Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Summer Playdate at Discovery Cube Los Angeles and Hansen Dam Recreation Area

I don't know about you, but we're still enjoying our last month of summer. Our kids don't go back to school this year until after Labor Day. This means we have all of August to continue exploring Southern California's local spots to cool off during summer. Last weekend we took the kids to one of our favorite places, Discovery Cube Los Angeles and to a new destination. We called our friends and met up for the perfect summer playdate at The Cube and Hansen Dam Recreation Center!

The Cube is a great place to 'beat the heat' and hot weather typically continues throughout October in the San Fernando Valley. Check out 10 Reasons To Go To Discovery Cube Los Angeles which highlights some of our family favorites! The kids had a blast (as usual) going from exhibit to exhibit of hands-on play. On this particular trip though, they spent most of their time between two main areas.


 All paws were on deck at Clifford Exhibit (only open until Sept 7, 2015). Even though my daughter is almost 8, she loves going to Birdwell Island and engaging in imaginative play with the Big Red Dog's hometown. As her mom, I love the 10 life lessons that are placed throughout the Early Learners Zone to help remind young children of positive behavior. These are the same guidelines that we have always tried to teach our own kids.

 * Help Others * Be A Good Friend * Believe In Yourself * Work Together * Share * Be Truthful * Have Respect * Be Kind * Play Fair * Be Responsible *


The other half of our visit was spent shopping... at Discovery Market learning how to become super shoppers! Once these kids grab a cart, they are off and running down the aisles to make the right healthy food choices and to pick products that are good for our environment. I think their favorite part is the scanner, and the way that it interacts with the computer game on the grocery cart. It's like a video game on wheels - literally.

After we spent a few hours at The Cube, the second half of our summer playdate was to be spent at the Hansen Dam Recreation Center, which FYI is right next door making it easy to visit both places in one day. The kids wanted to go to the universal access Playground first. So they got on the swings and ran around the park for awhile until they were all hot and sweaty! Just in time to hit the Hansen Dam Aquatic Center.

Since we've never been I didn't know what to expect, and had no idea how BIG the pool area is. We paid a small fee to get in. ($3.50 for adults and $1.00 for children) We were pleasantly surprised to find a beach like setting, sand, cabanas (for rent), lifeguards in towers, outdoor showers, and two water slides all encompassing a HUGE swimming area. Fresh Tip: Rent a cabana or bring an umbrella to help shade you and your party from the hot summer sun.

There's a variety of outdoor activities to do at Hansen Dam including:
* Skate Park
* Hiking Trails
* Aquatic Center
* Baseball Fields
* Biking Trails
* Soccer Fields
* Equestrian Center 
* Universal Access Playground
* Barbeque Pits and Picnic Tables
* Lake (Fishing, Paddle Boats, Kayaking, Canoeing)

It was a great way to spend a day with family and friends. We are already planning a trip back to check out the Lake and to take our youngest daughter on her first fishing trip. Have you been to the Hansen Dam Recreation Area before? What's your families favorite thing to do there? Leave a comment, I'd love to know what you like.

Disclosure: This is a compensated post. As part of the Discovery Cube Mom Ambassadors, my family and I get free tickets to The Cube to review and attend events. The thoughts and opinions shared on this blog are 100% fresh and 100% mine.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Discovery Cube LA: 10 Awesome Exhibits Your Kids Will Love

Inspire. Educate. Impact.

Discovery Cube is encouraging young minds to become productive, problem solving members of the community by teaching healthy and eco-friendly learning through science, math, technology, STEM, engineering and play!

When we heard that Discovery Cube Los Angeles had recently opened up we were thrilled to take the 15 minute trip (from Burbank) to come explore LA's newest children's museum. We are so glad we did! Having a museum just for youth in the San Fernando Valley means a lot to us "Valley" moms.  Discovery Cube LA is a kid's dream place to run around, learn new things, and touch EVERYTHING! With science-based programs and exhibits you will feel like they just spent a day at a science fair. It's a parents dream too because it is inexpensive, (just $10) it's all enclosed so it's easy to keep an eye on your kids, and it's filled with cool educational facts and exhibits to encourage hands-on learning.

