A Grinchmas Who-liday Celebration at Universal Studios Hollywood

I've been telling you all about the Holiday celebrations around town, but the celebrations at Universal Studios Hollywood are like no other.  When you visit Universal Studios from now until January 3rd, during select dates you can join in on the Who-liday celebrations in Universal Plaza. 

There is no way you can miss the 60 ft tall Grinchmas tree or any of the wonderful Who-ville Who's, and once you enter you have to make sure to stop, meet and talk to each Who that you see. 

Universal Studios has some of the best rides, shows and attractions and they hit it out of the park with Grinchmas. The transformation into Who-ville is amazing and there are so many fun activities and shows. You can sit and listen to Cindy Lou Who while she reads the Dr. Seuss classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas and see musical performances by The Who-liday Singers boy band and Marth May Who-vier and her Who Dolls. 

The 60 ft tall one-of-a-kind, curved Seuss-ian Grinchmas tree is beautiful all day long, but in the evening you have to see it light up. You can catch the tree lighting every 30 minutes which also ends in snowfall!   

Before you get in line to take a SUPER FUN photo with the Grinch or Max the Dog, here are some other activities the kids can enjoy.

  • Decorate and send a postcard at the Whoville post office. Which also serves to donate a book to your community as thanks from the Seuss family.
  • Design your own Grinch themed holiday ornament.
  • Decorate a cookie with frosting and other edible sweets. Purchase is required but worth it, it's a huge cookie. 

Meeting the Grinch is the definite highlight of all the Wholiday Wholibrations. He is just as you would expect him to be from the story, but better. He is great in person and full of fun and energy and really great at taking selfies. He asked my girls what their names were, read their post cards, and helped them put them in the mailbox before posing for our pictures. Such a great highlight for the holidays. 

We had so much fun celebrating the Who-lidays here and you and your family will too! Come out for the Grinchmas fun and stay for the rest. Don't miss the Minion Ride, Springfield, the 50th anniversary Studio Tour and the Fast and Furious Supercharged

Universal Studious Grinchmas is open select dates now through January 3, 2016! 

Oh and in case you haven't heard, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is set to open at Universal Studios Hollywood on April 7, 2016! 

Disclaimer: I was provided tickets for my family and I to attend Universal Studios to check out all of the Grinchmas fun so I can share with all of you. As always, all opinions are my own.

Ring in the Holidays at Knott's #MerryFarm

Knott's Merry Farm season has begun and it has officially bought the holidays to Southern California! This season is all about spending time with the people you love and cherishing the memories, what better place to do that than Knott's Merry Farm? There is so much to see and do for the whole family. Keep reading to hear about the fun you can look forward to. 

The entire park is decorated beautifully for the holidays and it only get's better at night when all the lights come on and everything glows.  I love to find all of the cool ways that the park transforms into Merry Farm.  Keep an eye out while in Camp Snoopy, you can see how they transformed Lucy's 'Psychiatric Help' booth into a 'Mistletoe Testing' kissing booth and of course, Snoopy's house is covered in snow. 

A definite must when visiting Knott's Merry Farm is the 'Merry Christmas, Snoopy!' Ice Show at the Charles M. Schulz Theater. Not only is it super fun to watch Snoopy skate and dance around,  but all of the Christmas songs and stories the skaters tell will touch your heart and put you in the holiday spirit. 

Although I enjoy all of the ice show, here are my three favorite parts.

  • Snoopy does a mean Single Lady dance! 
  • I cry every time I see the "I'll be home for Christmas" act.
  • I get the chills when Linus comes out and gives his famous Christmas speech. 

Of course, I can't forget about the snowfall during the show. One of my favorite moments from Knott's Merry Farm, is looking over at my daughter's faces as they look up to catch the snow. 

There are a lot of Santa's around during the holidays, but my favorite can only be found at Knott's Merry Farm's Santa's Christmas Cabin. For the past two years, my girls have looked forward to telling Santa in person, what they want most for Christmas.  

#MerryFarm_2015_5.jpg

As you can tell from the photos, Santa not only takes the time to ask each child what they want for Christmas, but he also tells them to be on their best behavior so they can make sure to be on the Nice list. 

After having their photo taken with Santa, we were ready to enjoy some warm delicious holiday treats. While in Santa's Christmas Cabin you will find hot chocolate, cookies and milk or eggnog, chocolate dipped desserts, and yes, that big yummy Snoopy cookie! Both cute and delicious! 

I was so happy to finally take a ride on the classic Christmas on Engine 41. The steam engine train that runs throughout all of Knott's Berry Farm  is 143 years old and as we sat in an open air car in the back, we were greeted by some very entertaining bandits. After saying he was seeing double when looking at my daughters in their matching dresses, one of the bandits offered his pistol to my husband, saying he'll be sure to need it. Haha! 

