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Romantic Restaurants in Anaheim

February 10th, 2018

 

Make your Valentine’s dinner reservations now at one of the most romantic venues in Anaheim. The Ranch Restaurant, located at 1025 E. Ball Road, might not sound like an intimate place for you and your sweetheart, but don’t let the name fool you. It’s regularly ranked as one of the best romantic hotspots by Yelp, is a popular option for weddings and private events, and features an impressive wine menu. Try the Craft Raised Skuna Bay Salmon, Chilean Sea Bass, or Colorado Grass-fed Lamb Chops.

Baci Italian Restaurant at 416 N. Lakeview Drive is perfect for amore. Of course there’s a fantastic wine list, and the white and red linen tables instantly set the mood. Lobster soup and spinach pappardelle with seafood are two popular options. You’ll also be tempted by the swordfish and bone-in veal chop. Just make sure you save room for the decadent tiramisu.

Love is in the Air

The Napa Rose at 1313 Disneyland Drive is clearly made for romance. Located inside Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, the award-winning cuisine includes hand-harvested pan roasted scallops, tempura zucchini blossoms, truffled mac and cheese, and a blackberry Angus “pot roast.”

Reserve a table at Roy’s Restaurant, located at 321 W. Katella Avenue, for steak, seafood, and sushi. Inside Anaheim’s Garden Walk, there’s premium sake to complete the meal whether you opt for miyosaki butterfish, roasted macadamia crusted mahi, filet mignon, or a rich dessert.

 

Carnival in the Dominican Republic on Santa Catalina Island 

February 7th, 2018

Set sail to nearby Catalina Island for Carnival in the Dominican Republic, scheduled February 12 and 13. This annual event takes place each February, and it’s where you can celebrate DR-style with live music, parades that wind through the island, and of course plenty of food and dancing. Don a mask, or buy a colorful one once you dock. It’s a blend of African and European cultures, and a lead-up to Easter. Whether you’ve visited Catalina before or not, you won’t want to miss out on the fun.

Several cruise companies offer service to Catalina. Ask the front desk staff of your Anaheim hotel for recommendations and help booking. However, you’ll want to book early. This festival attracts attendees from around the globe. It’s where you’ll find one of the most impressive, loud, and colorful parades anywhere in California. Struggling to find a mask? Don’t worry—going the homemade route will make you look like a local.

Time for Carnival!

The masks play a big role at this event. Professional artists consider them a way to express joy while acknowledging the Dominican Republic’s heritage. They might also be an homage to a higher power, and can be used in traditional healing ceremonies or celebrations of harvest. You’ll find that some masks seem to transform people into characters—ones you might interact with while on the island!

Characters bring the parades to life in a fun-filled, crazy atmosphere. Catalina is just 22 miles from the California shore, yet it seems so much farther away in spirit. It’s still paradise, but usually quiet and remote (except this time of year!). Who will you be for carnival?

 

Pump It Up of Anaheim

February 2nd, 2018

 

Are your kids crazy over inflatables? This blow-up amusement park is a must for the young (and young at heart). You’ll find it at 5397 E Hunter Ave, Anaheim, CA 92807. Special events happen year-round, or you can simply bounce in during open-play times. Birthday parties for kids are wildly popular and come in a variety of packages that can include up to four pizzas. If you’re looking for a great time in Anaheim at a low cost with no crowds, don’t miss out on this destination.

During open jump times, kids have a raucous good time jumping, playing, and letting their imaginations go wild. It’s a healthy way to release some energy. During open jump times, the Rock Climbing Wall is closed (but you can always stop by during open climb times!). Admission for open jump is just $10 per child, and parents are required to stay on site (free of charge). Hours can vary depending on the season, so check the schedule.

The High Jump

Open Jump Glow is an extra-special event where little ones get complimentary glow in the dark gear while they play with FX lighting. You can purchase extra glow accessories, and can choose to have Jump Glow as your special event. Admission price is the same for this open glow outing.

Prefer to jump in the privacy of your own customized event? Contact an event planner today and get started! Prices start at $355 depending on the size of the party and the package you choose. It’s an affordable and fun-filled way to celebrate, and convenient to your Anaheim hotel.

 

 

Best Doughnuts in Anaheim

January 22nd, 2018

 

Sometimes only a perfectly prepared doughnut will satisfy your cravings. At M&M Donuts at 1614 W. Katella, you can get one of their mouthwatering blueberry donuts—or an entire dozen in a pizza box! There are also savory options like ham and cheese croissants, or a sweet delight so fresh out of the kitchen that the glaze is still ooey and gooey. It’s cash only, so come prepared.

