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Category - Family Friendly

Filed In: Family Friendly

OC Fair Offers Bargains to Save $$

Posted by: Terry Winkler
Posted on: Saturday, Jul 22, 2017

Everyone loves a bargain, so here are the top tips for saving some cash at this year's fair. Take advantage of these great deals, discounts and promotions at this year's OC Fair, through Aug. 13. For more information and a full schedule of Farm Fresh Fun, visit ocfair.com.

 

Super Pass - One of the best bargains is the Super Pass, which allows Fairgoers to enjoy all 23 days of the Fair for one low price. On sale now, Super Passes are $35 for general admission and $28 for seniors and youth ages 6-12. New this year: Super Pass holders who come to all 23 days of the 2017 OC Fair will win the Perfect Attendance Award and receive a free 2018 Super Pass.

Best Deal Ever - On Saturdays and Sundays, Fairgoers can take advantage of this promotion featuring half-price admission and carnival rides for half the usual number of tickets.

Veterans and active-duty military personnel - Admission is always free with ID and their guests can purchase up to six half-price tickets.

Read and Ride - Bookworms ages 5-11 can read two books to earn three free carnival rides. Download book report forms at bit.ly/ocfairread and redeem them at the Centennial Farm information booth.

Bounce-back tickets - Save your San Diego Fair (June 2-July 4) or Ventura County Fair (Aug. 2-13) tickets to get free admission to the OC Fair. Your OC Fair ticket gets you into the Ventura County Fair for free.

We Care Wednesday - Get free admission and one free carnival ride when you donate items to select local nonprofits between noon and 3 p.m. On July 19, bring five nonperishable food items to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank and the OC Food Bank. July 26, donate three new or gently used children's books for Think Together. Aug. 2, bring five clothing items to benefit Goodwill Orange County. Aug. 9, donate school supplies valued at $5 or more (receipt required) for Share Our Selves.

Unlimited carnival rides - Enjoy all the carnival rides you can handle for $30 on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Wristbands are sold until 5 p.m. and are valid until 8 p.m. You get two free games, too. Fair admission sold separately.
$3 Taste of Fair Food - Samples of select Fair treats are just $3 every Thursday noon-4 p.m.

Kids Day - Each Thursday, children 12 and under get in free all day.

Seniors Day - Free admission for those 60 and older every Friday.
$2 rides and $2 games - On Fridays noon-4 p.m. rides and games are just $2 in the main carnival and the kiddie carnival.

Free offsite parking on weekends - Park in the Experian structure at 475 Anton Blvd. (near the Bristol exit off the 405 Freeway), in Costa Mesa and catch a free shuttle to the Fair 10 a.m.-1 a.m.

OC Fair Express - Take an OCTA bus from one of nine locations direct to the Fair and receive a coupon for $3 general admission, one coupon per person. Bus fare is $2 each way on Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m.-midnight. For more information and locations, visit ocfairexpress.com.


The 2017 OC Fair is going on now through Aug. 13 and offers 23 days and nights of entertainment, food, rides, shopping, exhibits and more. The Fair is open Wednesdays through Fridays from noon to midnight, and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to midnight.
For more information, visit ocfair.com.

Shooby Dooby Down to Ruby's for Burger Day

Posted by: Sharlene Earnshaw
Posted on: Thursday, Jul 20, 2017

Ruby's Diner has been a fixture in Orange County for 35 years. The very first Ruby's opened on Balboa Pier in 1982 and the chain quickly became a fixture at beaches and shopping centers across Orange County. This 1940's themed diner is wildly popular for its juicy burgers and legendary shakes. In my opinion, Ruby's peanut butter cup shake is the best milkshake on the planet but Ruby's offers a variety of flavors such as carmel banana, mint chocolate, and orange 50/50 which are all winners as well.  

In celebration of Ruby's 35th birthday, Ruby's will be offering a 1/4 lb 35th Anniversary Burger (a smaller version of the 1/2lb classic) along with fries for just $2.99 on Wednesday, July 26th. $1 of each purchase will go to The Ruby Dooby Foundation which is dedicated to the supporting the health and well being of children.  

