Jun 30, 2014

La Brea Tar Pits Now Offering New Experiences!

(L) The Observation Pit opened in 1952. It remained the only fossil museum in Hancock Park until the Page Museum opened in 1977. (Image courtesy of NHM, Museum Archives); (R) Inside Pit 91, excavator Sean Campbell creates a grid across the matrix to help paleontologists track where each bone is found. (Photo by David Lauridsen, courtesy NHM.)

As of June 28, the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits debuts a suite of improvements to the visitor experience, including two natural and cultural treasures that will be reactivated to spotlight the intensely site-specific legacy of the world-famous Ice Age site and it's history of discovery, excavation, research and display.

The mid-century Observation Pit designed by Henry Sims Bent (1952), the first museum in Hancock Park, will be reopened for special tours after several decades of closure. A trip inside the Observation Pit is part of the new "Excavator Tour", FREE with museum admission if purchased online at tarpits.org.

Simultaneously, excavations inside Pit 91 - one of the worlds longest running urban paleontological excavations sites - will recommence following a seven-year hiatus due to Project 23 investigations In addition to these openings; the iconic mammoths and mastodon surrounding the Lake Pit have been renovated, the Ice Age frieze crowning the top of the Page Museum building has been restored, and daily programming and interaction with scientists has been expended inside the Page Museum.
“We are delighted to offer new daily tours inside the Observation Pit. The post-war gem was designed to engage visitors in the discovery of Ice Age fossils by allowing them to descend into an excavation pit. It was an important first step in the development of the park,” said Dr. Jane Pisano, President and Director of NHM. “Visitors have long been drawn to the tar pits, and allowing them to get close to fossils and paleontology became a theme. That’s key to our reactivation of Pit 91 as well. It allows us to share with visitors the excitement of the discovery process.”
The summer activities are part of a first phase to connect visitors with the indoor and outdoor experience of the La Brea Tar Pits and its Page Museum, and to create greater awareness and support for the ongoing research focused on the tar pits. New findings, appearing in recent journals, range from what insect-damaged La Brea fossils reveal about climate change and the Ice Age, to what damaged skeletons of dire wolves and saber-toothed cats (two of La Brea’s prominent predators) reveal about their hunting modes, to new radiocarbon dating and isotopic analysis of fossils from the ongoing excavation at Project 23. 

- - - - - - - - -

The Observation Pit

On the western edge of the La Brea Tar Pits campus sits the Observation Pit, a circular building and the first visitor experience in Hancock Park, pre-dating both the Page Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. After early plans for the park were derailed by the second world war and the Great Depression, a post-WWII master plan for the development of Hancock Park as a scientific landmark was approved by the County. It called for an observation pit over an existing fossil deposit—the catalyst being Chester Stock, a paleontologist who led excavations in the park and conceived of a fossil museum onsite. Stock had drilled test holes in the area in 1948, looking for a good deposit around which he could build an observation station and museum. 

The Observation Pit took further shape when Harry Sims Bent, the Pasadena architect whose work includes the L.A. County Arboretum, Honolulu Academy of Arts, and Ala Moana Beach Park, created a curved observation pathway leading towards the base of the pit. The original design featured circular openings in the ceiling and an open upper section of the south-facing wall for outside viewing into the pit. The circular openings were later affixed with skylights and the open window with didactics to prevent vandalism to the site. Although a staged presentation, the Observation Pit contains real bones, including those of saber-toothed cats, ground sloths, and dire wolves. The Observation Pit was the only fossil museum at the La Brea Tar Pits until the opening of the George C. Page Museum in 1977. It was closed in the early 1990s, as programming and tours unfolded inside the museum, and the emphasis turned to the real-time discoveries. 

