We recently enjoyed a San Diego Gaslamp Getaway. It’s our go-to weekend staycay spot! We stayed at the Westin Gaslamp Quarter, which is conveniently located next to the Westfield Horton Plaza Shopping Center. A hotel next to a mall? This made our teenager so happy! I love that San Diego is less than a 2 hour drive away from our home in Irvine. Just a quick road trip and we’re in a totally different and fun place.

gaslamp San Diego Westin

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Looking for great venues to see Santa Claus in Orange County? Here is our list for favorite Santa visits in the OC.  We did not extensively list malls, since you probably already have your favorite.  So we listed our 2 favorite mall Santas, and instead, are sharing sites we also just love to visit that happen to have awesome Santas.  We prefer going to these beautiful settings and finishing our visits with some adult holiday cheer at the bar!

  1. The Resort at Pelican Hill Newport Beach  
    22701 Pelican Hill Road South, Newport Beach  (855) 315-8214  
Santa at Pelican Hill

Story time with Santa

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The Lido Theater in Newport Beach elicits charm and class. Especially during the holidays. Let’s get this holiday started!  All the malls are decked out, lights are going up around the neighborhood, and holiday music is playing on KOST.  And really, we need every single day that we can get to squeeze in all the fun activities around town and beyond!  Between our two families, we have so many holiday traditions, new and old, we’re lucky we’re not starting up in June!

Lido Theater Newport Beach

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Halloween at Great Wolf Lodge

We just spent an awesome Southern California staycation, at Great Wolf Lodge in Garden Grove.  You can read about it in our recent blog post “Great Wolf Lodge in Garden Grove CA Review: Sip and Slide Means fun for Everyone.” Visit Great Wolf Lodge in October for the Howl-O-Ween celebration between October 1 and October 31.  In addition to having a wonderful time with family and friends sipping and sliding, we enjoyed all their Halloween festivities!  For more info check out Great Wolf Lodge California’s website

Here’s a brief slideshow (under 2 minutes) of all our photos. Enjoy and we hope you have a very Happy Halloween! 

Thank you, Grace Chen for these amazing photos and video clips! XO

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Harry Potter fans filled the Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa, CA for J.K. Rowling’s 3rd installment “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” from her books turned mega-hit film series. This unique experience included viewing the film on a 40 foot screen with Justin Freer conducting the Pacific Symphony. What an amazing way to relive our favorite Harry Potter moments! The orchestra was so incredible you almost forgot that they were there. You’d get so caught up in the adventure and it sounded exactly like the soundtrack of the film. Then you’d look at the stage and realize, “Wow, this is a live performance.” It was mind blowing. Fans dressed up as Hermione or Harry, some wore scarves in the colors of their team – Gryffindor red and gold, Slytherin green and silver, Hufflepuff yellow and black or Ravenclaw blue and bronze.  During the movie the crowd cheered and boo’d for their favorite or not-so favorite characters as they appeared on the screen. So much fun!

Harry Potter Film Series Concert - kids

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