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Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

How Will You Celebrate MLK Jr. Day?

January 12th, 2018

 

Orange County is full of celebration options, including the 30th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace and Unity Parade and Celebration. It’s one of the biggest in the country with over 25,000 attendees each year. The parade starts at MLK and Atlantic Avenues at 10:30 a.m. However, the party keeps going until 6 p.m. The free event includes non-stop performances, live music, a carnival for the kids and plenty of food trucks.

Don’t miss one of the biggest celebrations of the year as thousands join together to remember the life and works of Dr. King. You’ll find a variety of booths after the event with information from local groups, arts and crafts, and options for spending this “day on” serving the community.

Take a Hike

Hiking is a favorite way for some to celebrate the long weekend. Dr. King promoted meditative practices, and there’s no better way to tap into your inner Zen than with a hike along one of the local trails. The interconnected Orange County trails are the perfect place to reflect during the holiday weekend, and a great warm-up to the parade on the big day.

All libraries in Orange County feature MLK Jr.-centric books throughout the month of January. However, Tustin Library is especially well-known for offering one of the widest collections, including Martin Luther King Jr. Day by author Jill Foran. Check your local library events pages to keep up to date with special events throughout the month.

 

Your Guide to a Disney NYE

December 29th, 2017

 

Nothing is more magical than spending New Year’s Eve at Disneyland, and these tips will help if you’re a first-timer. Disney fans flock to Main Street USA, so you’ll be surrounded by thousands of like-minded fans. It’s the most crowded night of the year at Disneyland, but you’ll enjoy the best holiday entertainment and special events. Show up early, and pre-purchase your passes. Although Disneyland keeps admission numbers a secret, they do stop selling admissions if it’s too crowded—sometimes this happens before noon!

It will take longer than usual for parking and bag check, but it’s well worth it. Gates usually open at 8 a.m. on NYE, or 7 a.m. if you have a CityPASS. The park doesn’t close until 2 a.m., so expect a full day of fun. Even if you have a multi-park pass, stick to just one for the day. Dress in layers, or at least bring a jacket to store in a locker. It’s sure to be chilly by midnight.

Tricks of the Trade

FastPass is always a good idea, but it’s a lifesaver on New Year’s Eve. Understand how your FastPass works, check the timings and map out what you want to do, see and experience in advance. Get to your “must” rides first, but embrace flexibility. Remember that longer wait times should be used to enjoy time with loved ones. Play games and be patient. Fast lines usually include Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and It’s a Small World (which features a special holiday show).

If you’re up for it, Splash Mountain has relatively short lines in the winter. The Christmas Fantasy Parade happens at 1:00 p.m., 3:15 p.m. and a Paint the Night Parade at 6:15 p.m. You’ll need to arrive early for parades if you want to get a good spot. Aladdin’s Oasis does offer an on-the-go package for reserved seating at the Paint the Night Parade.

Nightly snowfall happens usually around 8 p.m., as well as after the fireworks display (at both 9 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.).

 

Anaheim Winter Holiday Happenings

December 5th, 2017

 

You don’t want to miss out on some of the best local holiday attractions in town. The Holiday Event with Santa at Anaheim Plaza is free and fun for the whole family. You’re welcome to bring your camera and snap a photo with the big guy. Raffle prizes, a kid-friendly DJ and many more surprises are waiting for you at this intimate opportunity to share your holiday wish list with Santa.

You’ll also find him at Anaheim Town Square starting on Black Friday. With a real snow play area, crafts for the little ones, balloon artists, rides on trains and much more, it’s the perfect way to kick off the holiday season. Snap a selfie with Santa, get your face painted for the festivities, and enjoy the long weekend at the nearby community gathering space.

Spreading Joy and Cheer

Breakfast with Santa is a favorite tradition in Anaheim. It’s hosted every weekend in December at Catal Restaurant with seating at 9, 10 and 11 a.m. Catal in downtown Disney has elves on hand to help with this delicious family-style gathering complete with breakfast, a hot cocoa station, activities with elves, carolers and personalized stockings for kids. The elves are acting as hosts and you’ll be busy decorating ornaments before Santa makes his grand entrance and greets guests table by table.

A Nutcracker Christmas is free every December and features real snow, holiday crafts, and festive performances by local groups and schools. Here, you can find one of a kind gifts from the Holiday Shopping Village and indulge in treats and goodies at the International Food Fair. The lighting of the 50-foot Christmas tree is the grand finale, located at Center Street Promenade and Lemon Street.

