Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy 90th Anniversary MGM! Movie Giveaway! | @FHEInsiders #MGMInsiders #ad

MGM Studios is celebrating their 90th birthday this year and they want to give back by re-releasing some of their classic family films.   With the re-releases comes great deals on many of their movies.

I have ALL THREE movies to give away!

When was the last time you watched film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?  My kids discovered the fun and imaginative film this last year and it quickly became a favorite.  In fact we often drive down the street while singing the catchy theme song.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang:  Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls — start your engines. You’re about to take an incredible ride with one of the most wonderful family films of all time! With its clever tunes (including the OSCAR®-Nominated title song*), marvelous cast and enchanting storyline, this delightful romp is lots of fun and simply “toot sweet” to pass up! Dick Van Dyke stars as eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts, who creates an extraordinary car called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It not only drives — but also flies and floats — as it leads him, his two children and his beautiful lady friend, Truly Scrumptious (Sally Ann Howes), into a magical world of pirates, castles and endless adventure. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Holiday Desserts at Baskin Robbins! Order Online | @BaskinRobbins #Christmas #spon

Christmas is just a few days away and I have been searching for the perfect dessert to bring to Christmas dinner.  Since I am not a great cook or baker, I thought maybe of looking for something different.

I knew Baskin Robbins had different ice-cream cakes and I had bought birthday ones in the past.  What were my choices for Christmas?

The main reason I like Baskin Robbins cakes is because of all the choices for flavors.  Really, how many cakes do you know that has 31+ choices?  As long as they have the ice-cream in stock, it can be made into a cake.

My daughter and  I went to take a look.  I was familiar with the Yule log cakes and like the concept.  They are easy to cut and everyone can have a circular slice.

These other choices were just as adorable!  "Un-wrap" your cake in the present design or add poinsettias for a traditional Christmas look.

Queen Mary's CHILL 2015 a Review | @TheQueenMary #Chill #Spon

Have you been to the Queen Mary this winter?  CHILL is back for the 3rd year and we were there to see the new improvements.

The best improvement that I noted was that the admission price included ALL activities except the bucking reindeer!  We made a day out of CHILL going ice-skating, tubing, bounce houses, watched shows, and of course saw the latest ice-sculptures in the 4 degree Ice Kingdom.

I love the quaint village outside the Queen Mary and in the Christmas-time, it turns into Santa's Village with all of the decorations.

There are outside activities from the moment you walk in.  From bounce houses to bucking reindeer and ice-skating, there is plenty to do.

For when you want to relax, there are shows for kids of all ages to watch.  Check out the sand sculpture!

My kids favorite part of CHILL was the Ice-Tubing and the Ice-Kingdom.  The lines can get long and I highly recommend spending the extra money for the ELF Pass!  Worth every penny to not have to wait in the long lines.  

Friday, December 19, 2014

Last Minute Gift Ideas at the Outlets At Orange Win $50 Gift Card | @OutletsAtOrange #OAO #Giveaway #spon

With less than a week left, many of us have procrastinated in getting our loved ones their Christmas gifts.  While shopping is NOT my favorite thing, I DO love giving gifts!

I have been thinking, shopping would be more fun if I had some clue as to what to get people.  Really, everyone is so different and everyone has different tastes.  Can't everyone just like the same thing? LOL

Well I bit the bullet and went shopping this week at the Outlets at Orange(formerly the Block of Orange).  Why did I choose the Outlets?  Bottom line, I love deals.  Also, the Outlets have so many stores, I knew that I had a great chance of finding the right gift for everyone on my list.  I also included a few ideas for the men in our lives because we all know that men HATE shopping!

One of the reasons I don't particularly like shopping is because I usually have my children with me, complaining the whole time.  How do I avoid that?  I found a solution.  Zoogamo!  I had walked into the Outlets and almost got ran over by a Panda.  Okay, it wasn't a REAL panda but these cute rental animals that keep little legs from getting tired while mom shops.

Imagine an electric bike covered in cute animal fur and you have an idea how it works.  They are very stable and I saw kids as young as 3 riding them.

