Suzie’s Family Friendly Organic Farm Offers Tours, Camps, U-Pick, and More!


Organic Farm Offers Educational Tours, Camps, U-Pick, and More!

Suzie's Organic Farm ~ www.socalwithkids.com


140 Acre Family Friendly Organic Farm!


Suzie’s organic farm offers educational tours, camps, classes, U-Pick organic farm produce, and more! The kids and I visited the farm, which is located in the South Bay area of San Diego, on a media tour. The tour took us through the fields, and across much of their 140 acre organic farm. We loved every minute of it!
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5 Things We Love About Knott’s Berry Bloom!


Knott’s Berry Bloom Is Springtastic!


Knott's Berry Bloom ~ www.socalwithkids.com
We loved going to Knott’s last year for Berry Bloom, their Springtime event, and are excited to be invited back to experience it again this year. When we went a year ago we were amazed at how the Park was transformed by the decor. Huge blooming flower decorations, and beautiful floral chalk drawings were found throughout Knott’s. We visit lots of Southern California theme parks, but hadn’t experienced this level of Spring festivities elsewhere.
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Holiday Snow Days and Winter Nights at LEGOLAND® California!


Holiday Snow Days at LEGOLAND®!


holidaysnowdays

Holiday Snow Days and Winter Nights is a yearly event at LEGOLAND® California. We’ve had a great time visiting the Resort this season as both pass holders, and by invitation from LEGOLAND®. Holiday Snow Days activities include snow play and snow tubing in a fun and festive environment. All of the activities that are part of the event are included with Park admission.

LEGOLAND Holiday Snow Days

Snow tubing is done in an orderly environment, with attendants at the top and bottom of the hill to help participants. Snow tubes are provided, and adults are free to glide down the hill as well! It’s a pretty fast slide, but I have yet to see anyone scared or not want to go again!

Snow Tubing During Holiday Snow Days

The snow area has fun giant LEGO® shaped bricks for building, a small sledding area for the littles, playful accessories to put on a snowman you get to create, and opportunities to throw snowballs!

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Just as you would expect with LEGOLAND®, the Resort is decked out with fun holiday LEGO® displays. The main Holiday Snow Days and Winter Nights festivities take part in Fun Town, next to the LEGO® Clubhouse. There are lots of festive photo opportunities, some of which are with characters such as LEGO® Santa!

LEGOLAND Holidays

Aside from the snow activities, you’ll want to check out the performers, including a juggler, stilt walker, and unicyclist. Also, be sure to take a pic in the LEGO® sleigh! Grandpa is pictured here with the kids. (He loved joining us one afternoon!)

Holiday Snow Days

Our kids LOVE all the season decor. There are two LEGO® reindeer near the sleigh that are worth stopping by to snap a picture. How many opportunities do you have to see one of these?!?

LEGO Reindeer


Holiday Eats!


Holiday Treats at LEGOLAND®

Some of the seasonal food during Holiday Snow Days and Winter Nights is bratwurst with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut, churros with chocolate or strawberry dipping sauce, and warm soft pretzels. We sampled each, and they were delicious! We also spied rice treats (pictured below, in the photo with the LEGO® ornament), which we plan to taste on our next visit.

LEGO Ornament

We found this LEGO® shaped chocolate at The Market, located near the entrance and exit of the Park. It would be super cool if Santa dropped some of these in our stockings. (Hint, hint, Saint Nick!)

LEGO Shaped Chocolate


Winter Nights at LEGOLAND


Winter Nights LEGOLAND

Winter Nights include the same fun daytime activities, plus longer Park hours, strolling carolers, Holiday Lights Show, nightly fireworks 12/26-12/31. Our kids love seeing the “snow” (bubbles) fall at night! I’ll never forget the look on our baby’s face when he first saw the “snow” dropping down on him, and watching him try to catch it!

winter_nights_legoland

Some of the employees are really in the holiday spirit, wearing fun and festive things like this hat! We found this gentleman working inside The Big Shop. He actually made it himself!

Holiday Spirit at LEGOLAND

Among the many days we’ve gone to LEGOLAND this season, we attended the day of the official lighting of the LEGO® Christmas tree. I HIGHLY suggest you stay late enough to see the nightly tree lighting. The tree is beautiful after dark!

