Kids to Form First Kid-Run Government in Carlsbad, Kidifornia!

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Visit Carlsbad announces the launch of their new tourism campaign, “Capital of Carlsbad, Kidifornia,” where the city will be the first destination in Kidifornia to officially establish their own government led, as expected, by kids!

Now, how cool is that?!

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“Capital of Carlsbad, Kidifornia” was designed by Visit Carlsbad, the city’s tourism authority, to jump start the conversation on why kids (and their parents) love Carlsbad. Through a series of online promotions, social media activations and special events, Carlsbad will be the first city to officially form a government in Visit California’s Kidifornia including a Mini-Mayor, City Architect, Head of R&D and City Planner. In Carlsbad, kids take charge of their vacations…and the government!

“There are four ways to WIN and five ways to PLAY & STAY in Carlsbad, Kidifornia!”

 

  • CARLSBAD, KIDIFORNIA CABINET: With the approval of their parents, kids are encouraged to form part of the city’s new administration and win fantastic prizes including a stay at West Inn & Suites, trips to LEGOLAND, dinners at Bistro West and Grubby’s, aquatic adventures at Carlsbad Lagoon, and more:

o   Mayor: To run for Mayor, kids will be asked to upload a 1-minute video on social media highlighting why they love the city; one winner will be chosen by Visit Carlsbad to be the Mayor of Carlsbad, Kidifornia from videos submitted under the #MiniMayorCarlsbad hashtag. The competition is going on until November 12th, 2017! (More details soon to be posted!)

o   Head of R&D: Kids will be invited to participate in the “Kids’ Check Out Survey” and share what they love most about the city; one winner will be selected at random to become the Head of Research & Development

o   City Planner: Kids can participate in a social media scavenger hunt and visit Carlsbad kid-friendly locations; one winner will be selected at random to become the City Planner from posts under the #HuntCarlsbad hashtag

o   Architect: Kids can attend the final event to be held at a Carlsbad beach and create their own “sand capitol”; the maker of the winning design will be awarded the title of City Architect.

  • PACKAGES & OFFERS: Travelers are invited to enjoy special Kidifornia promotions available from participating hotels and resorts including West Inn & Suites (recently designated Best Family Hotel in California by Family Vacation Critic, TripAdvisor’s family travel site), Sheraton Carlsbad, Omni La Costa, and Cape Rey Carlsbad, a Hilton Resort, as well as electric bike company Pedego.
  • CARLSBAD KID-FRIENDLY ROUTE: Travelers are invited to explore the many kid-friendly activities in the destination including seven miles of pristine beaches, theme parks like LEGOLAND® California Resort and SEA LIFE® aquarium, as well as the Leo Carrillo Ranch & Historic Park, Carlsbad Watersports, So Cal Surf Lessons, the Carlsbad Golf Center, the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch, the Museum of Making Music, Carlsbad Skate Park, and more.

The campaign will conclude on October 21, 2017 with the celebration of a “sand capitol” building contest at a Carlsbad beach where the names of the official kid-cabinet of Carlsbad, Kidifornia will be revealed.  Guests visiting Carlsbad can browse the destination’s comprehensive listing of all hotels in the city on VisitCarlsbad.com, including luxury resorts, vacation rentals, budget-friendly hotels and more.

Don’t miss the Carlsbad, Kidifornia Beach party on October 21st, 2017!

More info:

Located just 25-minutes north of San Diego, Carlsbad is a quaint beach town that showcases an approachable elegance unique to the Southern California shoreline. Known as “The Village by the Sea,” Carlsbad offers the charm of a European town with the conveniences of a large city. The town’s dramatic beauty is complemented by a distinct variety of year-round signature events, as well as boundless ocean experiences along seven miles of golden coast, beautiful flower gardens, a range of accommodations, world-class shopping experiences, local breweries, golf, and unique destinations, such as LEGOLAND® California and SEA LIFE Aquarium. With a perfectly mild climate year-round, this Southern California treasure provides guests an ideal environment to explore the outdoors by day and relax each evening at one of the many beautiful resorts and comfortable hotels in Carlsbad. Visit the official website visitcarlsbad.comfor complete destination information.

