Bali Hai | San Diego Restaurant Week September 24th – October 1st 2017

One thing I can’t get enough of here in San Diego are the restaurants with amazing views. And the Bali Hai has one of the best views of the San Diego skyline. As soon as we walk into the restaurant we’re blown away by how close we are to the water and how well we can see the skyline from the large floor-to-ceiling glass windows that line the top floor. It’s one of our favorite restaurants to take visitors to because we not only get to show off how pretty our city is but how good it’s food is as well. If you’re a San Diego native or just visiting, you need to try out the Bali Hai menu during Restaurant Week! We were invited to try it out last Sunday and I cannot wait to come back for one more meal next week!

Bali Hai | Shelter Island

The Bali Hai is very close to many of San Diego’s attractions. And it provides a great spot to relax with a slightly upscale dining experience. While it would be a great date night spot any day of the week, they also provide a kid-friendly menu that hits the spot for our kids each time. With homemade mac and cheese, ham and cheese sliders, and other kid favorites, the whole family will be able to enjoy a bite to eat at Bali Hai. 

Bali Hai | The Food

For Restaurant Week, we were able to sample a few of the options on the menu and chose to share each dish brought out instead of keeping things separate. That way we could try a few things on the menu. To start, the salmon cakes and kalua pork poutine came out first. I have to say that I’m a huge fan of salmon cakes but the kalua pork poutine won the show with it’s delicious and creamy flavor. The hot, salty fries were topped with slow roasted kalua pork, mushroom gravy, feta cheese and a 1-hour egg. The salty and savory combo hit every spot it could. And I’ll definitely be back just for those! 

Next up came our main dishes which we shared as well. We enjoyed the pan seared market fresh fish paired with sesame ginger eggplant puree and bok choy and the local whitefish curry that came with a spicy heat. Both dishes were very flavorful but still light. We didn’t feel weighted down after our meal and were completely prepared for the delicious dessert in our near future. 

For dessert, the Restaurant Week menu features a trio of island favorites: chocolate and kalua layered cake, caramelized pineapple and dark rum mousse, and a mochi cake with kalamansi curd. My favorite had to be the caramelized pineapple and dark rum mousse but the chocolate and kalua cake came in a close second!

Bali Hai | Restaurant Week Highlights

For San Diego Restaurant Week, Bali Hai offers a 3 course meal with 8 different entree options for only $30 per person. You can find their full dinner menu for Restaurant Week here. Looking for a great lunch date? Head over to Bali Hai during Restaurant Week and score a 2 course lunch for only $15. And if you don’t have to go back to work, grab one of their famous Mai Tais. So good! 

And as I mentioned previously, this restaurant is perfect for those who are gluten free. Each gluten free menu option is noted with an asterisk on the menu and there is a large array of options to fit any dietary needs. The flavor combos were fresh, delicious, and unique. And the dessert trio? Oh my goodness! Definitely a treat for date night! 

San Diego Restaurant Week | September 24th – October 1st 2017

The 14th Annual San Diego Restaurant Week returns Sunday, September 24th through Sunday, October 1st for an edible extravaganza to welcome fall! With over 180 participating restaurants offering prix-fixe menu options throughout San Diego County, you’re sure to find the perfect place to satisfy any craving. 

Over 180 participating restaurants will offer three-course prix-fixe dinner menus for $20, $30, $40 or $50 per person and/or two-course prix-fixe lunch menus for $10, $15 or $20 per person. The participating restaurants span across the county from the South Bay to East County and to the borders of Oceanside and Fallbrook to the North.

Now is your time to dine with over 150,000 fellow diners to celebrate San Diego’s thriving culinary scene. Tickets are not necessary for this delectable week of discounted dining, but reservations are recommended! Visit SanDiegoRestaurantWeek.com for more information, including a list of participating restaurants, or to make your reservations in advance!

What restaurant are you looking forward to trying?

Here are a few we’ve tried in the past: 

Greystone Steakhouse

Double Standard

SHIMBASHI Izakaya

The Hake Restaurant & Bar

Grant Grill

Oceanaire Seafood Room

 

SeaWorld San Diego Rescue Program + More Cool Changes

Many people would never guess that my husband’s first job was at SeaWorld San Diego. He held various roles while there and loves reminiscing about his interactions with both staff and animals. I’m pretty sure he’ll always have a soft spot for the park and the animals that live there. With SeaWorld right in our backyard, being annual pass holders isn’t a hard sell. Especially when it means that our kids have direct access to a ton of information about the marine life we live by and can reach out to trainers with questions they have about the animals they’re most excited about. And boy have they learned a lot through their years of going to SeaWorld (many times while being Preschool Pass holders). 

So when SeaWorld and The Moms invited our family out for a fun day in the sun at SeaWorld SanDiego for a fun behind the scenes glimpse into everything else they have going on, we couldn’t say no! 

