Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Must-Do With the Kids: Tubing at Mountain High

CC, the Mountain High yeti and me
Wow, where does the time go?

January — well, December and January — have flown by so quickly, but I wanted to tell you all about CC's and my day trip to Mountain High Resort for tubing!

It was an early morning (and, truthfully, should have been earlier), but the tubing park is so easy to get to from Los Angeles that you have to try it at least once this winter.

And don't worry. You still have time. While daily hours ended on January 3, the resort's North Pole Tubing Park is open Saturdays, Sundays and holidays through mid-March.

As I said, we headed out early — 7:15 a.m. — on our two-hour drive up through the Valley and desert, then east to Mountain High. The tubing park opens at 8:30 a.m., but I thought we could get there just after 9 a.m. and still have plenty of time to go tubing.

Well, just as a heads up, you should leave earlier.

CC at Mountain High North Pole Tubing Park
There are four sessions: 8:30 a.m.-10 a.m. ($20 adults; $15 kids); 10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. ($25 adults; $15 kids); 12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. ($25/$15); and 2:45 p.m.-4:45 p.m. ($25/$15).

We arrived at about 9:15 a.m., and I was hoping to get tickets for the 10:15 session, but it was already sold out! There were so many people already there! We barely made it into the 12:30 session.

So we hung out in the lodge and snacked on pizza and hot chocolate, moving outside by the pit fire when we wanted a chilly breeze.

Keep in mind that families aren't allowed to play in the snow surrounding the tubing lodge — a liability issue — which bummed out more than a few kids, including my own.

Once it was our time to hit the tubing slopes, we had so much fun sliding down one of the four tracks on sturdy tubes provided by the resort.

There was even a "magic carpet" flat escalator that takes tubers and their tubes back up the hill, so you don't arrive breathless and panting once you reach the top.

Ski slope selfie!
After we exhausted ourselves — and got a cute pic with the Mountain High yeti — we decided to head back home, catching a glimpse of the Mountain High ski slopes on the way.

So if you're looking for a quick glimpse of the snow without making a real road-trip commitment, definitely visit Mountain High for tubing. We were home by dinner time!

Mountain High Resort
24510 Highway 2
Wrightwood, CA 92397

Monday, January 4, 2016

Ringing in the New Year at Noon!

CC and Will make some noise at Discovery Cube Los Angeles!
Who knew a New Year's party could be jam-packed at noon?!

That's what happened last Thursday, Dec. 31 — aka, New Year's Eve, or Noon Year's Eve — at Discovery Cube Los Angeles.

Noon Year's Eve selfie!
CC, Will and I walked into the children's museum to find families packed in tight to join in the hands-on festivities and watch balloons drop at 12 p.m. instead of the not-so-kid-friendly 12 a.m.

Moms, dads and kids dressed as various superheroes were greeted with complimentary New Year's party hats and noise makers and were invited to take a fun photo at the green screen photo booth.

A DJ helps everyone rock out during the Noon Year's Eve party.
While a cool DJ spun some pop tunes, including CC's latest favorite song ("Drag Me Down" by One Direction), families explored everything from the Curious George exhibit to the Santa Ana wind machine and the Science of Hockey.

Not only that, but there were also special New Year's-themed exhibits on display.

There was a sensory experiment, in which kids held their noses while eating a jelly bean and then tried to guess the flavor. (Pretty hard when you clamp your nose!)

By far, CC and Will's favorite activity was the Alka-Seltzer rocket table. And the experiment was super-easy and something you can even do at home.

CC and Will make rockets out of Alka-Seltzer tablets and water.
The kids each received a plastic film container (not sure where you can get those in these digital days), but a little plastic tube with a cap would work. The activity director then poured a little water into the container, gave each child half of an Alka-Seltzer tablet and then asked them to place the cap on the tube and turn it upside down.

In a matter of seconds, each tube popped into the air, sometimes about 7 or so feet high. You can guess why the kiddos kept going back to that table!

And, of course, they loved the biggest highlight of all — the balloon drop and ginger ale toast at noon!

Check out my Instagram video below of the fun!
11800 Foothill Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 91342
Tickets: $17.95 (adults); $12.95 (kids). Children ages 2 and under are free.

(Disclosure: I am being compensated for my position as a #DiscoveryCubeMoms LA Ambassador. All opinions, however, are my own.)

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Must-Do With the Kids: L.A. County Holiday Celebration Tonight!


It's that amazing music-filled, dance-filled gorgeous Los Angeles tradition that will be filling up your Facebook feed tonight as Angelenos from all over L.A. County descend on the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for the Emmy Award-winning 56th Annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration!