Self Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and compensation has been received. Images and Info were provided. 

Boo at the LA Zoo Features Fang-Tastic, Spooktacular Learning & Fun Throughout October October 1 through 31, 2017 10 am – 4 pm Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens

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PHOTO CREDIT:  Jamie Pham.

Annual Event, Sponsored by 99 Cents Only Stores,
Is Back To Fill Every Day in October With Spooktacular Activities

This Halloween season, BOO AT THE L.A. ZOO offers goblins and ghouls of all ages a chance to feed their imaginations with fang-tastic fun and spooktacular learning throughout the entire month of October, beginning Sunday, October 1, and continuing through Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 10 am to 4 pm. BOO AT THE L.A. ZOO 2017 features daily activities such as an all-new “Nocturnal Adventure” maze, where guests can learn about nocturnal creatures, and the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the Zoo’s tarantulas, scorpions, snakes and more at “Animals and Boo” encounters. Weekends include a “Swazzle’s Monster Menagerie” puppet show, pumpkin carving demonstrations, special animal feedings and other family fun. On Saturday, October 28, and Sunday, October 29, the Halloween bash offers boo-tiful crafts, roaming characters and traditional trick-or-treat stations throughout the grounds. Proudly sponsored by 99 Cents Only Stores, BOO AT THE L.A. ZOO activities are free with paid Zoo admission. Check lazoo.org/BOO for details and daily schedules.

Daily activities include “Animals and Boo” encounters, which take place 10:45 and 11:45 a.m. weekdays, with an extra show at 12:45 p.m. on weekends; a “Nocturnal Adventure” maze where guests will find fun facts, surprises, and trivia questions at every turn testing their animal knowledge to avoid ‘dead’ ends; and sweet-and-spooky photo ops.

Special weekend adventures kick off on Sunday, October 1, with some of the Zoo’s animal residents enjoying seasonal delights all their own. Plant eaters will relish “Creature Treats” such as pumpkins, while carnivores will devour their favorite fare – carcasses and bones – during “Fearsome Feedings.” (Parental discretion advised for the latter.) Starting Saturday, October 7, weekend days will also feature “Swazzle’s Monster Menagerie” interactive puppet show at 10:30 am1 pm, and 3 pm, where audience members can help select various animal features to create the ideal trick-or-treating companion for a lonely scientist, and Gene Granata of Masterpiece Pumpkins showing off his magical pumpkin-carving skills from 10 am to 4 pm. Sponsor giveaways, games, and more will add to the fun to weekend days throughout the month.

The landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, drawing nearly 1.8 million visitors each year, is home to a diverse collection of 1,100 animals representing 250 different species, many of which are rare or endangered, as well as a botanical collection comprising over 800 different plant species with approximately 7,000 individual plants. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), whose members meet rigorous professional standards for animal welfare, the Zoo has achieved renown as an international leader in the preservation of endangered species and a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife. Its responsibility toward wildlife conservation not only encompasses safeguarding the animals in its care but also actively participating in the preservation of some of the world’s most critically endangered species and their habitats. Its many conservation successes include having led the charge in saving California condors from extinction and restoring populations of these critically endangered animals to their native habitats. The Zoo’s lush grounds on 113 acres feature Rainforest of the Americas, an extraordinary collection of endangered and exotic mammals, reptiles, fish and amphibians living in spaces that exemplify their natural habitat in the rainforest biosphere; Chimpanzees of Mahale Mountains, home to one of the largest troops of chimpanzees in the United States; Red Ape Rain Forest, where visitors can walk among orangutans; the LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles); Elephants of Asia; Campo Gorilla Reserve; and one of the largest flocks of flamingos in any zoo in the world. Among other highlights are an extraordinary, hands-on Hippo Encounter and face-to-face Giraffe Feedings; the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo and Muriel’s Ranch animal contact area; the Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel; a variety of daily opportunities to learn more about animals, including close-up visits, special feedings and intriguing talks; and much more. The private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA), which has supported the Zoo in partnership with the City of Los Angeles for more than five decades and provides funding for and operates seven essential Zoo departments, has 60,000 member households representing more than 240,000 adults and children. As evidence of the Zoo’s popularity, GLAZA attracts one of the largest membership bases of any cultural organization in Los Angeles.