One thing I love about our experiences with SeaWorld is the hands-on interaction and experience. From the moment you walk into the park, you’re greeted with opportunities to learn more about the amazing sea life out in the ocean and can physically touch and interact with them. My kids all love the feeder fish and bamboo sharks that are found right inside the front gates of the park. 

One thing you may not know is that in addition to the great resources inside the park, SeaWorld San Diego is the go-to place for animals in need up and down the California coast, even into Central California. If there’s a seal who’s been injured or a sea turtle who needs some TLC, SeaWorld steps in and helps rehabilitate these animals in need so they can release them back into the wild to live long, healthy lives. Want to learn more about this amazing program? 

SeaWorld San Diego Rescue Program

The goal of SeaWorld San Diego’s rescue program is and has always been to medically rehabilitate and return all animals back to their home in the wild. On average SeaWorld San Diego comes to the aid of 300-400 marine animals every year (sea lions, seals, dolphins, whales, sea turtles and sea birds). Every visitor to the park here in San Diego helps aid in the ability to have one of the most robust rescue programs in the world.

SeaWorld San Diego has rescued more than 17,000 animals over the history of the park, and all the SeaWorld parks have rescued more than 30,000 animals in the last 50 years. SeaWorld rescue program also helps resource managers with agencies like the National Marine Fisheries Service better understand the health of the ocean ecosystem. SeaWorld rescue program is a primary example of the passion SeaWorld has for the lives of all animals. 

How’s that for giving back to our sea life community? 

In addition to the SeaWorld rescue program, SeaWorld is also sharing a lot of cool facts and information about their animals through the shows that guests can watch while at the park. Learn about beluga whales, bottlenose dolphins, killer whales, and more when you sit and watch one of the various shows available at the park. 

The new Orca Encounter is quite fascinating and allows guests to witness live natural orca behaviors up close while an expansive infinity screen brings their story to life. You can also join the dolphin and pilot whale family as they show off their athleticism – and playfulness – in our favorite new show, Dolphin Days. Plus, hear what inspires the trainers.

And before leaving the park, it’s always nice to have a little fun! My little ones love the new Ocean Explorer area in the park. So.Much.Fun! Are you ready to have some fun of your own? Read on to find out how you can win a family 4 pack to SeaWorld San Diego! 

What are you excited to see at SeaWorld? 

Want to check out what’s new at the park? Enter to win a 4 pack of tickets to SeaWorld San Diego by entering below! 

Open to US only, 18+. This giveaway ends September 5, 2017 at 11:59EST. 

Mandatory Entry
Please comment* below with what you love to do at SeaWorld.

Bonus Entries

These entries are NOT required, they just give you a few extra chances to win, do one two, or them all, it’s up to you. Please leave a separate comment for each entry you complete. Please note that your COMMENT is your entry, not the action you perform.

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Enter to win a 4pack of tickets to SeaWorld #SanDiego from @acraftyspoonful! http://acraftyspoonful.com/seaworld-san-diego-rescue-program/ Ends 9/5

Thank you and good luck!

*Important: By completing any entry in our giveaways, you agree to ALL of our giveaway terms and conditions. Comments such as “Thank you for the giveaway” “I want to win” etc will not be counted as the mandatory entry and will be deleted along with all corresponding bonus entries. Please be aware that comments are moderated and may not appear right away. Make sure you use a valid email address so we may notify you if you’ve won! Giveaway winners will receive their tickets through the mail directly. Winner must provide mailing address to receive these tickets.

What To Ride At Legoland California: A Height Based List

I am a Legoland California ambassador. I receive a 4 pack of tickets yearly as an ambassador however all opinions are my own.

What To Ride At Legoland California - A Height Based List

My kids absolutely LOVE spending time at Legoland California. It’s such a fun place for kids and there’s something for everyone there. But there are some attractions with limitations and if you don’t plan ahead before going, your kids might be disappointed to find out they can’t go on a ride they were looking forward to. 

We’ve been going to Legoland since my son was 4 so we’ve been able to scope out all of the rides and figure out what rides were best for the heights of our children at the time of our visit. So we’ve put together a list of what to ride at Legoland California based on height. Hopefully it’ll save you from a melt down mid-line when your child realizes they can’t go on something. But if that does happen, a fresh churro con chocolat might make things better. 

Quick Tip: Take a photo of your kids at this height check at the front of the park (by the maps) as a quick way to remember how tall they are throughout the day AND as a great memento of your time at Legoland California. We now always take a photo here to have progression shots of our kids throughout the year. 

