Christmas Tree Lighting Events

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Well we are about half way through November so that means it’s time to get ready for Christmas. I know it seems a bit early but many of the Holiday season’s events are already starting. Just like Christmas Tree Lightings at many malls and other city locations. Some lightings also feature a very special guest that’s right the big man in the red suit himself, Santa! So here are some awesome tree lighting events to check out.

Riverside County

Temecula Promenade

Saturday November 21st

The fun begins at 6pm with pre-lighting activities. Santa will be making his debut at the mall during this event. There will be two large screens up so attendees can catch a clear view of the magic. This will be a very magical evening with Snowfall, Fireworks and music. For more information visit promenadetemecula.com

The Shops at Dos Lagos

Saturday November 21st

Come early to enjoy a family fun screening of the Polar Express. The movie will be played for FREE at 10am in the Dos Lagos Luxury Theaters. Then in the evening enjoy a very special tree lighting event. There will be crafts, face painting, ballon artist and entertainment for kids to enjoy. And watch the skies because Santa will be making his arrival there that night! The tree lighting fun starts at 5pm. For more information visit
shopdoslagos.com

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa

Sunday November 29th

Take a holiday trip out to Temecula’s Wineries for a fun family tree lighting event. Special performances by Murrieta Dance Company and RCC Chambers Singers, who will be dressed up in vintage costumes. There will be a viewing of Disney’s Frozen. Enjoy some coco, wine and snacks available for purchase at the concession. Catch a tractor ride through the holiday lite vineyard. And be sure to spot Santa and some of his elves as they will be making appearances. This wonderful is FREE to attend be sure to check it out! For more information visit
southcoastwinery.com

Temecula Duck Pond

Thursday December 3rd

Come join the 18th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. There will be special treats and live vocal performances. And a special visit from Old Saint Nick! Guest help countdown to a very special tree lighting at 7pm. This is a great tradition put on by the city of Temecula. For more information visit
temeculaevents.org

Menifee Town Center

Saturday December 12th

Menifee will be throwing quite a tree lighting celebration from 4pm to 8pm. There will be live entertainment and a outdoor holiday movie playing. As wells as a very fun Elves Ornament workshop where you can make a special holiday keepsake. Plus there will be a kids snow play zone! Vendors will be there selling delicious treats and holiday crafts. And of course see and take a photo with Santa. For more information visit cityofmenifee.us

Orange County

Fashion Island

Saturday November 13th – January 3rd

Enjoy nightly tree lightings starting November 13th until January 3rd. With the help of some Disney magic watch the lights twinkle and glitter to Disney Holiday music. For more information visit shopfashionisland.com

San Diego County

Santee Trolley Square

Friday November 20th

So much fun is going on at the Santee Trolley Square from 5:30 to 8:30pm for the Tree Lighting Celebration. There will be games, crafts, carriage rides and snow! Don’t forget to visit Santa and get a photo taken with him. There is no cost to enter this event or for the crafts and games, only for select activities with prices ranging from $2 and up.
For more information visit ci.santee.ca.us

The Headquarters at Seaport District

Friday November 27th

Come celebrate the start of a three-week donation program to benefit active-duty military families. This special event is not only filled with fun but with the holiday spirit of giving. Enjoy FREE hot cocoa and treats. Visit and take a photo with Santa. Listen to the talented All American Boys Chorus perform for the Giving Tree Lighting celebration. The 25 foot tall Giving Tree will be light up at 6:30pm. For more information visit theheadquarters.com

Little Italy

Saturday December 5th

Downtown San Diego’s Little Italy transforms for the holiday season. The kick off for this is during the Tree Lighting and Christmas village event. Visitors on this day are treated to FREE Italian cookies, cider and coffee. Enjoy live music and entertainment. Keep a look out for St. Nick who be arriving on a fire engine (at 4:30pm). Watch the 25 foot tall Poinsettia Tree be lite up, you can also be apart of the tree by sponsoring a poinsettia plant. For more information visit littleitalysd.com

This is just a few of the great events I have found so far. Be sure to check out your city’s events or even malls for any special happens going on for the holiday season.

Cruzin Mama

Dreamworks Adventure to Santa

Dreamworks Adventure to Santa

A visit to Santa during the Holiday season can be a stressful event. Waiting in long lines and only getting a few minutes with Ol’ Saint Nick can be a not so jolly occasion. Well Adventure to Santa is here to change that. Dreamworks Dreamplace is back again this year with the special Adventure to Santa Holiday experience. This is more than just your average visit to the local mall Santa. This is an interactive experience to make the visit a most memorable one.