Winter Nights at LEGOLAND


Festivity At The LEGOLAND® Hotel


hoteltree

The LEGOLAND® Hotel is all decked out for the holidays as well. Some of the incredible decorations include a giant LEGO®-style tree in the lobby, LEGO® wreaths, and little details throughout the hotel such as LEGO® poinsettias.

Hotel Holiday Decor at LEGOLAND

Click HERE for further details about Holiday Snow Days and Winter Nights at LEGOLAND®. They’re having some pretty great specials right now, including discount tickets, and a FREE return ticket with any paid admission through December 31, 2013. Perhaps we’ll see you there!

P.S. Want to see even more of our pics from #HolidaySnowDays at the LEGOLAND® Resort? Be sure to follow us on Instagram!


Go Los Angeles Card - 37 Los Angeles Attractions

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Disclosure: We attended a special invite-only event at LEGOLAND® to experience some of the seasonal treats and activities at the Resort. We are pass holders, and attended Holiday Snow Days and Winter Nights prior to, and after the event as well. This site contains affiliate links.

SnowWorld and Holiday Cheer During Christmas At SeaWorld® San Diego


SnowWorld and Holiday Cheer At SeaWorld®


SnowWorld
As longtime passhholders, we’ve spent lots of hours at SnowWorld at SeaWorld® San Diego. As a child, I recall the event being held on the hill which is now below the rollercoaster Mantis. Many a day, with my personal sled in hand, and decked out in a heavy snow jacket, boots, and winter gloves, I would spend hiking up, and sledding down that hill.
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Feel The Holiday Spirit At Knott’s Merry Farm!

Sponsored Post On Behalf of GigaSavvy : Opinions Are Our Own


Feel The Holiday Spirit At Merry Farm!


Merry Farm at Knott's


Merry Farm Includes Shows, Santa, & More!


During the holiday season Knott’s Berry Farm is transformed into Knott’s Merry Farm, with beautiful holiday decor, special seasonal shows, and much more! We experienced Merry Farm for the first time last year, and are excited to go again this year as well! Some of the things we’re most looking forward to at Merry Farm this year include Santa’s Christmas Cabin, Snoopy’s Merriest Tree Lighting, and Snoopy’s Magical Night of Lights. Highlights of Merry Farm in 2013 include the following:

merryskate

“It’s Christmas, Snoopy” Ice Show
This holiday ice skating show is spectacular! The kids, my husband, and I were all impressed by the performance last year. The skaters were incredible, and just as good as those you’d see in a professional ice skating performance at a large ice arena. We highly recommend you check it out while at the Park.

Santa’s Christmas Cabin
Stop by Santa’s Christmas Cabin, featuring photo opportunities with the jolly big guy himself, a treat at Santa’s Sundae bar, plus Wine and Craft Beer tasting opportunities for the adults. My husband sampled some of the wine and craft beer selections last year, and was very impressed!

Christmas Craft Fair
Within Ghost Town you’ll find the strolling Calico Carolers, dozens of artisans selling unique treasures, and beautiful Victorian decor. It’s fun to stop and listen to the carolers.

Bird Cage Theatre Productions
If you enjoy live theatre, or want to introduce your kids to it, head over to the Bird Cage Theatre to see a live performance of Charges Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, or O’Henry’s “A Gift of Magi”, which each run approximately 25 minutes in length.

Snoopy’s Magical Night of Lights
Be sure to walk through Camp Snoopy after dark to experience hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights set to a festive holiday soundtrack. This really got me in the festive spirit last year! We spent a few hours here riding the rides and enjoying the ambiance.

Winter Wonderland
Catch some of your favorite Peanuts characters perform on a wintery wonderland stage at Camp Snoopy Theatre! This is a lively outdoor production. Our kids always enjoy catching the shows here.

Snoopy’s Merriest Tree Lighting
Join Snoopy in a fun-filled nightly Christmas Tree Lighting. If you miss the show, be sure to at least check out the beautiful 45′ tree once it’s lit. It’s beautiful, and another great spot for snapping some nice family photos.

Merry Farm Gang at Knott's

Other highlights of Merry Farm include the Calico Saloon Christmas Show, the Ghost Town Miners Show at the Spurs Stage, and Christmas Aboard Engine 41, at the Calico Steam Train. We also love strolling through the shops decorated in beautiful holiday decor.