What To Ride At Legoland - 48 inches and over

What to Ride With Toddlers/Preschoolers

No Height Restrictions

  • Dig Those Dinos
  • Fairytail Brook
  • Playtown Theater
  • Heartlake Fountain
  • Friends Forever Stage 
  • Heartlake Stables
  • Village Theater
  • Legoland Express
  • Duplo Playtown
  • Fun Town Stage
  • Lego Club House
  • Factory Tour
  • Soak n Sail
  • Hideaways
  • Pharoah’s Revenge
  • Lego Showplace 4D Theater
  • Duplo Play
  • Coast Cruises
  • Miniland
  • Model Shop
  • Block of Fame
  • Jay’s Lightning Drill
  • Zane’s Temple Build
  • Kai’s Spinners
  • Cole’s Rock Climb

34 inches

  • Safari Trek
  • Sky Patrol
  • Fun Town Police and Fire Academy 
  • Flight Squadron
  • Skipper School
  • Captain Cranky’s Challenge
  • Lost Kingdom Adventure

36 inches

  • Coastersaurus
  • Crug’s Run
  • Cragger’s Splash
  • Cragor Reef

Legoland Heartlake City - mia's riding camp

What to Ride With Big Kids

40 inches

  • Kid Power Towes
  • The Dragon
  • Knights Tournament
  • Aquazone Wave Racers
  • Crooler’s Twist

42 inches

  • Mia’s Riding Camp
  • Lego Technic Coaster
  • Bionicle Blaster
  • Orange Rush
  • Splash Out
  • Twin Chasers
  • Build a Raft River
  • Lion Temple Wave Pool

48 inches

  • Lego Ninjago The Ride

Age Restrictions

  • Junior Driving School (3-5 years)
  • Driving School (6-13 years)
  • Cargo Ace
  • Lego Mindstorms

Things to do at Legoland California - ride the sky cruiser

Before you go, print out this height restriction guide so you have all of this info handy! And be prepared to have a LOT of fun! 

When is your next trip to Legoland California planned? 

Surfers’ Cove at Legoland California

I am a Legoland California ambassador. I receive a 4 pack of tickets yearly as an ambassador however all opinions are my own.


LEGOLAND Water Park is bigger, wetter and better this summer with the addition of the newest California beach-themed area, Surfers’ Cove, opening June 30, 2017.

In celebration of 4th of July, LEGOLAND® California Resort salutes Carlsbad Fire Department, Carlsbad Police Department and Carlsbad Lifeguards for protecting our city and beaches this fourth of July weekend by inviting them and their families to spend the day at the official opening of Surfers’ Cove at LEGOLAND® Water Park!

Surfers’ Cove is the latest California beach-themed expansion of LEGOLAND® Water Park and features Riptide Racers, six water slides extending 100-feet where guests can jump on mats and race against each other for the fastest time. After competing, racers can pose with a LEGO® winner’s trophy for a photo opportunity to capture their big win! Kids can enjoy Wipeout Lagoon — an epic “spray ground” where multiple water jets splash on and off creating a wave effect.

Plus, LEGOLAND Water Park’s culinary team has created Beach Street Tacos to enlighten taste buds of water racers of all ages. And, of course, cool LEGO models add to the beach theme including LEGO surfers, LEGO seagulls, LEGO crabs and a LEGO lifeguard. A surfing dog model sits on top of a wave at the peak of Riptide Racers perhaps as a “judge” to see which racer reaches the bottom quickest!

The opening day of Surfers’ Cove kicks off with a little friendly water slide racing competition of the “red, white and blue”…meaning the firefighters, lifeguards and police officers. Two people from each team will race against the other teams and the lowest time after three races determines the winner. The prize? A LEGO surfer trophy, of course!

The LEGOLAND Water Park is open seven days a week now through August 2017. For ticket prices, operating schedule and additional information, visit www.LEGOLAND.com or call 760-918-LEGO (5346).

Want to see what’s coming up at LEGOLAND California? Read on!

 

Brick-Or-Treat Party Nights Halloween Celebration at LEGOLAND® California Resort – Last Saturday in September and Saturdays in October

LEGOLAND® California Resort is getting ready for Halloween with San Diego’s biggest kids’ Halloween party, Brick-or-Treat Party Nights! Every Saturday night (Sept. 30, Oct. 7, 14, 21 & 28) starting at 5 p.m., guests can enjoy a Ghost Cruise adventure, a new pop-badge challenge, a new theater show in Castle Hill, costume contests, dance parties, LEGO® pumpkin patch building, live music, costume entertainers, and safe trick-or-treating at treat stations with specialty items, candy carts throughout the Park and two bonus treat stations inside SEA LIFE® Aquarium. LEGOLAND® Hotel joins in the fun with its own Halloween party on Oct. 31. For information and event pricing: (760) 918-LEGO or www.LEGOLAND.com.

 

LEGOLAND® California’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony! – November 27, 2017

LEGOLAND® California’s Nightly Tree Lighting Ceremonies kick off Nov. 27 when a celebrity guest lights the world’s tallest LEGO® Christmas tree in the annual tree lighting ceremony. The LEGO tree stands more than 30-feet-tall and is made of more than 245,000 forest green DUPLO® bricks. The festive event features entertainment, fireworks and a visit from Santa! Activities are included with regular Park admission. Kids 3–12 $89; Adults $95. Parking $15. 

