6 Reasons to Get Your Divorce Online

Usually, the institute of marriage is something that is expected to last until the end of time. However, statistics reveal that more than half of couples often call it quits somewhere along the line. This is because the union they thought would last through thick and thin has ripped them apart.

In the present modern world, getting an online divorce has remained a hot topic. It is simple, more comfortable, cheaper, and more convenient for couples who often have issues with busy schedules at work.

Let’s face the truth. Online divorce services are undeniably attractive. Some of the things they offer include easy and hassle-free assistance to anyone in search of the fastest ways to dissolve their marriages. In this article, we’ll be taking you through the online divorce services while also revealing some of the reasons why you should get an online divorce. Relax and let’s get started:

Brief Description of Online Divorces

While these forms of divorce offer nothing but utmost convenience, no legally viable online resource can independently achieve a divorce. Online divorce services, specifically the ones that have been found to be admissible in a court of law, only provides easy access to divorce forms and nothing more whatsoever. Couples looking to file a divorce only fill these forms in order to make it valid as required by the law.

More so, numerous other online divorce services mainly offer paperwork assistance, online resources, references, and consultations between a legal representative and a client. However, these divorce companies only use the internet as a means of communication between the couple filing for divorce.

Why You Should Get an Online Divorce: 6 Golden Reasons

Many couples want to apply for a divorce, but they are unsure if the financial consequences would be something they’ll be able to handle. Of course, time constraints are also another factor to take into adequate consideration. Traditional divorce services are often more expensive and could take several months to be finalized. This is one of the reasons why people prefer to get a divorce over the internet.

In the past, online divorce is something unrealistic, but today, everything is considered possible over the internet.

There are numerous benefits of filing a divorce over the internet, including the costs and speed. Apart from that, people also prefer turning back to the internet for help or advice when the need arises. Online divorce companies are continually working hard to make marriages come to a reasonable end, and there are numerous benefits of using these services. Here, we’ll be taking you through the top 6 reasons why you should get an online divorce:

Easier and Hassle-Free Compared to a Traditional Divorce

Of course, filing a divorce and separation of couples from each other is usually painful. Indeed, the stress and emotional trauma that accompanies a divorce can even make the matter worse. In cases of traditional divorces, it also becomes more unnecessarily painful because every lawyer is always in search of ways to get better deals. This means that you’ll be in and out of court. However, partnering with an online divorce company to file your divorce is easy, hassle-free, and less painful. These online divorce companies do more of the legwork on your behalf. With this, the entire divorce process becomes easier, quicker, and brings less emotional strain. Companies only need to get divorce forms to you in a short period, and things would be processed faster.

Lawyers Are Not Necessary

Have you read about an online divorce at all? Did you read that filing an online divorce doesn’t require an attorney? Well, in all honesty, many couples are yet to be aware that filing a divorce is possible without a need for an attorney. And yes, hiring an attorney is one of the most significant costs challenges faced by divorcees when it comes to filing a divorce.

Often, the trouble comes when most individuals begin to panic whenever they think of filing a divorce. And once they discover that it might be impossible to get a fair share, this leads them to hire an expensive attorney. However, the cost of getting an attorney is nothing to write home about. While their services look affordable from the onset, they turn out becoming a money-pit in the long run.

With online divorce, you tend to get the best and affordable deals as they’ll help you manage all the stress of paperwork. Getting an inexpensive divorce without the need for an attorney is possible and only with online divorce companies. The fees charged by online divorce companies is only a portion of the cost of getting an attorney. So, this is one of the reasons why you should consider getting your divorce online.

Save Money Online

Have you ever thought of how much it would cost to get a divorce? Setting aside the marital debts and other costs, you also need to factor in the price of getting an attorney, the legal costs, and every other thing attached. These costs tend to become a never-ending nightmare.

If you file for a divorce with an online divorce company, you could be saving some serious bucks. Do you know why? For couples who want to get an online divorce, you do not need the services of an attorney whatsoever. Similarly, you’ll also end up saving quite a bit of the legal costs. You’ll also minimize your marital debts.

Online Divorce Forms are Available Around the Clock

Getting a divorce form sent to your home could be a pain in the ass. This is because you might have made your final decision to end the marriage, and you would want things to get started and end as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, it could even take up to a week or even more before the forms are delivered to you. This isn’t ideal if you want something to end quickly.

With an online divorce service, you can get the necessary forms delivered to you within 24 hours. Some of these online divorce services offer instant delivery of divorce forms because they are sent via your email. Apart from that, you can also fill and complete these forms electronically. So, with online divorce services, the process is less complicated compared to traditional divorce services.

You Can Waive Your Right to Appear

Getting a divorce online and waiving your right to appear means that there is no need to see your soon to be ex. If there is already an agreement for that between you and your spouse, you won’t even need to appear in court. With online divorce services, you can also tell the court to carry on with the proceedings without even showing up. If the judge doesn’t have any questions, then there is no need for you to appear.

It’s Hard to Make a Mistake

Of course, nobody knows your situation better than you. Since the questions you need to answer are about issues relating to your life, and the computer only fills in the blanks, it’s usually hard to make mistakes. Though errors in documents could slow down the divorce process, it is still easier for an attorney to make a mistake than you because they aren’t familiar with your assets and liabilities.

Final Thoughts

Filing a divorce online is an excellent way to save both money and time. However, it isn’t the best scenario for every couple. You need to ensure that you and your spouse agree on everything before you approach the online divorce companies to file your divorce.

