Monday, December 31, 2007

Muzeo - Southern California's Newest Museum

MUZEO Center for Arts Located in the new Anaheim downtown the Muzeo complex includes Anaheim’s original 1908 library (above picture) and a new building with over 5,000 square foot of display room. The museum will feature a variety of changing exhibitions throughout the yer. The current display is Imperial Rome: Discovering The Ancient Civilization.Muzeo Anaheim California Operation hours are Hours: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. 7 days a week. The admission fees for the Imperial Rome Exhibition are: Adults: $12.95, Children 4-12: $9.95. Look for a lot more interesting exhibits from this new museum in 2008. Location 241 S Anaheim Boulevard, Anaheim, CA 92805 714.95.MUZEO
Muzeo Anaheim

Friday, December 28, 2007

'First Night Fullerton's' the place for kids and family on New Year's Eve!

The 17th Annual “First Night Fullerton” New Year's festivities are all about fun and families. “First Night” is the city’s annual New Year’s Eve party, offering family-oriented, alcohol-free activities at numerous locations in the streets, sidewalks and buildings in Fullerton’s historic downtown. A 10-minute fireworks finale will cap the celebration at midnight. The festivities begin at 7 p.m., and admission is free. Some of the entertainers on hand will be: Bubba and the Big Bands Blues, The Phunkateers, Street Bear, Spare Change and Cali B-Boys- break dancing group. Bring the kids for this fun safe New Year's Celebration in Fullerton. The main stage is on Wilshire street between Harbor and Pomona street.

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Southern California New Years Eve Celebration

California New Year
New York is going to have some competition this year. Orange County has it's very own ball drop. The big bash is being held at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine, California. Three stages, Rock Star Ultra Lounge, roaming performers and airial show girls will keep the crowd entertained. If you are looking for a change from the typical dinner and night outor house party then the Orange County New Years Eve is for you. Tickets run from $40.00 (General Admission) to $150.00 (VIP tickets).
OC Drop 2008

The Simpsons Ride - Universal Studios Hollywood

The Simpson's
The Simpsons ride will replace "Back to the Future" and is due to open at Universal Studios Hollywood in Spring 2008. "Guests will be rocketed along with the Simpson family on a hysterical, almost unimaginable adventure. They'll experience a side of Springfield previously unexplored as they enjoy the new rides interpretation of the thrill rides, dark rides and "live" shows that make up a new fantasy amusement park dreamed up by the shows cantankerous Krusty the Clown." Universal Studios and all of the other major amusement parks in California are investing millions of dollars to add new rides and attractions. Replacing the aging Back to the Future ride with the new Simpsons Ride is sure to bring in the crowds. The Back to the Future ride closed on September 3.
Read hundreds of reviews about Universal Studios Hollywood

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Fess Parker Winery

Fess Parker Winery Fess Parker's Winery is located in the wine country of the Santa Ynez Valley near Santa Barbara, California. Wine tasting is $8.00 per person and you get to keep the glass. Average of 6 wines poured for each tasting. Tasting room and visitor center are open 10 AM until 5 PM Monday- Sunday. Grapes are harvested from vineyards throughout Santa Barbara wine county to make Fess Paker wines.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Irvine Regional Park

Irvine Park Railroad Irvine Regional Park in Orange County, California is a great family destination. The park has a train ride, paddle boats bike rentals, Orange County Zoo, loads of picnic areas and miles of trail to explore. If your looking for a fun place to take the kids for a day in Southern California Irvine Park is the place. The park contains some of the oldest Coast Live Oaks in Orange and has been a favorite place for Californians to visit for over 100 years. A four mile equestrian trail skirts the perimeter of the central park providing scenic views of the park and it's natural scenery. Horse trailers can be parked on the north perimeter of the train station parking lot. A lookout trail is on the north slope of the natural area where a covered shelter, watering trough and water fountain are available. Group picnic areas can be reserved and the Irvine Park Railroad offers kids birthday packages. Have a fun day at the park. Irvine Park

