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Irvine Blog - Posts from Local Experts

Posts for July 2016

The Hello Kitty Cafe is NOW OPEN at the Irvine Spectrum Center

Posted by: Amanda Nguyen
Posted on: Friday, Jul 29, 2016

 
Whether you had the opportunity or not to visit and shop from the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck when it visited the Irvine Spectrum Center, you are absolutely going to fall in love all over again with the newly opened & America's first Hello Kitty Cafe Pop Up located in the Giant Wheel Court at the Irvine Spectrum. The pop-up cafe grand opened on July 15th, and is operating for a year out of a tickled pink Hello Kitty & Friends printed metal shipping container, serving up delectable treats with your favorite kitty cleverly incorporated onto the pastry, pie, cake or cookie; as well as artisanal sodas, teas and Portola Coffee Lab coffee. 
 
"There has been tremendous anticipation for the first ever Hello Kitty Cafe Pop-Up Container to open," said Easther Liu, chief marketing officer for Irvine Company Retail Properties. "We're proud that the Hello Kitty Cafe Pop-Up Container experience will be available exclusively here at Irvine Spectrum Center for Hello Kitty fans all over to enjoy."

Stay up to date with festivities and events at the pop-up cafe, as well as with Hello Kitty Cafe Truck appearances, by following the Hello Kitty Cafe on FacebookInstagram & Twitter.

Hello Kitty Cafe Pop-Up (In the Giant Wheel Court) 

670 SPECTRUM CENTER DRIVE,
IRVINE, CA 92618 

Operating Hours:
Monday - Thursday: 11am - 9pm
Friday: 11am - 10pm
Saturday: 10am - 10pm
Sunday: 10am - 9pm 


Filed In: Family Friendly

Kids Will Have a Super Time at Pretend City's Super Powers Exhibit

Posted by: Sharlene Earnshaw
Posted on: Tuesday, Jul 26, 2016

This summer Pretend City Children's Museum invites your children to embrace their inner superheroes at their Super Powers exhibit. On loan from the Omaha Children's Museum, Pretend City executive director Sandra Bolton says "This exhibit will help empower children so that they believe in their own abilities to make a difference in the world." When kids arrive at Super Power Headquarters they are encouraged to pick out a cape and mask before heading out to various components where they can complete missions and earn badges toward their "Superhero ID".

Highlights of the exhibit include:

 

A Ropes Maze where kids can perfect their super spy laser dodging skills.

 

The Wind Tunnel where children can watch themselves fly through the sky on TV, just like Superman and Supergirl!

 

The Super Cycle where boys and girls can show off their super human pedaling strength by using their muscle movement energy to power a fuel cell, lighting up as many light bulbs as their little legs can manage.

 

If you have ever been a parent to a 3-year-old, you can see understand the vast appeal of the Storm Shooter. Here toddlers and preschoolers will love placing cardboard cutouts of different weather patterns into a plastic tube and then pushing a button which sends a blast of air into the tube and the "weather" high above them. Collect and repeat over and over and over again.

 

The Sky Slider, a mini zip line, is the ideal place for youngsters to test their bravery as they zip above the ground like superheroes have done for generations.

 

At the Comic Creation Station children can create their own jumbo-sized comic strips with characters, props, and speech bubbles with classic superhero phrases.

In addition to the exhibit which is open now through Sept 18th, children can enjoy various events at the museum throughout the summer. Highlights include Super Hero Dance Parties and the celebration of various everyday heroes, including Olympic Heroes August 7-20, 2016. 

Beyond the Super Powers exhibit, this museum that emphasizes learning through play has plenty more for families to get excited about. Children will love earning Pretend City "cash" while working at various places around town such as the dentist office, on the farm, at the marina, at the post office, at Ralph's grocery store (my daughter's personal favorite), and the restaurant which is currently sponsored by Taqueria De Anda and features some pretty mouth-watering pretend food.  Kids will also enjoy activities such riding vehicles around the city, making special projects at the Art Studio, or building in the construction zone.  For more information check out PretendCity.org.

 All images by Pretend City.  

LA Rams Train at UCI: July 2016

Posted by: Ellen Bell
Posted on: Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016

Hey Irvine, Are you ready for some football?

By now everyone knows that the NFL is returning to Los Angeles  for the 2016-2017 season. But for a few weeks this summer, Irvine residents won't have to go far to catch a glimpse of California's newest football team. 

