Father’s Day in the South Bay

He helped you learn how to ride a bike, he bought you your first surfboard, he taught you how to fix a flat tire, and you want to get him…a tie? No, no, no South Bay sons and daughters. There’s a lot more you can do to honor Dad this Father’s Day in the beach cities.

First, get him outside for some fun activities:

MB5K dadsManhattan Beach 5K – Father’s Day edition: Get Dad out and running on the flat wet sand under the iconic Manhattan Beach Pier. The race starts at the lowest tide point – at 7:13 am on Sunday, June 15. The top five finishers in each of 28 divisions will win one of the race’s World Famous Cookie Medals. Nepotism note: The race is sponsored by our “better half” and all-around great dad – Dave of Manhattan Beach Confidential.

Father’s Day Volleyball Tournament: The city of Manhattan Beach is sponsoring a recreational beach volleyball tournament beginning at 9:00 am on the south side of the Manhattan Beach Pier on Sunday, June 15. Fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters are all encouraged to play. Proceeds from the registration fees go to benefit Project Fatherhood.

Terranea Team Golf Championship: The Links at Terranea holds its 3rd annual golf championship game on Sunday, June 15, where teams of five compete in an 18-hole event.  Prizes, lunch, and music are part of the day’s festivities.  The playing format is a five person scramble and teams must use two tee shots for each player. The cost is $80 for Links Card holders and $99 for guests. For more information and to reserve your spot, contact The Golf House at 310.265.2751.

Next, fill him up with food and drink:

NelsonsWeekend Beer Dinner at Nelson’s: On Saturday and Sunday, June 14 and 15 starting at 5:00 pm both days, Nelson’s Restaurant at Terranea is hosting an outdoor beer event with local breweries featured and gourmet street food pairings. Reservations are required; the cost is $65 per guest. Call 310.265.2702 for reservations.

Beer Brunch Cruise: Hornblower Cruises is offering a two-hour Father’s Day Beer Brunch Cruise at noon on Sunday, June 15 featuring a “macho” brunch, free-flowing drinks, and a complimentary souvenir pint glass for dad. The cost is $72 for adults and $43.20 for kids ages 4 to 12 – with additional tax, landing, and service charges.

Cookout at the Manhattan Beach Marriott: From 11:00 am to 3:00 pm on Sunday, June 15, there’s no need to fire up the grill: The View restaurant at the Manhattan Beach Marriott is offering a Father’s Day cookout outside on the lawn, featuring a hearty buffet, a “dude food” station, and a craft beer garden serving frosty suds. The cost is $30 for adults $50 with unlimited beer, and $15 for kids 12 and under.

Feast at Samba Brazilian Steakhouse: Samba Brazilian Steakhouse is offering an all-you-can-eat Father’s Day Feast on Sunday, June 15 with your choice of 10-12 cuts of meat carved table-side, unlimited sides and salads, and a glass of champagne or beer. The cost is $55 for adults and $20 for kids ages 4 to 10.

Prime Rib at Paul Martin’s American Grill, El Segundo: For the whole Father’s Day weekend, Paul Martin’s will be offering a 3-course prime rib dinner special for $25 per person. The special includes all-natural prime rib with mashed potatoes, organic green salad and house-made ice cream.

Free Meal for Fathers at Wahoo’s: Fish tacos, anyone? On Father’s Day weekend, June 14 and 15, you can treat Dad to a free meal at Wahoo’s Fish Tacos. Ask the cashier for a Father’s Day flyer.

Free Flight at Barsha: On Father’s Day weekend, purchase a wine or beer flight and get a free flight for Dad.

 

Beyond Dodger Dogs

Baseball, hot dogs, and…nachos in a batting helmet? The L.A. Dodgers have some great new food on the menu this season, and our South Bay Dodger fans should plan on hitting the stadium hungry to take advantage of all of the great offerings.

meatballsTops on the list is the new plaza featuring Tommy Lasorda’s Pizzeria and Think Blue BBQ. If you need a true Italian fix, you can hit Tommy Lasorda’s for some pizza, pasta, meatballs, Italian sausage, chicken parmigiana, and other Italian favorites. (Tommy swears the meatballs are “almost as good” as his mother’s.)

bbq brisketWant some amazing barbecue? A few steps away at Think Blue BBQ, we flipped for for the slow-cooked BBQ beef brisket sandwich and the street-food style grilled corn, slathered with mayonnaise and spices.

nacho helmetThis year’s Extreme Dodger Dogs now have company with a new addition, the “L.A. Extreme Bacon Wrapped Dog,” a hot dog wrapped in bacon, topped with grilled peppers and onions, and drizzled with spicy mustard and mayo. And if you’re STILL hungry after all that, you can now get a Major League Nachos Helmet, a 64-ounce helmet filled to the brim with tortilla chips, refried beans, nacho cheese, carne asada, sour cream, and pico de gallo.

