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

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.

Great Wolf Lodge Grand Opening

Images courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge

Images courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge

Southern California Great Wolf Lodge Grand Opening!

The Great Wolf Lodge here in Southern California will be open very soon! The Grand Opening is set for March 4th, but you can already book your stay now. I spoke about this amazing new vacation spot back in October when the announcement about its opening was made and now that day is here.

GWL is a vacation destination with themed rooms, activities like glow in the dark mini golf and mini spa, and of course it’s main feature the water park. Entrance to the water park along with character experiences are included with your stay. Oh and did I mention that it’s an indoor water park, so it doesn’t matter what crazy weather So-Cal is deciding to have as any date will be a waterpark day!

Great Wolf Lodge Indoor Waterpark

Let’s not forget that the GWL is in Orange County. That means it is close to Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, and the beach. Also if your up for a drive down to San Diego there is the World Famous San Diego Zoo, the museums at Balboa Park, Sea World and towards Los Angeles there is Universal Studios Hollywood and many great museums as well.

Below is a link to save on your stay at GWL, be sure to book your vacation soon!

Cruzin Mama

Great Wolf Lodge deals

Great Wolf Lodge Coming to Southern California!

All images courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge

All images courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge Southern California Coming in February!

Southern California is about to have another great family vacation spot this February. Great Wolf Lodge will be opening this year in Garden Grove. If you have not heard about Great Wolf Lodge before or have yet to stay at one, let me tell you what it’s all about!

Great Wolf Lodge is more than just another family friendly hotel, it is a vacation destination in it’s self. The Lodge features its own indoor water park, entertainment and activities for families, miniature golf, an arcade and more!

Kids Den at Great Wolf Lodge

When you stay at the Great Wolf Lodge you are booking more than just a hotel stay. Even the rooms are more than just a typical hotel room. There are wonderful family suite rooms complete with a den for your cubs or a cabin to give you the feel for the outdoors.

Great Wolf Lodge Indoor Waterpark

The main attraction and what sets Great Wolf Lodge apart is the indoor waterpark. There is no worry about weather conditions here. There is cabana rentals available, waterslides, and attractions for all ages. The best park is entrance to the waterpark is included with your stay!

Great Wolf Lodge Activities

Speaking of inclusions, there are quite a few activities included with a stay at Great Wolf Lodge. From character meet and greats to story time and a forest friends show, will help to make your vacation a blast. And there are plenty of other attractions to keep your kids entertained.

Like I said a stay at the Great Wolf Lodge is more than just a stay at a hotel, it’s an entire vacation spot itself! So be sure to check out this newest addition when it opens in February 2016.

Cruzin Mama

San Diego Museums Kids Free October

Image courtesy of San Diego Museum Council

Image courtesy of San Diego Museum Council

Kidvasion is taking over San Diego and that means all of San Diego’s great museums are included. During all October kids enjoy FREE admission to over 40 museums! Free admission is for children ages 12 and under and up to 2 free children’s admissions for each paid adult admission. Downloand the San Diego Museum Councils coupon to take advantage of this great deal. Use the link to also see the full list of participating museums.

Have fun exploring!

Cruzin Mama

Kidvasion this October in San Diego

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Kidvasion is taking over San Diego!

For the whole month of October many attractions, restaurants, and hotels offer kids FREE deals! There are over 100 deals to choose from. Some examples of the deals are kids eating FREE at many participating restaurants to FREE entrance to many of San Diego’s famous attractions such as Sea World! The San Diego Zoo and Safari Park have FREE entrance for kids as well. *Free entrance is only valid for children ages 3-11 and must be accompanied by an adult. Free admission does not include Guided Bus Tour, Skyfari Aerial Tram, African Tram Safari or the Conservation Carousel.* This is a great opportunity to check out the new Tiger Trail at the Safari Park.

So if you were planning on a getaway to San Diego this fall be sure to check out all the amazing deals going on all October for Kids Free.

Cruzin Mama

Jurassic Forest

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If my family has no real plans for the weekend but just needs to get out of the house we will go out for a drive. No real direction or destination. Just to get out and do a little exploring. Usually we find a nice place to go walk around or a new park for the kids to play at. On our most recent family drive we ended up stoping at Jurassic Forest located at Vail Lake nearby our home. This is a fun little pit stop off of Highway 79 and if you happen to be heading down this stretch of road stop in and check it out for yourself. It is FREE to enter and view and many of the pieces are available for purchase.

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When you enter Vail Lake Resort you will inform the attendant at the entrance that you are there to see Jurassic Forest. You will be given a parking marker for your car and will head just a short drive in to the sculptures.

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Many of the sculptures are all displayed in the main area but there is a nice little path to walk down that has dinosaurs hidden throughout it.

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Not only was the artists studio open during our visit but the artist himself was there. He was very nice and it was great to put a face to the work. The sculptures are so very detailed and I would of loved to have purchased one if I had the space for it. You can also view these sculptures in Old Town Temecula. They are on display right next to Pennypickle’s Workshop.

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If you happen to be cruising through the area, this is a fun little pit stop!

Cruzin Mama

San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center

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My little family went on a little outing to the San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center this weekend. I love finding local places to go for walks/mini hikes with my kiddos. It’s always a bonus when the place we go to has a museum or nature center that gives information and history of the area. The best is when the location participates in the Junior Ranger program. My children are able to complete activities to earn a special Junior Ranger badge, such an awesome FREE program. And the San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center hit all of these.

