SoCal Summer Guide – Fourth of July Celebrations

Fourth of July Celebrations are the perfect events to get together with family to bond and celebrate our nations freedom and federal holiday, Independence Day.   The Fourth of July is also the most popular day for grilling across the country with Memorial Day in second place.  According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, more than 14,000 firework displays will brighten  the skies of the country on the Fourth of July.

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Our perfect Fourth of July event kicks off with the parade and local Fourth of July festivities.  If you are planning a similar day, we recommend that you head out to the fourth of July fireworks destination immediately following your local parade to allow enough time to find the perfect spot and celebrate with family prior to the fireworks.

Make sure to prepare food, water and lots of sweaters as the day will get cooler towards the evening.

Here is a list of our favorite places to check out the fireworks and have a safe & great time.  Whether you are planning a traditional day at the park or looking for a fun day under the stars with lots of activities our Fourth of July event guide has everything you need.

 

4th Of July Celebrations In Southern California

 

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Big Bear  –   Big Bear Lake’s Fireworks Spectacular starts and will explode at 7,000′ reflecting its shower of brilliance over Big Bear Lake on Friday, July 4th at 8:45pm.  Big Bear Lake Fourth of July celebrations has abundance of events, recreation and activities.

Canyon Lake –  Skipper’s Island. Fireworks at 9pm.

CarlsbadRED, WHITE and BOOM spectacular fireworks at Legoland.  Don’t miss Fireworks set to a patriotic musical tribute beginning at 8:30 p.m. with great viewing in designated locations throughout the Park. Throughout the day, kids of all ages can enjoy live musical performances and participate in all-American family picnic games, like water-balloon tosses, burlap sack races, family build challenge and LEGO Hamburger relay.  Purchase tickets at Legoland.

ChinoPLEASE NOTE: Event is on July 3. Join the City of Chino for a fun-filled fourth of July Spectacular in Chino on July 3 with family and friends.  This year’s festivities will kick off at 3pm with carnival rides, games, food, music, and fun activities for the whole family.  Help honor Chino’s Service men and women at 7:00 p.m.  Enjoy a live performance by the band “Ravelers” at 7:30 pm; a spectacular fireworks show will signal the end of the evening at 9:00 pm

Chula Vista –  Various City of Chula Vista Fourth of July events throughout the day.  To see the fireworks attend the Port of San Diego’s “Big Bay Boom Fireworks. Prime viewing locations include Shelter Island, Harbor Island, North and South Embarcadero, Marina District, Seaport Village, and the Coronado Ferry Landing.

City of Orange -PLEASE NOTE: Event is on July 3.    3rd of July Celebration at Modena High School  include games, entertainment, food from local non-profits and musical performances and fireworks show.  Tickets are $7 per person.

Claremont –  The City of Claremont’s Fourth of July Celebration culminates with an fireworks show and a live concert featuring Classic Rock band – The Answer!  The City of Claremont’s fireworks show has developed over the years and has become one of the biggest and best shows in all of Los Angeles County! The 20+ minute show is fully synchronized to music and electronically fired.  The Concert is presented by the DoubleTree by Hilton Claremont.  Check link for ticket details.

Coronado –   My family attended the City of Coronado Glorietta Bay fireworks every year during my childhood.  It’s a spectacular event.  Fireworks start at 9pm.   There is other activities including a parade, 5k run/walk, Coast Guard demonstration and more.

Del Mar  – Del Mar Fairgrounds Fourth of July Spectacular starts at 9pm.   There will also be lots of rides, food, Hometown heroes parade and Navy band performance.

Fontana – After a couple years off, the Fourth of July festivities at Fontana High school are back.   The main stage entertainment starts at 5pm.  Enjoy face painting, stilt walkers and dance the night away with your family.  Tickets are $4 per person. Check link for ticket details.

Hollywood – Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular with Smokey Robinson at the Hollywood bowl.  Purchase tickets at ticketmaster.

Lake Arrowhead – Lake Arrowhead Lake 9pm.

Lake Elsinore – Patriotic Parade of Lights followed by  Fireworks in Lake Elsinore.  Boaters may purchase tickets for $10 to view fireworks on the lake.

Long BeachAquarium of the Pacific  Fourth of July BBQ.  You can view Queen Mary Fireworks from Aquarium of the Pacific.

MenifeeCelebrating Independence Day in Menifee on June 27 at Wheatfield Park.   Check the local events for Riverside or Temecula for celebrations on July 3 or July 4.

Moreno Valley  – The parade starts at 10:30am-12pm.  City of Moreno Family Fest kicks off at 2pm at Morrison Park.  Fireworks start at 9pm.

