Painless Jellyfish Discovery At SEA LIFE Aquarium!


Get Close To Jellyfish Without The Sting!


Jellyfish Discovery
Jellyfish Discovery, located at SEA LIFE Aquarium, is now open! The kids and I were invited to a preview party of the exhibit, and we returned to The LEGOLAND California Resort with our season passes in hand two days later, on opening day.
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On Set At The LEGO Movie Experience At LEGOLAND California!


On Set At The LEGO Movie Experience At LEGOLAND!

If you’re like most every American, you’ve likely already seen The LEGO Movie. It’s been a hit with viewers both young and old. The LEGO Movie Experience At LEGOLAND California opened shortly after the release of the film, and has become a popular new attraction at the theme park, located in the Carlsbad area of San Diego. As annual passholders, we’ve already gone to see it several times!
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Holiday Snow Days and Winter Nights at LEGOLAND® California!


Holiday Snow Days at LEGOLAND®!


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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!

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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


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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.

Participate In A Beach Cleanup and Celebrate Shark Week At SEA LIFE Aquarium For Free!


Shark Week at SEA LIFE Aquarium!


shark weekSEA LIFE Aquarium, located at LEGOLAND California, is celebrating Shark Week through Sunday, August 11th. We were invited to a special behind-the-scenes shark feed earlier this week, and loved viewing the sharks from a different vantage point. We learned a lot about how they’re fed, what they’re fed, and the specifics behind it all. Quite honestly, I just thought they were simply thrown fish, and hadn’t thought of the specifics behind a shark feed.
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World Oceans Day Beach Cleanup With A Reward From SEA LIFE Aquarium!

Help Keep Our Beaches Clean!

Join in a Beach Cleanup with SEA LIFE Aquarium on World Oceans Day, Saturday, June 8th, 2013, and be rewarded for your efforts! SEA LIFE has adopted a beach in Carlsbad, CA, and is looking for volunteers to help clean it up from 8:30am-11:30am.

Give & You Will Receive!

Every Beach Cleanup volunteer will be rewarded with a FREE ticket to SEA LIFE Aquarium, located at LEGOLAND California. This is a great opportunity to educate your kids about the importance of keeping our oceans clean, and a neat way to teach them about volunteer work.
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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!

The LEGOLAND Hotel ~ A Dream Getaway For LEGO Lovers

The LEGOLAND Hotel At The LEGOLAND California Resort!

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Our Incredible Nature Week

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Exploring Tidepools in Del Mar

This past week we had an incredible time discovering nature. Our adventures included a trip to the San Elijo Nature Center, a hike at Torrey Pines State Reserve, Tidepooling in Del Mar, a Mommy & Me Class at SEA LIFE Aquarium, and simple things like making a stop above The Flower Fields, to catch a glance of their beauty.

We discovered that the humming bird that nested at our house last year is back for another year of nesting. We spotted a high jumping grasshopper, and admired a ladybug we found at the playground above the beach in Del Mar. We had a wonderful time adventuring with Michele, & her family, from Fun Orange County Parks.com. All in all, it was a great week discovering nature.

Most every day in SoCal could be an incredible time to get out and discover the natural beauty that surrounds us. Many of these opportunities are free, & can be found as close as our own backyards or neighborhood parks. What are your plans or ideas to discover nature? Give us some good ideas, and perhaps we’ll see you there!

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch® ~ A Yearly Spring Tradition!

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch®

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The Flower Fields

Visiting The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch is absolutely one of our favorite Springtime family outings! Our son talks about it year-round, and always looks forward to our visit. If you’re not familiar with all there is to do and see, other than viewing a beautiful sea of ranunculus, read on! I’ll inform you of the fun you have in store for your visit!

Tractor Ride, Playground, Sweet Pea Maze, Gem Panning, & More!

The Flower Fields are a place of beauty, magic, and splendor. It’s fun for people of all ages. There’s a lot to do, including a tractor ride with an audio history about the location, Santa’s Playground, a sweet pea maze, rose garden, gem panning, an “artists garden” with a pond and birds, and so much more. If you visit on a weekend you might hear a band play, or attend on the day of a Special Event.

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Passport Stamping

The Flower Fields Passport

When children enter, they receive a Flower Fields Passport. Kids look for specially numbered wooden posts, and stamp their fun little booklet with the corresponding number from the posts. Once they have all their stamps, they can take the passport to the gem panning area for $1.00 off.

What To Bring

The Flower Fields allow strollers, and you might want to bring one if you have a little tot. Be sure to bring sunscreen, hats, and wear comfortable walking shoes. You might want to bring a light jacket as well, as the fields are just above the Pacific Ocean, and there’s often a nice breeze. You can bring food and beverages to enjoy at designated tables for eating. They have fresh lemonade for sale, and I believe they sell other food items on certain days of the week.

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Sweet Pea Maze

What’s Included With Entry?

Most activities within The Flower Fields are included in the price of admission, but the gem panning and tractor ride are a bit extra. Buy your tractor tickets prior to entering the gates. You can pay your gem panning fee at the panning station. Parking is FREE, and you can either buy your admission tickets online, or at the ticket booth.

The Ranunculus Bloom In Patches

Something to keep in mind, is that The Flower Fields are never in full bloom all at once. They bloom in patches. From my personal experience, I’ve found many of the flowers tend to be blooming around April, but it varies each year, depending upon the weather, time of planting, and other factors. You can call 760-431-0352 x3 for current blooming conditions.

Where Are The Flower Fields?

The Flower Fields are located at 5704 Paseo Del Norte, in Carlsbad, CA. Click HERE for more hours of admission and other information about The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch®. It tends to be less crowded on weekdays. We suggest you designate a good 3 hours or more for your visit. Perhaps we’ll see you there!

Mommy & Me Under the Sea at SEA LIFE Aquarium!

Update 2014: Mommy & Me Under The Sea is no longer being offered at this time. We’d love to see the program return! Loved it!

mommynmeunderseaSEA LIFE Aquarium, located in Carlsbad, is starting a brand new Mommy & Me program starting February 1st! Mommy and Me Under the Sea will be a fun, interactive journey for you (mom or dad) and your little one(s) to learn about ocean habitats, and experience it with other families. This staff-led program includes a tour, play activities, mini creature exploration and a weekly craft.

The cost for the program is just $35 for one parent and one child on either Tuesdays or Wednesdays for one month. There are three different sessions to choose from on either day, and parking is FREE! Additional children are just $10 each per session, and LEGOLAND Resort Members have the opportunity to upgrade for just $20 per session as well. Click HERE for session times and weekly topics.

This new program is a great way for you and your little one(s) to participate in a fun, educational, and affordable Mommy & Me program. The aquarium has set a limit of just 10 children per session, and reservations are required. Call 760-438-5346 to reserve your spot. Perhaps we’ll see you there!