Magical Mission Inn and the Fantastic Festival of Lights

This is truly the most wonderful time of the year.  There are so many things to see and do all over Southern California.  Many of these events are free to attend and I love being able to share those places with you.

One of my favorite free events is The Mission Inn and Spa in Riverside is home to the Festival of Lights. More than 3.6 million (Yes Million!) lights transform this beautiful hotel into a holiday wonderland. The festival features nightly live entertainment, “fresh snow”, and even appearances by Santa and his reindeer. You can even ride around a horse drawn carriage around the hotel grounds.

Mission Inn Festival of Lights by

The City of Riverside has adopted The Mission Inn’s Festival of Lights as a citywide initiative with a vision of a Dickensian holiday spectacle featuring lights and decorations throughout downtown Riverside, an outdoor ice-skating rink on the Main Street pedestrian mall, holiday vendors and family-friendly entertainment.

The Festival of Lights at The Mission Inn Hotel is now open and continues until January 6th, 2015.  The Festival of Lights begins every night at sunset. For additional information head here.

Santa Margarita Water District’s Family Fun Day

If you live in South Orange County this sounds like a fun family outing. You are invited to join the Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) for its annual Fiesta de Agua Family Fun Day water conservation festival on Saturday, May 3rd. New this year, SMWD will host the free event along the shores of its Oso Reservoir in Rancho Santa Margarita. The family-oriented festival is held by SMWD each May to kick off its celebration of National Water Awareness Month.

Fiesta de Agua’s new location will provide a beautiful natural backdrop for participants to learn about water conservation and the local environment. Activities, which include water education games, a live reptile show and nature hikes, will be centered at the Boy Scout camp on the banks of the reservoir.

What: SMWD Fiesta de Agua
When: Saturday, May 3rd 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Where: SMWD’s Oso Reservoir
(Directions and map below)

Activities for this year’s Fiesta de Agua are scheduled to include:

· Water conservation education
· Nature hikes
· Live reptile show
· Marksmanship demonstrations
Fossil displays
Bird watching
Face painting
Scout demonstrations
S’mores and campfire songs
Kids’ crafts
Community exhibitors
Firefighters and fire engines

Free food and beverages will be provided by the District. Other participating sponsors include The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scout Council of Orange County, City of Mission Viejo and City of Rancho Santa Margarita.

For more information on Fiesta de Agua, please visit

About Oso Reservoir
Oso Reservoir is the largest recycled water reservoir in South Orange County and is located in the City of Rancho Santa Margarita. The man-made lake is capable of storing more than one billion gallons of recycled water for the region’s irrigation needs and is a critical component to the region’s water supply reliability infrastructure.

Directions to Oso Reservoir:

From Mission Viejo: Head north on Los Alisos Blvd. After crossing the 241 Toll Road, take an immediate left to “Oso Lake.” Follow the dirt road about half a mile to the parking area.

From Ranch Santa Margarita: Drive west on Santa Margarita Pkwy. Turn right onto Melinda Rd. and follow to just before the 241 Toll Road. Turn right to “Oso Lake.”

From the 241 Toll Road: Take the Los Alisos exit and drive north. Take an immediate left to “Oso Lake.”

Universal Studios Hollywood Eco Fair

Looking for something green to do with with your kiddos? Then head over to Universal Studios TODAY, for their second annual free family friendly eco fair.

WHAT: Universal Studios Hollywood hosts its second annual free “Eco-Fair,” showcasing 30 engaging and educational displays, special guest appearances, an offer of free parking for hybrid vehicles, and a hazardous waste disposal drive sponsored by the City and County of Los Angeles.

WHO: Lauren Koslow and Arianne Zuker from “Days of our Lives” and Allen Alvarado from “Flight 29 Down” as well as participating organizations, including Arbonne International, Baldwin Hills Conservancy, Beyond Learning, BioBags, Bell’s Bugs,, L.A. City and County Departments of Public Works, Eco Totables, Environmental Media Association, G-Diapers, GOOD Magazine, Green Bliss Eco-Spa, Green Clean L.A.,, Greenopia, Heal the Bay, Healthy Child Healthy World, Hollywood Beatification Team, Images and Trademarks, International Bird Rescue, L.A. Conservation Corps, LADWP, Lucky Earth, Nestle Waters,, Reuseniks, Sheraton, Soaptopia, TreePeople, Verde Bag, Verde Paperie, Vetraceuticals, Vy & Elle and the Studio City knitting yarn emporium La Knitterie Parisienne.

WHEN: Saturday, April 26, 2008
Free Eco-Fair – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – at theme park main entrance
Mobile Collection – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

WHERE: Universal Studios Hollywood – Universal Globe Fountain at main entrance
to theme park. (100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City , CA 91608 )

I’m going to be taking my family to this event tomorrow and will also be taking in a screening of the Little Mermaid Sing-A-Long at El Capitan. I can’t wait to see this!! I will post my review tomorrow. Hope to see you there.