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Star Wars Half Marathon at Disney: Register Now!

January 14th, 2017

 

Sign up early to head over to the dark side at Disneyland in April for a full weekend of the Star Wars Half Marathon: The Dark Side. You’ll be racing through Darth Vader’s neighborhood while white uniformed stormtroopers cheer you on. The Galactic Empire Sith Lord and Darth Vader have a full weekend of surprises planned for this epic run, live entertainment and special events.

All ages are welcome for the half marathon, 10k, 5k and, of course, Disney Kids Races. Whether you want a fast fun run or a serious training race, this is the race for you. However, only participants who register before January 17 will get their full race swag on the big day. If you’re a frequent traveler to Anaheim, get a jump start on this spring event!

Early Planning

The races take place April 20-23, but they always sell out. You can sign up to run for the dark or light side, but the dark side is always the one that’s the toughest to get into. Registration is open now, and if you register before January 17, you’ll get a personalized bib, official digital event guide, your size choice of a tech shirt—and of course, that brag-worthy medal.

Register online or in person at the park. Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple takes place throughout the day at Tomorrowland. Check out The Bootstrappers at New Orleans Square, or head to Frontierland for The Laughing Stock Co. Whether you’re here in January, April, or both, the fun and options are endless.

Lunar New Year Guide

January 14th, 2017

 

There’s Disneyland’s Lunar New Year celebration, a must with the decorated streets, performers, and Disney characters in full costume, but what if you want to do more to celebrate the Year of the Rooster? Try visiting a temple like Thien Hau in Chinatown and Hsi Lai in Hacienda Heights, both known for having fluent English volunteers and staff members to help you make the most of your visit. Praying to both Chinese deities and ancestors is common, as is lighting a candle or lamp.

Reading a book about the culture, the New Year, or the history of Chinese immigrants in the Los Angeles area is a great way to celebrate January 28. Need a recommendation? Head to one of the many bookstores in LA’s Chinatown, and check out the works of Mo Yan who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2012.

The Year of the Rooster

Taking a calligraphy or Chinese painting class is an excellent way to learn a new skill, fall in love with a new hobby, and make the most of the Lunar New Year. Check out Flax Pen to Paper, Fuji School or Kathryn Murray Calligraphy to get started.

An Asian cooking class at New School of Cooking, EATZ or Cozymeal is another fantastic way to celebrate the New Year. Great for a date, solo project or with family, learning how to whip up authentic cuisine will really heat things up for 2017.

 

Your MLK Jr. Guide

January 14th, 2017

 

Visiting Anaheim in January? There are a number of activities to check out, like the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebrations at the famous Jackie Robinson Park in nearby Pasadena. Hosted by the Pasadena MLK Community Coalition, January events start on the 7th with the Rekindling the Light of Peace at 10 a.m. at the Pasadena City Hall Chambers. It’s a free event with guest speakers, poetry readings and music, it’s the perfect way to kick off an MLK Jr. celebration.

On January 10, the MLK Essay and Visual and Performing Art Finalists have public readings, presentations and displays at Altadena Elementary School at 5:30 p.m. Enjoy original speeches, gorgeous artwork displays, and discover some fantastic local talent.

The Commemorations Continue

January 14 is the MLK Day of Service: A Day On, Not Off, from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Pasadena High School. The Saturday before the big holiday has a school full of volunteers beautifying the space. You can help plant flowers, clean, and perform maintenance tasks. Lunch with live entertainment follows.

January 15 is the Celebration Service at 3:30 p.m. at the Metropolitan Baptist Church. On January 16, the official Holiday Celebration and Student Awards commences at 8 a.m. at the Charles W. Eliot Middle School. A continental breakfast, teach-in, and celebration program is open to all.

 

Your Spanish Restaurant Picks

January 6th, 2017

 

At Tapas Flavors of Spain restaurant, you’ll find a full lunch, happy hour and dinner menu—with late-night entertainment like no other. Tapas turns into a night club, and nothing fuels you for a night of dancing like their house paella featuring chorizo, shrimp and chicken with sautéed bell peppers in this spicy rice dish. You can also choose the vegetarian option with saffron and seasonal veggies.

