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Posts Tagged ‘Legoland California’

Passports with Purpose Ends Today!!!

December 13th, 2010 by bsmith | No Comments | Filed in Legoland, Passports With Purpose

Jared and Destiny are Big LEGO Batman Fans, LEGOLAND, CA

If you want to win my LEGOLAND Getaway or any of the other amazing travel prizes including vacation packages, i Pads and more visit the Passports with Purpose Website and make a donation!

If you win, you can make a loved one’s dream come true this Holiday Season.  If you donate, dreams will also come true for a family in India.  They will finally have the dignity that comes with a home of their own.

Happy Trails,

Bridget

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October Family Fun in San Diego: Brick or Treat

October 7th, 2010 by bsmith | No Comments | Filed in Autumn Adventures, Legoland, Legoland bargains, LEGOLAND Brick or Treat, San Diego Family Travel, theme parks

 Destiny, Jared and I boogied down at the Brick or Treat Celebration at LEGOLAND CA last weekend.  The weather was pure Indian summer and we had a great time getting together with friends, watching the shows, and getting our groove on at the Brick or Treat Dance Party.  Brick or Treat activities are much more spread out this year, which makes things a lot easier and more fun.  The last one I attended there were moments that felt more claustrophobic especially as we went from place to place with preschoolers.  Now that the festivities take place throughout half of the park, kids and parents have plenty of room to enjoy the fun.  Here are some highlights of our Brick or Treat adventures:

Meeting Up With Friends

Family Adventure Guidebooks was lucky enough to receive a VIP invite to attend Brick or Treat.  The kids and I had fun seeing two of my favorite travel bloggers and their kids.  Sharlene Earnshaw of Trekaroo and Double the Adventure came with her delightful twins.  We had fun swapping stories as moms of bossy big sisters and mischievious little brothers. Coleen Lanin of  Travel Mamas brought her kids as well and as the kids enjoyed to Duplo Play Area the moms shared blogging and travel writing war stories.  I love the picture below because it shows that girls like construction equipment to ;) .

Construction Girls, LEGOLAND CA

LEGOLAND is an ideal place for a play date.  Kids love hanging out with their friends, and Moms have someone to help keep them sane as they navigate the theme park lines.  It is also allows for a little kid swapping so the daring can ride the roller coasters and the timid can find other fun.  We were lucky to spend the rest of our evening with Destiny’s best friend and her family.  Aren’t they cute as they pose by the Brick or Treat Trail?

Destiny and Friends LEGOLAND CA

 LEGOLAND DANCE PARTY

This was one of the best parts of our Brick or Treat Adventure.  The witchy cast members were experts at  creating a fun environment where  kids felt comfortable boogieing down .   The music was fun, kid appropriate yet bearable for the adults.  Kids got participation ribbons which unfortunately didn’t stick to clothing very well and were lost within minutes.  Destiny  and Jared could have spent all night  shaking their groove things.

Destiny's Brick or Treat Dance Moves

Disco Jared, Brick or Treat Party LEGOLAND CA

Brick or Treat Trail

Brick or Treat Trail, Legoland Ca

The kids love this experience because they get candy.  I love this experience because they don’t get too much candy.  This year LEGOLAND is offering Brick or Treat Trails at two different locations, but kids can only choose one.  I’m glad they’re spreading out, but wish the kids could try both trails.  It’s pretty hard to explain to an impulsive five year old, why he can’t go trick or treating at that cool are over there.

The Scoop on Brick or Treat

My kids are passionate fans of Halloween and it is excruciating for them to wait 31 days until trick or treating despite the spooky decorations popping up on our neighbor’s houses and the giant bags of candy showing up in the stores.  Brick or Treat is the perfect place for little kids to get ready for Halloween.  The LEGOLAND staff and Cast Members work very hard to transform LEGOLAND into a truly magical place for a night time adventure.      Brick or Treat continues Saturday Nights through Halloween.  It’s free with a full day admission, but there is also a lower cost option for evenings only. $30 to visit LEGOLAND.  That’s a bargain!

P.S.  To learn more about other fun Halloween happenings in the San Diego Area check out my post on UPTAKE.COM.

P.P.S. Family Adventure Guidebooks is a proud participant in Trekaroo’s Spotlight Thursdays Blog Roundup.

P.P.P.S.  Family Adventure Guidebooks received complimentary passes to attend Brick or Treat.  This didn’t really influence my review as I am already a huge LEGOLAND fan without the freebees.  I even wrote a book about it.  Check out The Unauthorized Legoland Guidebook on LULU.com

Happy Trails!

