Make Money for Your School with Fundraising Wristbands at Pumpkin City's Pumpkin Farm

We're so lucky there are lots of fun pumpkin patches around Orange County to enjoy this time of year. I want to add another to that list - Pumpkin City's Pumpkin Farm at Laguna Hills Mall. They started out as a pick-up load of pumpkins in 1978 and has grown to what it is today -  a destination to celebrate the season! There are several rides for children, a petting zoo, pony rides, game booths, lots of photo ops, pumpkins and more! Admission is free as well as parking, and, on the weekends, there is a puppet show. The area is enclosed with one entrance and one exit. We were there mostly during the day with an abundance of natural lighting, but in the evening, it is also well lit and lively. We were also invited to experience their Fundraiser Wristband Passes which included unlimited rides and petting zoo on select school fundraiser nights. More on this below!

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SeaWorld San Diego's New Animal Connection Experience

Most recently we had an opportunity to try the new "Animal Connection Experience" at SeaWorld San Diego. It is a 30-minute open house experience with at least three of the animal ambassadors. We met with a 5 year-old beaver named Peanut from Canada, an Eastern Screech Owl named Ruby from Florida, Goldie a sulphur-crested cockatoo that trick-or-treats, an african crested porcupine, a Linnaeus's two-toed sloth, and a retired asian small-clawed otter named Buffy. My family loved the experience. We got to touch the animals with supervision, learned about how they came to live at SeaWorld, their behaviors, what they eat, and take photos with them. This encounter is not yet advertised. During the summer it was offered daily but for now, it is currently offered on Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 pm. The groups are limited to 8-10 people. If this is something you would like to do, go to Blue Dolphin Interaction Check-in and ask to reserve for "Animal Connection Experience" or call for availability. They only do one tour a day so you might want to reserve it right when you arrive. It's $40 a person and they are currently working on a price for children for 2018. 

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Daytime, Family-Friendly, Non-Scary Knott’s Spooky Farm! #KnottsSpookyFarm

While young children under 13 are not recommended for the frightful nights of Knott's Scary Farm, they can still enjoy all the season has to offer in a daytime, family-friendly, non-scary version designed just for them on weekends in October as well as Halloween Day at Knott's Spooky Farm! There are plenty of interactive spooky fun throughout the park including Trick-or-Treat stations, live shows, costume contest with the Peanuts gang, and a Dia De Los Muertos Celebration. It is included with regular park admissions so you'll also access to all the rides. Kids ages 3-11 can pick up a treat bag at the main gate with a guided map. Take a look so you can plan your day accordingly. I think most will want to do the Treat Stops first so it could get crowded. There are five in Ghost Town and the ghostly Shopkeepers are friendly. Stop into the Livery Stable to visit creepy crawly critters like snakes, rats, spiders, a bearded dragon, and the Headless Horseman's horse. Stanley Scarecrow is hanging out in a web at the entrance to greet you. There are fun added Halloween effects in Camp Spooky. I love the costumes the gang is wearing this year. Stay after the show for photo opportunities. The Timber Mountain Log Ride has been transformed into a Halloween Hootenany. Does your child like to decorate pumpkins? They're available at the Ghost Town Pumpkin Patch for a nominal fee. They change it up a little every year, and my kids always have a blast! 

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List of Participating Restaurants for Taste of Laguna Beach 2017

My favorite foodie event of the year! Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce invites you to their signature event "Taste of Laguna" Presented by Nick's and South of Nick's on Thursday, October 19 from 5:30 PM to 9 PM. Don't think that's enough time to do it all? Upgrade to VIP and enjoy early entry, early reception, parking, and a special swag bag! Come hungry and enjoy a beautiful tasting of some of Laguna Beach's best as well as preview some up and coming newcomers. (Hint: South of Nick's, this year's presenting sponsor, is opening a new location in Laguna Beach in early 2018.) You must be 21 or over to attend. Check out a list of participating restaurants below! 

