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Come See Santa!

December 5th, 2016

 

Santa, along with his doppelganger helpers, are all over Anaheim, because they know the nicest boys and girls are treated to Disneyland vacations. Visit Santa at Anaheim Town Square throughout the month of December where you’ll enjoy a real snow play area, plenty of holiday crafts including face painting, train rides and a balloon artist on hand who specializes in reindeer.

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Get your photo with Santa at 2180 East Lincoln Avenue in Anaheim, and don’t forget to come with your wish list and in your best holiday attire. Can’t make it to Anaheim Town Square? Don’t worry. You can drop your child’s wish list at any USPS box, simply addressed to Santa at the North Pole, and the letter will arrive swifter than a reindeer’s gallop.

More Santa Sightings

Santa loves malls because it’s where he picks up so many of his goodies! Head to the Anaheim GardenWalk for another chance to meet Santa and his elves. The outdoor shopping experience means even more decorations and bright lights, but, as always, Santa is the main attraction. Visit during the weekdays for shorter lines and more time on the big guy’s lap.

Natalie Mall and nearby Brea Mall also feature Santa as their resident celebrity of the month. At shopping destinations, special holiday events and bazaars around Anaheim, you’ll have plenty of photo opps with Santa and memories to be made.

 

Nutcracker Christmas Tree Lighting

December 2nd, 2016

 

Only a “nut” would miss the 21st Annual Nutcracker Christmas Tree Lighting in downtown Anaheim. On Saturday, December 5, you can watch the inaugural lighting, and get treated to the yearly holiday bazaar where you can stock up on gifts, crafts, decorations and more. With free admission and parking, along with events from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., it’s the perfect way to kick off the holiday season in southern California.

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There are free kids craft activities until 5:45, free snow play (in California, it’s made by machines and perfectly fluffy!), and free train rides so you can sit back and enjoy the holiday spirit. Family-friendly musical shows take place throughout the day, and of course, your favorite Christmas treats are on hand.

‘Tis the Season

An International Food Fair takes place throughout the day, with trucks and booths offering unique holiday treats from around the world. Authentic Christmas pudding pairs perfectly with your holiday shopping. At 6 p.m., gather in the square for the lighting of the 50-foot tree, or swing by any day after December 5 to check out the thousands of lights and decorations adorning Anaheim’s community tree.

It all happens at Feldhaus Circle, with plenty of parking and public transportation access.

Holiday Light Displays in Anaheim

December 1st, 2016

 

There are many places to enjoy the holiday lights in Anaheim, but having an insider’s guide gives you a major advantage. Beyond Disneyland and the famous Nutcracker tree downtown, you’ll also want to head to Kraemer and Birch in nearby Brea. The so-called “Eagle Hills neighborhood” is known for putting on an incredible show, and this neighborhood gets into the spirit early!

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In Fountain Valley, try the Brookhurst Street and Heil Avenue neighborhood, or plug 16801 Euclid into your GPS. This lit-up neighborhood features plenty of parking nearby, and you can cruise the street or park and walk to take in the twinkling lights and over-sized decorations.

Light it Up!

Long Beach gives you Daisy Avenue, located between the Pacific Coast Highway and Willow Street. Families looking for Griswold-level lights need to come to the beach. Afterwards, swing by the golden coast for some legendary seafood-inspired Christmas fare at one of the many coastal restaurants.

Talega’s Seaside Neighborhood in San Clemente is another local secret, where the neighbors compete for who has the most, brightest and most spirited of decorations. You don’t want to miss out on this display, especially when there are cafes offering up hot cocoa (and something a bit more caffeinated) to keep those spirits shining.

 

Grand Central Art Center

November 30th, 2016

 

CSUF’s Grand Central Art Center is home to Fullerton’s College of the Art’s “open exploration of contemporary art and visual culture.” Here, you’ll find art and exhibits from local and international artists committed to collaboration and community. Located in nearby Santa Ana, the museum is open Tuesday – Sunday, with a First Saturday Art Walk from 7 – 10 p.m. CSUF art students compete to live on site, just ten miles from the primary campus and minutes from the freeway.

In the art center, you’ll find a combination of commercial, residential and educational resources. At over 45,000 square feet, this entire city block offers studio spaces for visiting artists and students, the Grand Central Main Gallery, Education and Teaching Gallery, Hipcooks, Project Room, Gypsy Den Café, and Grand Central Theatre amongst many additional resources.

