Saturday, December 1, 2018

Bubble Pop

Note: We hear that Bubble Pop has closed.

Paseo Nuevo has a new (August 2018) kid friendly place! Bubble Pop is a hands-on play area. The owner and designer  (Kwon "Harry" Jung) is a bubble artist and does live performances. The bubbles are a non-toxic solution, but can still sting the eyes.

There are 5 or 6 experiential stations. One uses hoses and liquid nitrogen to create bubbles. One has colored lights and various bubble makers. One has fans to propel bubbles. There is a square bubble maker with ropes and pulleys. Two have larger bubble wands to create bubbles to chase or or placing kids inside the bubbles (generally run by an employee). (There was a 6th station when we visited in August that wasn't there in November.) There is a party room for birthdays.

The first time we went (just after it opened) the staff was very attentive to the point of correcting kids bubble play, telling them the right way to do it. Stations were clean and bubbles refilled frequently. When we went more recently (November), the staff had to be asked to refresh and refill the bubbles (this is especially true for the station with liquid nitrogen), but it was fun. When we first visited the owner was taking supplies for a demo in Paseo Nuevo.

Location: Bubble Pop is in Paseo Nuevo near the movie theater on the State Street side of center of the mall.
Hours: 10am-9pm M-F, Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 10am-7pm
Time: 1/2 hour to 1 hour
Price: $5 a person per hour (adults charged too)
Parking: There is 90 minute street parking if you can find it off State St. The Paseo Nuevo lot is below and above with 75 minutes free.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Christmas 2018

Christmas is coming (wasn't Thanksgiving super early this year? And winter break super late? Yikes.) I did a Christmas/advent post several years ago, but I wanted to update the activities. Here is a current list!

Santa Barbara Events

Christmas Pickle Tree Lighting at Westmont College Tuesday November 27th 5pm

La Arcada Walk Photos with Santa, Christmas goodies and carolers Wednesday November 28 5-8pm

Old Town Goleta Parade Saturday December 1 6pm

Milpas Holiday Parade Saturday December 1 5:30-8:30

Hollister Village Market Family friendly activities, balloon art, music and more  Saturday December 1 11:30-1:30

Snow Leopard Festival at the Santa Barbara Zoo Sunday December 2 10am-3pm (9am for Members)

Santa Barbara Holiday Parade Friday December 7 6:30pm

Pancakes, Santa and Reptiles a Fundraiser for the San Marcos Parent Workshop Saturday December 8, 8-11am

Waldorf Winter Faire is free with activities to stimulate your child's imagination Satuday December 8 1:30-5:30

Holiday at the Ranch at Stow House Holiday crafts, caroling, hay rides and tours. Saturday and Sunday December 8&9 11am-4pm $5/$2

Santa Barbara Wharf Parade of Lights Sunday December 9 5:30pm

Storytime with Santa at Paseo Nuevo Thursday December 13 10:30

Jingle Jam at SBCC hosted by Mission City Church Bounce houses, face painting, dance party and showing of the movie Elf Friday December 14 6pm

Breakfast with Santa at the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Barbara Saturday December 15 9-11am

A Non-Musical Puppet Christmas at Community Covenant Church of Goleta Saturday December 15 and Sunday December 16 6pm $6/family

Candy Cane Train at the South Coast Railroad Museum Saturday and Sunday1-4pm  (11/23-12/23) $5 per person

Lane Tree Christmas Lot has tree for sale, but also a corn maze, hayride and farm animals to visit. 9 or 10am - 8pm until 12/20.

Living Nativity at First United Methodist Church December 20, 21 and 22 from 5:30-7:30.

Pictures with Santa at Paseo Nuevo from now until 12/24 (10 or 11am - 7 or 8pm).