Have a bigger appetite? Then enter the Ruby's Stack Attack Challenge which will take place on Wednesday, July 26. For $35, challengers have 35 minutes to eat a 3.5lb burger featuring six 8oz. all-beef patties, RubySauce, onion rings, bacon, tater tots, and jalapenos along with a shake and fries. If the challenge is completed, winners will receive a $35 Ruby's gift certficate, a t-shirt, and that ever-important social media recognition. Even if you don't have the appetite to tackle the Stack Attack Challenge, it will surely be entertaining to watch others take it on. For a list of participating locations- including the Irvine Spectrum and South Coast Plaza restaurants- and to register for the challenge, head to Rubys.com.  

Circus Vargas Comes to the OC Great Park

Posted by: Amanda Nguyen
Posted on: Monday, Jun 12, 2017


Come one, come all and take wonder in the marvel that is Circus Vargas at the OC Great Park until this weekend, June 18th. Guests will get the full big top circus experience with sugary sweets, popcorn, snow cones and face painting as well as classic and new circus acts. 

This year, Circus Vargas embarks on a new adventure, Steam Cirque, under their blue and yellow big top. Jump into the world of steam punk, science fiction and exciting and suspenseful circus performances. While waiting for the show to start, kids can partake in pre-show activities in the circus ring, then join their families up in the stands or seats. The non-animal show is great for all ages with a robust mix of a traditional circus atmosphere including concessions and novelty items being sold throughout the stands, and a fun, action-packed show including acts such as trapeze, trampoline, aerial rope and a motorocycle cage; along with a journey through humour, mystery magic and more. The performers also include audience participants in comedic acts throughout the show, but it is fun and lighthearted; they know how to get everyone involved and have a good time. 

My fianceé Scott and I attended a Circus Vargas show last Thursday not knowing what to expect and we truly had a great time. We were blown away by the array and diversity of acts performed, and also in awe of how many roles each performer plays. You'll see all hands on deck to help run the show smoothly; a performer will be selling tickets at the ticket booth, to flying through the air in a death-defying act, then helping to move the sets around. You can really see how much hard work goes into this production. 

Get to Circus Vargas this week before the big top is gone! For more ticket information, click here.  








Photos taken by Feast.Fashion.Faves 

AC Hotel Irvine Grand Debuts as First of Its Kind in Southern California

Posted by: Amanda Nguyen
Posted on: Friday, May 26, 2017

Orange County's newest European-inspired hotel, AC Hotel Irvine grand debuted last week with a chic soiree of live music, tapas, signature cocktails and wine, spirits from Blinking Owl, craft berrs, Puesto tacos and sweet treats. Guests had the opportunity to enjoy the hotel's communal spaces as well as receive a tour of the rooms. 

 

AC Hotel Irvine, a Marriott property opened by the Pacific Hospitality Group, is the first of its kind in Southern California and located within 1 mile of John Wayne Airport, in the heart of Park Place, a thriving community of popular restaurants, shops, residential housing and corporate businesses. The hotel appealing to next-gen travelers has 176 guest rooms; beautiful open spaces to lounge or mingle in; a heated roof-top pool; complimentary WiFi, a state-of-the-art fitness room and hydration stations on every guest-room floor. For those looking for the perfect place to conduct business, AC Hotel Irvine provides three distinct meeting spaces including two intimate, audiovisual-equipped Media Salons (up to 8 people), and a 500-square-foot Meeting Room (up to 40 people). AC Hotel is a mix of innovative touches, modern design through the furnishings and artwork as well as aligning with the hotel's European heritage through their lifestyle offerings.

 

For seamless service, Kallpods, wireless service buttons, are provided in the public and meeting areas which allow guests to immediately request a staff member's attention. For a specialty cocktail or craft beer and tapas, take a seat at the AC Hotel Lounge bar. For a truly European inspired breakfast, dine at the AC Hotel Kitchen, I was told the croissants are flown in from France! There's also a Berkel slicer to serve up hand cut meats. For the individual needing a quick bite or beverage, the AC Store is open 24 hours and has a variety of drink and snack options. 

 

This new Orange County gem not only offers an elevated guest room experience to be able to wind down and get a good night sleep, but strives to provide an unparalled lifestyle experience for all guests and also catering to those that are on-the-go. 