 

Holidays at LEGOLAND® California Resort– November 18, 2017 – January 1, 2018

Live entertainment, twinkling lights and festive cheer await guests during the Holidays at LEGOLAND® California Resort! Beginning Nov. 18, kids and families can enjoy nightly tree lighting of the Park’s LEGO® Christmas tree decked with spectacular lights and LEGO ornaments. The fun continues in Heartlake City with festive holiday songs and dancing with LEGO Friends Live and a touch of a snow flurry. The holiday fun concludes with the annual Kids’ New Year’s Eve Party on December 31. All activities located inside the Park are included with regular Park admission. Kids 3–12 $89; Adults $95. Parking $15. Celebrate the New Year with LEGOLAND® California Resort’s Kids’ New Year’s Eve Celebration – Dec. 31, 2017

 

LEGOLAND® California’s New year’s Eve Festivities – December 31, 2017

Don’t let bedtime spoil your fun! New Year’s Eve festivities kick-off early at LEGOLAND® California Resort with a party that lets kids ring in 2018 without missing their bedtime! Like the famous ball dropping in Times Square, Kids’ New Year’s Eve features live music, entertainers and a countdown of its own with a huge LEGO® brick that drops 22-feet into 2018 followed by a spectacular fireworks display at 6 p.m. The party includes performances by some of the top children’s entertainment groups in the nation. All activities are included with regular Park admission. Kids 3–12 $89; Adults $95. Parking $15. 

Ways to Save at the San Diego County Fair

Ways to Save at the San Diego County Fair

The fair opens next week, Friday June 3rd and runs until Monday, July 4th and my family couldn’t be happier to once again attend the fair and make awesome memories. But with so many things going on right now, and so many other activities happening, we have to be frugal when we think of the activities we’re doing over the summer. And that means looking for some great deals and ways to save at the San Diego County Fair.

Luckily I’m a pro at this by now with experiences from past fairs since having kids. And I’ve gotten a little savvy on ways to save and maximize my fair-going experience without shelling out big bucks. Here are a few great ways to save at the San Diego County Fair without skimping out on the fun stuff… or the food!

San Diego County Fair Carousel 2013

Ways to Save at the San Diego County Fair

Buy a Costco Fair Pack

For around $60 we picked up a San Diego County Fair package. It included the following:

  • 4 admission tickets
  • 1 free Passport to Savings book coupon
  • 1 parking pass
  • 4 drink coupons
  • 50 ride tickets

We always purchase one of these so that we can go to the fair on a weekend – crazy busy! – or one of my husband’s off Friday’s and not have to worry about taking the bus in or spending a whole lot on food because we have the coupons. It also gives the kids just enough ride tickets to satiate their need for carnival attractions while distracting them from the carnies who try to lure them into tossing rings or darts in an attempt to get a 25 cent stuffed animal.

Some years we do purchase additional tickets there because 2 kids go through 50 tickets quite quickly! Most rides average between 3-6 tickets each. And that includes adults as well if you have to ride with your child.

Get the Best Pass Ever!

You know you can’t see everything at the Fair in just one day, so here’s your opportunity for big savings with the Best Pass Ever! Just $26 buys one person admission to all 26 days of the Fair; regularly $16 each day (adult admission). On sale online, now through July 3 (one day before the Fair ends). You also can buy the Best Pass Ever at San Diego County Albertsons and Vons stores, now through June 3. For more info see the Best Pass Ever page.

Kids Free Tuesdays at the San Diego County Fair - Ways to Save At the San Diego County Fair
Ways to Save At the San Diego County Fair selfie sticks

Take Advantage of Kids Free Tuesdays

Children 5 and younger are admitted free every day and do not require tickets. However, if you have kids older than 5, Tuesday, June 27 is Kids’ Day; children 12 and younger are admitted free. (Admission for ages 6-12 other days is $11.)

Free Kids Tickets for Reading Logs
Children 12 and younger who read 10 or more books, verified by a teacher or librarian, get free admission any day of the Fair. (Regular child’s admission is $11.) Download your Reading Certificate [PDF] before school gets out!

Discount tickets at Albertsons and Vons

Albertsons | Vons $5 Fair Days — Come to the Fair for just $5.00 on Friday, June 2; Saturday, June 3; and Wednesday, June 7, 2016. These tickets are available only at San Diego County Albertsons and Vons stores with a $10 minimum purchase. They are not sold at the Fairgrounds.

Save on 20% adult admission tickets: Discount adult admission tickets for $15 (save $3.00 off the regular adult admission price) are available at Albertsons and Vons stores. Albertsons and Vons also will have regular-price senior ($11.00; 62 and older) and children’s ($11.00, ages 6-12) tickets.

