Archives for October 2018

Paw Patrol Pumpkin Stencils and More!

It’s time to get ready to carve some pumpkins! Go all out this year with one of the most fun, lasting Halloween traditions. Our Paw Patrol Pumpkin Stencils are the perfect way for you and the kids to create a masterpiece this year!

You and the rest of the family are bound to find a stencil that you love for decorating your pumpkins this year. From Cars to Up, we have stencils from various children’s’ movies. But, of course, we have to draw attention to the most popular category of all this Halloween–Nightmare Before Christmas.

These beloved stencils have been popular for quite some time, and don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Don’t miss this opportunity to impress everyone and do some artwork with your kids this Halloween!

Thanks to our friends at COSTUME SUPERCENTER!

 

Courtesy of COSTUME SUPERCENTER!

Halloween Zoo-tacular Returns to the OC Zoo 10.27 First 100 Children in Costume Receive a Free Gift

The County of Orange and OC Parks are pleased to present the annual Halloween Zoo-tacular at the OC Zoo located inside Irvine Regional Park on Saturday, October 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Celebrate the fall season with festive activities and the animals of the OC Zoo!

Families are invited to bring their children to trick-or-treat, explore the zoo during a spooky scavenger hunt and create Halloween and fall-themed crafts. OC Zoo animals will join the fun as they receive treat-filled pumpkins and special Halloween treats throughout the day, and the first 100 children in costume ages 12 and under will receive a free gift.

“Visitors of all ages can come explore the Zoo-tacular event located inside Irvine Regional Park,” said Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer. “This is a wonderful opportunity for the community to show off their Halloween costumes while spending time with the animals of the OC Zoo.”

Reservations are not needed to participate in the OC Zoo’s Halloween Zoo-tacular. Activities are free with paid zoo admission ($2 per person, ages 2 and under free). Parking at Irvine Regional Park is $5 per car and coupons or free passes are not valid at this special event.

Join the Halloween fun at the OC Zoo in Irvine Regional Park on Saturday, October 27!

October 27 – Halloween Zoo-tacular

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Cost: Free with zoo admission of $2 per person, ages 2 & under are free

Parking: $5 on weekends
Location: OC Zoo

Address: 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869

Website: http://www.ocparks.com/oczoo

Contact: (714) 973-6847oczoo@ocparks.com

 

Credit: OC Parks/County of Orange. 

Spooktacular Halloween Fun -“Happy Haunted Halloween” by Mr. Singer & the Sharp Cookies

Chicago’s most energetic band that rocks for kids, the award-winning Mr. Singer & the Sharp Cookies, goes all out for the season of ghosts and goblins with their fourth album, Happy Haunted Halloween, set for release on October 5, 2018.

With plenty of treats and maybe a few tricks up its sleeve, Happy Haunted Halloween offers something for everyone who loves Halloween: spooky songs about haunted houses, ghost towns, crawl spaces, and monster hunters; sweet songs about gathering with friends, dressing up as a cuddly bunny, and counting trick or treat loot; and even an historical song about the brilliant teenage author, Mary Shelley, plus a dance number inspired by her novel Frankenstein.

Children will love this fun holiday CD!

Mr. Singer & the Sharp Cookies are the husband-and-wife team of Neil and Kerry Firstenleit (Mr. Singer” and “Kerry Appleberry”), along with dynamo drummer Michael Massett (“Marius Mustard”). The band’s rocking, electric sound has been described as “like June & Johnny Cash playing the Clash while riding unicycles through the zoo!”

Both onstage and in the studio, Mr. Singer and the Sharp Cookies specializes in fresh, positive, high-energy music at kid-friendly volumes, sneaking a little mischief, a little sweetness, and a lot of fun into their clever originals.

Notes Neil Firstenleit, “Halloween is my favorite holiday, and inspiration always strikes around that time. Each year for the past fifteen years or so, I’ve written Halloween songs for kids. Happy Haunted Halloween comprises the fourteen best songs of the collection; it’s a fun album you could play on your porch as kids come trick-or-treating, at Halloween parties, or in the car anytime you want to get psyched for Halloween.  It was a blast recording this album, especially experimenting with eerie sounds and song arrangements!”

