Big Bear 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular – July 2-4

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How do you spend your 4th of July? Have you ever considered spending it in the mountains? Big Bear has a spectacular Fireworks show that is shot from a barge near the center of the lake and is visible nearly everywhere in the Big Bear Lake Valley with some great ways to watch. Please keep in mind that tickets are limited so buy your tickets early. Attendees are also reminded that no ice chests will be permitted in the viewing area and no outside alcohol, no outside food, and no pets please. There will be a security check at the entrance.

Ways To Watch The Fireworks

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  • Take the Scenic Sky Chair to the top of Snow Summit and look down from “Above the Boom” (limited tickets/capacity available – so best to purchase tickets in advance) while enjoying a fully catered Southern-Style BBQ dinner, live music and free activities like facing painting, and bounce houses for the kids.
  • Rent a boat at one of the several marinas on the lake. This is a great way to see everything in a relaxing environment.
  • Watch from Captain John’s on the beach with live Reggae music. It’s Rasta Mon!
  • On the Miss Liberty Paddlewheel Tour Boat.
  • Watch at the annual Rotary Club Big Bear Lake Fourth of July Lakefront Fireworks and BBQ at the Marina Resort on Lakeview Drive with food and live entertainment. You will make new friends and new memories!

This years festivities will span the entire long weekend with live music (including classic rock acts like Ted Nugent) and events for kids of all ages.

What Time Are The Fireworks?

Fireworks start at 8:45 p.m. on July 4th
No personal fireworks allowed in mountain communities.

Get the whole schedule here and buy tickets here. You can also look at a designated map of parking areas here.

Two-Bedroom Family Suites at Mexico’s Grand Velas Resorts

Have you started planning any summer vacation trips yet? If you have a larger family like me, it can get expensive always having to purchase two rooms to accommodate a family of 5 or larger. This year we are thinking outside the box and making plans to vacation in Mexico! Prices are much more reasonable and you get so much more for your money. Recently, I came across a resort in Los Cabos called Grand Velas that has two bedroom Family Suites and is an ALL-Inclusive resort. What???? I have been looking for this for yearThe luxury resort also has properties in Riviera Maya and Riviera Nayarit.

How Big Are The Rooms?

The spacious suites, all over 2,000 sq. ft., feature one King bed suite and a suite with two queen beds interconnecting, a private terrace with jungle or ocean views, 24-hour Suite Service, and complimentary nights. Additional amenities for families consist of a stuffed animal of the resort’s mascot, bathrobes and slippers in special mini sizes, family photo session and credit for the purchase of photos, kids’ welcome beach kit, kid-friendly evening turndown and more. One massage per adult per night and roundtrip airport transfers are also included at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit.

Is There a Kids Club?

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Grand Velas Los Cabos. Photo by: Victor Elias Photography.

Let’s face it. Sometimes mom and dad just need to sip on their vacation in a glass, sans kids. Fortunately, Grand Velas resorts have a Designated Kids Club and Teens Club, daily activity program and even a Baby Concierge to attend to the littlest guests’ needs complete the family vacation. Entertainment for kids ranges from:

  • sand castle building
  • Spanish lessons
  • piñata making
  • kickball tournaments
  • mermaid and sea lion shows
  • cooking and baking classes
  • drive-in movies
  • eco-cycling tours, and more.

And teens, there is a High-tech Teen Lounge that offer everything from games like billiards, air hockey, foosball and arcade games, to video game systems Xbox and PS3, special seats with built in speakers for enhanced game play and individual cubicles with a 40″ LED TV.

Have a baby? No problem! Grand Velas resorts are super baby friendly. The dedicated Baby Concierge can help single parents with everything for baby, from cribs, Mexican toys, baby floats, and baby clothes to gentle bath and shampoo gels. A shaded play structure with swings, slides and climbing walls and a splash pad are also now open at Grand Velas Los Cabos.

Family Suite rates start at $1,640 at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, $1,936 at Grand Velas Los Cabos and $2,400 at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit. Rates are in USD per night for two adults and two kids. All-inclusive rates include luxury suite accommodations, a la carte gourmet meals at a variety of specialty restaurants, premium branded beverages, 24-hour in-suite service, fitness center, taxes, gratuity and more. Special suite inclusions vary based on resort. For more information on Velas Resorts, please call 1-888-407-4869 or visit www.velasresorts.com.

