Gazpacho, Jan. 16th Pet of the Week!

Gazpacho is as cool as the cucumbers in the Spanish-style soup of the same name! He’s an American guinea pig who’s full of pep and a little bit sneaky—he loves to play hide-and-seek! He’s the perfect pet for anyone who wants a little cuddly companion who’d rather spend his entire day looking adorable in someone’s home than at the shelter. Meet Gazpacho on the shelter side of the Companion Animal Village at 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A637591.

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

Credit: Courtesy of the Companion Animal Village.

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.

Marvel, Dec. 5th Pet of the Week!

Marvel is all dressed up for the weather! This little guy is 4 years old and seems to be a terrier mix; he’s neutered and is all ready to go home. He’s fun-loving and cuddly, but he’s going to hog all the toys in the Christmas stocking because he does not like to share! If you’re looking for an “only child,” meet our Marvel at the P. D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village, 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A634303.

(The usual suspects contributed to this rescue)

Credit: Courtesy of the P.D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village.

It’s time for Week #1 of our Holiday Gift Suggestions!

Love tacos? Love Rubio’s? This gift suggestion is for you and anyone on your shopping list that loves Rubio’s! For the first time this holiday season, Rubio’s Coastal Grill is offering a limited-editionTaco Tidings Gift Box. The unique gift is ideal for taco lovers, and just 1,000 gift boxes will be available at the Taco Tidings order page (http://rubiosholidaystore.myshopify.com/). For more information about Rubio’s Coastal Grill, visit Rubios.com. Guests can also join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram

Need to find a perfect gift for a teenager or adult who loves to listen to music?  Audio-Technica makes it easy to pick the perfect gift for everyone, with wireless headphones, turntables, gaming headsets and more. I love their ATH-ANC500BT QuietPoint® noise-cancelling over-ear headphones that provide exceptional wireless audio quality in comfortable over-ear designs. The ATH-M50xBT wireless over-ear headphones (US$199.00) bring Bluetooth technology to one of the world’s most acclaimed pro audio headphones, the ATH-M50x. The ATH-M50xBT’s 45 mm large-aperture driver, rare-earth magnets and other refinements provide studio-quality sonic accuracy, and the headphones are compatible with aptX and AAC codecs for the best-possible wireless audio reproduction. Controls mounted on the left earcup provide easy handling of phone calls and music listening. An internal battery provides up to 40 hours on a full charge, and the headphones can also be used in wired mode. The ATH-M50xBT is compatible with the Audio-Technica Connect smartphone app.

These fun gadgets will also be a hit with Dad!

Looking for a gift for your teenager? The perfect holiday gifts for tween girls who love watching DIY makeup and craft channels on YouTube, these kits encourage girls to get creative and play with color as they mix and blend their own personalized makeup. This one is really cool! RoseArt/Mattel launched a new line of DIY makeup kits called BeYouTology. BeYouTology Luxe Cosmetic Bar Kit (MSRP $29.99) and the BeYouTology Lip Gloss Kit (MSRP $9.99) are available this holiday shopping season at participating retailers nationwide.

Here’s another great one for Tweens and Teens from RoseArt/Mattel. From YouTube star, Lauren Riihimaki, LaurDIY Craft Kits are inspired by craft tutorials, life hacks, and décor ideas. New this holiday season, give the LaurDIY Crystal Chandelier Kit. Crafters can have fun with paper and crystals to form an incredible, iridescent, chandelier.  SRP $19.99, for ages 8+ , Amazon.

‘Tis the season to bring the family together with the DreamWorks Ultimate Holiday Collection! Get into the holiday spirit with Shrek, Po, Hiccup, Toothless, Poppy and many more as they celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. Featuring 9 festive stories with your favorite characters, this collection is perfect for everyone looking to add a little magic to their holidays. This one is perfect to watch to start off the holiday season!

DreamWorks Ultimate Holiday Collection Blu-ray SRP: $39.98DVD SRP: $29.98
Featuring 9 DreamWorks holiday favorites together for the first time!

