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December Events around Orange County and LA

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December is only days away! Can you believe 2016 is nearing its end? It feels like the fastest year yet. This is the season of family, friends, Jesus, and love. I just love all of the fun family traditions that come out during the holidays. Do you have any fun traditions that your family and friends carry out each year? I am always looking for fun things to get us all out of the house and in the holiday spirit! So whether you have age old traditions or you're looking for new ones, I have put together a great list of December activities around the Orange County and LA area. There is a little something for everybody!

1. 108th Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade

FREE- when viewed anywhere on the shore

Join over a million viewers as you watch beautifully decorated yachts, boats, kayaks and canoes sail along the harbor in the 108th Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, hosted by the Commodores Club of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce.

Visit website for more info

2. Irvine Spectrum Center Ice Rink

Through Jan 16(Closed Christmas Day)

Check their website for their scheduled times.

ADULTS/CHILDREN: $20, includes skate rental / $16, bring your own skates

TODDLERS: $16, includes double-blade ice skate rental (sizes 8T - 12T only)

Enjoy a nice night out ice skating with friends and family! It may not get too cold here in southern California but the Irvine Spectrum doesn't let that stop you from having a dreamy chilly time on the ice!

Visit website for more info

3. Garden Grove Winterfest

Dec. 3, 2016

4-7:30 p.m.

$10-per person(Pre-purchase of tickets required)

The Garden Grove Community Services Department presents the annual Winterfest holiday event at Atlantis Play Center. There is a limited amount of pre-sale tickets, and children 2-years-old and under are free. Only cash or credit cards are accepted. There will be no ticket sales at the door.

Visit website for more info

4. Science of Gingerbread: Discovery Cube OC

Adults: $17.50

Children: $12.95

2 yrs old & under: FREE

Get into the holiday spirit during the annual Science of Gingerbread! A holiday festival filled with great hands-on activities designed to bring families together this holiday season. Plus, check out award-winning Gingerbread Competition entries displayed throughout the Cube!

Visit website for more info


5. Winter Wonderland: Irvine Civic Center

Sunday, Dec. 4, from 3-8 p.m.

The event will feature a 25-foot-tall, live tree adorned with ornaments and holiday lights; a Joyful Jingles holiday program; children’s activities; and train rides. Guests can enjoy refreshments from the mobile food trucks and a festive tree-lighting as “snow” gently falls over the piazza. Children are in for a special treat when Santa stops by for a visit.

Visit website for more info


6. Christmas Train at Irvine Railroad Park

December 1-23, 2016

Entry is free and SOME activities are free
Parking: $3 weekdays / $5weekend / FREE after 5pm

Train Rides: $12 per person
24mos and younger FREE

‘Tis the season for Irvine Park Railroad’s annual Christmas Train. Come with family and friends and take this enchanting night ride through historic Irvine Regional Park to meet Santa Claus. The train will depart from the brightly-lit train station and drop passengers off at the North Pole. Children can share their wish list with Santa and have their photo taken with him too. You may take pictures with your personal camera or you may purchase a photo taken by Irvine Park Railroad.
After visiting with Santa, hop back aboard the train and enjoy the colorful Christmas lights and decorations, as well as the magical “Tunnel of Lights”, on the ride back to Santa’s Village.

Story time with Mrs. Claus
Coloring Corner
Frosty’s Maze
Picture Stands

Visit website for more info

7. OC Winter Fest

Dec 16- Jan 1, 2016

$10: Online Child Admission

(3 – 12 years) Child under 3 are Free

$15: Online Adult Admission

$8: Parking

Spectacular family fun and date night charm.

Featuring ice tubing, a two million light walk-through show, ice skating, snow play with real snow blown in daily, nightly Christmas tree lighting ceremony, carnival rides, festive entertainment, seasonal eateries, visits with Santa and so much more.