Pictures with Santa at La Cumbre Plaza from now until 12/24 (10 or 11am - at least 6pm)

Snowfall at Paseo Nuevo 6 and 7pm Daily until 12/31

The Trolley of Lights is already sold out, but you can find space on the Rockstar Trolley or you can make your own tours using these directions or these directions. Houses on Ontare in Santa Barbara and Carlisle in Goleta have longer light shows with music (tune in on the radio).

Did I miss anything? What are your favorite local holiday traditions?

Friday, November 9, 2018

Veteran's Day Activities

Veteran's Day is quickly approaching and while Santa Barbara/Goleta does not have a lot of Veteran's Day activities, there are a few.

The Veteran's Day Parade is Saturday November 10th starting at noon. It runs along State Street (at Sola St.) and turns to go along Carrillo Blvd ending at the Carriage Museum on Castillo St.

The Carriage Museum and the Pierre Claeyssens Veteran's Foundation have their annual Salute to Vets luncheon Saturday November 10th from noon-5. Tickets are $20 and Lunch is $10, children under 12 are free. There is also live music and military vehicles on display.

The Patriot Parachute Team display is part of the Salute to Vets event (Saturday November 10th at 1:30) but in the past it could be viewed from Cabrillo Blvd near Los Banos.

A Veteran's Day Ceremony (Sunday November 11 10am) takes place at the Santa Barbara Cemetery (902 Channel Dr.). It is one hour with a performance from the Santa Barbara Choral Society and a keynote speaker.

Another Veteran's Day Ceremony (Sunday November 11 11am) will be held at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park (123 E. Canon Perdido St.) hosted by the Santa  Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation. There will be a color guard ceremony and a chance for the veterans to address the crowd.

While not an official event, I plan to take my girls to walk the Eling's Park Veterans Memorial Walk to talk about why we need people to serve in the military. (Yes, I do know there is a difference between Memorial Day and Veteran's Day, but this is a way to start the conversation.)

Thursday, November 1, 2018

SLO Creek Farms

We took a jaunt up to SLO the other day to go the Great American Melodrama (blog post to come) and visited the SLO Creek Farm to pick apples. It was a fun little trip as part of a larger day trip.

SLO Creek Farm is a 44 acre organic apple farm with other u-pick produce during the year. There is also a 3 acre vegetable farm onsite. The apple season is August- the end of November.  The apple trees are trimmed low, so there is no worry about falling off a ladder!

Cost: Depend on the amount and type of apples/produce picked (it was $1.99 a pound of apples the day we were there)
Hours: 11am-5pm August-November
Time: 1/2 hour to 1 hour
More information:
Directions: Take the 101N about 50 miles to exit 196 San Luis Bay Dr. Turn right onto San Luis Bay Dr, then left onto Monte Rd. The farm is on the left.

Related posts: Summer of the Easy Day Trips

Friday, October 26, 2018

Fall Events 2018

Apple Picking at SLO Creek Farms
Fall brings its own fun in Santa Barbara. Although we can't really enjoy the leaves or crisp weather, there are some fun events! Thank you to my Goleta MOPS friends for helping me compile this one.

All Month Long:
Lane Farms has a pumpkin patch with hay ride and corn maze open from the last weekend in September through Halloween. Hours are 9am-9pm (corn maze closes 1 hour before the patch closes and opens at 3pm weekdays).

Big Wave Dave's has kids games and plenty of pumpkins. It is open through Halloween.

San Luis Obispo's Avila Valley Farm has a fall festival too!

Apple Picking at SLO Creek Farms (blog post coming soon!)

Moorpark's Underwood Family Farms has a fall festival worth checking out. Starting the last weekend in September, they are open 9-6 and have a tractor ride, corn maze, pig races, an animal center and much more. $6 per person weekdays/$15 per person weekends.

Local Events:
Boo at the Zoo takes place in mid-October and is special hours from 4:30/5:30-7:30/8:30. There are characters and animals roaming the grounds, a hay bale maze, costume parades, themed train rides and of course trick or treating.  **Note: 2018 date has passed.

