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Celebrating MLK Jr. Day

January 9th, 2018

 

One of the most popular ways to commemorate the work and life of Martin Luther King Jr. is by exploring the interconnected regional trails of Orange County. Dr. King promoted peace and meditation, and taking to the trails is a fantastic way to reflect on how you can live a life of service. The weather is cooler, and including a few strolls (or challenging scrambles!) around the Anaheim area has never been better. Arrive early to have the scenic beauty to yourself.

Organizations like OneOC promotes the long weekend as “a day on, not off,” and offers a variety of ways you can volunteer in the community. Visit www.oneoc.org for information and to sign up for your unique way to give. Alternatively, if you’re with a group, you can get the project toolkit and have everything you need to create your own project.

The Big Event

Don’t miss the 30th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Peace and Unity Parade and Celebration, which kicks off in Long Beach and welcomes over 25,000 attendees each year. It starts at 10:30 a.m. on the corner of MLK and Atlantic Avenues. Find a spot along the route and you’ll be treated to marching bands, floats, competitive yet friendly contests and much more.

The festival continues until 6 p.m. with entertainment including dancing, live music and more. Take a whirl on one of the carnival rides, and peruse the food trucks and vendors. There are arts and crafts activities for children and local non-profits offering options for giving back. In the spirit of justice, it’s the major holiday weekend event many flock to the OC to attend.

 

An Anaheim New Year

December 28th, 2017

 

There are plenty of options for ringing in 2018 in Anaheim, starting with the decadent Fantasy in the Sky fireworks show at Disneyland. Tickets to spend the full day at the park on New Year’s (8 a.m. – 2 a.m.) start at just $99. Take advantage of a full day of rides and surprises at the park, then stay late for one of a kind entertainment. Fireworks displays happen at 9 p.m. and midnight. It’s a night you’ll never forget.

The Rumba Room Live at the Anaheim GardenWalk is a NYE tradition for many. The fun starts at 9 p.m., and you’re in for a night of great music, dancing and drink specials. The midnight toast, special guest performances and unique party favors are part of what make this party so wild. Prices start at just $50.

Out with the Old

The Medieval Times’ New Year’s Extravaganza starts at 5:30 p.m. and stretches until 1 a.m. You’ll be treated to a grand feast with plenty of medieval-themed antics. The four-course banquet is served as a fantastic display of heroism and jousting takes place before your eyes. At midnight, the champagne toast with Knights of the Realm is the perfect way to welcome 2018.

Get tickets to the party at the Mansion in nearby Costa Mesa, the oldest nightclub party in the area. It’s the official venue for the OC NYE Countdown Party with dancing starting at 9 p.m. Just for the 21+ crowd, there are 10 DJs spinning, a VIP bar open for five hours, and plenty of giveaways and party favors. It’s regularly billed as a top NYE destination.

Where will your midnight kiss take place?

A Disney Holiday

December 20th, 2017

 

Disneyland is always a magical experience, but the destination ups the ante this time of year. December is the perfect month to plan a Disney getaway, and the season runs from November 9 – January of 2018. Enjoy special decorations, entertainment, goodies and attractions. The Festival of Holidays entertainment and once-a-year desserts are a must, while the World of Color: Season of Light is a family favorite.

Check out the A Christmas Fantasy Parade and challenge yourself to try as many seasonal dishes as possible. Take a journey on the Jingle Cruise, slip into the Haunted Mansion Holiday and arrive early to see the first “It’s a Small World Holiday” spectacular. You’ll love the Candlelight Processional and the Holiday Time at Disneyland.

A Not-So-Small World

Unlike many other parks, including Walt Disney World, you’ll get all the bonus holiday entertainment for the price of regular park admission. Don’t worry about purchasing any additional tickets or passes. The first two weeks of December usually have the lightest crowds, and weekdays of course have fewer visitors than weekends.

However, if you really want to dive head-first into the craziness, the week between Christmas and New Years is pretty incredible. Main Street features the most decorations, followed by New Orleans Square. Tomorrowland’s Season of the Force event is a must-see, too.

What’s your favorite part of the seasonal Disney magic?

Best Breakfast in Anaheim

December 15th, 2017

 

When it comes to the most important meal of the day, Anaheim has you covered. Within Disneyland’s park, you’ll want to check out Mimi’s Café for breakfast staples with a Cajun and Creole touch. Goofy’s Kitchen is an all-American staple with plenty of vegetarian options. There’s also La Brea Bakery for strong coffee and sweet morning pastries or the Storyteller’s Café with vegan and veg options as well as traditional dishes.

