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!

Monster Jam Returns to Crush Through Petco Park!

Celebrating 25 years of car-crushing, dirt-flying action, the infamous 2,000 horsepower engines are revving up again and ready to roar full throttle back into SoCal as Monster Jam(r), the most adrenaline charged motorsports experience for families on the planet, returns to San Diego for two high-octane weekend events at Petco Park on Saturday, February 18th.

Fans will witness the world’s best monster trucks battle it out in the ultimate event of intense speed, racing, freestyle stunts and demolition with a massive collection of 10,000 lb. metal beasts, including several World Finals champion powerhouses Grave Digger(r), Max D(tm), El Toro Loco(r), Metal Mulisha and Bounty Hunter; plus the San Diego debut truck appearances of the Soldier Fortune(tm) Black Ops, Alien Invasion(tm), Storm Damage, Hurricane Force and more.  Plus 2017 marks the most ever female professional drivers assembled in the history of Monster Jam – with four female drivers (including the youngest female driver ever 19-year old Rosalee Ramer) competing for the San Diego champion title!

In addition to the world-class racing and freestyle competition action, die-hard fans can come to the stadium early on Saturday to enjoy the Monster Jam Pit Party pre-show experience (located in the Lexus Lot) – which gives fans unparalleled access to view their favorite trucks up-close, meet the star drivers for autograph and take photos!

Moster Jam

WHERE: Petco Park – 100 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101

WHEN: Saturday, February 18, 2017 at 7:00 PM

Pit Party open from 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM (Event ticket & Pit Pass required for entry; located in the Lexus Lot)

FEATURED TRUCKS:  Grave Digger(r) driven by Charlie Pauken; El Toro Loco(r) driven by TBD; Metal Mulisha driven by Todd LeDuc; Alien Invasion(tm) driven by Chad Tingler; New Earth Authority (N.E.A.)(tm) driven by TBD; Dragon driven by Scott Liddycoat; Scooby-Doo(tm) driven by TBD; VP Racing Fuel(r)’s Mad Scientist driven by Lee O’Donnell; Storm Damage driven by Tim Mente; Hurricane Force driven by Steven Thompson; Big Kahuna driven by Shane England; Fatal Attraction driven by Jeff Murphy – and more trucks to be announced soon!  (truck line-up subject to change)

TICKETS: Tickets start at just $15 each!

Pit Passes available to purchase for $10 each – FREE Pit Passes can be picked up at participating San Diego County Ford Dealers starting late December (while supplies last). 

Tickets now on sale – all seats are reserved; Tickets & Pit Passes are available for purchase online at Tickets.com, charge by phone at 619-795-5555 or in-person at the Petco Park Box Office. 
**ticket prices subject to change – venue/ticketing fees may apply.

Follow Monster Jam on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to join in on the fun!

For specific information on the San Diego events go HERE!

Who are you excited to see at Monster Jam? 

Kids Eat Free Wednesdays at St. Tropez Bistro

A few weeks ago we were invited up to Encinitas to check out St. Tropez Bistro in celebration of a new offer they’re providing to guests. St. Tropez is introducing Kids Eat Free Wednesdays, where up to two kids can order free kids menu dishes, with the purchase of an adult entree and drink (cannot be combined with other offers or discounts). 

One thing I love is a restaurant that caters to kids. When my husband and I first had kids, we were always nervous to check out new places for fear that others would give us glances or stares when our kids started getting “too loud” for the type of restaurant we were at. So when we find a good family-friendly place, we like to share it with everyone! 

The second thing I love? When the kids menu includes breakfast items all day. Because there’s not much my kids love more than a stack of pancakes and some whipped cream. 

The Atmosphere

As soon as we found parking (boy is that hard to do on a busy day!) we made our way into the small courtyard where Saint Tropez is located. There’s a nice water fountain and little shops all around the courtyard. We found a table outside near the fountain and settled the kids in before heading inside to order. 

Having the option to sit outside with the kids is always a good thing. Especially when it’s a nice day out and the weather is enjoyable. We don’t have to limit them to sitting at the table for the whole meal when they’ve eaten what’s on their plates. 