Their chicken andalucia with pear sauce, baked to perfection, is a favorite for regulars. The seafood pasta with clams, shrimp and scallops served on a bed of linguini with a cream sauce is perfection. With pasta Barcelona, you get asparagus, Spanish jamon, rice and an angel hair pasta with a cream sauce.

A Special Night Out

A night of flamenco dancing at Tapas is a real memory maker, but what if you want something more? Try Café Tu Tu Tango, an artsy café where generous sangria pitchers are paired with tapas. Try the berry sangria, sparkling sangria, or staple red or white. The mojitos are also famous, especially if you get the mango, dragonberry or tango variety—all available as a glass or pitcher.

Pair your cocktail with favorites like lobster bisque or Spanish antipasto salad with manchego cheese, olive tapenade, rosemary flatbreads, made in-house, and the marinated artichoke hearts with red onion. All art on display is for sale and complements your tapas night perfectly.

 

NYE in Anaheim

December 21st, 2016

 

Nothing compares to New Year’s Eve in Anaheim, whether you’re more of a Disneyland fan or want to check out the exclusive nightclubs in town. Start your itinerary planning by checking out the Long Beach NYE Under the Fireworks Cruise Yacht Party! The Catalina King Yacht whisks party goers into 2017 with three decks of entertainment, five DJs, and two rooms of music. The cruise is limited to 400 partiers, so book your tickets early!

The 15th Annual New Year’s Eve Gala at the Renaissance Los Angeles Airport Hotel features a 7 p.m. reception before the lavish 8 p.m. dinner. DJs start at 9:30 and spin until 2 a.m. for hours of fun including a champagne toast and party favors. Early bird special rates are available, so reserve your tickets now for one of the most stunning parties in the area.

Ring in 2017

At Last Dance 2016 at the San Juan Hills Golf Club, you’ll enjoy premium admission and a party until 1:30 a.m. It’s a family-friendly event with complimentary tapas, appetizer stations and, of course, munchies at midnight to keep you fueled to dance all night. A champagne toast and souvenir photos complete the evening.

Check out the Hollywood New Year’s Eve Pub Crawl for something more low key, or the Resolution New Year’s Eve 2017 couture party if you want to go upscale. Where will 2017 find you?

Sawdust Winter Art Festival

December 10th, 2016

 

In 2016, the Sawdust Winter Art Festival celebrates 26 years of holiday art and spirit! Held every weekend until Christmas, the festival grounds at Laguna Beach are transformed into sheer magic where over 175 artists create and sell their work. You’ll find everything you need for stockings and trees from blown glass to jewelry, clothing to ceramics, forged metals to paintings, and much, much more. You can also find sculptures, textiles and woodworks galore!

Live holiday entertainment features local bands and musicians, and there are fantastic outdoor cafes dishing up local delights and seasonal treats. Discover an art class for your child—or yourself! Demonstrations show you how to create your own masterpiece or amp up your holiday decorating skills.

Fun for All

Little ones love the petting zoo, and of course having Santa on site throughout December is a real treat. Don’t forget to come in your best be-decked holiday gear for pictures and memory making. Open December 5 and 6, 12 and 13, and 19 and 20 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., the Sawdust Winter Art Festival is a local tradition you can make your own.

Many art lovers consider this the ultimate festival for upgrading their own home decorations, or finding those last minute gifts for loved ones. What will you discover?

Knott’s Merry Farm

December 2nd, 2016

 

Disneyland isn’t the only area theme park going all out for the holidays! Don’t miss the annual Knott’s “Merry” Farm where the entire park is transformed into a winter wonderland. The Knott’s Christmas Crafts Village Inn is spilling over with treats, ornaments and decorations from local artisans. A seasonal Snoopy Ice Show performance can’t be missed, and live shows happen every night in December.

At dusk nightly, the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place, whisking you and your loved ones on a magical journey. Walk along the park avenues and take in the grandiose decorations, from the twinkling lights to the oversized garlands and rich red ribbons. Inside each of the shops and restaurants, you’ll find seasonal delights with holiday themes.