The nearest stores to the Fairgrounds are Vons at 2606 Del Mar Heights Road (one exit south of the Fairgrounds) and Vons at 931 Lomas Santa Fe Drive in Solana Beach (one exit north).  And remember – there is a $10.00 minimum purchase required.

Ways to Save At the San Diego County Fair - save money on food at the fair with Taste of the Fair Tuesdays
Ways to Save At the San Diego County Fair - kids meal deals

Save Money On Food

Taste of The Fair Thursdays

On Thursdays, from 12noon until 5:00PM, you can buy $3.00 taste-sized portions of some of your favorite Fair foods, such as corn dogs, fudge, fish tacos and cinnamon rolls, on Taste of the Fair Thursdays. So many choices! You guys… it’s the PERFECT way to sample everything you love in little bites. Especially if you’re like me and your husband won’t share 5 different dishes at one time and suggests you choose only 1-2 treats.

Kids Meal Deals
Look for the Kids’ Meal Deal signs throughout the Fair at participating food booths. The meal includes an entrée, side dish and drink, plus a free child’s admission, with paid adult admission, to 10 local attractions, for only $5.99.

Ways to Save At the San Diego County Fair - ride tickets packages and other discounts

Get Bussed In or Take Mass Transit!

Save On Parking And Transportation

You can find free parking at the off-site lots and then get bussed into the fair to save money on parking. Find out more information in the Transportation section of the website.

Get a discount on Fair admission if you’re a regular transit rider. Find out more information in the Transportation section of the website.

Ride the train, take the bus, save money!: During the Fair, shuttles transport bus and train passengers from the Solana Beach train station to the Fair’s West Gate (you must present a train or bus ticket to board the shuttle). You can buy the Fair Tripper, a Fair admission-and-public-transportation-fare package; or present a same-day transit ticket or monthly pass at the West Gate window for an admission discount on adult, senior or child admission.

Ways to Save At the San Diego County Fair - teachers and educators discount

Are you a Teacher/Educator?

School Staff Appreciation Days presented by Mission Federal Credit Union
Everyone who helps to educate the next generation are all VIPs in our book, so we want to reward your dedication with a discount day at the San Diego County Fair.

Head to any San Diego County Mission Federal Credit Union branch (starting June 1), present your school employment ID, teaching credentials or pay stub, and receive four $5.00 admission vouchers to the Fair. These vouchers enable you to buy admission tickets on School Staff Appreciation Days, valid for any age, for $5.00.

School Staff Appreciation Days

Friday, June 16
Friday, June 23
Friday, June 30

Tickets are available ONLY at the 27 Mission Federal branches, while supplies last. These tickets will not be available at the Fairgrounds. Find the Mission Federal branch closest to you

Plan to attend Teacher Appreciation Receptions. Teachers and Educators: Please join in for an evening of networking and idea-sharing in the student exhibits, where you can meet the exhibit coordinators and learn how to highlight your students and their work at the San Diego County Fair.

  • K-6 teachers: 4:00-7:00PM in the Best of K-6 Schools Exhibit, Creative Youth Tent, Family Funville
  • 7th grade to community college teachers: 4:00-6:00PM in the Student Showcase Exhibit, 1st Floor, West Grandstand

Saving on Multiple Trips

Free Return Ticket 
Every year we’ve been able to receive a free return ticket back to the Fair just by completing a survey while there. You also get a free return ticket in your Passport to Savings book. So here’s what we do! I go for the Albertson’s $5 day with the kids. Then I turn in my coupon from the Costco pack for the Passport to Savings when I’m there and I take the survey.

That means I have a return ticket for me and the coupon for a return ticket in the Passport to Savings. Then I have my kids’ teachers sign off on his Reading Log to get free admission so everyone in the family can go again before we even use our Costco passes! That’s 3 trips to the fair in one season. Pretty awesome deal!

There are also a few other ways to save that you can find on the Fair’s website here

Ways to Save At the San Diego County Fair - enjoying the fair skyline

Are you going to the fair this year?

Celebrate Carlsbad Day at LEGOLAND California

It is a deal in more ways than one. LEGOLAND California is partnering with the Carlsbad Educational Foundation again to provide an opportunity for local residents and their families to enjoy a fun-filled day to support education for only $30. We hope to see you at LEGOLAND California for a giant pep rally!

This year, more than ever, we need to build morale and share with our community how much we appreciate our schools! 

LEGOLAND will donate a portion of the proceeds from Celebrate Carlsbad Day at LEGOLAND to the Carlsbad Educational Foundation in support of science initiatives for students in the Carlsbad Unified School District.

San Diegans can visit LEGOLAND® California Resort April 29 for just $30!

The Carlsbad Education Foundation (CEF) is hosting their annual ‘Celebrate Carlsbad Day™’ at LEGOLAND California Resort.

  • What: Specially-priced $30 LEGOLAND tickets
  • When: Saturday, April 29
  • Time: Enjoy extended Park hours 12pm-8pm

LEGOLAND will donate a portion of the event proceeds to the Foundation to support district-wide science initiatives for students at all CUSD Schools.