Pit 91

Early investigations at the La Brea Tar Pits concentrated efforts on recovering the largest and most spectacular fossils. To correct this bias and develop a more balanced picture of life during the late Pleistocene, scientists carried out an intensive excavation of the Pit 91 quarry from 1969 to 2007, an effort that doubled the number of species known from the tar pits. Many of the smaller sorts of Rancho La Brea fossils—seeds, insects and mollusks, fish, amphibians, and small birds and rodents—are best known from this excavation. In all, some 160 species of plants and more than 125 species of invertebrates and 230 species of vertebrates are now known from the Rancho La Brea deposits. About half of them are known only from Pit 91.
The 1969 opening included a public component: an observation deck to connect visitors with on-site excavations. Pit 91 was the one of the world’s only continuously active urban excavation sites until its hiatus began in 2007 due to the demands of Project 23—the 23 fossil blocks extracted from the ground during the construction of the nearby Los Angeles County Museum of Art parking lot. This year, in an effort to activate an indoor-outdoor circuit (through the park and into the museum), Pit 91 will be re-staffed with excavators once again for the summer season. 

Activities at the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits

  • New, daily Excavator Tours include an indoor and outdoor exploration of the Fossil Lab, Lake Pit, Observation Pit and Project 23. The tours are free with general admission to the Page Museum and begin June 28. Space is limited. Time tickets required, visit www.tarpits.org.
  • The re-freshed Pit 91 Viewing Station is open 10 am - 4 pm. Excavators are inside the pit Wednesday-Sunday through September 7.
  • Ice Age Encounters feature a life-sized saber-toothed cat puppet. Regular performances are Friday-Sunday, 11 am, 12 pm, and 1 pm. $3 per person. Children 2 years and under free; members free.
The Fossil Lab (inside the museum) is open 9:30 am - 5 pm. Watch as paleontologists work on new finds—with specimens, tools, and completed work on view. 

- - - - - - - - -

About the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits:
The world-famous Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits is part of the Natural History Family of Museums, which also includes the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in Exposition Park and the William S. Hart Museum and Ranch in Newhall, California. Located in the heart of metropolitan Los Angeles, the Page Museum represents one of the world’s most famous fossil localities, the only active urban paleontological excavation site in the United States. This unique Southern California attraction displays Ice Age fossils—including saber-toothed cats, mammoths, dire wolves and mastodons—from the 10,000 to 40,000-year-old sticky asphalt deposits commonly known as the La Brea Tar Pits. Also on display are the fossilized remains of microscopic plants and seeds, insects and reptiles. Daily, visitors can watch scientists and volunteers clean, repair, and identify fossils inside the glass-enclosed paleontology laboratory. Outside the Museum, in Hancock Park, iconic life-size replicas depict several of the extinct mammals that once roamed the Los Angeles Basin.

Hours and Admission:
5801 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90036. 
Open seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
$12 for adults; $9 for college students with ID, seniors 62+ and youth 13-17; $5 for children 3-12; FREE for children 2 and under, Museum members, LAUSD students and teachers, and military personnel and families. 
Visit www.tarpits.org or call (323) 934-PAGE.

Jun 26, 2014

Welk Resorts San Diego's Oaks Golf Course: FREE FOOTGOLF

Welk Resorts San Diego's Oaks Golf course offers FREE round of Footgolf on July 6, 2014.

Welk Resorts San Diego debuts FOOTGOLF, a new hybrid sport that mixes soccer and golf at Oaks Golf course on Sunday, July 6. Local San Diego and Riverside residents will have the opportunity to try the new sport and enjoy one FREE round that includes soccer ball rental and 18 holes.

To celebrate the new sport's debut at Oaks Golf Course, raffles will take place every hour and all guests will have the opportunity to join the Birthday Club and receive free Foot Golf on their birthday.

About the new sport:
Golf is a difficult game that generally takes 4 hours to play a round. Foot Golf provides an opportunity to sample the concept of golf without the difficulty in less than half the time. Foot Golf is now what miniature golf has done for years, giving people a 'beginner-version of golf'.

FREE to San Diego County and Riverside County residents

Sunday, July 6, 2014
9:45 am - Ribbon Cutting
10 am - 6 pm - Free Foot Golf

Welk Resort San Diego - Oaks Par 3 Course
8860 Lawrence Welk Dr.
Escondido, CA 92026

Jun 25, 2014

Williams-Sonoma - June Culinary Technique Classes

Cooking. We all do it. It's delicious must.

But sometimes you get stuck in a rut or want to try something new - that's where Williams-Sonoma comes in. Not only do they carry tons of fantastic kitchen and home supplies but they're now also offering cooking classes and FREE technique classes!

Every month Williams-Sonoma hosts new and fun classes for you to attend and learn something from. Learn about cuisines from around the world - and close to home -from their talented chefs and culinary experts.