The Menu

As I mentioned before, the kids love breakfast foods for lunch and dinner. So when they saw pancakes on the menu, they jumped at the chance to order some. But my youngest decided to be a little different and went for the mac and cheese. Each kids meal came with a small bowl of fruit. 

I took quite a while to decide what I wanted to eat because I just wasn’t sure what to try. There were savory crepes, quiches, salads and sandwiches. With a slight nip in the air I wanted something warm. So I went with the Menton panini: roast beef, swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions, and garlic aioli. With the paninis you can opt for a cup of fruit or soup for a small up charge. I chose the french onion soup to pair with my panini. The sandwiches also come with a side salad leaving me very satisfied and full when I was done eating. 

My husband went for his go-to hot sandwich: the tuna melt. And while he wanted to love it, it was a little too dry for his liking. He did enjoy his side salad as well. 

Dessert

One thing you notice as soon as you walk into St. Tropez Bistro are the desserts. Oh the desserts! As soon as we asked the kids if they wanted to try one, their faces lit up. Each of them chose something different: my son chose a chocolate dipped heart sugar cookie, my older daughter chose a brownie (so her!), and the littlest wanted the sprinkle tree sugar cookie. 

But I couldn’t choose something from the display window. I needed to try one of their delicious crepes from the menu! I narrowed it down to the Caramel Apple crepes or the Strawberry Nutella crepes and the strawberry nutella crepes won out. They were served warm and wrapped like little burritos then covered with a drizzle of nutella and good helping of whipped cream. I may or may not have wanted to lick the plate…


St. Tropez has also signed on with UberEATS. Download the app and order from St. Tropez at your convenience, delivered right to your door. And in celebration of National Croissant Day, on Monday, Jan. 30 you can get a free coffee with purchase of a croissant.

They are located at 947 S Coast Hwy 101 (Encinitas, 92024). For more information, please visit www.StTropezEncinitas.com

What is your kids go to menu item when eating out? 

Greystone Steakhouse | San Diego Restaurant Week January 15th – 22nd 2017

 

One of the best things about date night in San Diego, besides the weather, is the plethora of dinner options downtown after we head out of the theater. This past weekend our season tickets to Broadway SD took us to see Rent. It was my first time and I loved it. Why hadn’t I seen it before? I have friends who’ve seen it over 5 times (at various theaters)! After the musical, we were invited to try out the delicious sounding Restaurant Week menu at Greystone Steakhouse on 5th Avenue. Neither my husband or I had ever been there but the menu online was quite intriguing. Certified waygu beef straight from the source? Delicious surf and turf options? Yes please! 

Greystone Steakhouse | San Diego Gaslamp

We were able to walk to the restaurant from the civic theater in less than 10 minutes. The perfect distance to take in the city but not feel out of breath getting from one place to another. And once we walked up we were greeted by a host at their outdoor patio. We walked in and went through the bar and up to an intimate seating area. There was another seating area downstairs from where we were that mirrored the same layout. 

Greystone Steakhouse | The Food

To start we ordered the kale cesar salad. It was the perfect ratio of lettuce to cheese to dressing and the crunch of the romaine fit in perfectly with the earthiness of the kale. Shortly after enjoying our salads we were asked if we’d like to try a few of their other options. The wildboar sausage and big eye tuna tartar were brought out for us to sample. I could not get enough of either however my husband preferred the wildboar sausage. Sweet and savory all on one plate! But to be fair, he’s not much of a raw fish person. 

Then our entrees came out. My husband is a huge steak fan and ordered the petite filet where I wanted to try something a little different. Now I know chicken may not sound different but I hadn’t ordered a chicken dish in so long. And the smoked butter-basted chicken breast with leeks, artichokes, and mushrooms sounded too good not to try. I was also pleasantly surprised to find saffron cauliflower mash. Since I’m following a low carb diet, this meal was right up my alley! And for those who are gluten free, almost the entire menu is gluten free as well! There are also select dishes that are dairy free also. What a great find, right? Another delicious side that was brought out for us to try were the bacon fig brussel sprouts. I thought they were a bit too sweet for my taste but my husband enjoyed one or two alongside is mashed potatoes. 