Christmas With Molang * Adorable Stories With Important Messages About Christmas

The magic of Christmas is all around! Join our best friends, Molang and Piu Piu, on their adventures during this idyllic season. It’s the perfect time to build a snowman, go ice-skating with friends, find the most beautiful Christmas tree and of course, meet Santa! Merry Christmas from Molang and Piu Piu! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Jolleen M. comments, “The adorable episodes on Christmas with Molang convey important messages surrounding Christmas, without having any dialogue. Kids of all ages would be able to understand the messages.”  Katherine S. adds, “The animation in this DVD is charming. It is simple, but with good attention to detail. The characters’ hilarious language is made up of gibberish words and sounds, which is very creative and entertaining. The music is upbeat and fits well with all the Christmas adventures.” Tiana S. chimes in with, “One of my favorite parts is when Molang and Piu Piu are ice skating and Molang lets go of Piu Piu’s hands and he flies away and lands on the back of a deer. The deer then takes off like a horse. I also find it hilarious that the music director Nicholas Varley has Santa enter to ninja music.” Elizabeth T. wraps it up with, “Christmas with Molang is a sweet DVD that parents can enjoy with their younger children. The episodes are short enough to hold a young child’s attention and there is enough charm and comedy to the stories that an adult might find themselves laughing at the characters’ antics as well.” See their full reviews below.

Christmas With Molang

By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

The adorable episodes on Christmas with Molang convey important messages surrounding Christmas, without having any dialogue. Kids of all ages would be able to understand the messages. The animation is filled with pastel colors and is pleasing to the eyes.

The storyline follows two best friends, Molang and Piu Piu. Molang is a bunny and Piu Piu is a chick. They encounter problems throughout the day and, while finding the solutions to these problems, they learn a valuable lesson every time.  Normally Piu Piu is the one who is in distress and Molang finds a way to fix Piu Piu’s problem to cheer him up.

The animation is in a cutesy style from Korea. Molang was drawn by a university student named Yoon Hye Jin and is made to look like a sticky Korean rice cake. Everything is colored in light pastels and all the characters have round figures. Super adorable!

Although the cartoon is from Korea, the characters do not speak in Korean or in any real language for that matter. The fans have named the language that they speak Molangonese or Piupiualish. The audience is still able to understand what they are trying to say by the images shown and the strategic framing. 

My favorite part about Christmas With Molang has to be the messages. Molang and Piu Piu promote the idea that Christmas is about more than receiving gifts. They help out other animal friends in their community and feel complete. Molang and Piu Piu inspire viewers to do good deeds for other people. They are an example to kids that “when you do good it comes around.”

Molang and Piu Piu also show how great it is to have a best friend. Molang and Piu Piu love each other very much and support each other all the time. These besties show how to sympathize and comfort others. These are important things to know to be able to socialize and be a caring person. Molang and Piu Piu promote positivity and love throughout the series.

Christmas With Molang is the perfect cartoon to show kids of all ages during the holiday season. They will love how cute everything is and will be inspired to do kind things for other people. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 6. Christmas With Molang is out on DVDs now so be sure to check it out!

Christmas with Molang

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I love this DVD! It is full of cuteness and Christmas cheer! And it is perfect to watch on a cold, winter day.

Christmas with Molang is about a bunny named Molang and a chick named Piu Piu going on fun-filled Christmas adventures. Episodes include A Beautiful Christmas Tree, The Snowman, At The Elves’ House and Santa.

The animation in this DVD is charming. It is simple, but with good attention to detail. The characters’ hilarious language is made up of gibberish words and sounds, which is very creative and entertaining. The music is upbeat and fits well with all the Christmas adventures. All of the episodes are adorable. My favorites are The Choir and The Frog, because they have the funniest story lines. The episodes are approximately five minutes each, so the total run time is about 30 minutes.

There are many positive messages throughout the DVD including the value of friendship, helping others and always have fun in what you do. Christmas with Molang has no bad language, but there are a few risky things that kids might try to do such as climb a Christmas tree, bother wild animals and go into houses Santa style.

I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 9. This DVD is available now so look for it.

Christmas with Molang
By Tiana S. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 9

Christmas with Molang is a cute movie full of all things Christmas! I love it. It’s a movie I would love to watch with my little cousins. The characters are so funny, playful and seem to always have fun.

Christmas with Molang is a DVD with six different short stories about Christmas on it. In each story the lead character, Molang and his friend Piu Piu experience a new lesson related to the spirit of Christmas. They build a snowman, go ice-skating, find the best Christmas tree and even meet a Ninja, back-flipping Santa Claus. Each time they go on one of their adventures, they learn a new lesson.

There are so many funny parts in each of the short stories. One of my favorite parts is when Molang and Piu Piu are ice skating and Molang lets go of Piu Piu’s hands and he flies away and lands on the back of a deer. The deer then takes off like a horse. I also find it hilarious that the music director Nicholas Varley has Santa enter to ninja music. Sometimes it is a little weird when the characters speak in animated baby voices. It could be a little annoying for older kids, because you can’t always understand what they are saying. However, because of the great animation, you can still tell what is happening. The scenes are very bright and colorful and full of the Christmas spirit.

The overall message of the DVD is to be kind to others, even strangers. In each story the characters are trying to help someone else or show how much they care about them. Also, it encourages you to show people you care and make new friends. Some day, when you are in trouble you’ll have help because you helped them.

I rate Christmas with Molang 5 out of 5 stars. It is a really cute movie for younger kids so I recommend it for ages 3 to 10. Christmas with Molang is available now wherever DVDs are sold.

Christmas with Molang

By Elizabeth T., KIDS FIRST! Juror

Christmas with Molang is a sweet DVD that parents can enjoy with their younger children. The episodes are short enough to hold a young child’s attention and there is enough charm and comedy to the stories that an adult might find themselves laughing at the characters’ antics as well.