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

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Disclosure

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.

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  • 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.

North Pole Tubing Park At Mountain High Resort


Do you love the snow but aren’t a skier or snowboarder? Then perhaps tubing is the thing for you! The North Pole Tubing Park at Mountain High Resort is the closest facility for snow tubing in Southern California with up to ten lanes when fully open, two moving carpets and custom tubes.

Just beware that Children under 36 inches tall are not permitted for safety reasons. So if you are a family with little ones just be aware of that little golden rule and also heed the other rule that children 36 to 42 inches must accompany a parent in a separate tube.

What are the hours?

Traditional Operating Hours

8:30am – 5:00pm weekends and holidays through mid-March.

How much does Tubing Cost?

8:30AM – 10:00AM $20
10:15AM – 12:15PM $25
12:30PM – 2:30PM $25
2:45PM – 4:45PM $25

  • 36-42 Inches w/ paying adult: $15
  • Tubes are included in the ticket price.
  • Children 36 to 42 inches must accompany a parent in a separate tube.
  • Children under 36 inches tall are not permitted for safety reasons.

tubing

Tips For Tubing

  • Wear water-resistant, layered clothing that can be added or removed as the weather changes.  That includes warm gloves and a hat or beanie.
  • Wear protective sunscreen and UV-certified sunglasses even on overcast days since ultraviolet rays can penetrate the cloud cover.
  • Bring a change of clothes  in the car in case you want to change.
  • Tickets can not be purchased in advanced so arrive early to prevent the off chance that they are sold out.

Should you forget any of these important items, the Mountain High Sport Shops, located at both resorts and in the town of Wrightwood, carry the latest in clothing and equipment for winter enthusiasts.

Do I need to fill out a waiver?

You sure do. Click here to download a copy in advance.

To learn More About Mountain High Skiing and Snowboarding click on the photo below.

Family Guide To Skiing and Snowboarding At Mountain High

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Disclosure

Spending time together as a family reaps major benefits in addition to creating happy memories.  If there is one thing I have learned as a mom these past 14 years, it’s that spending individual time with each child doing something active and trying new things can really strengthen the maternal bond.

So what does a mom do to make some epic memories? Go skiing for the very first time with my teen! Yup, I am a 40 year old mom who has never been skiing in her entire life and neither have my kids. The thing is, I really have no excuse. We live in Southern California and snow is a rare occurrence, however, we only live a couple hours from the mountains so snow is easily accessible.

Mountain High resort in Wrightwood, CA is located just 90 minutes from Los Angeles and Orange County so we chose to go there for our first time. The Resort consists of three separate mountains: West Resort, East Resort and North Resort. Mountain High offers a wide variety of lifts and trails, a world-class terrain park, an outstanding winter sports school and the region’s largest tubing area. Night skiing and snowboarding are available seven nights-a-week during peak season and snowmaking covers more than 80 percent of the slopes. Mountain High traditionally operates from mid-November to mid-April.

Tips on Driving To Mountain High

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  • Chains are rarely needed on the way to Mountain High, especially if you have a car with AWD, however, this week Mountain High saw the season’s largest storm which dropped up to 17 inches of snow turning Mountain High into a winter wonderland almost overnight. Always bring chains just in case. We brought them and did not need them.
  • Arrive Early! Plan to arrive early (between 7:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. is best), as the parking lot at the West Resort fills up quickly on snowy weekends. If you arrive later and the parking lot is full, overflow parking is available on State Highway 2.
  • Carry an ice scraper or commercial de-icer, a broom for brushing snow off your car, a shovel to free your car if it’s “snowed in”, sand or burlap for traction if your wheels should become mired in snow and an old towel to clean your hands.
  • Check your antifreeze and be ready for colder temperatures. Also, let your car warm up for 10-15 minutes before leaving. You may want to add special solvent to your windshield washer reservoir to prevent icing. Also, stand your wipers up for the day. Lifting wipers away from the windshield means they won’t freeze to the glass.