Nothing like going home and showing off some new skills in the kitchen. So even though this month's almost over and I'm late in posting this info, you can still participate in their awesome upcoming class for adults and kids:

(Junior Chef)
Ice Cream In Minutes
Saturday, June 28 @ 9:30 am
Kids will learn how to make ice cream in minutes. Suitable for children ages 5-12. 
Not only will they get hands on experience but they'll also get to eat it!

(Adult Chef)
Everything Ice Cream
Sunday, June 29 (call local store for time) 
From a classic custard-based ice cream to new twists on cool treats like frozen yogurt and sorbet, you'll be scooping up the dessert everyone craves. Master your ice cream making as well as learn creative ways to serve it.

General Info:
Each 1½ - to 2 hour class includes a cooking demonstration, generous samples of featured dishes and printed recipes to take home.

• Class fees vary by store location.

• Participants receive a 10% discount on store purchases the day of the class.

• Available at select stores; class dates and times vary by store location.

• Space is limited and reservations are required. Select store only, contact your local store for more details.

Find your local Williams-Sonoma store here.

Jun 23, 2014

"Summer Starts Here" OC Fair - Ticket Giveaway

OC Fair Grounds - 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, CA 92626
July 11 - August 10, 2014

Get your tastes buds and walking shoes ready because the OC Fair is back for 2014!

This years fair will include:
 various food vendors (hello, delicious funnel cakes!)
• competitions
 concerts and action sports events
• exhibits (centennial farm, wine competition, explorium & more) 


  • Opening Day (July 11) - FREE admission & parking (noon - 1pm)
  • Military & Veterans  -FREE active military & veteran admission w/ID. 
  • Read & Ride - Read 2 books for 3 carnival rides (ages 5-11). Submit book reports to the information booth @Centennial Farm for FREE ride tickets. (valid July 11 - Aug 10)
  • EVERY Wednesday - $30 Unlimited carnival ride wristband (sold until 5pm & valid until 8pm - plus 2 FREE games)
  • We Care Wednesday - FREE admission and 1 carnival ride per person every Wednesday w/donation (donations change weekly. click link above to view donations)
    • July 16 (noon - 3pm) - Food Drive: FREE admission w/donation of 5 cans of food.
    • July 23 (noon - 3pm) - Children's Book Drive: FREE admission w/donation of 1 new children's book or 3 gently used children's books.
    • July 30 (noon - 3pm) - Clothing Drive: FREE admission with donation of 5 new or gently used clothing items.
    • August 6 (noon - 3pm) - School Supply Drive: FREE admission w/donation of NEW school supplies valued at $5 or more. Receipt required. Accepted items: pens/pencils/crayons, notebooks/notebook paper, school backpacks.
  • EVERY Thursday - $30 Unlimited carnival ride wristband. (sold until 5pm and valid until 8pm - plus 2 FREE games)
  • EVERY Thursday - Kids Day: Children 12 & under are FREE all day.
  • EVERY Friday - Seniors Day (60+): $2 off senior admission. FREE Ferris wheel and merry-go-round rides all day.
  • EVERY Friday (noon - 4pm) - $2 Taste of Food Fair
  • EVERY Saturday & Sunday - Rise & Shine: $3 general admission (10am -11am). Discounted tickets are sold until 11am and must be used by noon on the same day.

Fair Info 

OC Fair Grounds - 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, CA 92626
July 11 - August 10, 2014 (Open Wednesday - Sunday)
              Wednesday - Friday: Noon - Midnight
              Saturday & Sunday: 10am - Midnight

General (13-59) - $12
Senior (60+) - $7
Youth (6 - 12) - $7
Children 5 and under are FREE

Super Pass:
Buy the exclusive Super Pass and enjoy admission to the 2014 OC Fair for all 23 days! Must be purchased in person at OC Fair box office or online. Includes: admission all 23 days, express entry at all gates, 2-for-1 tickets for select Pacific Amphitheater/Hanger and Action Sports Arena concerts, 20% off OC Fair merchandise, and carnival value book.
General admission: $35
Senior: $28
Youth: $28

Parking Rates:
General parking passenger cars: $10
General parking buses & limos: $20
Pacific Amphitheater VIP: $30
*Parking is CASH ONLY. There is no in-and-out parking privileges.