Admission to the Los Angeles Zoo is $21 for general admission (ages 13 to 61), $18 for seniors (ages 62+), and $16 for children (ages 2 to 12). No ticket is required for children under 2. Admission for Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association members is free.

The Los Angeles Zoo is located at 5333 Zoo Drive in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. Free parking is available. For general information about the Zoo, call (323) 644-4200.

Credit: The Los Angeles Zoo.

The Best Place for Summer Travel! La Jolla’s Pantai Inn: The Ultimate Family Destination! Enchanting Seaside Inn Embodies the Perfect Combination of Luxury and Convenience to Create the Ideal Family Destination This Summer

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Long celebrated for its stunning oceanfront location and views, Pantai Inn is perfectly positioned to be the ideal family destination in the San Diego area, hot on the heels of an extensive renovation and redesign.

While the Inn boasts a wide range of accommodations, what makes it so advantageous to families is its selection of commodious three-bedroom and two-bedroom suites as well as cottages, all with kitchens, which are well equipped to house families. The suites range from casual to deluxe, with even the more casual options providing the welcoming attitude and tropical atmosphere that the Inn is known for.

Coastal views and beautiful décor is only part of the Inn’s charm. It is centrally located to many of the area’s family and kid-friendly attractions, including the world-famous San Diego Zoo & Safari ParkBalboa Park (including a plethora of museums, performing arts venues, lovely gardens and more), and popular family attractions like Legoland are just a short drive away.  For entertainment of the natural variety, the Inn is a short walk from La Jolla’s coastal Children’s Pool, tide pools and beaches, and is situated across from the rocky outcropping that is a favorite sunbathing spot of sea lions and harbor seals. There is no shortage of oceanfront activities alongside La Jolla’s stunning coastline including kayaking, stand up paddling, snorkeling, sailing and biking.

My family had the opportunity to visit Pantai Inn for a couple of nights and we had an amazing time! We stayed in a 3 bedroom Suite and it was the best Summer vacation ever! I only wish we could have stayed longer! The view from our place was simply amazing and although I am not usually one to be up at sunrise…I was up at sunrise since the beach was so close by with an amazing view and tons of Sea Lions! I also have to point out that the Staff is the best! They made my family feel at home and I loved that Tea and Coffee are available all day and all the little touches such as chocolate on our pillows at the end of the day…well, I really could go on and on….

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The rooms were beautiful and my husband and I loved the whole Bali theme! The Original Balinese art and design really makes this place unique!

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I just loved the Kitchen! It truly was fully stocked!

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I have to admit spending time on the balcony was a favorite thing for me! I could see and hear the ocean from that spot and I loved having my breakfast there! By the way, breakfast is complimentary there and the food is quite impressive! I loved the Baked Egg Cups and there were two options to choose from! My favorite was the Mediterranean-Sun Dried Tomato with Feta! Yum! The Chef also makes a really delicious Strawberry Cobbler Muffin! But, honestly, the breakfast is something to write home about! 

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I have to admit that my teenage son wasn’t excited about this trip before we arrived but he had a great time! The room accommodations, the view and the customer service truly made this a great vacation! What really impressed me was how we had all the comforts of home yet we felt like we were so far away from home. It truly was a unique experience without leaving Southern California! 

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And, the view was simply amazing! 

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And..walking distance to an amazing beach….I was absolutely thrilled! 

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Hands down visiting the Pantai Inn and La Jolla this Summer was the best time my family had together this Summer! 

There’s still time to visit! Summer isn’t over yet! 

