Holiday Events to Make Your Winter Spectacular

Christmas is around the corner–this means it’s time for a little celebration. No matter where you are, there’s going to be something to do. Some travel for Christmas, but others stay in town, enjoying the mild weather that California has to offer. If you’re not sure how to want to spend your holidays, have no fear. Here’s a list of things to do around town and abroad.

  1. Snow Day Los Angeles – With a discount code for five percent off, Snow Day LA is an annual spectacular tubing event that happens at Montecillo De Leo Politi Park. The tubing structure is directly built into the rolling hills of The Old Lodge. You would never think that it’s only five minutes away from Downtown LA. Jump on a tube today for as little as $12 and experience a whole lot of family fun. The experience includes lighted archways, decorated trees, an interactive light show and falling snow. VIP passes are also available, which includes a free onesie snuggie and unlimited activities. Parking is free but it is also first come first serve. Children under the age of three are free and those who are up to 12 years old receive a child ticket.
  2. Disney On Ice Presents: Dare to Dream – Happening at the Anaheim Honda Center, this $24 to $28 event includes five Disney heroines blazing the trail with courage with their own unique stories. See Moana, Elsa, Rapunzel, Belle and Cinderella discover their inner strength as they embark on their own missions. This will be Moana’s debut on ice, so you aren’t going to want to miss this.
  3. Winterfest: Holiday Cheer Comes to Santa Anita Park – With just a $5 cover charge for adults that includes a free cup of cocoa and a cookie, kids three and under can expect to get in free to this event. It’s fun for the whole family if you happen to be in Arcadia. If you’re trying to purchase package deals, there’s plenty to choose from. Winterfest includes ice skating, photos with Santa, ornament making and more holiday events for the entire family to enjoy.
  4. A Wild Wonderland of Light: L.A. Zoo Lights – This is definitely one of LA’s best holiday traditions. Sure, the animals are mostly asleep. But the entire grounds are illuminated with Christmas cheer. Featuring a new expanded route, get a peak into a winter wonderland filled with glowing light animals rendered by lasers, 3-D projections and musical water-and-light displays. Get an Instagram picture at the famous Twinkle Tunnel, or have a visit with Santa. There’s a plethora of things to do when coming down to the LA Zoo. Prices range from $11.50 to $18.
  5. Queen Mary Christmas – Lights, Santa, Carolers, Ice Rink & More – Get a taste of the North Pole right here in Long Beach. Stroll through the decks of the ship and experience a little bit of Christmas cheer wherever you turn. There’s synchronized twinkling lights, carolers and musical performances. On top of that, there’s an outdoor skating rink to enjoy as well on the Sports Deck. Get a chance to meet with Santa and spending quality time with your family.Prices range from $8 to $26. You can get a chance to feel the cheer all the way into January.
  6. Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade – A tradition that began over 100 years ago, this boat parade is one of the best of the best. If you’re in the Orange County area, it is a must-see for the entire family. Viewed by over 1.5 million people each season, the parade offers some of the largest decorated boats in the country. On top of that, there’s the Ring of Lights competition to check out as well. The parade takes place from December 19, 2018 to December 23, 2018 from 6 pm to 10 pm.
  7. Go Ice Skating in Union Square – If you’re in San Francisco, this is a must. Happening until January 21, skate under the view of the Macy’s Christmas tree and all of the lights that Union Square has to offer. If you’re going to go to any rink this year, it should probably be this one.
  8. Explore the Bar Car at New York Botanical Garden – The Botanical Gardens in New York City’s the Bronx aren’t just for kids; there’s adult fun too. The next dates are the 21st, 22nd, 28th and 29th, with a couple extra dates in January. Check out the Night Market with a drink and a snack, listen to carolers or watch an ice sculptor at his craft. No matter what, spend this romantic evening making the best out of the elusive bar car nights. Prices for non-members is $38.

Whether you’re spending the holidays in town or out of it, this list can help you find some of the best events to attend this year. Get some ice skating in or spend your day having a snow day in the middle of Downtown LA. And if anything, you can always spend time indoors with your loved ones as well. Whatever your decision is, it’ll be a good one. 