Rental Equipment VS. Own Equipment

Rent or own is the question of many visitors. Mountain High has a full selection of top-of-the-line equipment tuned to the highest standards.  They also have one of the largest rental fleets in the region meaning  they have the skis and snowboards that are just right for you! A $400 credit card deposit is required on all ski and snowboard rentals. 

As a first time skiier I obviously did not own any equipment so we used Mountain High’s equipment. The rental process is smooth and seamless but you should familiarize yourself ahead of time with how to put on skiis/snowboards. It will save you a lot of frustration as I struggled a bit throughout the day.

As for snow clothing, I high recommend you invest in some super warm and waterproof gloves. Your fingers will thank you. Goggles and a helmet are also extremely important. Just because there is powdered snow does not mean you can’t injure yourself or your skull. Trees, poles and other skiiers are obstacles and you should always protect yourself.

To see rental prices click here.

TEENAGER

Lessons At Mountain High

Lessons are available seven days-a-week at the West Resort and on weekends & holidays at the East Resort. If you plan to take a lesson, it is best to park at the same area.  At the West Resort, students meet beneath the Bullwheel Bar & Grill and, at the East Resort, directly across from the ticket windows.  They really appreciate it if you arrive at the Meeting Area 15 minutes prior to your lesson. Here are the prices for adult and child lesson prices.

My son and I took a beginning lesson together and laughed more than I think we ever have in our entire lives. I must have fallen what felt like a dozen times while my son blew everyone away with his natural ability to catch on. This was by far one of the best bonding experiences we have had together. Just him and I and the snow. I can say that after 90 minutes of instruction I felt like I was confident enough to ski down a hill. And I did. But not very gracefully. Oh well, I got up and tried again and even though I looked like a fool I had a great time. My son talked about how much fun he had all night when we got home and when he woke up the next morning he had already planned another trip back with his friends.

Snow boarding looked like a total blast too!  We even saw little 3 and 4 year old shredding on snowboards. It was the cutest thing ever!

Another fun way to bond with your teenager is to have a snowball fight! Of course we could have built your average snow man but why would we do that when we throw snow at each other like a bunch of hooligans?

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Places To Eat At Mountain High

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For On-Mountain Dining, The east resort has the Grand View Bistro at its summit plus the Angeles Crest Cafe and Gold Rush Grill at the base. The Bullwheel Grill, located just above the west base area, has the best food at the resort. Plus you’ll find delicious burgers and mouthwatering chicken sandwiches at the Big Pines Barbeque at West and The North Pole Grill at North.

Kids will enjoy delicious hamburgers, french fries, chili bowls, sandwiches and more!

After a cold day of skiing and snowboarding you can also warm up with some hot chocolate or grab a cocktail or a beer! I was super excited to see my favorite Jack Daniels covered in snow.

What does a typical Day At Mountain High Look Like?

Just watch our video!

Ski Free On Your Birthday

Celebrate your birthday at Mountain High! Receive either a FREE lift ticket or a FREE tubing ticket on your actual birthday just by showing a valid photo I.D. Ticket is nontransferable and cake is not included.

Complete this Complimentary Ticket Release and present it at the ticket windows to redeem your complimentary ticket.

Discounts and Deals

Winter sports can be expensive, especially if you are a bigger family like us (5) so Mountain High has a bring a friend for fun package for just $119.

 

The BFF package includes:

  1. 8-Hour Lift ticket for you. ($74 Value)
  2. Half Day First Timer Package for a friend. ($99 value)

Includes a 1 Hr &45 minute lesson, rentals, and an 8-Hour “Lower Mountain” lift ticket.  Ages 13 & up. Lessons at 10am or 1pm.

$173 value for just $119.  You save 30%!  Both ticket and lesson must be used the same day.  Valid any day, non-holiday.  Not valid November 26-29, December 17-31, 2016.  January 1-8, 14-16, February 18-20, 2017.

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Stay connected with all the action at Mountain High by visiting www.mthigh.com, calling 888-754-7878 or following on Twitter @mthigh.

Learn about the North Pole Tubing Park in Wrightwood by clicking here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winner will receive 2 adult and 2 child lift tickets for any day of their choice. **Please note that restrictions may apply.

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