Christmas with Molang follows a young cotton-ball rabbit and her best friend Piu-Piu, a small chick. Rather than focusing on Christmas itself, either in the religious or secular sense, these episodes take classic bits of the holiday season (skating, making snowmen, caroling, finding a Christmas tree) and give them a story-book feel, full of light-hearted antics and the joys of having a best friend to do everything with. The DVD is a set of six mini-episodes and contains a number of charming adventures and funny moments.

The best part of this series is that none of the characters actually talk. They make vocalizations, like minions, where some of the words are distinguishable, but must are just sounds. Because of this, the viewer is able to imagine their own dialogue, which adds more humor to the characters interactions. On top of this, Piu-Piu and Molang have some genuinely charming interactions, and there is a distinguished personality difference between the two characters, Molang being the imaginative and upbeat, Piu-Piu being a bit more practical and clever. Most children will just find the characters cute and funny. There are plenty of events with good comedic timing (characters getting run over by snowballs, creeping up behind bushes, or trying to avoid kissing a frog). There is a lot of physical comedy (falling, people getting knocked on the head and such), but they are mostly played for laughs. The only serious injury shown is when Piu-Piu takes a rather nasty fall, nasty enough for him to fall unconscious and temporarily lose his memory.

The stories, while simple, make a decent amount of sense, even without dialogue. The only continuity error is that the two are seen decorating the Christmas tree at the beginning of each episode, making the audience wonder whether this is taking place different years or whether something happened to the old tree. The story does include Santa Claus, which isn’t particularly accurate. One episode involves a frog caught in the snow, while real frogs would be hibernating during winter. Another lack of accuracy is that all the Christmas songs the characters sing are secular, with no mention of the original carols used in church.

The animation is pretty basic, with minimal movement and simplistic designs. However, this adds to the charm of the episodes and gives the stories an idyllic, story-book flavor. The voices for the characters are all performed by the same person, but there is a noticeable enough difference to tell who’s talking.

The most beneficial episode involves a snow-man. After Piu-Piu and Molang have build and decorated a snowman, their decorations (hat, scarf, carrot and chocolates) are stolen by some hungry forest creatures, twice. After seeing that the small creatures are in need, the two go back to their house and prepare food and clothing for the creatures in a heartwarming show of forgiveness and compassion. In all the episodes, the characters find creative ways to solve problems and are always ready to help out a friend.

More than anything, the DVD illustrates how to be a good friend, to help out when others have problems, is ready to forgive, and find joy in everyday things. Whatever situation Molang and Piu-Piu find themselves in, they are the best of friends and they are always laughing. These episodes have a lot less to do with Christmas, religious or secular, than they have to do with just being kind to others, regardless of the time or season.

Christmas with Molang is a genuinely funny and charming collection of short stories that illustrate friendship and finding joy in simple, every-day things. Through a simple style of story-telling and plenty of vocal effects, these mini-episodes spark the viewer’s imagination and bring back idyllic memories of Christmas activities. I recommend it for ages 2 to 6 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Elizabeth T., KIDS FIRST! Juror.

It’s time for Holiday Gift Guide #2!

Looking for something for an 8-year-old? This one will be a hit!

Air-Walker

A robot that defies gravity?! That’s what you get with Air-Walker, a four-legged bot that uses an ingenious system of suction cups and pumps to crawl along smooth, vertical surfaces like windows. You can also build four other models with the same components and learn how suction and mechanical devices can be used in different real-world applications. A vacuum-suction machine sticks to and lifts flat panels, while a robot with just two suction cups rotates around a central pivot point.  This hands-on construction kit brings engineering and physics to life as it demonstrates the power of air pressure at work. Ages 8+ MSRP: $39.95.

Maybe you are looking for a great gift for the toddler on your list?

Magformers Mini House Sets will be a hit!

Click, Connect, Create! Explore endless construction possibilities with Magformers Mini House Sets! Your little one can build anything they can imagine when they use the Magformers Magnetic Rainbow shapes, characters and accessories included in, Max’s Playground Set, Maggy’s House Set, and Milo’s Mansion Set. Compatible with all Magformers, add Milo, Minibot and Max sets for extended building fun! Ages 3+. MSRP: $49.99.

Antsy Pants has a couple of great gift ideas for the younger kids! The Bingo Game (SRP $7.99) and the Tic Tac Toe Travel Mat (SRP $19.99) are classic games that encourage developmental play and together time.

I recommend both for children ages 3-5 years old.

Here’s another one that is a great choice for the little children ages 3 and up!

My Little Farm
Here’s some battery-free, no charger required fun and learning for the littles! My Little Farm (MLF) is an award-winning, interactive, multi-sensory educational toy that builds early language skills and vocabulary. Invented by a Speech Pathologist, this interactive toy has eight colorful panels that are fully reversable—a red barn exterior can be reversed to reveal a barn interior and colorful outdoor farm setting. It’s far more than just decorating a play farm – MLF comes with 32 soft and stick-able felt cut-outs that match outlines in the 8 rooms. As children are placing the felt pieces in each room, they are also discovering early language concepts, quantity, colors, shapes and sizes. MLF comes in a sturdy carry-case (so giftable) and it includes a pamphlet with a handy primer on the educational and sensory language skills to instill through play. It is also endorsed by the Center for Autism Related Disorders and Autism Live. More information: www.smartfelttoys.com.  