Monday, December 24, 2007

Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Grauman's Chinese Theatre is located in the heart of Hollywood California. The 1927 vintage theatre is most famous for it's courtyard, where the stars have placed their foot and hand prints in cement. At one time Grauman's hosted the annual Academy Award ceremonies. Today the Academy Award ceremonies are hosted next door at the new Kodak Theatre.
Foot prints of the starsThe outdoor courtyard is open 24 hours a day but it is best to visit during the day or early evening. Half-hour guided walking tour of the theatre are now offered Adults are $5 (and kids under 5 are free). Grauman's Chinese Theatre should be on the top of your list when visiting Hollywood, California. Grauman's Chinese Theatre 6925 Hollywood Boulevard Hollywood, CA.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Kelso Depot Visitor Center

Kelso Depot The restored Kelso Depot is now the visitor center for the Mojave National Preserve. This once busy train station housed the Kelso Clubhouse & Restaurant which served passenger trains and the nearby Kaiser’s Vulcan mine. The Kelso Depot's function as a train stop ended in 1962, although the restaurant and boarding rooms were still in use. Finally in 1985 the building was closed completely.

Kelso Clubhouse & Restaurant
The Depot passed into the hands of the National Park Service and renovation began in 2002. The building reopened to the public as the new visitor center for Mojave National Preserve in October, 2005. Open All Year Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 20 miles north of Interstate 40 on Essex and Black Canyon Roads.

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Top Ten California Amusement Parks

California Amusement Park

California theme parks are famous the world over. These parks are our top picks for California fun. We have included both northern and southern California attractions. Most of the major parks are in the south but the north has a couple of excellent choices for your entertainment. California amusement parks offer fun filled days for the entire family. To save money on entrance fees look for special offers and discounts. Several of the parks offer reduced rates for California residents.

10. Magic Mountain - If you like roller coasters this is the park for you. with 14 wild coasters, including the world's tallest, fastest and longest flying coaster yo are going to have a full day of fun. Magic mountain is also adding lots of kid friendly rides so don't forget to bring the little ones. Six Flags Magic Mountain
26101 Magic Mountain Parkway Valencia, CA 91355

9. Discovery Kingdom - Formerly called Six Flags Marine World. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is a combination wildlife park, theme park, and oceanarium. The 136-acre park has something for everyone. Attractions include coaster's, a killer whale show and feeding and petting dolphins and stingrays. Located 30 miles northeast of San Francisco in Vallejo.

8. Monterey Bay Aquarium - While not an amusement park the Monterey Bay Aquarium is defiantly a fascinating place to visit. The centerpiece of the aquarium is a 33-foot high tank with California coastal marine life. Another favorite is the million-gallon shark tank. The aquarium is located on Cannery Row in Monterey, California.

7. Knott's Berry Farm - Not quite the sleepy ghost town it used to be. Cedar Fair Entertainment Company has transformed the farm into a major ride park. Each year Cedar Fair adds at least one new thrill ride. Camp Snoopy is a favorite for the kids at this Buena Park, California amusement park.

6. San Diego Wild Animal Park - The 1800 acres in Northern San Diego County allow 3500 animals to live in conditions that reproduce their natural habitats. For anyone visiting the San Diego area, the Wild Animal Park is an attraction not to be missed.

5. Legoland - A very family oriented park geared toward younger children. The rides are a little tamer but still offer some good thrills. Located in Carlsbad California midway between San Diego and Los Angeles.

4. San Diego Zoo - One of the worlds best zoos with hundreds of different animals to view. The San Diego Zoo is centrally located, adjacent to downtown San Diego, in Balboa Park. The Zoo is a must see for any visitor to Southern California.

3. Sea World - Numerous attractions, exhibits and shows, including the famous Shamu killer whale show. Sea world has added several new rides in the last couple of years. Located in San Diego's Mission Bay park plan on having a full day of fun.

2. Universal Studios - Thrill rides, shows, and the studio tour. Universal studios Hollywood is a experience you'll remember forever. The back stage studio tour is worth the price of admission, but there is so much more to see you could spend several days at this fantastic amusement park. 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, California.