When dessert came, my husband couldn’t decide between the chocolate lava cake (they flambe it!) or the lemoncello sponge cake so our kind waiter talked him into getting both. The tableside flambe really was a treat! And the lemoncello cake came with a shot of lemoncello. I know a few people who would LOVE this dessert. Since I’m not eating sweets right now, we had plenty left over for the kids to help dig into. And boy did they like that. 

Greystone Steakhouse | Restaurant Week Highlights

For San Diego Restaurant Week, Greystone Steakhouse offers 3 different selections for dinner options with them. a $40 person menu, a $50 person menu, and a $60 person menu. You can find all of the selections offered in each menu here

And as I mentioned previously, this restaurant is perfect for those who are gluten free or dairy free and have such a large array of options to fit any dietary needs. The saffron cauliflower mash was amazing and paired perfectly with my chicken (or my husband’s filet). And the food was so full of layered flavor. Definitely a treat for date night! 

San Diego Restaurant Week | January 15th – 22nd 2017

The 13th Annual San Diego Restaurant Week returns Sunday, January 15th through Sunday, January 22nd for an edible extravaganza to ring in the New Year! 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. San Diego Restaurant Week is proud to announce a very delicious partnership for January 2017 as many of the San Diego Restaurant Week restaurants team up with local Girl Scouts to celebrate the arrival of Girl Scouting in San Diego 100 years ago, as well as the 100th anniversary of delectable, scrumptious, delicious Girl Scout Cookies! To celebrate, chefs are getting creative with America’s favorite cookies to dish out special offerings for SDRW diners.

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.

Satisfy your cookie cravings early by dining out at participating restaurants offering sweet and savory menu items before Girl Scout Cookie Season begins! Enjoy dishes featuring Thin Mints, Do-si-dos, Trefoils, Samoas, Tagalongs, and Savannah Smiles used in recipes that are sure to surprise you. Naturally, you can expect decadent desserts featuring these beloved cookies – but our restaurants are taking Girl Scout cookies to the next level with dishes like Samoas Crusted Fried Shrimp, Do-si-dos Peanut Thai Chicken, salads featuring toasted Trefoil croutons, and more!

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: 

Double Standard

SHIMBASHI Izakaya

The Hake Restaurant & Bar

Grant Grill

Oceanaire Seafood Room

 

Disney On Ice Worlds of Enchantment in San Diego Jan. 26-29

Enter the dazzling world of Disney magic, live on ice! Rev up for non-stop fun with four of your favorite Disney stories at Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment. Thrill to high-speed stunts as Lightning McQueen, Mater and the crew of Disney•Pixar’s Cars race across the ice like you’ve never seen before!

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Dive into adventure with Ariel and The Little Mermaid’s undersea kingdom. The toys are back in town with heroic action when Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Jessie and the Toy Story gang escape from the rambunctious tots of Sunnyside Daycare and race for home, in their most daring adventure ever!

Plus, enter the wintery world of Arendelle with sisters Anna and Elsa and pals Olaf and Kristoff from Disney’s Frozen, as they learn that true love comes from within. From wheels to waves, icy wonderlands to infinity and beyond, your family’s favorite Disney moments come to life at Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment.

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Showtimes:

Thursday, January 26 – Sunday, January 29

Thursday, January 26 7:00 PM

Friday, January 27 7:00 PM

Saturday, January 28 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM

Sunday, January 29 1:00 PM & 5:00 PM

WHERE: Valley View Casino Center – 3500 Sports Arena Blvd., San Diego, CA 92110

Location:

Valley View Casino Center
3500 Sports Arena Blvd., San Diego CA 92110

Tickets:

Ticket prices start at just $15!

All seats are reserved; tickets are available for purchase online at AXS.com, charge by phone at 888-9AXS-TIX or visit the Valley View Casino Center Box Office.
*tickets prices are subject to change; additional venue/ticketing fees may apply

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Which Disney character are you most looking forward to seeing?

Don’t forget to check Disney on Ice out online on Facebook and twitter too!!

*** This giveaway is now closed ***

Congrats, Melissa A! 

Open to US only, 18+. Must be able to attend this event in San Diego on January 26. This giveaway ends January 20, 2017 at 11:59EST. Tickets are valid for weekday performances only (Thursday at 7pm).

Mandatory Entry
Please comment* below with your (or your child’s) favorite Disney character and/or why you’re excited for Disney on Ice.