Vandy Donuts at 1007 N. Euclid is known for opening at 4 a.m. so that early risers (and night owls) can get their fix daily. Here, you’ll find classic donut flavors along with fast and friendly service. Swing by after a late night for a maple glazed, or pick up a dozen old-fashioneds, chocolate bars or powdered cake doughnuts for an early morning pick-me-up.

Sweet Dreams

Donuts and Sandwiches, located at 208 E. Katella (right down the street from M&M!), is open from 4 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily and offers fast, delicious snacks. Of course, it has plenty of donut options to live up to its namesake, but it’s also a favorite quick stop for all kinds of snacks. Try a crueler or a Mexican-style conche for a sweet treat.

KD’s Donuts can be found at 731 S. Weir Canyon Road. Savory croissants are available alongside traditional doughnuts, from Devil’s Food dense cake rings to raised yeast favorites or custard- and jam-filled options. Try all four donut destinations and decide for yourself which is best.

 

Your Guide to Secret Finds at Disneyland

January 19th, 2018

 

Think you’ve seen it all at Disneyland? There are a few hidden gems to look for, like the wheelhouse at the Mark Twain Riverboat. You need to ask a cast member to visit it, and you’ll be whisked to the second floor into a private room. After knocking, the captain will take you to a hidden ladder that leads to the wheelhouse where you can steer the boat yourself! Ring the bell, and afterwards you’ll get to sign the guestbook and receive a special certificate.

Did you know the plants at Tomorrowland are all edible? It’s part of Walt’s vision of a world that’s self-sustaining. The edible landscape is really a farm and every single plant you spot at this part of the park doubles as food.

Ever wondered what the Morse Code translates to at the Disneyland Railroad Station? It’s the first lines of Walt’s dedication speech from 1955 when the park opened!

Secrets Revealed

If you’ve ever been tempted to pull the “caution rope” at Indiana Jones Adventure, go ahead—the experience was designed for it. With every pull, you’ll hear different warnings from excavators that all culminate in a huge crash.

A lot of guests have theories about which teacup is fastest at the Mad Tea Party ride, but the debate is over. It’s the orange teacup featuring diamonds along with the purple teacup. Prefer a slower spin? Head to the teacups with hearts.

These are just a few of the secrets Disneyland keeps up its sleeves. Do you know any others?

 

Your MLK Jr. Day Celebration Guide

January 10th, 2018

 

Two major parades take place in Southern California for MLK Jr. Day, including the 30th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Peace and Unity Parade and Celebration in Long Beach. The parade begins at 10:30 a.m. at the corner of MLK and Atlantic Avenues. Afterwards, the celebration continues until 6 p.m. with a carnival, arts and crafts activities, food and live entertainment. Join 25,000+ attendees for one of the biggest events in the country.

There’s also the Cake for King Celebration taking place at the California African American Museum at Exposition Park from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Enjoy a variety of activities at this free event where you can be part of a massive MLK Jr. Day celebration, enjoy live performances on the patio and of course get your own piece of Dr. King’s birthday cake.

A Long Weekend of Festivities

Join the 33rd annual Kingdom Day Parade on the corner of MLK Jr. and Crenshaw Boulevard—it holds the title of largest parade of its kind in the country. Thousands flock to the event to bring awareness to the life and work of Dr. King. Here, you’ll find incredible floats and quite a few celebrities. It happens from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., and you can also catch it on television.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration at Charles W. Eliot Middle School in Altadena is always a popular event. It’s where the annual MLK Community Coalition Essay and Visual Performing Arts Contest is held. The free event showcases guest speakers, arts and crafts, music, food and more from 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., making it the perfect way to start the holiday.

 

Take a Tanaka Tour

January 2nd, 2018

 

Orange County and Anaheim began as a rich agricultural community, and that tradition continues strong today. Tanaka Farms has been a landmark in the area since 1940, offering daily tours depending on the crop and season. Year-round, there are things to do and tours to join at the farm, or you can always swing by the produce stand to pick up some fresh, seasonal goodies—there’s no need to wait until the weekend for one of the farmer’s markets!

Responsible methods are used on the farm, and produce is harvested every day of the year. That’s why the produce stand is open daily (save for the holiday in December). For those visiting Anaheim, there’s no better way to really get a taste of the region. It’s also a fantastic way to introduce “city kids” to the where, when and how of their food source.

Down on the Farm

A family-owned farm, the great-grandfather Teruo started Tanaka after immigrating from Japan. Now, a third-generation Japanese-American owner is proud to carry on the tradition. After Sansei earned a degree in Agricultural Business, he and his wife and son have worked daily on the 30-acre produce farm. However, the educational tours are a major passion project, particularly after adopting Responsible Farming Methods in 1998.

