Dr. Seuss Day!

Today is beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss’ Birthday! Also keeping in line with Seuss’ encouragement of reading it is also Read Across America Day. Many classrooms will be taking part in celebrating by having read-a-thons or having special guests such as local authors come in to read to students. But here are some ways you can participate at home and help encourage the love of reading in children!

Celebrate at home:

  • A hour of reading– unplug, shut off the tv and electronics, silence your phone and just read with your kids for an hour. Have you child practice their reading skills with you by having them read aloud. Share a favorite book with them from your childhood. Time spent together like this will do nothing but benefit your child.
  • Visit the library– many libraries will have events going on like special story times or even a crafting event. Events at the library are fun and free. And while you’re there it’s a chance to check out books.
  • Crafting– so speaking of crafts there are so many crafts that are simple and great to celebrate the day. Pinterest is such a wonderful source for ideas, and there are so many simple ones to choose from if you’re not the fully crafty type like me. Like the plate mask I made in the past with my kiddos.

    Cat in the Hat paper plate mask

  • Character Dress Up– this can be for at home or even for school, as with for my children who’s school was having a Seuss’ themed Character Dress Up Day. You could really do a few different ways with this as you could stick only to Dr Seuss books or do any storybook character. My daughter’s school has done a few different versions of this on Read Across America Day and has had a Whoville dress up day before around the holidays. This year though they went with choosing your favorite Seuss character. I was little nervous about this but it ended up being really simple and fun! We made all the masked/accessories/headbands out of cardstock paper or firm felt. The kids wore solid colors to help with the “costumes” and I personally think they turned out great! There are so many character ideas to be found with a simple google search or my favorite on Pinterest, that it can be really no hassle to do.

    Simple Horton Hears a Who and The Lorax Character Dress Up for Dr. Seuss Day

Celebrate at UCSD

California University of San Diego has a yearly celebration on March 2nd in honor of Theodor Seuss Geisel, known more famously as Dr. Seuss. Theodor Seuss Geisel was a long time resident of La Jolla and even has much of his artwork, manuscript drafts, sketches, books, photographs, memorabilia and more in a Collectionat UCSD as well as a the Geisel Library named in his honor. (The Dr. Seuss Collection is usually only on display around his birthday and during the summer) Come on down to the Geisel Library and celebrate Dr. Seuss 113th Birthday with cake, seussian musical entertainment, an inflatable Cat in the Hat and see part of the Dr. Seuss Collection! For more information on this event visit ucsdnews.ucsd.edu

No matter how you choose to celebrate today it’s a great day to spark a love of reading in your children. Have a very fun seussian day!

Cruzin Mama

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Great Wolf Lodge on Groupon!

Images courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge

Images courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge

For a limited time take advantage of a great savings deal for the Great Wolf Lodge on Groupon. Book a stay for about 40% off! Some options even include dinning credit which just adds to your savings. What the Groupon entails is a stay for six to eight guests (depending on your room selection) with daily wristbands for the waterpark for the maximum occupants of the room. There are dates available into April, great time to plan a Spring Break trip now!

This deal is only active for a limited time so grab it before it is gone! Below is a link to deals through GWL for future visits.

Enjoy your stay!
Cruzin Mama

Great Wolf Lodge Deals

FREE TICKETS TO LEGOLAND!

All images courtesy of Legoland Resorts

You are not reading the title wrong there is a way to get Free tickets to Legoland! Be amoung the first 500 guests to participate in making a human bat-signal this Friday, February 17th in front of the resort and receive a free ticket in return. There will also be a chance to take your photo with the Lego caped crusader, trivia for a chance at some great prizes and of course a fun Lego Batman mask. Registration will begin at 7am on Friday for this event but I can’t say how early people will be lining up. For more information about this event click here for the article on Legoand’s website. Below are some details so you can take part and earn your FREE trip for your family to Legoland California!

When
Friday February 17, 2017 at 8am (Registration begins at 7am)

Where
Plaza Park Entrance
1 Legoland Dr., Carlsbad CA 92008

What’s Happening

  • First 500 guests (ages 3 and up) to help with the human bat-signal will receive a FREE return ticket to Legoland
  • Photo opportunities with Lego Batman and trivia for a chance at awesome prizes!

Be sure to check out Lego Batman Movie Days while you’re at it! And don’t miss out on the amazing opportunity from Legoland California Resort.

