Glo have fun! Glo Mini Golf Riverside Ca

Glo have fun! Glo Mini Golf Riverside Ca

When you are born and raised in Riverside California, you take pride in knowing all of the spots to go when you want something to do. Little did I know I have been missing out on a true gem.



Located on the outside of the Riverside Tyler Mall is Glo Mini Golf, an indoor mini golf space. Among mini golf, you can play arcade games, rent an Xbox and have fun with a little virtual reality. There is also an ice cream and snack bar on the top floor.

When checking in for golf, you are able to pick a color golf ball that of course is neon and your club that is as well a neon color. 12$ for 27 holes is a wonderful price, especially when you get the added experience of it being in the dark! You also have the option of getting 3D glasses to wear during your golf game for a small 2$ fee.

After getting our golf necessities, we headed to our first golf hole. The 3D glasses were awesome. The floor popped under our feet, the wall seemed to be moving and our putt appeared to be perfect! Mini golfing with a 3 & 5-year-old is not the easiest, especially when you are also golfing with a very competitive husband, but watching them all laugh and jump with excitement when they got a ball  in the hole was priceless.

Most of the holes were dedicated to another portion of the world. It was fun guessing the landmark used and where it was from. The walls were adorned with amazing artwork, painted in bright colors so that they too would pop in the black lights. Although the holes were not very challenging, they were exactly perfect for the space.




After our round of mini golf, we tried out some arcade games. All of the games cost a minimal amount, compared to other arcades. Games were geared towards all ages, some for smaller children and some for the older crowd. They were all very generous with tickets and the prizes were great.

Since you are going to want to go back to Glo Mini Golf over and over again, you might want to pick up some of their Glo merchandise to wear around town or next time you stop by for a round of golf or an arcade game or two!

Overall I have to say this was one of the funnest things we have done in Riverside lately and I definitely suggest you all check it out! Head to their website https://www.glominigolf.com/mini-golf/ and plan your trip to Glo Mini Golf!




Mr. Joe’s Farm and Petting Zoo – Perris California

Mr. Joe’s Farm and Petting Zoo – Perris California

Being a homeschool family leaves plenty of time to find fun and educational day trips to go on. So when a friend mentioned going to a farm in Perris, CA, we jumped on the opportunity.

Since I had never heard of Mr. Joe’s Farm, I really didn’t know what to expect. The farm is Mr. Joe and his wife Stacey’s private residence and you do have to make an appointment to come on the property. There is only a small sign on the fence to indicate you are there and once you get to the gate, you will have to be let in.



After parking we were greeted by Stacey and her friendly dog Foxy. Stacey was so kind and patient. She showed us around the farm and introduced the animals, answering any questions we had. Her love for her farm and animals was apparent. The couple gives these tours at no cost, only accepting donations so that everyone has the opportunity to see these animals up close, no matter their economic status.

We saw alpacas, llamas, goats, mini horses and donkeys but our favorite was Oscar the camel. I have to say that I may be a bit biased since I have a love for camels but he really was the most amazing animal on the farm. He was gentle and friendly with everyone in our group, posing for pictures and allowing us to pet him.

After our tour, Stacey allowed us to walk around and we even could have picnicked there if we wanted. I have to say that the only thing that would have made the experience even more fantastic would have been cats with litters of kittens to play with, but that’s just my opinion. It really was such an exciting day for the kids and they even learned a few things about farm life. If you would like to schedule a time to go see Mr. Joe’s Farm, head to their website at Mr. Joe’s Farm Home for more information.






Hello Riverside! Signed Book Giveaway

Hello Riverside! Signed Book Giveaway

Shining Thoughts Blog has teamed up with Hello Riverside for an amazing GIVEAWAY!
Being a Riverside CA blog and loving all things Riverside has to offer, we were thrilled to see a child’s board book published called Hello Riverside. This beautifully illustrated book depicts some of the best places to play throughout our gorgeous city.
So here is the scoop. We have an author signed copy of Hello Riverside that we want to give away to one lucky family. All you have to do to enter is like Shining Thoughts Blog as well as Hello Riverside on Facebook AND leave us a comment on the giveaway post with your favorite memory of Riverside. Your memory can be from the past or present, bonus points for pictures!! If you are not from Riverside, you can still win! Just comment what you would like to see if you were visiting.




Winner will be drawn at random on February 14th and announced on this post. Feel free to share with your friends and family so they can get in on the fun as well. Good luck!

This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any other social media outlet. Please keep comments and pictures G rated, this is a family blog/book.