 

"We've created an atmosphere that allows locals and visitors to comingle, share ideas and socialize in an environment that offers a sense of place," said Paul Maddison, general manager at AC Hotel Irvine.  

Visit the AC Hotel Irvine

Address: 3309 Michelson Dr, Irvine, CA 92612
Phone: (949) 471-8710 
 
 
 
Photos c/o PHG PR TEAM + FEAST.FASHION.FAVES 

Trade Food Hall Opens in Irvine This Saturday May 13, 2017

Posted by: Amanda Nguyen
Posted on: Friday, May 12, 2017

A new food hall is grand opening in Irvine this Saturday May 13th! Trade Food Hall located in Irvine, is offering up a variety of innovative and unique savory to sweet food options in Orange County. Trade is an open-air patio space featuring a vertical garden display and crisp decor; a place for everyone to come together to enjoy good food and good company.

Taste an array of culinary dishes from pork sliders to veggie delights, fusion tacos to fresh seafood, grilled chicken sandwiches to gyros, and ramen and sushi to sweets and cocktails. You really won't know where to start (unless you're set on trying a certain type of food or vendor), but this is the place to step out of your food comfort zone if you're looking to try something new or if you're a seasoned foodie looking for the next mouthwatering instagrammable feast. 

Trade has been soft opened for the past few weeks with limited menus, but many in the community got to experience an exclusive taste on Wednesday May 10th during a preview. Some notable items to try include:

  • Butterleaf: The new vegetarian. Serving up the Signature Butterleaf Burger (sweet potato, kale, melted onions, kimchi sauce)
  • Two Birds: Cluckin’ good chicken. Serving up Bird In The Bush (Salad, salt and vinegar slaw, tomato, pickle, romaine lettuce, pickled onion, and cucumber)
  • Center Hub Bar: Your new favorite bar. Serving up The Stubborn Mule (Hangar One Vodka, Muddled Cucumbers and Mint Leaves, Lime Juice, Blueberry Syrup, Ginger Beer)
  • Dos Chinos: Latin Asian grub. Serving up Chorizo Fried Rice (chorizo, Chinese sausage, chimichurri, pineapple)
  • Megadon: Latin, Asian, and Mexican fare. Created by Hop Pham of Dos Chinos. 
  • Gyro King: Mediterranean fare. Serving up the Gyro (served with gyro meat, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and tzatziki sauce)
  • Pig Pen Delicacy: Pork-haven eatery. Serving up the Candied Bacon Egg & Cheese Sandwich (candied bacon, soft scrambled eggs, cheddar, banana ketchup)
  • Portside Fish Co.: Fresh seafood. Serving up the Fresh Calamari Bowl and Fresh Fish Taco
  • Sweet COMBforts: Home of the Waffle Pop. Serving up Fruity Pebbles n Cereal Belgium Liege waffle

Visit Trade Food Hall:
2222 Michelson Dr.
Irvine, CA 92612

Business Hours:
Monday - Thursday: 8am - 9pm
Friday - Sunday: 8am - 10pm 

 
Pig Pen Delicacy


Dos Chinos 


Center Hub 


Sweet Combforts


Gyro King


Butterleaf


Two Birds


Portside


Megadon

Happy Eating!

Amanda

*All Images and information provided by 100eats, Trade Food Hall and/or their respective restaurant social media platforms.  

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch

Posted by: Amanda Nguyen
Posted on: Monday, Apr 03, 2017

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch is about a 45 minute drive south of Irvine and worth the trek to get to see and experience the ranunculus covered hillsides. The season, the Flower Fields opened to the public in March and remains open for 10 weeks ending on May 14, 2017. 