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.

1. Do you Like us on Facebook – leave a comment and let us know!
2. Follow us on Instagram and leave a comment with your Instagram url so we can follow back!
3. Follow us on Pinterest and leave a comment with your Pinterest url.
4. Follow us on Twitter and leave a comment with your Twitter user name.
5. Tweet this  and leave a comment with your tweet URL. (you may do this twice a day with at least 2 hours in between each tweet, please leave a comment each time)

Enter to win a 4pack of tickets to Disney on Ice Worlds of Enchantment in #SanDiego from @SimmworksFamily! http://acraftyspoonful.com/disney-on-ice-worlds-of-enchantment/ Ends 1/20

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.

Disclaimer: I received tickets in exchange for promotion of this show. All opinions are my own.

Free Preschool Pass SeaWorld San Diego

Sea World Preschool pass

Free Preschool Pass SeaWorld San Diego

Yes, that’s right! Sign up for a free preschool pass for SeaWorld San Diego and your preschooler can enjoy Sea World through the end of the year.

SeaWorld San Diego is delighted to offer a 2017 SeaWorld Preschool Fun Card to the first 10,000 registered preschoolers, a $10 Fun Card will be available after that. This FREE Fun Card grants kids ages 5 and younger complimentary admission to SeaWorld San Diego through Dec. 30, 2017*.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Sign your child(ren) up for their free pass by clicking on the link below. Make sure to go through the whole checkout process. Registration ends March 17th, 2017.
  2. Redeem your FREE preschool pass by March 31st, 2017: Simply go to any Sea World ticket window with your printed e-ticket, a valid photo ID, passport, or certified copy of their birth certificate. This is required for verification of age and preschool pass redemption – no exceptions.

To sign up your preschooler for their free Sea World San Diego Preschool Pass head here and fill out the form.

*San Diego and Orange County CA residents only. Valid only at SeaWorld San Diego only for children 5 years old and younger at time of redemption. Unlimited admission through 12/30/2017. Does not include free parking, separately ticketed events or other discounts. Bring Preschool Fun Card Voucher and valid form of ID (a copy of a certified birth certificate or travel passport) to Tickets and Reservations at SeaWorld San Diego. School IDs or children’s security IDs will not be accepted. The SeaWorld Preschool Fun Card offer is not available at the park; advance online registration required.

Offer valid for limited time and subject to change and/or cancellation without notice. Blockout dates apply.

5 Reasons Why You Should Check Out LEGOLAND California Brick Or Treat

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Looking for something to do the weekend before Halloween and not sure what to do? Brick-or-Treat Party Nights at LEGOLAND® California Resort, presented by Shutterfly®, is back and sweeter than ever! 

The biggest kids’ Halloween celebration in San Diego offers children and their families trick-or- treating and entertainment throughout the Park. Every Saturday night in October starting at 5 p.m., LEGOLAND California transforms into a not-too-spooky Halloween party. We were invited to attend our first Brick-or-Treat Party Nights as LEGOLAND California ambassadors and boy did we have fun! 

Featuring a new Ghost Cruise adventure, a new pop-badge challenge through Fun Town, a new theater show in Castle Hill, a fall festival complete with a LEGO® pumpkin patch building activity and blue-grass style music in LEGO Friends Heartlake City, treat stations with specialty items including a LEGO® commemorative Brick, roaming candy carts throughout the Park and two bonus treat stations inside SEA LIFE® Aquarium. 

Plus, LEGOLAND® Hotel joins in the fun with its own Halloween party on Oct. 31 with candy giveaways, a dance party and a special visit from Brick-Or- Treat Characters exclusively for Hotel guests!

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5 Reasons Why You Should Check Out LEGOLAND California Brick Or Treat

1. Halloween Fun for as low as $35 – 

Brick-or- Treat Party Nights is a special event and admission can be purchased for as low as $35 if purchased online in advance. Special event ticket holders can enjoy costume contests, trick-or- treating at treat stations and candy carts filled with tasty goodies and other surprises, festive music, live entertainment including the hilarious “Boo Crew,” a dazzling animated Spirits of Brick-or- Treat light show, and new Ghost Cruise adventure. 

