Image courtesy of Comic-Con International Facebook
Alright Fan Boys and Girls it’s that time of the year again, it’s San Diego Comic-Con 2017!
Whose ready to let their nerd flag fly and take on Comic-Con! Not me as I do not have a badge, but that’s ok because there is more to the event than the Halls and Convention Center. There is so many things to do and see without a badge. I think this is what makes the event so great, the fact that you can still have an amazing Comic-Con experience even if you are not holding a coveted badge. So here are some no badge events to check out this year!
One of the most cost effective and easiest ways to enjoy SDCC is just by walking around Downtown and by the Convention Center. You are sure to see many Cosplayers heading in and out of the Convention Center. They are usually happy to take photographs but please be sure to ask first. There is also lots of signage and displays promoting the event all over, so there is a feel of being apart of the event just by walking around the area.
Play Nintendo Challenge
This has to be my kids favorite place to visit during SDCC. The ballroom of the Marriott Marquis & Marina next to convention center is home to the Play Nintendo Challenge. This is a FREE event open to everyone to come in a play upcoming Nintendo Switch games and complete the challenge for some awesome prizes. There is also photo op areas and plenty of games to play.
Pre-Con at the Library
Stop by the San Diego Public Library this Tuesday July 18th for some pre Comic-Con fun. There will be discussion panels and a chance to watch a Quidditch match! The Quidditch demonstration is from 2pm – 4pm. The FREE event at the library is from 2pm to 8pm. And don’t forget to get a special edition SDCC library card and come back to the library all year!
The Laika Experience
Now this is going to be a can’t miss experience and will surely have some lines for it. The Laika Experience will be in San Diego along with props, sets and puppets from films such as Paranorman and Coraline for a very unique experience. You can visit this experience at 520 Fifth Ave from Thursday through Sunday.
Visit the Hilton Hotel in Gaslamp for a very strange experience with Netflix. Open Thursday through Saturday 11am to 8pm and on Sunday 11am to 3pm. Enter the Upside Down with Stranger Things or stroll down the streets with Marvel’s The Defenders. There will also be giveaways, sneak peeks of upcoming originals and more.
There are so many great things happening downtown be sure to stop by and check it out! It really is amazing how much there is to see and do without a badge!
Image courtesy of visitbuenapark.com
Anyone else in need of a getaway this summer? I know I am and that’s why I’m so excited to share about this giveaway by Visit Buena Park. Enter for a chance to win a Southern California Getaway that includes hotel stay, tickets to Knott’s Berry Farm, Knott’s Soak City, Pirate’s Dinner Adventure Medieval Times and more! While airfare and car rental/transportation is not included Visit Buena Park is covering all the rest with this amazing giveaway. Simply go yo visitbuenapark.com and fill out the form to receive a FREE 2017 Buena Park/Orange County travel guide and you are entered to win! The contest is open from May 3rd, 2017 until June 28th, 2017. This is open to those who are 18 years old or older and there is no purchase necessary.
Summer Getaway Contest Prize
- 5 Days/4 Nights Hotel Accommodations Including Breakfast (Buena Park, CA)
- 4 Tickets to Knott’s Berry Farm With 4 All Day Dinning Passes (Buena Park, CA)
- 4 Tickets to Knott’s Soak City Waterpark (Buena Park, CA) (Open May-September)
- 4 Tickets to Pirate’s Dinner Adventure (Buena Park, CA)
- 4 Tickets to Cirque Magique Brunch Show (Buena Park, CA)
- 4 Tickets to Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament (Buena Park, CA)
- $100 Gift Card and 4 Tickets to Big Air Trampoline Park (Buena Park, CA)
- 4 Buffet Passes and $10 Game Card to John’s Incredible Pizza (Buena Park, CA)
- 4 Whale Watching Passes from Newport Whales (Newport Beach, CA)
- 4 Tickets to the Aquarium of the Pacific (Long Beach, CA)
- $50 Rock & Brews Gift Card (Buena Park, CA)
- $50 Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant Gift Card (Buena Park, CA)
- South Coast Plaza Tote Bag with $100 Gift Card, VIP Lounge Access and Free Valet Parking (Costa Mesa,CA)
- BONUS: 4 Tickets to One Theme Park (Choose from: Disneyland®, Universal Studios® or SeaWorld®)
Don’t miss out on this amazing giveaway from Visit Buena Park and enter now! Go to visitbuenapark.com to submit your entry.
Image courtesy of San Diego Museum Council
Are you a current member to a San Diego Museum? If so this month you could benefit from the amazing Big Exchange! Over 30 museums around San Diego will be taking part of this program and what this means is that if you are a current member to a San Diego museum then your membership will let you into any of the other participating museums. Basically you have a membership to all the museums!
The Big Exchange is going on all May from the 1st to the 31st, which is an extension from last years program which only ran for two weeks. This is a whole month to museum hop and explore. The Big Exchange is a wonderful program and the perfect time to check out a new museum or visit an old favorite.
Barona Museum & Cultural Center
Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Coronado Museum of History & Art
Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum
Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House
Heritage of the Americas Museum
Japanese Friendship Garden
Living Coast Discovery Center
Maritime Museum of San Diego
Mingei International Museum
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
Museum of Photographic Arts
Oceanside Museum of Art Women’s Museum of California
San Diego Archaeological Center
San Diego Automotive Museum
San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum
San Diego Chinese Historical Museum
San Diego Model Railroad Museum
San Diego Natural History Museum (theNAT)
The New Children’s Museum
The San Diego Museum of Art
The Water Conservation Garden
Veterans Museum at Balboa Park
Warner-Carrillo Ranch House Museum
Visit sandiegomuseumcouncil.org for more information on the Big Exchange and San Diego’s museums.