Coco’s Restaurant dishes up comfort food including a variety of pancakes, Belgian waffles, hearty omelets and good coffee. It’s where you’ll find an impressive menu whipping up a number of sweet and savory breakfast options. Try one of the combinations, or their seasonal pancake offerings.

Starting the Day Right

Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles serves a full breakfast menu, but most patrons are regulars and come for the namesake dish. The waffles are large, fluffy and perfectly golden. The fried chicken is perfectly bronzed and the complement you crave for the sweet pancakes. Get a cup of java or hot cocoa on the side, and you’ve got the perfect, energizing meal.

Nfuse is a breakfast buffet mecca, with your choice of the full buffet or “smaller buffet” depending on your appetite. It’s the go-to pick for families, groups or solo diners who just can’t make up their mind. At Nfuse, everything is on the menu and seasonal dishes keep the options exciting.

 

Spotting Santa

December 5th, 2017

 

Besides Disneyland, where can you get your Santa fix in Orange County? Head to South Coast Plaza, where Santa is featured at two locations. He’s at Macy’s Home Store Wing and the Carousel Court, open during holiday mall hours. Choose to snap photos with your own phone or buy a luxury photo package. Enjoy Santa’s magical village, take a spin on the Christmas Carousel and snag free tickets for the express train with every photo.

Annual boat rides with Santa take place at Dana Point Harbor, where you’ll climb on board with the big man himself and his many helpers. At Dana Wharf, these free boat rides have been a holiday tradition for decades. Donations are welcome and benefit a local charity. Take part in the 20-minute cruise around the harbor while Santa tells stories, takes photos and listens to holiday requests.

A Touch of Magic

The Christmas Train at Irvine Park Railroad is another annual tradition where visitors are whisked away to the North Pole. With trains leaving every 15 minutes, you never have to wait long. Story time with Mrs. Clause, carnival games and customizing Christmas cookies are just a few of the activities on site. Enjoy treats from the Elk House Snack Bar and gear up for the most magical holiday yet.

Santa sets up shop at Knott’s Merry Farm this time of year, and can also be found at Fashion Island. You’ll spot him at the Atrium Lawn in his charming cottage where the lights are a real showstopper. Using your own camera for photos is permitted, or you can also get the photo package available.

What do you have on your wish list?

 

 

 

Seascape Kids Fun

November 28th, 2017

 

Whether you’re in the mood for a full-fledged party or just want to play, this three-storied arena features gigantic slides, 13 foam ball air guns, and plenty of spaces for private celebrations. Parents can take advantage of free Wi-Fi while the kids play, and the delicious menu has something for all tastes.

Customize your own pizza or try the Belly Blaster, Chicken Breast and Pesto, BBQ or vegetarian. Pasta with chicken romano, a vegetable ziti, meat lasagna or chicken wings are popular picks for parties. From sandwich trays to salad options, the on-site catering makes planning a get together fun and easy.

Party Time

Choose from six different party packages, each with different themes and participant caps. The Marine is the biggest package with up to 40 kids and 60 adults. It features 90 minutes in the Aquarium Room and Beach Ball play room, 60 minutes in the private dining room, eight large one-topping pizzas, 6 two-liter drinks and 40 juice boxes, up to 40 invitations, one dozen balloons, face painting and a goodie bag.

Open play time is also available every day of the week. Admission is just $10 per child and adults are free. However, weekends can fill up so plan to arrive early. Safe, fun and secure indoor play is the perfect pick for your little ones, and it’s all conveniently located at 4771 E. Hunter Avenue in Anaheim.

 

Anaheim Thanksgiving

November 20th, 2017

 

An Anaheim Thanksgiving means blending tradition with California flare. It never feels like Thanksgiving in sunny southern California—until you walk through the doors of a restaurant known for holiday classics. The Anaheim Whitehouse serves Thanksgiving dinner from noon – 9 p.m. and is known for fresh turkey and sides like mashed potatoes and stuffing. For over three decades, this has been a landmark of holiday feasts.

Tangata restaurant is well-known for its mission-style courtyard and modern décor with soaring skylights. It’s a fine dining pick that serves an early holiday feast from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Don’t miss the Cinderella pumpkin soup with dates and local honey, the five-spice crème fraiche and of course slow roasted turkey, port wine beef ribs and Scottish salmon.

