Archives for November 2013


Live Entertainment, Spectacular Decorations And New Festive Fun For All Starts Nov. 28 – Jan. 5

Calico Stage

Starting this past Thanksgiving, Knott’s Berry Farm is filled with the spirit of the holiday season as it wondrously transforms into Knott’s Merry Farm!  The perfect place to make holiday memories and traditions invites guests to celebrate with new attractions, live entertainment, a crafts fair, festive food, lavish holiday decorations, and more.

New for 2013, the Wilderness Dance Hall in Ghost Town will be home to Santa’s Christmas Cabin for the holiday season. Here, the young and the young at heart can share their wish lists with jolly ol’ St. Nick and take home a picture of the occasion. You can also indulge in holiday delights like Santa’s homemade cookies, sundae bar, decadent hot chocolate topped with hand carved chocolate shavings, winter wine and craft beer tastings, and more. Savor the ultimate comfort foods with Knott’s world-famous holiday treats, including fresh made-to-order Maple Lollipops in Ghost Town’s Main Street, churros from the Churro Factory, cakes, cookies, muffins and gingerbread men in the Farm Bakery, as well as the legendary cooking at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant.  (Some experiences require additional fees)

Also new for 2013, the Ghost Town and Calico Railroad celebrate Christmas on Engine 41.  Climb aboard a vintage railcar and meet an ever-changing group of Ghost Town residents eager to share their Christmas plans with you, November 28 – January 5 (except 12/25) from 11:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Dreaming of a white knuckle Christmas? Hang on tight on the ultimate wooden sleigh ride, GhostRider®, and Knott’s newest attraction, Coast Rider, will have everyone in the family clinging to the handrails.

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No visit to Knott’s Merry Farm is complete without catching a performance of the world famous ice show, It’s Christmas, Snoopy! Starring Santa Snoopy and presented in the iconic Charles M. Schulz Theatre November 28 – 30, Dec., 1, 7, 8, 14 – 17, 19 – 24, 26 – 31, Jan., 1, 3 – 5. Experience a unique live performance of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol or O. Henry’s A Gift of the Magi in an intimate setting of the historic Bird Cage Theatre, November 28 – January 5 (except 12/25).

Charlie and Snoopy Tight

Relax and unwind in Knott’s Christmas Crafts Village as it transforms Ghost Town into a shopping wonderland filled with dozens of local artists and artisans selling their unique wares including a chainsaw sculptor and glass blower. Entrance to the Knott’s Christmas Crafts Village is free Monday through Thursday and is included with daily with theme park  admission (available November 28 through December 24). Ghost Town also celebrates of the sounds of the season with its very own Dickensian vocal quartet, Calico Carolers and interactive country Christmas blue grass quartet, the Ghost Town Miners.

When the sun sets on the Farm, Calico Stage lights up with the celebration of the season in Snoopy’s Merriest Tree Lighting. Join us for a musical, whimsical tree lighting featuring a cast of Toy Soldiers, Snowmen, Elves and America’s most famous beagle, Snoopy! Over in Camp Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus and Lucy invite you to dance, sing and join in on the holiday fun in Lucy’s Wish List show in Camp Snoopy Theatre (November 28 – January 5). Guests will marvel at the wonder of Snoopy’s Magical Nights of Lights, where thousands of twinkling lights merrily light up the nighttime sky accompanied by a festive soundtrack that brings the Christmas spirit to life. It’s the perfect holiday bow atop your festive day of play at Knott’s Merry Farm.

The perfect stocking stuffer is now on-sale! 2014 Season Passes include one-time free visit in 2013, unlimited visits in 2014, as well as the other exciting seasonal events happening year-round at Knott’s Berry Farm. Season Passes offer exclusive discounts, special Pass Holder events, Bring-a-Friend Days and more.  For affordable year-round fun for everyone on your “nice” list, Season Passes can be purchased online at starting at $78.00 or with six easy installment payments of just $13.00 until January 5, 2014.

Joy is in season at Knott’s Merry Farm! To learn more visit or call (714) 220-5200. Join the festive conversation using the holiday hashtag #MerryFarm on the Knott’s Facebook or Twitter page.




About Knott’s Berry Farm and Cedar Fair Entertainment Company:


Knott’s Berry Farm is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, a publicly traded partnership that is listed for trading on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “FUN.” In addition to Knott’s Berry Farm, Cedar Fair owns and operates ten other amusement parks, three water parks, one indoor water park, and five hotels. Cedar Fair also operates the Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park in California under a management contract.

Photo Credit and info provided by Knott’s Berry Farm.

Laura Mercier’s Gifts that Give Back this Holiday Season

As you are planning your holiday gift guides, please consider adding one of the following gifts that give back from Laura Mercier. These items not only contain all of Laura’s essentials for glowing skin and high-shine lips, but they also help save women’s lives because 100 percent of the profits from their sales are donated to the Laura Mercier Ovarian Cancer Fund.


100 percent of the profits from the sale of these products will be donated to the Laura Mercier Ovarian Cancer Fund.