Adventure to Santa

First off just being at a Dreamworks Dreamplace is already an experience. The outside of the cottage is a changing digital display. Characters from Shrek and Rise of the Guardians make appearances throughout the windows and doors on the display. The cottage also goes through full transformations changing its appearance around every hour. When the blizzard would hit, the cottage would look as if covered in snow. My kids loved when this would occur they wanted to keep watching for when the next snow storm would strike.

Adventure to Santa

Adventure to Santa

To go on an Adventure to Santa you must reserve a time slot and date as well as pick a package online. Packages range from $35 to $75 per family for photos. (You can click here to book your adventure and to find a location). By having visits set up this way it cuts down on wait times so the whole waiting in a long line for hours just for a few minutes with Santa is a thing of the past. When you arrive and get checked in you are given a boarding pass. See Santa isn’t actually there right away when you go in. You and your family must take a special trip to the North Pole to see him. So the first room you enter on your journey is the flight school area. In this area everyone in your group is able to practice their sleigh flying skills.

Adventure to Santa Boarding Pass

Adventure to Santa Flight Room

Adventure to Santa Flight Room

Adventure to Santa Flight training

Next up is your flight aboard a magic sleigh headed to the North Pole! You are joined by Shrek and his friends who help guide your journey. I have to say we all had a blast on this ride. It’s not a full simulator ride like Star Tours at Disneyland but something along those lines. This alone made the experince worth it.

Adventure to Santa Sleigh Ride

Once you arrive at the North Pole you don’t go immediately to Santa just yet. Next up is another interactive room this time it’s cookie making, Gingerbread people to be exact. Then into the next room to meet the jolly man himself. What’s great is that it’s a private room for just you and your family with Santa. It’s so much more personal than the typical mall visit. You have time to take your photos and for the kids to actually talk with him before you are magically transported back to the mall.

Adventure to Santa

Adventure to Santa Dreamworks Dreamplace

After being transported back to the mall it was time to check out our photos. It was hard to chose just one image since all came out so well. There is also some Dreamworks Character merchandise available by exit. Since we attended an opening event for the new Dreamplace at the South Bay Galleria in Redondo Beach there was a lot of Christmas excitement going on. The Eleves from Rise of the Guardians made an appearance!

Adventure to Santa

Adventure to Santa Merchandise

Adventure to Santa Grand Opening

Hope you enjoyed checking out my family’s Adventure to Santa be sure to book your sleigh ride soon before the magic is gone!

Cruzin Mama

Dreamworks Adventure to Santa Grand Opening

Dreamplace Adventure to Santa

California Locations

Victoria Gardens
12505 S Mainstreet
Rancho Cucamonga 91739

South Bay Galleria
1815 Hawthorne Blvd.
Redondo Beach 90278

Hours

Monday through Saturday 10am – 9pm
Sunday 11am – 7pm

Admission and Packages

Admission: FREE to travel through but it is highly recommended to have a reservation.

Packages: $35 – $75 package options available, up to 8 guests accommodations on all packages.

Visit www.dreamplaceexperience.com for more information and to book your reservation

Katiland Polar Express

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My family recently went for a little ride on the Polar Express at Katiland located right here in Temecula. Katiland is a new Christmas Tree lot that’s main feature is it’s miniature trains. There is also bounce houses, a power wheels track, holiday boutique, and photo ops with Lightning McQueen and Mater. Train rides are available during the day for a discounted cost, but the nighttime is when you get a full Polar Express experience. The Polar Express evening rides begin at 5:30pm and go until 8pm. Riders are treated with a hot chocolate to drink while waiting with their golden tickets to board. The Polar Express narrated by Liam Neeson plays while you travel on your journey. When you exit the train you are greeted by a very familiar face, Santa, who also gives out a very special gift a Jingle Bell from his sleigh!

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Overall I think this is such a cute place and has so much potential. The train ride is fun and the decorations that were up were done well. It still could use some improvements. More holiday lights would be amazing and even some more decor on the trains route would help. There were a few hiccups during our train ride but the staff handled it so well and kept everyone in a good mood. If you happen to be in the area do stop by or if you live nearby it is a fun little outing. The pricing is reasonable and will help Katiland to grow and become a holiday must.

Take a ride on the Polar Express!

Cruzin Mama

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Katiland
Located near Los Caballos and Pauba Rd (I went via Temecula Parkway to Pauba Road, which seemed to be a fairly easy route.)

Polar Express Train Ride
Daytime 11am to 5:30pm – $3
Evenings 5:30pm to 8pm – $5 (This includes golden ticket, hot chocolate and gift from Santa)

Christmas Parades!

