Sunday, November 1, 2015

Barnes & Noble Mini Maker Faire & Giveaway!

Sponsored Post

We all know Barnes & Noble is a national bookseller, but did you know they’re committed to building all forms of literacy for our children – reading, art and technology? As part of that commitment, they’ve partnered with Make: Magazine to present a Mini Maker Faire at every single Barnes & Noble store across the nation Friday, November 6-8.

Maker Faires are community-based learning events that inspire everyone to become a Maker and connect with people and projects in their local community. Guests ages five and up can experience hands-on learning and making opportunities in creative thinking, art, design, construction, programming, coding, and 3D printing.  The Mini Maker Faires will consist of three main areas:

1.      The Make Workspace: Attendees will experience the latest technologies in 3D printing, robotics, coding and programming, including: da Vinci Jr. 1.0 3D Printer from XYZprinting, Ozobot, The Slipstream Drone from Protocol, and Meccano Meccanoid from Spin Master.
2.      Meet the Makers: Leaders and top brands will discuss the latest trends in designing, building, creating and making.
3.      Make & Collaborate: Guests can immerse themselves in the process of ideation, rapid prototyping, circuitry and more.  Among the featured products for children are: Electronic Snap Circuits from ELENCO, littleBits, Maker Studio™ from ThinkFun, and LEGO® Bionicle Bricks

Our own local Makersville will be providing fun activities at the Towne Center and Marina Pacifica locations.  They will be at the store on Carson St, right off the 605 fwy Friday 3pm+ and on 2nd & PCH Saturday morning.
If you are not in Long Beach, you can contact your local store to find out what special guests are participating during the Mini Maker Faire, or visit

We know its important to keep our children engaged and to expand their minds in new and wonderful ways, and the first-ever Barnes & Noble Mini Maker Faires provide an incredible opportunity for both children and adults to experience creativity and learning in an authentic, hands-on event.

In addition, I have a $50 Barnes & Noble gift certificate for a lucky reader.  For a chance to win, send an email to hijola AT yahoo DOT com! A winner will be selected at random at 5pm on Friday, November 6.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Halloween/Day of the Dead events!

Boo at the Zoo
Santa Ana Zoo
10/17, 18, 24, 25, 30
A "Merry not Scary" family friendly event where everyone is encouraged to come in costume! One of the safest places for children (ages 2-12) to trick-or-treat for Halloween enjoying goodies from 10 Stations. 

Columbia Memorial Space Center
Friday, October 23 & Saturday, October 24 

Spooky Science event is happening next weekend! It's going to be fun, and we're adding a new interactive twist to it this year. You'll have to come down and check it out! We'll also be building a smaller, less scary maze for the young ones.

As always, we'll also have several hands-on activities and cool demonstrations as well. Make sure to come out early for dinner and dessert, as we will have food trucks parked out front.

Event begins at 5:00pm (CMSC members can get in early at 4:00pm!) and ends at 9:00pm.

Lakewood Sheriff Haunted Jail
Friday, October 30
Lakewood  Sheriff’s station will be transformed into “The Haunted Jail.” The scary jail is built and hosted by station volunteers, Explorer Scouts and Deputies donating their time. Along with a scary jail for visitors 12 and older, there is also a less scary version for younger children.
The event includes public displays from various Sheriff’s Department units. Visitors will be treated to refreshments, treats and glow sticks for sale. All proceeds will benefit the Lakewood Station Fund.
Enter the Haunted Jail on foot through the rear gate of the Lakewood Sheriff’s Station (5130 Clark Avenue) from Civic Center Drive. Parking is best on the south end of Civic Center Drive on or near the vacant lot and Angelo M. Iacoboni Library. 

Lakewood - various parks
October 31
Lakewood's traditional Halloween Carnivals are getting set to offer fun and safety for youngsters on October's scariest night. Special carnival activities are scheduled for Saturday, October 31, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at Biscailuz, Bloomfield, Bolivar, Boyar, Del Valle, Mayfair, Palms and San Martin parks.

Halloween Carnivals feature food and game booths, special contests and prizes for the kids. Use the "Park Finder" at to locate which Lakewood neighborhood park is closest to you. "Haunted houses" for little ghosts and goblins to venture inside will be available at Bolivar, Del Valle, Palms and San Martin parks.

Volunteers are needed to run carnival booths and assist with the haunted houses.

Day of the Dead Festival
San Pedro
Sunday, November 1

Join us for the 4th Annual San Pedro Dia de Los Muertos Festival in Historic Downtown San Pedro! This event is free to attend. The streets will come alive with art, culture, delicious cuisine & live entertainment. You can enjoy the Sacred Altar Competition & Exhibition, craft vendor booths, a food court, children's stage and play area and main stage entertainment. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

California Pizza Kitchen's Next Chapter

New for 2015!

Our family was invited to check out the brand new Next Chapter menu at CPK and were surprised to find the restaurant has been remodeled, as well.