The University of California, Irvine and the Los Angeles Rams have agreed to terms allowing the team to host its 2016 training camp on campus, returning professional football to Orange County for the first time in two decades.

Rams fans can watch players in action for free on UCI's Crawford Field on a variety of days throughout the summer.

photo credit Ric Tapia courtesy of LA Rams

 

This will be a homecoming of sorts for the Rams, who practiced at UCI from 1990 to 1992 and in 1994. The Rams will also be coming home to Orange County, where they  played in Anaheim Stadium from 1980 to 1995. 

"We look forward to training at UCI in preparation for the 2016 season," said Rams head coach Jeff Fisher. "Their facilities are top-notch, and we're excited to welcome our fans to their campus as we gear up for the start of the season."

Rams rookies will report to UCI on July 26, and the remainder of the team will report to camp on July 29. The Rams' first public practice will kick off Saturday, July 30, starting at 3:30 p.m. Gates open 90 minutes prior to each practice, and select players will sign autographs after all open practices. 

For additional information on the Rams training camp at UCI, including parking, visit https://specialreports.news.uci.edu/rams, www.parking.uci.edu/rams and www.therams.com

 

Filed In: Family Friendly

Movie Nights in The Backyard @Hotel Irvine

Posted by: Terry Winkler
Posted on: Saturday, Jul 16, 2016

What do you do with a grumpy teen who has a devotion to the online life via his Xbox and iPhone? If you're like me, you drag him out of the house to experience some old-fashioned OC living IRL (In Real Live, for you newbs). Hotel Irvine's popular Movie Nights in The Backyard was our destination to spend some quality time together, like it or not!

Photo by Terry Winkler

Miraculously, the teen put his phone was put away and enjoyed beating me at several of the backyard games set up for enjoyment before the BBQ dinner and movie. I lost at Jenga and ping-pong but won on the family front by having some good ol' summer fun with my son.

Wanna join in? Then bring your family and friends to enjoy the great outdoors, OC style. Ditch the indoor movie screen for gorgeous SoCal summer nights, grab your blankets and low beach chairs then stake out a spot on the lawn. Featuring classic blockbuster favorites on a 16-foot giant outdoor movie screen, it's the perfect night for families, friends or even an impromptu date night.

Photo by Bob Lindblom

Guests can pre-order a picnic from the hotel's marketplace or purchase from the chef's outdoor buffet offering freshly prepared burgers, hot dogs, BBQ chicken, and summer sides. Save room for dessert, cuz there are lots of gourmet movie snacks like flavored popcorn, nachos, ice cream and favorite movie candies - all at reasonable pricing. Wine and cocktails are available, along with non-alcoholic beverages.

Photo by Bob Lindblom
 

The movie line up
Friday, July 22: Avengers, Age of Ultron
Friday, July 29: E.T. the Extraterrestrial
Friday, August 19: The Breakfast Club
Friday, August 26: Pitch Perfect 2

Admission is $5 per person; free for children under five. Doors open at 7 p.m. with movies starting 30 minutes after sundown. Open seating. Bring blankets, low chairs, pillows or cushions. Before each film, there'll be a variety of games and entertainment to take part in (you can even win great prizes!) Pre-show entertainment will begin around 7:30 p.m.

For complete schedule, menus and FAQs, visit http://www.hotelirvine.com/happenings/movienights

Check out the menu online, and email your order to marketplace@hotelirvine.com to reserve your picnic. I highly recommend the BBQ. Everything is delish!

photo by fia_the5footer_
 

You can even make it a mini getaway with an overnight stay. Enjoy the hotel's modern and vibrant accommodations, and receive four tickets to the Friday night show, your very own picnic blanket and a complimentary movie night welcome amenity.

Starting at $169 per night. Additional nights starting at $149. Pricing excludes applicable taxes. Rate valid for reservations checking in on Friday, July 22 or 29, and Friday, August 19 or 26.

Chef Spotlight:Yves Fournier

Posted by: Guest
Posted on: Friday, Jul 08, 2016

By Agnes Constante

Chef Yves Fournier was only 14 years old when he started his journey toward becoming a chef. Born and raised in Paris, a city filled with restaurants, bakeries, and markets, combined with the fact that everyone in his family cooked, it was only normal for him to pursue the chef route.

