

100) See “live” baby rattlers next to Boot Hill Cemetery

101) Pump water at the old water pump in front of the Pitchur Gallery. Kids love this!

Most of all…

Have Fun! Knott’s has so much to do, you will have a blast exploring all there is to do with your friends and family.

Knott’s Berry Farm Ticket Giveaway

Here is your chance to win a Knott’s Berry Farm Prize Package!!! Prize package is valued at $836 and includes:

  • 4 pack of general admission tickets (value $84 each) 
  • 4 pack of single day Fast Lane wristbands (value $85 each)
  • 4 pack of  Summer Nights Tasting Cards (value $35 each) 
  • 1 Parking Pass (value $20) 

Enter via Rafflecopter below, or on Facebook/Instagram. Contest ends August 4th at 11:59pm. You don’t have to do all the tasks on Rafflecopter, but the more you do, the more entries you get. Winner will be chosen randomly and must be 18 years or older and a resident of the United States. Good luck!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fun with Kids at the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts

This week, I took the kids down to Laguna Beach to enjoy the ocean air, sights and sounds, and specifically to check out the Festival of Arts. The Festival of Arts is located in the pavilion where the Pageant of the Masters takes place. It’s a fine arts show that happens every summer, and features 140 artists from Orange County. At the festival, you can meet the artists and browse their one-of-a-kind artwork. But, there’s more! You can also participate in art demonstrations, enjoy live entertainment, food and browse the the Junior Art Exhibit. This year’s festival takes place from July 5th through August 31st.

I really enjoy showing my kids all the different types of art and explaining what techniques were used. At the Festival, the artists are often in their booths, so you can ask them the stories behind their art pieces.

It can be scary to take kids around expensive pieces of art, but the more you do it, the more they will learn and understand how they should behave in such settings. Make sure to explain to kids that they must not touch the art and should stand two steps back from it so they won’t accidentally bump into it. Toddlers should be in strollers as you don’t want to have any accidents.

Take an Art Tour

Get the most out of your visit by taking a free exhibit tour! The friendly Festival art docents will take you on a fun and informative walk through the fine art show. Offered twice a day- weekdays at 2pm and 4:30pm and weekends 11am and 4:30pm.

Free Art Workshops st the Festival of Arts

The Festival of Arts offers daily drop-in workshops in the Art Center. Printmaking and mixed media workshops are free.

We got to try ink tile painting – which the kids really enjoyed. It was fun watching them choose their colors and techniques in which to move the colors around. The ink was a totally new medium for them to try, so I really liked that they were exposed to this new technique.

Printmaking was also a new

They were very proud of the finished pieces!

If you would like to paint a pot at the ceramics workshop, prices start at $25. The helpful art instructors will walk you through each step. You can choose from glazes or marble art.

Art Classes for Kids at the Festival of Arts

Besides the free art demonstrations, the Festival also host kids art classes that are $20/$30 per child. They range from ceramics to drawing to painting and are taught by local artists. This gives parents the perfect opportunity to enjoy browsing the art exhibits while the kids are having a great time learning art skills. You must register for the art classes online.

Special Events at the Festival of Arts

On Mondays, they have a special story time and art class for kids that is included in the price of admission. Check here for the schedule of story times at the Festival of Arts. There are also special events for adults, art talks and tea, yoga, fashion shows and art nights.

There is daily live entertainment on the Festival of Arts stage. You can enjoy it while sitting on the green and grabbing a bite to eat at the food bar. It’s a great atmosphere there at the Festival!

Junior Art Exhibit at the Festival of Arts

The kids especially liked walking through the Junior Art Exhibit. This is where Orange County kids can submit their own artwork to be displayed at the Festival of Arts.

The art pieces are labeled by grades, so the kids loved seeing what kids their own ages submitted. It was really inspiring and made my kids want to do more artwork of their own.

We had such a fun time visiting the Festival of the Arts in Laguna Beach. We will definitely go back again this summer. There are a lot of fun things to do in Laguna Beach and the Festival should be on everyones list!

{ We were invited guests of the Festival of Arts. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.}

Get the Most Out of the OC Fair on a Budget with Kids

The OC Fair opens this week! And If yours kids are anything like mine, they are already begging to go. The OC Fair is an icon of summer here in Orange County, and every year there is a month long celebration of fair favorites. I love almost everything about the fair except for the prices. Not everything is expensive, but with four kids, things can add up. So, I am sharing a list of ways on how you can Get the Most Out of the OC Fair on a Budget with Kids.

For our family, we usually go to the OC Fair 2-3 times each year. We usually go once and splurge on food, rides and activities. But the rest of our visits are definitely budget days. A typical budget day will include: going on Opening Day for free or on a “Kids Free Day”. The kids get three free rides for doing the Read & Ride program (more info below). We will share a treat, visit Centennial Farm, check out the art exhibits, play in the Explorium, and watching the free shows happening around the fairgrounds.

Sometimes I give each kid $10 to spend however they’d like. If they know ahead of time, that it’s the only extra money we will be spending, I curb any begging for extra items at the Fair. Plus, they get to learn about budgeting and being intentional in getting what they want.

OC Fair Ticket Deals

Visit the OC for free or almost FREE. The OC Fair has free days, free kids days and discounts on admission prices. first things first, on Friday, July 12th, Opening Day, everyone is Free ‘Til Three (12-3 p.m.). and did i mention FREE PARKING.

