ICEE Celebrates 50 Years with Surprise Mystery Flavor

ICEE

When I think of an ICEE, The store 7-11 automatically pops into my mind. It’s the first place I ever experienced a frozen ICEE as a kid. Can you believe they have been around since 1967? This year ICEE is celebrating 50 years of America’s favorite frozen beverage and will debut various new flavors and limited-edition packaging throughout the year, INCLUDING a new mystery flavor!

ICEE lovers will have the opportunity to sip new flavor blends in limited-edition 32 ounce cups with a golden spoon-straw. Flavors include:

  • Fanta Sour Grape
  • Dragon Fruit
  • Mango Strawberry
  • Lemonade and Strawberry Lemonade
  • Laffy Taffy
  • Mango Chili Lime.

ICEE Facts

  1. The ICEE Company began as ICEE of Los Angeles in 1967.
  2. Over the next two decades, the company expanded in the western United States and eventually became ICEE USA
  3. The ICEE company was acquired by J&J Snack Foods in 1987.
  4. The ICEE Company sells approximately 500 million ICEE drinks each year – enough to fill 141 Olympic-size swimming pools.
  5. ICEE’s first flavor ever was Cola.
  6. Carbonation makes ICEE fluffy. The mixture of syrup, water and CO2 gets combined and frozen in a chamber within the equipment. Then the equipment makes and dispenses the product.
  7. Diet or sugar-free ICEE’s are currently not available. Sugar actually plays two roles in the production of ICEE. First, it helps make ICEE taste great and second, it acts as a “freezing control.” Without the exact amount of sugar, ICEE would freeze up too hard and would not dispense from the machine to your cup.

For more information, visit ICEE.com or visit them on Facebook and Twitter.

5 Things To Do As A Family At Balboa Fun Zone

Anyone that grew up in Orange County is familiar with the nostalgic Newport Beach icon, Balboa Fun Zone. I have fond memories of my dad taking us there every summer and taking the car ferry across to the peninsula. But did you know that the Fun Zone recently had a face lift?  In 2016, ExplorOcean merged with Discovery Cube Orange County to form Ocean Quest and several new attractions were added and the entire attraction has been newly refreshed.

Family Fun At Balboa Fun Zone

The great thing about the Balboa Fun zone is that there is no admission cost. We all know family entertainment can be expensive but at the fun zone you can customize your day and spend as little or as much as you want. You can stroll the bayside boardwalk and just watch the boats in the harbor or ride all the rides and eat lots of yummy food. So what attractions are along the boardwalk?

Relive Your Youth on the Fun Zone Rides

There are 5 fun family rides at the fun zone.

  1. Ferris Wheel– Since 1936, the iconic Ferris Wheel has been giving guests the best views of Newport Harbor and the Pacific Ocean. Step back into a bygone era and take what will most likely be the longest Ferris Wheel ride ever!
  2. Happy Swing– This family fun ride lifts guests to-and-fro in a clockwise and counterclockwise motion for an adventure over the Balboa Fun Zone boardwalk. The Happy Swing can fit up to 12 children at one time.
  3. Ocean Motion – Flip, bounce and fly with a bungee cord apparatus that launches riders up to twenty feet into the air, providing them panoramic views of the Newport Harbor.
  4. Coconut Tree Climb– Who will get to the top first? Fun for the whole family, this experience pits three racers against each other…
  5. Tower Drop – Young riders will enjoy this exhilarating attraction as it springs them straight up and down to heights over 18 feet

Get A Balboa Bar

No visit to The Balboa Fun Zone is complete without a Balboa Bar! The Balboa Bar is a rectangle of vanilla ice cream on a stick, dipped in chocolate and rolled in delicious toppings. We prefer sprinkles but they also have nuts and frozen bananas on a stick. You can get a Balboa bar right on the boardwalk at Balboa Beach Treats.

Fly A Kite In The Park

Peninsula Park, just a block from the Fun Zone is the perfect place to fly a kite! A group of kite-flying enthusiasts who love to talk about their toys and show them off gathers here almost every day. Kites of all sizes, shapes and colors float on the breeze, darting between palm trees and swiveling in midair. If you need to buy a kite there are several shops along the boardwalk.

Explore Ocean Lab at Discovery Cube’s Ocean Quest

Visit Hands-on ocean science comes to life inside the Ocean Lab where you can interact with touch-tanks full of real sea-life, learn about weather patterns, build underwater robots and then drive them! This space is all about learning how science can help us better understand our ocean environment and how to protect this precious resource.

Get some Old Fashioned Candy At Balboa Candy Store

Remember Caramel Creams, and cow tales, and bubble gum cigars? You can get all of that and more at Balboa Candy Store. They are famous for having one of the largest selection of salt water taffy in the world. Balboa candy also offers a wide selection of candy for all ages, including all the old time favorites! They specialize in retro candies like Razzles, Valomilk, Mallo Cups, and Teaberry gum.