A Work of Art

The Grand Central Theatre offers ongoing performances throughout the year. Tickets are just $5 for performances and can be purchased at the Clayes Performing Arts Center Box Office until 5 p.m. on the day of each show. Last minute tickets can be secured online. All performances are offered by the CSUF Theatre and Dance Department, a nationally recognized program.

Artist-in-Residence programs welcome the best artists in the world to the Center. Community-engaged projects bring the arts to the local Anaheim area, and you can check out the online calendar to see which exhibits and shows are showcased during your stay.

 

 

Anaheim Thanksgiving Guide

November 20th, 2016

 

Spend the holidays in sunny southern California where you get the best of both worlds: Incredible Thanksgiving feasts along with sandy beaches and warm weather. Many of the restaurants at Disneyland feature Thanksgiving classic fare including juicy turkeys, moist stuffing, pies, sides and more. However, it’s also a great time of year to visit the park with shorter lines, less crowds, and the opportunity to bond with loved ones.

The Ranch Restaurant and Saloon is a popular pick, offering a prix fixe menu starting at 2 p.m. This rustic, charming diner is a family favorite, and the innovative dishes provide generous portions and spins on classics. You might also want to check out Buca di Beppo for a full turkey feast along with their regular menu. Feasts are available for a fixed price based on party size, and they are open from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. (though reservations fill up fast!).

Thanks for the Memories

Prefer to enjoy your holiday meal in the comfort of your oversized guest room? Many restaurants offer to-go options, including Zov’s Anaheim. They pack up fresh, homemade full Thanksgiving meals for up to 15 guests. It’s all there from the turkey to the yams, stuffing to mashed potatoes, carrots, salads, rolls and desserts.

For those who prefer to go turkey-free, try Morton’s for their seafood, steak, and Thanksgiving-infused sides. Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen is dishing up their full menu, and McCormick and Schmick’s is surf and turf with a holiday twist.

 

It’s a Ghost Town!

November 16th, 2016

 

The Calico Ghost Town is just a short drive from your Anaheim hotel, located at 36600 Ghost Town Road in Yermo. Open every day, except Christmas, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., you can make camping reservations by calling 800-TO-CALICO, or simply stop by the Wild West mining town that’s been a tourist favorite for over 100 years. In 1881, the biggest silver strike in the state took place after 500 mines drummed up more than $20 million in just 12 years. However, in the 1890s, silver began to lose its value and Calico residents fled.

When all the miner’s left, they abandoned what was a thriving city just a few years prior. Calico became a ghost town at lightning speed, and Walter Knott (of Knott’s Berry Farm) bought the town in the 1950s. All buildings were restored and now look identical to their heyday of the 1880s. In 2005, former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared Calico the official California Silver Rush Ghost Town.

You Look Like You’ve Seen a Ghost

The San Bernardino County Regional Parks system manages Calico, the ghost town that draws visitors from around the world. Find out more about the city’s history, and take in the beauty of the surrounding desert. You’ll also find contemporary restaurants, shops, and options for camping and outdoor fun around Calico. However, do keep in mind that Calico mines are dangerous, and much of the city is not handicap accessible.

Visit the Lucy Lane Museum to check out artifacts, the Maggie Mine to see a restored mine over 100 years old, and the Mystery Shack Tour where you’ll be amazed at the optical illusions. Ghost tours, gold panning and the Odessa Railroad are all waiting for you to explore, discover, and enjoy a blast from the past.

Black Star Canyon

November 6th, 2016

 

Don’t think all the stars in the L.A. area are in Hollywood! At Black Star Canyon, you can get away from the bustle of the city without having to travel far. This remote canyon in the Santa Ana Mountain Range is a watershed and popular spot for mountain bikers, hikers and star gazers.  The incredible scenery makes it irresistible for photographers and nature lovers, too.

There are still remnants of the old mining operation, including shafts, equipment and coal piles around the area. In the 1920s, a small road was built along the eastern part of the mountains, opening up the canyon to explorers. You can now access the area’s uppermost areas thanks to these early route-builders, although the roads are not maintained.