Hungry yet? Check out our full post on Beyond Dodger Dogs over at Jolly Tomato.

Now play ball! And go Blue!

 

Family Fun at Disneynature’s Bears Movie

bearsmovie2014 is turning into the year for amazing family movies, and one of the best ones around is almost certainly “Bears,” the new True Life Adventure feature from Disneynature.

“Bears” showcases a year in the life of an Alaskan brown bear mother, Sky, and her two impressionable young cubs, Scout and Amber, as they emerge from winter hibernation. The world outside is exciting—but risky—as the cubs’ descent down the mountain carries with it a looming threat of avalanches. As the season changes from spring to summer, the bears must work hard to find food—ultimately feasting at a plentiful salmon run—while staying safe from rival male bears and predators, including an ever-present wolf. Narrated by John C. Reilly (whom your kids will recognize from “Wreck-It Ralph”), the movie arrives in theaters April 18 to honor Earth Day.

bear and fishWe had the honor of seeing an early screening of the movie and the film nearly took our breath away. From the jaw-dropping scenery, to the incredible and dramatic moments that the filmmakers were able to capture, we were captivated from start to finish. It is amazing to watch two fierce bears battle over turf, for example, and feel like you’re standing right next to them watching it transpire. The two first-graders we brought to the movie were equally impressed, and they giggled along with all of the bears’ playful moments. Note for kids under age 5: There’s some dramatic tension that may be frightening, but (spoiler alert!) it’s all OK in the end.

3 bears“Bears” is the fifth theatrical release for Disneynature, the first new Disney-branded film label from The Walt Disney Studios in more than 60 years. The label was launched in April 2008 to bring the world’s top nature filmmakers together to capture a variety of wildlife subjects and stories. The first four releases under the Disneynature label—“Earth,” “Oceans,” “African Cats” and “Chimpanzee”—are among the top five highest grossing feature-length nature films of all time.

If you see Bears during its opening week, Disney will make a donation to the National Park Foundation through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund to protect wildlife and wild places. To reserve tickets for a large group or class, call 1-888-DISNEY6 .

 

Million Dollar Arm

Looking for a great family movie? Coming May 16, you’re in for a real treat with “Million Dollar Arm,” the new Disney film about a sports agent who goes looking for the next big Major League Baseball star in India.

million dollar movieFrom the movie description: “In a last ditch effort to save his career as a sports agent, JB Bernstein (Jon Hamm) concocts a scheme to find baseball’s next great pitching ace.  JB travels to India to produce a reality show competition called “Million Dollar Arm.” With the help of  retired baseball scout (Alan Arkin) he discovers Dinesh (played by Madhur Mittal from “Slumdog Millionaire”) and Rinku (played by Suraj Sharma from “Life of Pi”), two 18 year old boys who have no idea about playing baseball, yet have a knack for throwing a fastball. While the Americans are definitely out of their element in India – the boys, who have never left their rural villages – are equally challenged when they come to the States to train. As the boys learn the finer points of baseball – JB, with the help of his friend Brenda (Lake Bell) – learns valuable life lessons about teamwork, commitment and what it means to be a family.”

We were invited to an early screening of this movie and loved every minute about it, especially the positive messages about hard work, goal-setting, the importance of family, and the genuine good humor throughout the movie. It also offers some fascinating glimpses of life in rural villages in India. We can’t wait for it to open in wide release so that we can take our Little League players who understand all too well how easy the major leaguers make it look…and how hard it is to learn to be a great pitcher in real life.

This is a fun sports movie that we can’t recommend highly enough. Thank you to Disney Pictures for giving us a sneak preview of the film!

Million Dollar Arm is rated PG and opens May 16.

Knott’s Berry Bloom

KBF Bloom Logo-page-001Spring has sprung at Knott’s Berry Farm, and with it comes the return of the annual Knott’s Berry Bloom celebration. Knott’s Berry Bloom – which runs from April 12 through April 27 –  features displays of beautiful spring colors, interactive family-friendly activities, expanded gourmet food and wine tasting opportunities, and more.

