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!


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!


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!


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


Celebrate Carlsbad Day with $30 tickets to LEGOLAND on 4/29

We love LEGOLAND. We also love good deals. Combining LEGOLAND and good deals? Priceless! Check out this awesome deal for cheap tickets to LEGOLAND, California. It’s part of an annual event called Carlsbad Day, when tickets are discounted to $30, to be enjoyed on April 29, 2017 from 12pm to 8pm. 

Click here to purchase tickets online through the Carlsbad Educational Foundation. Tickets to SEA LIFE Aquarium can be purchased for an additional $9. 

What’s your favorite ride or activity at LEGOLAND?


Conquering fears at Pretend City’s Superhero Summer!


My family has always loved Irvine-based Pretend City, so when we heard about a new exhibit opening, we knew we had to check it out! The newest exhibit, “Super Powers,” from Omaha’s Children’s Museum debuted last month and will continue through September 18, 2016. According to the Pretend City website, the exhibit “introduces children to the mental and physical powers displayed by everyday superheroes and allows them to put these powers to the test through daily educational missions.”

My two toddlers put their powers to the test recently during an action-packed visit to the children’s museum. We began at the Super Powers Headquarters, where we had our choice of masks and capes to play the part. Unfortunately both my kiddos were reluctant to put any capes or masks on, but for any superhero-loving kids, this would be a huge hit.

My four-year-old son was immediately drawn to the Sky Slider zip line, though he was rather intimidated by it once we were in line to actually try it. He finally tried it, but was still unsure. After mini-freakouts and running back and forth around the exhibit, he finally worked up his courage to try it again. This time, he tried the shorter zip line, which helped him build up his confidence more. By the end of our visit, he was literally in tears because he didn’t want to stop! I love that he was able to conquer this fear with the help of the awesome Pretend City staff and volunteers!

Another exhibit fave was the Wind Tunnel, where gusts of wind will flutter your superhero cape as you stand in front of a TV screen and appear to be soaring through the air and saving the day! My two-year-old even got a kick out of this one.

The Super Cycle bikes were another fun challenge for my son, who pedaled as fast as he could to make more energy and charge up the fuel cell. Once again he was challenged by this, but he pushed through until he reached his goal.

Other fabulous features of the exhibit include the Comic Creation Station, Rope Maze, Storm Shooter and Decoding Station. But the fun isn’t just for the big kids — my daughter was thrilled to see Mini Hero Park, where the museum’s littlest guests could take off their shoes and play with blocks and balls and crawl through tunnels. My daughter stayed in here for at least a half hour — she loved it! My favorite part? Toddlers and babies are contained in the park by baby gates, which made it easier for me to watch both kids even though they were in different areas of the museum.

I would definitely recommend Pretend City’s Super Powers exhibit the next time you’re in Irvine. Not only is the exhibit worth the trip, but so are the other fun features of the museum — including the Cafe, the Beach, the Grocery Store, the Marina, the Farm, and so much more!

Click here to learn more about the exhibit and start planning your next visit!

P.S. Don’t forget to check the “Field trip report” on the Pretend City homepage to avoid large groups. (If you’re a mom or dad of toddlers and babies, you know how important crowd-size can be!)

Disclaimer: Pretend City provided me with complimentary attendance, though all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Photos courtesy Pretend City and Kristin Chessman


Summer fun deal at LEGOLAND California

Are your kids already bored and driving you crazy? I just found an awesome promotion in my email inbox that just may be the perfect cure for summer boredom! If your kids are anything like mine (a.k.a. obsessed with all things Lego) then this is the deal for you. It’s called the LEGOLAND Play Pass, and it costs $95 for kids ages 3 and up. Purchase it today and it’s good until the end of the year! Compare that to the regular one-day admission price of $87, or $93 for ages 13 and up, and you’ve got yourself an amazing deal. Just keep in mind this pass doesn’t include parking and must be redeemed by July 31, 2016.

Click here to check it out!