  • Trolls Holiday
  • Shrek the Halls
  • Donkey’s Caroling Christmas-tacular
  • Merry Madagascar
  • Penguins of Madagascar in a Christmas Caper
  • Dragons Holiday: Gift of the Night Fury
  • Home for the Holidays
  • Rise of the Guardians

I hope that you had a Happy Thanksgiving! Stay tuned for the next Gift Guide early next week! Happy Holidays!

Self Disclosure: I received free samples of the above items and images were also provided.

Violin, Nov. 28th Pet of the Week!

Violin plays the sweetest tunes you’ve ever heard on her little purr box! This 8-month-old girl is as graceful and adorable as an adagio and—shall we say it?—classically catlike curious. With her natural tuxedo and endearing half-mustachio, she’ll make beautiful music with you at your holiday parties and ever after! Meet Violin on the shelter side of the Companion Animal Village at 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID #A630983.

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

Credit: Courtesy of the Companion Animal Village.

Disney On Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party is Coming to SoCal Bringing the Magic Closer to Fans than Ever Before! **Highlighted By Full Performance Debut of Disney-Pixar’s Coco**

Create unforgettable memories and become part of the story when Disney On Ice presents Mickey’s Search Partycomes to Southern California this holiday season!  This brand-new immersive ice skating experience brings the magic closer to fans than ever before through engaging elements that take place on the ice, in the air and in the seats, as performer athleticism mixes with acrobatic and aerial stunts to bring skating skills to new heights.  An exciting participatory adventure told through multi-leveled performances that immerse fans into the fantastic worlds of Disney-Pixar’s Coco, Frozen, Moana, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Toy Story and The Little Mermaid, this all-new show will be skating into the Southland playing L.A, Anaheim, Long Beach and Ontario from December 12th – January 5th!

Embark on a quest with Mickey Mouse and pals as they follow Captain Hook’s treasure map for clues to find Tinker Bell after he attempts to capture her magic.  Journey across the Marigold Bridge with Miguel from Disney-Pixar’s Coco into the magnificent and mystical Land of the Dead and discover a vibrantly colorful performance with skeletons atop sway poles dancing over the audience in a beautiful cultural celebration of family.  Travel to the wintry world of Arendelle and sing along with Elsa as video projection creates a kaleidoscope of crystals to help build her ice palace.  Witness Belle lift into the sky as the enchanted chandelier comes to life high over the ice for onlookers seated above and below.  Board the Jolly Roger and laugh hysterically as the hilarious pirates flip, tumble, and twist on air tracks, stilts and more in an effort to showcase their talents for Captain Hook.  Sail away with Moana on her daring voyage across the ocean and bravely encounter the fiery wrath of Te Ka.   And make memories with your whole family during Aladdin, Toy Story and The Little Mermaid as the search party becomes an all-out magical celebration!

Join this magical search and help look for clues to unlock an epic journey when Disney On Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party delivers an unforgettable experience with your family!

L O S   A N G E L E S

WHEN:           Thursday, December 12 – Sunday, December 15

  • Thursday, December 12   7:30 PM
    • Friday, December 13                          7:30 PM
    • Saturday, December 14    11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM
    • Sunday, December 15                        11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM

WHERE:         STAPLES Center – 1111 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015

TICKETS:         Ticket prices start at $15!

                                Discount Opening Night tickets available for as low as $16 each on select seating (not valid for premium VIP/Front Row seating) 

Tickets available for purchase online at AXS.com, charge by phone at 888-9AXS-TIX or in-person at the venue Box Office.             *prices subject to change; additional venue/ticketing fees may apply

A N A H E I M

WHEN:           Thursday, December 19 – Monday, December 23

  • Thursday, December 19   7:00 PM
    • Friday, December 20                          11:00 AM & 7:00 PM    
    • Saturday, December 21    11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM
    • Sunday, December 22                        11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM
    • Monday, December 23                      11:00 AM & 7:00 PM

WHERE:         Honda Center – 2695 E. Katella Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92806

TICKETS:         Ticket prices start at $15!