Cruzin Mama

*Disclosure- this is not a giveaway from Cruzin Mama. This is a great opportunity that is through Legoland Resorts, check for all rules and information on legoland.com *

Lego Batman™ Movie Days at Legoland!

All images courtesy of Legoland Resorts

Batman Days are coming to Legoland California!

Well more specifically Lego Batman™ Movie Days are coming. This February there will be two action packed weekends in celebration of your favorite Lego caped crusader. Best of all is the fun is included with admission. Come take part in a scavenger hunt through Miniland, meet the dark knight himself along with his sidekicks, and of course complete a Lego build activity. If you can’t make it during these dates do not fear Batman and Friends character meet and greets will be going on throughout February and into March so there is still a chance to hang out with your favorite dark knight.

Lego Batman Movie Days

February 18th – 19th

February 25th – 26th

Batman Movie Days Fun!

  • Character Meet and Greets – Meet face to face with the Lego Batman or one of his friends Batgirl or Robin
    • Monday -Friday
      10:00, 11:00, 12:15, 1:45, 3:00, 4:00
    • Saturday-Sunday
      10:00, 10:45, 11:30, 12:15, 1:00, 1:45, 2:30, 3:15, 4:00, 4:45

    *Times are subject to change be sure to check on your visit to be sure of correct times*

  • Miniland Scavenger Hunt: The Villians Have Escaped! – Help track down the likes of Joker and his villains friends on a scavenger hunt through Miniland USA
  • Mystery Mosaic Lego Build – help in completing this build to reveal the mystery image
  • Build A Batmobile – Build and test out your own version of the batmobile
  • WB Family Gamespace- come and play all the Lego Batman™ themed video games
  • Character Lego Builds – help a Lego Masterbuilder complete life sized builds of Batman, Batgirl and Robin!

Don’t miss out on visiting the park during these action packed weekends! Also be sure to check out the new Lego Batman™ Movie which hit theaters February 10th.

Cruzin Mama

Legoland California
1 Legoland Dr, Carlsbad CA 92008
Purchase Tickets Ahead at
legoland.com

National Parks FREE Entrance Days 2017


National Parks Free Days 2016

The National Park Service is back with its FREE entrance days for 2017! This year the National Park Service is offer 9 fee free days which are great opportunities to get out and explore. There are 409 parks in the U.S. , 127 of those normally charge an entrance fee ranging from $3-$30. So fee free days are a great way to explore on a budget. Also be sure to visit Find Your Park to see all the events happening in parks nearby.

*Fee free days waive entrance fees, commercial tour fees and transportation fees. Fees for reservations, camping, tours, and fees collected by third parties are not included unless otherwise stated.*

2017 FREE Entrance Days

  • February 20th  Presidents  Day
  • April 15-16th and 22nd-23rd National Parks Week (Weekends)
  • August 25th National Park Service Birthday
  • September 30th National Public Lands Day
  • November 11th-12th Veterans Day Weekend

Image courtesy of National Park Foundation

Park Passes

Can’t make any of the fee free day but are planning on visiting multiple parks, then an Annual Pass is what you need. There are actually quite a few different pass options for our National Parks.

  • Annual Pass   The cost is $80 for this pass. It is available to everyone and can be purchased at a federal recreation site, over the phone (1-888-275-8747 ext. 3) or online.
  • Military Annual Pass  This pass is FREE to all current members of the United States Military, Reserves and Guards. This pass can only be picked up in person at a Federal recreation site by showing a Common Access Card (CAC) or Military ID (Form 1173).
  • 4th Grade Pass   Through Every Kid in a Park program all 4th graders are eligible to obtain a FREE Annual Pass. This pass provides free entrance to national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges for the 4th grader as well as all children under 16 years of age in the party and up to three adults. Paper passes accepted only no electronic passes will be honored. Pass is only valid during the school year (September 2015 – August 31st, 2016). For more information and to get the pass visit everykidinapark.gov

For full information on passes and to see all pass options visit nps.gov

California National Parks

Have fun exploring!

Cruzin Mama

Click here to find National Parks outside of California.

Cars 3 First Look and Trailer

All images courtesy of Disney•Pixar

During the last D23 Expo in 2015 Disney made many announcements for upcoming Resort and film projects. (You can see a recap of the announcements from that D23 Expo here) Amoung that announcement was that a third film in Pixars Cars series.