Murrieta – There are no Fourth of July events planned.  Check the local events for Temecula.

Pasadena – Rose Bowl.  Purchase tickets.

Perris – The City of Perris will host their Fourth of July festivities at the Auto Speedway in Perris.  The event is free to residents.  Event starts at 3pm.  Fireworks start at 9pm.  Event FREE to Perris residents.

Redlands – The City of Redlands will celebrate the Fourth of July festivities at Sylvan Park.  Parade starts at 10:30.  The University of Redlands will host the annual fireworks extravaganza with a live show and entertainment. Fireworks start at 9pm.

San Diego –  Port of San Diego’s “Big Bay Boom Fireworks. Prime viewing locations include Shelter Island, Harbor Island, North and South Embarcadero, Marina District, Seaport Village, and the Coronado Ferry Landing.

San Diego – Celebrate the Wonder Fireworks at Sea World.

San Ysidro – City of San Ysidro presents Fireworks at Larsen Field at Cesar Chavez Park.  3-10pm

Riverside –  The Fourth of July aerial fireworks show will be celebrated at La Sierra Park Fireworks.

Temecula – The City of Temecula Fireworks spectacular kicks off when the park opens at 9am and Fourth of July Festivities start at 2pm.  The fireworks start at 9pm sharp.  Music broadcasted on KATY 101.3.  There will be a lot of Food Vendors and Kids Fun Zone.  Handicap parking is limited and first come, first serve.  Arrive early to secure a parking spot.

VictorvilleSan Bernardino Fairgrounds Fireworks start at 9pm.

SoCal Summer Guide – Inland Empire Splash Pads

June is just beginning, but the summer heat has already shown up in the Inland Empire.

A splash pad – a recreation area with no or little standing water – is a great place to cool off in the summer heat without all the stress of going to the neighborhood pool.

A splash pad is something all of the children can enjoy – from bigger kids to toddling babies. One-year-olds love to splash in a small pool of water.  Older kids love watching other kids manipulate streams of water and sticking their feet in the fountains in the ground.

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Photo Credit: City of Lake Elsinore

Splash Pad Tips

  • Wear sunscreen and bring an umbrella if there is not going to be shade nearby.
  • Wear a swimsuit to play in the water and consider water shoes. Avoid flip flops that get slippery when wet or catch on rubberized ground.
  • Don’t bring the family dog to a splash pad. Not only could a child with a fear of dogs be forced to leave the pad, but even a well-trained dog could get nervous or overexcited around screaming, running kids.
  • Since there is no need for a lifeguard at a splash pad, keep a close eye on your children.
  • Wear swimsuits to a splash pad if possible, including swim diapers if needed.

 

 

Inland Empire Splash Pads

There are many splash pads all over Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino counties) – from public spaces, regional parks to water parks.

Here’s a list of some you don’t need to pay admission to get you started.

  • Citrus Park Splash Pad at Citrus Parkin Corona is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. until September 30th. The splash pad, which features water cannons, leaf-like structures and other ways to play, is near two playgrounds and grass areas for drying off in the sun.
  • Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga has a small fountain feature splash pad in the center of the shopping area, close to Bath & Body Works and Ben and Jerry’s. There is a family-friendly bathroom nearby for changing.
  • Monte Vista Park in Chino features a fenced-in splash pad with a tall geyser spray and has benches nearby.  The seven-acre park, which also features playgrounds and basketball courts, will have the splash pad running 7 days a week  Open  June 14 – September 1 from 10am-6pm.
  • The colorfully-lit interactive fountain at The Shoppes at Chino Hills is in the middle of the shopping center. There is a bathroom for changing nearby, so change out of your swimsuit and get dry before you go shopping or have lunch.
  • Veterans Park in Colton has along with the splash pad has large trees and grass nearby for moms to stay in the shade. There is two playgrounds, other activities and a library and community center.
  • The splash pad at Tom Minor Park in San Bernardino is right next to a covered area with picnic benches and a playground. However, there are no bathrooms at the park – the nearby Arco station bathroom (by Starbucks) is the closest option.
  • Lake Elsinore’s Canyon Hills Community Park has a splash pad along with its 18 acres of park activities and sport fields. The  whimsical splash pad is walled off and surrounded by umbrellas to keep parents cool.

Updated 06/20/2014. Posted 06/04/2014.

Things To Do With Dad In Southern California

Father’s Day is a time where we honor our father’s and husbands for being wonderful dads.  In Southern California there are a lot of fun things to do with dad, including classic car shows, parks, fishing and dining.   We compiled this list as a reference for things to do with dad.  In honor of dad, we’ll update this list periodically throughout the year.