I love this next one because it is a great way to teach young children about culture and other places! Worldwide Buddies
Worldwide Buddies’ culture-in-a-box sets teach kids all about the customs and traditions that make various countries unique and special. The first Worldwide Buddies kit is full of Mexican treats—it includes a book, bilingual playing cards, a stuffed axolotl toy (the critically endangered underwater Mexican salamander), and various other games and activities that will keep kids entertained. The second culture package features China. It includes everything kids can learn about China, a Mandarin/English memory game and a fun, plush toy, Shui, an endangered spotted seal and more. All books and toys are designed to spark curiosity and encourage learning, as well as skill development through play. They all fall under the category of STEAM toys. www.worldwidebuddies.com

This next one is great for teenage girls or for your BFF’s! Great gift for Mom’s too!

Pamper your friends with 7th Heaven’s cruelty-free, vegan and EASY peel-off masks! Available in several ‘flavors,’ such as Coconut & Clay, Tea Tree and Dead Sea, these de-stressing masks use luxurious natural ingredients to reveal glowing, fresher, cleaner skin.
Each mask comes in a generous single-serve sachet and retails for $1.99 – a real stocking stuffer steal! I actually tried out one of these and loved it!

Here’s another one Mom may like! Classic Slipcovers offers a line of high-end slipcover products that make your furniture look brand new.  From chairs to sofas and even dog furniture, they offer a variety of fits and styles. I really like the quality of these slipcovers. You can get more information about their product line at https://www.theslipcovercompany.com/.

Here’s another one for young kids! GoPals, a brand new plush toy that travels everywhere a child goes and fastens securely to any backpack. These are really cute and quite clever!

The GoPals Originals Collection features 8 adorable characters and retail for $14.95. In addition, The GoPals brand has partnered with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which is aimed at propelling the world towards a future without childhood cancer. A portion of every GoPals animal sold will go toward funding and promoting children’s charities. Now, how cool is that?!

This next one is really quite original!

The Toothless Monster, a toy that “magically earns teeth”
every time your child loses one. The plush monster is packaged in a boxed set,
including 16 plastic teeth and a hardcover book illustrating the tale of The
Toothless Monster. The toy is available nationwide for purchase online, priced at $39.95. Glow in the dark teeth are available for an additional $5.95.

The Toothless Monster is available for purchase online at
www.thetoothlessmonster.com. The sets can be shipped nationwide. For more information, visit www.thetoothlessmonster.com


Looking for a snack for the kids this holiday season? Or even a stocking stuffer? Welch’s Christmas Fruit Snacks will be a hit! Available in two pack sizes, a 5-count box and a 28-count box, they’re perfect for stocking stuffers and holiday parties. Additionally, the mixed fruit snacks come in fun, new shapes – snowman, ornament, Santa, snowflake, and Christmas tree! They are made with REAL fruit and are available at Walmart, Target,  Walgreens and Dollar General.

Happy Holidays!


Self Disclosure: I received free samples of the above items to feature in this holiday gift guide. Images were also provided.

Blue Man Group On Tour Comes to Segerstrom Center

Segerstrom Center for the Arts – Blue Man Group New Tour – Photo by Lindsey Best

STILL BLUE. THE REST IS NEW.

KIDS NIGHT ON BROADWAY ANNOUNCED FOR TWO PERFORMANCES
BUY ONE TICKET AT FULL PRICE – RECEIVE ONE CHILD’S TICKET FREE.

January 7 – 12, 2020
Segerstrom Hall
Tickets on sale now

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is pleased to announce that tickets are on sale for the all-new tour of BLUE MAN GROUP coming to Orange County January 7 – 12, 2020. A special Kids Night on Broadway discount will be offered for two performances on January 7 and 8. With the purchase of one full-price ticket, parents can receive a second ticket FREE for children. Ticket prices start at $26. Use code BLUEKID when purchasing. Children and families are also encouraged to arrive early and enjoy pre-show activities in the Segerstrom Hall lobby beginning at 6:00 p.m., including coloring stations, crafts, activities, photo opportunities and more!

More than 35 million people around the world have experienced the smash hit phenomenon that is BLUE MAN GROUP, and the world-renowned bald and blue trio are back on the road in a new North American tour. Under the helm of visionary director Jenny Koons, in her first-time collaboration with BLUE MAN GROUP, the tour features everything audiences know and love about BLUE MAN GROUP—signature drumming, colorful moments of creativity and quirky comedy—the men are still blue, but the rest is all new! Including pulsing, original music, custom-made instruments, surprise audience interaction and hilarious absurdity, audiences join the Blue Men in a joyful experience that unites audiences of all ages.

Tickets to BLUE MAN GROUP start at $26 and can be purchased at SCFTA.org, by calling (714) 556-2787 and at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa. To take advantage of the Kids Night opportunity, use promo code BLUEKID. For inquiries about group ticket savings for 10 or more, please call the Group Services office at (714) 755-0236. The 2:00 p.m. performance on Saturday, January 11 will include audio description, open captioning and sign-language interpretation. The Center offers many services for patrons with disabilities including removable wheelchair locations, binoculars and assistive listening devices. To learn more visit SCFTA.org/accessibilityinformation.

BLUE MAN GROUP is the global entertainment phenomenon, known for its award-winning theatrical productions, iconic characters and multiple creative explorations. BLUE MAN GROUP performances are euphoric celebrations of human connection through art, music, comedy and non-verbal communication. Since debuting at New York’s Astor Place Theatre in 1991, the live show has expanded to additional domestic residencies in Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas and Orlando, an international residency in Berlin, and multiple North American and World tours, reaching more than 35 million people worldwide. BLUE MAN GROUP is universally appealing to a broad range of age groups and cultural backgrounds.

In addition to Koons, the BLUE MAN GROUP North American tour includes an established and prolific creative team including costume design by Emilio Sosa (On Your Feet!Motown), video design by Lucy MacKinnon (The Rose TattooSpring Awakening), and set design by Jason Ardizzone-West (Jesus Christ Superstar LiveNext to Normal).

