mcfam's Passport
 

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Member since:
27 May 2010

Icon_superoo_orangeSuperoo '12, '13, '14

Icon_pictureBeen to 684 Attractions
Icon_star598 Reviews
Icon_star1358 First to Review
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About Me & My Family

My husband and I have 4 kids... 3 boys and then our girl. We homeschool them all and travel when possible. We just started letterboxing and are finding ourselves a little obsessed with it.
Our Family's Travel Personality
adventurous, curious, structured, relaxed, simple, independent, spontaneous, easy_going
We Just Got Back From
White Stallion Guest Ranch in Arizona
Our Favorite Vacation Spot
Camping in Kings Canyon or Yosemite
A Place We'd Love To Visit
The Redwoods in Northern California
Favorite Vacation Memory
Walking the meadows of Yosemite with my family. The quiet, the sparkling water, the rustling grasses, and a dip in the river made for an amazing day.
Worst Travel Moment With My Kids:
Anytime throw up is involved. Especially when one kid triggers another. And when we are in the car. And when they choose to use the box that is holding all their library books and toys.
Websites I Like:
www.atlasquest.com

Celebrate New Year's Eve as a family in Orange County, CA

Ring in the New Year with your kids at one of these family-friendly venues.  Goodbye 2012, Welcome 2013!!

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Sand Canyon and Marine Way
Irvine, California

Comment:
Celebrate New Year’s Eve all before 10pm with live music, dancing, great food, carousel rides, games and activities for the kids – all in a fun, alcohol-free environment. At 9 p.m. the Great Park will transform into a party atmosphere in time to ring in the New Year with a pop of streamers, party hats and noise makers. Free admission, $10 parking.

reviewed on: February 17 2011

"Great hang out"
We have "hung out" at this park several times while waiting for a balloon ride at the Great Park in Irvine.  Our kids have had a great time climbing the rocks, going down the slide and playing "hide and go seek" here.

Things to note:
*  Visit this playground on the same day you visit the Orange Balloon and/or the Carousel at the Great Park.  They are all next to each other.
* Sports equipment is available for check out in the large building next to this playground.  It's free!  Soccer, football, frisbees and more are available.  Just bring your keys or ID for checking it out.
*  Parking, bathrooms and large playing fields are also available.
* A Farmer's Market is open on Sunday afternoons in the near vicinity to this park.

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2500 North Main Street
Santa Ana, California

Comment:
Regular admission grants guests to join in for a balloon drop complete with a countdown and toast at 12pm & 2pm. Create chemical reactions as canisters pop and fly in the air. Dance parties at 11am & 1pm. Learn about time zones and see who’s celebrating around the world. And much more! Don’t miss this exciting family event for all ages on December 31! Noon Year’s Eve is included in general Science Center admission. Categories Ticket Price Adult : $14.95 Child : $12.95

reviewed on: June 12 2010

"The giant cube"
My kids and I have passed this cube on the freeway many times but haven't stopped until today.  We all had a blast.  My 1 year old and my 9 year old both equally enjoyed the hands on exhibits, demonstrations, videos and slides.  We adults liked the many places to sit down and rest our aching feet while the kids kept discovering more things.  My 3 year old appreciated the little details, such as the stepping stools up to the exhibit tables and to the sink in the bathroom.  He played with the tinker toys, marble track, and the submarine slide.

On the other hand, I was disappointed with a couple of things.  First of all, it is incredibly loud in the building.  So loud I could hardly hear some of the video presentations in the "Gross Ology".  Second, the dinosaur explore area is really only fun if you spend an extra $5 per person to play the scavenger hunt game.  I don't really like extra expenses when I've already paid an entrance fee.  Last of all, the exhibits in the "Gross Ology" didn't really teach much even though they were really cool looking.  My kids didn't pay any attention to the fact that they were walking through a nose or crawling through a colon.  So even though it was really creative, I think the point of the learning was lost on them.

Over all, it is an excellent place to discover and explore.  And we really appreciated the free admission for my teacher husband!

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1313 Harbor Boulevard
Anaheim, California

Comment:
Enjoy special musical events and a fireworks spectacular at midnight at this magical place.

reviewed on: June 16 2010

"Stop to smell the roses"
As a pass holder I had the privilege of going to this magical park often with my preschoolers.  One of our favorite things to do would be to walk slowly around Main Street Plaza, smell the flowers and wait for the morning band to come marching down the street.  It was magical to see them come marching down, smiles playing at the sides of their mouths as they watched my little boy's eyes light up.  Then we would see Mickey Mouse come out and greet all the little kids and we would just watch him and smile.  