Which of these will you incorporate as a new holiday tradition?

Your Thanksgiving Restaurant Guide

November 20th, 2017

 

Anaheim takes food seriously year-round, but restaurants really step up their game for Thanksgiving. Reserve a table at the GardenWalk McCormick and Schmick’s Seafood, open from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. and enjoy the regular menu or a three-course turkey dinner. The affordable $25.95 price tag ($9.95 for children) includes all your favorite sides and a dessert selection fit for royalty. Large parties are welcome.

Head to Downtown Disney District and check out Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen for a southern, spicy Cajun touch on traditional fare. You’ll feel like you’ve been swept away to New Orleans and can enjoy the regular menu or the Thanksgiving picks. All menu items are a la carte, and there’s Cajun turkey, Turducken, pecan-crusted mahi mahi and a special kids menu.

Hunger Strikes!

Also in the Disney District is the Catal Restaurant famous for their holiday buffet. From the turkey, salmon and ham to the veggie paella, you’ll have no shortage of decadent options. Sides like stuffing and mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts, chocolate bread pudding and a pie selection ensure that all guests are satisfied. Open from noon – 9 p.m., it’s a tradition for many locals.

Prefer to skip the turkey? Try Morton’s The Steakhouse, open 1 – 9 p.m. and enjoy a steak and seafood-themed holiday. The regular menu is peppered with some seasonal and holiday surprises, and make sure you save room for dessert.

Where will you spend turkey day?

 

Anaheim’s Day of the Dead

November 1st, 2017

 

Take a day trip to Old Town San Diego for one of the biggest Day of the Dead events in Southern California. It’s a celebration of history, heritage and culture. The rich diversity of the area makes it the perfect destination within the Mercado, where you’ll find food, goods, entertainment and plenty of activities for all ages (such as creating your own sugar skulls).

Prefer to stick closer to Anaheim? The downtown Anaheim Community Center offers an all-day event along the Center Street Promenade. All proceeds benefit a local non-profit, and you don’t want to miss out on the mariachi bands, cultural dances, altars and plenty of authentic fare.

Both events take place October 29th.

November Events

On November 2nd, the Anaheim Cemetery hosts a Ballet Folklorico Donaji featuring the RHYTHMO Mariachi Kids. The free event includes masks for children and a selection of Pan de Muertos and marigolds for offerings. Refreshments and desserts are also included. The family-friendly event is a chance to honor those who have passed in a culturally sensitive environment.

On November 6th, visit the Anaheim Indoor Marketplace from noon – 4 p.m. for a special opportunity to put your loved one’s photo inside a traditional Day of the Dead altar. Folk dancers, mariachi bands and activities for children take place, while giving visitors the opportunity to explore one of the city’s most revered destinations.

 

An Anaheim Halloween

October 20th, 2017

 

With non-stop thrills throughout Anaheim, there are Halloween options for visitors of all ages. Join the Halloween L.A. Pub Crawl and let someone else worry about driving from one spooky destination to the next. Every Friday and Saturday night in October you can snag the VIP pass to gain access to the best spooktacular events at bars and clubs with no lines, no covers and drink specials.

The nearby Zombie Crawl in Santa Monica kicks off at Rusty’s Surf Ranch where you and scores of other zombies crawl, claw and stagger your way to the best Halloween-themed bars in the area. You won’t want to miss the Anaheim Halloween Parade, the biggest celebration in the state that’s been frightening folks since 1924. It’s a day of ghoulish fun for the whole family.

Tricks and Treats

Of course, Disneyland is always a hub for spooky frights during the haunting season with the entire park decked out. Enjoy seasonal treats (with just a few tricks) at the numerous vendors and restaurants along Main Street. If you’re anti-candy corn, you’ve never seen it elevated like this! For many, it’s not Halloween without a Disney getaway.

Check out the Motel 6 Feet Under Thursdays – Sundays in November, dubbed the scariest haunt in Anaheim. Animatronics, live actors, and a little magic help make this fundraiser a hair-raising one. You’ll find it at the Business Expo Center throughout October.

An Anaheim Fourth of July

July 1st, 2017

 

Disneyland is famous for those Fourth of July fireworks, but some Anaheim visitors prefer a more nostalgic celebration. Head to nearby Fullerton for the Annual Community Fireworks Show and Festival starting at 5 p.m. You’ll find live entertainment and music featuring Deke Dickerson and the Eccofonic, as well as family-friendly activities. Located at Fullerton High School Stadium, the 20-minute fireworks display blasts off at 9 p.m.