A part of the pop culture zeitgeist, BLUE MAN GROUP has appeared countless times on hit shows including Dancing with the StarsThe Tonight ShowArrested DevelopmentThe Ellen DeGeneres ShowSchlag den Raab (Germany), WOWOW (Japan) and Caldeirão do Huck (Brazil). Additionally, BLUE MAN GROUP has served as the face of branding campaigns for Intel and TIM/Brasil.

Continuously identifying and developing new ways to impact the entertainment industry, BLUE MAN GROUP has contributed to various film and TV scores, and released multiple albums including the Grammy-Nominated Audio. The rock concert parody, “Megastar World Tour” played arenas across the globe. The book, Blue Man World, is a visually stunning anthropological exploration of the curious bald and blue character.

The BLUE MAN GROUP North American tour is presented in L-ISA Hyperreal Sound by L-Acoustics, the world leader in premium professional sound systems for live events. L-ISA is a ground-breaking audio technology which goes beyond traditional systems to offer extremely realistic, ultra-high definition sound. This result is a deeper sense of involvement in the spectacular antics, music and mayhem that is BLUE MAN GROUP.

BLUE MAN GROUP is owned and operated by Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group. The North American tour is produced and promoted by Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group in partnership with NETworks Presentations.

Tickets –          Start at $26

In Person –      The Box Office
                          600 Town Center Drive
                          Costa Mesa, CA 92626
                          Open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily

Online –            SCFTA.org

Phone –            (714) 556-2787
                          Open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily

Group Sales –  (714) 755-0236
                           Open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday-Friday

Fans can keep up with the Blue Man Group Tour through:

Twitter:https://twitter.com/bluemangroup
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/bluemangroup
Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/bluemangroup/
YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/bluemangroup

Credit: Segerstrom Center for the Arts. 

Grand Park’s Winter Glow Returns December 6-25, 2019

Grand Park’s Winter Glow 2018 photo by Javier Guillen for Grand Park/The Music Center

 Grand Park’s Winter Glow returns for the park’s second annual nighttime art display, offering an immersive experience that will span two county locations this holiday season as the free event expands across Grand Avenue to include the newly renovated Music Center Plaza. With double the amount of lighting experiences from the inaugural event in 2018, Grand Park’s Winter Glow will feature installations by L.A.-based artists from across the county, including multimedia artists Cassandra CarilloCarlos G. Rodas and Aphidoidea, among others. Each artist will design and install magical light attractions for the public to enjoy as they stroll through Grand Park and The Music Center Plaza. Familiar pathways and historic fountains will be transformed into exciting new discoveries with the latest in light and projection technology. Some of the curated large-scale installations will be hands-on and interactive as additional complementary light displays make Hope Street to Hill Street “glow” in the winter sky. Grand Park’s Winter Glow opens a trialogue—a conversation between art, people and space that offers a non-traditional approach to public art exhibition and the park-goer experience.

Additionally, a community partnership with Kayamanan Ng Lahi will feature the work of L.A.-based artists Alfie Ebojo (aka alfienumeric) and Lakandiwa de Leon (of Kidlat Woodworks) who will design a five-foot “parol,” based on a star-shaped lantern that embellishes homes during Christmas in the Philippines and signifies cultural meaning and identity for Los Angeles’ large Filipino community. Grand Park will display the Christmas lantern and promote Filipino cultural and artistic practices by hosting a free parol-making workshop on Saturday, December 7, 2019, where community members can learn and create their own parol to take with them. Throughout Grand Park’s Winter Glow, guests will also enjoy listening to a special soundscape of playlists curated by L.A.-based artists and partners, including Silver Lake-based Indie label Dangerbird Records and filmmaker/arts organizer Joel Quizon, among others.

The only free exhibit of its kind in the area is open to the public from December 6–25, 2019, offering park-goers the opportunity to gather and celebrate the wonder and magic of art as it illuminates Downtown L.A.

EXHIBIT HIGHLIGHTS: 
Coralation

Artist: Aphidoidea

Location: Grand Park Performance Lawn

Park-goers will take a trip under the sea into this interactive light-filled 15-foot dome. Inspired by the incandescent relationship between a clownfish and a sea anemone, guests can manipulate the touch sensors of Coralation to create their own personalized glow. 

Sea Creatures

Artist: Aphidoidea

Location: Grand Park Performance Lawn

Sea Creatures emulates the microscopic plankton organisms that are the first step in the food chain in our ecosystem. Composed of 18 hanging sculptures clustered in close proximity, this experience invites park-goers to walk among the sculptures and see what it might be like to encounter these typically invisible creatures.

H+ Creative represented artists Introspections
Artist: H+ Creative represented artists

Location: Grand Park Fountain Overlook

The familiar concrete walls and steps into Grand Park will be transformed by the unique digital art projections of H+ Creative. Park guests will experience the animated work of H+ Creative artists from across the globe and feel how they connect to the lights of Grand Park’s Winter Glow. They will encounter both the conceptual interconnectivity amongst us and spatial connections throughout Los Angeles in this dazzling display of digitally animated work.

Fascination 2.0

Artist: Cassandra Carrillo and Carlos G. Rodas

Location: Grand Park Performance Lawn

Constructed from metal with animated lighting, this 20-foot tall dome structure is a monumental geometric cranium that activates the realms of imagination. As attendees gaze inside Fascination 2.0, they will be captivated by mesmerizing lights and hypnotic illusions of shapes within and around the structure.