 

Celebrating Cars With Dad

  • Annual Father’s Day Car Show:  (Murrieta, CA) Father’s Day Cal Oaks Sports Park in Murrieta, CA.  6:30am-2pm.  There will be over 300 classic and specialty vehicles as well as food and business vendors.  40 Trophies will be awarded to ‘Dads Top 40′ vehicles of the show in addition to ‘Mayors Choice’ and ‘Best in Show.’ The vehicle that wins the Best in Show will be featured on all of next years promotional material.   If you have never been, you need to check it out!
  • Concours d’Elegance Beverly Hills Luxury Car Show: (Beverly Hills, CA) The Rodeo Drive Committee, in conjunction with the city of Beverly Hills, presents the Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance every year on Father’s Day. Each year a theme is selected to feature the superb combination of rare automobiles and motorcycles highlighting the past, present and future at the crossroads of fashion, design and entertainment. This year’s selected theme is “Highways to Heaven” to honor Route 66, Autobahn and Autostrade. Tip Courtesy of The Beverly Hills Mom.
  • Autoclub Speedway (Fontana, CA):  The Auto Club Speedway in Fontana has several fun events throughout the year including the Auto Club 400 and upcoming Historic Sports Car Festival to celebrate Ford Mustang’s 50th anniversary.  You can also get dad a gift for a Nascar race car driving experience. Vroooom!

 

Dining With Dad

  • Mariposa’s Temecula:  (Temecula, CA & San Diego, CA) Want to make dad smile?  Take him to Mariposa’s in Temecula!  The family owned ice cream joint showcases homemade ice cream in various flavors.  The menu changes several times throughout the year.  The ice cream recipes have been passed down for several generations for ice cream enthusiasts to enjoy for years to come.  While you are there, make sure to check out the sports collectibles and autographed photos.  Word around town is that famous people visit this place!  Address: 29073 Overland Drive, Suite C, Temecula, California  Address:  3450 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116
  • Mad Madeline’s Grill in Old Town Temecula (Temecula, CA):  Old Town Temecula has several historical places and small town charm.  Visit Old town with dad and enjoy a hamburger at Mad Madeline’s Grill and walk throughout the historic district with dad.  You will be sure to spot a classic cars or cool motorcylces during your stroll with dad. Address: 8495 Old Town Front St, Temecula, CA 92590
  • Al’s Beef (Chino, CA & Alhambra, CA):  Al’s Beef serves the best Chicago Beef sandwiches and cheese fries.  If your dad is from Chicago or the East Coast he is going to love this place.   We love it, so make sure to take dad there too!

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Fishing, Hiking and Boating With Dad

  • Lake Cuyamaca (Julian, CA): Visit Lake Cuyamaca with dad for boating, fishing, camping and bird watching.
  • Lake Perris (Perris, CA):  Visit Lake Perris with dad for a walk, boat ride, picnic, horseback riding or to go fishing!
  • Santa Rosa Plateau (Murrieta, CA):   Take dad on a hiking trip at Santa Rosa Plateau. There are several walking trails, biking trails and hiking trails for all levels of nature enthusiasts.
  • Lake Skinner (Winchester, CA):  With 1400 acres of water supplied by the Colorado river and 241 campgrounds, Lake Skinner is an outdoor enthusiasts dream.  There is several recreational facilities including bird watching, fishing and picnic areas.  The park also offers a newly installed splash pad and camp store.

Roadtrip With Dad

  • Riley’s Farms (Oak Glen, CA):  Oak Glen is famous for its apple orchards and ranches.  Plan a trip with dad to pick apples and visit the local area.  One of our favorite places is Riley’s Farms for its colonial atmosphere. You can explore colonial farm life, visit a living colonial farm and participate in a reenactment of the revolutionary war.   Riley’s farm also serves the best chicken pot pie in Inland Empire.

 

 

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SoCal Summer Guide – Inland Empire Waterparks

There are several Inland Empire waterparks  and regional park options for cooling off this summer. Rent a cabana or bring a beach blanket and go for a wet n’ wild time!

Summer heat is upon us and, while splashing in a pool or running through a sprinkler can be fun, it’s nice to take a day and really immerse yourself in the joy of cooling off.  There are water parks across the Inland Empire that are private or government owned, allowing for every way you can imagine to cool off, from sliding down a water slide, catching a wave in a wave pool or being splashed with 100 gallons of water at a play area.