To purchase tickets online, visit www.CarlsbadEd.org

Tickets cannot be purchased at the LEGOLAND gate.   

To learn more about this very special event, please visit our website at www.CarlsbadEd.org.

General Info: www.CarlsbadEd.org     Phone: (760) 929-1555

To learn more about CEF, please visit their website at www.CarlsbadEd.org   To read and see more, visit and “like” them on Facebook. To see CEF’s programs in action, check out their videos on YouTube!

$1 Movies for 2017 Summer Movie Express

Just like last year, the Summer Movie Express will be making an appearance in Regal Cinemas theaters all around the US! 

The nine-week film festival takes place at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.  The start dates for Summer Movie Express vary based on local school schedules. A portion of each $1 admission goes to assist the Will Rogers Institute.

“With a wide variety of films this summer starting with The Lego Movie and ending with The Lorax, we know families will be boarding the Summer Movie Express at Regal,” said Ken Foreman, Vice President of Film Marketing at Regal Entertainment Group. “This annual program provides an excellent opportunity for families to enjoy the movies together week after week.”

$1 Movies for 2017 Summer Movie Express

Admission to the Summer Movie Express is only $1. Tickets available for purchase at the box office and all movies start at 10:00 am. Each week both movies play on both days. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Will Rogers Institute.

The titles for this year’s Summer Movie Express are:

In San Diego? Click on the link below to print a PDF of your local theater’s schedule.

Edwards Mira Mesa

Regal Parkway Plaza

Edwards Rancho San Diego

For a full list of participating locations, local festival dates and for more information, please visit www.REGmovies.com/Movies/Summer-Movie-Express.

What movie will you be heading out to see with the kids?

Love this post? Read more! 

Exploring Downtown San Diego With Kids

In San Diego and looking for a fun way to spend the day? If you’re heading downtown there is plenty to do and see with the kids! 

From great kid-friendly museums like the San Diego Children’s Museum to kid-friendly activities at Horton Plaza Park and kid-friendly restaurants like the Hard Rock Cafe, you’ll never tire of the fun to be had in Downtown San Diego. One thing we love doing is planning one day a month where we do something new in our city. 

This month we decided to hit up Horton Plaza Park for some playtime and grab lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe. Not only was it the perfect afternoon out of the house, it allowed us to enjoy our city and the gorgeous weather we’ve been having lately! 

10 Must-Do Activities with Kids in Downtown San Diego

Where to Play

1. The New Children’s Musem – 

This museum is great for kids 10 and under who are looking to enjoy hands-on experiences. There are interactive art exhibits, workshops, and camps, as well as immersive art studios to allow the kids to do what they do best – explore, learn, and create! Learn more on their website

2. Horton Plaza Park – 

Horton Plaza got a snazzy new upgrade and is now home to Horton Plaza Park, a gorgeous area in front of Westfield Horton Plaza that includes a Starbucks, Sloan’s Ice Cream, and water play at the fountain. While you’re there, take advantage of Plaza Play and enjoy a game of Lawn Darts, Jenga, and other lawn games every Thursday & Friday from 11:30AM – 2:30PM and Saturday & Sunday from 11:30AM – 4:30PM. 

If you are planning on letting the kids enjoy the water fountain, make sure to bring an extra pair of clothes! We may or may not have had to step into Gymboree to buy a few outfits for them after allowing them to enjoy a nice soak in the fountain water. But they loved every minute of it! 

3. Balboa Theater or the Civic Theater – 

My husband and I absolutely love heading to the Civic Theater to watch the latest shows at Broadway San Diego. We’ve been season ticket holders for the past 3 years and it’s something we look forward to every year. Throughout the year there are some great shows to bring the kids to! Just recently we saw Matilda and coming up is Finding Neverland! 

You can also watch your favorite movies at Balboa Theater through Cinema @ Balboa Theatre & Hard Rock Cafe. Enjoy a cinematic movie experience at the historic Balboa Theatre every month and meet-up with your fellow fans before or after the show for 15% off food, non-alcoholic beverages and non-charity retail with your movie ticket. And get $2.00 Off Cinema @ Balboa Movie Tickets at Balboa Theatre online or at Balboa Ticket Window & use code: HardRock. For Cinema Show listings and times: http://sandiegotheatres.org

Where to Explore

4. Seaport Village and The Headquarters

The one place I love visiting over and over again when I’m downtown is Seaport Village. I don’t know what it is about this little shopping area or why I always want to come back. And now with the Headquarters right next door, I have even more reasons to come visit again. Maybe it’s just because I love good shopping and delicious food? 

The kids will love hitting up the carousel and Ben & Jerry’s while at Seaport Village. And don’t forget to check out the old jail at The Headquarters. This is my kids’ favorite place to visit. My daughter loves reading what the inmates were incarcerated for back when the jail was still operational. And she loves sticking her brother in one of the cells. You can also purchase great gifts, cheeses, and chocolates while you’re there among other things. 