A Day Out With Thomas The Train In Perris Ca

A Day Out With Thomas The Train In Perris Ca





Every November, for as long as I can remember, I have driven past a huge billboard in Perris, CA that featured Thomas the Train. A day out with Thomas at Orange Empire Railway Museum it read. I was intrigued but always had plans for those weekends.

Recently my son has picked up a liking for Thomas the Train and I figured it was the perfect time to look into going. So I purchased our tickets for the second train of the day which was at 9:30. Tickets cost 25$ per person, including children 2 and up. For that amount of money, my standards were set pretty high.

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We arrived an hour early, which is suggested on the website. The parking lot was already starting to fill up at that point which was very surprising. I didn’t realize it was such a popular event. There were plenty of signs pointing you to where you needed to be which helped eliminate confusion. After our tickets were scanned and we entered, I could see Thomas. I watched as my son’s eyes spotted him as well and I could see the wonderment and excitement on his face.

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There was quite a few activities to do and my children wasted no time getting into them. We followed the map to earn stamps, once all stamps were collected you were given a prize. Walked through a hay maze. Jumped in Thomas the Train bounce houses. Watched a Thomas episode. Took a picture with Sir Topham Hatt and drank some delicious lemonade.

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Then the time came to ride on Thomas the Train. We got our boarding pass and jumped aboard. The children were given an Junior Engineer Certificate and the Conductor announced over the intercom where we were headed. A quick trip to the edge of Perris and back. My children and most the children aboard were so filled with joy. My son told me “Mommy we are riding on Thomas the Train!”



Once we got off the train it seemed like the crowd size had tripled and there were lines everywhere. We headed over to take a picture with Thomas and had to wait 30 minutes. The volunteers rushed us through, snapping a quick picture and leading us away from the Train docking area.

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I suggest picking the first train departure time of the day to beat the crowds and to get parking. When we left, they were parking cars pretty far away from the entrance. In order to do everything they offer with the event, you should allow yourself at least a couple of hours. There are plenty of picnic benches and food vendors to choose from if you need a break for lunch.

Overall the experience was wonderful for my children, it was an experience they will not soon forget and worth the money. Orange Empire Railway Museum also offers other seasonal activities, including Easter Train, Halloween Train and a Santa Train. You can check their website for more information on these events and more. http://www.oerm.org/

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway




My stomach dropped and my heart almost stopped as we pulled up to the parking lot of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. The height up the mountain was daunting and my fear of heights was catching up to me. Reluctantly I paid my 5$ parking fee and knew I must conquer this fear. A bus picked us up and we headed to the tram visitor center. img_7292

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A short wait in line and I was able to pick up my tickets. Trams were making trips every 10 minutes and everyone was eager to get aboard. As the doors to the tram opened and everyone piled in, I found myself a spot in the middle, holding on to one of the poles for dear life. We started on our way up the hill, the floor started to turn so that everyone was able to see 365 degrees of beauty. Windows were open which really helped with the claustrophobia.

Each tower passed gave the tram a good swing and by tower 3 you could feel the drastic temperature change outside. I have to admit, my husband was the one snapping pictures and having the time of his life, I would give a quick glance, close my eyes and hope not to vomit. By the time we made it to the top, I was ready for a cold beverage and some food! Lucky for me there a few choices for that.

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A cozy bar, a restaurant and a made to order walk through were all great choices. Food was hot, delicious and just what we needed. Tables were clean, area was family friendly and all staff were very accommodating. Even though I don’t like heights, the views were breathtaking, best sights I have ever seen while eating a savory lunch.

There were beautiful vantage points everywhere around mountain station and lots of trails to hike as well as rocks to climb. If you are not into hiking, which we are not, it was very relaxing to sit outside on a bench and breath in the fresh crisp air. It is chilly up top so I would recommend wearing layers.

img_7294While walking around the mountain center, we noticed a museum and movie theater. Sitting in on the movie was a great treat. It had lots of facts about the tramway and was so interesting to see the changes they have made through the years. The tram was built using not a single dollar of tax payers money and only took 2 years to complete. It opened in 1963 and then was revamped to the new rotating tram cars in the year 2000. Palm Springs Tramway has the highest vertical ascent in the world! img_7305

Our wait for the tram heading down was just as quick as catching one up. As beautiful as our day was, It was nice to have my feet back on the ground, at a lower elevation. img_7339 This experience is not one I will soon forget and absolutely recommend you take this adventure as well. I also think this would be a wonderful gift to give to a couple or family alike. You can visit https://www.pstramway.com/ for more information and to purchase your tickets to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.