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2. LEGO themed treat stations

The LEGO themed treat stations and candy carts offer a safe, fun and entertaining trick-or- treating experience for all to enjoy. 

3. All New Shows!

An all new show, “The Curse of the Hallowmeenie” debuts at the Castle Stage in Castle Hill. Special event guests can also enjoy entertainment from The Witchettes, Bluegrass Band Jamboree.

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4. Fun Crafts and Activities

There is a special LEGO Friends meet and greet in Heartlake City, where kids can decorate their own craft! Guests can also “boo-gie” down at frighteningly-fun dance parties: Hubble Bubble’s Dance Party atop the Model Shop in Miniland U.S.A., Pirate Booty Boogie at SEA LIFE Aquarium, plus sing and dance along to the music and mayhem in the Monster Fighter Mash featured at the Fun Town Stage.

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5. Halloween Costume Contest

My son went out of his comfort zone when we visited Brick-or-Treat Party Nights and entered the costume contest. There are three categories for guests to enter: group, LEGO themed, and creative. Each participant needs to register before the event and line up to take center stage in front of the judges when their category is up. 

1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize winners are chosen and the prizes are definitely worth it! 2nd and 3rd place winning 2 park hopper tickets to LEGOLAND California as well as LEGO goodies and souvenirs. And 1st place takes home 4 Merlin annual passes, a stay at the LEGOLAND Hotel, and more! My son entered the creative round and did something I never thought he’d do – talk on stage! It was quite a fun experience even if he didn’t come close to winning with his Steve from Minecraft costume. He had a great time and that’s all that matters! 

5-reasons-why-you-should-check-out-legoland-california-brick-or-treat-costume-contest

LEGOLAND California and SEA LIFE Aquarium are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on select dates throughout October. With special event admission to Brick-or-Treat Party Nights on October 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 guests can extend their day until 9pm at both LEGOLAND California and SEA LIFE Aquarium to enjoy all the Halloween festivities. 

Have you ever joined LEGOLAND California for their Brick-or-Treat Party Nights? 

For exclusive savings and more information, visit www.BRICKORTREAT.com or call 760-918-5346.

Double Standard | San Diego Restaurant Week September 25th – October 2nd 2016

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This Sunday kicks off San Diego Restaurant Week and it is the perfect time to explore San Diego’s diverse neighborhoods and incredible restaurants. Not only are there over 180 participating restaurants but you can choose to dine for lunch or dinner. We were invited to head over to Double Standard in downtown San Diego to sample their amazing menu. 

We headed over for lunchtime before taking the kids to see The Lion King at the Civic Theater but were treated with some dinner offerings to get a sample of the amazing cuisine served by Chef Chris Gentile at dinnertime. And I have to tell you, lunch or dinner, you will NOT be disappointed with the menu. While it does change weekly due to it’s seasonality, there is always some hidden gem that you’ll just have to try. Like the amazing truffle fries or burrata bruschetta.  

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Double Standard Kitchenette | San Diego Gaslamp

As soon as we walked up to Double Standard we were taken away by the openness and flow of the space. It was warm, relaxing, and inviting. And when you are dining with your kids downtown, having spacious tables is a must. The kids quickly chose a table with a comfy couch-like booth seat. As soon as we were seated we were able to order the kids a pizza to share along with some delicious sounding truffle fries. The server was kind enough to bring out 1/2 of an order of truffle fries and 1/2 of an order of regular fries in case the kids didn’t like the truffle oil. 

We then ordered our lunch and each chose to start with something different. My husband was in the mood for a salad and I couldn’t turn down the burrata bruschetta. Who can turn down burrata? After taking a moment to look more at the menu, I settled on the short rib sandwich while my husband selected the steak sandwich. 

With the spread on our table, no one was going home hungry. And wow was it good. The freshness of the tomatoes in the bruschetta, the creaminess of the cheese. And the piece of brioche toast that came with my husband’s romaine salad? Oh wow. But then we got our sandwiches. I’m pretty sure I’d order that short rib sandwich every.single.time I came if they had the same menu. It was melt in your mouth good and, while I was full after one half (I did have to try the kids pizza and have a few truffle fries in addition to the burrata bruschetta), I wanted to eat that second half. 

