Thursday, April 23, 2015

HIKING: Tips for Family Friendly Switzer Falls


Last weekend, I was invited by some friends to check out a local hiking trail with their family.  I had never heard of Switzer Falls in San Gabriel Mountains but it sounded like fun.  

The first question I had to ask was how kid friendly was it?  I knew my kids liked hiking but 4.4 miles, round trip sounded a bit much.  I was assured that if the kids were up to the full distance, fine and if not, we could stop at the top of the falls.

My first impression of the drive to the parking lot was that it was only 1- 1/2 hours from Long Beach.  Since it is Angeles National Forest, you can be assured that the road is windy through the mountains.  BEWARE OF CAR SICKNESS!

If your kids get motion sickness at all, give them medicine or have them wear the bracelets.  My son on occasion gets car sickness and he got a bit queasy.

The Switzer Falls parking lot/road is well visible and you drive down to the day campsites.   Be aware, Adventure Passes are required which you can pickup at any Sport Chalet or other sporting goods store.  The lower lot fills up on the weekends and often you have to park in the upper spots.  If this is the case, drop the kids/cooler/adult off at the lower lot and walk down.

  

There is NO overnight camping however, many people brought coolers and tents to set up for the day.  There were plenty of BBQ's for a fun picnic.

After checking out backpacks for the essentials:

  • Water- we brought hydro-packs
  • Plenty of snacks
  • First Aid kits
  • Whistles(in case we got separated)
  • Sweat-shirt
  • Walking sticks
  • Toilet paper(there are bathrooms but some were out of paper)
  • Anti-bacterial soap
  • OPTIONAL- sandals.  My kids wanted to stick their feet in the water and it was hard with shoes and socks.
We were on our way.  

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead with Imaginology! FREE Educational FUN! | @OCFair #YouthExpo #Rockets



IMAGINOLOGY is THIS weekend!  

What is IMAGINOLOGY?  It is three days of FREE, family fun and educational activities, exhibits and entertainment focused on S.T.E.A.M. curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.) 

PLUS, gourmet food trucks, inflatable amusements, Bubble Rollers, free tractor rides and more.

S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) are getting lost in our kids school curriculum, help bring back the magic of learning with great educational events like this!

WHAT:

Imaginology at the OC Fair & Event Center
Free admission each day
$7 parking (Saturday & Sunday only)

Friday, April 17, 2015

PARTY IDEAS: Monster High Craft: Belts and Bracelets for Pennies


Has your daughter been bitten by the Monster High bug?  Mine has!  This new phase in my her childhood is one that I am still unsure of but seems pretty harmless and it seems to be growing on me.

Along with a new Monster High themed bedroom, my daughter has asked to make Monster High crafts.  I found printables online but she wanted more, a Monster High Birthday is in the works.

I got the idea for a cute craft while walking through the local 99 Cent store by my house.  As I browsed the aisles, I located 3 different Monster High duct tape patterns.  A few weeks before, our Cub Scout den made belts made of camouflage duct tape that glowed in the dark.  It literally cost pennies to make for all the boys.

If they can make belts, why can't we?  You can find all different patterns at Michaels, Jo-Anns and even your local Dollar Store.

  

Thursday, April 16, 2015

WIN a Birthday Party at the New Big Air OC in Buena Park! Now Open! | @BigAirOC #Giveaway #ad

Last week, Big Air OC opened a new location at the Buena Park Mall across from Knott's Berry Farm and we were invited to check it out.  What is Big Air OC?  The BEST workout you will ever experience!

ALSO,WIN a Big Air OC- Buena Park Birthday Party below.



Seriously.  Big Air OC is a trampoline park where you might bring your kids for a party but you will come back because you quickly realize, you burn calories while reclaiming your inner child.

I don't know about you but I used to LOVE jumping on trampolines!  As an adult, I was a little concerned about gravity.  I seem to fall more often than I used to.  LOL.

    

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Top 50 Skate Parks in Los Angeles County, Perfect for Building Confidence in Kids


With Spring here, we have been re-discovering our outdoor activities and trying new things. My son for years has watched the older kids at the El Dorado Skate park perform tricks and skills. This last month, he decided to give it a try on his scooter.

First things first, SAFETY!

Before I allowed him on the ramps, I made sure to check off the following list.
  • Knee pads and elbow pads(we used hockey pads)
  • Well fitting helmet
  • A scooter or skateboard
    • check to make sure the wheels run smooth and straight
  • Well lit not overly crowded area with adult supervision
I saw my son go through different stages in the hour he was at the park. From unsure and curious to confidence and building skills. I even saw some of the older kids cheering him on which made him smile and try harder.


My daughter didn't care to go onto the ramps but found fun riding her scooter on the flat paths outside the park. Maybe in a couple years she will give it a try.

I always thought that kids skateboarding/scootering was a great confidence building fun activity. Now that I see my almost 8 year old son having so much fun, I would like to recommend it to other kids and parents.

Looking for a skate park near you in Los Angeles County?

Here is a list of local parks:

LOS ANGELES COUNTY
Alondra Park Skatepark3353 Redondo Beach Blvd.
Lawndale, California, 90249