Special thanks to Greg Purdy for allowing Shining Thoughts Blog to experience this “8th wonder of the world”!

Dejong’s Dairy, Wildomar California

Dejong’s Dairy, Wildomar California




In the growing town of Wildomar California sits a 40 acre dairy farm. A dairy farm that has been there since 1958 and is family owned and operated. This farm is Dejong’s dairy and has a steady stream of patrons no matter the time. Their milk is delicious and fresh, as are their eggs.

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When you pull into the cash and carry market located at the front of the farm, you are greeted with the smell of cow. 100 Hulstein cows to be exact, but cows are not the only animal that calls Dejong’s dairy home. Goats, Pigs, Bunnies and more live in pens near the market. Spend 25 cents for a bag of feed to give the animals a snack as you walk around and laugh at their funny mannerisms.

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There are tables and benches under the tree’s that you can enjoy your milk at while you watch the animals. Or take it to go and enjoy the freshest milk around with your dinner or breakfast. The many gallons of milk that leave this dairy daily, it’s a surprise they don’t run out by the end of day.

Dejong’s dairy sells 500 gallons of milk a day, that’s 3,500 gallons a week!!! Now that is a lot of milk. The milk is pulled from the utter and bottled right there on the farm. Dog, cat, pig, rabbit and bird feed is also sold at the dairy. This dairy is a local favorite and for some, the only place they will drink milk from. Make sure next time you are craving a good glass of milk, you get it from Dejong’s dairy.

For hours and directions, visit their website at http://dejongsdairy.com/ and when you go, tell them ShiningThoughts.com sent you!

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Diamond Valley Museum- Western Science Center

Diamond Valley Museum- Western Science Center




I knew that I would have an Ice Age lesson week coming up in the future and wanted to find a local museum that had fossils as well as life size examples of these prehistoric beasts. I stumbled upon a museum I had never heard of. imageimage

Western Science Center is located next to the Diamond Valley Lake, which is the largest man made lake in southern California. While preparing the area for the lake, paleontologist came across some amazingly in tact Mastodon fossils. “Max” was found 17 feet below the surface and 9% of his bones were there. That is a huge amount since normally only a few bones or fragments of bones are found.

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With this huge discovery, the Science Center was created to preserve the history of the area and allow others a glimpse into the past. The museum has artifacts and replicas of items found in the area from all different points in time. They also have a few hands on activities for children, such as making clay fossils, fossil rubbings, puzzles and more.

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A traveling exhibit also fills the halls, at this time it’s a history of water. It is amazing reading the facts about water and how much is needed to supply us with daily necessities. The most shocking fact was that 1 in 10 child deaths in the world are from drinking unclean water. I was not aware of this crisis and it was eye opening to hear some of these facts.

An unreal experience was sitting on rocks in a theater that almost completely surrounds you, watching the unearthing of these giant fossils on the screen. They also had lifelike animation of mastodons and saber tooth cats roaming as if they were a fixture in our normal society.

I am always amazed by the sheer size of these extinct animals, it’s hard to believe that they roamed the earth that we live on now. I am also very amazed that there are human beings on this earth that spend their days with little tiny tools, unearthing these huge specimens. They have to be the most patient individuals. I am glad that all their hard work and patience pays off for us and our future generations, preserving what was by piecing together. image

imageThis is a small museum and did not take much time to go through, but it was a nice visit and not as crowded as some museums. If you are ever in the area of the Western Science Center, it would be a nice stop to take your children. For more information on their hours, location and prices, check out their website at http://www.westerncentermuseum.org/

Want to know more about day trips around southern California, follow us and check out our travel section!

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Camping at Rancho Jurupa Regional Park

Camping at Rancho Jurupa Regional Park





This past week my family and I have been camping at Rancho Jurupa Regional Park. We camp here often because it is close to home but still makes you feel like you are out in the wilderness. I’m much more of a glamper vs a camper so this campground is perfect for that. They have many options for camp spots and things to do, so it definitely covers all types of campers.

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There is a few different areas that you can camp in. We always get the same spot in the Cottonwood area of the park. It is the newest area and has grass as well as shade tree’s. The spots are large for pull through trailers, your camper will be on cement and they have nice bathrooms/showers for campers of this area. Full hook ups is amazing as well as it is closest to the front entrance and a lot of the amenities. You will have a gorgeous view of Mt. Rubidoux and can still watch the rabbits play in the grass. It is a very well kept area of the park and each site has a fire pit.