Discovery Cube LA is the perfect place to bring your children this summer, they even have 2 new exhibits featuring Clifford and Animal Grossology. Stimulate those young minds while they are on summer vacation with fun learning. From the moment my daughter and her friends stepped foot into the museum they were off and running. There is so much for them to see, do, and experience. It was a wonderful way to spend a summer day with the family. If you haven't been yet, you should definitely put it on your list of places to take the kids this summer! And when you go, make sure to check out these 10 fun things!

10 awesome exhibits not-to-miss at the Discovery Cube Los Angeles

1. Adventures with Clifford the Big Red Dog
Clifford's exhibit transports you to the world of Clifford, Emily Elizabeth, and all the residents of Birdwell Island. When exploring the exhibit, you will encounter the people and places that make up Clifford’s world! (Adventures with Clifford is a temporary exhibit is just for summer.)

2. Animal Grossology
Ever wonder why dogs sniff each other’s rear ends, why cows need four stomachs to digest their food, or why cats spit up hair balls? You can find out the answers to all these "gross" questions and more! (Animal Grossology is a temporary exhibit is just for summer.)

3. LA Kings Science of Hockey
The Science of Hockey (created in association with the LA Kings) is one of the most technically advanced sports-themed exhibits in the world. The permanent destination attraction provides science and hockey fans with exclusive access to the sport and the team, while exploring the fascinating math and science behind the game.

4. Helicopter Tour
Climb aboard our helicopter simulator and take to the skies above Los Angeles. Soar over California and follow the 300-mile journey of the L.A. aqueduct then dive beneath the City and view the vast water system below! Hold on tight and get the best view of California you have ever seen.

5. Discovery Market
Grab your cart, aim your scanner and zoom through the aisles in this exciting grocery store game. Learn the importance of making healthy and Earth-friendly choices when you shop. Are you up for the challenge?

6. Race to Zero Waste
The first one to zero wins! Zero waste, that is. Race against others to correctly sort recyclables and other waste to divert trash from our landfills.

7. Planetary Research Station
View the earth on a suspended, animated globe from a completely unique vantage point. Explore weather patterns, observe historic storms and relive catastrophic earthquakes. It’s a view of Earth you’ve never seen before.

8. Inspector Training Course
Is your house earthquake proof and energy efficient? Find out when you strap on an inspector belt and master the skills of a home inspector using a touch screen tablet. This competitive scavenger-hunt game takes you inside a California home and puts you to the test!

9. Park Science / Rock Climbing Wall
Explore Discovery Cube’s own backyard by taking a virtual trek through the Hansen Dam Recreation Area, withstanding 70 mph Santa Ana winds, or climbing a rock wall.

10. Aquavator
Descend deep into the earth’s crust in a specialized elevator and view the geological layers while learning the science behind underground water aquifers. Make sure to keep an eye out for the mythical Megalodon on your trip!

All that learning can make a kid hungry, lucky for you they have BEAN SPROUTS, a cafe at the entrance of the museum. Check out it's healthy kid-friendly menu HERE.

Don't forget to stop at the Gift Shop, ELEMENTS on your way out, for unique educational souvenirs.

Grand Opening Price of $10 per ticket extended until January 3, 2016.
(Children 2 and under free.)
Annual Memberships are available.
Tickets to 4D movies cost extra.

11800 Foothill Boulevard
Sylmar, CA 91342

Open Monday-Sunday from 10am to 5pm
(not open on Thanksgiving or Christmas)

Follow Discovery Cube LA on social media:

Instagram: DiscoveryCubeLA
Facebook: DiscoveryCubeLA

Disclosure: I received guest passes for my family to attend this event as media.
The opinions on this blog are 100% Fresh and 100% my own.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

New Youtube Channels for Kids and a Cool Giveaway

(This post is sponsored.) 
Summer vacation is here! If your kids are like mine, that means there will be lots of hours spent sitting at the computer watching Youtube! I recently found out about two cool new Youtube channels just for kids that play awesome videos like Scooby-Doo, DC Super Friends, and Batman Unlimited. There are so many videos on Youtube that we have to worry about, it's nice to know about these channels from a trusted company like Warner Bros that were made just for kids! Plus my daughter loves Teen Titans Go! and Scooby-Doo so I'm happy to find some quality content that we both can agree on.