Fourth of July

Irvine is known for the Celebrate the 4th of July at Pretend City event. The Pretend City Children’s Museum features a parade throughout the grounds along with an Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty fashion show. Don’t miss the star spangled science workshop where little ones create glitzy crafts.

Let Freedom Ring!

There’s also the Concert on the Green and Firework Festival at Irvine High School, with gates opening at 3 p.m. Here, you’ll be treated to a pyro musical sky concert followed by a fireworks show at 9 p.m. Check out the live music featuring Derek Bordeaux, plenty of food vendors, and prizes, games and fun for all. The Color Guard Presentation and big bounce houses are always a hit.

At the Pacific Symphony Concert, it’s all high energy with classics like the best of Michael Jackson. Made up of seven rockers led by James Delisco, the Pacific Symphony is also featured to help celebrate this most festive of holidays. It all opens with patriotic songs and ends with a massive fireworks show.

 

St. Paddy Day Celebrations

March 3rd, 2017

 

Whether you call it St. Paddy’s or St. Patrick’s Day, the Anaheim area knows how to celebrate the only raucous holiday of the spring. You can always warm up with St. Practice Day one week prior to the big event, with pub crawls scheduled in nearly every nearby beach from Huntington to Newport. That’ll have you ready for the big event March 17th with a full Saint Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl (each beach town hosts their own!).

The Venice Ale House St. Patrick’s Dance Party is a favorite, and you’re required to wear green for entry. The party spans across two venues at the Venice Beach Boardwalk including the Ale House and The Rose Room, with just $10 cover charges.

Get Your Green On

The local Queen Mary hosts the Shamrock ‘n’ Roll with Celtic entertainment in the Queen Salon, Royal Salon and Promenade Deck. Full of traditional Irish grub, drinks and music, you’ll enjoy trivia contests and costume contests at this 21+ event.

Other staples include the annual South Bay St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival, St. Patrick’s Day Hooley in San Pedro, and Rock & Reilly’s St. Patrick’s Day Block Party. No matter how you choose to celebrate, local Irish venues and organizations have you covered.

 

Celebrate Love in LA

February 10th, 2017

 

Whether you’re single or coupled up and on vacation in Anaheim, love is in the air. The Dollface Dames Monthly Magicopolis Burlesque Show features a special Valentine’s Day extravaganza on February 11th. Located in Santa Monica, the theater features stadium seating with incredible bartenders as attendees let fantasy take over.

Shows begin at 9:30 p.m., and magicians behind the bar will amuse you as the dollfaces prepare to entertain. VIP seating starts at 10:30 p.m., and the 80-minute show will amaze with singing, group numbers, and burlesque acts all designed around a red-and-pink, love-fueled holiday. The after party lets you meet and greet. VIP entrance is just $30, or you can upgrade to a party package with autographed swag and priority seating.

In the Mood …

True Pablove is an annual fundraiser designed to give you a night you’ll never forget. It’s another option for February 11th, with tickets for the gala starting at $75. Children are welcome at the Casa Vertigo venue as the Pablove Foundation kicks off the signature family event of the year.

Around 600 attendees of all ages come to the one-of-a-kind event for music, amazing food from local establishments, the silent auction, and the arts and crafts. Design Valentine’s Day cards and crafts, and spread the love knowing that in six years the Foundation has raised $600,000 to fight childhood cancer.

 

Lunar New Year Celebrations

January 16th, 2017

 

For many in the Anaheim area, the Lunar New Year on January 28th has to be celebrated at Disneyland. Much like recent holidays including New Year’s Eve and Christmas, Disney goes all out for this end-of-the-month celebration. Surprises are always in store, but you can also count on the gorgeous ornamental lanterns woven throughout the walls and pathways. Banners and signs that reach for the sky celebrate the holiday in English, Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean.

Entertainment for all ages is on grand display with authentic performers peppering the streets. Disney characters get in on the fun, too, dressed up in their own homage to the Lunar New Year. Swing by on January 28th, and get treated to some New Year fun Disney-style.

The Holidays Aren’t Over Yet

Unlike western NYE traditions, the Lunar calendar shifts each year. However, having the Lunar New Year fall on a Saturday is a real treat. You can also head to Los Angeles China Town for specials, celebrations and parades throughout late January and early February.

The LA Golden Dragon Parade is the biggest in southern California, a family-friendly event where you can enjoy the sights and sounds of China as a new year begins. Where will the Lunar New Year find you?