Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Holiday Events 2019

Westmont Pickle Tree from the Westmont Blog
Santa Barbara Holiday Events

**I begin this holiday season with sadness thinking about the sweet man responsible for the amazing lights show on Ontare, Tom Dalton. He passed away in February and is much missed by many. **


Other ideas about the Christmas season with kids are in the original post.

Pictures with Santa at La Cumbre Plaza from now until 12/24 (10 or 11am - 7 or 8pm)

Candy Cane Train at the South Coast Railroad Museum Friday, Saturday and Sunday1-4pm  (11/29-12/22) $5 per person

Pictures with Santa at Paseo Nuevo from now until 12/24 (10 or 11am - 7 or 8pm) as well as (fake) snow at 6pm and 7pm.

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

Lane Tree Christmas Lot has tree for sale, but also a corn maze, hayride and farm animals to visit. 9 or 10am - 8pm 11/29 until 12/20.

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.  A house on Carlisle in Goleta have longer light shows with music (tune in on the radio).

By Date: 

Tree Lighting at the Rosewood Miramar Wednesday November 27 5:30

Christmas Pickle Tree Lighting at Westmont College Tuesday December 3rd 5pm

La Arcada Walk Photos with Santa, Christmas goodies and carolers Wednesday December 4th 5-8pm

Downtown Holiday Parade Friday December 6th 6:30-8:30pm

Pancakes, Santa and Reptiles a Fundraiser for the San Marcos Parent Workshop Saturday December 7, 8-11am

Hollister Village Carolers Family friendly activities, balloon art, music and more  Saturday December 7 &14 12-2

Snow Leopard Festival at the Santa Barbara Zoo Sunday December 8 10am-3pm (9am for Members)

Santa Barbara Wharf Parade of Lights Sunday December 8 Snow at 3, Boat race at 5:30pm

Jingle Jam at SBCC hosted by Mission City Church Bounce houses, face painting, dance party and showing a Christmas movie Friday December 13 6:30-8:30pm

Breakfast with Santa at Islands Saturday December 14 9-10

Holiday at the Ranch at Stow House Holiday crafts, caroling, hay rides and tours. Saturday and Sunday December 14&15 11am-4pm $5/$2

Hollister Village Carolers Family friendly activities, balloon art, music and more  Saturday December 7 &14 12-2

Waldorf Winter Faire is free with activities to stimulate your child's imagination Saturday December 14 1-5pm

Old Town Goleta Parade Saturday December 14 6-8pm

Christmas Shorts: A Christmas Party and Puppet Show at Community Covenant Church of Goleta Saturday December 14 and Sunday December 15 6-7:30 pm $10/family

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

Past events that may happen again: 

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

Milpas Holiday Parade Saturday December 1, 2018 5:30-8:30

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

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

Visiting Yellowstone with Kids

For back ground, see the first post in the series! In summer 2019, our vacation was a two and a half week trip that included Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park and Glacier National Park. We decided to fly after looking at the drive time (22 hours from Glacier NP to Santa Barbara!). If you want the detailed drive plan though, look at the upcoming Grand Teton post. We chose to fly to Bozeman, Montana since it was between the three places and our longest drive day was 9 hours from Grand Teton in Wyoming to West Glacier, Montanta. It was long but do-able.

Day 1: Fly to Bozeman, MT from LAX. We also gathered supplies this day since we still camped for most of the trip. Most of the supplies came from Target or Bob Ward's Outdoor, conveniently located next door. Another location we got supplies second hand was Twice Treasured. In Bozeman, we stayed at Bozeman Ramada by Wyndham which has a very fun waterslide at the pool!

Awesome waterslide
Day 2: Drive to Yellowstone (2.5 hours) and set up camp. We stayed at Madison Campground (because it is at the lowest elevation--hopefully warmest--for tent camping). If we had stayed in a lodge, we would have chosen Canyon Lodge since it is centrally located. As you drive, you pass through the town of West Yellowstone, home to the Grizzly Museum where you can see Grizzly bears up close.
Day 3: Take in the Old Faithful geyser which erupts every 90 minutes. The rangers speak frequently and the visitor center is interesting and there are several wooden, walking paths around the area including a one mile and a 2.4 mile loop. We also took in the nearby Grand Prismatic Springs which also have wooden, walking paths to best very the alien looking, colorful pools. After driving the Firehole Lake Drive, we walked the Fountain Paints Pots Loop. This was a big walking day, so you may have to pace yourself with kids.

Grand Prismatic Spring
Day 4: Drive to the Roosevelt Arch near Gardiner, MT (Eat pizza at K-Bar Pizza and restock supplies). Visit Mammoth Hot Springs and walk the area. There are many connecting paths and (you can choose how much you are up for that day (1-2 miles). The nearby Albright Visitor Center is interesting if you have time. The swim in Boiling River is fun and worth the short trek (.5 mile/1 mile roundtrip). 
Mammoth Hot Springs
Day 5: Hike Artist's Paint Pots (about 1 mile roundtrip). Drive to the Canyon Visitor Center for a quick look then explore the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Much can be seen from the road but pick some view points to get out of the car to take in the scope of the canyon. Hike Uncle Tom's Trail (.6 mile) or part of the North Rim Trail (up to 6 miles). Pass through the Grand Canyon to the Lamar Valley. Wildlife is best viewed in the early morning or at dusk so we drove through had dinner in Cooke City, then back through at dusk.

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Day 6: Drive through the Hayden Valley to see wild life. Wildlife is best viewed in the early morning or at dusk, but we saw a lot even driving through during the day. Continue down to Yellowstone Lake and hike West Thumb Geyser Basin (.5 miles).

We drove to Grand Teton Day 7, but we did take time to swim in the Firehole River.  We could have taken time to do another partial day. Other items that showed up on several lists that we did not have time for: the Norris Geyser Basin including Porcelain and Back Basins (2 mile hike), Mystic Falls (2.4 mile hike), Fossil Forest (3 miles) and Trout Lake (1 mile).

Firehole River


Saturday, November 23, 2019

Fall Leaves Or How to Find Fall in Santa Barbara

Cambridge Dr December 2019
I love Santa Barbara. I am a native so I don't miss the real feeling of fall here. I did take a truly amazing trip to Maine to see family in mid-October many years back and was beautiful. For those of you who miss the feel of fall, this may just be a taste, but here are some places to find leaves falling and covering the ground that may make you feel better. Thanks to my Facebook friends for making my list longer! What are your favorites? Leave a comment or message me on Facebook!