2014 Season Passes Include 1 Visit In 2013!


A great way to experience not only Merry Farm, but other fun seasonal experiences such as Knott’s Berry Bloom and Camp Spooky is with a Season Pass. Knott’s 2014 Season Passes start at just $78 online, with NO blackout dates. They also include one FREE visit to Knott’s in 2013, which may be used to experience Merry Farm. This is an awesome deal, and could make a great holiday gift. You can find more info about Merry Farm (which starts November 28th, 2013), and Season Passes HERE. Perhaps we’ll see you there!

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Disclosure: We were invited to a media event at Knott’s to experience Merry Farm ourselves. Our opinions are our own. This post was written on behalf of GigaSavvy.

San Diego Kids Cooking Classes at Center For A Healthy Lifestyle


Kids Cooking Classes


Kids Cooking Class at CFAHL

We recently attended an Open House at The Center For A Healthy Lifestyle, also known as “The Sunny Yellow Cottage”, which is part of the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Dieguito, in Solana Beach. I took our eight year old daughter, because they were demonstrating their cooking classes for kids. The main instructor was the amazing, Chef Amanda, from the Emmy Award-winning show, (which happens to be filmed on location) The Good Food Factory!

Other instructors that teach there were demonstrating and cooking with the kids as well. They had the kids in attendance make things that they might normally make in an actual class. The teachers were very nice, and patient with the children.
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Active Play At Jungle Gym & Cafe!

::UPDATE October 2013 ~ We’re very sad to report that Jungle Gym & Cafe has now CLOSED for business.::

Jungle Gym & Cafe
Jungle Gym & Cafe is a spacious indoor play center located in the Santee area of San Diego, catering to kids from babies up to about age 12. I first heard about it toward the end of last summer, just about the time of the arrival of our third baby. It sounded fun, and as a surprise, I finally got the kids there, and they really had a blast!

Active Playtime at Jungle Gym & Cafe!

Jungle GymThey have a lot of things to get the kids moving, including really fun rideable animals known as Safari Cycles, such as the zebra our daughter is pictured riding here. The thing I loved about the Safari Cycles is that you actually have to put some work into having them move. The kids were getting a good amount of exercise getting the animals to roll. Adults can even ride the large Safari Cycles as well!

Aside from the cool Safari Cycles, they also have large inflatable jumpers, a really cool play jet that the kids can climb in and slide out, hammock swings, a large gymnasium with a basketball hoop, balls, and lots of things to get the kids moving, an air hockey table, Sumo Wrestlers suits, sit-on scooters, and more. The kids got a lot of exercise and enjoyed each and every moment of it!

Baby Friendly!

Jungle Gym & CafeNow that we have a baby again, I’m always looking for places that accommodate babies as well as bigger kids. The main play area at Jungle Gym & Cafe has a lot of things to cater toward babies including a baby swing, bouncy seat, and an exersaucer. So great to give them parents a free hand, and have the babies there enjoy themselves as well!

The facility had multiple changing tables, which I really appreciate, having the need for one. The cafe had plenty of clean high chairs as well. I did not notice any play toys that appeared to be a risk for choking either.

Aside from the items catering to the littlest of littles in the main play area, Jungle Gym & Cafe has a separate play room just for kids age 0-3. Inside this designated room are books, a toddler tree house, a tiny little one-tot trampoline, and more. I really appreciate them having this special play space!

Other Things I Loved

Jungle Gym & Cafe• Free Wifi
• Free electric foot massagers for the adults.
• Large variety of food and beverages at the Cafe.
• Comfortable seating throughout the play center.
• Tables, chairs, and highchairs in the Cafe area.
• Multiple restrooms within the play center.
• The play center was clean, and all the play items appeared to be in good working order.
• Conveniently located right off the freeway with visible signage and parking right in front.
• You may bring food and beverages from home (but no restaurant food).

More Things They Offer

Aside from Open Play, Jungle Gym & Cafe also offers adult fitness classes with childcare included during the classes, birthday parties, classes for kids, Parent’s Night Out, and more.

What To Know Before You Go

Jungle Gym & Cafe is a socks-only environment. Adults and kids must leave their shoes in the cubbies when they enter, and wear socks throughout the establishment. If you forget to bring socks, you may purchase some at entry.

We spent three hours playing at Jungle Gym & Cafe on our visit, and had we arrived earlier, the kids would have happily played even longer! The only reason we left when we did was because it was closing time. I suggest at least three hours for your initial visit as well.