Happy Haunted Halloween kicks off with “Happy Halloween,” a truly happy, upbeat dance number about the excitement kids feel before going trick-or-treating on Halloween night. “Ain’t Scared of Nuthin'” is a little bit of Halloween bravado and some “I’m not so sure about this!” set to a Bill Haley-type boogie-woogie, featuring guest artist Mr. Nick Davio. “Grandpa’s Ghost,” about a grandpa whose life is saved by the harmonica in his pocket, is straight-up country, while “Dream of the Bonfire,” a melodious ode to bonfire celebrations, overflows with all the good things about spending Halloween with friends.

If Simon and Garfunkel wrote a song with Danny Elfman, the result might be “She Writes Frankenstein,” the ballad of author Mary Shelley told to stormy sound effects and spooky music, encored by “Insane Scientist Victory Blitz,” a super-wild dance song inspired by Frankenstein that will put a smile on monsters large and small. Then there’s the psych-punk “Something Sweet for Halloween,” whose opening lines say it all: “These are scary times we’re living in, and it appears the bad guys have begun to win/So I’m not gonna be adding to the fear, I’m gonna be something sweet for Halloween this year.” Happy Haunted Halloween dances to a splendid finish with “Haunted Halloween,” which just might possibly inspire a little howling at the moon.

Previous albums by Mr. Singer & the Sharp Cookies include Going to a Party! (2017), Bouncing Ball of Energy! (2012), and Muddy Water Beaver Dam (2005).

Happy Haunted Halloween will be available at all digital retailers, including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, CDBaby, and more.

Visit the Mr. Singer & the Sharp Cookies website HERE.
Mr. Singer & the Sharp Cookies on Facebook.
Self Disclosure: I received a free CD to facilitate this post. Information and images provided by Waldmania PR.

Pageant of the MONSTERS Returns to Festival of Arts Laguna Beach Oct. 2018 Resurrecting at the Festival of Arts this Halloween Season October 26, 27, 28, and 31

Just when you thought it was safe to go backstage the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters brings a monster of a good time back to Laguna Beach. Only returning to the Festival grounds every five years, the Pageant of the Monsters will offer attendees a frightfully fun time with ghoulish tricks, treats, and “spook-tacular” art surprises October 26, 27, 28 and 31, 2018.

DETAILS:

Resurrecting an event from years past, the Pageant’s backstage will transform into a haunted house with an artistic twist. The Festival of Arts grounds will be filled with ghoulish tricks and treats including art activities, live music, wandering zombies and other “spook-tacular” surprises. Funds for this event are provided in part by the lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach. This event is not recommended for children under 5 years of age.

WHEN:
October 26 – 28, and 31, 2018
6:00 – 9:30 pm

TICKETS:
Tickets go on sale September 2018

  • Adult tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door
  • Children tickets (12 and under) are $10

Credit:

 FESTIVAL OF ARTS
The Festival of Arts, a non-profit 501(c)(3), has always been a local leader that has helped with the growth and development of the community and the arts in Laguna Beach. Established in 1932, the Festival of Arts’ mission is to promote, produce and sponsor events and activities that encourage the appreciation, study and performance of the arts. 

 

First Man: The Man Behind One Of The Most Famous Events In Human History

On the heels of their six-time Academy Award®-winning smash, La La Land, Oscar®-winning director Damien Chazelle and star Ryan Gosling reteam for Universal Pictures’ First Man, the riveting story of NASA’s mission to land a man on the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the years 1961-1969. A visceral, first-person account, based on the book by James R. Hansen, the movie explores the sacrifices and the cost – on Armstrong and on the nation – of one of the most dangerous missions in history. Written by Academy Award® winner Josh Singer (Spotlight), the drama is produced by Wyck Godfrey & Marty Bowen (The Twilight Saga, The Fault in Our Stars) through their Temple Hill Entertainment banner, alongside Chazelle and Gosling. Isaac Klausner (The Fault in Our Stars) executive produces. DreamWorks Pictures co-finances the film. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. comments, “Along with its main focus on the intense, action-packed mission, First Man explores many avenues that include dramatic and intense moments which spawn from the heart-wrenching grief of losing a child to the intricate and beautiful romance with his wife, Janet (Claire Foy). Much of the movie has emotions that are quite far from being out of this world, specifically in its massive focus on the family.” See his full review below.