Everything glows so beautifully at night while on the Engine 41 tour of Knott's. 

We were all so excited to head over to Calico town square to be there for Snoopy's Merriest Tree Lighting ceremony. The show is about 10 minutes of dancing and story telling with Mrs. Claus, a couple of elves, Snoopy's very grand entrance and the Peanuts gang of course.  The crowd cheers when Santa Claus himself shows up and brings a family on to the stage to help switch the lights on. 

After the countdown, the Christmas tree lights up and snow begins to fall over everyone in the town square. You can also find snow fall throughout Ghost Town and glowing snowflakes on all of the buildings. I just love all of the holiday magic that surrounds everyone at Knott's Merry Farm. After our visit and all of the memories that were made, I feel full of the holiday spirit. 

You have from now until January 3rd to experience and create your own memories at Knott's Merry Farm. You can purchase your 2016 Season Passes here for a great low price that includes one visit that you can use this year, for Merry Farm or Knott's NYE! 

What are you waiting for? Get out and make those memories with your family too. Happy Holidays! 

Win Two Tickets to Knott’s Family Friendly 2015 NYE Celebration! #KnottsNYE

Disclosure: My family and I were invited by GigaSavvy to a media day at Knott's Berry Farm just so I can share with you all the awesomeness they have going on. Please note, all opinions are 100% mine. 

The end of the year is just around the corner and before you know it, it'll be time to make plans for New Year's Eve! This year went by so fast, just last year we spent New Year's Eve together as a family at Knott's Berry Farm, although we didn't make it to midnight with the littles, we still had a blast. 
The fun starts at 10am and ends in the wee hours of the morning, at 1am. It’s the perfect family friendly event to get your New Year off to a fun start!

Put on your party hats and get ready to ring in the New Year at Knott's family-friendly New Year’s Eve event that offers something for everyone! Although we spend most of our time in Camp Snoopy, we can't wait to have more fun celebrating all of the holiday fun at Knott's Merry Farm. Knott’s is a fun and safe options for families who want to ring in the New Year together. Extended park hours, live entertainment, and a fireworks display are all included in the price of regular park admission! And if you have a 2015 Season Pass the value is even better, because each 2015 Season Pass includes one FREE visit in 2014 that can be used on New Year’s Eve! 

Win Two Tickets to Knott’s Family Friendly 2015 NYE Celebration!

Please Like and Follow Knotts Berry Farm on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram 
and
Like and Follow ME (kindasillymommy) on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and then
 come back and leave me a comment with your email address. 
 or use the Rafflecopter widget below, winner will be announced on December 24, 2014.


Grinchmas: A Wholiday Wholibration at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Disclosure: I was invited to attend the media preview of the Grinchmas tree lighting at Universal Studios. 

It’s that magical time of year again for

Universal Studios Hollywood

to ring in the holiday season! The Entertainment Capital of L.A. will Cel-Who-brate with the 20 Days of “Grinchmas,” including family activities like Who-bilicious Cookie Dec-Who-rating and Story Time with Cindy Lou Who. Universal CityWalk will also deck the hall with free concerts, nightly snowfall and special appearances by Santa Claus!

Grinchmas

 runs weekends on December 6-7, and 13-14, then continues daily from December 19, 2014 through January 3, 2015. The 60 foot tall tree is a spectacle to be adored by all who visit, the perfectly imperfect colorful tree topped with a ginormous star is straight out of the classic book and movie. Universal Studios has done a wonderful job of recreating the magic from the timeless family favorite.

 The Whoville Whos are the most friendly people you will ever meet! Every time I turned around, a character was chatting up my daughters asking them their name and age, and reminding them to make sure to be good for Christmas.

Grinchmas

 offers a variety of fun activities designed to create long lasting memories for the whole family: 

  • Who-ville Post Office – Visitors will have a chance to partake in the “Grow Your Hearts 3 Sizes” campaign when they share their good deeds on a postcard and mail them to The Grinch. In return, Random House Children’s Books, the publishers of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, will pay it forward by donating a book to a child in need through First Book on behalf of the sender. 
  • Trim up the Tree Lot – Guests can design and personalize their own “Grinchmas” ornaments to help decorate the venue’s other “Grinchmas” trees or take them home as a keepsake.
  • Who-bilicious Cookie Dec-Who-rating – Freshly baked, ginger bread cookies will be available for purchase, and guests can create their very own amazing treats with an assortment of delectable frostings and tasty toppers.
  • Story Time with Cindy Lou Who – Cindy Lou Who and her Who friends will gather guests of all ages – tall and small—for an engaging storytelling show of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, featuring special effects and audience participation.