Wild Beauty

There are numerous hiking and biking trails, although the lines are blurry when it comes to what parts of the canyon are legally private. You’ll see “private property” signs, but the local sheriff’s office has confirmed that any trails are public property. It’s part of what makes the region so appealing, and helps to keep the amount of outdoor lovers at bay. Come experience what a truly quiet wild slice of the Santa Ana Mountains is like.

Many visitors ask local restaurants and diners to pack a picnic lunch for them and head for the hills for fresh hair, incredible views, and the chance to stumble upon some wildlife. With a rich history and urban legends galore, this is one part of the Wild West you don’t want to miss.

 

Celebrate Oktoberfest at the Phoenix Club

October 10th, 2016

 

Known as one of the best German pubs and restaurants in town, the Phoenix Club puts on an Oktoberfest like no other. With events held throughout September and October, there’s sure to be a festival for every visitor to enjoy. Even better, the restaurant underwent a big reconstruction in the summer, so this year’s Oktoberfest will be the best yet! It’s all leading up to “Karneval” in November, the Mardi Gras of German parties.

Costumes are always encouraged at the Phoenix Club, especially during the Oktoberfest season. Raucous singing and dancing can always be found, along with happy hours Tuesday through Saturday. Dining here during the autumn means more than indulging in the incredible menu. It’s a non-stop party filled with cultural traditions and plenty of imported beers.

Party On!

Try the fried mac and cheese or spicy sweet potato fries to get your appetite revving. It’s a must before those stuffed beet rolls topped with gravy and loaded with bacon arrive. The sauerbraten, or marinated sirloin roast, is a fan favorite complete with homemade ginger snap gravy served alongside red cabbage and spaetzle.

For travelers looking for a special banquet facility for wedding receptions, parties, business meetings and more, you’ll find it all at the Phoenix Club Banquet Room. Throw your own Oktoberfest, or take advantage of the surrounding festivities to create a party atmosphere for the record books.

 

Halloween at Disneyland

October 7th, 2016

 

Spooktacular events at Disneyland span the entire months of September and October, but nothing beats a night of trick or treating on the big night! Discover seasonal attractions like the Haunted Mansion Holiday hosted by Jack Skellington and all the citizens of Halloween Town. Can you get away from the phantoms at Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, and are you up for the thrills waiting at The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror?

Main Street turns into a massive pumpkin festival with hundreds of unique, hand-carved jack-o-lanterns. At Frontierland, celebrate Dia de los Muertos with a classical skeleton showcase. Disney’s Happiest Haunts Tour whisks you through a one-of-a-kind, spooky tour of the park. Kids of all ages adore Mickey’s Halloween Party, where you can trick or treat amidst chilling celebrations, available on special nights throughout the season.

Halloween Magic

During this terror-ific time of year, Disney offers special-occasion experiences like “My First Disney Visit” complete with trick-or-treat bags of surprises. Contact the Disney Floral and Gifts department at 714-781-GIFT to connect with a Dream Maker and make all your “nightmares” come true.

This haunting season, let Disneyland help make your trip to Anaheim one to remember. Where will your autumnal celebration bring you first?

Grizzly Dance Festival

October 3rd, 2016

 

The second annual Grizzly Dance Festival is sure to be a wild ride! Hosted by the Grizzly Dance Company and Grizzly Hidriago, the Millennium Biltmore Hotel is home to four epic days of dancing from October 13-16. Celebrating 12 years of ferocious dancing, there are four rooms on deck. Salsa, kizomba, bachata, zouk, merengue, punta, reggaeton and hip hop are just a few of the styles that will be taking over this massive event.

If you want to really optimize your dance, sign up for one of the many workshops led by global champion teachers. From beginner to advanced salsa boot camps to choreography, there’s something for everyone. Check out the incredible challenges and competitions, join a choreo crew, and enjoy the many live concerts scheduled during the hottest days of October.

Heat Things Up!

With a pool party always available to help you keep your cool, you’re going to need it—after all, the dancing goes until 5 a.m. every day! There’s also a special Halloween costume party complete with prizes that you won’t want to miss. Day of the Dead costumes are especially popular, but you can come in any incarnation you like.

Select from a variety of ticket packages, with early bird specials available through the beginning of October. For more information including a full schedule, competition entries and ticket sales, visit the official website.