 

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Water Parks

Castle Park’s Buccaneer Cove has a five-level structure of wet fun, including several slides, spray fountains and a splash bucket. There are several ticket options available, from just Buccaneer Cove entry at $13 to also including mini golf and the theme park rides at Castle Park in Riverside. Season passes are available, pay to park.

The Cove Waterpark has a surf area, never-ending river, slides and an aquatic play structure. Cabanas and swim lessons available, as well as week-long day camps including swim lessons. Waterpark is open 7 days a week through mid-August, then weekends through mid-September. General admission is $18, 36-47” tall is $14, and $9 for guests 30-35” tall. The Cove Waterpark is at 4310 El Camino Real in Riverside.

Dropzone Waterpark is home to slides, a continuous river, multistory water activity area, and a splash pad with ‘geysers’ for little children. Swim classes available. Park is open most days through August and weekends in September. Admission is $18 for general admission, junior admission for kids 36-41” tall is $14,  and tots 30-35” tall is $9. Annual passes available for $53 and $47. Dropzone Waterpark  is at 2165 Trumble Road in Perris.

Mulligans in Murietta has a splash zone and water slides, making it very family friendly as kids can play around in the zero-depth area. Tickets for the water park are $15, or add on rides, mini golf and more for $24.

Pyrite Rapids Waterpark at Fiesta Village in Colton  has a double tube slide, a body slide and one that sends you off with a gush of water. Passes are available just for the water park-  under  48” is $11, over 48” is $15. Or stay and play miniature golf, ride amusement park rides or go roller skating.

Splash Kingdom Waterpark in Redlands offers several slides, a lazy river, kiddie pool and wave pool. . Other park options include trampoline area, arcade, sports bar and more. Splash Kingdom, formerly known as Pharoah’s Lost Kingdom, has offers including water park admission, lunch and trampoline time, as well as a discount for entry after 4 p.m. General admission is $30, with 3-12 year olds $17. Season tickets are available to the waterpark, pay to park.

Wet N’ Wild Palm Springs, formerly Knott’s Soak City, has reopened under a new name this year wit the same variety of rides geared for a little adventure, or for some wet family fun with a interactive play area, lazy river, slides, raft rides and more. During the summer Wet n’ Wild is hosting a series of ‘dive in’ movies July 11 through August 1. General admission is $37, guests 3-11 are $27. Season passes are available, pay to park.

 

Regional Parks

San Bernardino regional parks have a park entrance fee of $8 a vehicle, $10 on weekends and holidays.  Annual passes are available for parking. Check out the regional park swimming schedule for San Bernardino, visit the water park areas or stay all weekend and camp, fish, and enjoy nature at the regional parks. Other rates apply for camping and activities, be sure to reserve your campground.

Cucamonga- Guasti  Regional Park has pedal boat rentals, or a swim lagoon, water slides and zero-depth water play area.  Boat rentals are $10 a half hour, swim entrance is $5 for four years and up, all day swim and waterslides are $10 (waterslide rides are for 48” and up).

Glen Helen Regional Park has waterslides, zero-depth depth play area and lake swimming area.  Swim entrance for ages three and up is is $6 during the week, $8 on weekends and $10 on holidays.

Yucaipa Regional Park has pedal boat rentals for $10 a half hour, lake swimming with a sandy beach and a pair of water slides.  Swim admission is $5 a person, water slides are $2 for a single ride or $10 for a swimming and waterslide day pass.

Lake Gregory has a zero-depth play area, swimming, slides, several boat rental options and an inflatable play area on the water. You can go down the slides for $2 for a single ride, or $7 for a pass. The inflatable play area Splash Island is $7. Annual passes are available for $95 individual, $230 for a family of four.

Riverside County hosts two big waterparks that are controlled by the county of Riverside and full of fun for the entire family.  Check websites for deals, dates and time, as well as safety and dress code information.

 

Have additional parks you would like us to add to the list?  Comment below and let us know!

 

SoCal Travel Guide – Temecula Winery Getaway Tips

There are many things to do in Inland Empire, but the jewel of the valley is Temecula Wine Country.  Temecula Wine Country is a little known secret nestled between San Diego and Los Angeles and offers a variety of options for a romantic getaway or a getaway with friends.  Whether you are a foodie and music lover like me or a wine enthusiasts, there is something for everyone to enjoy.   Out of town friends that have never visited the area before, always go home feeling like the have enjoyed a little bit of paradise.

I recommend the World of Wines event in March or Barrel Tasting Celebration during the month of November.  Each event includes wine tasting at over 30 wineries with gourmet food pairings.   The WOW events are a great way to visit all the wineries and discover  new favorite places.  If you’re visiting Temecula for the first time I also recommend a stop into Old Town with a visit to EAT Marketplace for brunch and Havana Kitchen for dinner.

