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Archive for the ‘Activities in Anaheim’ Category

Anaheim Spring Break Guide

March 20th, 2017

 

With more than 15,000 schools letting out for a full week throughout March and April, Anaheim is, and has always been, a popular spring break destination. Of course, the weather is perfect for a trip to Disneyland where you’ll find the park decked out for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations as well as spring break revelers. However, what if you want a cooler option this time around?

Visit the many water parks the Anaheim area has to offer, like Great Wolf Lodge—perfect for families, singles and couples! Get a daily pass for their slides and pools, and there are many dining and shopping options. The Howlin’ Tornado twister of a ride, slick Coyote Cannon and Totem Towers await.

Wet Escapades

At Knott’s Soak City, just a few miles from your guest room, you can see what the 2017 expansion has ushered in. The biggest water park in Orange County boasts a brand new Shore Break, an almost vertical fall featuring S-curves that only the bravest should dare attempt.

Hopping on a whale-watching excursion is a leisurely and romantic spring break option. With migration season in full swing and the Anaheim area a sanctuary, it’s nearly guaranteed that you will spot gray and blue whales, dolphins and more marine life.

Go Green This St. Patrick’s Day

March 14th, 2017

 

Irish pubs and southern California might not sound like a common pairing, but the Anaheim area is home to some of the best St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the country. Check out the top Irish bars in the area, like Tom Bergin’s, a tavern where you’ll be treated to Celtic music, authentic grub, and plenty of imported beer including the famous Guinness. (Green beer is also available on the big day!)

South Bay’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities include a family-friendly parade and festival at the Pier Plaza. Located close to Hermosa Beach, it’s the perfect way to kick off the holiday before heading to the Pacific for a surf lesson, sun bathing session, or hopping on a whale-watching expedition.

Luck of the Irish

Wear your green when going to the Hooley in San Pedro. Hosted by the Knights of Columbus, a “good old-fashioned Irish hooley” is just what your next vacation in Anaheim needs. A dinner of corned beef and cabbage, a full dessert bar, and all the Celtic entertainment you can handle is yours at this annual 18+ fundraiser.

Of course, you can always loop back to Tom Bergin’s and take part in their annual marathon where the course is full of Guinness trucks, beer pong tables and Irish entertainment. The “Shamrock Hour” is where many go for low-cost beer, fare, and a little debauchery.

Old Orange County Courthouse

March 6th, 2017

 

History buffs and appreciators of architecture will adore the 1893 Old Orange County Courthouse which is open for self-guided tours. It was the very first building in Santa Ana and opened in 1897 as a jail. However, in 1990 it began to transition into a courthouse and became the most striking building in the area throughout the first half of the twentieth century. It took 17 months to turn into a courthouse and was ushered into the new century and Orange County in 1901.

Unsurprisingly, the courthouse has been a staple in a number of big cases including the ruling which gave California royalties for off-shore drilling easements. In 1947, the streets were flooded with hundreds of people to catch a glimpse of the defendants in the People v. Gollum and Overell case. The courthouse became a landmark in 1983 and is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Visiting the Courthouse

As part of the OC Parks System, the courthouse is open to the public, and you’ll find volunteers on site to answer questions. You can schedule group tours Monday through Friday, and the museum portion of the courthouse is open daily. It’s still a functioning courthouse with offices for marriage licenses, the OC archives, and hearing rooms for appeals.

Various wings of the courthouse are available for special events, and getting married at the Old Courthouse is very popular. Stop by for a museum tour, to explore the archives, or schedule your next event at this charming destination.

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?

 

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.