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BeautyLand Open House Event at CosmetiCare - You're Invited! #CosmetiCareAmbassador

Join Orange County’s leading cosmetic surgery center and medspa, CosmetiCare, for its third annual open house event, BEAUTYLAND. On Thursday, October 26 from 5pm to 8pm, come meet the CosmetiCare team and learn about all the services they offer. This intimate experience will give you an insider's look into CosmetiCare’s signature rooms where you can learn more about non-invasive beauty treatments through demonstrations of techniques to correct wrinkles, loose and sagging skin, uneven tone and pigmentation, rosacea and more. I went last year with my friends, and we all loved it. It's a great way to learn what CosmetiCare Medspa has to offer with your bestie along beside you over hors d'oeuvres and wine PLUS they raffle amazing prizes like services, treatments and more! BeautyLand stops include: Skin Care and Glow Room, Fat Melting Room, Laser Room, Freeze & Fill Room, Nip Tuck Room, and Weight Loss Room. Space is limited and RSVP is required. Call (949) 718-6900 or email inquiry@cosmeticare.com to RSVP. (Don't forget to mention that you saw it on LET'S PLAY OC!) CosmetiCare will offer ten free units of Botox to RSVP’d guests who bring a friend to the event. READER DISCOUNT: My readers get 10% OFF abdominoplasty or Botox when they mention this code: MARY100 when they call, book online or go in the office.  

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Tanaka Farms Sanrio Pumpkin Patch with Hello Kitty & Friends + Tips for Pumpkin Patch!

Have you heard the exciting news?? TANAKA FARMS has partnered up with SANRIO for a year! I must repeat! It's a TANAKA FARMS + Hello Kitty and SANRIO friends (Keroppi, Chococat, My Melody and Pochacco) collaboration! Debuting at the Pumpkin Patch this year in Irvine, California, it just made my favorite pumpkin patch sweeter! You take a working farm that promotes education, healthy eating, teaches sustainability, responsible farming and agriculture, and you add supercute ambassadors, photo ops, daily activities and seasonal celebrations - What's not to love? The partnership kicks off September 30th PLUS a limited edition commemorative Tanaka Farms + Sanrio branded merchandise will be available for purchase at the Farm's Market Stand. I CANNOT WAIT! 

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SEAWORLD's Halloween Spooktacular Weekends in San Diego + Kids Free in October!

Do you know about Kids FREE San Diego in October? Well, SeaWorld San Diego is on that list! When you purchase an adult admission, a child gets in FREE! It also includes admissions to Halloween Spooktacular weekends in October! The same offer applies to Breakfast with Orcas, Dining with Orcas, and Dolphin Interaction. I will give you another hint. Their Trick-or-Treating starts at noon and runs until the park closes! More reasons to come early and plan to stay the whole day. Not only will the animal exhibits be open and there be themed decorations all around the park, there is a new Dia de los Muertos celebration, the Manta ride has been transformed into MADNESS, Clyde & Seamore always put on a great show for every season, Elmo and friends are all dressed up for the occasion and they're trying to solve a mystery - "Who Said Boo?", dance parties that start during the day and last through the night, and more! Children are invited to dress in their Halloween costumes. Available every weekend in October, SeaWorld is offering one child, aged 3 to 9, free admission with one full-paid adult admission through October! 

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Easy DIY Pumpkin Succulent Planter Centerpieces

We're all in the middle of Pumpkin Season, and I'm loving it! If you have started stockpiling pumpkins or saving it for a fun project, here's one that you can do with your friends or family, and you don't need any previous skills or a green thumb to walk away with a beautiful Pumpkin Succulent Planter! ARMSTRONG GARDEN CENTERS teaches this make-and-take class once a year, and it includes all the materials. All you need to do is pre-register and then show up. You're going to walk away with a one-of-a-kind centerpiece to adorn any front door or porch. I have been waiting for this class to come around again, and I have been hoping to do it with friends. (Save the Date! The next one is Saturday, October 21st at 9am.) 

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7 Exclusives at Disneyland's Mickey's Halloween Party! #halloweentime

Although tickets for their party is already sold out, you can still enjoy both parks during HALLOWEEN TIME at Disneyland until October 31st! As you may know, Oogie Boogie casted a spell over Disney California Adventure. If you happen to be at Disneyland park when they transition over to Mickey's Halloween Party and make you exit the park, head over! They did an amazing job with Haul-O-Ween in Carsland, and the Guardians of the Galaxy - Monsters After Dark is scary as heck! Now, if you scored a ticket to Mickey's Halloween Party, come early so you can not only enjoy both parks, but you'll want to experience all the events exclusive to the Party. Early entry begins 3 hours before the Party starts. We tried to come as early as we could, but we still didn't make it to everything. Both parks are huge! My best advice is to plan ahead especially if you have small children. You saw the security line I posted online right? It went quickly after we made it through, but we hit the ground running, and for the rest of the evening, the pace stayed the same until we had to call it a night. Come prepared, dress for comfort, and enjoy! 