Doors open today at 2:30 p.m. for the absolutely free concert that runs from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. downtown.

Be sure to get there early, as hundreds of people line up to catch the colorful and talented acts.

Tonight's lineup of L.A. County artists includes Invertigo Dance Theatre, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Citrus Singers, the Colburn Children's Choir and Young Men's Ensemble and many more!

Cas Anvar ("Olympus"), Marisa Ramirez ("Blue Bloods") and Brian White ("Scandal") will host!

And if you can't make it for the live performances, the celebration will be live streamed at pbssocal.org and will also air on PBS SoCal.

Enjoy!



The L.A. County Holiday Celebration

WHEN:
Thursday, Dec. 24 from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
• Doors open at 2:30 p.m.
• Entertainment on The Music Center plaza for those waiting in line begins at 12:30 p.m.
• Patrons may come and go throughout the three-hour performance.
• A live broadcast of the show airs from 3 p.m.  6 p.m. on PBS SoCal.
• Live streaming at pbssocal.org

WHERE:
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at The Music Center
135 N. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

HOW:
Information hotline: (213) 972-3099 or HolidayCelebration.org

ADMISSION:
FREE; no reservations or tickets to the show; first come, first seated

PARKING:
FREE in The Music Center parking garage


Monday, December 21, 2015

Countdown to Noon Year's Eve at Discovery Cube Los Angeles + *Giveaway*


For L.A. parents ready to ring in 2016 with the kiddos—that is, without keeping them up 'til midnight (or even 9 p.m. to catch the East Coast version), Discovery Cube Los Angeles is rocking Noon Year's Eve on December 30 and 31!

Will is gonna go crazy when he finds out that the celebration involves superheroes! In fact, families are encouraged to come in superhero costumes and join in the awesome superhero dance party while making superhero masks! Watch out for a baby Batman is all I'm saying!

Other activities include:
  • Countdowns & Balloon Drops (12pm and 2pm)
  • Ginger Ale Toasts
  • Green Screen Photo Booth Pictures
  • Hats and Horns to help celebrate the new year!
Remember to stop by on December 30 or 31, and watch the ball drop at 12 p.m. or 2 p.m. and toast the New Year with kid-friendly ginger ale!


***GIVEAWAY***

The Discovery Cube LA Mom Ambassadors are giving away 1 Annual Family Membership to Discovery Cube.

Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below:
 photo 44a57a0b-2f87-4389-8d77-c587a2c2ea4f.png

11800 Foothill Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 91342
Tickets: $10 for adults and kids through January 3, 2016. Kids ages 2 and under are free.

(Disclosure: I am being compensated for my position as a #DiscoveryCubeMoms LA Ambassador. All opinions, however, are my own.)

Image via Discovery Cube LA

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Must-Do With the Kids: LA Zoo Lights + *Giveaway*

L.A. Zoo Lights run through January 3, 2016
UPDATE: Congrats to Kayley, who won the 4 tickets to LA Zoo Lights! Please email me at losangelesstory@gmail.com, and I will send them your way!

Stop what you're doing right now, and plan a family trip to see the LA Zoo Lights!

The holiday attraction, which runs now through January 3, 2016, is fabulous fun for the whole family.

CC and I went on opening night, and there was literally a line around the side of the zoo. It is a super-popular event, so be sure and grab tickets soon—or enter my giveaway below!

Walking into the Los Angeles Zoo at night is absolutely magical. CC and I had never seen the zoo this late, and it felt that much more special to see one of our favorite LA attractions after dark.

The thousands upon thousands of LED lights were gorgeous, and I heard someone say they were even more spectacular than last year. (This was our first year to attend.)

LA Zoo Lights is open every night, except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays and 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Fridays-Sundays and Dec. 21 and 23.

CC and I at the LA Zoo Lights
From glittering light tunnels to clever light displays in the animal habitats to 3-D projections of animals, the presentation is vast and thrilling. Expect to see animated monkeys, a 130-foot coiled and glowing snake and a hillside of snowboarding lighted lizards. (Keep in mind, though, that many of the real animals are sleeping, so you will definitely run into a "Quiet Zone" or two.)

Flamingo lights at the LA Zoo
We even stopped by Reindeer Village, which was all decked out in colorful lights and featured a few reindeer to boot!

Reindeer Village
Don't forget to stop by Reindeer Romp and meet Velvet and his reindeer friends.

Reindeer at the Los Angeles Zoo
Special nights during LA Zoo Lights include Holiday Happy Hour on December 10 (tickets: $75). Grown-up guests can enjoy holiday cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, wine and beer along with VIP tickets.