Planning Your Visit

Knott’s “Merry” Farm is conveniently close to a number of Anaheim hotels. Tickets for entrance and shows are available at the gate, or you can book online and save a little time. Season ticketholders don’t have blackout dates, so if you frequently visit Anaheim, this package is a great way to save on future visits beyond the holiday months.

Santa is available daily throughout December for photos and will be taking wish lists of nice boys and girls of all ages. Staying through the new year? Don’t forget to visit Knott’s for their annual New Year’s Eve show with live entertainment, fireworks and special rides!

Huntington Beach Light a Love Parade

December 1st, 2016

 

A quick drive to the beautiful Huntington Beach on December 4 benefits the local Huntington Beach Youth Shelter. The Children’s Holiday Parade starts at 4:30 p.m. on Main Street and weaves from Orange Street to the Pier Plaza Surf Shop. You’ll find Santa and Mrs. Claus available for pictures, and they’re taking wish lists at 6 p.m., along with a special Snowflake Lighting at the Pier.

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Holiday lovers can also arrive early at 2:30 p.m. and sponsor a snowflake! A flurry of snowflakes will be on display throughout the event at the Huntington Beach Pier, each illuminated and featuring the names of the sponsor. All snowflakes remain on display throughout the first week of January, and it’s a fantastic way to ring in the holiday season with goodwill.

In the Spirit

Every year, the CPS of Huntington Beach hosts this beloved event to raise awareness of local children and youth in need. Children ages 11 – 17 benefit from the program, which provides housing and emergency shelter. Reuniting youth with family is a top priority, especially during the holiday season.

This year, come with family and friends, consider a snowflake sponsorship, and take part in seasonal activities that will get you into the holiday spirit. Santa hats, ugly sweaters, and other holiday accoutrements are encouraged!

 

 

Adventure City Anaheim

November 30th, 2016

 

Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm aren’t the only theme parks in Anaheim! Check out Adventure City Anaheim for a quaint, family-friendly experience that will take you back to the day of sweet fair rides, short lines and memories being made. Known as the little theme park that’s big on family fun, the park is open seven days per week and is available for private parties and corporate events.

A number of rides will give you plenty of thrills. Try out the Rewind Racers little coaster where you can go backwards, forwards and all around! It’s the first backwards-forwards coaster in America, offering a shuttle ride like no other. On Drop Zone, you’re taken 45 feet into the air before plunging safely back to earth. Perhaps the gorgeous, vintage 1946 carousel is more your speed—especially when you have your pick of the horses.

The “Adventure” of a Lifetime

Head to the petting farm, and get up close and personal with sheep, chicks, pigs and more. The 24-foot rock climbing wall is an obstacle for anyone ages four and older. The arcade is a challenge old-school style, and you’ll want in on the drool-worthy prizes! Don’t forget to stop by the Thomas the Train Station to build your own layout and tracks.

Birthday parties and special events can take advantage of the Party Tree House and party sky-high. At Parker’s Fill-Up Station, all pizzas are made to order. Where will your next adventure take you?

Anaheim’s Thanksgiving Feasts

November 21st, 2016

 

For much of the country, Thanksgiving means chunky sweaters and crisp autumnal air. Not in Anaheim! If you’re celebrating turkey day minutes from Disneyland, you can complement your sun and surf with some incredible Thanksgiving feasts (and wear sandals in the process). The Orange County Mining Co. offers an incredible buffet with all the trimmings, a carving station, more desserts than even the biggest Thanksgiving lover can handle, and some incredible views.

At The Phoenix Club, you might not expect the most famous German pub in town to dish up Thanksgiving delights, but you’re in for a real surprise! You’ll find all your favorite German fare readily available alongside your beloved turkey day treats. If you’ve never had pumpkin pie with a German ale before, or paired schnitzel with stuffing, stop missing out, and head to The Phoenix Club this year.

The Gobble Wobble

OceanView Bar and Grill features a sprawling Thanksgiving feast with one of the few evening reservations in town. If you prefer to have your turkey when the sun’s going down instead of mid-day, check out this stunning destination. It’s both intimate and welcoming to large groups. Sit outside and let the sea air rev up your appetite.

Club 33 is a staple offering a full menu as well as a buffet option. It’s a local favorite for holidays, and they really go all out on Thanksgiving. No matter where you go, get reservations early!