Bridget

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Passports With Purpose:Win a Legoland Adventure and Help Build a School in Cambodia

December 8th, 2009 by bsmith | 6 Comments | Filed in Legoland, Passports With Purpose
dscn1709

Passports With Purpose-Every Child Deserves a Great School

 A few years ago on a Vegas getaway with my husband, I picked up a life changing book.  Three Cups of Tea  by Greg Mortenson chronicles Greg’s experience as a mountain climber recovering in a small village in Pakistan.  He  promises to build a school for the village, and his new mission leads to the building of schools throughout Afganistan and Pakistan.  Greg talks a lot in his book about the transformative power of education, and how he believes it will bring peace to the region.  He explains that the education of girls can make a major impact on the community since in Afgan and Pakistani culture women tend to stay within the community, while men leave for greater economic opportunity.  Mothers in this culture have a strong influence on their children’s decisions including the one to join organizations like the Taliban.  Pick up Greg’s book  Stones into Schools  for someone on your Christmas list.

This year, a group of travel bloggers is coming together for Passports with Purpose a fundraiser to build schools in Cambodia,  another part of the world that is desperately in need of educational opportunity for young people.  The non-profit American Assistance for Cambodia  is dedicated to improving life for the youth and rural poor of Cambodia.  For a ten dollar donation to this worthy cause, you receive one entry for one of a large number of great travel blog giveaways from around the world.

Since I think that American Assistance for Cambodia is a fabulous cause, I contacted LEGOLAND California and they generously donated four park hopper passes to this great theme park in Carlsbad, California.  These tickets will allow you to check out the kid friendly Sea Life Aquarium and see the amazing models of LEGOLAND.  I will also throw in a copy of The Unauthorized Legoland Guidebook  so you can be prepared to enjoy every minute of your LEGOLAND adventure.  (If the winner is located outside the US, I will provide you with a PDF copy of my guidebook or you can pick up a copy when you reach Carlsbad).

lego-friend

Since you may have quite a journey to get here to sunny Carlsbad, the elegant Sheraton Carlsbad Resort located next to LEGOLAND has generously donated a certificate for a two night stay at their hotel.  This beautiful hotel has its own private entrance to LEGOLAND.  Be sure to check out the LEGO  flower bouqet in the lobby.  It was constructed by the talented LEGO Master Builder Gary McIntire.

Sheraton, Carlsbad

This total Legoland Adventure Package is worth more than $700! 

Passports With Purpose kicked off last week, and has already collected the $13000 needed to build a school, but there is still work to do.  The group  is trying to raise an additional $13000 to fund a school nurse, water filter for the school well, and a “victory garden” which will allow the students to have a healthy lunch at school daily.

Click here to make your donation to Passports With Purpose today.  A ten dollar donation will give you a great chance at winning the Ultimate Legoland Adventure.

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Photo Friday: Little League Victory at Legoland

September 25th, 2009 by bsmith | 8 Comments | Filed in Autumn Adventures, Legoland, theme parks, Travel Discounts
Chula Vista Little League Victory, Legoland, California
Chula Vista Little League World Series Victory, Legoland, California

 

One of the things that I love about Legoland is how they bring the real world into the park through their Miniland displays.  A few weeks ago, a team from Chula Vista in Southern San Diego County won the Little League World Series.   To honor this historic event, model builders installed a replica of the winning game at Miniland.  This is the first time that Legoland has immortalized local heroes.  How exciting this must be for the preteens on that team!

When I heard about this display, I had to share it with all of you.  The photos of the game were furnished by Legoland California and taken by the multi talented Lego Master Model Designer Gary McIntire who designed and constructed this amazing display.

Note the boys celebrating their victory with a dog pile.  I think that’s my favorite part :) .

If you would like to check out this amazing display, but don’t have the cash for full admission you have two options.

A) Enter my Family Adventure Guidebooks Birthday Giveaway to win four free Parkhopper Passes to Legoland.

B) Looking for a Legoland bargain? Visit www.brickortreat.com to purchase tickets to Legoland’s Brick or Treat Celebration.  This fun after hours Halloween party starts at 5pm and includes a number of areas including Miniland so you can check out the display then enjoy some Halloween fun.  Night admission is only $25 or an all day admission is $55.  If you order online this includes a second visit free between November 1 and December 25th so this is really a great deal.

Activities include a dance party, costume contest, balloon artists, and roving musicians.  Kids get to come in costume and do some trick or treating.  Here’s a photo of  Justin, Destiny, and Jared enjoying some Halloween fun at Brick or Treat last year. 

Legoland Halloween

Brick or Treat only takes place a few nights in October, so act now to be sure you don’t miss out on the fun.