I started off to the ASICS store to check out the latest running gear for my husband.  The Warrior Dash is coming up in May and we could both use some new shoes.  I found a huge selection of running shoes for every type of foot.  Also, the shoes were buy one and get one half off. PERFECT!  One for me and one for hubby.

Disney On Ice: Let's Celebrate (Review) at the Honda Center | @DisneyOnIce #LetsCelebrate

Disney On Ice

Disney On Ice: Let's Celebrate,  opened this week at the Honda Center and we were there to experience it.  Full of familiar faces and favorite songs, Disney On Ice has succeeded again!

My contributor Heather Carroll took her children for the first time and shared their fun.  Here, her son looks on at amazement as the first of the characters come onto the ice.  The light up Dippin Dots cup had set the mood for a great evening!

The characters skated through our favorite movies such as Toy Story 2, Mulan and Lilo and Stitch, the costumes and talent were amazing!  The Chinese dragon was almost as long as the arena!


The costumes were great but the special effects made us believe in magic!  Between juggling fans, setting the ice on fire and SNOW, we never knew what was coming up next!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Boat Parades and New Years Eve w/ Harbor Breeze Cruises | @HarborBreezeC #Christmas #ad

Christmas Lights

In California, we pride ourselves on our laid-back beach lifestyles.  During Christmas time we do things just a little different than most of the world.  We decorate our boats as well as our houses.

Last weekend, my family was invited to enjoy 2 of our local Boat Parades, Naples and Long Beach Harbors.  While across the world, people decorate their houses with Christmas lights, here in California, we decorate our boats too.

I usually take my family to watch the parades from the beaches but this year, we joined Harbor Breeze Cruises, our favorite whale watching fleet, on the vessel the Christopher located next to the Aquarium of the Pacific.

The 3 hour cruise included trips around the Long Beach harbor with the Queen Mary and continued down to Naples in beautiful Alamitos Bay.

Boat Parade  Sail Boat

Monday, December 15, 2014

Win Tickets to a Princess Bride Party at the Palace Theatre! | @STFoodCinema #Giveaway

Every child of the 80's knows the line, "As you wish"!  It was the classic tale of the best love story ever!  In fact, my children will not even go to bed without hearing the theme song, "Storybook Love"!  I am talking about of course the film, The Princess Bride.

I always wondered about the goings on of the Princess Bride behind the camera.  The set seemed as fun as the movie and of course the Fire Swamp always reminds me of the ROUS's.  

Now, 23 years later, Cary Elwes, otherwise known as Westley, has written a book that reveals all!  

Special Guest Cary Elwes "Westley" joins us Saturday, December 20th for THE PRINCESS BRIDE event at the historic Downtown Palace Theatre! Just in time for the holidays, Cary will be signing his new book AS YOU WISH and share stories about the making of the film with us on the same century old stage graced by entertainment icons such as W.C. Fields, The Marx Brothers and Harry Houdini.

December 20, 2014

iTunes Gift Card Great Gift Giveaway! | #swyitunes #Giveaway #ad

Only 9 more days to Christmas and I don't know about you but I am having a REALLY hard time finding a present for my teen-aged nephew!  What you get kids that don't want to be treated like kids?

Music and their phones seem to be attached to their bodies and well, it's even questionable whether they bathe with their phone in their hands.

The solution that I have come up with is getting an iTunes gift-card.  Where else can they buy movies, music and games at their fingertips?  I used to be able to figure what music that he used to like but honestly, I have NO clue now!

The best part about iTunes?  You can find the gift-cards in your local Safeway in any amount of denomination.  The cards are also good for teacher gifts, white elephant parties and that $10 gift that you needed for that odd acquaintance.  Co-worker perhaps?  Are you interested in getting the best price for your gift-cards?  Check out this deal!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Science of Gingerbread at the Discovery Science Center | @DiscoveryCubeOC #GingerbreadOC

Gingerbread!  The scent of it is the epitome of Christmas.  Every time I see a gingerbread house, I know that it is finally Christmas time.