Visit website for more info

Photo By:  Queen Mary Website

8. CHILL at Queen Mary

Adult General Admission Pricing:
$39.99 - Dec 1-2, 8-9, 15-16 ($44.99 day of and at the door)
$44.99 - Nov 27-29; Dec 3-4, 10-11, 19-22, 29; Jan 5-6  ($49.99 day of and at the door)
$49.99 - Dec 17-18, 23-28, 30-31; Jan 1, 7-8 ($54.99 day of and at the door)

Child (4-11) Admission Pricing:
$29.99 - Dec 1-2, 8-9, 15-16 ($34.99 day of and at the door)
$34.99 - Nov 27-29; Dec 3-4, 10-11, 19-22, 29; Jan 5-6  ($39.99 day of and at the door)
$39.99 - Dec 17-18, 23-28, 30-31; Jan 1, 7-8 ($44.99 day of and at the door)

Light up the holidays this winter at the Queen Mary's CHILL as they proudly present Alice in Winterland, Ice Tubing on the Glacier Glide, Ice Skating, Live Entertainment , North Pole Village, Prancer's Paintball, Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Claus Cottage and more!

Visit website for more info

9. Shark Lagoon Nights at Aquarium of the Pacific

When: Every Friday Night in December 6pm-9pm


The public is invited to get up close with the ocean’s ultimate predators at the Aquarium of the Pacific for FREE during Shark Lagoon Nights. Guests will have the opportunity to touch bamboo sharks and see large sharks such as sand-tigers as well as rays in the Aquarium’s Shark Lagoon.

Visit website for more info

10. Griffith Park 2016 Holiday Light Festival Train Ride

$4 Per Person(18 mos and under are free)

Nov. 25- Dec. 23

Dec. 26- Dec. 30

The Rides begin on Friday Nov 25 And continues every night until December 23 and then again from December 26 to December 30 - weather permitting. The first train will leave at 5 pm every day. The last train leaves at 8 pm Monday through Thursday and 9 pm Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Starting the day after Thanksgiving, join in for an evening train ride around the festively decorated, one mile of track. Magical scenes and tens of thousands of lights will captivate you and your family and set the mood for a wonderful Holiday season.

This event requires separate tickets that can be bought at the ticket booth in advance or the day of the ride, if available.

Visit website for more info

I hope you have a wonderful month full of all the excitement and joys that winter brings! What activities are your family and friends up to this December?

4th of July Celebration - Events around LA and Orange County

Photo by:  Tasja

Photo by: Tasja

Summer is here, school is out, and the 4th of July is right around the corner! We can't wait to get some good family time at the beach and pool to cool off on these hot summer days. There are a lot of inexpensive or free Independence Day celebrations going on all around us! If you are looking for somewhere to celebrate the 4th with your family and friends this year, check out some of the celebrations going on around Los Angeles County and Orange County area. Maybe we'll see you there!

1. Grand Park Block Party

When: July 4 at 2pm-9:30pm

Where: Downtown, Grand Park, Grand Ave. and Hill St., Los Angeles, Ca

Cost: Free

Visit website for more info

2. Huntington Beach 4th of July Celebration

When: July 4 at Various times

Where: 325 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach, Ca

Cost: Free-$20

Visit website for more info

3. Marina Del Rey Fireworks

When: July 4 at 9 p.m.

Where: Marina Del Rey, 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina Del Rey, Ca

Cost: Free

Visit website for more info

4. Old Glory Boat Parade

When: July 4 at 1-3:30 p.m.

Where: American Legion Yacht Club, 215 East 15th St., Newport Beach, Ca

Cost: Free

Visit website for more info

5. Kids’ Bike Parade

When: July 4 at 10 a.m.

Where: Belmont Shores, 1 S. Granada Ave., Long Beach, Ca

Cost: Free

There will also be a 5k run/walk($20 entry fee) at 8:30 and a kids 1/2-mile run($10 entry fee) at 9:15 a.m. before the Bike Parade.