Happy Trails,

Bridget

P.S. You can also check out my post on Uptake for more tips on how to save money on your theme park adventures.

P.P.S. Family Adventure Guidebooks participates in Delicious Baby’s Photo Friday Blog Roundup.

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Family Adventure Guidebooks Birthday Giveaway-Legoland Passes!

September 17th, 2009 by bsmith | 47 Comments | Filed in Legoland

This week Family Adventure Guidebooks turned 1 !  How will we celebrate?  With a Legoland Giveaway of course!   Legoland California is providing  4 park hopper passes good for Legoland and the Sea Life Aquarium to the lucky winner.

Here are eight ways to enter:

1)Leave your favorite Family Adventure Guidebooks Blog Post below.

2) Read and Comment on my Uptake Post on how to save money on your theme park adventures.  Then leave a comment below to let me know.

3)Follow me on Twitter @bridgetasmith. Leave your Twitter name below.

4) Retweet this Giveaway.  Leave your Twitter name below.

5) Subscribe to my RSS Feed. Leave a comment below.

6) Follow me on Networked Blogs. Leave a comment below.

7) Mention this giveaway on your blog.  Leave a comment below.

8) Retweet the Uptake Post.  Leave your Twitter name below.

Please leave a separate comment for each action.  Make sure that you include your e-mail when filling out the comment form so I can contact you if you win!

Selection will be made by Random.org based on the number of comments received on Saturday October 3, 2009.

Good luck!  Look forward sharing many more years of family travel adventures.

Happy Trails,

Bridget

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Legoland Misses Me! (Legoland Offers Great Deals to Lure Members Back)

August 19th, 2009 by bsmith | 3 Comments | Filed in Legoland, theme parks, Travel Discounts

Lego New York City, Miniland California

After much deliberation our family let our Legoland passes expire this year.  Due to a family trip last year, we have Disneyland passes through December.  Two themeparks seems like too much during the school year.  Still, Legoland is making it awfully tempting to re-up.  Here are two offers I have received in the past week.

Legoland’s Tenth Birthday Offer

 My ten year old is finally getting his long awaited birthday party this Saturday.  After partying in the pool with five of his closest friends, we may be heading over to Legoland.  It turns out that like Justin, Legoland is celebrating its tenth birthday.  To acknowledge this milestone its ten year old members (and apparently former members) a FREE Legoland Standard Membership. (Yes, you read that correctly…absolutely free).  The only catch of course is that you have to pay alot for parking, and find a Legoland member willing to bring your kid along or buy Membership yourself. 

 If you have a ten year old in your family and are planning to by a whole bunch of memberships, it might be worth asking if they would honor this promotion.  It expires Sept 1, 2009 and requires a postcard so act fast.  I am hoping that like most memberships this one will come with some bring a friend coupons in December and April.

Legoland Resort Pass Offer

Our three kids had a three month Resort Pass this year that we purchased from Costco.  Since we had been 3-Month mebers we also received a postcard offering Resort Memberships for the price of a  Standard Membership.  This is a pretty good deal, since it includes free mini golf and unlimited Sea Life Aquarium admission.  The aquarium admission would come in handy on the occasional rainy days we have here in Carlsbad.  It also includes free parking which is always awesome and is offered for any Resort Passholder, even kids.  That’s a savings of $40 off of the regular adult Resort Membership price.

Will these great Legoland bargains succeed in luring back our entire family? Frankly I’m still thinking about this one.  I do miss the special member Lego building events, the free entrance into Brick or Treat, and being to head over to Legoland for a Rocking New Year’s Eve Celebration.  We will take advantage of Justin’s free membership and see how it goes.  At the very least,  another three month pass for me and the little ones may be in our future. 

Anyone else out there seen some great theme park discounts and promotions?  Feel free to share below.

Happy Trails,

Bridget

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Family Adventure Tip Tuesday: Lego Star Wars Weekend

June 9th, 2009 by bsmith | 4 Comments | Filed in Family Travel, Legoland, Travel Tips
Justin is Captured by a Storm Trooper

Justin is Captured by a Storm Trooper

When you are planning a visit to a theme park, it is worth checking out special events.  Such outings can transform a theme park visit into something magical.  One of my all time favorite theme park special events is Lego Star Wars weekend which is happening this Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 5pm at Legoland, California.  Justin is definitely going with friends, and I’m hoping to make it there for a little while as well.

What make this event so special is that it turns a park that is normally geared to the younger set into a wonderland for big kids.  Elaborate Lego models constructed by kids and adults are displayed at the entrance.  You can also particpate in a  bunch of fun events including the droid scavenger hunt, costume contests and trivia contests.  The new X-Box play area is opening this weekend so I’m sure that there will be some Lego Starwars video game action as well. 