BONUS #1: Play In The Arcade

Don’t miss the nostalgic Balboa Arcade. But bring several rolls of quarters as these games add up quickly! With over 30 classic arcade games, you won’t want to miss this stop on the Boardwalk. From skeeball and air hockey to Pac-Man and racing games, the Balboa Arcade provides fun for all ages!

 Bonus #2  : Eat At Balboa Bar-B-Que

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The food at Bar-B-Que is outstanding. The meats are moist, flavorful and plentiful.  They specialize in Slow Smoked Meats like Beef Brisket, Baby Back Ribs, Pulled Pork and If you’re looking for the Best Handmade 1/2 Burgers in Newport Beach they have them.

Balboa History

  • In 1906, Fred Lewis owned a tract of land on the waterfront in old Balboa. For years, he operated a boat yard there, storing and repainting boats for many of the locals. By 1936 his business had dwindled so he leased the land to Al Anderson. The boat yard was torn down. Construction began and the Original Balboa Fun Zone was born.
  • The Ferris wheel is a 1918, 45-foot version bought from a Seattle company.
  • The Fun Zone is still owned and operated by a small group of families and friends.

For more information visit Balboa Fun Zone on Facebook and Twitter.

5 Delicious Things To Try At Knott’s Boysenberry Festival

Disclosure

Knott’s Berry Farm Boysenberry Festival

The Boysenberry Festival at Knott’s Berry Farm is back for 2017 starting April 1st and continuing all the way through April 23rd.  With so many delicious choices of food you won’t even know where to start. So here are some helpful tips:

  1. Get a Boysenberry Bites Tasting Card. They are only $25, and the tasting card includes generous portions of six delectable treats:
  • Boysenberry Pizza at Wagon Wheel Pizza
  • Boysenberry Ravioli at Spurs Chophouse
  • Boysenberry Buffalo Wings at the Gold Trails Hotel
  • Boysenberry BBQ Meatballs at the Bank of Calico
  • Boysenberry Fry Bread at the Gourmet Churro Factory
  • Boysenberry Pana Cotta at the Ghost Town Bakery

2. Arrive Early. The Boysenberry Festival is wildly popular and draws large crowds.  Arriving early helps to reduce ride and food wait times and also gives you more time to experience all of the fun.

3. Purchase tasting cards at Sutters Grill, Pemmican Pickle, the Calico Saloon, the Churro Factory, the Berry Stand at the entrance of Ghost Town, the Ghost Town Bakery and at the Gold Trails hotel.

What are the Boysenberry MUST tries?

What exactly IS a Boysenberry? A boysenberry is is a cross between a European Raspberry, a European blackberry, an American dewberry and the Loganberry. All those beautiful berries make for amazing things to eat at The Boysenberry Festival and here are a few of the MUST tries!

1. Boysenberry BBQ Short Ribs

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So tender, the meat practically falls off the bone! And you can buy the Boysenberry sauce in the Marketplace.

2. Boysenberry Chicken Wings

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Grab some napkins and sink your teeth into The Boysenberry chicken wings. They are my absolute favorite Boysenberry item.

3.  Deep fried alligator bites& fries with boysenberry aioli

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If you have never tried alligator before I highly recommend this. They are deep fried and crispy and the boysenberry dipping sauce pairs great with it. Plus the skinny fries are amazing!

4. Boysenberry Meatballs

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The Boysenberry Meatballs are a delicious protein packed snack on a stick! They are tender and flavorful and I get them every time I go.

5. Boysenberry Fun Bun

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The fun Bun is a deep-fried cinnamon roll with Boysenberry cheese topping and a gooey cinnamon center. It will make your eyes roll into the back of your head.

 

 Craft beer and wine vendors

And whatever you do, don’t forget about the wine and beer vendors! You get a big plate of cheese and fruit that pairs so nicely with all of the wines! It was amazing to be able to try the different varieties and talk to the somliers. They have boysenberry wine, boysenberry cider and Belgium boysenberry beer.

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Don’t Forget these items!

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For more information visit Knott’s on Facebook and  Twitter

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Incredible, (Non) Edible Easter Eggs and Brunch at The Ritz-Carlton


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Incredible, (Non) Edible Easter Eggs and Brunch at The Ritz-Carlton

Easter is right around the corner which means a lot of chocolate and a lot of eggs! Save yourself from a visit to the dentist and messy dye all over your hands and visit the Ritz Carlton for a spectacular Easter sighting.

The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel introduces four incredible, non-edible Easter eggs, each individually painted by a local artist including Trevor Mezak, James Galindo, Robin Hiers, and Kym de los Reyes. The enormous hand crafted eggs are a “must see” and make the perfect backdrop for a springtime family portrait.  

They will be on display at the entrance of the resort from Friday, April 7 through Sunday, April 23, 2017.