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6.17.2017 Denise B.-111 Del

 

More About the Pantai Inn
The Pantai Inn’s distinct guest accommodations blend a unique Balinese-inspired décor with luxurious comforts and contemporary conveniences.  The relaxing oceanfront retreat offers a lush garden setting with soothing water features and an inviting courtyard to stimulate the senses.
Offering a variety of accommodations from ocean view studios and one-bedroom suites to three-bedroom cottages, the Inn is perfect for romantic getaways or family vacations.  Whatever the occasion, the Pantai experience is completed by the warmth and authenticity of the Inn’s extraordinary guest service.   Ranked as a top hotel in La Jolla by TripAdvisor, the 30 room Pantai Inn is located in the charming seaside village of La Jolla and is steps away from the finest restaurants, boutiques and galleries the area has to offer.  The Pantai Inn is located at 1003 Coast Blvd, La Jolla CA, 92037. For information and reservations call toll free 855.287.2682 or visit www.pantai.com.               

Self Disclosure: My family was invited to visit Pantai Inn. No other compensation was received but our stay was comped. All opinions are my own.  I highly recommend Pantai Inn. Photo Credit: Top Photo: Pantai Inn. All other photos: SoCal City Kids.

Summer time fun at LEGOLAND!

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Looking for a fun place to take the whole family this Summer? LEGOLAND is the place to go! My husband, 13-year-old son and I recently visited there and had a blast! I love that there is so much creativity there and I really enjoy seeing so many things made out of legos! When my son was younger, legos were a big hit and even though he is now a teenager…legos are still a cool thing! Speaking of cool things…the LEGOLAND water parks are where we spent most of our day! My son and husband enjoyed the Build-A-Raft River and this was our first time at the CHIMA WATER PARK. The Lion Temple Wave Pool was a real big hit!

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They also have a great deal right now! You can add the Water Park and 2nd day for $5! The only thing is that you have to book +&days in advance. Sounds like a great deal to me!

We also had a visit thru the Sea Life Aquarium and recommend this one for all ages! It actually is one of my favorite Aquariums to visit! They have really cool Jelly Fish!

We didn’t visit the Legoland Hotel on this trip but you may remember that I once featured the fun time we had there four years ago for my son’s birthday. If you are wanting to celebrate a child’s birthday..this really is a fun place to stay!

We still have a few weeks of Summer left so check out Legoland this Summer! Find out more here! 

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Don’t forget to check out all the really cool buildings made out of Legos! 

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Penguin Chick to Debut on Exhibit at the Aquarium Of The Pacific The chick will leave its nursery to join its parents and siblings in the Aquarium’s June Keyes Penguin Habitat on August 8, 2017

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Photo Credit: Robin Riggs/Aquarium of the Pacific.

The Aquarium of the Pacific’s Magellanic Penguin chick hatched in May will make its public debut and join its parents, siblings, and other birds in the June Keyes Penguin Habitat on August 8. The public can see the chick starting when the Aquarium opens that morning at 9:00 a.m.

 

The chick was born to parents Roxy and Floyd. Roxy, the penguin chick’s mother, came to the Aquarium from Brazil. She was rescued and deemed non-releasable to the wild. She and Floyd are also parents to Skipper, Lily, Heidi, and Anderson. Magellanic Penguin chicks are hatched with a downy layer of plumage that is not watertight. The Aquarium’s penguin chick was taken after about twenty-one days to a behind-the-scenes nursery, where it will remain until its down is replaced by watertight juvenile feathers, a process called fledging. During its time in the nursery, the chick is learning to swim and to take hand-fed, whole fish.

 

In celebration of the baby bird, the Aquarium is offering the opportunity to adopt the chick through its Adopt an Animal program. Those adopting a penguin chick at the $100 level or higher before September 30, 2017, will have a chance to go behind the scenes for a feeding and training session with the penguins.