Cars 3 brings back racing legend Lightening McQueen who is now facing a new, younger, and more high-tech racing scene. He is no longer the young hotshot and is seeing himself as being aged out in a sport that he loves.

Owen Wilson is back as McQueen along with two new comers to the Cars world; Armie Hammer as Jackson Storm and Cristela Alonzo as Cruz Ramirez. Hammer’s character Storm comes in as newer generation of racer, slicker, faster and much more tech-savvy. While Alonzo’s Cruz Ramirez is McQueen’s new trainer who is here to help bring hope to the aging legend.

Cars 3 seems to be taking the series in a vastly new direction than the previous film Cars 2 which centered more on McQueen’s longtime friend Mater. While Cars 2 was fun and enjoyable and my son who is a big Mater fan loved it, it is great to see the growth and more serious tone in the new film. It reminds me of the Toy Story series, how they seemed to grow with their initial audience as the last film in the series felt like a send off for those of us who had seen the original in our youth. That is the same vibe I am getting from these first trailers for Cars 3. And of course my kids are very excited about this new film!

Here is the first teaser of Cars 3 from this last November

And below is the first full trailer of the film which gives a much more detailed look into it.

Cars 3 will be racing into theaters June 16th! Don’t be last to see it.

Cruzin Mama

Simple and Fun Polar Express “Train”

It’s almost holiday break for the kiddos and that means Polar Express Day is coming up, this a yearly tradition at my kiddos school which is on the last day before break. All the students are encouraged to wear their pajamas and enjoy a fun day in their classrooms either reading The Polar Express or watching the movie. It’s a great way to kick-off the holidays. But the most exciting part of the day is the Kindergarten parade. All the Kindergarten students make their very own Polar Express Train to parade through the school and all the classes line the hallways to cheer them on. It really is quite a show. And this year is exciting for our little Cruzin family as my youngest is taking part in it! So I wanted to share our creative, fun, yet simple DIY “train”.

Polar Express Train

Like I said we kept it fairly simple with our “train” this time around. Having experience from when my daughter did the same project a few years ago (ok more like 5 years) we had an idea of what the project consisted of and what did and didn’t really work the first time around. Well with my daughter’s we did a “go big or go home” train. We made out of fairly large boxes a very Christmas themed train complete with smoke stack, wheels, and lots of wrapping paper. I for one did not enjoy working with wrapping paper, so this time around I wanted to see about either using duck tape or painting. I also did not want to go very big like we did before as we had a lot of trouble trying to find a way for my daughter to wear her train by using ribbon and strings. So small it is but I knew that building a little replica train even out of boxes can sometimes be a little complicated. I knew with my son’s personality he needed a train to match. So we started talking with him and throwing out ideas and scrolling Pinterest (of course that’s like the holy grail for craft projects!). My little guy got pretty excited to make something Star Wars related but I started to think we were heading to a lot of complicated work and if that was the case we should just do a train. Then while out at Target (I practically live at this store lol), I saw some Peanuts holiday gear and it was like a little lightbulb went off. My Snoopy loving kiddo could do the famous red doghouse. It’s simple, unique, and easily associated with the holidays with the help of some added details.

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We started with a simple file box we already had and cut out the bottom of it and the folding inside of it, saving the cut outs for later. Next up my son and I painted the entire outside of the box red with some inexpensive paint from Walmart. It took a couple coats to try to hide the boxes blue bottom and black writing. After letting the paint dry, I outlined the box with black paint making the outline a little wobbly to give it the cartoon feel. I added some lines on the sides as well in this style to give it the wood look. On the front my son helped me paint the “door” and above it we placed vinyl letter stickers (this was so nice to skip painting each letter).

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Next was to make the box actually look like a doghouse and this turned out to be a lot simpler than we expected. So with the scraps from cutting out the bottom of the box we made two triangle pieces. The pieces were painted and attached to the box using tape (a lot of it since we only have basic tape, packing tape or duck tape would probably work best) and some of the other box scraps to give the pieces support. For straps we used my sons suspenders which clipped perfectly to the inside of the box. We are able to adjust the length easily with them and they are very sturdy.

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Next up was the roof itself, so for that we went out and got a basic poster board. We cut the poster board in half and cut like a half circle to each side. We then taped the halves together and painted both the top and bottom red then did the same black outline that was on the box. The roof is a completely separate piece that just sits on top of the triangle pieces. This will make transporting the “train” to school easier.