KBF Berry Bloom-6419New for 2014, the Ghost Town Boysenberry Festival will honor this delectable berry (our favorite!) by allowing guests to wine, dine, and buy boysenberry inspired products throughout the streets of the Old West. The founders of Knott’s Berry Farm will be honored through Walter & Cordelia Knott’s Original Roadside Boysenberry Stand, from which guests can purchase authentic boysenberry plants and preserves.

KBF Berry Bloom-5977Throughout Ghost Town, guests can watch demonstrations of canning homemade jam, blacksmithing, and cooking up homemade boysenberry glazes. On School House Road, guests can try their hand at Western-themed games with a boysenberry twist. Daily boysenberry pie-eating contests will take place in front of the Birdcage Theater. And when the sun sets on Ghost Town, the buildings and midways light up in (what else?) festive boysenberry purple hues.

KBF Berry Bloom-5645Live entertainment includes Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies (nighttime, outside Birdcage Theater), Peanuts Party in the Park (Charleston Circle), Bloomination! (nighttime, Charleston Fountain), Flower Power (Camp Snoopy Theater), and live salsa dancing in Fiesta Village. Other interactive fun includes the Easter Beagle’s Enormous Egg Hunt with prize locations for kids 3 to 11 years old, and Big Boardwalk Games (oversized shuffle board, tic-tac-toe, and bowling) near Xcelerator.

Knott’s is open extended hours from 10am to 10pm during Knott’s Berry Bloom, allowing guests extra time to take advantage of all of the limited-time offerings. To track the fun, follow the hashtag #KnottsSpring on Twitter and Instagram.

Knotts Berry Farm, 8039 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park CA 90620. (714) 220-5200

The opinions in this article are my own. I do not work for, or with, any brand mentioned in this article, nor do I have any official relationship with them.  I have a relationship with GigaSavvy, for whom I create original editorial content.

Girls’ Getaway at Terranea Spa Bungalows

Looking for a relaxing weekend with your female friends in the South Bay? Look no further than the new Spa Bungalows at Terranea. These well-appointed bungalows have every imaginable amenity and plenty of space for everyone, plus they’re just steps away from Terranea’s world-class spa (where you’ll enjoy special benefits as a bungalow guest).

bungalow view

Patio with fire pit and ocean view at a Terranea spa bungalow

We spent a recent night in a bungalow with two of our oldest and dearest friends (who had traveled from the snowy East Coast to get some much-needed sunshine) and the experience was pitch-perfect from start to finish.

Clockwise from top left: Bungalow entrance, kitchen, living room, and guest room.

Clockwise from top left: Bungalow entrance, kitchen, living room, and guest room.

The spa bungalow (we stayed in a two-bedroom configuration) was surprisingly large and roomy. There was a master bedroom with a king bed, and a large second bedroom with two full-sized beds, so we each had a bed to ourselves. Amazingly, there were three bathrooms, one for each of us (well, OK, one was technically a powder room – but still!). The kitchen was fully equipped with everything from a convection oven to a dishwasher.  We had our own washer/dryer. And best of all, there was a firepit outside on the patio, where we wound up spending all night talking and laughing.

Bathtub decorated with sand dollars and starfish

Bathtub decorated with sand dollars and starfish

Extra touches? We loved the tiny starfish and sand dollars surrounding the bathtub in the main bathroom. The living room had a cozy fireplace as well as small weights, yoga mats, and other stretching equipment. And we definitely appreciated the Terranea water bottles that we found chilling in the fridge when we arrived – the perfect end to a long hike around the Terranea grounds.

Terranea spa pool

Terranea spa pool with ocean view

But the real attraction on this visit was the spa, which is just steps away from the bungalows. As soon as you walk in, you know you’re in for something special. The spa concierge gives you a locker, robe, and sandals – and then after that there’s nothing but extreme pampering. Your spa visit includes all-day access to the steam room, dry sauna, whirlpools, indoor/outdoor relaxation lounges and fire pits, as well as the hot tub, cold soaking tub, and the beautiful (ocean view, of course) heated lap pool, with plenty of comfy seating. Best of all, you can enjoy all of Terranea’s amazing spa services at 10 percent off the regular rate as a bungalow guest.