The Mission of LMOCF: Raise awareness and fund research and educational efforts that will help diagnose, treat and support women with ovarian cancer.

Why it Matters: Often called the “silent killer,” ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among American women.


It’s Personal: Claudia Poccia, President and CEO of the organization, lost her sister to the disease in 2011, and Laura Mercier has watched a dear friend battle the disease for several years. Please click on “Our Fund” to hear their personal stories.

Self Disclosure: No products were received to feature this post.



Five Great Ways to Have the Most “Grr-ific” Holiday Ever! Tips Inspired by Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood to Help Families Celebrate the Season Together


The holidays can mean BIG stress for little ones, just as they can for adults – from changes in the daily routine to family squabbles and more. To help keep the season running smoothly for everyone, Angela Santomero, creator and executive producer of top-rated preschool series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and a child development expert for more than 20 years – as well as a mom herself, has some terrific tips to shareDaniel Tiger’s Neighborhood offers practical parenting strategies in each episode and here are some from Angela inspired by the series and its upcoming holiday special, “Snowflake Day, premiering November 25 on PBS KIDS.




  • Create Your Own Holiday Traditions – These extra special family rituals will make the season less stressful and more meaningful for everyone. Don’t worry about not sticking with traditions that you grew up with or trying to make everything “perfect.” Whether it’s going to a community show, baking or crafting paper lanterns together, each year offers the opportunity to strengthen your own family’s traditions and make wonderful and lasting new memories!


  • Get Your Children Involved – Kids love to participate and to feel like they’re an important part of the holiday preparations, so have them help make place cards, work on decorations, put out gifts, etc. It’s a great way to help get them excited about the festivities – and one less thing for you to have to do, too!


  • Prepare Kids for New Situations – Encountering unfamiliar situations can be stressful for young children, so, as Mom Tiger told Daniel, “When we do something new, let’s talk about what we’ll do.” Before going to a holiday party or gathering, let your child know what they’ll experience and who may be there. This will help them relax and feel prepared for what’s ahead!


  • Teach Preschoolers to Be Thankful – Did your child get something that wasn’t exactly on their wish list? Let them know that, while it’s OK not to like every gift, it’s important to show their appreciation and remember that someone was thoughtful enough to do something nice for them! Encourage them to make thank you cards to further underscore the importance of being grateful.


  • Reinforce the True Meaning of the Holidays – At holiday time, there’s so much pressure to buy, buy, buy. Parents can help head off disappointment by reminding kids that they may not get everything they want. This also provides the perfect opportunity for parents to emphasize the importance of giving to others during the holiday season – and that the most special “gift” of all is spending time together!


And don’t forget to snuggle up with your snow angels and tune in to the adorable new Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhoodholiday special – “Snowflake Day” – premiering on PBS KIDS, Monday, November 25, with additional airings onSaturday, November 30, and Wednesday, December 11 (check local listings). Another perfect way to reinforce the true spirit of the holidays and importance of giving, the new special is full of twinkling lights and seasonal cheer. The vibrant half-hour show introduces five catchy songs, including a special holiday-themed version of the series’ familiar opening sung by noted jazz vocalist Matt Dusk. Like all Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood episodes, “Snowflake Day” blends the warmth and gentle lessons pioneered by Fred Rogers, which are especially meaningful this time of year.


Donate to the local goodwill this holiday season!


Giving Tuesday is this  week, so how about donating items to your local Goodwill ® ? As the end-of-year holidays approach and new items start pouring into our homes, we know that there’s a lot of things we can also get rid of.

The holidays are a great time to involve the whole family in making a difference in the lives of others, and what could be easier than boxing up unwanted items and getting them out of the house? Or, perhaps, give the gift of “cleaning out” to an older parent or relative who struggles with the task themselves. Of course, don’t forget that all these donations are considered charitable tax-deductions.

When you donate stuff to your local Goodwill—a sweater, CDs, furniture or electronics—you support Goodwill’s efforts to provide a variety of employment services to people in need in your community. This holiday season, we are encouraging everyone to donate used goods to one of Goodwill’s 2,700+ locations throughout the country.

To see just how far your donations can go, watch this poignant mini documentary, which tells the stories of someone whose life was transformed through their involvement with Goodwill.

A 22-year-old who went from sleeping in her car to becoming a nurse’s assistant because of Goodwill’s job training programs.

Last year, Goodwill provided employment training, job placement, financial education, youth mentoring and more to 6.7 million people in the United States and Canada. (To see how the process works, just watch our “How We Do It” PSA.)

Through Goodwill’s locator tool, it’s easy for people to find their nearest Goodwill location, including stores, headquarters, job training centers and donation centers. And through Goodwill’s Donation Impact Calculator, you can see how every item you give empowers people who are seeking to earn jobs and build careers.

We also have a fun new Snapguide about hosting a Festive Holiday Sweater Party:


On behalf of Goodwill Industries® in partnership with the Ad Council.

Hallmark for the Holidays! Great Gift suggestion for the younger kids! Giveaway!