Click HERE for more information about Jungle Gym and Cafe. As stated above, the kids had a really fun time. We’ll likely go back in the future for more active fun. Perhaps we’ll see you there!

Take A Step Back In Time At Historic Old Poway Park!

old_poway_parkWhen you visit Old Poway Park, it’s like taking a step back in time. Back to a time when horse drawn carriages and steam trains were the main modes of transportation, and artisans handcrafted everything from clothes, to toys, to furniture. We took a trip there this past weekend for the Train Song Festival, and once again I was reminded how much we enjoy this special park as a family.

I originally wrote this post as a printed article for the 2012 Mom’s Guide To San Diego, but am just now sharing it here. I’ve updated the article, and included some new information that wasn’t in the printed format. I hope it inspires you to take a trip there with your family as well.

DAY TRIP TO OLD POWAY PARK!
Living in San Diego, we are so lucky to have an abundance of options for fun day trips. We live in a city where we can visit the mountains, desert, and ocean all in one day! One day trip my family loves is to Old Poway Park.

old_poway_parkWhen you go to Old Poway Park, it feels like you take a step back in time. It’s a beautiful park with mature trees, plentiful grass, nice walking paths, and a cute little creek. It also has a neat and informative Heritage Museum, historic buildings which were brought to the site, working railway, Blacksmith Shop, and a toy train shop inside the Train Depot.

Our kids love trains, and the antique ones which are part of the Poway Midland Railroad, at Old Poway Park, are no exception! They have a steam locomotive, trolley, and a Speeder Car that take turns running most weekends of the year. Train tickets are reasonably priced between $1.50 – $2.50 for adults depending upon the train running, and just .50 cents per child (kids under 2 are free!). It’s fun to take a few spins around the 1/2 mile track.

old_poway_parkOld Poway Park is a great place to picnic. You can pack a lunch and enjoy the afternoon on the grass, or at one of the picnic tables. If you like to barbeque, they have barbeques available for use. If you’d rather buy lunch or dinner, The Hamburger Factory, located within the park, has delicious food in a fun atmosphere. Sometimes we go there just for the dessert!

The park hosts the Poway Farmer’s Market from 8:00am – 11:30am on Saturday mornings. The Boardwalk Craft Market, with arts and crafts made by local artisans, happens on certain Saturdays as well. The park also has special events for the family including a Train Song Festival, Old-Fashioned 4th of July, Halloween festivities, and Christmas in the Park. Oftentimes they have persons dressed in 1800’s attire, and include fun activities such as train robbery reenactments, which are make the experience all that more memorable.

old_poway_parkBe sure to set aside a few hours for your first visit. It’s fun to take your time exploring. Also, bring your camera, as it’s a great place to take family photos. As you’ll see when you visit, it’s very popular with professional photographers!

Although there is no playground equipment at Old Poway Park, there is a playground right across the street at Aubrey Park. Parking is free at both Aubrey Park, and in and around Old Poway Park. Restrooms are available at both parks as well.

Old Poway Park is located at 14134 Midland Rd., in Poway. For more information, visit www.poway.org, and search for detailed info about the park using the drop down menu on the left. Perhaps we’ll see you there!

Hands-On Fun and Learning For Kids at Build It Workshops!

::UPDATE November 1, 2013 – We are very sad to report that Build It Workshops is now CLOSED for business.::

build_itLiving in Southern California, we’re very lucky to have an abundance of fun and educational places to take kids. From children’s museums, to parks, to indoor play spaces, there are plenty of options. When I heard about a new place called Build It Workshops, located in Carlsbad, it sounded interesting, so I had to investigate!

What Is Build It!?
Build It, “The Kid Workshop”, is specifically geared towards creative hands-on learning. Their premise is based on using science, technology, engineering, and math, in a fun environment. Instead of leading the kids with building instructions, the employees allow them to use their minds creatively, building however they wish. They are officially listed as a “Makerspace”, where as their website states “is a facility where creativity comes together.”

build_itAt the time we visited we paid $12 for the 1st child, $10 for the second for Open Build time. I didn’t pay anything for the baby & I, as non-walkers, plus up to 2 adults per child are admitted for free. Be sure to either call or check their website for current pricing. Also, NO adult is admitted without a child, and NO children may be dropped off and left without a parent or guardian. It is not a child care or daycare center.

