Register for the Disneyland Half Marathon

May 15th, 2016

Wait, isn’t the famous Disneyland half marathon in September? Yes, but registration begins now and these bibs always sell out. If you plan to be in Anaheim September 1-4, plan early and make sure you get your bib for the half marathon, 10k, 5k, or kids’ run. The half marathon weekend is hosted by Mickey and Goofy, featuring special appearances by Aladdin and the Genie, Pluto, Dumbo, and the Country Bears, who will all cheer you on.


First, you’ll maneuver down Main Street, U.S.A. in the Disneyland park before making your way onto the Anaheim streets. No matter which race you choose, there will be plenty of live entertainment and energy-fueling snacks along the way. Prefer to spectate and cheer on the runners? You’re in for a real treat because the party never ends!

Run for Fun

There are games and prizes galore throughout the long weekend, like the Dumbo Double Dare, and stages with family friendly fun post-race. Anaheim hotels are all accessible to the race and many offer transportation to and from the festivities.

For a lot of runners, the Disneyland half marathon is on their bucket list, and 2016 is the year to make it happen. Whether you run competitively, for fun, or you’re a total newbie, this magical course is an Anaheim must.

Pre-Mother’s Day Afternoon Sail

May 4th, 2016


Think you missed the great whale watching of 2016? Think again, because Dana Point is offering a special pre-Mother’s Day Afternoon Sail on Saturday, May 7 from 2-4:30. Raise the sails and even help steer the ship while you take in the gorgeous California coastline. Refreshments will be served, and this incredible deal is just $70 for adults and $50 for children. Sea Star members snag an extra 10 percent off, and ticket prices include same-day admission to the Ocean Institute Education Center.

Image copyright Catherine Lane 2015

Register early, because Dana Point cruises often sell out. It’s a bit past peak whale watching season, but it’s still possible a few sightings will occur. Bring your sunscreen, camera, and best nautical attire for an intimate getaway that’s a perfect precursor to mom’s weekend.

Sailing and Whaling

Visiting the Ocean Institute is a unique way to meet some of the Anaheim area’s most interesting of residents. It’s a learning experience for all, with day camps for the kids and adult-friendly exhibitions. The Tallship Sails adventure cruises operate year-round, but only on May 7 will a special Mother’s Day brunch be served.

No matter how you celebrate the mom(s) in your life, make it really stand out this year by whisking her away on a sunset cruise.


Show Mom Your Love in Anaheim

May 1st, 2016

How lucky are you to be at the happiest place on earth for Mother’s Day? Show mom just how much you care by whisking her away to Disneyland where flowers are on the castle and every single eatery has a special treat for the special woman in your life. However, if you really want to make the day pop, check out one of the many top rated Sunday brunches in town.

Image copyright Catherine Lane 2015

Try The Cannery Restaurant, which overlooks Newport Harbor and is reminiscent of old school Hollywood. Formerly a fish cannery, it’s ideal for lunch, especially if you can score a spot on the patio. The freshest of salads, seafood and appetizers are found here, with an interior “water palace” featuring light fixtures shaped like starfish and jellyfish. Check out the Scottish salmon with farro risotto or the Argentine shrimp.

More for Mom

Bistango is always a great choice, located in the Atrium Building and dishing up contemporary bistro food. Live jazz is featured nightly as well as art displays that are always changing. Enjoy a 360 degree bar and New American cuisine that’s innovative with in-house cuts and wild game, like venison. The menu is always changing, but the expansive wine list is perfectly paired with everything.

Treat mom like the queen she is, from a visit to Anaheim’s famous castle to one of the most delectable eateries in town.


Get Ready for a Rocket Launch!

May 1st, 2016

Hosted by Boeing, Rocket Launch is scheduled for blast off on May 7 from 10-2. This free event is fun for the whole family and annually brings together science geeks, rocket lovers, and adventure seekers from around the globe. It’s a full day of hands-on activities designed for all ages, culminating in a rocket launching competition where you create, build and launch your very own rocket. Talk about a wild sendoff!


