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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Catch the Dana Point Festal of Whales

March 5th, 2016

 

Travelers to Anaheim in March are in for a real treat! The annual Dana Point Festival of Whales takes place the first two weekends and promises the best opportunity to see whales migrating between Alaska and Mexico. During the peak of migration season, between 50 and 80 whales pass through this coastal California town each day.

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The event kicks off with a parade on March 5th, and culminates in free parking and water taxis the entire day. However, you’ll want to book your cruise tickets soon. From the staple two-hour expedition to a yacht outing, there are options for every type of sailor and whale lover.

Whale-Sized Fun

Stroll around the Dana Point area and indulge in the freshest seafood in Anaheim. Vendors will be on site both weekends, offering treats and snacks that are unique to Anaheim. Stroll along the trail from the bluffs to the coast, a leisurely three miles that’s suitable for nearly all ages and abilities.

Spotting the whales can take a little practice, which is why it’s best to have a tour guide to show you the way. They might be the biggest creatures on the planet, but they’re on a mission and move fast. Want to see them in action? Check out the festival!

 

Plan Spring Break in Anaheim

March 2nd, 2016

 

Anaheim is one of the country’s top spring break destinations for a reason! There’s Disneyland of course, which is a must for thrill seekers and Disney lovers. However, Knott’s Berry Farm is also on the agenda for many adrenaline junkies. Spend your break checking out the myriad of beaches along the golden coast, taking surf lessons, sunbathing, SUPing, or indulging in a sandcastle building battle.

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Shopping is another favorite activity this time of year, with the malls, boutiques and designer regions, like Rodeo Drive, offering up the latest summer lines. You can tour celebrity homes with a star tour, and enjoy an afternoon atop a double decker bus to take in the scene in style.

Break Like a Local

As a foodie town, many travelers head to Anaheim for the treats alone. Here, you’ll find the next best thing to authentic Mexican fare. There are vegan and vegetarian options aplenty, as well as a number of pizza joints and healthy choices. Top Michelin star rated restaurants are available, and the nightlife is unparalleled.

Try out a local vineyard or winery and taste the real southern California. Craft brews are also gaining in popularity. No matter what you have planned for your break, Anaheim has something for the whole family.

Unique Leap Day Options

February 21st, 2016

Congratulations—you’ve earned an extra day in February! That’s 24 hours that you can fill with whatever you like. In southern California, the options are even more enticing. The famous 24-hour Leap Day Celebration at Disneyland is a one-of-a-kind event that only happens (you guessed it!) every four years. If you’ve ever wanted to ride the Pirates of the Caribbean at 3am, this is the year to do it! However, be forewarned: It can get very busy, so plan accordingly.

Many stores have special Leap Day sales, so you might want to see if that boutique in Beverly Hills is offering up anything spectacular. Since Leap Day falls on a Monday in 2016, it’s also a great day to see if your local coffee shops are helping to put even more “leap” in your life. Discounted drinks, special concoctions, and even giveaways can pop up at a moment’s notice.

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24 Extra Hours

If you’re traveling on business, embrace Leap Day as a way of showing your clients or boss what you can do with an extra 24 hours. Make this the day to go above and beyond. Come up with some new pitches, deliver that report early, or otherwise knock everyone’s socks off.

No matter how you plan to celebrate Leap Day, make it count! You won’t get a chance like this again until 2020.

 

Fall in Love this Valentine’s Day

February 4th, 2016

Spending Valentine’s Day in Anaheim? How lucky you and your paramour are! There are oodles of things to do, like making reservations at Vue Restaurant at Dana Point for their famous V-Day dinner. Held February 13th-15th, dinner reservations start at 5pm with a four course menu on the 14th (the 13th and 15th feature a special entrée). They have discounted valet parking, live entertainment, and for an extra $30 you can add on a wine pairing.

The four course menu at the Winemaker’s Dinner at Laguna Canyon Winery in Laguna Beach is divine. Reservations start at 7pm, and include gourmet “epicurean creations” all paired with artisanal boutique wines. Live music sets the mood, and the views from the Winery are beyond compare.

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Wining and Dining

The beloved Dinner for Two at the Orange County Mining Company is a southern California tradition. Gorgeous views in a dining room with floor to ceiling windows is the perfect place to stir up some romance. Nestled in the heart of Orange, this former mining town is steeped in history with fantastic architecture throughout the neighborhood.

If you prefer a little more action on this big day, head to the Silver Stirrup Riding Academy in Lake Forest. A date on horseback is one for the record books. There are two date options available throughout the month of February, so you can make those storybook romances come alive.