Knott’s Berry Farm- Affordable and Fun!

Knott’s Berry Farm- Affordable and Fun!

We had Disneyland passes for almost 10 years. Some of our best memories were made there. With the price increases over the years and the change in the handicap procedure, we finally had to take a stand and discontinue our wonderful family days at Disneyland.





With Disneyland off the table, we wanted to try some of our other local amusement parks. So at the end of 2016, we purchased our Knott’s Berry Farm season passes and we were just able to use them this past weekend. Knott’s season passes vary with your needs, some of which come with admission to Knott’s Soak City.

Parking was amazing! There was a slight suck when we had to walk up and down a steep hill pushing strollers but a little exercise never hurt anyone. When we entered the park, there was Franklin and Charlie Brown with only a few people in line for pictures. My children were thrilled! Then we made our way to Camp Snoopy which was literally right by the front entrance. I love this fact because parents with little ones don’t have to trek across the park to get their fun started.

The rides in Camp Snoopy were themed and my children loved the fact that it was a land for them. The lines were not short but not crazy long either. It was actually quiet large and there was plenty of space for you to picnic, watch your children on the rides or just take a little break. There was also lots of bathrooms throughout Camp Snoopy which is fantastic!!

Another area in Camp Snoopy had props relating to the Peanuts characters and 3 characters waiting to take pictures with all the guests of the park. The line was so short!! Snoopy showed my children his dog house and Woodstock showed my son how to flap his wings. Interactions like that are priceless. They were not trying to rush through the line and really took time to connect to my children.

We knew our children were not going to be able to ride much of anything else because of their height but we strolled around the park and really enjoyed it. There is a ton to look at, little shows to stop and watch and lots of delicious food options. Knott’s Berry Farm feels like a throwback amusement park and I love it!

I purchased a refillable cup that we can use through the year for free refills. 30$ kinda seemed high but if you do the math and use it often, it is worth it, especially since you can refill it at different places throughout the park. You just have to remember to bring it with you each time you come to the park. We also purchased a cup of strawberries and candy both of which were very well priced for an amusement park.

There was still a ton that we did not get to see or do and I am looking forward to a time that just my husband and I can have a day there to ride all the rollercoasters. For only 91$ a pass, I think it was completely worth it and know that we will get a lot of use out of it! If you would like to purchase a season pass you can click Knott’s Season Passes  and print yours at home!




Monster Jam 2017 at Angels Stadium

Monster Jam 2017 at Angels Stadium





Monster Jam is in southern California and my son loves monster trucks so of course the entire family had to get tickets. We were all so excited to see his reaction. I was very surprised to see how much tickets were for seats way up at the top. When I was younger, you were able to purchase a family 4 pack of tickets for 20$ and now tickets are 25$ a piece, plus taxes and fee’s. Of course we paid it and were happy to see these huge trucks do their thing at the big A!

When we got to the stadium we saw that parking was 20$ to park on the grounds. Having two little ones in tow means the closer the better, so we paid the money instead of parking in one of the neighboring parking lots for half the price.

After parking we headed up to the gate to enter. It was an absolute mess. People were clustered up trying to get through 6 metal detectors. There were no lines that made sense and tons of people cutting in line. If I was in charge, I would have roped off designated lines for each metal detector so that there was some order.



Once we were able to get into the stadium and find our seats, it was time for the show to start. Or at least we thought it was. Our tickets showed a start time of 6:30 but the event did not get started till 7:00. Finally the lights dimmed and the trucks came out. It was adorable seeing my son with his wow face. The trucks did a parade lap and he pointed out his favorite ones. We all cheered and shouted as they lined up for their qualifying laps.

After the shock of their loud engines and enormous size wore off, which didn’t take long, we were waiting for the flips, wheelies and tricks to start. They didn’t. Each truck took a turn making two laps around the designated space, then they had a wheelie competition that consisted of the trucks driving up heaps of dirt and getting a little air. There was a moment that you could almost feel the entire stadium take a deep breath of disappointment. As I noticed little boys start to lose interest, parents had to resort to pulling out their smart phones and allowing their children to watch Netflix and play games. If that wasn’t bad enough, we then had to entertain our son, as well did other parents of little ones, during a very LONG intermission.

Finally the freestyle portion was going to begin and the excitement rose again. First truck up drove around, went up the hills, did some donuts and revved its engine. Second truck the same. No crazy jumps, flips or fireworks. We all kept waiting for something amazing to happen and finally a truck tried to flip his truck, the crowd was on their feet, first time of the night besides during the wave. Finally it was getting good……. sike out! Everything in me wanted to get up and go. No one in my family was interested anymore and neither was anyone around us. The money I had spent on tickets kept me there.

The last couple trucks to go in the freestyle comp were the only trucks we had ever heard of. They put on a good show, trying flips, rolling their trucks and getting the crowd into the show but by that point, we were over it. My children had no more interest and they were ready to go. I felt sad for my son, we had built him up for a good show and that was not what we had got.

