Summer is here, and most (I know that there are a couple of straggling districts that are still in school until the end of the week) of the kiddos are out of school. If you are looking for something fun to do, and is super cheap-o, you have to check out Michaels Craft Stores, Passport to Imagination. Starting this week, and going until the 1st week of August, kiddos can head over to Michaels and explore 7 continents for 7 fun weeks!
Michaels Passport to Imagination takes place every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10am to noon, and is just $2 for every kiddo ages 5 and up. It’s a two hour crafting adventure that is a ton of fun. You can get your shop on, while the kiddos craft their heart away. Every week the kiddos discover a new continent and their amazing landmarks.
You have to visit your local store to register.
To learn more about this program, and to find the closest store near you, head here.
One of my favorite movies of all time has to be the Wizard of Oz. I love that movie, and I enjoy watching my kiddos become new fans. They close their eyes at the witch scenes, just like I did. It’s wonderful to relive my childhood through my children’s eyes.
When I heard Oz The Great and Powerful was in production, I freaked! We watched it on opening day, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the DVD. I loved the movie. It’s not the original, but it is so much fun, and i to add to my collection. The movie is visually stunning. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it.
The movie follows the story of Oscar Diggs, a circus magician, that is not always the most forthcoming. He is swept away to the Land of Oz, where he encounters a magical adventure, meets some great friends, and through the journey, becomes a better man, and wizard.
The movie is available on Blue Ray Combo Pack and comes with a digital copy. To Learn more about the movie head here. Oz the Great and Powerful is available at your favorite retail store.
Daytripping Dad, Mike, had the chance to sit down with Billy Crystal and John Goodman to talk about the exciting 3D follow up to Monsters Inc., Monsters University! He also gives his review of the new movie.
Back in May, Billy Crystal and John Goodman took a break from their busy schedules to talk about Pixar’s latest creation. Both Crystal and Goodman were excited to revisit their characters once again. Billy Crystal said more than once, that this is his favorite character that he’s ever created. They each had the challenge of finding a way vocally to portray a younger version of Mike and Sully, since the new film takes place in the college days and explores how the two came to know each other.
If you loved the first film, you will be delighted with this film. It has been 12 years since Monsters Inc. was first released, but thanks to DVDs, Disney Channel and the release of Monsters Inc. in 3D, children born after the initial film are likely to be very familiar with these characters. Superhero movies with origin stories are quite popular nowadays, so it’s only fitting that we get one about Mike and Sully.
In this film we learn that Mike’s obsession with working at the Scare Factory stems from a childhood field trip, while Sully, it turns out, comes from a long line of scare monsters. Their friendship was not love a first sight and watching how their relationship develops is the center of this new film. There is a plethora of new friends to meet in the film, many of them are part of Oozma Kappa, the fraternity that Mike and Sully join.
The message in the new movie is wonderful. Mike is a very determined little monster. He works hard and achieves whatever he puts his mind (and eye) into doing. The monsters around him are also inspired by his determination and motivation. We learn that the best things in life are those which have to be fought for. I would have never expected that Mike Wazowski would be such a great role model.
Technically, this new Pixar film is incredible. The details are so impressive. You’ll recall that when the first film came out, Sully’s fur was the huge achievement. Well in this film, the lighting, the scenery and the fine details are the huge achievement. I found myself fixated on the realistic texture of the plastered walls inside the fraternity house. It’s easy to forget that this was all done with computers!
Make sure you arrive on-time for the movie. Pixar has also attached their newest short, “The Blue Umbrella,” which is surely going to win the Academy Award next year for best animated short. This film also shows just how far Pixar has come with their realistic animation. I don’t want to give anything away, you just have to see this gem!
Monsters University opens June 21st and will be in 3D. It is appropriate for all ages and there was nothing too scary for younger kids, other than the competition when they compete against each other for who can scare human children the best. If your kids are ok with the first film, they will be just fine with Monsters University.
Visit disney.go.com/monsters-university for free downloads, games and to pre-order your movie tickets.
*This is not a sponsored post. Disney invited us to a screening of the movie for purposes of this review.
Our dad blogger Mike, had the opportunity to check out the new Knott’s Berry Farm Boardwalk and shares all about it!
It’s now open! Knott’s Berry Farm’s all new Boardwalk addition, featuring the Surfside Glider, Paradise Scrambler and the new roller coaster, the Coast Rider. If you haven’t been to Knott’s Berry Farm, you are in for a treat. Knott’s Berry Farm Theme Park is just the place to go for family fun! More than 165 rides, shows, attractions, restaurants and shops in five themed areas shape the Knott’s experience.
These new additions to Knott’s are specifically family friendly attractions. The roller coaster is similar to Goofy’s Sky School or the Technic coaster at Legoland, but much smoother than either of those. The Pacific Scrambler and Surfside Glider allow up to three riders to sit together, which allows the family to enjoy the experience together.
The Timber Mountain Log Ride has come out from his million dollar makeover. It now features brand new animated people and animals. The trough also got a new coat of green paint! The makeover has really revitalized this class ride. Did you know that this is the first themed log ride ever built?
The new elements add some extra fun and excitement to this classic ride. “The Timber Mountain Log Ride not only embodies the spirit of Knott’s Berry Farm, but it also set the bar for all themed attractions that came after,” says Raffi Kaprelyan, Knott’s general manager who worked for Bud Hurlbut from 1979-1983. “Bud Hurlbut made numerous contributions to Knott’s Berry Farm, but I think that the Timber Mountain Log Ride remains his crowning achievement.”