Here are the rules: Everyone uses a 2-liter plastic bottle created at home or at the event. Bring your own bottle if you’re planning to put together your shuttle on the same day. You design a parachute that will get as much “hang time” as possible—that dictates the winner.

Prep Time

Remember, this is southern California, so be prepared! Sunscreen and lawn chairs are highly recommended, and pop-ups as well as big umbrellas aren’t allowed. The state’s best food trucks will be on site to keep you fueled, and it’s a fantastic way to sample local cuisine while gearing up for the competition.

The Rocket Launch takes place at Bolsa Avenue in Huntington Beach. Not a rocket builder? That’s no problem, because spectators are sure to have a “blast,” too!

5th Annual Harry Potter Roller Skating Night

April 12th, 2016

Roll into a magical night of wizardry (muggles are welcome too!). The annual Harry Potter Skating Night will be held April 16 from 8-11pm at the Moonlight Rollerway Skating Rink in Glendale, CA. It’s a full night of music from the films, including “wizard rock.” A costume contest is on hand for kids and adults alike as well as raffle prizes, games and some incredible merchandise sales.


At the snack bar, you can imbibe on some Butterbeer, and don’t worry if you’re not a skater. The skating rink is only part of the festivities. Tickets are just $9.75 for non-skaters and $14.75 for skaters, which includes a rental pair of skates.

Family Fun

The entire family is sure to have a blast, and little ones might even meet some of their favorite characters. Fancy dress is highly recommended, as is bringing your favorite books and accessories to really make the most of this magic-filled night.

Now in its fifth year, this annual skating event is beloved by locals and travelers alike. Harry Potter fans unite for an evening escapade that involves plenty of wizard-themed snacks, entertainment, beverages, and so much more. Come discover what Moonlight Rollerway has in store for you!

Discover the California Wine Festival

April 8th, 2016


On April 16 from 1-4pm at the Lantern Bay Park, the best vineyards, cellars and wineries in the southern California area come together to give wine lovers a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Nothing pairs better with great wine than surf and sand, as well as some of the best grub in Anaheim. The annual California Wine Festival takes place at Dana Point in Orange County. Dozens of the area’s top chefs serve gourmet fare to the tune of live music and generous pours.


It’s two days of celebration, April 15-16, and the evening affair on Friday night is designed to be more intimate with 500 guests maximum. Begin by tasting the rarest of wines at the 4-diamond Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort and Spa under the stars. The Vue Lawn is on a clifftop with stunning views of the Pacific.

Wine and Dine

Lantern Bay Park serves as the culmination experience, a beautiful palm-covered park where 2,500 guests sip and savor. There are almost 300 wines on hand, as well as craft brews. Indulge on the freshest fruits, gourmet bread, olive oil, and cheeses.

Proceeds benefit the Surfrider Foundation, and a designated driver or taxi is highly recommended. Tickets start at $69 with the maximum at $189 which includes the 2-day VIP pass and Friday evening event.

See the Reunion Tour: An Exhibition of Works by BFA Game Art Alumni

April 2nd, 2016

On April 7, the exhibition opening of the Reunion Tour will debut from 6-9pm at the LCAD Gallery on Ocean Drive in Laguna Beach. Admission is always free at the Laguna College of Art and Design Gallery, and this special feature at the Art Walk showcases some of the best works and talent that have stemmed from the local college. The LCAD Game Art alumni are all professionals in the gaming industry, working with the best studios, developers and publishers in the world.


The opening begins a busy weekend of mentoring, workshops and Gameboree, which is a networking event for anyone connected to the industry. Gameboree takes place April 9 from 7-10pm at seven-degrees on Canyon Road in Laguna Beach.

What LCAD is Saying

“I am thrilled to bring this collection to the public,” says the chair of LCAD’s BFA program in Game Art. All of the workshops utilize volunteers led by alumni who are already working with current students. Sponsors include Blizzard Entertainment and Obsidian Entertainment. Some of the featured alumni include Gabriel Gonzalez, Kevin Duong, Nicole Chang, and Alexa Rockman.