Giving Thanks in California

Book a table at the Anaheim Convention Center’s Mix Restaurant for a Thanksgiving buffet you’ll never forget. The carving station features turkey (of course) along with smoked duck frisee and non-stop side dishes. Start at the salad bar for a taste of California freshness, and leave plenty of room for the dessert table.

You can also opt for a children’s buffet for the little ones, complete with a half-priced menu. Here, service is from 4 – 9 p.m. for night owls, or for those who are starting their morning with one of the local turkey trots.

 

The Reptile Zoo

November 14th, 2017

 

Creepy and crawly? The Reptile Zoo gives visitors a new perspective on reptiles, and it all starts with the famous ambassador Frank the Zila Monster. A warm (albeit cold-blooded) welcome from Frank gives guests a sneak peek at what to expect. In 1988, owner Jay Brewer’s Prehistoric Pets shop kept growing at such a rapid clip that it eventually turned into a zoo-like environment. Now full of exotic reptiles, there are more reptilian species here than at the largest zoos in the world.

Part entertainment and part educational, you’ll find more than 100 species of arachnids, amphibians and reptiles from all over the world. Each has its own unique backstory. Many are rescues, and some were born right here while others are on loan from private collections. Learn more about these misunderstood creatures with presentations and interactive displays.

Get Closer

Kids can feed turtles and even “walk the spider.” Special celebrations, like children’s birthday parties, are also possible—and they’re Jurassic themed. Choose the type of party, date and customize details with a party planner. The Reptile Zoo is the perfect venue for an exciting outing that’s memorable and fun for all.

The Reptile Zoo is just 20 minutes from Disneyland and off the 405 Freeway at 18818 Brookhurst Street in Fountain Valley. Open daily from 11 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., no visit to Anaheim is complete without visiting some of the local residents, including those who have traveled far and wide to represent their species at this one of a kind destination.

 

 

Get Your Run On

November 4th, 2017

 

November in Southern California has the perfect weather for a run, whether you’re challenging yourself to your first 5k or you’re in the midst of marathon season. The Anaheim area is full of race options, like the Pants Off Racing Almost 5k and 10k in famous Calabasas. The fundraiser encourages costumes, meerkats greet you at the finish line and overall the November 4th event is a time to dress crazy and act silly while raising funds for those battling cancer.

The Beach Fiesta half marathon in Malibu November 5th also has a 15k, 10k and 5k option. It’s known for being one of the most affordable fun runs in the area, and half marathoners often use the breezy course as a Boston qualifier. Hosted by A Better World, the finish line comes with plenty of swag as well as delectable locally sourced treats.

Turkey Trots

The Conquer Our Run Turkey Quest at nearby Hermosa Beach is a 5k on November 18th sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Also with a 10k option, the run/walk whisks you along Manhattan Beach on paved paths. The goal? Best your PR! Whether you run, jog, walk or stroll, it’s all about doing better than last time while raising funds for breast cancer and Lupus LA.

You’ll also want to check out the Turkey Tri and Pumpkin Pie Kids Duathlon/Triathlon in San Dimas November 19th. There are courses for both adults and kids, and the whole family can get their pie on at the finish line.

 

 

Anaheim Fall Festival and Halloween Parade

October 25th, 2017

 

One of the oldest Halloween festivals in the country takes place right in Anaheim. Since 1923, the Anaheim Fall Festival and Halloween Parade has drawn several thousand spooky lovers to the city, decked out in their best ghost and goblin costumes to take to the streets and watch this decades-old party unfold. Family-friendly and old-fashioned, it’s the perfect addition to your Anaheim getaway.

While Disneyland celebrates the witching season all month long with special treats and tricks, you don’t want to miss the charm of the festival and parade in downtown. Originally created to celebrate the harvest season, today it’s a mix of Halloween and Dia de los Muertos with pumpkin patches and costume contests, pet promenades and mariachi bands, carnival games, live music, and your favorite fair food.

California Thrills

Always free and full of complimentary entertainment from storytelling to artisan vendor booths, you won’t find a fall festival like this anywhere else. The annual Halloween Parade on October 29th was originally designed to keep teens out of mischief, but it’s become the pinnacle of the events. The 45-minute procession is now the biggest Halloween party in California. There were 150,000 attendees at the biggest gathering!

Today, the parade is also an excuse for artists and entertainers to show off their best costumery. Businesses, individuals, schools and more rally to show off their skills. Don’t miss out on this mid-day adventure down the streets of Anaheim and become a part of history.