Top Three Popular Goods to Bake for The Season

‘Tis the season for epic baking and lots of hearty laughter. Nine-in-ten Americans across the nation celebrate Christmas, according to data from Pew Research Center. That means over 90 percent of America participates in one sole holiday. Christmas has become a holiday that is celebrated whether you have ties to a faith or not. And with the holidays, comes a whole lot of baked goods. This is the time that families and friends gather to share great food and fun times. If you’re trying to think of a halfway decent recipe to try out for your next holiday party, have no fear. This blog is going to help you dive into Christmas sweets. But it’s not just about Christmas–there’s Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice and Las Posadas, to name a few other other holidays. So what are you going to bake this year? With the these special days within grasp, it’s time to break down the best of the best. This is exactly what needs to be brewing in your kitchen. If you aren’t quite sure what should be on the roster as far as baked goods go, then this blog is for you. These are the most popular baked goods to bake for the season, courtesy of Genius Kitchen.

  • Chocolate Holiday Pretzels – Ready in 25 minutes, this recipe yields three plates and serves 30.

Ingredients:

One (17 ⅝ ounce) bag of holiday M&M’s chocolate candy (red and green).

Three (10 ounce) bags of checkerboard or windowpane shaped pretzels.

Three (13 ounce) bags of Hershey’s Hugs chocolates.

Three (13 ounce) bags of Hershey’s chocolate Kisses.

Directions: First, preheat the oven to 170 degrees. Open the pretzel bags and remove unbroken pretzels. Place pretzels on waxed paper-lined cookie sheets in a single layer. Unwrap Hugs and place one on each individual pretzel. Repeat for entire cookie sheet. When doing your Hugs, put them on ONE specific sheet. Don’t mix them up. These candies melt faster than the other. Repeat step using the Kisses. Next, place in a preheated oven. For the Hugs, bake four minutes. For the Kisses, bake five to six minutes. Once you remove the pretzels from the oven, place one M&M on each pretzel/chocolate. Finally, place cookie sheet in freezer for eight minutes minimum, 10 minutes max. This allows the chocolate time to set.
Original Recipe here.

  • Bacardi Rum Cake – Ready in an hour and a half, this recipe serves 10-12 individuals.

Ingredients:

One cup chopped pecans or one cup chopped walnuts
One (520 g) package yellow cake mix (just the mix, don’t add the other ingredients on the box)
One (92 g) package vanilla instant pudding mix
Four eggs
½ cup cold water
½ cup cooking oil
½ cup dark rum or rum
GLAZE
½ cup butter
¼ cup water
One cup sugar
½ cup dark rum or rum

One cup chopped pecans or one cup chopped walnuts
One (520 g) package yellow cake mix (just the mix, don’t add the other ingredients on the box)
One (92 g) package vanilla instant pudding mix
Four eggs
½ cup cold water
½ cup cooking oil
½ cup dark rum or rum
GLAZE
½ cup butter
¼ cup water
One cup sugar
½ cup dark rum or rum

Directions: First, stir together cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water, oil and rum. Then, pour batter over nuts. Bake at 325 in oven for exactly one hour. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Then, invert onto serving plate and prick top. For the glaze, you want to melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in water and sugar. Boil for five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the rum. Once glaze is done, brush glaze evenly over top and sides of cake. Allow the cake to absorb the glaze. And repeat until the glaze is gone.
Original Recipe here.

  • Christmas Pudding –  Ready in just over six hours, this recipe serves 10-12 individuals.

Ingredients:

One and ½ cups raisins
One cup currants
½ cup chopped mixed peel
One lemon, juice and zest of
One orange, juice and zest of
½ cup brandy
¾ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup dark brown sugar
Two large eggs
One and ½ cups fresh breadcrumbs
One cup all-purpose flour
One teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
One teaspoon mixed spice

Directions: Blend dried fruits with the lemon and orange zest and juice in a large bowl. Leave for 10-12 hours to soak. In another large bowl, mix the butter and sugar together until smooth. Stir in the eggs until it’s properly mixed together. Add breadcrumbs, flour, baking powder, salt and mixed spice, stirring together until blended. Pour the contents of the dried fruit bowl into the batter and lightly mix to combine. Next, pour into a greased six-cup pudding basin, or a heat proof mixing bowl. Cover with a piece of baking paper and secure around the top with cooking twine. Then it’s got to be lowered into a large pot half-filled with simmering water. Cover the pot and leave on the stove to simmer, steaming the pudding for about five hours. Make sure you keep a watchful eye on the pudding while it’s steaming–putting in more water when needed. Then, leave to cool and store in a really cool part of the house for up to seven days. When ready to eat, steam again for one hour. Make sure the pudding is served warm with whipped cream.
Original Recipe here.

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