Check out some of the super fun new videos from DCKids and Warner Bros' new Youtube channels - included are favorites such as Batman Unlimited, Teen Titan Go!, DC Super Friends Looney Toons, and Scooby-Doo! There will be updates happening through out the next year, so you may want to subscribe to their channels!

DCKids Channel:
The Official YouTube channel for DC Kids! 
Enjoy great entertainment from your favorite shows like Batman Unlimited, DC Super Friends, Teen Titans Go!

WBKids Channel:
The Official YouTube channel for WB Kids. 
Watch all of your favorite clips and trailers from iconic brands like Looney Tunes and Scooby-Doo!

Enter this fun giveaway featuring some new videos from Warner Bros, including Batman Unlimited, DC Super Friends and Scooby-Doo! You could win one of 5 mystery toy gift baskets containing a minimum of $50 worth of prizes chosen by the staff of WBKids and DCKids.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclosure: I received compensation for my time in writing this post. The opinions on this blog are 100% mine and 100% fresh*

Sunday, May 31, 2015

10 Fun Things To Do at Knotts Berry Farm This Summer #NewAtKnotts

Going to the beach, pool days, BBQ'ing, and visiting theme parks, that's pretty much what we live for during summer vacation. It's all about spending time together in family friendly places. I love living in So Cal because we have the best of everything all within an hour drive (give or take).

One of the places on our summer bucket list to visit is Knott's Berry Farm. My family had a blast in Spring at Knott's Boysenberry Festival! We can't wait to experience all of the new attractions, shows, and dining delights just for summertime.

10 Fun Things To Do This Summer At Knott's Berry Farm:

1. Voyage to the Iron Reef
Everyone in my family is excited to try the newest attraction at Knott's! Do you think you have what it takes to become a deep sea navigator? If so, you can voyage under the Boardwalk in a four person submarine and embark on an adventure into the Iron Reef. Grab your interactive freeze ray and get busy aiming for the undersea creatures. Let the friendly competition begin. Sounds awesome right?

2. Bigfoot Rapids
A family favorite! When the weather's nice and the Southern Californian sun is beating down, we head straight for the rapids. We laugh and scream and get soaked together, it's a blast! Fresh Tip: When riding this attraction, it's best to go in the middle of the day when there's plenty of time in the heat of the day to dry off.

3. Blockbuster Beagle! ... On Ice Show
The Charles Shultz Theater is the perfect place to relax all while seeing a great show. Anytime you can see a huge beagle dancing on ice skates, you should definitely do it. This summer, Snoopy goes all "Hollywood." Lights. Camera. Action. My child may or may not have fallen asleep while watching the show in the cool dark theater. Shhhh... Please don't tell Snoopy!

4. Fireman's Brigade Barbecue
Nothing says summer like delicious Barbeque, at least that's how my husband and I feel. And when you take your family to eat at the BBQ at Knott's, you get exactly that. Finger-licking good chicken, ribs, and flank steak - don't forget the wet wipe.

5. Vertical Impact / Vertical Impact Geared Up Show
Hot music, high ariel stunts, sounds like thrilling entertainment to me. Vertical Impact is a new show for summer, so we're looking forward to seeing it. Extreme sports combining everything from trampoline stunts, BMX, skaters, dancers, and aerialists are what make this high energy show one to watch! But when the sun goes down, the fun doesn't stop, "DJ Nytemadness” keeps the party going mixing all the best of current dance music, for this high-paced, high-energy show with electrifying stunts, that defy gravity and stimulate your adrenaline. This evening version called Vertical Impact Geared Up will take you to the next level.

6. Calico Railroad
The Calico Railroad is an authentic Denver and Rio Grande Narrow Gauge train used in the early 1900s. It's been has been at Knott’s since 1952 and is still one of the most popular experiences in the Theme Park. Fresh Tip: The notorious Ghost Town bandits still hold-up every departure from the Calico Square depot, so you may want to hold little ones close that have a tendency to get easily frightened by unexpected loud noises.