Visit website for more info

6. Seaside Lagoon-Redondo Beach 4th of July Celebration & Fireworks

When: July 4 at 2pm-9:30pm

Where: Seaside Lagoon, 200 Portofino Way, Redondo Beach, Ca

Cost: $12-$20

Visit website for more info

7. July 4th Extravaganza Concert(Beach Boy David Marks with the Surf City Allstars) & Fireworks

When: July 4 at 6pm-9:30pm

Where: Warner Center Park, 5800 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills, Ca

Cost: Free

Visit website for more info

Whatever your plans may be for Independence Day, we wish everyone a happy and safe 4th of July. Enjoy your family and celebrating the independence of our nation.

Dad's are Awesome! Father's Day 2013

With Father's Day just around the corner, we have compiled a small handful of cool  gifts and fun things to do for the perfect celebration for dad.


For the Well Groomed // The Man Can

Any rough-and-tumble dad can keep himself fresh, smooth, and smelling great at the end of the day with this full set of handmade skin supplies. This handsome gallon-sized container (complete with its own can opener which doubles as a bottle opener!) comes stuffed with everyday essentials like fresh-scented soap, shave gel, bay rum oil, hand butter, and an exfoliator. uncommongoods


For the Grill Master // Brinkmann Dual Function Gas/Charcoal Grill

Dads will LOVE this grill!  The dual-function charcoal/gas smoker has three burners and a side burner. With 806 square inches of cooking surface, the only problem will be locating enough meat and veggies to pile onto the spacious stainless steel cooking grates. homedepot


For the Dapper // The Grunion Run Tie's & Accessories

Looking for a more traditional yet more stylish twist on the necktie for your Pops?  Check out The Grunion Run Groomsmen Shop.  They offer the coolest, most fun bowties, neckties and other accessories for dad.  They are more than just a groomsmen shop, your Dad can sport this look on a daily basis - Dad will be the hippest guy on the streets. thegrunionrun

For the Music Man // Beats by Dre Executive

Dad's won’t look out of place when your Dad’s flying business class, or working late with these bad boys. More important, they deliver crystal-clear sound and it's noise-canceling feature to help dad concentrate learning the lyrics to his favorite songs.  target


The Counter Burger // Los Angeles

For a bit of grub and some fun, stop by any LA location of The Counter with your dad, buy yourself a burger and say “My dad is a BFD!” and the Counter will buy your dad a standard 1/3 lb. burger. thecounterburger 

LA Creamery Father’s Day Flavors // Los Angeles

Celebrate Father’s Day with two new artisanal flavors: Tennessee Whiskey made with Jack Daniel’s, and Chimay Beer ice cream. Available for $8 a pint at Farmshop, Vicente Foods, The Oaks Gourmet, Olive & Thyme, Marketplace, Joan’s on Third, and online at lacreamery

Father's Day Collabrewtive Brunch // Downtown LA Art District

Treat your dad to his favorite things: Coffee, Food and Beer!!!  This Father’s Day “Collabrewtive” Brunch will feature six stations showcasing brewery-roaster duos, as well as six food stations helmed by several of L.A.’s most talented chefs. Seating will be communal, with guests free to chart their own culinary adventure, at their own pace.

Kids are welcome to join in on the fun, this event is going to be a blast!

For tickets head to collabrewtive brunch

A portion of the event proceeds will go to Share Our Strength nokidhungry - an organization that battles childhood hunger.


The Cannery Father's Day Annual Clam Bake // Newport Beach  

What better way to celebrate Father's Day then with delicious food and a gorgeous ocean view? The Cannery in Newport Beach will once again be hosting the highly-anticipated Father's Day Clam Bake. Dads and their families can enjoy a delicious brunch that boasts hand crafted cocktails, savory entrees, divine breakfast plates and the Cannery's breathtaking ocean views. the cannery  

We wish every single one of our Gina Holt Photography father's, daddy's, dad's, dada's, papa's, pop's, uncles, and grandpa's a Happy Father's Day.  Although we are thankful & celebrate you daily, we want to make June 16th extra special because you deserve it!  Thank you for all you do!