My boys are too old now to take it slow on Main Street, but I'm thankful I took it slow when they were young and just wanted to hold their bag of goldfish and watch the carousel spin around and around.

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7662 Beach Boulevard
Buena Park, California

Comment:
After an amazing Medieval Times show, enjoy celebrating the New Year with a DJ and dancing, party favors, a champagne toast and balloon drop at midnight.

reviewed on: February 06 2012

"New show with great action and delicious food"
The brand new show at Medieval Times was epic in its entertainment, display of skill and amazing horsemanship.  I was completely in awe of the white Andalusian Stallion that came galloping out with out a rider or bridle and its mane blowing in the breeze as it performed beautiful dressage moves.  Through the eyes of children, this dinner and tournament show becomes even more amazing.

I had the privilege of taking my 3 boys, ages 5, 9, and 11 to this dinner and tournament and all three absolutely loved it.  My 11 year old sat gasping and in awe of the sword fights, the jousting and the feats of skill that the knights performed.  My 5 year old sat next to me and kept saying things like, “I’ve never seen a horse do that before!” or, “I’ve never seen a king before!”

The castle doors opened at 5:30 and I honestly didn’t know what we would want to do while we waited until the show started at 7.  I didn’t need to worry because we found that exploring the castle with its armory (boys got to heft a real sword), gift shop (we gazed at amazing chess sets), viewing the beautiful horses (behind Plexiglas), torture chamber museum (we skipped that one), and the royal announcements by the Master of Ceremonies and the King kept us busy.  We had passes to the Knights Room where we got to meet all of the 6 knights before the show.  My 5 year old checked out their armor and a brave knight even encouraged him to punch his chest to see if he could handle it.  Of course, his modern armor under his shirt proved mighty strong to a 5 year old’s blow.  They were all very friendly and kind and encouraged us to cheer for them.  

At 6:45 we were gathered in the hall and were sorted into the theater room by our colors.  Keeping track of my 5 year old in the hubbub while keeping him from waving his flag (complimentary) in the faces of the adults nearby was quite a challenge.  We were finally seated by our table number and then the real excitement began.  We were going to eat with our hands!  The meal is standard (no choosing from a menu) and the food is plentiful and delicious.  I would recommend asking for straws for young kids or purchasing a cup with lid from the gift shop area before dinner.  We all enjoyed Pepsi in our plastic steins.  The Dragon Soup (tomato bisque) was very hot for my little guy but he was too engaged with watching the horses and knights to even notice his soup.  He munched away at the garlic bread that was as big as a personal pizza and delicious.  A full half of chicken, spare rib, potato wedges (like big French fries) all landed on our plates during the show.  Coffee and a big apple strudel came last.  We took home 2 boxes full of chicken and have been enjoying it all week.

Tips:
• Come when the castle doors open to enjoy all the extra things there are to see.  
• Be prepared to spend money on souvenirs such as foam swords and princess capes if your little ones enjoy those things.
• Bring cash to tip your server at the end of the meal.
• Use the restroom during the show unless you want to wait in a very long line when the show is finished.
• It honestly seemed as if all the seats in the theater were excellent and provided great views, except for the top row which seemed quite far away and in the hubbub of the servers and back passageway.
• If you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other such thing, be sure to call ahead or inform someone when you arrive.  The king and princess will announce your name.  
• The dinner chairs are like foldable movie theater seats.  Boosters are available.
• Bring wet wipes to clean children’s hands after eating.  Lots of napkins are provided.

After the show, we stayed around for about 15 minutes and while most people left, we were rewarded with seeing all 6 knights, the horsemen, and the Master of Ceremonies.  They came out and mingled in the Knights Room for the next hour and were available to greet.  My 11 year old wanted to meet each one, have them sign his flag and then take a picture with them.  It was one of his favorite parts of the evening and I was glad for the chance to thank them and praise them on their hard work and incredible show.

I received free tickets for the VIP Premiere Event for the opening of the new show at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament.  I was not asked to express a particular point of view and all opinions are strictly my own.