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Finally it was time to add some Christmas-y details. I spotted these really great Christmas light necklaces where the bulbs are large and have a vintage feel to them but at around $10 a necklace they were way out of budget. So my spouse decided to look up some pics of similar projects and got the great idea to make some out of construction paper. This really worked out great and saved me on going and buying more paint. He made two different styled stencils; one the shape of a bulb with a top and the other just a basic bulb shape. He cut the backing of the bulbs from black paper and then made a mix of the bulbs from yellow, blue, green, purple, and reddish pink construction paper. After he glued the colors to the backs, I found some old glitter glue in the crafting box to give the bulbs a little shine. Dad and the little guy then glued the finished bulbs to the roof and I painted the black “light string”. To really give the doghouse a Christmas feel we added snow. This was so easy but very messy! We just coated areas with glue (like pools of it) and shook a bag of “snow” we found at Target in the holiday area, it looks like it is used for little Christmas town displays or for in a snow globe. We shook the snow onto the glue over another box to catch all the excess, there was still some mess but this really helped contain the most of it. And this was the finishing touch.

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The only real thing left to do was to see it all together! We are all so excited at how it turned out.

The finished "train"!

The finished “train”!

With a new pj set on and his Snoopy by his side, our little Charlie Brown is more than ready for Polar Express Day!

Green Friday at California State Parks

National Parks Free Days 2016

Go Green this Black Friday!

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is here and a day of fresh air could ease the stress of this time of year. California State Parks along with REI are offering just that a day outside away from the shopping crowds with FREE admission to State Parks.

You are being asked to Go Green this Black Friday and Opt Outside and enjoy one of California’s beautiful State Parks. Have you ever visited a State Park before? Well if you haven’t this is a great chance to! Or if you are a regular State Park explorer this is a wonderful opportunity to venture out to a new park. Honestly a great deal on a T.V. is nice or being able to do all your holiday shopping at a discount but with Black Friday now starting earlier and earlier it’s great to see a push for more quality time. Getting out and really seeing the beauty that California has to offer is priceless.

To Go Green is easy just visit greenfriday.org Pick a park you would like to visit and get your ticket for your free entrance. Be sure to hurry as there is a limited number of passes to each park and some a very popular.

Have a great time going green!

Cruzin Mama

Knott’s Merry Farm

Photos courtesy of Knott's Berry Farm

Photos courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm

Join Snoopy and the Peanuts gang by getting in the holiday spirit at Knott’s Merry Farm!

Starting November 19th and going on until January 9th, the park will be full of holiday festivities. From special shows to snow in Ghost Town, the Holiday’s are a magical time to visit Knott’s Berry Farm. Visit with Santa or enjoy a live show there is snow much fun to be had. See Snoopy take to the ice in Merry Christmas Snoopy a holiday ice skating spectacular in the Charles M. Schulz Theatre. Or catch the all new musical show on the Calico Mine Santa in It’s The Merriest Christmas Show Ever, Charlie Brown. And don’t forget to check out camp Snoopy as well as the holiday cheer is taking part there with The Greatest Christmas Pageant Ever show in the Camp Snoopy Theater. The park is going all out this holiday season especially in Calico as the Ghost Town will be celebrating Christmas in Calico featuring holiday decor, a craft village, Santa’s Cabin, and carolers. Don’t miss the magic and fun as it is only here for a short time.

Have a Berry Christmas time at Knott’s!

Cruzin Mama

Festival of Sail San Diego 2016

Image courtesy of sdmaritime.org

Image courtesy of sdmaritime.org

Ready the cannons and weigh anchor because the Festival Of Sail is docking in the harbor this weekend!

San Diego’s yearly festival is happening September 3rd through 5th. Come out and see the ships, the street fair, kids activity zone and the cannon battles, there’s even opportunities to take part in them! The festival begins Friday at 1:30pm with the Parade of Sail. Which you can ride in with the purchase of a special ticket! There will be plenty for the whole family to see at the festival which is the largest Tall Ship Festival on the west coast. Be sure to stop by the Maritime Museum as well to explore some great sea vessels.

Tickets
$7.00 adult
$5.00 senior 62+, military with ID
$5.00 child 12-3 (2 and under free)
(One Passport per ticket included, additional Passports can be purchased at the Museum gift shop)

For more information visit Festival of Sail event page.

Cruzin Mama