The YMCA has a fall festival from 4-7 on Friday 10/26 with a haunted house, train ride, rock wall, pumpkin decorating candy and prizes.

MOXI Member event with costumes, experiments and trick/treats throughout Saturday 10/27 8:30-10.

Free Methodist Church of Santa Barbara has a fall festival Saturday 10/2711:30-2:30 with trunk or treat 12-1:30. There are also games, crafts, face painting and bounce houses.

Community Covenant Church of Goleta hosts a free fall festival Saturday 10/27 from 4-6:30. There are jumphouses, hay rides, mazes and more!

PEP's Rocking Halloween Sunday October 28 from 11-2 Face painting, costume contest, live music and family fun.

Dia de los Muertos Family Day at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art Sunday October 28 1-4

Dia de los Muertos Craft Day at Casa de la Guerra Sunday October 28 12-3

Trunk or Treat at Goleta Valley Church Wednesday October 31 from 5-8 Candy, Games, Costume Competition and more.

Trunk or Treat at Anthem Chapel in Goleta Wednesday October 31 from 4-7. See details in the photo.

Special Trick or Treating: 
Downtown trick-or-treating in Santa Barbara from 3-6 on Halloween. Look for the stores with balloons!

Monster Mash Trick-or-Treating at Paseo Nuevo 3-6 on Halloween

La Cumbre Plaza has trick or treating on Halloween from 4-6!

Ghost Village Rd Trick-or-Treating at Coast Village Rd from 3-6 on Halloween.

Old Town Goleta Trick-or Treating from 3:30-6:30 on Halloween. Get a sticker card at the community center to get candy and a sticker at participating stores, then turn in the card to win a prize!

What is your favorite fall activity? Did we miss it?

Monday, September 3, 2018

Summer 2018 Quest Update

This summer I wanted to try out easy day trip activities from Santa Barbara. We did a lot of fun things but didn't get though as many as I had hoped--moving will do that to you! I made a more complete list with more suggestions from friends and feel free to make more suggestions below. 

Also what should I do next summer? It is a ways away but I can plan it now. 😉

Easy Day Trips from Santa Barbara

Tarpits Beach (tidepools)
Carpinteria Salt Marsh
Carpinteria Nature Preserve (Seal Viewing)
Tomol Park
Carpinteria State Beach
Canzelle Alpacas
Padaro Beach Grill (Summerland)

Beyond Carpinteria
Lake Casitas Water Park (Ojai)
Sky High/Sky Zone
Pump It Up
Golf N Stuff
Playplace Pacific View Mall (Ventura)
Splash Pad at the Collection (Oxnard)
Chuck E Cheese (Ventura or Santa Maria)
Marina Park (Ventura)
Kellogg Park (Ventura)
Ventura Aquatic Center

Santa Ynez Valley
Knapp's Castle (off 154)
Riverview Park (Buellton)
Sunnyfields Park (Solvang)
Ostrichland (Buellton)
Quicksilver Miniature Horse Ranch
Santa Barbara Blueberries (Buellton)
The Farmstead (Buellton)
Noquoi Falls (Buellton)
La Purissima Mission
Seein Spots Farm

Beyond the Valley 
Lompoc Aquatic Center
Santa Maria Discovery Museum
Avila Farm
SLO Creek Farm
Chuck E Cheese (Ventura or Santa Maria)

Related posts: 2017 Summer of Hikes, 2016 Summer of the Beaches, 2015 Summer of the Parks,

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Lake Casitas Water Park

Lake Casitas Water Park is a small water park best suited for the littles. It has a long lazy river (popular with my 8 year old and her friends), a lagoon pool with waterfall and a splash pad with fountains. There is also a play structure with many slides, bridges and sprayers with knobs to turn over a pool . The play structure is for kids under 48 inches and less than 100 pounds (this was not posted there but is posted online). We did see this enforced, but inconsistently. Note: we have not been to other water parks for comparison but hear that this one is smaller than Lompoc one and much smaller than the one in Paso Robles.