The Discovery Science Center has turned the Art and Science of Gingerbread into a limited time contest and showcase.   Come and enjoy not just the gingerbread houses but full scenes full of imagination.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Disney On Ice Coming Next Week to the Honda Center | @DisneyOnIce #LetsCelebrate

Next week, Disney On Ice: Let's Celebrate opens in Anaheim at the Honda Center and we will be there to share it with you!  However, no show in pictures is as good as the real thing. 

Have you purchased your tickets yet?  There are tickets available for the Southern California shows now through January 4th!  Next week, I will be attending the opening night of the Honda Center show. 

Disney Villains show us what Halloween is all about. Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen will share the fun of Mardi Gras. Celebrate a Very Merry Unbirthday with Alice and the Mad Hatter! Now is your chance to get immersed into the crazy fun. Travel to far off exotic locations like China, Brazil and Japan for their special seasonal festivals in Disney On Ice Lets Celebrate.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Two Boat Parades In One: Experience Long Beach Parades from the Water | @HarborBreezeC #Christmas

Photo Credit by John Schuman

During the Christmas time, we always make a point of going and seeing at least on Christmas Boat Parade and we have always sat on shore.  This year, we were invited by Harbor Breeze Cruises to join them for TWO boat parade experiences and YOU can join us!

Watching boat parades is a great way for families to spend a fun and safe evening together.  Rainbow Harbor holds our favorite whale watching boat, the Triumphant and now we get to be a passenger to see the Parade of Lights and the Naples Boat parade FROM the water!  

Reserve your tickets today and join us on December  13, 2014

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Spend New Years at Knotts! Win Knott's Tickets! | @Knotts #KnottsNYE #Giveaway

Who has plans for New Years Eve? Ring in the New Years with Snoopy at Knotts!

Knott's Berry Farm is such a great family friendly place to go any time of the year! We enjoyed spending our time there recently for Knott's Merry Farm and New Years Eve is only a few weeks away!

There is special one-night only entertainment that gives families of all ages a fun new way to ring in the new year. Check out what is on this years agenda!

  • Stilt walkers
  • Party hats and noisemakers for everyone
  • Midnight Party on the Midway
  • Live entertainment

The Season To Give: Top 70 Local Charities in Need | #Giving #Christmas

All year long, I strive to help others even if it is a smile or an encouragement.  I also try and donate time and goods to people in need.  By showing my children that there are good people in this world to offset the bad, I hope to lead by example to make the world  a little bit better.

The one thing that we all have in common with each other regardless of race, religion, political views, beliefs, etc. is that we are all alive. Each of us have needs to survive on Earth. Last year at this time, people were reeling from the devastation of Super Storm Sandy.  There are still people picking up their lives even a year later.  If we all have a little compassion in our own neighborhoods, it will branch out through out the World.

Look around in our communities and see the tragedies and miracles that surround us. People come together to help others, not just for the Holidays but year round.

We think more of the homeless in the Winter months when it's cold and wet outside and we are snug in our houses. Many of these people living on the streets or half-way houses need our help. Many have fallen on bad luck, have health problems, young children, and/or have been abused by the system and others.

When I think of the Holidays, I think of Toys for Tots and Spark of Love. These are local charities that give toys to children who would otherwise have no cheer to open during the holidays! My family and I try to put aside a little money to put a smile on their faces every year.

Money gets me thinking, not everyone can afford to make a gift of money. This doesn't mean that they can't do something for others, it means that maybe they can donate something even more precious, their time. Can we donate an hour of our time to read stories to children at the local library or school? What about seniors that don't have many visitors that could use a cheerful face? Do you have a skill that is in need to help with construction or put on a play?

Everyone of us has something to contribute to others to put a smile on their faces. Helping others really puts a smile on mine! Try smiling at a stranger, you will be amazed at how many people smile back. Then there are also the people who think that we are crazy and keep their children closer because of a simple act of kindness. Keep trying! That person may smile at another stranger and make someone else's day.