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It’s officially holiday time, which means plenty of fun events will be happening. Whether taking place in a towns historic area or out in the harbor a Christmas Parade is a great family holiday event. There are so many awesome parades coming up soon, so I made a list of ones that look really fun!

Riverside County

  • Temecula
    Santa’s Electric Light Parade– Friday December 5th at 7pm. The parade travels through the center of Temecula’s Old Town district. Old Town will be a glow during this light parade, which is also commemorating Temecula’s 25th Anniversary.
  • Murrieta
    Festival of Trees and Push Cart Parade– Saturday December 6th from 3 to 8:30pm. This is more than just a parade it’s also a Festival. So there will be crafts, vendors, and a chance to take a photo with Santa. All the fun will be taking place at Town Square Park. If you wish to see the Push Cart Parade only that will begin at 5pm, starting at Kalmia St./Washington Ave and ending at Town Square Park.
  • Norco
    Horsetown Parade of Lights and Winter Festival– Saturday December 13th starting at 9am and ends at 9pm. Another parade and festival combination. Norco’s 10th annual Horsetown parade will feature carnival games and rides or enjoy a special breakfast with Santa all for a minimal cost. The parade itself is FREE and begins at 5pm.
  • Perris
    26th Annual Christmas Parade– Saturday December 13th at 10am. The parade will begin on “D” St/4th St and will finish at City Hall. There will also be visits and photos with Santa in the Bob Glass Community Room from 1pm-2pm.

San Diego North County

  • Fallbrook
    Fallbrook Chritmas Parade– Saturday December 6th at 5pm. One of the largest parades in the area which features ten marching bands from San Diego and Riverside counties as well as 100 entries that travel a mile-long route on Main Street through Downtown Fallbrook.
  • Encinitas
    Droppin’ In For The Holidays– Saturday December 6th beginning at 5pm. This not your average holiday parade since Encinitas is well known for it’s surf and skate. The floats will be representations of the action sports lifestyle, so expect to see plenty of big name athletes from these action sports. The parade will go down South Coast Highway 101, beginning at “D” Street and ending at “J” Street.
  • San Marcos
    Kiwanis Club of San Marcos Holiday Parade– Sunday December 7th at 1pm. The parade’s theme is “A Storybook Christmas”. So all floats will be influenced by holiday favorites. Parade begins at Palomar College and will end at the Civic Center. The Civic Center’s Holiday Village will also be going on. The Holiday Village features FREE children crafts, arts/crafts and food vendors, entertainment and visits and photos with Santa.
  • Oceanside
    Parade of Lights– Saturday December 13th at 7pm This is a parade on the water happening in Oceanside Harbor. Come see sail boats, yachts, fishing boats, kayaks and dingys all covered in holiday lights as they cruise the harbor. It’s suggested to watch the parade from the fishing dock near the police station as the best location to see the parade go through twice. There is also seating areas throughout the harbor as well as restaurants that have good views.

San Diego

  • La Jolla
    La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival– Sunday December 7th at 1:30pm. Following the parade will be a fun holiday festival. The parade go down Girard Street and turn onto Prospect Street which will end at the Holiday Festival at the La Jolla Recreation Center. The festival will feature arts and crafts, food vendors, entertainment and photos with Santa. The festival is from 3:30 to 5pm and concludes with a Tree Lighting Ceremony to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the La Jolla Recreation Center.
  • San Diego Bay
    43rd Annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights– Sunday December 14th and 21st at 5:30pm. This years theme is “Children’s Stories” which is sure to delight spectators. More than 80 boats will be decorated and cruising the harbor. The parade travels from Shelter Island past Harbor Island, the Embarcadero, Seaport Village and Ferry Landing in Coronado. So there are plenty of different locations to pic a spot to view the parade.

Orange County

  • Dana Point
    40th Annual Dana Point Harbor Boat Parade of Lights– Fridays and Saturdays December 5th, 6th , 12th and 13th at 7:30pm Another parade that takes place on the water. View boats that have been decorated for the holidays as they cruise Dana Point Harbor. Enjoy the views from a local restaurant or seating near the harbor shops. Or why not enjoy the parade by joining it! Tickets are available through Dana Wharf Sportfishing for boat rides. The parade is just one of the wonderful holiday events going on for Dana Points FantaSEA Holiday.
  • Laguna Nigel
    Laguna Nigel Holiday Parade– Saturday December 13th at 10am. Laguna Nigel will be celebrating it’s 25th Anniversary this year, so the parades theme is “Silver Bells ~ Golden Dreams”. The parade takes place on Crown Valley Parkway.
  • Newport Beach
    The 106th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade– December 17th through 21st from 6:30pm to 9pm. Yachts, canoes, kayaks and boats will light up the harbor during the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. The Christmas boats will cruise about 14 miles around the harbor. This is a top holiday event with people traveling far and wide to check it out.