You could spend hours on the 50 acres of blooming hillsides, nursery, gardens and more; which overlook the Pacific Ocean and Carlsbad Outlets. Come with family and friends and enjoy a day taking in the colorful ranunculus flowers which you can walk up to or take an antique tractor wagon ride around the fields to access the numerous rows of flowers. There are educational programs, workshops and exciting events; as well as an Arts & Crafts show, food vendors and live music entertainment during the weekends. If you'd like to take home fresh cut ranunculus blooms, stop by the Armstrong Garden Center Gift Shop on your way out. For ticket information, click here

TIPS

  • If you're visiting over the weekend, be sure to get here before or when the Flower Fields open to avoid long lines a the ticket booth and tractor rides. It'll also be less congested so you can move about the gardens and fields freely. 
  • You can take photos, but any professional equipment would need prior approval.
  • You can't step in between the rows of flowers, but there are inlets with small benches where you can take photos within the flowers, some inlets have a photographer assistant that can take photos for/of you. 
  • Wear sunscreen and any other sun protection necessary since you will be under direct sunlight.
  • Bring a light jacket or cover up as it can get windy
  • If you're planning on walking up to the fields instead of taking the tractor, be sure to wear comfortable shoes.
  • For FAQs, click here
  • You can purchase tickets online and avoid waiting in line to purchase tickets. 

The Flower Fields History 

Today, the fields are a direct result of over 85 years of floral cultivation that began when Luther Gage, an early settler and grower settled in the area in the early 1920's. Mr. Gage brought Ranunculus seeds to the area and began growing them in his fields next to Frank Frazee's small vegetable farm in South Oceanside. This started a business called "Luther Gage Giant Tecolote Ranunculus bulbs". The name "Tecolote" came from the owls that nested on his property. 

Read more about the Flower Fields History here. If you're not able to make it down to the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch this season, check out this previous post on the wildflower bloom in Orange County! 

 

It's Wildflower Season in Orange County

Posted by: Sharlene Earnshaw
Posted on: Monday, Mar 20, 2017

After years of crippling drought, the 2017 rainy season has brought much-needed relief to California. Reservoirs are full, snow pack is high, and our rolling hills are vibrantly green once again. One of the most pleasant side effects of an ample rainy season is the explosion of wildflowers that is currently taking place in and around Orange County. Now is the time to hit the trails and appreciate Orange County area parks wilderness areas at their absolute finest. 

One of the best place places to see a diverse array of wildflowers is Irvine's Bommer Canyon.  Here hikers will discover lupine, goldfields, fiddlenecks, chia, thistle, storksbill, blue dicks, prickly pear, poppies, and more.

Beyond Bommer Canyon, expect to spot wildflowers in Hidden Canyon, Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, Santiago Oaks Regional Park, Caspers Wilderness Park, and Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. Special guided wildflower-focused hikes will take place in various locations at the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. Advanced signup is necessary.  

 

East of Irvine, a massive wildflower explosion in occurring in Chino Hills State Park. Carpets of poppies, lupine, and various other wildflowers are blanketing the vibrantly green hillsides, making it one of the prime wildflower viewing locations in the entire state.  The drive from Irvine to the State Park along the 241 Toll Road is incredibly scenic with all sorts of wildflowers to gaze at along the way. 

One other location not to be missed is Walker Canyon, located about an hour from Irvine off I15 near Lake Elsinore. This location has caused traffic jams because gawkers gazing at the fields of poppies that can be spotted from the freeway. A short walk uphill from the parking area off of the Lake Blvd exit will allow you to be up close and personal with California's official state flower.

 

Want more wildflower fun? Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks is hosting 24 Hours of Wildflowers on all their social media platforms in celebration of wildflower season! Every hour for 24 hours on March 21, 2017, they will be featuring a different native wildflower and sharing where you can find it out on the park land. The fun will start at 9 a.m. Follow the hashtags #24HoursofWildflowers and #OCMountaintoSea.

 All photos by Sharlene Earnshaw 

OC Restaurant Week 2017 Kicks off at the Irvine Marriott

Posted by: Amanda Nguyen
Posted on: Sunday, Mar 05, 2017

Foodies and culinary enthusiasts gathered at the Irvine Marriott on Saturday, March 4th to kick off OC Restaurant WeekRestaurants, eateries, and cafes that are participating in OCRW gave guests a sneak peek look and taste at what their OCRW pre-fixe menus have to offer this year. This is OC Restaurant Week's 9th year bringing together the top 100 OC restaurants for you to discover and indulge in. 