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Lakeside Campground is the area closest to the lake, this may be a perfect spot for the fishers in your family. A close walk to the lake and all the catfish you can handle. The lake is well kept and surrounded by beautiful greenery. It is a quiet spot to relax and cast your line. Just make sure you have your fishing licence and have paid the small fee to camp in the park. Most of these camp spots have partial hook ups but are located in the dirt.

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The campground also has the option to rent a cabin. It will cost you about the same as a nights stay in a hotel but if you do not have a tent and still want to feel like you are camping, this is a great option for you. They are very spacious and the layout is accommodating to a family with children.

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Rancho Jurupa offers a seasonal splash pad that is fantastic for kids and adults. It gets so hot in the summertime and this is a great way to cool off and help those kids burn off some energy. The water is recycled and definitely cold at first, but oh so refreshing. To add to your cool down, you can step into the general store and purchase a delicious ice cream.

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The general store has most items you might have forgot at home as well as other trinkets and items you may need to catch the big one in the lake. You can also purchase a round of miniature golf while you are picking out your ice cream. The golf course is located next to the splash pad and even though I have not had the opportunity to play on it yet, It looks like a ton of fun!

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There are two playgrounds for your children to choose from and lots of area for them to ride their bikes. If frisbee golf is your thing then make sure to take advantage of their frisbee golf course. There are lots of covered patios to stop and enjoy the sounds of nature as you take a morning walk.

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My children have a blast camping here and if you want to add a little lesson in here and there, there is so much to teach. This recent trip we did a nature walk, a nature scavenger hunt, leaf rubbings and examined many bugs with our magnifying glasses.

If you want to camp at Rancho Jurupa or any of the other Riverside County Parks, check out their website for fees and schedules. Riverside County Parks

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Amy’s Farm

Amy’s Farm

When you want to spend the day hanging out with friendly farm animals, Amy’s Farm is the place to go! With a wide variety of animals, fresh vegetables, fruit and meats, you wont be regret your visit.

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As we started our walk up the rows of animals, an adorably friendly cat approached us wanting some attention. He became our tour guide until another family arrived. The entire farm is open to visitors and we took advantage of that perk. We trucked through dirt and around vegetable gardens. We visited each animal, all of which were very friendly. You could tell they get lots of visitors. I even got a kiss from a cow!

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We purchased a bundle of carrots from the farm and was able to feed the horses, the kids absolutely loved that part. Horse

There were many things to explore and a great petting zoo. This is by far the best farm we have been too, allowing the kids to really feel like farmers and not contained to certain footpaths, oh and did I mention its Free! Amy’s Farm is located at 7698 Eucalyptus Ave, Ontario, CA 91762 and you can check out their website for their hours of operation at http://www.amysfarm.com/visit

Make sure to check out the activities we did leading up to our farm field trip on our Farm Lesson Ideas post.

March Field Air Museum

March Field Air Museum





I cannot believe I have lived in Riverside my entire life and I have never taken the time to go into the March Field Air Museum. I have driven by it hundreds, maybe even thousands of times and honestly thought I had seen it all already. You can see almost 70 airplanes around a large hanger when you drive by, so what else is there to see? Well I’m here to tell you that I have been wrong the entire time. March Field Air Museum is a aviators dream with over 30,000 artifacts and over 70 different planes.

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The museum opened in 1979 but quickly out grew its original building and was moved to another building on base. In 1993 the museum was moved once again to its current location which consists of 3 hangars located next to the 215 freeway and Van Buren Blvd. It is a non-profit institution and privately owned.

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When you enter the museum you are greeted by courteous and friendly volunteers, most who are veterans themselves. They are positioned throughout the museum to answer any questions you may have and are very knowledgeable of aviation and MAFB history. Your eyes will not know where to look because of all the beautifully designed exhibits featuring items from WW1, WW2, Vietnam, Korea, Cold War and More. Each exhibit features a wonderfully written information placard telling the history of each piece. There are plenty of interactive exhibits as well, one being a flight simulator.

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After absorbing all of the amazing history featured inside, head on out to the walking paths that surround air planes from all era’s. See bombers, fighter jets, prop planes and cargo planes. They also feature a replica of a Vietnam base camp that you can walk through.

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After your stroll through time, stop by the gift store where you can find a unique souvenir to take home and remember your time spent at the March Field Air Museum. The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday from 9-4 and closed on certain holidays. Admission is only 10$ for anyone older than 12, 5$ for 5-11 y/o and free for veterans, active duty and kids under 4. Check out their website for any upcoming events. http://www.marchfield.org/