Cost: $13 and up (no child discount) They can sell out (especially on the weekend) and you can buy tickets online.
Hours: Summer only and varies by day 11am to 6-7pm.
Time: 2-4 hours
More information:
Directions: Take the 101S to the 150 (exit 84) at the end of Carpinteria. Take the 150 towards Ojai. Follow the 150 for 13 miles. Then turn right on Santa Ana Rd. The water park is on your right.  You can park along the road. Parking inside is part of the day use area and costs $10-$20.

Related posts: Summer of the Easy Day Trips

Lazy River

Splash Pad
Lagoon with Waterfall

Play Structure (Front)
Play Structure (Back)

Play Structure (Side)

Local Mama Bloggers

I have found some other mama bloggers in the past few months and wanted to share here the great resources!

Central Coast Mama features moms, local events (especially health related) and is a life style site for the central coast. The area covered is larger than this blog, but is so beautifully photographed! I love the local mamas feature and found this through a friend!

Elizabeth Lucht is a local mama and photographer. I found her blog because of her post on family friendly restaurants in the Santa Barbara area. (She is also a beauty Counter rep so there are lots of  beauty related posts too.)

Family Fun on the Central Coast started recently and hopes to cover areas up and down the coast and I loved this list of Family Fun Attractions.

Please share local mama sites you use below!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Padaro Beach Grill

Padraro Beach Grill is a fun restaurant where kids can be kids. It worth the drive to Summerland (unless it is Friday afternoon!) for its open play place for the little ones and relaxed environment. There is a sand pit with toys , a large grassy area and several small trees my kids love to climb/hide in. The train passes by and you can watch it up close without the fear of kids running into the tracks.

Cost: $10 and up for mains
Time: 1 1/2-2 hours
Hours: Vary by season 10:30 or 11-7:30-8:30
Nearby Attractions: Padaro Beach 
More Information: Restaurant website 
Directions: Take 101S to Santa Claus Lane. Continue straight onto Santa Claus Lane and the restaurant is on the right.

Related Posts: Summer of the Easy Day Trips 2018

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Chuck E Cheese

Both Ventura and Santa Maria have Chuck E Cheese locations. If you have never been, it is like an arcade plus pizza plus animatron shows.

The food is ok and if you lived locally, it would be a great birthday party spot. You can also just eat or take in the arcade. The play passed can be purchased as minutes or points (each ride being 1-3 points) and begin at $10 (you can split these between multiple cards). For us, the points made more sense. We played about 45 minutes and only used 30 points.

If you are visiting the Ventura location and don't love the Chuck E Cheese food. Visit the Chick-Fil-A next door. It has a play ground!

Cost: $10 and up
Hours: 10am-9pm (Ventura)
Time: 1 hour
Drive Time: 45 minutes from Goleta
Nearby: Chick-Fil-A and Target
Directions: Take 101S to Telephone Rd (Exit 65) just past the exit for the 126. Turn left onto E Main St, then right onto Telephone. Turn left into the shopping center at the first opportunity, then left again toward Chuck E Cheese.

Passes for games

Arcade area

More games and a slide

Chick-Fil-A Playground

Chick-Fil-A next door

Monday, July 30, 2018


Ostrichland is an interesting stop in the Santa Ynez Valley. The farm has both ostriches and emus on its many acres . You can just view them or buy food for an extra dollar to feed the birds. The birds are huge and prehistoric looking. Watch your fingers as you feed or you might get more than you bargained for!

Cost; Adults $5, Children (under 13) $2, bowls of feed $1
Time: 45 minutes
Hours: 9 am to Dusk
Nearby attractions: Nojoqui Falls, Riverview Park, and Santa Barbara Blueberries
More information:

Related Posts: Summer of the Easy Day Trips 2018