1. Disney Resort - Coming in at number one the Disney Resort with it's two theme parks, California Adventure and the original Disneyland. The Disney Resort is the most visited amusement park in California. Most people head to the original Disneyland park first then hop over to California Adventure. Visit one or both for an adventure you will want to repeat again and again.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Knott's Pony Express Ride

Knott's Pony Express Ride
Construction has begun on the Pony Express ride at Knot's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California. The ride designed and manufactured by the Zamperla company of Vicenza, Italy will be in the Berry Farm's Ghost Town area. Riders will sit on 16 teamed horses as they travel the 1,300 foot route which will take them past Boot Hill and Big Foot Rapids. Passengers will have to be 48 inches tall to ride. Pony Express is due to open on Memorial Day Weekend 2008. The ride will be similar to the Zamperla Motocoaster in this video.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Empire Mine State Historic Park

 Empire Mine State Historic Park The Empire mine was the largest, and richest gold mine in California. Empire Mine State Historic Park preserves many of the original buildings of the mine and has 12 miles of trails for hikers to explore. Entrance fees are only $3.00 for adults over 16,$1.00 for children. Tours of the mineyard and Grounds & Gardens are availble. weather permitting. for $1.50. Future plans call for an underground tours with some of the construction already completed. Take time to visit this historic mine and learn about the history of the golden State.The Park is located in Grass Valley California, the heart of the gold country. The mine on Empire Street which is a well marked exit on Route 49.

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Burney Falls State park

Burney Falls State park 129-foot Burney Falls is located in Northen California northeast of Redding. Burney Falls was named after pioneer settler Samuel Burney who lived in the area in the 1850s. The falls are considered one of the most beautiful in the state of California. New in 2007 are 24 insulated cabins. Now you can enjoy the forest from the comfort of a cabin. The campground also can hold larger RV's and has 121 campsites. The park is northeast of Redding, six miles north of Highway 299 on Highway 89 near Burney.

Mission San Antonio de Pala

Mission San Antonio de Pala Mission San Antonio de Pala is located in the San Diego back country. Founded by father Antonio Peyrei on June 13, 1816. The Mission is the only one of the original Spanish California Mission's which still serves Native American Indians. Just about half a mile from the mission you will find what is keeping the natives busy these days, Pala casino. The mission is well worth a visit, the gardens are beautiful and very inspiring. There is also a small museum which displays artifacts from the early history of the mission. A small donation of two dollars is charged to view the garden and museum. This whole area is very rich in scenery and makes a very pleasant drive in the country. 3015 Mission road, Pala California
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Bates Nut Farm Christmas Trip

Bates Nut Farm
It's still not too late to head out to Bates Nut Farm for some Christmas Shopping. The farm is all decorated for the holidays and the store is full of great gift ideas. You can find a selection of holiday boxes and baskets that are sure to please any one. The back room is filled with the finest holiday decorations and the farmers boutique has many unique gift choices. Bates farm is a great day trip from just about anywhere in Southern California and the Indian resorts of San Diego are only a few miles away. Stock up on goodies at the farm then head down the road and to the Indian resort hotels for one of the excellent buffet lunches. Directions: Take Hwy 78 east to city of Escondido. Freeway will end at Broadway. Turn right on Broadway, go 2 traffic lights to Washington. Turn left on Washington and travel 3 miles to the traffic light at Valley Parkway. Turn left on Valley Parkway, continue 6 miles - it will go up hill gradually.After you reach the top of the hill, at first traffic light - Woods Valley Road, turn right. Continue on Woods Valley Road for approximately 3.5 miles. Bates Nut Farm is on the left.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Burro Schmidt Tunnel

Burro Schmidt Tunnel Burro Schimidt labored for thirty two years digging the 2000 foot tunnel through Copper Mountain. His dream was to haul ore through the tunnel to the smelter in Mojave. Before the tunnel was finished a rail line extended from Mojave making the tunnel obsolete. The Burro Schmidt Tunnel is listed on National Register of Historic Places and is located in Kern County, California near Garlock. GPS 35°24.62′N, 117°52.55′W. Directions to Burro Schmidt’s Tunnel and the cabins. Drive about nine miles up a dirt road that intersects Highway 14 north of Red Rock Canyon State Park, about 35 miles north of the community of Mojave. Watch closely there is a sign pointing out the start of the dirt road. High clearance vehicles recommended.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Point Reyes Lighthouse

Point Reyes Lighthouse About seventy miles north of San Francisco is the Point Reyes Lighthouse. There is a small visitors center with interesting information and facts about the 1870 lighthouse. A winding pathway leads down to the lighthouse from the visitors center. Warning signs advise you about the 300 steps you need to travel down to the lighthouse. Going down is not too bad but climbing back up is not for everyone. On a clear day you get breathtaking views of Farallon Islands and the Pacific Ocean below. This rugged section of California coast is part of the Point Reyes National Seashore covering approximately 71,000 acres. The lighthouse and surrounding area make a great day trip from the San Francisco area.
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Monday, December 10, 2007

Free Places to go in Orange County California

If your running a little low on funds after all the Christmas Shopping try one of these free Southern California places to visit.