SEEN & UNSEEN

Artist: Ambar Navarro:

Location: Grand Park Performance Lawn

Celebrate the Grand Park’s Winter Glow experience with a dazzling array of colorful black lights that evoke a collective image of downtown Los Angeles. Using photographs of historic buildings mixed with icons from popular spots, SEEN & UNSEEN creates a unique interpretation of the Los Angeles experience capturing details that the normal eye may not see, bringing downtown together with color and light.

Kaduduwa: Spirt and Body as One (Parol)

Artist: Alfie Ebojo aka alfienumeric and Lakandiwa de Leon of Kidlat Woodworks

Location: Grand Park Olive Court

A widely popular symbol that is loved in the Philippines during the holiday season, park-goers will experience a modern day parol. Merging their ancestral home of the Philippines with their contemporary California culture, Ebojo and de Leon will create a five-foot parol made of paper and bamboo. This artist duo derives their inspiration from the traditional and connect it to their hopes to invoke unity, goodwill and love in the diverse county of Los Angeles.

Piñata

Artist: Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia

Location: The Music Center Plaza

With piñatas having international roots in Mesoamerica as well as in China during the time of Marco Polo, today, these cultural icons are popularly used in Christmas celebrations in Mexico and throughout the Mexican diaspora. Segovia’s Piñata, a 5-foot illuminated sculpture made of painted fiberglass, is inspired by and placed in honor of the multicultural community of Los Angeles.

Exhibits designed and produced by the Grand Park team:
 

General Site Lighting

Location: Grand Park and The Music Center Plaza

More than doubling the amount of lighting experiences from 2018, Grand Park’s Winter Glow will splash color and breakup patterns across pathways, trees and surfaces throughout the event space from Hope to Hill Streets.

Grand Park + German Light Products Present Lighting Spectacular

Location: Grand Park’s Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain

Sponsored by German Light Products, this Grand Park presentation will showcase the newest lighting technology on the park’s fountain overlook. Park-goers will enjoy a colorful, fountain lightshow every 15 minutes for a unique and mesmerizing display of light, water and music. 

Winter’s Nebula

Location: Grand Park Performance Lawn Stage

Attendees will be surrounded by an immersive dark room projection experience on Grand Park’s performance stage as they step into a space beyond to experience the video and projections emanating around them. Winter’s Nebula uses flowing images to engulf and transport guests into a dream-like world as they become part of the art. 

Hexagon Invert

Location: Grand Park Performance Lawn

Multiple 12-foot light strands connect in a dazzling display on Grand Park’s Performance Lawn, creating a visually striking three-dimensional array of lights that arch up in multiple directions to surround guests in a multi-color glow. Park-goers are encouraged to lay down underneath or sit inside this inverted cupola and connect to the shine of this light-filled splendor.

Glowing Geometric Garden

Location: Grand Park Performance Lawn

Life-size geometric sculptures will create a connected pathway of light, concept and design as park-goers stroll through a light-inspired garden composed of bulbs and LED tubes.

Light Connection Tunnel

Location: Grand Park Olive Court

Playing on the length and open space of Grand Park’s Olive Court, guests will take a journey through a series of illuminated and glittering arches. With an accompanying soundscape, park-goers will encounter a sense of motion as they weave in and out of this walk-through experience.

Grand Park in Lights

Location: Grand Park Splash Pad

Grand Park will have its name in lights across a gigantic 8-foot x 16-foot wall adorned with marquee style light bulbs on a chase sequence, inviting guests to snap their official Winter Glow selfie.

Illuminated Tree Forest

Location: The Music Center Plaza

Found on The Music Center Plaza, guests can wander through a forest of inflated cone “trees” brightly lit in a rainbow of colors. This glow experience is designed in part by artist Doron Gazit of AirDD.

Additional exhibits during Winter Glow:
 

L.A. County Holiday Tree

Location: The Music Center Plaza

Greeting visitors on The Music Center Plaza, the County’s official Christmas tree will be adorned with 3,000 traditional holiday lights, festival bows and 600 colorful metallic ornaments.

Grand Park Tree

Location: Grand Park Fountain Overlook

Grand Park’s Christmas tree is comprised of more than 100 exquisitely lit white and pink “ornaments” made of mesh balls that range in size from 18 inches to 5 feet. At 45-feet high, the tree inspires cheer and wonder.


Menorahs

Location: The Music Center Plaza and Grand Park (near Broadway Street)

To honor the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, a menorah in Grand Park and also on The Music Center Plaza will be lit for the eight nights of this traditional festival of lights. Representing the resilience of communities around the world and the power of light and hope, the lighting of the candles starts on December 22 and ends on December 30.

TICKETS: FREE

MORE INFO: Visit https://grandparkla.org/event/grand-parks-winter-glow-2019/ for more information.

PROHIBITED ITEMS: No outside alcohol is permitted in the park or on The Music Center Plaza. For a full list of prohibited items, visit Grand Park or The Music Center.

Credit: Grand Park.

TGA Premier Sports Makes Golf Accessible for Kids

You might find Kevin Oliver’s after-school TGA Premier Golf of Long Beach (CA) class decidedly louder than other golf programs you may have seen. However, compared to the unfettered chaos of kids at play in the adjacent open field — a never-ending game of tag (that, at times, resembles rugby), a toddler toppling unexpectedly over the top of a soccer ball the size of her entire torso and rowdy footballers trying to make their spirals sing through the wind in the key of Philip Rivers or Jared Goff— the golf class looks as mellow as a yoga retreat in a Tibetan monastery.

From a distance, Oliver and his 18 elementary-school-aged pupils, in their warm-up-stretch poses, almost appear to be moving in slow motion in the sectioned-off space Oliver has reserved (and organized into stations) for this weekly hour-long session.

