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What’s New at Madame Tussauds?

February 24th, 2017

 

If it’s been a while since you visited the Madame (or if you’ve never been!), it’s time to tick this southern California staple off your bucket list. The famous wax statue museum is so massive it’s broken into categories including Spirit of Hollywood, Modern Classics, Making Movies, Marvel Superheroes, A-List Party, Country Western, and Crime. Even President Obama has his very own niche!

Private events and group sales are available if you’re traveling with a crowd, otherwise slip inside seven days a week, and “meet” your favorite stars. Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Charlie Chaplin and Elvis Presley are waiting to greet you. Take a photo with Selena, snag a selfie with Jason Derulo, or get your photo with Adele.

VIP List

Everyone’s a VIP at Madame Tussauds when there’s Rihanna, Taylor Swift and Will Smith awaiting your arrival. In the crime wing, you’ll find Anthony Hopkins, Marlon Brando and Pierce Brosnan.

Shrek and Edward Scissorhands are always popular picks, and you’ll get the real 4-D experience in the Marvel wing! Thor, Wolverine, Captain America and more are all on hand to make your visit or special event one worthy of a hero.

 

Whale, Then

February 20th, 2017

 

Are you ready for the big migration? Every year, the massive gray whales migrate back up from Mexico along the coast of Newport and Laguna Beach, a protected haven for the big beasts. Along with gray whales, blue whales and an array of dolphin species also make the journey, and February is prime time to catch a sighting and photo of several of the migrators.

Cruises in Newport Beach start at just $16, but you can also opt for a romantic dinner or brunch package. It’s nearly guaranteed that you’ll enjoy some great sightings during this migratory period, especially thanks to the crystal clear waters and expert knowledge of your captain.

What to Expect

The migration takes place January through April, so any month in winter and early spring is a fantastic time to get on board. However, for February, consider booking a romantic holiday whale watching cruise. Cozy up with someone you love, and enjoy a special outing on turquoise waters to see a variety of marine wildlife.

Choose from a selection of tour providers, lengths and vessels to make this trip one you’ll never forget. Bring binoculars to get even “closer” to the whales and dolphins, and don’t forget to come back at the end of summer to watch their return migration!

Make Mickey Your Man This Valentine’s Day

February 12th, 2017

 

Disneyland knows how to do every holiday right, including Valentine’s Day! The decorations are stunning with the entire park decked out in pink, red and hearts galore. If you’re looking for a truly magical day with your special someone (or family!), head to Disneyland, and take in the festive, outlandish decorations that only Disney can pull off.

The walkway near the It’s a Small World ride is always one of the most romantic areas in the park, with a tree-lined street and lanterns along with twinkle lights surrounding you. Surprisingly, the Storybook Land ride is incredibly romantic, whisking you under the light-covered rose arches on an intimate boat ride.

Sweet Things

Many sweethearts come just for the special Valentine’s Day food and desserts, and Disney doesn’t disappoint. In the morning, get the strawberry and chocolate chip pancakes at Carnation Café, and at Café Orleans you can get the “Bouchee of Love,” a puff pastry with savory delights.

Check all your favorite restaurants for surprise treats and special dishes throughout the month of February. Disneyland is one of the most romantic places in Anaheim and southern California if you plan your trip right. Where will your first romantic stop be?

 

Most Romantic Restaurants

February 10th, 2017

 

Wine and dine your special someone this Valentine’s Day at one of the most romantic restaurants in the city. Make reservations at The Getty Center’s restaurant, a fine dining establishment with Chef Michael Cimarusti whipping up delights like grilled octopus, sea scallops with black quinoa, short ribs with ground grits, mussels and clams. A special menu is available with a decadent dessert.

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The Little Door is a Parisian-style bistro known for fine wines paired with authentic pastries. Start with marinated seaweed and fresh shucked oysters, then move on to the grilled filet mignon with a demi-glace. The pine nut-crusted scallops are addictive, and the couscous “royale” with duck stew is unforgettable.

More V-Day Options

At Cliff’s Edge, you’ll find an outdoor patio that’s dripping with romance, and marinated olives or potato fritters are an excellent start. Roasted duck breast with foie gras or venison with braised cabbage are both popular entrees. Don’t miss out on the chicken liver mousse with bacon jam, too!

Head to Yamashiro Hollywood if you want sushi and Asian-Cali fusion while being surrounded by koi ponds. Tucked into the Hollywood Hills, you’ll overlook the city as you dine on wagyu steak and truffle Hamachi. End the meal with a dessert martini and dessert sushi with a strawberry and kiwi hand roll with melon.

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?