Have a fun time exploring with the Big Exchange!
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!
Great Wolf Lodge Deals
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!
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.
1 Legoland Dr, Carlsbad CA 92008
Purchase Tickets Ahead at
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
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
- Alcatraz Island – San Francisco
- Cabrillo National Monument – San Diego
- California National Historic Trail – Various locations in California (and in CO,ID,KS,MO,NV,NE,OR,UT,WY)
- César E. Chávez National Monument – Keene (Kern County)
- Channel Islands National Park – Ventura
- Death Valley National Park – Death Valley
- Devils Postpile National Monument – Serra Nevada (near Mammoth Lakes)
- Eugene O’Neill National Historical Site – Danville
- Fort Point National Historic Site – San Francisco
- Golden Gate National Recreation Area – San Francisco
- John Muir National Historic Site – Martinez
- Joshua Tree National Park – Twentynine Palms
- Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail – San Francisco
- Lassen Volcanic National Park – Mineral
- Lava Beds National Monument – Tulelake
- Manzanar National Historic Site – Independence
- Mojave National Preserve – Southern California (between I-15 and I-40; headquarters in Barstow)
- Muir Woods National Monument – Mill Valley
- Old Spanish National Historic Trail – California (AZ,CO,NV,NM,UT)
- Pinnacles National Park – Paicines
- Point Reyes National Seashore – Point Reyes
- Pony Express Historic Trail – California (CO,KS,MO,NE,NV,UT,WY)
- Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial – Concord Naval Weapons Station
- Presidio of San Francisco – San Francisco
- Redwood National And State Parks – Del Norte and Humboldt Counties
- Rosie the Riveter WII Home Front National Historical Park – Richmond
- San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park – San Francisco
- Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area – Thousand Oaks
- Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks – In the southern Sierra Nevada in Tulare and Fresno Counties
- Whiskeytown National Recreation Area – Whiskeytown
- World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument – California (Honolulu HI, and AK)
- Yosemite National Park – Serra Nevada
Have fun exploring!
Click here to find National Parks outside of California.
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.
$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.
Image courtesy of Comic-Con International Facebook
It’s that time of the year again where San Diego is over run by Fan Boys/Girls, Cosplayers, Celebraties, Gamers and more.
It’s Comic-Con 2016!
And like many many others who were unable to score an illusive San Diego Comic-Con badge I will not be let though the magical convention doors. But that doesn’t mean I have to try again and wait until next year to enjoy the festivities. San Diego Comic-Con is the most well known and highly attended of Comic Conventions, so it is also larger than the convention center it is held at. SDCC spreads out throughout Downtown San Diego and many of the outside events do not require a badge and are FREE!
Outside the Con!
So here is a little guide of what to go do and see outside of SDCC:
Image courtesy of Nerdist.com
Dates : July 21st – 24th
Location : Petco Park (Second floor)
The Nerdist and Geek & Sundry have teamed up again this year for Conival. This is a fun FREE event featuring Celebrity interviews, laser tag, table top gaming, giveaways and more. This years theme is Camp to take visitors back to the feeling of being at a summer camp. Camp Conival runs from Thursday July 21st until Sunday July 24th. For more information visit Nerdist.com for entertainment and guest schedules.
Image courtesy of The Nerd Machine Twitter
Dates : July 21st – 24th
Location : The New Children’s Museum 200 W Island Ave
Nerd HQ is presented by The Nerd Machine and is located in the New Children’s Musuem. Nerd HQ features Panels, gaming, photo ops, and more. This is a FREE event but you do need to register before you attend to enter and receive your wrist band. Register for Nerd HQ here.
Play Nintendo Tour
Image courtesy of Nintendo.com
Dates : July 21st – 24th
Location : Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina
The Play Nintendo Tour will be down is San Diego during Comic-Con. Stop by play Nintendo games, check out the new Nintendo Vans collaboration, take fun photos in game displays and compete to win some awesome prizes. Check out the full tour information here.
Snoopy for President
Image courtesy of PeanutsStudio.com
Dates : July 21st – 24th
Location :Bubbles Boutique 226 Fifth Ave
It’s election year and everyone is being encouraged to rock the vote. And no matter what political party you support we can all agree that Snoopy rocks! Check out this fun little pop-up shop featuring mans best friend and take part in a mock vote.
Also check out comic-con.org for even more outside events! And have fun even without badge at Comic-Con San Diego.
Image courtesy of Universal Studios
The Wizarding World has come to life in California!
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is now at Universal Studios Hollywood. The newest addition to the theme park opens April 7, 2016! The magic is here and we couldn’t be more excited. The new area will allow you to enter Hogsmeade and the shops there. The shop windows will have interactive displays for special wands that you are able to have select you in Ollivanders Wand Shop. Take a ride on your broomstick along with Harry on Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey. Or take to the skies with Buckbeak on Flight of the Hippogriff, a fun coaster for the whole family to enjoy. And don’t forget to enjoy some butterbeer!
The newest addition to Universal Studios Hollywood will have plenty to see and enjoy. Th shops will include Honeydukes, Owl Post, Wiseacres Wizarding Equipment, Dervish and Banges, Gladrags Wizardwear and Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods. There will be plenty of magical items to find and try. Hogsmeade and the rides will transport you into the Wizarding World without the need of floo powder!
Be sure to check out this magical new area, but do watch out for the whomping willow!
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!
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!
Great Wolf Lodge deals