Category Archives: Local Activities

Imagine Tea for Kids at the Langham Huntington, Pasadena

The Lobby Lounge, Langham Huntington, Pasadena
The Lobby Lounge, Langham Huntington, Pasadena

Imagine Tea is designed especially for children and will feature a remarkable touch of magic. As part of the upcoming Imagine Tea experience, junior performers from the famed Magic Castle will be on hand to entertain young tea guests, performing close-up magic while children dine on a specialty tea menu of magically-decorated cookies, ham, turkey and PB & J sandwiches and whimsical desserts, all accompanied by pink lemonade, milk and a selection of fruit-infused, caffeine-free teas.

Young tea guests will also have the opportunity to make their own magic during the tea, as they are invited to attend dressed as whichever character, person or animal most appeals to their imagination. During the tea, each child will then be invited to enjoy a special photo op on the magic stage of The Langham Huntington, Pasadena Lobby Lounge.

The first Imagine Tea is scheduled for Sunday, June 1, with seatings to be presented at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Priced at $48 for adults and $28 for children four to 12, Imagine Tea will also be offered on September 7, 2014. Reservations are required and may be requested at 626-585-6218 or on, requesting The Lobby Lounge at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena.

A New Way to Experience DineLA

Where to DineLA // (c) 2014 LACVB
It’s time to DineLA // (c) 2014 LACVB

This year, DineLA falls takes place over my birthday, Jan. 20-31, so I am paying attention to how to best take advantage of all of the many perks this event offers. Just when I start to think about all of the fabulous restaurants I want to eat at, the L.A. Tourism and Convention Board announces an $85 tasting menu at some of the city’s most sought-after dining destinations — CUT, mar’sel, Melisse, Patina Restaurant, Spago Beverly Hills and Valentino Restaurant. So much good food to be had — which one should I choose?

For a chance to savor Los Angeles’ cuisine all year long, diners can enter “dineLA for a Year.” Food lovers who sign up for the dineLA newsletter are automatically entered to win the ultimate prize—a restaurant  gift certificate every week for one year.  The 52-week prize is valued at $2,600.

To book a reservation for dineLA’s Restaurant Week simply visit and choose from over 300 restaurants offering a selection of specially-priced $15, $20 and $25 lunch menus and $25, $35 and $45 dinner menus along with tasting menu options from premier restaurants.

Take Up a New Sport in the New Year

Why not learn a new sport in the New Year? // Lee Stockwell / Big Bear Mountian Resorts
Why not learn a new sport in the New Year? // Lee Stockwell / Big Bear Mountian Resorts

It’s a new year and so that means it’s time to try new things. So, why not take up a new sport. While many people think that Southern California is just about sun and surf, it’s also got some fantastic mountain resorts. Head up to Big Bear Lake, Calif., for some of the area’s best snow sport opportunities.

To kick off the New Year, Big Bear Mountain Resorts is inviting  beginner skiers and snowboarders to come up and enjoy the snow during the month of January with free rental equipment for anyone who purchases a beginner lesson package. The offer is valid any day during the month of January, excluding holiday periods. Packages must be reserved at least one day in advance online at or by phone at 909-866-5841.

For the little tykes there is Little Bear Camp and Little Bear School at Snow Summit, where kids as young as 3 years old can get started on the bunny slopes. At Bear Mountain there is Riglet Park, where kids from 3 to 6 years old are introduced to snowboarding on miniature park features, using Burton’s innovative Learn-to-Ride Technology.

And why not make it a family affair. The ski resorts offer adult classes too. The classes are for persons age 13 and older. Some adults that have skied before but who want to want to learn how to snowboard can do so through the adult lessons. Big Bear’s qualified instructors will show anyone who wants to learn the ropes of having fun on the slopes. One of the great things about learning a new snow sport is it is never too late to learn.

Winter Dreams Come True With Disney’s New World of Color

Disney World of Color Winter Dreams with Frozen's Olaf // (c) 2013 Disney
Disney World of Color Winter Dreams with Frozen’s Olaf // (c) 2013 Disney

I feel very lucky to have been invited to attend the new World of Color – Winter Dreams at Disney California Adventure and it was made even more fun since I was able to see the show through the eyes of my 4-year-old daughter…quite literally actually, since she was sitting on my shoulders for most of the show. Her excitement at the site of Olaf from the yet-to-be-released movie “Frozen” is a testament to Disney’s marketing machine. Her shouts of “Olaf” and knowledge of the story behind the movie shocked me. I have no idea what it’s about, but she knows all about good queens and bad ones and the story of this little snowman, who leads guests through the new World of Color – Winter Dreams.

The show begins with the Honor Choir singing “Glow”, which was specially written for the World of Color. Then Olaf takes guests on a winter sleigh ride where he meets Bambi, Thumper and the sisters “Frozen”  — Anna and Elsa. This leads to a visual projection of holiday cards created by Disneyland Resort guests and cast members, which I thought was a unique personal touch for the season. Following, however, was my favorite part…The “Toy Story” Nutcracker with its offbeat rendition of the classic play as performed by Woody, Buzz, Jesse and company. It’s adorable, and I really hope that it’s made into a television short as it would definitely be a part of my essential holiday viewing list. I won’t post any real spoilers about what happens except that Rex wears a tutu…don’t miss it.

The show wraps with a holiday sing-a-long, a blazing light display and closes with the Honor Choir. A holiday visit to Disneyland Resorts is a must for many SoCal residents and, if you do go this year, World of Color – Winter Dreams is a must-do. Don’t forget to pick up fast passes for the show when you arrive to ensure you don’t miss out.

Ski Big Bear Like It’s 1983

Bear Mountain to Offer $18 Tickets // (c) Bear Mountain
Bear Mountain to Offer $18 Tickets // (c) Bear Mountain

I’m a child of the 80’s so, when I heard that Big Bear Mountain Resorts was going to sell lift tickets for $18 — the same price it cost to ski there in 1983 — I had to share.

This October, Big Bear experienced two snow storms, including its earliest snowfall ever recorded, which is a promising sign for a prosperous winter season. Big Bear Mountain Resorts (Snow Summit and Bear Mountain) expect to begin snowmaking in the next two weeks, and hope to be open by Thanksgiving Weekend.

Get Them Before They Are Gone

The $18 Lift Ticket Special Offer is a one-time 48-hour sale that is available online at Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 at 10 a.m. to Friday, Nov. 15, 2013 at 10 a.m. or by phone at 800-424-4232 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 13 and  9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 14. The $18 Lift Ticket & Discount Lodging Offer must be mentioned at the time of booking. There is limited availability, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply, and it cannot be used with any other specials or promotions.