OCRW starts today March 5th and ends on Saturday, March 11th, check out the complete list of restaurants here. You can also view restaurants by various price points for lunch or dinner service as well as by city. For the list of Irvine restaurants, click here

If you haven't done OC Restaurant Week before, you can see our previous coverage here. If you've gotten to experience OCRW, there's always a diverse and exciting selection of restaurants to choose from this year - take this opportunity to try a new restaurant or different type of food. Restaurant menus will showcase and reflect each chef's unique culinary style. Enjoy lunch priced at $10, $15 and $20 per person pre-fixe menus, or dinner priced at $20, $30, $40 and $50 per person pre-fixe menus (some restaurants require reservations for the dinner service). 

Have fun experiencing OC Restaurant Week whether you're with family, friends, or on a special date! 

Free Yogurtland on February 6 for the 1st International Frozen Yogurt Day!

Posted by: Amanda Nguyen
Posted on: Friday, Feb 03, 2017

Irvine's very own Yogurtland is kicking off the first ever International Frozen Yogurt Day on Monday, February 6th, with free frozen yogurt at participating Yogurtland locations around the world between 4-7pm (local time). 

Join in on this global celebration with the self-serve frozen yogurt pioneer by enjoying a free frozen yogurt and toppings in a limited-time only cup as well as receiving a limited edition Hersey's® collectible spoon. Yogurtland will also feature a new Peanut Butter Cup frozen yogurt flavor made with Reese's® and Hershey's® ingredients, and the popular Chocolate Milkshake made with Hershey's® flavor and real, creamy California Milk. These two delicious flavors will continue to be served at Yogurtland locations throughout the month of February.

 

International Frozen Yogurt Day is sponsored by Yogurtland and The Hershey Company, locations throughout the United States, Australia, Dubai, Singapore, Thailand, and Venezuela will be participating in this momentous and delectable occasion.

Find out more on the festivities here and on facebook. Hashtag your photos #YogurtlandIFYD to be featured on our social channels and the Yogurtland website!  

 

Filed In: Family Friendly

Eskape Rooms: Irvine's Brain Teaser Challenge

Posted by: Terry Winkler
Posted on: Sunday, Jan 29, 2017

Sometimes teens want nothing more than to escape their parents, but I made my kids and their cousins join me in a locked room, where we'd have to cooperate to find our way out. Sounds crazy, right? Actually, it was a blast.

I had the kids join me at Irvine's Eskape Rooms, the brainchild of UCI alumni, Chris Im and Daniel Lee (that's Chris Im in the picture above with the kids). The challenge is to find clues and solve a series of puzzles, unlock cabinets to reveal even more clues until you ultimately solve all the puzzles to unlock the exit within one hour's time.

After a short briefing, we were lead into the room. We watched as the door closed, locked and the countdown clock began.

And oh boy, the pressure was on! Immediately everyone's personalities were magnified. We had the leader who organized the quest, the cheerleader who kept the pace going and encouraged the team, the wise guy who offered suggestions for others to solve and gain the win, the quiet ones who worked in the background. There was some competition for leadership, then we instinctively broke into two small groups and worked different parts of the room in tandem. If you get stuck you can ask for a hint, but if you're competitive like we were, you can save your hint for when time's running out.

And when the time is running out it's better than any action movie. We were yelling, high-fiving, dashing around the room. Talk about adrenalin! Did we win the challenge? Well, we missed it by THAT much. Seconds. Drat!!

 

Even though we failed the challenge, the best part of the day for me was driving home. Not one kid was on their phone. They were full of enthusiastic storytelling, reliving the experience with laughter and playful ribbing. And THAT was a huge win.

Helpful hints:

  •  Reservations are booked as a private party, so strangers won't join your group. Exklusive. I like that.
  • Keep your squad between 3 and 8 to have the best chance to eskape. We had 5 people and it was perfect.
  • We made sure to show up 15 minutes early to get checked in and briefed. Be warned, you risk losing your adventure if you arrive more than 15 minutes after your appointment time slot, and you definitely don't want to miss out on all the fun.
  • You're in a locked room and the clock is ticking. Go to the bathroom before the challenge. ‘nuff said.
  • Emergency? Claustrophobic? Just tell the gamekeeper, who monitors via video. You'll be let out, no problemo.
  • Want to book a private event? Email support@eskaperooms.com or call (949) 387-8073 for a custom booking time.
  • Located at OC Plaza at 575 McCabe Way, Irvine, CA 92614

Book your Eskape Room Challenge today!

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