After school and on the weekends, Chef Yves spent time working in restaurants where he learned
different styles of cooking and gained as much experience as he could. Nearly seven years later, he landed his first official job as a chef in Montmarte, a neighborhood in Paris.

Today, Chef Yves is the executive chef at Andrei's Conscious Cuisine and Cocktails in Irvine. In a Q&A with Destination Irvine, he talked a little about the unique and enticing offerings at Andrei's and some tidbits about himself.



 


What are three words that describe Andrei's Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails?

1. Fresh - Almost all of our ingredients are delivered fresh every day. 

2. Seasonal - What's on the menu depends on the season. We change the menu twice a
year, spring/summer and fall/winter. Plus daily specials. There are a few items that are always on the menu because when we have tried to take them off our customers continue to request them.

3. Passionate - We are passionate about each and every item on the menu. How they affect the environment, where they come from, how our meats are raised, our fish is sustainable and their overall impact Andrei's has.

Why should people try out Andrei's Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails?

Andrei's is very unique in many ways. It is a beautiful oasis in the middle of Irvine. 
The first time you come into the restaurant, you feel like you are somewhere else. The story behind how Andrei's Restaurant was created by the Olenicoff Family. We are a non-profit restaurant supporting the Andrei's Foundation and other charities. We try to impress our guests with our food and the overall feeling of the dining room.

What is your favorite Andrei's Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails dish to cook?

Our braised seasonal meats. Lamb shanks, short ribs, antelope are all marinated and braised with a lot of time and passion to create fuller flavors in the slow braising process. The end result is worth all the work. 

What's your favorite guilty pleasure snack? 

I love good cheese, bread, salami, pate and also Nutella! I always have some in my house to share with my kids. And my wife's pastries, they are too hard to resist.

If you didn't become a chef, what would you be doing?

A photojournalist who travels the world. 

*Photos courtesy of Andrei's Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails and Chef Yves Fournier.

Filed In: Events

Celebrate the 4th of July OC Style!

Posted by: Terry Winkler
Posted on: Saturday, Jul 02, 2016

There are many ways to celebrate our Independence Day. From backyard BBQs, to pool parties and water toys, to picnicking while enjoying the patriotic music of the Pacific Symphony, there's something for everyone. Check out just a few of the many parades, parties and fireworks celebrations taking place around town. Be safe and have fun while celebrating America's birthday OC Style!  

Irvine 4th of July at Pretend City

July 3, 2016 10am - 5pm
Are you a Yankee Doodle Dandy? Pretend City is celebrating Independence Day and you're invited! Stop by the museum for some patriotic fun where your child can partake in our parade through the museum, an Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty fashion show, a star spangled science lesson, and a sparkling craft to take home. LOCATION: Pretend City Children's Museum. 29 Hubble, Irvine, CA 92618

Irvine Concert On The Green and Firework Festival 

July, 4, 2016 Gates open at 3 pm, Fireworks at 9pm
Featuring a Pyro Musical Sky Concert & Fireworks Extravaganza! Food Court, Live Music by the Derek Bordeaux Group, Games, Prizes, Bounce Houses for the kids and a Color Guard Presentation of the Colors presented by the Irvine Police Department. LOCATION: Irvine High School Stadium. 4321 Walnut Avenue, Irvine CA, 92604

Pacific Symphony July 4 Spectacular - The Music of Michael Jackson
July 4, 2016 8pm
This high energy concert showcases the best-known hits of the legendary "King of Pop"-from The Jackson 5 to his final film, "This Is It!" - and includes music from "Off the Wall," "Thriller," "Bad," "Blood on the Dance Floor" and many more. The seven-piece rock group Windborne along with lead singer James Delisco joins Pacific Symphony to celebrate the genius of Michael Jackson's legacy. The concert opens with patriotic favorites and closes with a brilliant fireworks finale. INFORMATION: 714-755-5799 LOCATION: Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, Irvine

Newport Harbor Old Glory Boat Parade 

July 4th, 2016 1:00pm -3:30pm
Each year the Newport Beach Harbor becomes a festive delight as owners adorned their boats in red-white-&-blue decorations, balloons, streamers and waving flags that outline the skies as Sousa Marches and Anthems fill the air. Families and friends from near and far arrive at the bay front beaches and yacht clubs along the peninsula and the many islands, vying for the best spot to settle down and view the boat parade. LOCATION: Newport Harbor, Newport Beach, Ca