Easter Brunch

This is a buffet like you have never seen! Indulge in a lavish Easter Brunch on Sunday, April 16. Brunch will feature a display of tempting palate-pleasers and the menu is below:

Download (PDF, 58KB)

There will also be live entertainment and a special appearance by the Easter Bunny. Easter Brunch is $118 per person and will be served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Celebrate the Season at “Spring-a-Palooza” at Great Wolf Lodge

spring-a-palooza

Flowers are blooming and the bees are buzzing, which can only mean one thing…. Spring is in the air! Come and celebrate at Great Wolf Lodge in their newly enhanced Spring-a-Palooza event taking place March 10 through April 16, 2017.

Spring-a-Palooza is Great Wolf Lodge’s celebration of everything spring, and the Grand Lobby at the resort is Spring-a-Palooza central.  Here you will find colorful spring decorations throughout, including a special Great Wolf Lodge character-themed garden for children to explore. 

Each Department in Great Wolf Lodge got a chance to decorate a bucket for spring and  you the guest will have the chance to vote for your favorite one! Also be sure to check out the Fireplace as it is all decked out in spring decor and is great place to sit and warm up after a day in the water park.

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During the five-week Spring-a-Palooza engagement, Great Wolf Lodge will offer additional entertainment options for you to enjoy, with special spring-inspired activities and events taking place daily.   Some of the scheduled events include:

  • Spring Picnic:  A time-honored spring tradition gets a Great Wolf twist, as guests can grab a blanket, spread it out on the floor and enjoy an afternoon picnic in the Grand Lobby.  Guests can sip complimentary Minute Maid beverage available from the Great Wolf Lodge character-themed Lemonade Stand and play a few rounds of “Take A Wiley Guess” card game.

lemonade_stand

  • Bubble Dance Party:  This special Spring-a-Palooza event fills the Grand Lobby with cascading bubbles while Great Wolf Lodge’s Ambassadors of Fun keep energy-levels high with a family-friendly dance party. 
  • Spring-a-Palooza Story Time:  Great Wolf Lodge’s nightly Story Time takes on a spring theme with a new tale featuring the Great Wolf Lodge characters called “Natural Wonders.”  Kids are encouraged to wear their favorite jammies to the Grand Lobby for this event and will have the opportunity to meet one of the Great Wolf Lodge characters in person.
  • Spring Scavenger Hunts:  Great Wolf Lodge will introduce two self-guided scavenger hunts as part of Spring-a-Palooza.   The “I Spy Spring” scavenger hunt will have guests looking high and low in the Grand Lobby to find a dozen hidden objects and claim a prize.   The “Spring Sprint” scavenger hunt has guests solving clues that will take them on a journey throughout the lodge.  When all 10 clues are solved, guests are rewarded with a prize.

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  • Character Themed Flower Gardens:  A highlight of the Spring-a-Palooza celebration is the colorful springtime gardens found in the Grand Lobby.  The gardens are designed and hand-crafted by Pack Members from the resort.  Surrounded by a fence, the collection of flower pots are inspired by the Great Wolf Lodge characters.  Guests are encourage to stroll around the garden and vote for their favorite display.
  • Jelly Bean Guessing Game:  A gigantic jar filled to the brim with jelly bean candies sits in the Grand Lobby and guests are invited to enter a contest guessing how many delicious treats are within the jar.  The guests closest to the correct number without going over will be entered for a chance to win a Great Wolf Lodge Gift Card. 

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  • Spring Themed Crafts:  During Spring-a-Palooza, the resort’s Ambassadors of Fun will host several spring-inspired craft making events for kids of all ages.  Character-themed crafting projects include Oliver’s Crazy About Bugs Jar, Violet’s Springtime Noodle Doodle, Brinley’s Don’t Blow Away Kite and Wiley’s Can You Spot It Binoculars.   

Similarly to how entry into the indoor water park is included with an overnight stay at Great Wolf Lodge, all of the Spring-a-Palooza events are also complimentary to guests staying at the resort.  A complete listing of daily activities and times can be found in the Lodge Life event schedule provided to guests upon check-in.   

Chef Hany at Great Wolf Lodge.

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Food is a huge part of any vacation and at Great Wolf Lodge, executive Chef Hany takes pride in every dish he creates.  He developed a passion for culinary arts at an early age and graduated from the International Culinary Institute before he traveled extensively in Europe and Asia, exposing his palate to as many different cuisines as possible.

Great Wolf Lodge takes allergy awareness very seriously and they are happy to accommodate your needs. The best part is that they do not serve peanut or tree nut products!

Before you leave be sure to check out the amazing Origami Cake created created by Linda Mihara, the owner of Paper Tree. It is 9 feet tall and took about two weeks to fold, before it was installed in the lobby of the Garden Grove hotel and indoor water park.

For more information on Great Wolf Resorts and its brands of indoor water park resorts, visit greatwolf.com.