“During our stretches, it’s a great time to get everyone focused and ping them with some questions that jog their memories on what we worked on in our last class,” Oliver, TGA Premier Sports of Long Beach owner, says. “It’s also the best time to review the academic lessons (TGA classes cleverly incorporate science, technology, reading and math (STEAM) into the PhD-designed class curriculum) so I’ll ask, ‘Who remembers what we learned about the effects of gravity… or spin?’ It always helps to engage their brains early, before we start hitting shots.”

TGA’s innovative before- and after-school enrichment programs and local sports camps bring developmental golf, tennis and an array of team sports directly to the students, saving parents travel and time while engaging kids in healthy new activities. Oliver’s Long Beach franchise is one of 77 TGA Premier Sports chapters nationwide. TGA (an acronym for Teach, Grow, Achieve) is on pace to enroll its one millionth student in 2020 since launching in 2003.

10-year-old Emily’s eyes follow “Coach Kevin” almost constantly during the hour. She’s quiet but attentive and serious about improving her golf skills. She raises her hand frequently as Oliver and Coach Eric engage the group. When the class breaks into stations, Emily’s face reveals how well she executes each chip. In the end, more balls landed inside the hula hoop target than not, so more smiles than frowns.

Station-based lessons keep every participant busy throughout the hour and reveal the crafted genius of the TGA lesson plan, which uses a handbook that is a lively mix of introductory golf with academic fundamentals that relate to the sport. By catering to new golfers ages five to 12 (70 percent of TGA participants and families have never played golf) and making golf available to the masses, TGA is activating a new generation of lifelong golfers. Scotty, age 6, brings big energy, big laughter and an already-obvious natural athleticism to the class. At the 15-minute mark, he’s already asked about “hitting drivers” three times. Tonight, he’ll have to wait until his third rotation before he and his group “let the Big Dog eat.” Chipping and putting sessions fly by, though, and soon Scotty is making exuberant three-quarter swings into a net with park- and backyard-safe plastic TGA limited flight golf balls. Oliver explains that TGA students learn a small (repeatable) “Tick-Tock” swing first before graduating to half- then three-quarter and full swings (toward colorful targets) so they develop distance control and pick up golf’s often-daunting movements in achievable steps.

TGA Premier Golf creates a simple player pathway for students and their families to build on their new-found golf passion and advance further in the sport. TGA programs are leading juniors to participating in other national golf programs like PGA Junior League and Drive, Chip & Putt, as well as playing on high school and college teams. With registration fees significantly less than $200, TGA’s six- or eight-week enrichment programs are also extremely affordable for families interested in starting their kids in golf.

“Our goal is to be the first step for juniors entering golf’s player pathway while specializing in introductory and recreational programs,’” says TGA Premier Sports CEO and founder Joshua Jacobs. “TGA gives kids and families a solid foundation to learn the sport in schools and community centers while providing a seamless transition to the golf course.”

TGA provides all of the equipment for kids at no cost in the program, including its own line of custom golf equipment to provide all players an affordable option to get into the sport. The program can also be utilized anywhere on school campuses regardless of weather, including gymnasiums, hallways, cafeterias, fields and blacktops.

“It’s incredible how fast an hour goes by but you can see a real sense of joy and accomplishment on the kids’ faces by the end of each class,” Oliver says. “The more they get into the groove of hitting shots into the targets or sinking putts, you hear a lot of eruptions of excitement.”

Right on cue, Emily, now brimming with confidence, recruits fellow fifth grader Juliana to take on classmates Colin and Liam in a putting challenge. They agree on a points system and promise no mercy. The quartet is fully engrossed in the competition and aware the younger kids are watching, but there’s still plenty of laughter and celebration when the putts fall their way.

TGA has progressive levels for participants to graduate to and, with the company’s new partnership with Youth on Course, a nationwide non-profit organization that secures subsidized golf fees for juniors, more TGA kids can (affordably) hit the links with confidence.

“Youth on Course is the perfect partner to further develop an effective Player Pathway. Our partnership enables our young golfers and their families to continue playing and developing into lifelong golfers,” Jacobs says.

Through an innovative franchise business model, TGA Premier Sports empowers passionate entrepreneurs, like Oliver, to impact the lives of youth and families by bringing youth sports enrichment programs and a “Changing Lives Through Sports” mantra into their communities. 

“TGA really makes an impact on kids and their families,” says Oliver. “Our kids get such a rewarding experience, meeting new friends, learning from successes and failures and seeing how far they can push themselves. I ran into the mom of one of my students the other night at a soccer practice and she came right up to me and told me ‘Grant LOVES golf now! He wants to take on-course lessons from a local pro and keep playing.’ That’s fulfilling our mission.”

For more information about Kevin Oliver’s Long Beach TGA chapter, visit http://playtga.com/longbeach/.

For more information on TGA Premier Sports, visit www.playtga.com or follow @TGA_Sports on Twitter.

Credit: TGA Premier Sports.

Experience True Holiday Magic at Queen Mary Christmas Nov. 29 – Jan. 1st

(Image Courtesy of the Queen Mary | Credit: Mathew Martinez)

The Queen Mary invites one and all to experience the spirit of the holiday season at Queen Mary Christmas, sailing into Long Beach November 29, 2019 through January 1, 2020, on select dates. Queen Mary Christmas will offer 25 days of holiday cheer with on-and-off ship activations, pairing an outdoor wonderland of fun with hints of maritime magic with strolling entertainment, libations, treats, gingerbread and stocking decorating, Santa meet and greets, ice skating on the True North Ice Rink, and much more. 