Hope this helps in planning out which holiday events to attend this month!

Cruzin Mama

O’ Christmas Tree (Lighting) and Santa’s Arrival

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Well we are about half way through November so that means it’s time to get ready for Christmas. I know it seems a bit early but many of the Holiday season’s events are already starting. Just like Christmas Tree Lightings at many malls and other city locations. Some lightings also feature a very special guest that’s right the big man in the red suit himself, Santa! So here are some awesome tree lighting events to check out.

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Temecula Promenade

Saturday November 15th

The fun begins at 6pm with pre-lighting activities and also a FREE gift for the kids who arrive early. There is a limited supply of the free gift and it is for children 10 and under. Plus Santa will be making his debut at the mall during this event. There will be two large screens up so attendees can catch a clear view of the magic. This will be a very magical evening with Snowfall, Fireworks and music. With this nice cooler weather finally here the evening should be the perfect setting for the Holiday season. For more information visit promenadetemecula.com

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Image from Fashion Island’s Instagram

Fashion Island

Saturday November 15th

Come join Mickey and his Friends at this tree lighting filled with Disney magic! The fun starts at 6pm, but you can reserve seating starting at 8am. Guests will be treated to exclusive performances and are encouraged to sing-a-long to some holiday favorites. Plus with the help of some Disney magic there will be snowfall! The magic will remain until January 4th. So every night enjoy the beautifully lit tree along with Disney holiday music. For more information visit shopfashionisland.com

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Santee Trolley Square

Friday November 21st

So much fun is going on at the Santee Trolley Square from 5:30 to 8:30pm for the Tree Lighting Celebration. There will be games, crafts, carriage rides and snow! Don’t forget to visit Santa and get a photo taken with him. There is no cost to enter this event or for the crafts and games, only for select activities with prices ranging from $2 and up.
For more information visit ci.santee.ca.us

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The Shops at Dos Lagos

Saturday November 22nd

Come early to enjoy a family fun screening of the Polar Express. The movie will be played for FREE at 10am in the Dos Lagos Luxury Theaters. Then in the evening enjoy a very special tree lighting event. There will be crafts, face painting, ballon artist and entertainment for kids to enjoy. And watch the skies because Santa will be making his arrival there that night! The tree lighting fun starts at 5pm. For more information visit shopdoslagos.com

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The Headquarters at Seaport District

Friday November 28th

Come celebrate the start of a three-week donation program to benefit active-duty military families. This special event is not only filled with fun but with the holiday spirit of giving. Enjoy FREE hot cocoa and treats. Visit and take a photo with Santa. Listen to the talented All American Boys Chorus perform for the Giving Tree Lighting celebration. The 25 foot tall Giving Tree will be light up at 6:30pm. For more information visit theheadquarters.com

Image from temeculaevents.org

Image from temeculaevents.org

Temecula Duck Pond

Thursday December 4th

Come join the 17th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. There will be special treats and live vocal performances. And a special visit from Old Saint Nick! Guest help countdown to a very special tree lighting at 7pm. This is a great tradition put on by the city of Temecula. For more information visit temeculaevents.org

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Menifee Town Center

Friday December 5th

Menifee will be throwing quite a tree lighting celebration from 4:30 to 7:30pm on December 5th. There will be live entertainment and a outdoor holiday movie playing. As wells as a very fun Elves Ornament workshop where you can make a special holiday keepsake. Plus there will be a kids snow play zone! Vendors will be there selling delicious treats and holiday crafts. And of course see and take a photo with Santa. For more information visit cityofmenifee.us

Image from littleitalysd.com

Image from littleitalysd.com

Little Italy

Saturday December 6th

Downtown San Diego’s Little Italy transforms for the holiday season. The kick off for this is during the Tree Lighting and Christmas village event. Visitors on this day are treated to FREE Italian cookies, cider and coffee. Enjoy live music and entertainment. Keep a look out for St. Nick who be arriving on a fire engine (at 4:30pm). Watch the 25 foot tall Poinsettia Tree be lite up, you can also be apart of the tree by sponsoring a poinsettia plant. For more information visit littleitalysd.com

This is just a few of the great events I have found so far. Be sure to check out your city’s events or even malls for any special happens going on for the holiday season.

Cruzin Mama