First Man

By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16

Easily one of the most famous events in human history is centered on a singular man, Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling). Behind the Apollo Mission that landed the first human on the moon, Neil is a man with conflicts, a man with a history and a man with a mission.

Along with its main focus on the intense, action-packed mission, First Man explores many avenues that include dramatic and intense moments which spawn from the heart-wrenching grief of losing a child to the intricate and beautiful romance with his wife, Janet (Claire Foy). Much of the movie has emotions that are quite far from being out of this world, specifically in its massive focus on the family.

The film begins up close and personal seeing Armstrong in his daring mission on the rocket-propelled plane, the X-15. Immediately, the story shows just how dangerous space exploration can be and how close those who brave exploring the final frontier get to never returning home. It follows Neil and his story intimately from the X-15 mission to the loss of three astronauts (close friends of Neil’s) in Apollo 1, the near-lethal mission of Gemini 8 and, of course, the incredibly daring mission of Apollo 11, that landed the first people on the Moon. Throughout these milestones in space exploration, the story pauses to look at the relations and life of Neil, truly unveiling the blueprints showing who he was as a man.

While incredible in revealing a massive side of this well-known historical event, the film attempts to focus so much on a story that has little to tell. The length clocks in at just under two and a half hours, which feels very stretched after the adrenaline of the exciting opening scene wears off. Neil Armstrong is portrayed as a deep man with little visual emotions mixed with dramatic internal conflicts. While this decision allows for excellent character design, it makes him rather boring at times. It seems the writers wished to divide First Man into three stories – one, the story of Neil as a man; two, the story of Neil as a father and three, the story of Neil as an astronaut. All three have their pros and their cons, but mixed together, the film becomes daunting and stretched.

The cinematography sadly could have been better. Only a handful of camera shots do not shake. In most shots, the camera moves constantly or jitters. In the beginning, with the X-15 mission, this effect adds to the entertainment of the film. The audience quickly becomes sucked into the important and lethal mission with dangers at every corner. After two hours of shaky camera shots, that excitement changes to annoyance. While a mix would be ideal, and in more intensive scenes a camera shake would be appropriate, having the entire runtime featuring shakiness as well as many blurry shots, looks amateur and comes off as poor execution of what should be an interesting and captivating story.

However, the film does go beyond the moon in many ways – predominantly, in the acting. Neil Armstrong has deep faults and that stands as a challenge to any actor. Ryan Gosling nails the role in what turns out as an Oscar©-worthy performance of the famous astronaut. Others, including Claire Foy, also deliver extraordinary performances bringing each character to life. Despite the fact that no one can hear you scream in space, the sound design really belongs out of the world due to the quality and complexity of the sound effects. Much of First Man contains loud, intricate sound effects that vary and cover a massive spectrum. Perhaps more powerful would have been the use of silence in the most dramatic moments, sending chills to the entire audience.

My favorite scene is one of these moments of eerie silence. In this scene, three members of the Apollo 1 mission do a test in the Apollo capsule. It goes horribly wrong and the interior of the capsule catches on fire, sadly, resulting in losing the lives of all three. Yet, the film takes this a step further, as the three fallen heroes are not new in this scene. The viewer gets time to like them, understand them and befriend them – just as Neil did in real life. This makes their sudden and dramatic loss nothing short of shocking and cold, replicating the real-life impact it had on Armstrong.

Although, First Man has a strong beginning, a strong ending and many high points throughout, it also has many mistakes and things that could be improved that simply negate the extraordinary story of this story. For that reason, I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. The story is quite intensive and is best suited for older audiences that will understand the impact of the events so I recommend it for ages 12 to 18. This film opens nationwide in theaters on October 12, 2018 so, look for it. If you are a fan of space exploration, it is sure to make an impact, but even if you aren’t you will learn something new.

 

Photos: ©2018 Universal. All rights reserved.

 

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Hallow – Funny, Spooky, Mysterious and Fun

While collecting junk one day, best friends Sonny and Sam meet Slappy, a mischievous talking dummy from an unpublished “Goosebumps” book by R.L. Stine. Hoping to start his own family, Slappy kidnaps Sonny’s mother and brings all of his ghoulish friends back to life — just in time for Halloween. As the sleepy town becomes overrun with monsters, witches and other mysterious creatures, Sonny joins forces with his sister, Sam and a kindly neighbor to save Sonny’s mom and foil Slappy’s plan. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Zoe C. comments, “The movie is funny and spooky in equal amounts. There is mystery and discovery all combined in the storytelling.” See her full review below.

