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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!

Salute: Beer for a Cause

November 4th, 2016

 

On November 12, enjoy a Beer for a Cause at the annual festival where live music, craft beer, and epic food celebrate our veterans. All proceeds benefit a myriad of charities in southern California committed to supporting veterans. You’ll find some of the best craft breweries from around the region and world here along with top DJs and reggae bands. The area’s most famous food trucks will be on site offering pairings that are heavenly matches for your favorite brews.

Enjoy unlimited samples from breweries with general admission from 1-4:30 p.m. and VIP hours starting at 11 a.m. You’ll take home a commemorative tasting glass and have access to over 12 of the best food trucks in town. Check out the art vendors and veteran organization booths, and take a look at vintage military vehicles.

What to Expect

Designated drivers pay just $20 at the door; general admission is $45 and VIP is $55. Everyone has to be at least 21, and please leave your furry friends at home. There’s limited free parking on site, but overflow attendees will be directed to the $10 Honda Center parking lot. Arrive early, drink and eat more, and save!

You’ll find the festival at The Phoenix Club, located at 1340 South Sanderson Avenue in Anaheim. Veterans are encouraged to attend, represent and enjoy with friends and family!

 

House of Blues Anaheim

November 3rd, 2016

 

Anaheim’s famous House of Blues has left Disney, but don’t worry—their brand new location, launched just a few weeks ago, is incredible! Now located at the GardenWalk Mall, it’s bigger, better, louder and crazier than ever. It’s located where UltraLuxe used to be, providing even more space for top-of-the-charts entertainers and their fans. The previous location was big, but there are so many fans eager for mind-blowing concerts that it was simply time to move on.

Enjoy the indoor/outdoor restaurant, live entertainment on four big stages, the foundation room where the legendary VIP room and nightclub can be found, and two floors of sightlines and sounds like you’ve never heard before. Original art, a one-of-a-kind experience, and live music every single day are all just a few miles from your Anaheim guest room.

Feeling Blue?

The restaurant and bar features inventive food with craft beers and cocktails, a soulful environment, and seating options no matter what the occasion calls for. Head to the nightclub or VIP room for pre-show parties and late night DJs. Private events here are amazing, with a flexible layout, premium service and one of the most creative beverage programs in the country.

Leading up to the opening weekend, much of the new House of Blues was kept hush-hush. Keep an eye on the official site for concert listings, special events, and more perks that will make the House of Blues your number one spot in Anaheim.

Flightdeck Air Combat Center

October 19th, 2016

 

Ready for the kind of thrills you can’t get at Disneyland? If you prefer your adrenaline rushes from a little more realistic venture, the Flightdeck Air Combat Center is for you! Choose from a variety of flight simulation options, and pull off aerial moves at 600 knots, or go head to head with friends (or strangers!) in simulated combat with genuine military moves. Feel the rush of managing a 737 commercial airliner, or if you prefer to watch, the Officers Club offers LCD views of all the aerial actions.

Before the experience, you’ll be treated to classroom instruction as well as in-flight guidance. You can also customize the experience for corporate events and parties. Select from eight types of fighter jets, each with an experience starting at just $59. The Boeing experience starts at $89, and the Kid Party options offer a range of choices!

Take Flight

Totally safe, you’ll literally stay grounded, but you won’t feel like it! The combat center is also a sweet destination for anyone considering a military or pilot career. Up to 18 “pilots” are welcome for children’s parties, which include half an hour of flying per person and access to the party room to decorate and fill with goodies as you see fit.

Rated as one of the top destinations in Anaheim and just two miles from Disneyland, it’s the kind of unique experience you don’t immediately match with southern California—but should!

 

Anaheim’s Halloween Options

October 16th, 2016

 

The glitz, the great weather, the incredible treats and tricks—nothing compares to Halloween in Anaheim. Disneyland’s Halloween Time is a festival not to be missed with Jack Skellington as your host, the best trick or treating in town, costume contests and one-of-a-kind hauntings on Main Street. No matter your age, there’s something for everyone! Check out the Happy HalloWishes Fireworks and the annual Haunted Mansion.