Take in the vintage yuletide atmosphere by strolling down the sparkling tree-lined Promenade Deck, to find Ol’ Saint Nick. When Santa is away from his North Pole workshop, his Captain’s Quarters in the Shipyard are his home away from home. Join Santa here for a meet and greet, help him chart the course to the North Pole, and pose for a souvenir photo with the jolly fellow. Head to the Main Hall to hear the tales of Christmas like never before during Storytime with Mrs. C and sip on hot chocolate topped off with fixings at the hot chocolate bar.

The Christmas Village, located inside the Exhibition Hall, boasts a festive workshop where all elves in attendance can decorate stockings, trim gingerbread houses, enjoy live entertainment and create jolly arts and crafts. From the Christmas Village, wander through a winter pathway of ‘Instagrammable’ backdrops and photo moments to the 4D Theatre for an intimate screening of The Polar Express, that will take viewers on a 4D sensory adventure complete with snow flurries and the smell of hot cocoa.

As the sound of strolling carolers fills the air, head to the outdoor wonderland of the North Pole Village to take a ride on the trackless train and experience festive entertainment fit for the entire family. Children can enjoy rides on the light up Grand Carousel and World’s Largest Giant Rocking Horse while parents relax with craft beers and specialty cocktails, complete with performances by Tappin’ Toy Soldiers, the Beefeater Brigade, Dancing Bellhops and more on the outdoor Main Stage.

Create a lasting tradition and carve out holiday memories on the all-new 6,000 square foot True North Ice Rink featuring a glittering 26-ft star topped Christmas tree in front of the Queen Mary’s famous smokestacks. Cozy up off the ice at rink-side concessions offering an array of seasonal treats, refreshments and entertainment that will have holiday revelers never wanting to leave. 

Queen Mary Christmas takes place November 29, 2019 through January 1, 2020. Tickets start at $29 for adults and $22 for children and includes Queen Mary Christmas event entry and ship access, meet and greets with Santa Claus, Storytime with Mrs. Claus, special screening of The Polar Express in the 4D Theater, and rides on the Grand Carousel, QM Express Train, and giant rocking horse. VIP tickets start at $65 for adults and $59 for children and includes skate rentals and ice skating session at the True North Ice Rink plus participation in all Queen Mary Christmas activities: gingerbread house making in the Gingerbread Village, stocking decorating with Santa’s helpers, screening of The Polar Express in the 4D Theater, meet and greets with Santa, Storytime with Mrs. Claus, and rides on the Grand Carousel, QM Express Train, and giant rocking horse. Cabanas are available for purchase. For a full entertainment schedule of tours, activations, experiences, hours of operation and to purchase tickets, visit queenmary.com.

Credit: The Queen Mary.

Dana Point Harbor Presents “Tiki Holiday” at the 45th Annual Boat Parade of Lights

Dana Point Harbor is pleased to welcome a “Tiki Holiday” to the harbor as the 45th Annual Boat Parade of Lights returns on December 6, 7, 13 and 14. Families are invited to enjoy festive tiki-themed activities and live entertainment, restaurant offerings, visits with Santa, and the famous parade of local boats adorned with dazzling holiday lights. Each event date will kick off with entertainment along the harbor beginning at 4:30 p.m. followed by the Boat Parade of Lights at 7:30 p.m.

“The boat parade truly captures the essence of Dana Point,” said Bryon Ward of Dana Point Harbor Partners and President of Burnham Ward Properties. “Dana Point Harbor Partners is excited to continue this highly anticipated holiday tradition celebrating community, culture and the legacy of the harbor.”

Each evening of the event, Dana Point Harbor will present a lineup of tiki-themed entertainment including hula dancers, face painters, seasonal carolers, a Volkswagen photo booth bus, and a photo opportunity with Mr. Claus himself.

Dana Point Harbor Partners are working together on all aspects of the boat parade and landside activities to bring the community another successful holiday celebration at the harbor. This festive fun-filled event would not be possible without the dedication of the boating participants. To sign up to be a part of the Dana Point Harbor boat parade tradition fill out an application online or visit The Marina at Dana Point Office. This year’s tiki-tastic line up of award categories includes best overall, theme, most original, lights/music, Mayor’s cup, Supervisor’s cup and more. New this year, a $1,000 donation will be awarded to the charity or youth sailing program of the yacht club with the most entries in the 45th Annual Boat Parade of Lights between Dana West Yacht Club and Dana Point Yacht Club. All award winners will receive cash prizes, with a total distribution of over $10,000 courtesy of Dana Point Harbor Partners.

To view the parade on the water, book your space aboard a Dana Wharf or Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari vessel. The Marina at Dana Point will also have guest slips available for visiting boaters. For information on their guest slips contact The Marina at Dana Point Office.

The harbor will light up with mesmerizing lights again this year from Friday November 22, to Thursday, January 2. The crowd favorite “Merry Kiss Me” arch will be back with an Instagram competition through @DanaPoint_Harbor. Additional festivities throughout the holidays include Dana Wharf Sportfishing’s Boat Rides with Santa on Saturday, December 7 and Sunday, December 8 from 10 a.m. – 2. p.m. Take photos with Santa and his holiday helpers on this adventure at sea and a $5 donation will benefit the El Camino Real Junior Woman’s Club.

The Pet Project Foundation will host the 8th Annual Santa Paws event on Saturday, December 7 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Pet photos with Santa will be offered for a small donation. All proceeds support the Pet Project Foundation.

A free trolley will run on each night of the Boat Parade from 4:30 – 10:30 p.m. with drop off and pick up locations along Dana Point Harbor Drive. Sail through “Tiki Holiday” paradise during the 45th Annual Boat Parade of Lights at Dana Point Harbor. For more information visit DanaPointHarbor.com.

Credit: Dana Point Harbor.