7. Timber Mountain Log Ride
Another family favorite! This is one of the few rides that I will actually get on, so the kids get a big kick out of it. Plus it's a classic log ride... What's not to love? Just watch out for that last drop!!!

8. Camp Snoopy
This is usually our first stop everytime we come to Knott's. It's our youngest child's favorite place in the Park. It's no wonder with so many kiddie rides for kids just her size. She has a blast running around from ride to ride. Her favorites are the mini-rollercoaster Timberline Twister, Woodstock's Airmail, and Linus Launchers. Fresh Tip: There's great props (extra large furniture, like Lucy's "Psychiatrist Office") the perfect place for cute photo opps with the kids at the character meet and greet inside Camp Snoopy. Don't miss it.

9. Churros
My family are suckers for a churro. Whether you like them plain or filled with fruit or cream, this sugary cinnamon treat is an obsession for people in So Cal. Ask anybody who lives here, it's a real thing. Fresh Tip: Get one before you go wait in line for the next ride, it'll make your wait delicious and help keep the kids busy.

10. Charlie Brown's Happy Campers Show
I grew up with Snoopy and the entire Peanuts Gang, so I love watching my kids get to know them through new eyes. This is a new show just for summer, the kids can't wait to check out.

Summer is practically here! Our kids have 2 more weeks of school. Whoo-hoo!
We will be starting ours off with a bang (in the old west, get it) at Knott's Berry Farm. What's your favorite thing to do at Knott's in the summertime?

For more info:

Hope to see you there y'all!

*All Photos taken by Jessica Fuselier, and may not be used without permission.*

Full Disclosure: The opinions in this article are my own. I do not work for, or with, any brand mentioned in this article, nor do I have any official relationship with them.  I have a relationship with GigaSavvy, for whom I create original editorial content.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Paddington Bear Comes To The #LAZoo and to DVD #PaddingtonMovie

We had a great time this weekend visiting the Los Angeles Zoo. We ran into an old friend, Paddington Bear. Paddington is quite the world traveler, so it’s fitting that he was at the Zoo! He was greeting guests, waving, hugging and taking pictures with his fans. We stopped in and had a marmalade sandwich, made our own red hat, and took a family photo with the bear. Check out our adventure below!

Paddington is available now to download in Digital HD and comes 
to Blu-ray™ and DVD on April 28, 2015.

5 Fresh Things to See and Do at the LA Zoo

1. Baby Animals - We were lucky to take a "Meet Our Babies" tour while visiting the Zoo. There are so many baby animals to see right now! CUTE OVERLOAD! You can see a baby giraffe, hippo, chimpanzee, kangaroo, howler monkey, giant river otter pup, and the koala. These species have all welcomed new additions to their families recently which is great news! It's all part of a program to save endangered and vulnerable species with breeding programs. Right now you even have a chance to name one of these precious babies. Now through April 26the check out the #NameOurRoo Contest for a chance to win a GoPro.

2. Rainforest of the Americas - Make your way through the rainforest, from top to bottom as you walk through the Zoo's newest exhibit. It was our first time walking through Rainforest of the Americas where we saw animals of the tropical sort. From toucans to pirahnas to giant river otters a wild time was had by all!

3. Carousel - Take a ride on the carousel! Become a kid again and choose your favorite animal to hop on. Round and round, up and down get video and photos of your children on this beautiful carousel with all types of animals. It's the perfect attraction for the Zoo, just takes one token and the smiles it produces are priceless!

4. The LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles) - See over 60 species of amphibians, invertebrates, and reptiles at the coolest place to chill inside the Zoo. From snakes to lizards to swimming turtles it's a great indoor place to hang when the Zoo temps rise, especially during the hot summer months.

5. Condor Rescue Zone - One of the favorite places that my daughter likes to visit when we come to the Zoo is the Condor Rescue Zone. It's the very first stop you come to on your right next to the entrance, you may even miss it if you aren't looking for it. There's a place for little ones to run around and play, but even more awesome is a pretend vet set-up where you can preform an "operation" on an endangered condor. It's a great place for the animal lovers to really get a hands-on experience.

Disclosure: I received media passes for my family to attend this event as guests. How BEARY nice! The opinions on this blog are 100% Fresh and 100% my own.