The Anaheim Halloween Parade is a local tradition with over 90 years of Halloween perfection. Enjoy the nighttime parade of ghosts and goblins as they take over downtown. You’ll see incredible lit jack-o’-lanterns and witches on their nightly hauntings. In 2016, the parade begins at dusk on October 29, whisking you into the spooky season.

Treats and Tricks

The Anaheim Marketplace is one of the best trick-or-treating hot spots in the area! Go shop to shop and vendor to vendor, and you’ll be amazed at what these locals are dishing out as spooktacular treats. On October 31 from 2:30 – 6:30 p.m., this early option is perfect for younger children or as a warmup to the big event.

Head to Roger’s Gardens September 2 – October 30 for the Halloween Boutique Opening and Grimm Tales. This free event offers bedtime stories in the Grimm style nightly at 6 p.m. to give visitors of all ages sweet nightmares. Try one event, try them all—or try your luck trick or treating door to door in celebrity-infused areas!

 

Get Japanese Tonight in Anaheim!

October 10th, 2016

 

The accessibility of the Pacific Ocean and the flair that’s only found in southern California-based chefs makes Anaheim a hot spot for Japanese dining. Try out Fuji Grill for a no-frills and very authentic option for everything from sushi to classic dishes. Famous for the lunchtime teriyaki bowl, this local chain also offers sushi bowls, rice bowls and some amazing side orders. Miso soup, shrimp, soy beans and a full sushi menu offer big temptations!

Kaori Sushi in nearby Fullerton has the famous green tea crunch roll with secret sauce that’ll have you keeping the soy sauce on the table. Watch sushi chef Gino work his magic when you sit at the sushi table, and you’ll be amazed at his technique, innovation, and the incredible high quality of the ingredients.

On a Roll Now

True Seasons Organic Kitchen is everything you imagine a California semi-fusion Japanese restaurant to be. Get the organic spicy edamame with truffle oil, wild salmon wrap with pomegranate, Thai curry rice bowl with organic chicken or wild caught scallops. Coconut and green tea ice cream or a handmade popsicle seal the deal.

Sushi @ Sushi is a favorite amongst locals, relatively new and already racking up great reviews. Choose from a huge selection of rolls, and don’t forget to peek at the 50 percent off menu! The Philadelphia roll never disappoints and the freshest of sashimi pairs well with the hot, salty edamame.

 

Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational

October 1st, 2016

 

Visit the Laguna Art Museum from October 8-16 for the 18th annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational! The gala takes place October 14, and tickets are available now. Enjoy a full week of landscape painting celebrations that put a focus on the local community, art education and the environment. The famous Laguna Beach is rich with a historical artist community, and the outdoor studio’s annual plein air painting invitational is the ultimate event to highlight dozens of the country’s top plein air landscape painters.

Stroll through the public “paint outs” or sit in on a workshop for environmental awareness. The finale is the gala and public art show and sale, where you can pick up an original piece as the ultimate California keepsake. Learn more about the legacy of Laguna Beach, and fall in love with new artists and works.

An Artistic Community

The museum partners up with a number of local organizations to offer a myriad of activities, like the Kids’ Paint Out at Heisler Park, private tours of the Laguna Canyons, and lectures from leading curators and artists from around the country. Join the Next Generation Paint Out, hosted by students from the Laguna College of Art + Design, or head to Crystal Cove State Park for a one-of-a-kind paint out!

In collaboration with the Crystal Cove Alliance Art Council, visitors are treated to many outdoor artist demos. Most events are free, save for the fine art lectures and a few key presentations. Gala tickets start at $125 and are available for pre-order or at the door. The Laguna Art Museum is committed to offering art exposure to the community and visitors via conservation, research, exhibition and scholarship.