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Find your inner flower child at Pretend City’s Kidstock event

If you’re looking for a kid-friendly, creative, unique event, look no further than Pretend City’s annual Kidstock!

The festival, which runs through Sunday, April 8, offers a variety of music and art-related experiences for the family, ranging from DIY face painting to painting a car!

My kids also enjoyed making their own crown wreaths, getting temporary tattoos with cute peace signs and hearts, and even hula-hooping!

Throughout the day, various musical performers and artists perform on the main stage, too. We were lucky enough to watch the beautiful colors and smiles of Las Estrellas as they performed some festive dances.

We can’t wait for the next Pretend City event!

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Our favorite shows at Legoland

Since we have annual passes at Legoland, sometimes we just go for a few hours at a time. And sometimes, we don’t even go on any rides. One of our favorite things to do is check out the shows, especially these two: Character Dance Party at Fun Town Stage, and LEGO Friends to the Rescue at the Friends Forever Stage.

The Character Dance Party offers a fun mix of upbeat, dance-worthy songs that everyone in the family can sing and dance along to. Plus, you can take pictures with Max and Buddy after the show!

If you have a LEGO Friends fan, then head straight to the Friends Forever Stage! My daughter is obsessed with this show. The girls sing some of their favorite tunes, plus the kids get to follow some simple choreography as “dancers” in the show.

Grab a soft serve ice cream or crepe and get ready for a great show!

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Story time is extra-special at Rancho Las Lomas

Story time is one of my favorite ways to share my love of books and learning with my young children. But story time at Rancho Las Lomas takes storytelling to a whole new level. Not only do children get to hear a fun animal-related story (or two!), but they’re also treated to a related craft project and a visit with an animal friend as well.

This past week, we enjoyed the springtime story time at Rancho Las Lomas, featuring two stories about parrots and cockatoos. For the craft project, the kids made treat toys for the resident parrots and cockatoos to play with and nibble on. After they were done creating them, we got to deliver the toys to the birds themselves, and watch them devour their treats. I loved this idea!

There’s something about Rancho Las Lomas… the beautiful, picturesque setting makes you feel like you’re miles away from the hustle and bustle of Orange County.

Plus, the guided tour and animal explanations are a wonderful way for the kids to learn something while having fun.

For more information, head to their website, rancholaslomas.com, or email info@rancholaslomas.

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Escape the summer heat at Pretend City’s newest exhibit

Summer has definitely arrived in Orange County! And warmer temperatures have prompted my family and I to seek out fun ways to stay cool. One of these summertime solutions is also a favorite of ours year-round — Pretend City

The Irvine-based children’s museum is currently featuring an ocean-themed exhibit called “Adventure Under the Sea.”

During the exhibit, guests can explore super-fun themed days, such as Mermaid Mondays, Tide Pool Tuesdays, Water Safety Wednesdays, Think Tank Thursdays and Fish Fridays! Check them out here:

  • Mermaid Mondays – (11am-12:30pm) Story time, meet and greet and photos with mermaids. (No mermaids July 10 or 31)
  • Tide Pool Tuesdays – (10am-1pm) Featuring real and pretend mobile touch tanks for kids to explore.
  • Water Safety Wednesdays – (12:30pm-1:30pm) Valuable summertime water safety tips from local water safety experts and swim schools.
  • Think Tank Thursdays – (12:30pm-1:30pm) Explore science, technology, engineering and math skills while learning about our oceans, water cycles and more.
  • Fish Fridays – (12:30pm-1:30pm) Learn how to keep our oceans and beaches clean to protect our fishy friends. (No activity on July 14 or 21)


Once you enter the museum, you can find this exhibit in the back left corner. Once inside, you can’t miss the main attraction, the HUGE whale-shaped bounce house! Parents need to accompany little ones inside the bounce house, which proved tricky for me, since my daughter really wanted to go in and my son most definitely did NOT. My whole crew ultimately gave it a shot, but we only lasted a matter of seconds before they all wanted to get out. I think it was just a bit too loud/dark inside for my youngsters, but I think older children would get a kick out of it! 


My crew did, however, enjoy some of the other interactive parts of the exhibit, such as the photo booth dress-up area, and even a section where they could help build and decorate a ship.

Beat the heat and enjoy this splashy exhibit all summer long, through September 7!

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The LEGOLAND Play Pass is back!

One of our favorite deals is back — the LEGOLAND Play Pass! It’s usually available sometime in June, and must be activated by July 31, 2017. So here’s the scoop — purchase it now for $97, and enjoy unlimited admission through December 31, 2017! Plus, as a bonus, you’ll receive a one-day LEGOLAND Water Part ticket, too! 

This is a great deal for families with school-age children who can take advantage of the pass all summer long. Keep in mind that you’ll still have to pay parking ($17) upon entering.

Get ready for some summer fun now with the Play Pass

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New Doc McStuffins exhibit arriving in OC!

Starting tomorrow, Saturday, May 27, you and your family can check out one of DiscoveryCube Orange County’s latest additions, “Doc McStuffins: The Exhibit.” 

My kids and I can’t wait — they’ve been asking me about it every single time we drive past the building for the last couple of months. In fact, this exhibit is one of the reasons we purchased a family membership — I plan on visiting it many times this summer!

The exhibit is recommended for ages 2-7, and it runs all summer long, through September 10. 

Here are a few fun features of the exhibit, per the DiscoveryCube website: 

  • Giving toy patients check-ups in the Emergency Room.
  • Performing “operations” on toys that need bigger fixes in the Operating Room.
  • Diagnosing pet toys with X-ray scanning machines in the Pet Vet Clinic.
  • Rocking baby dolls to sleep and helping them follow their bedtime routines in the Nursery.

For more information about tickets and hours of operation, head to the DiscoveryCube website. 

See you at the Toy Hospital!

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Toddler Tuesdays are coming to Irvine Spectrum Center in May

I’ve been going to Irvine Spectrum Center since I was in high school, back when there was no Target or Nordstrom. (I’m dating myself!) But even back then, it was one of my favorite outdoor malls. Now, as a parent, I think I love it even more! Not only is it practical for families (thanks to retailers like Target, Old Navy, and various other children’s shops) but it’s also a ton of fun! 

Have you heard about Toddler Tuesdays? It’s a new series of fun themed events starting next week, on May 2. During the first four Tuesdays of May, families can enjoy live entertainment, crafts and activities for little ones from 10am-12pm in Giant Wheel Court.

Here are the themes for each week:

Week 1: May 2, Fiesta

Week 2: May 9, Spring Gardens

Week 3: May 16, Safari

Week 4: May 23, Camping + Adventure 

As an added perk, the Carousel, Kiddie Train and Giant Wheel will be free during event hours… which is awesome!

For more information, click here