5.The Embarcadero – 

With the Star of India, USS Midway, and many other gems along the Embarcadero, it’s a must see for those visiting San Diego or exploring for the 100th time. You can also enjoy a harbor cruise on one of the many cruise ships in the Embarcadero. We love checking out Flagship Cruises to see if they have any special events happening. They’re also perfect for whale watching season! 

6. Balboa Park

While it is a bit farther than the other areas, we love heading to Balboa Park to explore the various museums and attractions (including our famous San Diego Zoo). If you have time, grab an explorer pass and really get to explore what Balboa Park has to offer! And don’t forget to stop by and see what’s new at the San Diego Natural History Museum. Dinos are taking center stage right now! 

Where to Eat

7. Hard Rock Cafe – 

We were recently invited to head down to the Hard Rock Cafe San Diego and try out their awesome menu. The location was so convenient for our family as it’s within walking distance of Horton Plaza Park (across the street). The menu was extensive and they had a great selection of drinks and kids items. 

I enjoyed a delicious Texan pulled pork sandwich paired with a southern rock while my husband had a burger with strawberry lemonade. The kids took advantage of the delicious smoothies and hot dogs on the kids menu. We ended our meal with an amazing hot fudge brownie. Pictures do not do this dessert justice! It’s massive and was perfect for our family of 5. No one felt left out. Next time we’re trying the fresh apple cobbler per my husband’s request. 

The best part about this restaurant is the ambiance. Being surrounded by our favorite band’s memorabilia and quotes made our experience even more awesome. And just like the Hard Rock Hotel (which I highly recommend), the service and attention to detail is spot on! You feel like a part of the family as soon as you walk in. 

8. Food Trucks – 

When you’re out and about in Downtown San Diego, especially when there’s an event going on, make sure to keep an eye out for the delicious food trucks our city has driving around. You can take a look at the food truck schedule by visiting their website

9. Double Standard – 

While we love quite a few restaurants in Downtown San Diego, the sandwiches at Double Standard keep me coming back for more. Plus the kids love their pizza! The menu is always changing so stop by and check out what they are serving up. I’m sure it’ll be delicious! When we’re with the kids we prefer coming for lunch as it’s a little less crowded and we can snag a comfy couch seat. 

10. Ghiradelli – 

If you didn’t snag an amazing brownie sundae at Hard Rock Cafe, stop by Ghiradelli. For a scrumptious ice cream dish to share with the whole family! It’s close to all of the other restaurants and places we’ve previously mentioned so it’s a great place to end the night (or day)! 

No matter what you do while you’re in Downtown San Diego, I’m sure you’ll have fun doing it! If you have any suggestions for kid-friendly activities, please feel free to leave them in the comments below! We’re always looking for something new to explore in San Diego! 

What’s your favorite thing to do in Downtown San Diego? 

Disclosure: Our family was provided a free meal at the Hard Rock Cafe San Diego. 

5 Reasons to Check Out The LEGO® Batman™ Movie Days at Legoland California

The bat-signal is out – will LEGO® Batman™ save the weekend? On Friday, tundreds of children and LEGO® Batman fans raised placards creating a human bat-signal at LEGOLAND® California Resort officially kicking off The LEGO® Batman™ Movie Days on February 18-19 and 25-26. The signal was a success as LEGO Batman made an appearance surprising guests in attendance.

Our family was invited to check out the festivities and boy did we have fun! With guest appearances from their favorite movie characters, to fun activities and more, checking out the LEGO Batman Movie Days at Legoland California was the highlight of our weekend. 

5 Reasons to Check Out LEGO® BATMAN™ Movie Days at Legoland California

During The LEGO Batman Movie Days, guests will get a chance to: 

  1. Meet LEGO Batman
  2. Search for villains during a scavenger hunt in Miniland U.S.A.
  3. Build their own batmobile to race against other guests
  4. Test their inner model builder skills by helping create a life-size LEGO Batman and LEGO Robin 
  5. Help build a special mystery mosaic mural inspired by the film

The LEGO Batman Movie Days activities are included in the price of admission to LEGOLAND California Resort on the weekends of February 18-19 & 25-26.

Legoland Batman stunt at Legoland California on Friday, February 17, 2017.(Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Legoland

Who’s your favorite LEGO Batman Movie character?

The Crack Shack #2 Opening in Encinitas

This past Tuesday the littlest and I headed out to Encinitas to check out the latest from Juniper & Ivy owner Michael Rosen and acclaimed Top Chef All-Stars winner Richard Blais. The Crack Shack Encinitas, the second location of their fast casual concept restaurant that originated in Little Italy, is opening up on Monday, 2/13 at 9am. 