I have compiled a list of local charities that are near and dear to many peoples hearts.  I hope that even if you are unable to help by donating money or time, maybe you can donate a smile.

This list is ever growing and I would love for everyone to add to the list. Please email me at Kirstin@SoCalKidsOutdoorAdventures.com your ideas and local charities.

Adoption/Group Homes/Fostercare:
Five Acres
The Orangewood Foundation
Penny Lane
OC FosterCare Auxillary

The Wildlife Waystation
The Gentle Barn
Whaleman Foundation
Humane Society of the US
Wolf Mountain Sanctuary

Arts and Literacy:
Milk + Bookies
Adopt the Arts
826 LA
LA Conservancy

Cancer and Other Illnesses:
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
The Pablove Foundation
City of Hope
St. Judes
The ALS Association
Jesse Rees Foundation
American Diabetes Association

Monday, December 8, 2014

Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train Now Open | @IrvineParkRR #ChristmasTrain

Have you been to Irvine Park Railroad during the Christmas time?  If you haven't, now is the time to check it out! 

Our favorite railroad park turns from a beautiful OC Park to a winter wonderland that lights up our hearts.  Thousands of lights are strung throughout the railroad showing the way to fun holiday activities.

You must purchase your tickets online here, during Christmas time if you plan on riding the Christmas train.  It is a beautiful ride through the Christmas lights and milk and cookies with Santa at the other end makes it extra special.

Every holiday event has Santa but how many have Mrs. Claus?  Join her for a special story and hot chocolate while you wait for Santa.  She is the sweetest!

Irvine Park is filled with thousands of lights and decorations!  The Irvine Park Railroad that you know and love is transformed into a magical wonderland.


Friday, December 5, 2014

HOLIDAY GIFTS: WIN a Personalized Story Book by I SEE ME | @ISeeMe_Maia #ISeeMeBooks #spon

Looking for a unique Christmas gift for your kids that they will keep for decades?  I found the perfect present!  A story book that stars your own kids!

"I See Me" books personalize the story-book for your own child.  The title of the book includes our children's names.  The books we chose were called "Nathan's(and Mika's) Magical Snowman".  The title-page has a special message to child with a picture that you upload of them.

I chose the Christmas themed books for my kids for a special Christmas gift only there was a problem.  I didn't want to wait until Christmas to give it to them.  We read and watch a lot of holiday themed books and movies and I wanted to include the new book into the fray.

How could I give it to them?  After some thought and with Thanksgiving just a few days away, I decided that their Elf that visits them should deliver them.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

WIN! Jingle All The Way 2 DVD/Blu-ray! | @FHEInsiders #JingleInsiders #Giveaway

Larry The Cable Guy

One of my favorite comedian's is Larry the Cable Guy. He has had me in stitches for years with his "Git R Done" routines!  His new movie Jingle All The Way 2 is now out on Blu-ray/DVD and it is a sure deal that you leave the movie laughing.  

Together with WWE Superstar Santino Marella, Larry and Santino bring laughs and holiday spirit to this second installment of the successful film franchise.

As parents, we are always wondering if we are being the best parent to our children.  In Jingle All The Way 2, two desperate dads compete in a no-holds-barred battle to be the best father and make this the best Christmas ever!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Knott's Merry Farm: Tis the Season for Fun! | @Knotts #MerryFarm #ad

Knotts Merry Farm 2014

With Thanksgiving over, the lights and Christmas music is all around us!  We celebrated the beginning of the holiday season with the lighting ceremony at Knotts "Merry Farm".  

As we walked into the park, you know that the season is upon us.  Holly, mistletoe, wreaths and ribbons decorate the park.  We enjoyed walking around seeing all of the crafts and activities that have the old fashioned Christmas in mind.

One of my favorite memories at Knott's includes the Engine 41.  I remember leaving coins on the tracks as the train made inexpensive squished souvenirs.  While they do not allow this anymore, the train is decorated in the holiday spirit and have characters singing carols inside giving our children new memories to savor.

Knotts Berry Farm