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween is spooky, fun and creative! It is very engaging and entertaining throughout the whole film.

The story is about a young boy, Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor) and his best friend, Sam (Caleel Harris) who finds a book. When they open it, a doll called Slappy comes out! The boys lose the book, but keep Slappy. The friends are very surprised and a bit scared when they discover that the doll can talk. He seems nice at the beginning. He wants to have a family. But later, the boy, his sister Sarah (Madison Iseman) and his best friend realizes he is strange and doesn’t want him to be part of their family anymore. Slappy has his own personal agenda and decides to create his own family. He makes Halloween come to life as he invades the whole town with monsters and all the creatures as allies. This is a very scary Halloween for the town of Wardenclyffe, where the story takes place, as all creatures make real chaos. Sonny, Sam and Sarah team up with neighbor Mr. Chu (Ken Jeong) to find the book that Slappy from to figure out how to stop him. They discover that the book can suck up monsters and they are determined to save the city.

The story is based on R.L Stine’s books. This is where Jack Black comes in as he reprises his role from the 2015 film, playing the writer who came to help. His performance as the author is excellent. I love his voice work giving life to Slappy the Dummy.

The movie is funny and spooky in equal amounts. There is mystery and discovery all combined in the storytelling. There’s kind of a homage to horror films, as we see some classic monsters. My favorite scenes are the ones with the Halloween decorations coming to life in the store and the fight with the gummy bears that become real and attack Sonny and Sam.

The effects are very well done. This story focuses on the 3 main characters and the actors did a good job carrying the film. There’s a tribute to the books and literature. There’s a beautiful metaphor with the blank pages in the book which is powerful. It is so interesting and kind of reminded me that reality is scarier than fantasy and there will be more stories to be written. The message of this film is, “when we face our own fears we learn how not to be scared.”

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween opens October 12, 2018, and is the perfect movie for kids this Halloween. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommended it for ages 6 to 13 and grown-ups as well.

Photos: © Columbia Pictures

 

 

Celebrate World Teachers’ Day with the Goliath Games Giveaway! Special SoCal City Kids Giveaway Opportunity too!

In honor of World Teachers’ Day, Goliath Games would like to recognize educators for their critical role in developing young minds.

Goliath has launched a giveaway for five winners to receive a 14-game prize pack – 7 games for home and 7 games for their child’s classroom.

Celebrate World Teachers’ Day by entering the Goliath Teachers’ giveaway. Open to US and Canada, participants have the chance to win the Ultimate Classroom Prize Pack featuring Let’s Go Fishin’, Lucky Ducks, Mastermind, Pop the Pig, Sequence, Googly Eyes, and Wordsearch.

This collection of interactive, educational games involves STEM skills such as sequencing, deductive reasoning, math practice, and more. The toy and game company have several educational games that inspire imagination, promote critical thinking, and allow children to discover the world around them.

To enter, please visit the official entry page: http://bit.ly/GoliathTeachersGiveaway.

We have also teamed up with Goliath and Pressman for a Giveaway! One winner will win an Ultimate Goliath/Pressman prize pack!

The winner will win the following games:

Goliath Games

Pressman Toy

These are great for the little older kids and would also make great holiday gifts!

To enter our giveaway please leave a comment below telling us which game you are most excited about! One winner will randomly be selected via Random.org. Deadline to enter is October 29th, 2018 at noon PST.

Self Disclosure: No compensation was received to post. Images and information were provided. 

Celebrate with Fido’s Fresh Halloween Looks from zulily!

Looking for Halloween costumes for your pets?

For those who find it too “ruff” to be away from Fido this All Hallows’ Eve enter zulily –  the online retailer known for its unique and fun assortment of pet and animal-themed merchandise, has rounded up this year’s top-selling pet Halloween costumes! From Ewok-adorable to mythical mania, we’re not “lion” around when we say these are must-have styles for your furry friends for Halloween and beyond. Here’s a behind-the-scenes video from their pet costume photo shoot.

Here are a few favorites we found on their site:

       

Self Disclosure: Information and images were provided by Zulily. No compensation was received to post.