San Diego Natural History Museum

This gem of a museum is located inside the famous San Diego Balboa Park. Besides the San Diego Zoo, you can also find this museum which is just across the way from the Ruben H Fleet Science Center. The museum is three stories and is full of fossils and animal bones. It is not as large at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History but it is still full of interesting and educational exhibits. There is plenty of interactive displays as well.

An exciting feature of the museum is an upcoming temporary exhibit on Pompeii. This will require a separate admission ticket from the general admission to the museum. The normal admission is as follows:

Adult $9.00
Senior (62+) $7.00
Active military, youth (13–17), student (with ID) $6.00
Child (3–12) $4.00
Child 2 and under FREE

It is open everyday from 10 AM to 5 PM

San Diego Natural History Museum

1788 El Prado
Balboa Park
San Diego, CA 92101

A Day in Pompeii runs February 15 – June 15, 2008

Buried in 79 CE by a catastrophic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, Pompeii remained hidden and forgotten until 1748 when archaeologists began to excavate the site. What they discovered were exquisitely preserved objects that offer a glimpse into the day-to-day life of this ancient city.

This compelling exhibition features more than 250 authentic artifacts. Most poignant and dramatic are the body casts of the volcano’s victims, frozen in their last moments. Beautiful frescoes, jewelry, statues, and household items take you back in time to experience life and death in ancient Rome’s favorite vacation resort.

The San Diego Natural History Museum is one of only four museums that will host this exclusive exhibition.

Ticket Prices for this special event:

A Day in Pompeii tickets include an audio tour, available in English and Spanish, and all other exhibitions and films. General Museum admission does not include A Day in Pompeii.

Admission Member Non-member
Adult $10 $22
Senior (62+)/Military/Student $8 $19
Child (3–12) $7 $14

Vietnamese Tet Festival

Tet, is the most important and popular holiday/festival in Vietnam. It’s the celebration of the Vietnamese New Year which this year will be celebrated on February 7th. The largest Tet festival outside of Vietnam is located in Garden Grove and is a great family festival. There will be games, traditional entertainment, contests and plenty of food.

The festival will be celebrating the Year of the Rat and is in it’s 26th year. I plan on attending and from what I’ve heard from family and friends it’s a must visit if you can. I hope to see you there!!

Garden Grove Park
9301 Westminster Ave
Garden Grove, CA

2008 USVA Tet Festival
Fri Feb 8 – 2 -10pm
Sat Feb 9 – 10am – 10pm
Sun Feb 10- 10am – 0pm

Admission is as follows
Adults – $5.00
Children 4 ft and under $ 4.00
Infants are free

Universal Studios Hollywood

Lucky for us we were spared by the rain gods on January 26th when we visited Univeral Studios Hollywood. Though it was a Saturday, the crowds were light, probably because most people expected rain. Also, late January is a great time to visit most amusement parks because it is off-season.

While my husband and I have visited Universal Studios many times in the past, this was the first time for us to venture there with our little ones. When we arrived, one of the first things we found is that Univeral offers an all-you-can-eat pass for $19.99. For children under 48 inches, it is only $9.99. The All You Can Eat Pass is good for 1 entrée, 1 side and 1 dessert every time you go through a food service line at Mel’s Diner, Louie’s Pizza and Pasta, or the Jurassic Café. You can go through the line as many times as you want. It does NOT include beverages. No sharing, take-out or refunds. You can save even more by buying the pass online. I would definitely recommend this deal if you will be having more than one meal at the park. We ate lunch before arriving at the park and opted not to take advantage of this deal. We did snack on some pizza slices and churros later on in the day. The pizza was very tasty and it’s one of the items included in the all you can eat deal. We did buy a 32 oz souvenir sipper cup for less than $6 which allows you to buy refills for only 75 cents.

The first attraction we hit was the tram tour, which kept both of our children entertained. Our 2 1/2 year old daughter was a little scared with the King Kong and Earthquake portions of the tour. She just closed her eyes and did just fine. Our 1 year old thought that everything was cool and he oohed and ahhed at every turn. The tour lasts only 45 minutes and goes by really quickly. I wonder how our parents managed when they took us on the old tour that lasted over 2 hours?

The kids got to meet and greet with Dora, Sponge Bob, Shrek and Fiona. Our son even liked shaking hands with Frankenstein, who was quite friendly. Several times a day, a character caravan comes out with Fievel, Curious George and Crash. You can dance along with them and get pictures. The Nickelodeon kids is the best area for small children. There are some interactive water things, playground slides and climbing tubes. There is also the Coke Soak which allows children of all ages to get wet, 365 days of the year. It was 60 degrees on the day we were there, so we avoided that place.

Besides the tram, there are also two other rides. There is the Mummy roller coaster and the Jurassic Park water ride. Neither one are appropriate for small children. I’m not much of a fan of roller coasters , but my husband is, and he absolutely loved the Mummy roller coaster. The park has a child switch program for both of these rides. This program allows you and your spouse to be line together and be able to switch off with each other so that you can both enjoy the rides.

Universal is also hosts to many fun filled shows. Our kids loved the Animal Actors Stage show. Other kid friendly shows include: Shrek-4D, Waterworld, The Blues Brothers and Fear Factor Live.

Remember you can buy a day and get 2008 free when you buy a general admission ticket! SoCal Residents can also get a one-day ticket right now for $50. This offer is good through February 15th. You can then apply that ticket toward an annual pass for only $49 more.

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