 

Magellanic Penguins are a temperate species native to the coasts of Argentina and Chile in South America. It takes between thirty-eight to forty-three days of incubation before a Magellanic Penguin egg will hatch. The parents take turns incubating the eggs and feeding the chicks after they hatch.

 

WHEN:            On exhibit starting Tuesday, August 8, 2017 – Aquarium opens to public at 9:00 a.m. See all the coverage with the hashtag #AOPpenguins.

 

WHERE:         Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802

 

AQUARIUM:   The nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific is a community gathering place where diverse cultures and the arts are celebrated and where important topics facing our planet are explored by scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders in search of sustainable solutions. The Aquarium is dedicated to conserving and building nature and nature’s services by building the interactions between and among peoples. Home to more than 11,000 animals, Aquarium exhibits include the new FROGS: Dazzling and DisappearingOur Water Future, and archerfish exhibits. The Aquarium offers memberships with unlimited FREE admission for 12 months, VIP Entrance, and other benefits.

Credit: Aquarium of the Pacific.

Ruby’s Diner Celebrates Burger Day July 26 $2.99 35th Anniversary Burger and Fries $1 Per Benefiting The Ruby Dooby Foundation UPDATED Giveaway Opportunity!

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Ruby’s Diner welcomes back Burger Day on Wednesday, July 26! All Ruby’s Diner locations* will offer the new 35th Anniversary Burger, a 1/4lb version of the classic RubyBurger, with French fries for just $2.99 with $1 of each sale benefiting The Ruby Dooby Foundation.

*Burger Day price not available at Ruby’s Shake Shack, sporting venues, casino and airport locations.

 

WHEN:

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

 

WHERE:

Participating Ruby’s Locations

Anaheim: 1128 W. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim, CA 92805. 714.635.7829

Ardmore: 5 Coulter Ave., Ardmore, PA 19003. 610.896.7829

Atlantic City: 1133 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401. 609.289.8152

Balboa: #1 Balboa Pier, Balboa, CA 92661. 949.675.7829

Carlsbad: 5630 Paseo Del Norte #130D, Carlsbad, CA 92008. 760.931.7829

Corona Del Mar: 2305 E. Coast Hwy., Corona Del Mar,  CA 92625. 949.673.7829

City of Commerce – Citadel: 100 Citadel Drive #222, Los Angeles, CA 90040. 323.382.7829

Costa Mesa – South Coast Plaza: 3333 Bear St. at South Coast Plaza – Suite 120, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. 714.662.7829

Downey: 8801 Apollo Way, Downey, CA 90242. 562.401.4011

Huntington Beach: #1 Main St., Huntington Beach, CA 92648. 714.969.7829

Glen Mills – Brinton Lake: 919 Baltimore Pike, Glen Mills, PA 19342. 610.358.1983

Irvine: 4602 Barranca Parkway, Irvine, CA 92604. 949.552.7829

Irvine Spectrum: 505 Spectrum Center Drive in Irvine Spectrum. 949.753.7829

Laguna Beach: 30622 Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651. 949.497.7829

Laguna Hills: 24155 Laguna Hills Mall #1636, Laguna Hills, CA 92653. 949.588.7829

Long Beach: 6405 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach, CA 90803. 562.596.1914

Cabazon – Morongo: 49000 Seminole Drive, Cabazon, CA 92230. 951.849.3850

Oceanside: 1 Oceanside Pier, Oceanside, CA 92054. 760.433.7829

Orange: 186 N. Atchison St., Orange, CA 92866. 714.639.7829

Palm Springs: 155 S. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, CA 92262. 760.406.7829

Palos Verdes: 550 Deep Valley Drive, Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274. 310.544.7829

Redondo Beach: 245 N. Harbor Drive, Redondo Beach, CA 90277. 310.376.7829

San Clemente: 101 West Avenida Vista Hermosa, San Clemente, CA 92672. 949.492.7829

San Diego – Mission Valley Mall: 1640 Camino Del Rio N., #360P, San Diego, CA 92108. 619.294.7829

San Juan Capistrano: 31781 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675. 949.496.7829

Tustin: 13102 Newport Ave., Tustin, CA 92780. 714.838.7829

Whittier: 10109 Whittwood Drive, Whittier, CA 90603. 562.947.7829

Woodland Hills: 6100 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91367. 818.340.7829

Yorba Linda: 21450 Yorba Linda Boulevard, Yorba Linda, CA 92887. 714.779.7829

Self Disclosure: No compensation was received. Info was provided.