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Double Standard | Restaurant Week Menu Highlights

This year you can choose to dine at Double Standard during lunch or dinner. And you won’t be limited to just a few choices on a special menu. For lunch, you can enjoy a two course meal for $20 selecting any two items on the menu (one from the Verdura section). And for dinner you are in for a treat! $50 gets you a 3 course meal that will wow you. One starter, your main course, and a bit of dulce to complete the meal. 

In addition to our amazing lunch, we were brought out a few examples of Double Standard’s dinner menu. How beautiful are these plates? Stunning. 

And the level of detail doesn’t just stop at what you see. The flavors that are created with the combination of fresh ingredients and perfect seasonings lend to some wonderful dishes. Each ingredient is thought out and no two items are paired together without a reason. If you have a chance to stop by during restaurant week, I highly suggest the octopus or scallops.  

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San Diego Restaurant Week | September 25th – October 2nd 2016

It is no secret that San Diego is quickly becoming one of the U.S.’s culinary hotspots. Whether you are a San Diego native or just want to dine out like one, San Diego Restaurant Week is the perfect time to explore San Diego’s diverse neighborhoods and incredible restaurants. 

During San Diego Restaurant Week, Sunday, September 25th through Sunday, October 2nd, over 180 participating restaurants will Celebrate Local by offering you dishes featuring ingredients sourced from our region! Fresh has never tasted so good and it has never been a better time to discover why foodies LOVE San Diego!

For eight days only enjoy dishes compiled of local products and ingredients at over 180 participating restaurants throughout San Diego County. Dinner will be served as a three-course, prix-fixe menu for just $20, $30, $40 or $50 per person and lunch will be served as a two-course prix-fixe menu for only $10, $15 or $20 per person. 

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What restaurant are you looking forward to trying?

Find Your Tasty Moment at Taste Of Downtown San Diego | September 15th 5-9pm

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Downtown San Diego is fast becoming known for its incredible food, bustling nightlife, and diverse culture. With so many options for your next meal out, it can be daunting to pick just one – but on Thursday, September 15th, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., you don’t have to! 

The Taste of Downtown, sponsored by Makers Quarter, offers you the chance to sample bites from 40 different restaurants throughout the Gaslamp Quarter, East Village, and the Downtown Core. For those 21 and up, Blue Chair Bay Rum will be shaking up cocktails at several restaurants to accompany their tasty offerings. Taste of Downtown tickets can be purchased in advance for just $30, or $35 the day of the event.

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Taste Of Downtown San Diego | September 15th 5-9pm

WHEN: Thursday, September 15, 2016 from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM

WHERE: Will call will be located at Rustic Root at 672 Fifth Avenue, 535 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101. Participating restaurants are located in the neighborhoods of the Gaslamp Quarter, East Village, Downtown Core District, and Headquarters.

SHUTTLE: Old Town Trolley will be available throughout the evening to transport tasters to each area and neighborhood of the Taste of Downtown.

HOW MUCH: Tickets for this savory stroll are just $30 in advance and $35 the day-of the event, and all proceeds will benefit the Downtown San Diego Partnership. Get your ticket early, as this year will most definitely sell out! For tickets and further information visit www.downtownsandiego.org/events/annual-taste-of-downtown/

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Restaurants Participating

With more restaurants added daily, below is a list of participating Taste of Downtown restaurants. Restaurants with an asterisk are featuring cocktails for those 21 and up!

Gaslamp
 AD Night Club
 Analog *
 BiCE Ristorante San Diego *
 Blush Ice Bar + East West Kitchen *
 Ciro’s Pizzeria and Beerhouse
 Coyote Ugly Saloon
 Don Chido *
 Gourmet India *
 Henry’s Pub and Restaurant *
 Le Parfait Paris
 Ocean Pacific Grille
 Rei Do Gado Brazilian Steakhouse
 Rockin’ Baja Lobster *
 Royal India
 Rustic Root *
 Searsucker San Diego
 The Field Irish Pub *
 Tin Roof
 Whiskey Girl

Headquarters
 Gelato Paradiso
 Seasons 52

The Core
 BIGA
 Carne Asada Bravo
 Dobson’s Bar and Restaurant *
 Parq Restaurant *
 San Diego Donut Bar *
 Sixth Avenue Bistro
 Tender Greens
 Time Out Sports Tavern *