Occupying a former Coco’s – originally a Bob’s Big Boy circa 1975 – on the bustling corner of Encinitas Boulevard and Calle Magdalena, The Crack Shack Encinitas brings the brand’s playful approach to traditional chicken and eggs to coastal North County. Even the toddlers will want to come back again and again after enjoying this deliciousness! 

Just like their location to the south,  The Crack Shack Encinitas menu features an all-day selection devoted to fried (or grilled) chicken and egg-centric dishes conceptualized by Chefs Blais and Jon Sloan (Juniper & Ivy Executive Chef.) However, the new location will expand its offerings with the addition of their six signature sauces on tap, and an espresso bar fueled by the local Bird Rock Coffee Roasters.

The Food

Sourcing both produce and proteins from boutique local farms, the menu utilizes free range, non-GMO eggs and high-end organic ingredients while relying on its own custom bread program to produce hundreds of handcrafted English muffins daily. My little one’s favorite part of the menu? The “deviled chickens” or deviled eggs. The delicious eggs are paired with candied bacon and a french toast crumble to create a tasty 2-3 bite appetizer. 

Other menu highlights include The Royale with savory chicken sausage, organic sunny side egg and smoked cheddar on a house made English muffin, the Firebird with spicy fried thigh, cool ranch, crispy onions, and pickles on a potato roll, Fried Chicken available in five or ten piece portions, hearty Matzo Ball Posole with braised chicken, lime, schmaltz, and all the fixins’, as well as lighter options such as the Downward Dog with local vegetables, hazelnuts, quinoa, hummus, kale, lemon yogurt vinaigrette and option to add a fried egg and the newly revamped Kale Salad with sliced apples, goat cheese, hazelnuts and champagne vinaigrette. But my favorite salad has to be the Baja Chop. Absolutely outstanding! 

The Crack Shack’s signature topping-centric Soft Serve will also be making its way to the Encinitas location, in addition to a variety of other desserts to complement the savory side of the menu.

To seamlessly balance the restaurant’s chicken- and egg-inspired menu, The Crack Shack Encinitas will feature a full bar program with craft cocktails developed by Bar Manager Eric Johnson, while also offering 32 taps – including two on nitro – of local craft beer and wine at their 18-seat wraparound bar. Mindful of the range of meal opportunities presented by the all-day menu, Johnson’s drink list has been fashioned with something to appeal to imbibers at any and every point in the day, and the beverage program will also include a variety of options catering to those abstaining from alcohol. 

We were able to chat with Eric and are excited to come back and try some of the tasty cocktails he’s crafting up. Including some beer cocktails, classic flavors, and a few locally highlighted breweries on tap. 

The Ambiance

With the keen attention to detail they applied at the original location, Bluemotif Architecture is back again with a strong emphasis on the overall experience that The Crack Shack Encinitas will provide, and design elements that play to that mindset. In addition to staying consistent with signature elements from Little Italy – custom-made tables, bocce ball court (that can be turned into a putting green if needed) – The Crack Shack Encinitas will feature a kid-friendly sandbox and chalkboard wall, an all-weather outdoor dining area with retractable roof, chicken-themed American Gothic mural, custom chandelier, and a semi-private room with fireplace and multiple large screen TV screens along with the restaurant’s now signature nine-foot-tall chicken statue.

If you have small kids, this outdoor area is the perfect place for you to enjoy good food and a good beer while still entertaining the little ones. The one thing the little one wanted to do when we got there was jump into the sand box. Too bad it had rained the night before! Next time we come back, it’s on! 

Keeping the original bones and concrete floors from the Coco’s overhaul, additional construction of The Crack Shack Encinitas has centered around a focus on sustainability and an homage to the true chicken ‘coop’. Each design element has a story to tell from the reclaimed corrugated metal roofing that was part of an actual chicken barn to the communal table benches made from local Torrey pines that fell naturally due to weather or age. The landscaping is deliberately native and drought-tolerant, while solar panels on the roof work to offset power consumption. Additionally, the design team has incorporated chicken coop wire to surround the outdoor fire pit, as well as stained mirrors, vintage inspired tiles and a trough-style sink, all reminiscent of the mid-century chicken farms that defined portions of American history.

From the custom-made communal tables, including one with seating for 10 along an open fire pit, to the various large screen TVs, low Adirondack-style chairs, and turf court that can be utilized for bocce, cornhole and mini-golf, the indoor-outdoor dining area was intentionally designed to encourage guests to eat, drink and linger throughout the day, while the retractable roof eliminates weather concerns that are sometimes a consideration at the Little Italy location. 

Meanwhile, those opting to take their meal to-go experience an expedited ordering process from a walk-up station that affords the opportunity to skip long lines at the main entrance.

Whatever way you choose to enjoy The Crack Shack – dine in or take out – I suggest just heading over and trying a little of everything! 

The Crack Shack is located at 407 Encinitas Boulevard, Encinitas, CA. For complete information, visit: www.crack-shack.com.

You can follow The Crack Shack on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!



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