The holiday season is the perfect time to visit

Universal Studios Hollywood

not just for the fun rides like the new Minion Mayhem, but 

Grinchmas!

 is included in the price of admission to the park. Make sure to check out the world-famous behind-the-scenes Studio Tour, where fans of the blockbuster film, “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” can enjoy a close-up view of the original Who-ville film sets and a one-of-a-kind performance by unforgettable Who-ville Whos re-enacting popular scenes and songs from the family favorite.

A New Holiday Tradition #LAZooLights

Disclosure: My family was provided media passes to preview #LAZooLights. All opinions and photos are 100% mine.
We are proud members of the L.A. Zoo and it is one of our favorite places to visit all year round. During the holiday season you can visit the L.A. Zoo and take the kiddos to see real live reindeer and Santa Claus on select days during Reindeer Romp. And this year the L.A. Zoo has an all-new holiday light experience that combines spectacular sets and lighting design with the enchanting environment of the L.A. Zoo. Stroll through areas of the Zoo that are transformed into a fantastical wonderland populated by glowing light animals. View real reindeer, visit with Santa (on select dates), and enjoy holiday treats and goodies, all under the stars. It’s a truly unique holiday experience that the whole family will cherish. 

 Our first stop was, as it always is, Reggie the Alligator. The lighting everywhere in the zoo from the entrance on is just breathtaking. 
So much of the L.A. Zoo is transformed like you've never seen it before. The artistry in the lighting and decorations provide such a unique experience. For the best guest experience, ticket times are staggered. When purchasing tickets, you’ll select a date and time – 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 or 9:00pm.
Admission Rates
Adults (ages 13+): $13*
Children (ages 2-12): $11*
Under 2: Free
GLAZA Member Discount: $1 off with promo code**
Group Rate (15-49 guests): $11/person*

Online-Only Early Bird Special

$8 Per Person*
For attendance Nov 28 – Dec 11
(Children under 2 free)

*Price does not include online convenience fee

**GLAZA Members receive their promo code for online purchases Dec 12-Jan 4 via email. If you are a Member and haven’t received yours, call 323-644-4747.

Admission for this all-ages evening program is separate from daytime general Zoo admission. No live animals other than reindeer will be on display during event times.
If you are looking for a fun night out for you and the family, L.A. Zoo Lights is the perfect time to get bundled up, walk around looking at the beautiful lighting, and have some warm holiday treats like hot chocolate and warm churros. 

Make sure to like the L.A. Zoo on Facebook and Follow on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date on the happenings. 



The Holidays Are Here, Knott's #MerryFarm Is Now Open!

Disclosure: My family and I were invited by GigaSavvy to a media day at Knott's Berry Farm just so I can share with you all the awesomeness they have going on. Please note, all opinions are 100% mine. 

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know how much we love Snoopy and how excited we were for Knott's Merry Farm to start off the holidays this year. Knott's Merry Farm is the perfect place for families to make memories while experiencing fun attractions and holiday cheer. From November 22 through January 4, 2015, visitors are invited to experience all that Knott's Berry Farm has to offer as well as some extra holiday excitement including new shows, snow, food and holiday decor. Keep on reading to find out some more fun details. 

There was a lot of excitement in our house when we prepared for #MerryFarm this year. My girls already love the rides in Camp Snoopy and when I mentioned to them that they would be able to meet Santa and watch an Ice Show, then they were just over the moon excited. Little did they know, that was just the tip of the excitement that was coming their way.  

During Knott's #MerryFarm the Wilderness Dance Hall in Ghost Town transforms into Santa's Christmas Cabin and trust me when I tell you, the whole place smells delicious. Everything here is freshly baked and you can taste all of the limited time holiday treats like Milk and Cookies, Pastries, Candied nuts, Egg Nog and Coffee. That chocolate chip cookie was right out of the oven and clearly, brought a smile to my little ones face. 

Meeting with Santa is a must every year when the little ones are this little, and I was so happy that the #MerryFarm Santa (also located in Santa's Christmas Cabin) lived up to our very high expectations. Santa took the time to ask each of the kids what they wanted for Christmas and mentioned that they should be good boys and girls. And to be honest, that is exactly what my littlest needed to hear. 

One of the Holiday traditions at #MerryFarm that I sadly missed was the Christmas on Engine 41. I  need to go back and check out the fun vintage train ride I heard so much about. I am still hoping to gift our family with Season Passes to Knott's so we can go back and see everything we missed.

While visiting #MerryFarm this year, make sure not to miss the "Merry Christmas, Snoopy!" Ice show at the Charles M. Shulz Theater. The look on my daughters face when the snow began to fall is something I'll never forget. The ice dancers were all so amazing and talented and honestly I got a little emotional when the dancers performed to the song, "I'll be home for Christmas" and when Linus came out and gave his speech about the true meaning of Christmas.  