Can you believe I didn't know that the Long Beach Marketplace location has been open for 12 years?  Hmmm...that was around the time Rachel was born, so I was a bit busy then.  :-)

Of course, I had to start with the Strawberry-Lime Margarita.  Very refreshing for the summer, while my sister had the Fresh Strawberry-Mango Cooler.  Yum!


The Spinach Artichoke Dip is a staple and doesn't disappoint and then we were ready for our entrees.

I wanted to try the California Fields Salad with fresh watermelon, strawberries, and field greens.  Surprisingly not too sweet.

George loved the Maine lobster flatbread.

And finally, we had to try the Butter Cake, not new on their menu, but we asked them to add strawberries.  Divine.

George and Rachel had the new S'Mores Pudding, a decadent combination of Belgian chocolate pudding, dark chocolate chunks, double graham cracker and toasted marshmallows. OMG.

The restaurant has been completely remodeled using reclaimed wood and warm colors.  CPK is definitely ready for its Next Chapter!

*Disclosure: I was compensated for this post, but the opinions expressed here are my own. -Cindy-

Thursday, July 2, 2015

4th of July!

On the morning of the 4th, join Justin Rudd and his Great American Kids' Bike Parade
10am, registration opens at 9:15am
Enter the beachfront parking lot at the end of Granada Ave.
Free to enter.
The out-and-back, two-mile parade route travels east along the bike path and continues down Bay Shore Avenue to Second Street.  Bring a chair and a cheering section for these youngsters.

Local firework displays begin at 9pm.

Queen Mary
1126 Queens Hwy.
view from any shoreline in Long Beach or San Pedro

Joint Forces Training Base
11200 Lexington Dr.
Los Alamitos
Gates open at 4pm
Free admission, parking $5cash
Adults must have photo ID, minors w/out ID must be accompanied by parent
Arrive by 7:30pm to gain entry
Enter at Lexington Dr.
Food court, vendor fair, kids fun zone (additional fee), military displays, WW II re-enactment
Lawn chairs and blankets are encouraged
No alcohol, dogs, fireworks, or motor homes

Party on the Pier
Belmont Pier
Saturday & Sunday
Live music, food court, art show
$10/adult, kids free

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Wading Pools/Splash Pads!

Lakewood  has six parks with wading pools.  Good thing LB'ers can join in.
Open 11am-4pm for kids 3-7 years old
Open everyday: Mayfair, Palms
Open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, & Sunday: Del Valle & San Martin
Open Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, & Sunday: Bloomfield, Boyar
Wednesdays: Boyar, Del Valle, Mayfair, San Martin will be open 5pm-7:30pm

Weekends: all pools open 11am-4pm

In Cerritos, Liberty Park has a great little splash pad for the toddler set.
You can also cool off at the water play areas at Long Beach Towne Center and the Cerritos Library.

Splash Pad at Sigler Park in Westminster is free and open every day from Noon-5pm starting June 22 to September 7.  7200 Plaza St., Westminister.

And apparently the water was turned back on at Dotson Park in Stanton.  Free.
10350 Fern Avenue, Stanton

Atlantis Park in Garden Grove. $2 admission.  13630 Atlantis Way, Garden Grove, CA 92844

A little bit further is the Lemon Park Spray Pool. 701 S. Lemon, Fullerton 

For the older kids, CSULB has open swim hours during the summer: 11am-6pm; $2/person

Buccaneer Bay in La Mirada opens June 21.  The family-fun “Buccaneer Bay” combines the excitement of a water park with pirate themed features throughout. Buccaneer Bay features a flowing river channel, three water slides, a children’s interactive play structure, zero-depth beach entry and two spray pad areas. Pirate themed elements include: a marooned ship, a dramatic skull rock, shade canopies that resemble sails, cannon walls, wharf plank benches, and crow’s nests.  Open daily in summer 10:30am-5:30pm.  $17.95/person, under 48" $12.95.  Family Friday Nights 4pm-8pm. $14.95/person, under 48" $10.95. 
13806 La Mirada Blvd.
La Mirada, CA 90638
Phone: (562) 902-3191

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Spring/Easter Events!

Spring Festival - LB
Saturday, April 4
Mom's Beach House
5839 E. Appian Way, Long Beach
Free admission - activity passes for sale
Giant egg hunt, appearance by the Easter bunny, face painting, bounce houses, and more!

Spring Carnival - Los Al
Egg hunts begin 9:30am
Saturday, April 4
Little Cottonwood Park
4000 Farquhar Ave., Los Alamitos

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Education Celebration!

Saturday, 24 January 2015
McBride School 7025 E Parkcrest Street near Los Coyotes Diag Carson St in LB
Education Celebration is the once a year event where you can view all the schools in Long Beach to make your School Of Choice decision. Sometimes people decide to live in a different neighborhood just to be in a school that better fits your child's needs. Each school has a booth where you can talk to people who already attend or teach at that school. 9:00 am to noon Saturday Jan 24 You should find out about the schools around you when your child is 3 years old so you can make decisions. And it's good to see what is available in Long Beach even if your child is much older. 562-997-8307 Please call with any questions.

And if you've ever wondered about homeschooling, contact Cindy Castro at hijola AT yahoo DOT com or go to