Knott’s is a great place for young families. In addition to Camp Snoopy’s rides, all ages can experience the 1896 Dentzel Carousel, classic Timber Mountain Log Ride, Calico Mine Ride, Ghost Town and Calico Railroad and authentic Butterfield Stagecoach.
Knott’s opens daily at 10 AM. Admission is $59.99 for adults, kids ages 3-11 and Seniors $30.99 and parking is only $15
Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. We were invited to experience the new Boardwalk at Knott’s Berry Farm.
Here is another idea to keep the kiddos busy this summer. Microsoft Retail Stores will be offering YouthSpark Summer Camps for kiddos 8 to 13 years old. The camps are free and they offer a variety of different interests, including digital video making, app creation, digital art smarts, gaming, and more! The best part is that these classes are free of charge! All you have to do is register for these classes, and that’s pretty much it!
Camps are first come, first serve, so make sure to register as soon as you can. For additional info, to register for a class, or to find a retail store near you, head here.
It’s Friday, Friday! Hooray for the weekend. It is starting to feel like summer. The days are getting a longer, and the kids are either out of school, or almost out. If you’re looking for something to do with the family this summer, you have to check out Movies on the Beach at Newport Dunes Resort.
Bring your blankets, your lawn chairs and a jacket, because it can get chili in the evening by the beach. The movies are free, all you have to do is pay for parking. It’s a super fun and very inexpensive night out with the family.
Movies play at dusk every Friday and Saturday night until the end of summer. For additional information, or if you would like to check out the movie schedule, head here.
My favorite toy growing up was my very first Barbie. I loved her(and still do!), and now enjoy watching my daughter and her friends play with her. I really wanted a Barbie Dream House. I didn’t get one growing up (although I’ve contemplated buying myself one), but plan on surprising my soon to be 8 year old, with one.
Did you know that Barbie is Moving? She is moving out of her Malibu Mansion, and onto swanky new pad! To celebrate Barbie is heading on tour, and her first stop is in LA. The #BarbieIsMoving Tour’s first stop is at The Grove, this Saturday, June 1st, from 11am to 3pm. There will be a Barbie fashion design studio, a chance to walk the Barbie fashion runway, a Mega Bloks® Barbie activity and more! If you are looking for something fun to do with your daughter/s, this would be super fun and FREE!
To learn more about this fun event head here.
Disclosure: This is a promoted post. That being said, I will always adore Barbie!
Memorial Day weekend kicked off the unofficial start of summer. I know that some kiddos wrapped up school last week, and some will wrap up school, during the next two to three weeks. We’re planning our summer, and I will be definitely adding the Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program to our schedule.
The Summer Reading Program will keep your kiddos reading during the summer, and reward them. All the kiddos have to do is read any 8 books during the summer, record them in this reading journal, bring it to your local Barnes & Noble Store, and choose a free book, from their summer reading selection. How cool is that? Free, motivating and fun!
Also Barnes & Noble stores will have storytime during the week, and our local store has a pajamarama, every Friday evening. You bring the family down, kiddos in their pjs and have a good time. Other stores are offering Saturday summer camp, crafts, and more! You can find your closest B&N store here. For additional info head here.
Last week I shared about RiverVillage Grand Opening Celebration in Valencia. RiverVillage is a gated community with a small town feel. It features a park, river trails, and a neighborhood retail center. Residents also have access to the Club at RiverVillage – a private resort-syle club that includes a pool, jetted spa, indoor/outdoor fireplace, barbeques, etc.
The homes are all made to order, so you can choose exactly what you want. I’ve always dreamed of owning a brand new house and personalize it to perfection! KB’s Built to Order experience is definitely the way to go. Once a family chooses to purchase a home, construction begins on the home. You choose the model, floor plan, and then customize your home at the KB Home Design Studio. I think this sounds dreamy! To learn more about AwesomeTown check them out on FB and Twitter.
Disclosure: A gift bag was provided, to share about the event.
This week we had the opportunity to head down to the San Diego Zoo, and preview their newest exhibit, The Australian Outback. This fantastic new exhibit features a koala colony, that is the largest outside of Australia, wombats, wallabies, kookaburras, and cockatoos. The exhibit also features an Aussie outback classroom, that is a big hit with the kiddos! The kids had so much fun in the classroom, learning all about the outback, and having fun at the same time!
The Queenslander House has very wide decks that open to the koala colony. The decks make you eye level with the koalas, and I kid you not when I say, that I could have spent hours watching the koalas sleep. They are one of my favorite animals on the planet. One thing we learned from Zookeeper Rick, the ambassador of the San Diego Zoo, is that although koalas look mighty cute and cuddly, the males don’t always see “eye to eye”. The male koalas have their own tree and are separated from each other, while the girls, are harmonious!
We had a blast watching the koalas sunbathe and nap. My kids absolutely went nuts in the Australian Classroom. They had the opportunity to play games, draw, learn all about the outback, and we even had the opportunity to listen to a kookaburra serenade us. We also learned from one of the zookeepers that koalas are the size of a jellybean when they are newborns, and instinctively find their way to their mother’s pouch.
The Australian Outback exhibit opened today, and you all have to check it out. We also spent a few hours walking through the zoo and probably only were able to catch 1/6th of the zoo. The San Diego Zoo is an amazing place and we can’t wait to go back a few more times this summer and wish our Aussie friends a G’Day!
To learn more about the exhibit head here.
Disclosure: This is not a compensated post. We were invited to preview the exhibit.