Photo courtesy of Alma Bosek of FieldTripMom

I missed all the showtimes while running around but of course the Camp Snoopy Theatre has a fun show Lucy's Wish List, perfect for the kids to sing and dance along to. I've only shared some of the holiday highlights that Knott's #MerryFarm has to offer and you have to visit and make some of your own memories. 

Don't forget to buy your 2015 Season Pass now and receive one free admission this year and of course unlimited visits in 2015 with no blackout dates. Oh and since we are talking about next year, which is just around the corner, get ready to experience the brand new interactive 4-D attraction, Voyage to the Iron Reef, in spring 2015.

So tell me: What are you most looking forward to at #MerryFarm this year?

A Holiday Must Do: The Queen Mary's CHILL!


I'm always looking for fun stuff to do or share about around Southern California, and I am very excited to tell you about The Queen Mary’s CHILL, opening on November 21. New in 2014, all CHILL guests can enjoy unlimited access to The Ice Kingdom, ice tubing, ice skating with skate rentals and a visit on the Queen Mary ship with the purchase of general admission tickets. I can't believe I've never been to the Queen Mary and it's only a 20 minute drive from me. 
The Ice Kingdom is kept at a chilling 9-degrees Fahrenheit to preserve the glistening ice sculptures. Public parkas are available, and guests are encouraged to bring their own jackets, hats and gloves to stay warm while inside the giant igloolike exhibit. 
A holiday experience like no other, CHILL tickets start at $39.99 for adults and $29.99 for kids (ages 4-11). Tickets include entrance to The Ice Kingdom, ice skating and skate rental, ice tubing and access to the Queen Mary ship. Lodging packages are also available. CHILL will be open Nov. 21-30, Dec. 2-7, Dec. 9-Jan. 4 and Jan. 8-11. CHILL sponsors include The Port of Long Beach, Hawaiian Host, YP, Coca-Cola, Heineken and Finlandia. For more information, including hours or to purchase tickets online, visit http://www.queenmary.com/events/chill/.

Celebrate the Holidays at the LA Zoo!

It is officially that time of the year! Christmas time is upon us and Santa and his reindeer have arrived at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens! The LA Zoo is creating a one-of-a-kind holiday wonderland this year, with the return of the popular Reindeer Rompthe only opportunity to see real reindeer in Los Angeles – as well as decorations and holiday-themed arts and crafts. Santa Claus will be at the Zoo every weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas for photos and of course, present requests.
Here are my girls meeting Mr. and Mrs. Claus for the first time. Santa was pretty awesome because he told my daughters to brush their teeth, pick up their toys, and be good listeners. Thanks Santa, I could use all the help I could get.  
After hanging out with Santa, you can walk over and meet Noel, Belle, Velvet and Jingle. Four incredibly sweet, real reindeer, on hiatus from the North Pole.

Here is some more information on the holiday celebrations going on at the LA Zoo! 


WHAT: Come say hi to Santa and his reindeer, along with festive animal enrichment activities, holiday decorations, and arts and crafts.



WHEN: The visiting reindeer, named Belle, Jingle, Noel, and Velvet, will be on view every day from Tuesday, Nov. 26 through Thursday, January 2. 

Santa Claus visits and photos, holiday crafts, and engaging animal activities will take place on Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 30 through Dec. 22. 

The Los Angeles Zoo is open on Thanksgiving Day and closed on Christmas Day.



WHERE: Los Angeles Zoo, 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027 



COST: The Reindeer Romp and other holiday activities are free with Zoo admission or GLAZA membership. 
*Professional portraits with Santa are available for an additional fee.

Zoo Admission is $18 for adults; $13 for children 2-12; $15 for seniors 62 and up. 
Admission is free for GLAZA members and children under two. 


INFO: For more information, visit www.lazoo.org/reindeerromp.


One thing we always have to do during a visit to the LA Zoo is to stop by the carousel. It is so ornate and during this time of year the carousel along with other areas are beautifully decorated and transformed into a SoCal Winter Wonderland. 
During this visit we were lucky enough to go on a guided tour. We had an amazing guide named Myra who taught us so much new information about all of the animals. (The handsome young man in the center picture belongs to fellow blogger Ruth over at SoCalPocketMemories.) I totally recommend going on a guided tour, the information you will learn is just invaluable. 
 One of the best parts of celebrating the holidays at the LA Zoo is watching all of the different animals open their own wrapped presents with special treats inside. 

So, if you are looking for something fun to do this holiday season, you should definitely visit the LA Zoo, there is always a ton of fun things to do and see!