Justin and Jared Take a Break from their Droid Hunt

Justin and Jared Take a Break from Their Droid Hunt

One of the best parts of the weekend is that the whole park is teeming with  the 501st Legion of storm troopers and other costumed characters.  Impromptu battles between good and evil break out all over the park.  Kids have fun keeping an eye out for their favorite characters. Justin was on a Commander Cody hunt last year.  The storm troopers are very generous about posing for pictures so it’s easy to get some great shots or your Lego Star Wars Weekend adventures.

Captured by the Dark Side, Lego Star Wars Weekend

Captured by the Dark Side, Lego Star Wars Weekend

 May the force be with you wherever you go this weekend!  If you hit Legoland  this weekend keep an eye out for me and the boys.  (Destiny finds Storm Troopers rather scary, so she will be staying home.)

For more great Legoland special events check out my Unauthorized Legoland Guidebook .

Happy Trails,

Bridget

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Family Travel Tip Tuesday: Theme Park Membership Has Its Privileges

May 19th, 2009 by bsmith | 2 Comments | Filed in Disneyland, Family Travel, Legoland, San Diego Day Trips, Sea World, theme parks, Travel Discounts
Jared Makes A Camel Friend, Legoland California

Jared Makes A Camel Friend, Legoland California

If you are thinking about purchasing a theme park pass, be sure to investigate the extra benefits and privileges that the theme park may offer passholders.  Although these vary from park to park, many times these extras will almost pay for your entire membership.

Since my two youngest were born less than a year apart, our family has become experts at the “staycation”.  Traveling far from home with two preschoolers seems a bit too crazy for us at this point.  Our location here in Carlsbad gives us many options for family fun.  Visiting theme parks and zoos is one of the things that we enjoy doing together as a family.  In the past three years we have held passes for the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, Legoland, and Disneyland.

Legoland

If you live in Southern California or visit frequently throughout the year, a Legoland membership offers many opportunities for family adventure.  In addition to the great special events and members only activities that Legoland holds throughout the year,  Legoland offers excellent deals and discounts to its members.  Twice a year, members receive coupons for free entrance with a passholder.  This gives your family opportunities to bring friends and grandparents along to enjoy a Legoland adventure.  Also, if there is a Dad or teenager in your family who won’t be making it to Legoland very often this can be a great way to bring them along to enjoy the fun.

Legoland pass holders also receive free entrance to The Wave in Vista and Wild Rivers in Irvine.  In addition to the regular member dining and shopping discounts, Legoland’s quarterly newsletters contain coupons for additional savings.  This month I have a $10 voucher for the Ocean Journey Cafe, a free bucket of water balloons at the Raptor Splash, and other discount coupons.

Members benefit from Legoland’s efforts to promote the new Sea Life Aquarium.  Legoland is continuing to offer special visitor rates to Legoland members and friends and family.  Come enjoy the aquarium for as little as $5 per person!  Note that a coupon is required.  The curent coupon says that it expires 5/31/09, but keep checking the site.  So far they have extended this offer several times.

The Unauthorized Legoland Guidebook  will help your choose the combination of  memberships that will save you money and work for your family.

Disneyland

When we were planning a three day trip to Disneyland, I decided to investigate the price of membership.  I knew that we wouldn’t be visiting too often, but since we live only an hour away a few return visits would be fun.  After doing my research I decided that the Southern California Select passes offered the best value four our budget.  Unlike Legoland, non premium Disney Passholders do not receive many benefits.  However, they do receive some limited dining discounts in the parks and shopping discounts at Downtown Disney.  Still, with prices that can be less than a multi-day visit, an annual Disneyland pass is worth considering.

San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park

Membership at these attractions is extremely affordable.  (Kids passes are only $2 more than the one day Best Value Ticket).  Adult members receive two free guest passes which come in handy for out of town guests.  Pass holders also receive free admission to the Journey into Africa Tour at the Wild Animal Park…this is a must see!   In addition, they receive unlimited Skyfari aerial tram rides at the zoo.  These are important since, kids have to do alot of walking at the San Diego Zoo.  Membership covers both attractions so your family has plenty to explore.

Members also receive a monthly zoo magazine that contains interesting articles about the animals and great coupons including more free admission tickets for passholder guests.   All pass members also receive discounts on Wild Animal Park parking.

Sea World San Diego

We have had the opportunities to obtain discounted entrance to Sea World with our preschool, so I haven’t gone the pass route yet.  I am dreaming of an  Unauthorized Sea World Guidebook some day, so we may be getting passes next summer. 