Inside you’ll find lots of kid-size tables (think train table style) full of different things wooden planks, castle building blocks, and so much more. I counted 15 tables full of different building pieces, PLUS 5 more just full LEGO! Loads of different options for building, and I’m told that they change it up periodically, and trade out certain pieces for others from time to time.

daily_buildAs well as the tables full of building pieces, general admission also includes building and decorating a cardboard box or similar item. They also offer a “Daily Build”, which is an additional $3-$15, depending upon the item being built. When we visited the Daily Build items were a “Brushbot” and “Scibblebot”, and were reasonably priced as extra items. Our 5 year old son made a “Scribblebot”, which was essentially a little robot with ink markers as legs. Super cool!

As well as the tables full of building pieces you’ll find a long track which the kids can race their LEGO or other vehicles that they put together in the Workshop. Our kids LOVED this, and spent a fair amount of time racing against each other. They even took a video, where they placed my camera on the vehicle and raced it down the track. This was hilarious to them!

build_itBuild It is geared toward kids age 3+ to 12 years of age. I can see why the minimum suggested age is at least 3, as some of the building pieces as smaller, and both safer and more appropriate for children of that age. Beware that even though your child may be below age 3, you will still pay an entry fee for them once they walk.

The Environment
When we arrived, the kids and I were each told the rules prior to entering the building area. No running, no blocks in your mouth, no throwing, no sick kids, clean up after yourselves, etc… I loved that they were so good at showing each of us the rules, which were mounted on the wall at entry. Safety is their top priority, and make they make it clear that they are not a playground.

There are seats available for people to sit in and relax, as well as counter space for using a laptop, tablet, or reading. They offer free WIFi, and have cubbies for you to place personal items. I loved the music they were playing, which included the likes of Dave Matthews Band, Jack Johnson, and Cold Play, and found it to be a very relaxing and comfortable environment. The Workshop was very clean and organized when we visited as well.

build_it_robotSnack-Time!
Build It is a nut-free facility, and does not allow outside food inside the facility. They are more than happy for you to enjoy outside food just outside the entrance, at one of their tables. They sell some packaged snacks and beverages at reasonable prices, which you may enjoy inside (or out).

Classes
If your kids have an interest in LEGO Robotics or Scratch Programming they might be interested in the classes offered at the Workshop. The classes are an additional fee, and are taught over several sessions. They sound both fun and educational!

build_itBirthday Parties
Build It offer scheduled birthday parties. They do not allow do-it-yourself birthday parties during open build hours. Be sure to call and check if they have any scheduled parties at the time you wish to visit, as they may be closed to accommodate a party.

Junior Builder Club
If you find you love it, Build It you might want to have your child become a Junior Builder Club member. Membership includes free general entry, free Daily Builds, discounts on classes, and other members-only perks. Ask them about it, or check their website for details. (Be sure to ask abut details, as the membership details could change.)

The Employees
I spoke with Rudy, the owner for quite a long time when we visited. He’s a father of two himself, and was very friendly and good with the kids that I noticed him interacting with while we were there. His employee, Jeremy, was also very good with the kids, and personable as well. Both commute quite a distance to and from the Workshop, and seem to both love and take pride in what they do!

All in all we loved Build It! Our daughter had just as much fun as our son, and I think many of her girl friends would love it as well. I’m sure we’ll be back again, and again. You can find Build It Workshops online at this LINK. Perhaps we’ll see you there!

San Diego Improv Group Offers Classes For Kids and Teens!

nct_youth_workshopsMany years ago, in my youth, I had the interest in performing, but I wasn’t very comfortable on stage. My parents wanted to support me in my interest in performing, so they enrolled me in an acting class. It was in this class that I was first introduced to improvisation, commonly known as “improv”, and developed the confidence to stand and perform in front of an audience.

My acting instructor has long retired, but I was recently introduced to a local school that teaches improv to kids. National Comedy Theatre (NCT), the same organization that performs live family-friendly improv shows, conducts improv camps, classes, and workshops for kids and teens.

The classes, camps, and workshops through NCT are held in their studio location in the Liberty Station area of San Diego, an area which has become the hub of instruction of the arts for youth in San Diego. Improv classes are currently held from 10am-11:30am Saturday mornings for kids age 8-12 & for teens age 13-17 on Saturday afternoons from 12:30pm-2pm. They also offer camps and workshops throughout the year. A new session is starting soon! Click HERE for more details about youth improv opportunities in San Diego through NCT.