                                Discount Opening Night tickets available for as low as $16 each on select seating (not valid for premium VIP/Front Row seating) 

Tickets available for purchase online at Ticketmaster.com or in-person at the venue Box Office.                                                                  *prices subject to change; additional venue/ticketing fees may apply

L O N G   B E A C H

WHEN:           Thursday, December 26 – Monday, December 30

  • Thursday, December 26            7:00 PM
    • Friday, December 27                   3:00 PM & 7:00 PM
    • Saturday, December 28    11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM
    • Sunday, December 29                 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM
    • Monday, December 30                               7:00 PM              

WHERE:         Long Beach Arena – 300 E. Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90802

TICKETS:         Ticket prices start at $15!

                                Discount Opening Night tickets available for as low as $16 each on select seating (not valid for premium VIP/Front Row seating) 

Tickets available for purchase online at Ticketmaster.com or in-person at the venue Box Office.                                                                   *prices subject to change; additional venue/ticketing fees may apply

O N T A R I O

WHEN:           Wednesday, January 1 – Sunday, January 5

  • Wednesday, January 1                                7:00 PM
    • Thursday, January 2                    7:00 PM
    • Friday, January 3                          7:00 PM
    • Saturday, January 4                            11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM
    • Sunday, January 5                                11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM

WHERE:         Toyota Arena4000 Ontario Center Parkway, Ontario, CA 91764

(formerly Citizens Business Bank Arena)

TICKETS:         Ticket prices start at $15!

                                Discount Opening Night tickets available for as low as $16 each on select seating (not valid for premium VIP/Front Row seating) 

                                Tickets available for purchase online at Ticketmaster.com or in-person at the venue Box Office.                                                       *prices subject to change; additional venue/ticketing fees may apply

Don’t miss this exciting show!

Credit: Feld Entertainment. Self Disclosure: I have received some form of compensation for posting.

Enchanted Forest of Light Returns Nov. 17, 2019

DESCANSO GARDENS’ POPULAR LIGHT SHOW, ENCHANTED FOREST OF LIGHT

Get ready for another year of sparkling lights and special surprises when everyone’s favorite light show, Enchanted Forest of Light returns to Descanso Gardens from November 17, 2019 to January 5, 2020. Tickets to Enchanted have timed entry and must be purchased in advance at enchantedLA.com.

Enchanted is a gentle one-mile walk through Descanso highlighting some of the most beloved areas of the Gardens. There are a variety of large-scale light displays, many of which are interactive, allowing visitors to manipulate the lights and sounds. The popular “Celestial Shadows” by HYBYCOZO—spinning polyhedral installations that explore geometry through light, shadow, and perception—will have new shapes and designs to discover. And also new this year is contemporary sculptor Tom Fruin’s magical “stained glass” creation which will grace Descanso’s Mulberry Pond. The “Lightwave Lake” light show will return to Descanso’s lake, as will Jen Lewin’s popular flowing and glowing interactive landscape of meandering pathways, “Aqueous.”

Other new additions this year include special Enchanted with Entertainment nights. On December 6, 7, 13 & 14, visitors can enjoy performances by students from California School of the Arts in its Van de Kamp Hall, along with DJs playing ambient music on the Main Lawn. And in response to popular demand, Descanso has added special “Members Only” nights when only members can purchase tickets (totally worth joining!

Important Information at a Glance:

  • General admission (adults, seniors, children 2–18): $28 & up (depending on date and time selected)
  • Descanso Gardens members pay $23 & up (depending on date and time selected)
  • Children under 2 are free, but still require a ticket
  • Member-Only Nights: December 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28. $25
  • Enchanted with Entertainment Nights: December 6, 7, 13, 14. $27-32

Credit: Descanso Gardens

Founded as a public garden in 1953, Descanso Gardens is located at 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011. Descanso Gardens is open daily (closed Christmas) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $9 for adults; $6 for seniors and students with a school I.D.; $4 for children 5 to 12, and free for ages 4 and younger.

Descanso Gardens is a member-supported garden accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Join Descanso Gardens and enjoy free admission and early entry year-round. Information: (818) 949-4200 or descansogardens.org.