San Elijo Lagoon and Nature Center
San Elijo Lagoon is a Ecological Reserve located in Cardiff-by-the-Sea (Encinitas). It features a loop trail through part of the lagoon and a 5,600-square foot visitor center. The visitor center is a fun interactive center great for kids. There are live animals that are inhabitants found in the lagoon inside the center so you can get a nice up close look. There is also artifacts of past civilizations as well as recycled material that has come from run off into the lagoon. The information is also presented in a nice kid friendly way with hands on interaction.

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The visitor center wasn’t very large but it is very nicely set up and easy for kids to go around and take it all in. My littlest one loved seeing all the animals there especially the snakes. While at the visitor center we picked up the program to complete for their Junior Rangers badges. The Junior Ranger program is put on by many National Parks and is a great way to get kids outdoors and learning about nature. The program here was a scavenger hunt where children check off items that they see while on the trail.

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Our walk on the trail was just so gorgeous with the sunset as a backdrop. It’s so funny how we are only minutes from the freeway and housing tracks while at the lagoon yet feel like we left that all miles away. There where some great little look out spots and also benches positioned in just the right spots to just take it all in. My little explorers very much enjoyed all the bridges on the trail. Especially one that went through a portion of the lagoon. The trail is great for beginning and novice hikers. It’s a loop trail so even if you only do a portion you see a good amount of the lagoon and get a nice little workout in.

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My kiddos completed the Junior Ranger program and were awarded their very own Junior Ranger Badges. I was so happy that my son was able to participate in the program this time. Parks may have age requirements for their program; when we visited Cabrillo National Monument only my daughter was able to do the program there so a return visit once my son is older is a must ;)
I have to say our little outing was a success and I can see us returning for another little adventure here.

Get out and have a little adventure yourself!

Cruzin Mama

View of the lagoon at sunset from the visitor center's  observation deck.

View of the lagoon at sunset from the visitor center’s observation deck.

San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center
2710 Manchester Avenue
Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA 92007

Parking and Entrance
FREE

Open daily 9am to 5pm
Closed December 25th

The Great Pumpkin (Patches)

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One of my favorite things to do in October is to visit pumpkin patches. If I could I would take my kids every weekend to a different patch just to check out all the pumpkins and fun. My favorite thing to do at a pumpkin patch is take family photos. The scenery is just so perfect for fall pictures and usually the weather isn’t too bad that we can wear nice clothes without being all sweaty. I like to get our pumpkins pretty close to Halloween so that they still look good on Halloween. Since it has been so hot lately we have only visited one patch this year, I was hoping the weather would be cooler and I would of done this post a lot earlier in the month. So I decided to find some awesome pumpkin patches to share and hope they help in planning your next pumpkin patch trip.

Riverside County

Image from wickerdfarm.com

Image from wickerdfarm.com

Wickerd Farm

Wickerd Farm is a small but great little pumpkin patch located in Menifee. Normally this is a Christmas Tree Farm but during October it is full of pumpkins and Halloween fun. I used to live right down the street from this farm when I was much younger. I have nothing but find memories of going here. On Sundays the Farm hosts a Farmers Market and when the sun goes down the haunted hayrides begin.

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Image from bighorsecornmaze.com

Big Horse Feed

Big Horse Feed in Temecula is a fairly well known pumpkin patch due in part to its large Corn Maze. There is also hay wagon rides and one of the largest pillow jumpers in Southern California. And of course they have a large selection of pumpkins.

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Peltzer Farms

This is my absolute favorite pumpkin patch! We go to Peltzer Farms every year to take family photos and just have an a great time at this smaller but fun pumpkin patch.

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Even though Peltzer is a smaller farm it is packed full of activities. There is gold/gem mining, pig races, petting zoo, photo ops, pony rides, train ride and a corn maze.
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The kids loved leading us through the corn maze.

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Maybe our future wedding venue, just maybe ;)

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I always end up with such memorable photos when we visit Peltzer.

San Diego County

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Image from batesnutfarm.biz

Bates Nut Farm

What would a pumpkin patch list be without mentioning Bates Nut Farm. The most popular and well known pumpkin patch in North County. Bates has a great selection of pumpkins along with a petting zoo, face painting, pony rides, a maze, bounce houses, vendors and more. Bates main feature is it’s stop with speciality treats and souvenirs.

Orange County

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Irvine Park Railroad Pumpkin Patch

Irvine Regional Park is a great hidden gem located in the hills of Irvine of Orange County. The very large park features walking trails, play grounds, pony rides, horseback trail rides, bike rentals, paddle boat rentals, nature center and the OC Zoo. One of the main attractions of the park is it’s Railroad and during the month of October this also serves as a pumpkin patch. The Railroad Pumpkin Patch is a great reason to visit this amazing park. The Pumpkin Patch also features carnival games, hay rides, Hohn Deere tractor races, face painting, bounce houses, gold mining, hay maze, cookie decorating and much much more!

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Image from tankafarms.com

Tanka Farms

Everyone I know who lives out in Orange County loves to visit Tanka Farms to get their pumpkins for Halloween. With the traditional pumpkin farm setting who wouldn’t love to visit here. The Farm also features a wagon ride that goes around the entire 30 acre farm, photo ops, corn maze and petting zoo.

Los Angeles County

Image from underwoodfamilyfarms.com

Image from underwoodfamilyfarms.com

Underwood Family Farms

This has to be the most famous pumpkin patch on this list. It is frequented by many visitors during it’s pumpkin patch time including celebrities. Underwood Family Farms is located in Moorpark. It features some great photo ops, pig races, games, tractor slides, tractors and much more! Hey you might even bump into some famous faces while there.

*All the pumpkin patches listed are open daily until October 31st. A visit during the week will usually mean less crowds and also many patches have discounted prices for their attractions on weekdays.*

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Have a great time visiting some great pumpkin patches!

Cruzin Mama