Located in the heart of Irvine, education, entertaining, feeding and giving back are the foundation of Tanaka Farms. Hands-on experiences are available for visitors, including tastings. Tanaka donates thousands of dollars to local schools in their CSA program, as well as thousands of pounds of produce to various non-profits. Come see for yourself what’s going on at the farm. The produce stand is open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily.

 

Ring in the New Year

December 28th, 2017

 

Southern California goes all out for NYE, which means you can find the perfect party for your taste. The annual Long Beach Fireworks New Years Cruise is hosted on the Catalina King Yacht, and you’ll love seeing the fireworks reflected off the waters while sipping delicious cocktails, dining on gourmet fare and dancing the night away in style.

Check out the Speakeasy Fireworks Long Beach Cruise on the Catalina Duchess for a Prohibition-style party like no other. Costumes are encouraged, and you can count on a raucous good time with jazz and blues to keep the party going all night. For those who prefer to stay on solid ground, the NYElectric in West Hollywood is always a smashing good time, with a rooftop party atop the W hotel.

Welcome 2018

Low-key options include the Hollywood New Year’s Eve Pubcrawl, where you can pub hop to your heart’s content with the help of a professional. There’s no better way to see it all and do it all. Perhaps Cleopatra’s 2018 LA New Year’s Eve Ball is more your speed, full of swank and swagger.

Get your tickets for the New Year Lifestyle Play party if you want to tap into your wild side, hosted at Klub Thirty3. There will also be specials and parties happening all over town, including a special fireworks show at Disneyland. Where will 2018 find you?

 

 A Disney Christmas

December 19th, 2017

 

The most magical place on Earth goes above and beyond for the Christmas holidays, starting with a World of Color – Season of Light extravaganza where the night is lit up with joy. The Festive Foods Marketplace offers vendors and kiosks featuring seasonal and holiday fare from a variety of traditions, whether you’re more of a British Christmas Pudding or honey ham celebrant.

Disney Viva Navidad has all your favorite characters in Christmas costumes for a special Latin-infused party, and there’s nothing compared to visiting Santa, his reindeer and elves at Santa’s Holiday Visit throughout the month of December.

Holiday Cheer

The “It’s a Small World” holiday is a timeless family tradition where the merry version of this famed attraction takes center stage. A Christmas Fantasy Parade collaborates with Santa Clause to bring visitors a holiday-themed march through Main Street. Believe … in Holiday Magic Fireworks complete with a dusting of snow is a show you won’t want to miss.

The Jingle Cruise is a surprising romp through a Christmas-decorated jungle, the Haunted Mansion Holiday is always a jolly good time and the official Holiday Time at Disneyland Tour will ensure you don’t miss a thing. From holiday decorations and lights to goodies, ‘tis the season to visit Disney.

 

Buy Your Holiday Chocolates Locally

December 12th, 2017

 

You’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your sweet tooth around Anaheim, starting with the Cocoa Parlor in Laguna Niguel. Here, only organic ingredients are used and the chocolate bars are life-changing. While you might spy their bars in shops around town, only the official brick and mortar offers bark, cookies, truffles and gluten-free options. Try the chocolate orange, black seed curry, caramel jungle and cinnamon latte. The almond bark has plenty of bite, and pairs wonderfully with hot chocolate or organic coffee served on site.

The Caramel Apple Shop in La Habra is one of a kind, known for constantly changing innovative flavor pairings. With a friendly and knowledgeable staff, it’s a true wonderland. Make your own marshmallow stick with sauces, candies and sprinkles. Get a demo on apple dipping and décor, watch rocky road fudge in the making and enjoy plenty of samples. The shop itself is tucked into a mall, but well worth the hunt. Don’t miss out on the chocolate-dipped honeycomb.

Life’s Better with Chocolate

Luisa Chocolatier takes chocolate to another level. It’s where you’ll want to get boxes of chocolates to surprise your loved ones. Crafted with love, elegant and decadent, you’ll find a rich variety of options from chocolate-covered krispies to molded chocolate in seasonal shapes. Truly addicting, each piece is almost too gorgeous to eat—almost.

Royce’ in Irvine is truly the Rolls Royce of chocolate, featuring a plethora of sweets including gourmet chocolate mochi. However, it’s their namesake chocolate that really draws a crowd. Nama chocolate melts in your mouth, and every concoction is dense, silky and a genuine experience.

Where will your cravings lead you?