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Guide to Brick-or-Treat Party Nights at LEGOLAND California!

Brick-or-Treat Party Nights, presented by Shutterfly, returns Saturday nights in October at LEGOLAND California! (Sept. 30, Oct. 7, 14, 21, & 28). Join all the fun in this family-friendly monster mash with live entertainment, new shows, a new pop-badge challenge, special character meet and greets, costume contests, treat stations throughout the park, LEGO pumpkin patch building, craft with LEGO Friends, a Ghost Cruise adventure, dance parties, Bluegrass Band Jamboree, and more!  Plus don't forget SEA LIFE® Aquarium is included with your Party Nights ticket.

Activities

  • TREAT STATIONS: There are Treat Stations throughout the Resort with more than one million pieces of candy. Pick up an event guide along with a bag and look for the Candy Corn symbol on the map to find the Treat Stations open from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Treat Station Maps also available on the LEGOLAND app. 
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Fresh Brothers Delivery Saved Our Birthday Party + Pizza Giveaway!

October is National Pizza Month! It has been an eventful year since we became official homeowners, and I have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to throw a party in our clubhouse by the pool. My son's birthday was around our one year anniversary so I jumped to the occasion. Planning has been stressful, because I waiting too long to purchase items for the theme (Shark Bite). They cleared the items from the shelves after Labor Day, and it was too late to order online to have them delivered without a rush fee. It was totally my fault, because I waited last minute. I eventually went back to the LEGO Theme which I have used before. The only item my son asked for was a LEGO Ninjago Movie Cake with Ninja Lloyd, and I found a local baker that was willing to do it for me. We couldn't cook at the clubhouse so serving hot food was another issue. FRESH BROTHERS PIZZA delivery came to the rescue, and they made it easy for me. Not only did I not have to leave my party to pick up food nor burden someone else to do it, I didn't have to worry about heating up food. It was a Win/Win.

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Family-Friendly SCARIUM OF THE PACIFIC Ticket Giveaway!

Do you love Halloween and the Aquarium of the Pacific? Well, here's another family-friendly Halloween event that you will enjoy. SCARIUM OF THE PACIFIC is an annual event where children can dress up and enter a costume contest, enjoy face painting and magic shows, watch underwater pumpkin carving, listen to spooky storytelling, work on themed crafts, enter a creepy coloring contest, and more! This year, the whole family can discover the eerie creatures lurking in the depths while enjoying Halloween activities on Saturday, October 14 and and Sunday, October 15, 2017 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

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Not So Scary BOO at Santa Ana ZOO

If you're looking for a family-friendly Halloween event this year that's not super scary, Friends of Santa Ana Zoo and BPO Elks Santa Ana Lodge #794 are hosting their 27th annual BOO AT THE ZOO located at the Santa Ana Zoo, "Home of the 50 Monkeys"! It is one of Orange County's longest-running Halloween events, providing a fun, safe, and family-friendly event for trick-or-treaters and children of all ages. We went a few years ago with other family members, and we loved it! The event takes place from 5:30 PM to 8 PM on these four dates: Saturday, October 21; Sunday, October 22; Saturday, October 28; and Sunday, October 29, rain or shine.

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When You Want the Dads to Bond, Throw a Football Social

I think you all know that I love my Autism support group. I look forward to seeing my very special moms every month. We talk about our challenges, we share our successes, sometimes we cry together, but most of the time, we just laugh a lot. After seven years of getting to know one another, I think we just “get” each other. When the children were younger, we used to meet every month, sometimes twice a month – one is a Family Social and the other is Moms’ Day Out. Dads need support too and we love it when they come out with us to help us with the kids, but the funny thing is - the Dads don’t really talk to each other. I can’t speak for all of us, but we joke about us Moms being the social butterflies in our families and the Men just need some nudging.

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Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival 2017

The Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival, presented by Land Rover, Jaguar, Aston Martin of Newport Beach, returns to the contemporary Newport Beach Civic Center on Saturday, September 30th and Sunday, October 1st. Kicking off on Friday, September 29th, it will include tastings from 40 top Orange County restaurants and their executive chefs, 250 varieties of world-class wine, spirits, and brews, celebrity chef cooking demos and dinners, Master Sommelier tasting panels, VIP events, live music, and a new “Havana Nights” after party.

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