In the mean time, be aware that Sea World offers the Fun Card which is a great deal.  You get a pass good for admission throughout the entire calendar year for the price of a single admission.

Parking

Make sure you factor the price of parking into your membership decisions.  Sometimes it pays to buy a more premium membership for at least one member of your family in order to get free parking.  Be sure to investigate whether the person needs to be the driver or just in the car.  Premium child memberships are often cheaper and  also offer free parking.

If you don’t live in Southern California, I encourage you to research theme park memberships in your area.  You may just discover the ticket to a whole year of family fun.

Happy Trails,

Bridget

 

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Family Travel Tip Tuesday: Snacks to Pack for Theme Park Adventures

May 4th, 2009 by bsmith | 2 Comments | Filed in Legoland, theme parks, Travel Tips

Many theme parks like  Disneyland let you bring your own food into the park.   Others request that you don’t bring food, but do not search your bag or otherwise stop you from bring food into the park.  Bring lunch or a few snacks can be crucial in order to keep costs low and ensure that you have something that a picky kidd will eat..  So go ahead and pack a backpack or insulated lunch box when you’re getting ready for a  theme park visit.

 Here are some of my favorite lunch items and snacks to pack for your day at the themepark.  I don’t necessarily limit my kids to healthy food on our visits.  To me, a day at a theme park is a time to indulge a little and it prevents my kids from constantly begging for treats:

  • Fruit Leather (These are great to slip in your pocket when you aren’t bringing a backpack or stroller)
  • A can of squeezie cheese and crackers (Easy to carry, fun, and doesn’t spoil)
  • Salami alone or with crackers
  • Apples
  • Home made cookies (Pack these in a container so they don’t crumble.  I’ve learned the hard way)
  • String Cheese
  • Water Bottles
  • Water or juice pouches (These are not welcome at zoos and other places that have animals due to the straws.)
  • Strawberries or melon slices in a container.
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
  • Carrot or celery sticks
  • Grapes
  • Nuts like peanuts or pistachios
  • Chips
  • Pretzels
  • Orange Slices

What are your favorite foods for a theme park picnic?

Happy Trails,

Bridget

P.S. Thanks to Stacey at San Diego Bargain Mama for featuring The Unauthorized Legoland Guidebook in her Made for Moms section.  If you live in the San Diego be sure to check out her blog for the latest bargains.

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Best Legoland Bargain of the Year: Celebrate Carlsbad Day Discount Tickets for $15

April 26th, 2009 by bsmith | No Comments | Filed in Legoland, theme parks, Travel Discounts
Jared on His Way to a Joust, Legoland California

Jared on His Way to a Joust, Legoland California

The Carlsbad Educational Foundation is hosting its annual Celebrate Carlsbad Day Fundraiser at Legoland California on May 2, 2009 from 1pm-9pm and includes evening fireworks.   Tickets are only $15  dollars and must be purchased in advance at several locations throughout North County.  The Sheraton Carlsbad is even offering special Celebrate Carlsbad Day discounts for guests visiting on May 1st and 2nd.

These are by far the cheapest Legoland tickets you can purchase, and they are for a great cause.  All proceeds benefit enrichment programs at the Carlsbad Schools.  Like all districts here in California, Carlsbad has been hit hard by budget cuts.  The grants distributed by the Carlsbad Educational foundation are key to maintaining a high quality engaging education for Carlsbad students.  You can catch a glimpse of some of the great performing arts and music programs funded by the foundation as several student acts including the award winning Carlsbad High dancers perform throughout the day. 

This is a great bargain, and in general you get the same level of Legoland experience available to visitors on any give day.  There are, however, two big differences.  The Big Test Show in Fun Town is cancelled to make room for student performances.  Also it is CROWDED!  We attended last year because it was the day that our Legoland passes were expiring.  We followed some of the strategies in my book that allowed us to have fun without waiting in too many lines.    It definately took longer to get around and we skipped some of the rides that were too busy.  I am guessing that early evening may be somewhat less crowded, so consider staying late if you go.

Still, if you think this will be one of your only Legoland experiences ever, and you did not have a chance to buy a $15 dollar ticket, I would plan to visit another day.  The crowds might not be worth the visit, although the fireworks will be fun.

Here’s the information for obtaining advance tickets http://www.carlsbaded.org/events_telethon.php .  If you decide to go, I thank you in advance.  My kids will benefit from your generosity.

For more Legoland bargains as well as tips on how to avoid the crowds, check out my Unauthorized Legoland Guidebook available on LULU.Com

Happy Trails,

Bridget

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