• We Care Wednesdays run from noon to 3:00 p.m. just donate the specified items to each Wednesday Non-profit partner and get a FREE admission to the OC Fair and one carnival ride per person.

July 17th – School Supply Drive
(bring new school supplies valued at $5 or more, such as pens, pencils, crayons, notebooks (items must be sealed; no coloring books or workbooks)

July 24th – Share Our Selves Canned Food Drive, benefitting Second Harvest and OC Food Bank
(bring 5 canned food items)

July 31st – Children’s Book Drive, benefitting THINK Together
(3 new or gently used children’s books

August 7th – Clothing Drive, benefitting Goodwill OC
(bring 5 gently used clothing items)

OC Fair Discount Tickets

Thursdays are Kids Day
Children 12 & under receive FREE Fair admission all day.

• On Fridays, it’s Seniors Day (60+). Seniors get in for $5, plus FREE Ferris wheel and merry-go-round rides all day.

• First Responders and Law Enforcement get free admission the Week of August 7th through 11th. This includes active-duty and professional staff of the police, sheriff, fire and emergency services departments. Plus, they get the option to purchase up to 4 general admission tickets for their guests at half price. Issuing agency ID is required.

• On Saturday & Sunday, the OC Fair offers the “Best Deal Ever” from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. general admission is half price. Sundays only: $35 Unlimited Ride Wristband available – ride until 4 p.m., sold until 1 p.m. Includes 1 ride on the Titan; all other rides are unlimited.

How to Save Money on OC Fair Rides

The rides are so much fun and they are one of the things that the kids beg for the most. but tickets can really add up, and each ride can cost anywhere from 3-10 tickets! yikes. Here are some ways that you can get some free or discounted tickets.

Did you know that your kids can get 3 free rides just for reading?!!! it’s a great deal and worth as much at 20 tickets. the OC Fair Read & Ride program allows kid ages 5-11 can read two books to earn three free carnival rides by writing a short book report on this form. And just so you know, i don’t think they are strict on ages, because i made all my kids read and write the reports last year and they all got free rides. Such a great deal. completed book report forms can be redeemed for ride tickets at the Centennial Farm Information Booth during Fair hours.

• Wednesdays $35 Unlimited Carnival Ride Wristband
Enjoy all the rides you can handle for one price. (Sold until 5 p.m. Valid until 8 p.m. Wristbands must be purchased onsite. Required Fair admission sold separately.)

• on Fridays, get $2 Rides and $2 Games noon to 4:00 p.m. in the Main Carnival and Kiddie Carnival.

• Sunday Carnival Special – get a $35 unlimited ride wristband. Valid 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Free Things to Do at the OC Fair

There are lots of free things to do at the Fair, you don’t even really need to buy anything to enjoy it. Our favorite things are – Centennial Farm, the Explorium (Kid Zone), acrobatic & hypnotists shows, arts exhibits, culinary exhibits, Reptile House, Pet Center, 4H exhibits, water area, garden and farm area, free rides for kids with the Read & Ride program, and browsing vendor booths.

Seeing the baby animals is the most favorite activity on our list, followed by the Explorium Kid Zone shows.

How to Save Money on Food at the OC Fair

out of all the attractions and amusements at the OC Fair, the food is what can cost the most. it really adds up if everyone wants a meal, and a drink, and a treat, and another treat.

If you are on a budget and want to spend as little as possible on food, i suggest eating first and then visiting the Fair. A fair isn’t a fair without food, so plan on at least getting a treat to share. Some suggestions of my favorite sharable Fair treats are – Funnel Cake (with ice cream topping), Caramel Crack Fries, Berry Treat Bowl from Sherri’s Berries, Giant Donuts (look for the Unicorn Cotton Candy Donut), Giant Foot-long Corn Dogs, Loaded Curly Fries, Fried Zucchini and the Big Skillet Cookie.

Plus, on Thursdays, you can get $3 Taste of Fair Food from noon to 4:00 p.m. It’s a great way to get to enjoy a variety of select fun-sized Fair treats for a value price. Samples include funnel cake, tri-tip, lemonade, cinnamon rolls, tacos, gelato, cotton candy and more.

How to Save Money on OC Fair Parking

General parking is $10 everyday. You can always park for free offsite at some of the free parking lots and walk to the Fair. Or you can get FREE Off-Site Parking on Saturday & Sunday and Free shuttle service from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. at the Experian parking structure located off the Bristol Street exit of the 405 Freeway. follow the signs to “Experian.”

The OC Fair Express costs $2 each way, or $1.50 for seniors 60+ and persons with disabilities. When you ride the OC Fair Express, you receive a coupon for $4 OC Fair admission, that’s a $10 savings! OC Fair Express buses depart from nine locations on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the duration of the Fair. When riding the Metrolink, you can connect to the OC Fair Express at the Anaheim Canyon, Santa Ana, Irvine or Anaheim-ARTIC Metrolink stations. show your valid Metrolink ticket and ride the bus for free.

Now it’s time to enjoy the OC Fair!

The OC Fair runs for a whole month, this year’s dates are July 12th through August 11th. Hopefully with these tips and tricks, you can visit multiple times and not break the bank.