1. San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary - Take a quite stroll around the miles of trails. You will be amazed that such a tranquil places exists just a mile from the busy freeway. Free admission and parking. Irvine California Map

2. Nix Nature Center is the gateway to Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. Take a walk to Barbara's Lake or a hike up Little Sycamore Canyon. Free admission and parking with lots of picnic tables. Located in Laguna Canyon. Map

3.Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center - On a hill overlooking the Newport Back Bay the center has hands-on learning activities and displays about life in and around an estuary. Free parking and admission. Map

Adventure City

Adventure City The little Theme Park Good news ! Adventure City's 10-acre lot along Beach Blvd had been sold to a developer for condominiums. Due to the soft real estate market the deal has fallen through. The little amusement park will continue operation along with Hobby City's other tenants. The property owner would still like to develop the property or sell it outright. But at this time there is no immediate need to close Adventure city. The little parks future is still uncertain so take a day to visit Hobby City, The Doll & Toy Museum and Adventure City. Visit this Southern California landmark soon. Take the kids and enjoy!
The Little Theme Park

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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Zoomars Children's Petting Zoo

Zoomars Petting Zoo Zoomars petting zoo is located just a few minutes form .
Mission San Juan Capistrano. For more than 25 years Zoomars used to be Jones Mini-Farm. Admission was free and they charged you a dollar for food you could feed to the farm animals. The Jones Farm was a nice little trip you could take your kids on that was inexpensive and fun for them. In 2005 the Jones sold the farm to Carolyn and Omar Gonzalez who had plans to turn the farm into a 1800s country fair or carnival. Due to problems with the San Juan Capistrano planning commission the project has been scaled back to keeping the farm a petting zoo. They have adding some new attractions: train ride, pony rides and kids birthday parties and cleaned up the look of the place. The down side to all these improvements is now you have to pay for everything. Five dollars entrance, two dollar train rides, three dollar train rides, and don't forget the animal food. Operating the farm is not cheap so all the added costs are expected. All in all this is a fun place to take the kids for a day or host a birthday party. Zoomars is one block from the train station so if you combine the zoo with a train ride you will have one excited kid on your hands. Zoomars Children's Petting Zoo

Friday, December 07, 2007

Dana Point Harbor Christmas Boat Parade

Christmas Boat Parade
Dana Point's Christmas Boat Parade kicks off December 7 and 8 and a follow up parade is on December 14 and 15. The parade starts at waters edge 6:30 pm and continues until 9:30 pm. This years parade theme is "A Merry Mardi Gras". Awards are given by judges for various categories including: Best Use of Lights, Best Animation, Most Colorful, Most Original, Best Sailboat and many more. You can view the parade from anywhere in the harbor or reserve a seat at one of the restaurants. Bundle up the family and friends and head to Dana Point Harbor for a Christmas celebration. For more information call or Harbor Info line at (949) 923-2255.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Roaring Camp Railroad

Roaring Camp Railroad The Roaring Camp train takes you on a winding narrow gauge track up Bear Mountain to the summit. You ride in open air cars under a canopy off towering redwood trees. No words can describe the magical experience you feel as your ride through this ancient forest. The train engineer stops the train for about ten minutes at the top of Bear Mountain so passengers can wonder around the huge redwood trees. Roaring Camp's steam engines are original 1890 locomotives and were once used haul redwood logs out of the mountains. Today the only thing they haul are excited visitors of all ages. The Roaring Camp Railroad gives you a chance to see a virgin stand of coastal redwoods while traveling on one of the oldest regularly scheduled passenger trains in America.
Roaring Camp Railroad

Santa Cruz Boardwalk

Santa Cruz Boardwalk Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is the oldest beach front amusement park on the west coast. Since 1907 this historic boardwalk park has thrilled millions of happy visitors. The main attraction, the world famous Giant Dipper roller coaster is a California State Historic Landmark. The Boardwalk also has classic carousel, built in 1911, which has 342-pipe band organ to play music to the riders. Admission to the park is free and the views of Monterey Bay are spectacular. The Santa Cruz Boardwalk is a classic example of an early California beach amusement park. The boardwalk is also the starting point for
Santa Cruz beach train.The beach train take you on a three hour trip from the Santa Cruz Beach up the San Lorenzo River Gorge to Roaring Camp. With it's beach front location and entertaining rides and attractions the Santa Cruz Boardwalk will please visitors of all ages.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Pacific Park Santa Monica Pier