Newport Harbor Fireworks & Parade Cruises
July 4, 2016
Newport Landing will have 3 cruises for the 4th Of July including the Firework Spectacular evening cruise. Witness Newport Harbor as it is full of the Spirit of America. 2 ½ hour daytime cruise times - 1:00pm to 3:30pm & 4:00pm to 6:30pm. Night time fireworks cruise will run 7:00pm to 9:30pm. For additional information or to make reservations call
(949) 673-1489

Dana Point 4th of July All American Ocean-View BBQ Buffet at Laguna Cliffs
Monday, July 4, 2016 5:00pm to 8:30pm
Vue patio and lawn seating
Buffet includes assorted salads, grill options including Prime New York steak, Angus burgers, All American hot dogs Balsamic Charred Red Onion BBQ Chicken, Kansas City baby back ribs, Hard Smoked Bacon Baked Beans, Corn on the cob, Corn muffins & buttermilk biscuits, Gourmet mac & cheese and desserts. Adults: $99.00, Children ages 6-12: $40.00, Complimentary for children 5 and under. Price includes: tax, gratuity and valet parking. Live Entertainment by Groove Allstars. The DANA POINT HARBOR FIREWORKS EXTRAVAGANZA begins at 9:00 pm! Theater seating on Del Mar lawn. Minimum spend applies to guests who are seated on OverVue deck after 5:00 pm. Reservations are required. Please call 949-487-7516 or the Concierge at 949-487-7577. LOCATION: Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort and Spa. Vue patio and Vue lawn, 25135 Park Lantern, Dana Point

Dana Point Doheny State Beach Fireworks Extravaganza
Monday, July 4, 2016 Fireworks at 9:00pm
Don't miss one of South Orange County's best aerial fireworks displays right here in your own back yard! Gather the family and friends, tune your radio to KSBR 88.5FM, look toward the skies over Doheny State Beach and experience this patriotic extravaganza. The fireworks are synchronized to a captivating musical score....if you haven't heard the music with the fireworks, you're only getting half the experience! Bring your radio to your favorite viewing spot and tune it to 88.5FM KSBR! Start out early in the morning if you're planning an Independence Day celebration at Doheny State Beach as this is the busiest day of the year! For additional information, call (949) 248-3530. LOCATION: Dana Point Harbor


Fullerton Annual Community Fireworks Show and Festival
Monday, July 4, 2016 5pm to 9:30pm
Food, entertainment and fireworks! There will be live music (by Deke Dickerson and the Eccofonic) and additional entertainment. NOMINAL FEES MAY APPLY for SOME activities (Approximately $2 to $5). Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. and last for approximately 20 minutes. All food is reasonably priced, and is being offered by local charity organizations. No alcohol is served or allowed in the area. All coolers will be checked. No glass containers, no smoking, no umbrellas, and no pets. INFORMATION: 714-738-3167. LOCATION: Fullerton High School Stadium; S/E Corner, Berkeley and Lemon

Huntington Beach 4th of July Parade & Pier Festival
July 2-4, 2016
Three days of fun with live entertainment, exhibitors, food vendors and family activities. On Monday, the 4th, there will be a parade, 5K Run & Fitness Expo and fireworks over the ocean at 9 pm. Check the official celebration website for activity locations.


Lake Forest Fourth of July Parade
July 4, 2016 10am - 12pm
Parade starts at the intersection of Toledo Way and Ridge Route and will travel along Lake Forest Boulevard turn on Serrano Rd, ending at Dayton Rd. INFORMATION: 949-461-3450. LOCATION: Starts at the corner of Toledo Way and Ridge Route Drive and ends on Serrano at Dayton.

Tustin Annual Fourth of July Celebration
July 4, 2016 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Live music starts at 6:30 P.M. Fireworks at 9:00 P.M. Pack a picnic & blanket. Tustin High Boosters will also be selling drinks, snacks and BBQ. Operation Warm wishes will also be collecting non-perishable food items for disadvantaged and homeless vets. INFORMATION: 714-573-3326. LOCATION: Tustin High School, 1171 El Camino Real

Yorba Linda Annual Fourth of July Spectacular
July 4, 2016 5pm - 9:30pm
Family activities, DJ entertainment, food vendors and children's area. Fireworks begin at 9 pm. INFORMATION: 714-961-7160. LOCATION: Veterans Park (4756 Valley View Ave) & Yorba Linda Middle School (4777 Casa Loma Ave)

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