Spa features, from top left: Lockers, a pedicure station, an ocean view exercise bike, and a cozy ocean view spa cabana

Spa features, from top left: Lockers, a pedicure station, an ocean view exercise bike, and a cozy ocean view spa cabana

Did we mention the food? As a bungalow guest, you’ll also receive free lunch and breakfast at the Spa Cafe, which features a range of smoothies, wraps, salads, and more. Of course we were feeling super-healthy so we enjoyed this cup of fruit right at the poolside:

poolside fruit

And now we’ll tempt you with a few more shots of the pool, the deck, and the incredible plants that surround the secluded spot:

terranea pool ocean view

A view looking down the length of the pool out to the ocean.

terranea lap swimming

Looking from the pool back toward the resort

terranea succulents

Some of our favorite succulent plants that grace the pool deck.

Intrigued? Check out the Terranea Spa Bungalows page to learn more about all of the perks included in a spa bungalow. For more information and reservations, please call 866.802.8000. Note: We love bringing our kids to Terranea, but the spa and the Spa Cafe are only open to guests ages 18 and older.

Terranea Resort, 100 Terranea Way, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275 www.terranea.com

Blogger disclosure: We are serving as a social media ambassador for Terranea in 2014. Terranea has offered us complimentary stays in exchange for promotion on social media outlets. All opinions expressed are our own.

Knott’s Berry Farm Season Passes

2014 is still young, and there are still plenty of days (and special celebrations) to enjoy at Knott’s Berry Farm. Why not consider buying a season pass?

season passRegular season passes include unlimited admission for 2014, exclusive ride times on select rides during the summer, discounts to Knott’s Scary Farm, discounts on select food and merchandise, and more…and the season passes start at just 6 payments of $14 each. To upgrade to a gold pass, it’s just 6 payments of $17 each, and you get all of those benefits plus unlimited visits at Knott’s Soak City OC. Upgrade to the platinum pass (6 payments of $32 each) and you get all that plus free parking AND free admission to all of the Cedar Fair Parks.

Our family loves going to Knott’s Berry Farm at just about any time of year, whether it’s in the long lazy days of summer, or during the festive nights of winter. To show how much fun we have there all year long, we’ve compiled a list of our top five family fun moments at Knott’s Berry Farm. Counting down from Number 5:

5) Eating pie. We just can’t get enough of Mrs. Knotts’ famous chicken and biscuits, but it wouldn’t be a visit to Knott’s without some of her classic boysenberry pie. In fact, we could stop right here at #5 and just head out to Knott’s for that reason alone, but there’s more…

Knott's Berry Farm's boysenberry pie

Knott’s Berry Farm’s boysenberry pie

4) Coast Rider. There are roller coasters, and there are roller coasters. We love the new Coast Rider because it gives you a real sense of place. It’s like a giant thrill ride down the California coast – an experience you won’t have anywhere else. There’s a lot of adventure packed into 2 minutes and 30 seconds, and once it’s over you’ll keep lining up for more.

Riding high above the world on the Coastrider

Riding high above the world on the Coast Rider

3) Camp Spooky. We’ve enjoyed the super-scary thrills of Knott’s Scary Farm, but we’ve had just as much fun if not more at Camp Spooky, the kid-friendly thrill zone at Knott’s during Halloween season. This year our kids loved decorating Halloween cookies, getting creeped out by real-life creepy critters, and walking through the house of mirrors in Camp Spooky at Halloween. It’s a low-scare, high-fun adventure that sets just the right tone for the younger set.

House of Mirrors at Camp Spooky during Halloween

House of Mirrors at Camp Spooky during Halloween

2) Rides at Christmas. We love going to Knott’s during the Christmas season to enjoy the decorations and all of the special holiday features. But one hidden advantage to going to Knott’s in the colder months is getting in on all of the fun water rides while the crowds are smaller. This year we all donned raincoats on one cloudy morning and we rode the Log Ride over and over and over again (when everyone else thought it was “too cold”). Who says you can’t have some good water fun in the winter?

Timber Mountain Log Ride at Christmas

Timber Mountain Log Ride at Christmas

5) Family time at Wilderness Dance Hall. After a long day of rides and fun, there’s nothing we love more than hunkering down for a tasty snack, a warm drink, or a good show at Wilderness Dance Hall. Lots of happy memories here.

wilderness dance hall

Convinced yet? Now here’s a chance to win a four-pack of season passes to Knott’s Berry Farm. All the details are here on this Knott’s Berry Farm Season Pass Contest page (must be 18 or older to win). Good luck and see you at Knott’s!

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