East Village
 Bondar’s Coffee and Sweets
 Bub’s @ the Ballpark
 Chillbox Greek Frozen Yogurt
 Cute Cakes
 East Village Tavern + Bowl
 Knotty Barrel Gastro Pub
 Lotus Thai Cuisine Downtown
 Salvucci’s
 Social Tap
 The Blind Burro
 The Deck at Moonshine Flats
 Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery

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Check out San Diego’s thriving downtown dining scene! The Downtown San Diego Partnership invites you to treat yourself and go guilt free. This tasty evening out will give attendees the opportunity to enjoy a tasting tour of Downtown’s favorite restaurants and new additions.

What restaurant are you most looking forward to trying out? 

I’ll be giving away a pair of tickets on Facebook this afternoon so keep your eye out! 

Disney On Ice Presents Passport to Adventure In San Diego Oct. 6-9

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Join Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse as your tour guides a magical globetrotting getaway as they travel to the timeless worlds of Disney’s The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan and the #1 animated feature film of all time, Frozen, in Disney On Ice presents Passport to Adventure! Celebrate some of the most memorable Disney tales and landscapes with all your favorite characters in one fun-filled ice production, coming to San Diego from October 6th – 9th at the Valley View Casino Center.

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Mickey and Minnie will take audiences on a sightseeing adventure created for the entire family to explore the African Pride Lands with Simba, Timon and Pumbaa; voyage deep under the sea to Ariel’s mystical underwater kingdom and tour London with Peter Pan and Wendy before flying to Neverland to meet up with Tinker Bell. Plus, travel to Arendelle for an extraordinary adventure with sisters Anna and Elsa, rugged mountain man Kristoff and everyone’s favorite, huggable snowman Olaf, as they journey to discover that true love is the most magical power of all.

Disney On Ice presents Passport to Adventure features an international team of award-winning figure skaters, high-energy choreography and a colorful set that captures all four unique worlds. Upbeat music, lovable characters and unforgettable moments make this an experience families will cherish forever!

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Showtimes:

Thursday, October 6 – Sunday, October 9

Thursday, Oct. 6 7:00 PM

Friday, Oct. 7 7:00 PM

Saturday, Oct. 8 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM

Sunday, Oct. 9 1:00 PM & 5:00 PM

Location:

Valley View Casino Center
3500 Sports Arena Blvd., San Diego CA 92110

Tickets:

Ticket prices start at just $15!

Special Opening Night discount tickets available for only $12 each (not valid for VIP/Front Row levels)

All seats are reserved; tickets are available for purchase online at AXS.com, charge by phone at 888-9AXS-TIX or visit the Valley View Casino Center Box Office.
*tickets prices are subject to change; additional venue/ticketing fees may apply

Tickets for Disney On Ice presents Passport To Adventure, along with the full line up of Disney On Ice productions for the 2016-2017 season, go on sale July 7, 2016. Visit http://presale.disneyonice.com for the shows and dates coming to your hometown.

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Which Disney character are you most looking forward to seeing?

Don’t forget to check Disney on Ice out online on Facebook and twitter too!!

*** This giveaway is now closed ***

Congrats Debbie Terry! 

Open to US only, 18+. Must be able to attend this event in San Diego on October 6. This giveaway ends September 29, 2016 at 11:59EST. Tickets are valid for weekday performances only (Thursday at 7pm).

Mandatory Entry
Please comment* below with your (or your child’s) favorite Disney character and/or why you’re excited for Disney on Ice.

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.

1. Do you Like us on Facebook – leave a comment and let us know!
2. Follow us on Instagram and leave a comment with your Instagram url so we can follow back!
3. Follow us on Pinterest and leave a comment with your Pinterest url.
4. Follow us on Twitter and leave a comment with your Twitter user name.
5. Tweet this  and leave a comment with your tweet URL. (you may do this twice a day with at least 2 hours in between each tweet, please leave a comment each time)

Enter to win a 4pack of tickets to Disney on Ice Passport To Adventure in #SanDiego from @SimmworksFamily! http://acraftyspoonful.com/disney-ice-passport-adventure/ Ends 9/29

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.

Disclaimer: I received tickets in exchange for promotion of this show. All opinions are my own.



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