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Wilson Creek Winery

Temecula Getaway Guide

If you’re planning a weekend getaway to Temecula Wine Country print this vetted list of favorite Temecula Wine Country destinations and prepare for a breath-taking weekend  of scenic views, great food and wine tasting.

Make sure to visit this page before making a trip again and again as I’ll keep adding additional tips & discounts when available.

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Leoness Cellars Winery

 

Temecula’s Best Wineries

Europa Village Winery – Europa Village is an elegant and charming winery.   The European style reminds you of an Old World European village with some modern flair.  Some of the best things about the winery include the wine cave, ample seating spaces and views of the vineyards.    The staff is very knowledgable and friendly and make you feel like a part of the family.  The Dans de Vin Artists Series and  Moscato wine is one of the favorite wines in the region.

Leoness Cellars Winery –  Founded in 2003, The Leoness Cellars Winery also known as “The Village of Dreams” cellars is located in the rolling hills of wine country.  They also have a great restaurant and tasting options.   The White Merlot is one of the favorite Rosés in the region.

Miramonte Winery – Known as the hippest Winery in town, the Miramonte Winery is nestled on top of a hill overlooking the Temecula wine country! Some of the best features of the winery include the outdoor veranda, vintages, Live music and water misters.  The winery also serves several Mediterranean plates that pair well with your wine tasting.  The Miramonte Winery Sangria is also one of the finest Sangrias in the region. The owner is also very savvy with Social Media and you can find him online from time to time sharing his insider wine and entrepreneur tips.  Also, keep your eyes open for Mojo, the hippest dog in wine country.

Robert Renzoni Vineyards & Winery – The winery is located on an Italian Villa in Temecula Wine Country.  The history of the families wine make experience also dates back to Italy.  You will literally feel like you have been transferred into a small Italian Villa in Italy when you walk thru the winery.  The restaurant also serves an assortment of delicious salads and fries.  You can also purchase their signature olive oil, vinegar, marinara sauce and hot chili sauces.  The Moscato wine is one of the favorite.

Wilson Creek Winery – There are so many things to do at Wilson Creek, including concerts, picnics, lunch, tastings and dinner.  I recommend an early afternoon brunch at The Creekside Grill.   There are several delicious plates including the Cheese plate, Bruschetta and Gerry’s Reuben sandwich.   Make sure to get the mimosas any time of day.

 

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The Restaurant at Leoness Cellars – Pear & Gargonzola

 

 

Temecula’s Best Dining Spots

Creek Side Grill at Wilson Creek

E.A.T. Marketplace

Havana Kitchen

South Coast Winery – Vineyard Rose Restaurant

The Restaurant at Leoness Cellars

The Restaurant at Ponte Winery * reservations recommended

Broken Yolk

Temecula Wine Country Accommodations

The Inn at Churon

The Inn at Europa Villa

Temecula Wine Country Villa Chateau $399-$699 per night – sleeps 12

Temecula Wine Tasting Transportation

We recommend the all-inclusive day trip on the Grapeline Wine Tours.  The shuttle will stop at four wineries and includes a picnic lunch, behind the scene tours of vineyards and wine-tasting.

Temecula Wine Country Seasonal Events

March – Celebrate World Of Wines for 30 wineries.  The weekend events includes a self-guided wine tasting with gourmet food pairings for over 30 wineries.

September – Celebrate California Wine Month during the month of September 2014 with a SIP passport.  For $40 you get to visit 4 wineries. The SIP Temecula passport includes 4 wine-tastings at 4 separate wineries of your choice.  The discount is about 50% average cost of wine tasting prices.   Get your SIP  Temecula passport here and celebrate California Wine month.

November  – Annual Barrel Tasting Weekend.   Visit over 30 wineries for a fun-filled self-guided Food & Wine adventure in Temecula Wine Country.  Purchase tickets at the Temecula Growers Annual Barrel Tasting or an all-inclusive tickets with transportation to Grapeline Wine Tours Annual Barrel Tasting.

Temecula Wine Country Discount Tips

If you’re looking for a luxurious experience at reasonable prices also check-out Travel Zoo Temecula Wine Country offers  for huge discounts on afternoon wine tasting tours, spa treatments and more.  Travel Zoo discounts typically need to be purchased in advance so plan accordingly.

 

I hope you enjoy your stay in beautiful Temecula Wine Country.

Cheers!

Eva Smith Tech Life Magazine

 

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