Pacific Park Pacific Parks is the only amusement park on the west coast located on a pier. Admission is free which is just about unheard of these days. The park has 12 rides which do charge for tickets plus the usual midway games and a miniature golf course. The signature ride, Pacific Wheel takes riders nine stories high above the Pacific Ocean and is the world's first solar-powered Ferris wheel. Kids will have fun at "Kids Cove" while adults can ride the only west coast steel roller coaster located on a pier. Park Hours: 12pm - 7pm. Weather permitting. Call(310) 260-8744 for current hours of operation. Take a trip to the beach and enjoy some good old fashion fun on the pier. Pacific Park Santa Monica Pier

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Mavericks Surf Contest

With huge waves hitting Northern California the Mavericks surf competition window is set to open this Friday. The contest runs for a period of three to four months. During that time surfers are on-call. When conditions are right competitors are given 24 hours to get to Half Moon Bay for the start of the competition. Mavericks Surf Ventures will offer live, free Web cast of each heat and the opportunity to watch the event for free on the jumbo screens at AT&T Park. For those who want to view the event in person expect large crowds and minimal parking. Two designated parking lots will be established — one on the tarmac at the Half Moon Bay Airport and one in the upper parking lot at Pillar Point Harbor. $75,000 in prize money is up for grabs for the top six surfers.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade

Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade
The Newport Beach Christmas boat parade starts on Wednesday December 12 and runs through December 16. The parade's starting point is on Collins Island and it begins at 6:30 PM. For five nights viewers will be treated to brightly decorated boats of all sizes cruising 14 miles around the harbor. Arrive early to secure a spot at the best parade viewing areas. Another option is to reserve dinner at one of the many restaurants overlooking the bay. This years parade is 99th parade and is rated as one of the top ten Christmas boat parades in the country. Bundle up warm and get in the Christmas spirit while viewing this wonderful Christmas parade.

Living Desert Zoo - Wild Lights

Living Desert Zoo
Over 350,000 twinkling Christmas lights will be shinning at the park after dark to kick off the holiday season. Traditional holiday scenes, North American and African animals are depicted in lighted displays that are larger than life. The event becomes more spectacular each year with the addition of more beautiful lights and displays. Highlighting the event is the huge LGB model train exhibit which is decorated with hundreds of lights. WildLife at WildLights, a nighttime version of the popular WildLife Wonders live animal show performs nightly. Cozy, wood-burning fireplaces, food, crafts and nightly live entertainment round out the evening’s festivities, as well as a visit from Santa. Dates for 2007: Dec 7-9, 14-23; Dec 26-Jan 1. Gates open at 6pm to 9pm. Admission prices: Non-Members: $7.25; Members: $6.00; Children ages 3-12: $5.50.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Alcatraz Island "The Rock"

There is no entrance fee to visit Alcatraz Island. However there is a charge for the ferry service to and from the island. Alcatraz Cruises handles all traffic to the island.

 It is advisable to reserve your tickets early. You may get lucky and be able to buy tickets at the dock but chances are they will be sold out.

 The ride over to the rock takes about 15 minutes. The boat holds several hundred people which are all herded toward a park ranger who gives an orientation about the island.

Best tip is just to head up the hill before the mass of people. Take the Alcatraz Cell house Audio Tour and it will lead you around the jail pointing out interesting facts and places.

 Be sure to take time to enjoy the view of San Francisco and the bay. Allow about three hours to roam around Alcatraz island. You can board any ship on the way back they arrive about every 30 minutes or so. For a more detailed tour try one of the night time tour's.

 Evening tour differs from daytime visits in several ways. The evening ferry ride to Alcatraz circles the island with live narration about Alcatraz’s history.

 Upon arrival on the dock, visitors receive a guided tour from the dock to the cell house level and also have the opportunity to participate in a number of other special tours, activities, and cell door demonstrations offered throughout the evening.

Some areas of the island open during the day are not open in the evening due to safety concerns. Everyone should take the ride to the Rock at least once this historic place is an amazing place to visit.