Update! 

We have teamed up for a giveaway! One winner will win a $35 gift card to Ruby’s Diner! To enter let us know your favorite food item (in the comments below) at Ruby’s Diner! Deadline to enter is August 3rd, 2017 at noon PST. U.S. Residents only, please. One winner will randomly be selected via random.org.

The Habit Burger Grill Celebrates Summer with the Return of the Delicious Strawberry Balsamic Chicken Salad Available for a limited time through August! You DON'T want to miss this one!

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The Habit Restaurants, Inc. (Nasdaq: HABT), an Irvine-based restaurant company renowned for its award-winning Charburgers, has announced the return of its Strawberry Balsamic Chicken Salad, a delicious salad as satisfying as summer itself. The limited time special is available now through summer at participating Habit Burger Grill locations, and is priced at $7.75.

The Habit’s Strawberry Balsamic Chicken Salad features a refreshing blend of perfectly seasoned chargrilled chicken breast atop a bed of hand-cut garden greens with fresh sliced strawberries, dried blueberries and feta cheese crumbles, tossed in a house-made strawberry balsamic vinaigrette making for a delightful option for any summers day.

“Last year, our guests loved this menu item that reflected the fun and refreshing feeling of summertime,” says chef Adam Baird, The Habit’s vice president of food & beverage and creator of this limited time special. “We decided to bring this salad back because when our guests think of summer foods, they think of delicious ripe strawberries. This salad is the perfect combination of summer’s favorite fruit, fresh greens and a tasty vinaigrette. We are certain that it will be a fan-favorite yet again.”

I had the opportunity to try this delicious salad and I highly recommend! I love the strawberries, feta cheese crumbles, and blueberries together! 

Connect with The Habit on social media at facebook.com/habitburgerinstagram.com/habitburgergrilltwitter.com/habitburger and youtube.com/habittube.

About The Habit Restaurants, Inc. 

The Habit Burger Grill is a burger-centric, fast casual restaurant concept that specializes in preparing fresh, made-to-order chargrilled burgers and sandwiches featuring USDA choice tri-tip steak, grilled chicken and sushi-grade albacore tuna cooked over an open flame. In addition, it features fresh made-to-order salads and an appealing selection of sides, shakes and malts. The Habit was named the “best tasting burger in America” in July 2014 in a comprehensive survey conducted by one of America’s leading consumer magazines. The first Habit opened in Santa Barbara, California in 1969. The Habit has since grown to over 185 restaurants in 10 states throughout California, Arizona, Utah, New Jersey, Florida, Idaho, Virginia, Nevada, Washington and Maryland as well as two international locations. More information is available at www.habitburger.com.

Self Disclosure: I had the opportunity to try this salad courtesy of The Habit. Information and photo also provided.

Despicable Me 3 – Action-packed, laugh-out-loud funny, family movie!

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After he is fired from the Anti-Villain League for failing to take down the latest bad guy to threaten humanity, Gru finds himself in the midst of a major identity crisis. But when a mysterious stranger shows up to inform Gru that he has a long-lost twin brother-a brother who desperately wishes to follow in his twin’s despicable footsteps-one former super-villain will rediscover just how good it feels to be bad. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Katherine S. comments, “I love this movie! It is a funny, fast-paced film about Gru and his family discovering his charming, long-lost twin brother Dru.” Madeline R. adds, “It is an action-packed film that is entertaining from beginning to end! It is an excellent sequel to the two other Despicable Me films and the Minions. But to love this film, seeing the others is not required. It is great all on its own!” See their full reviews below.