LCAD Game Art is a collaborative program that began in 2007. Students receive classical art training alongside state-of-the-art digital training. Students are matched with mentors as undergrads, and they have the opportunity to pursue internships that may evolve into job offers.

Take the Kids to Puppet Town!

April 1st, 2016


Puppet Town, one of the top comedic family-friendly shows in the Los Angeles area, is back at NerdMelt Showroom! A traditional puppet show with a very contemporary twist, it was created by Alex Fox and Rachel Lewis who are both Emmy nominated writers coming from PBS, Nickelodeon and the Odd Squad. This run also features guest host Maribeth Monroe of Keeping Up with the Joneses, Workaholics, and HBO’s The Brink.


Enjoy music, sketch comedy, and plenty of puppetry. The best comedians in the area are showcased, coming from the likes of The Second City, The Groundlings, iQ Academy, and UCB. These puppeteers are the best in the business, with foundations in Broadway’s Avenue Q. It’s a magical experience and fun for the whole family.

Plan Your Puppet Outing

Christian Anderson is the puppet master and designed the show’s overall theme (he’s also known as Ira from America’s Got Talent and an Ovation Award winner). He’s the mastermind behind Shrek the Musical. The show is directed by Megan Grano, who has worked with the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show.

Musical direction is managed by Dan Wessels of 50 Shades! The Musical and Undateable. Join the fun on April 9 for a free show at 3pm on Sunset Boulevard—but make sure you make reservations early.

Explore Local Military Ships

March 26th, 2016

From the USS Midway in San Diego to the Battleship USS IOWA in San Pedro Harbor, epic military ships pepper the coastline near Anaheim, and many have been converted into museums, theaters and more. At each ship, US military veterans serve as docents who have literally been there, done that, and can give you insider information on what it was really like to serve on these ships.


The ships are also interactive, offering a Midway Experience Theater that seats over 80. However, the labyrinth of rooms and decks provide more than enough excitement for all ages. These ships are massive, including the very first ship to be turned away from the Panama Canal due to its sheer size.

Get on Board

The USS Midway Museum is also the ship that served the longest in US military history. It’s seen some tough times, and the audio guides and docents are glad to fill you in. While visiting the ships is a blast for all ages, kids and fellow veterans especially enjoy being whisked away into the service life for a day.

You can easily spend an entire weekend (or more!) exploring these ships and learning about US military history. Don’t miss out on one of Anaheim’s most legendary historical experiences—it’s docked close to your LA hotel!

Top Pizza in Town

March 14th, 2016

In the mood for a pie or two? Anaheim is home to some of the best pizza joints around, like Cortina’s Italian Market. Open morning to night, you can dine on chicken Italian pizza, New York style pizza, Italian white pizza, or build your own with jalapeños, baked ham, meatballs, and more. There are also sandwiches like the Fireball with spicy sausage or the Fresh Sliced Chicken Breast.

Delicious vegetarian pizza going into a wood fire oven

Papa Pilo’s Pizza lets you choose from a one topping pizza or the deluxe pizza with pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, olives, bell peppers, and onions. It’s a casual eatery with delectable buffalo wings, and customization is welcome.

Grab California with the Right Slice

Top Class Pizza and Eatery has specialty pizzas, gourmet pizzas, or you can build your own! The Cali-Transplant is a favorite with spinach, roma tomatoes and basil. The Pesto Chicken pizza with pesto sauce, grilled chicken, olive oil, and basil is dreamy. And the Vegi Deluxe has all the fresh greens you can handle.

Try Gondola Pizza for their up-to-five-toppings pizza. Choose from salami, olives, anchovies, meatballs, eggplant, and more. There are pasta options, salads, full Italian entrees, and a tempting dessert menu. Nothing pairs with pizza like some cannolis or chocolate cake.