After doing a little research, we saw that Monster Jam was going on in numerous states across the United States on the same night. All the trucks that we knew of had either multiple trucks spread throughout the different shows or they were only at certain shows. Each show with only a few big name monster trucks. No name, no sponsor (or small sponsor) trucks were fillers for the shows. They were not putting on a good show because the damage to their trucks would be coming from their own bank account, not a sponsors.

When a family is spending good money to come see a monster truck show, they should receive a show and that is not what happened in Anaheim. I believe that Monster Jam saw the popularity rising and they jumped on the opportunity to make every dollar they could while it lasted but in turn the show was affected.

I am terribly disappointed because my son did not leave with a greater love of monster trucks, he left not wanting to go back.

 




Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament- Buena Park

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament- Buena Park

When teaching a lesson to your child about past centuries, it may be hard to convey the scene. That is one of the biggest advantages of a field trip to Medieval Times.

As you approach your destination, a castle appears and the excitement builds.  Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament could be set no where else but in a castle. Before you can take a stroll through the courtyard you must find out what knight you shall be cheering for. You are given a color crown to match your knight and your table assignment. Doors open an hour ahead of time, so you have plenty of time to take in the middle ages decor, take pictures and check out the giant horses that could take down an army (if they needed too).

Make sure you walk around and look at all your options for adorning yourself with your knights colors. We purchased flags to wave in support of knight. Other items they offer are foam swords and shields, flags, glow wands, crowns and so much more! Medieval Times also has a full bar, so enjoy an adult beverage like the royals did.

You will truly feel as though you have taken a step back in time as the knights guard announces your groups to enter the arena. Assigned seats will place you in a group of your fellow knight followers. Through the entire show you will be cheering and booing together. Once the show has begun, your dinner will be served, no silverware necessary.

Delicious soup, chicken, potatoes and corn will coat your ribs while you watch the knights ride their beautiful horses through competitions. Then enjoy a pastry as the knights battle in celebration for all of their guests. Hoot and holler, cheer and shout and if your knight is on the loosing end of the joust you may want to shed a tear.

A trip to Medieval Times is a fabulous family experience as well as an educational experience. Next time you are looking for a fun activity to do, make a reservation and see where it takes you at Medieval Times!!

http://www.medievaltimes.com/

Great Wolf Lodge Garden Grove

Great Wolf Lodge Garden Grove




The first time that I was made aware of the Great Wolf Lodge was a commercial during one of my children’s cartoons. My daughter told me that she wanted to go there, I looked it up and found that there were none in southern California. Disappointed, we put that idea on the back burner.

To our surprise we eventually started seeing ads for one in Garden Grove Ca which is not too far from us. Thrilled we had to book a room. First thought on prices for a night’s stay, OMG which child will we sale to be able to afford this place?? I stayed diligent on looking for the best time to book, best deals and if there were any coupons. With it being a new resort, there wasn’t many out there. I finally took the plunge and just booked a night stay. image

When the day finally came for our one night stay, I was just as excited as my children were. Both of my children are huge fans of the water so I was hoping this would be a huge success. Walking into the lobby I was in awe of the details, it was as if I had stepped out of Orange County and into the wilderness.

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The check in process was a breeze and the staff were overly helpful, smiley faces and so eager to help. Our room wasn’t ready yet but as soon as it was, I received a text on my phone making me aware. The rooms were very spacious and extremely clean. Once again the details were on point for a stay in the wilderness. We requested a room near the elevator which was a life save with our little ones, after a long amount of time in the water park they were not so eager to walk.

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We purchased a pup pass for each of our children and it was well worth the money. If you plan on doing any of the extra activities that are not included with your stay, you will save a ton of money by doing them through one of three of the passes they offer.  Our pass included a build a wolf, or better known as a creation station animal, a cup of mike and ikes, credit for the arcade, a glitter tattoo and a cup of ice cream. These were all amazing breaks from the water park that still kept the kids entertained.

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There are also a lot of activities that are included with your stay. Arts and crafts, face painting, balloon animals, dance parties and more. When you check in you will get a schedule, make sure to check it right away so you don’t miss any of the activities that you were hoping to do with your children.

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When you are ready to take on the water park, make sure you have your water shoes on, it can get very slippery. Towels are provided at the park so no need to bring one from home or from your room. Your room key is in your wrist band that you must wear at all times, so no need to worry about losing your key. If you want a chair to sit in, get there early and place a towel down, otherwise it may be hard to find one.  A lot of the larger water slides usually have a wait time but if you come near close time, you should be able to get right on the slide.

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Food wise they have some great options for everyone, our favorite was buckets, it’s located in the water park and has the best hot dogs and cheeseburgers. I suggest getting one of the refillable souvenir cup, it is free to refill throughout your stay which is a great deal!! Our other favorite is the Dunkin Donuts, since we are so use to seeing Starbucks everywhere, it was a nice change.

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I must say that even though a bit pricey, I think it is well worth it. The family time was amazing that we all had together and my children have been talking about Great Wolf Lodge everyday since we came home. We will definitely be staying again in the near future and suggest you do the same.