 

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By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I love this movie! It is a funny, fast-paced film about Gru and his family discovering his charming, long-lost twin brother Dru.  After Gru and Lucy lose their jobs and the Minions quit, the brothers team up against Balthezar Bratt, the new villain, while Lucy and the girls have some of their own adventures.

 

My favorite scene is when Gru and Dru attempt to break into Bratts’ headquarters. Dru, who isn’t used to the idea of a heist, continuously messes up the plan. Its laugh-out-loud funny!  The long lost twin brothers are two of my favorite characters, brilliantly voiced and acted by Steve Carrell. I also love Gru’s wife Lucy voiced by Kristen Wiig.

 

Now of course we can’t forget Balthazr Bratt (Trey Parker), an old school villain determined to get revenge on Hollywood for canceling his hit TV show in the 80s. Gubble gum that blows up on impact is his choice of weapon. His purple pantsuit inspires him to break into an 80s song. You can imagine that he is a fun character and, I think he is very good addition to this movie. You want him defeated, but you enjoy thinking what he might do next.  Although the good guy/bad guy element of the movie is slightly predictable, I would definitely go see it again.

 

The music in this film is all around great. The villain Bratt is stuck in the 80s and constantly breaks out in dance whenever there is 80s music. I know adults will remember those songs. In addition there are Pharrell Williams’ awesome new songs. Illumination Studios nails it again with so much creativity, great animation and new characters to join the familiar ones. The Minions are adorable as always!

 

I give this film 5 out of 5 shining stars and I recommend it for ages 5 to 18 because of its laugh-out-loud, but not crude humor, creative plot twists, fabulous acting and great music.  Though it’s the 3rd sequel, it doesn’t matter if you didn’t see the previous films. It is great on its own!! Check it out when it opens June 20, 2017 in theaters nationwide.

 

Despicable Me 3

By Madeline R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I love this movie. It is an action-packed film that is entertaining from beginning to end! It is an excellent sequel to the two other Despicable Me films and the Minions. But to love this film, seeing the others is not required. It is great all on its own!

 

Despicable Me 3 picks up where Despicable Me 2 left off and takes us on an exciting new adventure. After Gru and Lucy get fired by the new boss of AVL (Anti-Villain League), the Minions want Gru to return to a life of crime. Instead, they are taken on an adventure to find Gru’s long-lost twin brother Dru! Gru, Lucy and their three kids fly to his brother’s house in Freedonia. As soon as they walk in, they notice Dru has an extravagant lifestyle, very different to the one they’re used to, with lots of awesome vehicles.

 

My favorite scene is when the Minions are running from the police and end up on a television show called Sing. There are three judges waiting for them to start and, at first the Minions don’t want to sing. When one Minion gets pushed to the front, he starts singing and all the others join in. Shortly after, the crowd and the judges love them. It is hilarious!

 

Although, I love the Minions, my favorite character is Lucy, performed brilliantly by Kristen Wiig. She is such a fun, high-spirited person and she is always the one to come in and save the day. I also think Balthazar Bratt, the new villain, is a great addition to the film. He starts out as a child actor in Hollywood until he is kicked off the show as a teen. He then thinks and acts as if he is the evil character he played on TV and starts destroying and stealing things.  Gru and Dru decide to take down Balthazar Bratt and carry on their family tradition as special agents.

 

The animation in this film is fantastic. It allows for creativity that live action films just can’t achieve.  Balthazar Bratt’s bubble gum guns are a great example of that, especially when they blow up Hollywood. I  love how the hundreds of Minions change their expressions, their color or their clothes, especially when they change from their jail jumpsuits to their overalls.

 

The music is awesome. It’s a fun mix of Pharrell Williams’ new songs and 80s music that adults are sure to remember! this movie is very family friendly. I recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Many teens and adults will enjoy it as well. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.  It’s a super fun summer film that opens nationwide in theaters June 30, 2017.  Go check it out. I hope you enjoy the movie.

 

Credit: KIDS FIRST!