Looking for a great interactive gift idea for the younger children on your Holiday shopping list? Hallmark has you covered with  Hallmark’s Bigsby interactive Story Buddy® and Bigsby’s Best Friend Storybook.  The plush Story Buddies chime in — barking, talking or singing — when key phrases are read aloud from the included storybook. Other books are also available to continue each character’s adventures. Story Buddies also include a read-along audio CD, free apps and access to digital story time online. We received this one to try out and it’s so much fun! Bigsby is shy but goes on adventures with his friends. He has adorable big feet and a cute and goofy single-toothed grin that is just adorable too! This toy would be great for kids and I love the lesson themes in the books like coming out of your shell and learning to make new friends. You can find out more about Bigsby here.

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I also received a few samples of the Christmas cards from hallmark this year and just love how some are so cute and some are so funny! I love Hallmarks cards especially for the Holidays! Check them all out this season at your local Hallmark stores and online.

We have teamed up with our friends at hallmark for a Holiday Giveaway! One winner will win  Bigsby interactive Story Buddy® and Bigsby’s Best Friend Storybook! This would make such a cute gift! To enter, you must either be a subscriber of SoCal City Kids or like our Facebook page. Next, like the Hallmark Facebook Page and then leave a comment below telling us your favorite holiday tradition! Deadline to enter is December 8. 2013 at midnight. One winner will randomly be selected from all entries.

Self Disclosure: I received products to facilitate this review/giveaway but any opinions expressed are my own.




ETA hand2mind Connecting Color Tiles Periodic Table Set Holiday Gift Suggestion!


Looking for a great gift idea for those Science- minded children on your holiday shopping list?  I know my son falls into this category and figured many other children do too! This one is perfect for children ages 8+. It’s fun and educational! An awesome set that gives real hands-on experience with the periodic table, balancing equations, and constructing compounds. My son had so much fun checking this out and he loved the color tiles of 115 elements! The set includes: connecting Color Tiles Periodic Table Set, Color Tiles of elements (115), Duplicate tiles of common elements (45), activity guide and a storage container.  I love that the activity guide is included and that it is quite helpful! Retails for $19.76 on


Self Disclosure: I received this product to review and feature as a Holiday Gift Suggestion but any opinions expressed are my own.



Management at Del Amo Fashion Center announced today that Del Amo Fashion Center will have extended holiday hours starting at 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening to greet shoppers and families eager to begin their holiday shopping for the 2013 season.


Families, friends and shoppers are welcome to join us at Del Amo Fashion Center for special shopping events and activities during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  Everyone can come walk off those Thanksgiving calories at 8 p.m. and begin crossing names off their holiday lists as well as getting some great deals for themselves.


“Heading to Del Amo Fashion Center with family and friends is the perfect way to wrap up a holiday about gratitude and togetherness,” said Lindsay Hermance, director of marketing and business development at Del Amo Fashion Center. “Many families enjoy entertainment traditions around Thanksgiving, whether it’s sharing meals, going shopping, seeing a movie, or watching a game together. We are excited to meet our customers’ different schedules and needs with the variety of retail and entertainment experiences they enjoy at Del Amo Fashion Center, plus extended opportunities for holiday ‘doorbusters’ and deals to be discovered.”


To reward shoppers for choosing Del Amo Fashion Center, swag bags will be available at Guest Services to the center’s first 150 customers, starting at 6 a.m. on Black Friday, while supplies last. Treats will be available at Guest Services through Black Friday weekend as well.


In addition, Del Amo Fashion Center’s mall management “elves” will greet and reward shoppers who have been on their best behavior this year with surprise treats and goodies, starting Black Friday weekend and continuing throughout the holiday season.

Friendly greeters will be stationed at mall directories beginning Black Friday, and continuing during holiday weekends and Christmas Eve, to help shoppers with directions, answer questions, distribute retailer offers and provide an insider’s perspective on the best deals and gift ideas for the holiday season.

To keep shoppers’ spirits high, holiday entertainment, including strolling carolers, will be going on throughout Black Friday weekend as well.


For more information, visit Del Amo Fashion Center on Facebook at, Twitter at or Instagram at


About Del Amo Fashion Center

Del Amo Fashion Center is the South Bay’s retail destination for shopping, entertainment and dining. It boasts more than 200 stores, including Macy’s, H&M, Anthropologie, Barnes & Noble, Coach, and more. Visit the outdoor promenade and enjoy dinner at Stacked or PF Changs before a movie at our 18 screen AMC Theater. The indoor mall offers fashion for women, men and children plus jewelry, footwear and electronics. Del Amo Fashion Center serves the nearby communities of Palos Verdes, Lomita, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Redondo Beach and Gardena. For a map and store listings, as well as directions, events and job listings, visit or call 310-542-8525.


About Simon Property Group

Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE: SPG) is an S&P 100 company and a global leader in the retail real estate industry.  The Company currently owns or has an interest in more than 325 retail real estate properties in North America and Asia comprising approximately 242 million square feet. We are headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana and employ approximately 5,500 people in the U.S.  For more information, visit

Holiday Concert and Santa on the Pier! Saturday, December 14, 2013