Then there's Family New Year's Eve (tickets: $65 for adults and $40 for kids), which offers admission to LA Zoo Lights on December 31, a dinner buffet, carousel ride, crafts, a DJ dance party, cash bar and a champagne toast at 9 p.m. as the ball drops in Times Square.

Whatever you plan to do this holiday season, don't miss the LA Zoo Lights!

LA Zoo Lights (runs through January 3, except December 24-25)
6 p.m.-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays and 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Fridays-Sundays and Dec. 21 and 23.
5333 Zoo Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Tickets: $13/$16 (adults weekdays/weekends); $11/$14 (children weekdays/weekends); children under 2 are free

*** GIVEAWAY ***

I'm giving away 4 tickets to the LA Zoo Lights, courtesy of the Los Angeles Zoo!

To enter, leave a comment below, telling me your favorite part of the LA Zoo.

For more chances to win, share this giveaway on Twitter and/or Facebook. I'm at @la_story on Twitter and here on Facebook.

Just be sure to leave extra comments telling me you did so. 

Good luck, and I will announce the winner on Monday, December 14!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Getting Hands-on at the 'Science of Gingerbread' Exhibit

Guess who met up with Santa at Discovery Cube Los Angeles?
Christmas and all of its accompanying holiday fun could not get started fast enough this year! So the kiddos and I could not wait to deliver CC's gingerbread house creation to Discovery Cube Los Angeles' annual "Science of Gingerbread" competition—and check out the rest of the exhibit as well!

CC enters her creation!
After dropping off her gingerbread masterpiece, we went inside to check out all of the new, hands-on features that are part of the "Science of Gingerbread" exhibit, which runs through Jan. 3, 2016, at Discovery Cube LA.

First, we met up with Santa (pictured up top). I was so excited that Will was OK with sitting on Santa's lap. He can sometimes be wary of sitting on anyone's lap—including his parents'—so this was a big success.

Then we saw a gorgeous display of gingerbread houses that had been entered into the competition. People got so creative! Loved the oversized marshmallow pigs. We'll have to try those next year.


The kids also indulged in a little cookie decorating. (The next sessions will come this weekend.) Somehow they both managed to cover their faces in frosting, but hey, it was fun for them to pick the color of icing and sprinkles for their cookies, so why not?


CC and Will could not resist the Gingerbread Derby, which invites kids build their own race cars out of fun, edible materials like graham crackers, jelly beans, mints (for wheels) and gummy bears. Will, who has a total sweet tooth like his mom (ahem), basically just wanted to eat it until he realized that his car could actually move—and raced really well on the exhibit ramp.

CC and Will build their gingerbread race cars.
While this was our last activity for the day, there were plenty of other fun holiday-themed activities for kids to do.

They can also learn about chemistry in the kitchen—which ingredients dissolve more easily in water? There's also the Gingerbread Spice and Build a House Learning Stations and the Science of Snow Stage Show. Take a pic with Santa this weekend or between Dec. 19-24.

CC and Will show off—and start eating—their gingerbread cars.

We had a fantastic time, and the kiddos are already asking to go back!

Discovery Cube Los Angeles
The Science of Gingerbread (November 27-January 3)
11800 Foothill Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 91342
Tickets: $10 for adults and kids through January 3. Kids ages 2 and under are free.

(Disclosure: I am being compensated for this post in my position as a #DiscoveryCubeMoms LA Ambassador. All opinions, however, are my own.)

Monday, November 30, 2015

Singin' in the Rain Room at LACMA

Will and I in the "Rain Room" at LACMA
Tonight Will asked about "Rain Room." We were going through some of the videos on my phone, and he asked to see the one where he's walking through a room full of falling water but not getting wet.

Obviously, the LACMA exhibit we visited the weekend before Thanksgiving made quite an impression!

If you're an Angeleno and haven't yet snagged tickets to the popular exhibit, you'd better hurry! When we visited in mid-November, I was told that tickets were sold out into February. And the exhibit ends on March 6, 2016. (LACMA has included special extended weekend hours.)


"Rain Room," from Random International, is truly a marvel, and both Will and I were fascinated. You can literally walk under what seem like a million sprinklers, and not get wet. That is, unless you start running, and slip and fall, which is what Will did. (He got a little too excited.) Move slowly, and keep in mind that you're essentially walking over slick drains.

Besides, you'll want to take it all in. After all, because the tickets are timed, you should enjoy your 15 minutes to the fullest.



Visit LACMA.org for more information on "Rain Room" ticketing.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Phone: 323 857-6010

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