Purchase tickets at the OC Fair box office, ticketmaster or call 800-745-3000.


One lucky person will win a family 4-pack of general admission tickets!

Giveaway will end on Monday, July 7 @11:59 pm (pst). 
Winner will be notified via email and must respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. Tickets will be delivered to the winner by OC Fair and/or held at will call.

Disclosure: Giveaway is hosted by OC Fair. SoCal Blog was provide with complimentary tickets to the OC Fair. 

Jun 22, 2014

Farmers Market & Hat's Off To Uncle Sam - Promenade Temecula

located at: 40820 Winchester Road, Temecula, CA 92591

The weather's great so get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air!

Hat's Off to Uncle Sam
Date: Wednesday, June 25 @11 am
Location: The Plaza

Promenade Temecula is helping you get ready for 4th of July by hosting a fabulous craft event. Celebrate Independence Day by creating a hat worthy of Uncle Sam! Trim it in red, white and blue then add your personal style. Choose your custom elements from stars, stripes, and colorful decorations to adorn your hat.

Farmers Market
Date:  Every Wednesday, 9 am - 1pm
Location: JCPenney parking lot

Enjoy organic foods and hand crafted goods at the Promenade Certified Farmers Market every Wednesday from 9:00am-1:00pm in the JCPenney parking lot! Explore over 15 local farmers with a wonderful variety and selection of produce including goat cheese and honey. Our gourmet food section has kettle corn, Mexican entrees, baked goods and sweets, fresh artisan bread, and hummus. Stroll a little farther and you will find handmade jewelry and crafts, eco-friendly bath and body products, and even all-natural dog food!

Jun 20, 2014

Harkins Theatres: 2014 Summer Movie Fun

If it's summertime, that means two things; blockbuster movies and the Harkin's Summer Movie Fun program for kids.

For more than 35 years, Harkins Theatres has brought back some of Hollywood's best family films to keep kids entertained and cool during the summer. Kids can enjoy a movie for week for 10 weeks, for less than $1 per film.

Make Harkins Summer Movie Fun for kids and annual tradition for your family. All adults must be accompanied by children.

There are only 2 Harkin Theatre locations in CA - Chino Hills and Moreno Valley; movies begin playing on June 16 for both.

Jun 18, 2014

Regal Cinemas: 2014 Summer Movie Express

I live in Riverside County so I don't think I have to tell you that I'll do just about anything to stay out of the heat. Just last weekend it was above 98 degrees. Ick.

Luckily for all of us...and the kiddos...and your wallet, summertime means it's movie theater deal time.

Regal Cinemas is once again bringing back their $1 movie days on Tuesday & Wednesday at 10 am. What a steal! 

Here's the line up:
  • Week 1: Hotel Transylvania / The Smurfs 2
  • Week 2: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 / The Pirates: Band of Misfits
  • Week 3: Arthur Christmas / Despicable Me 2
  • Week 4: The Lego Movie / Free Birds
  • Week 5: The Adventures of Tintin / Rise of the Guardians
  • Week 6: Kung Fu Panda 2 / Madagascar 3
  • Week 7: The Croods / Epic
  • Week 8: Turbo / Walking with Dinosaurs
  • Week 9: Mr. Peabody & Sherman / Rio 2

Click here to check the theater schedule near you. 

 A portion of the proceeds goes to the Will Rogers Institute.

Jun 16, 2014

Ringling Bros And Barnum & Bailey Presents legends - Ticket Giveaway

Shows in Los Angeles (July 9 - 15), Ontario (July 18 - 22), Anaheim (July 25 - Aug 3)

I've been to my fair share of circus shows and I can honestly say that it never get old. I'm in my 30's and I still have as much fun kids do. No lie.

Featuring over 100 performers spanning 25 countries plus more than 85 animals from nearly every continent around the world, the Ringling Bros. 144th Edition features several unique acts including:
  • China National Acrobatic Troupe from Beijing perform several impressive acts including balancing 20 people on two bicycles, fast-paced hoop diving and graceful Diabolo juggling skills.
  • Introducing the Double Trapeze, especially designed for Ringling Bros., with the attempt of four consecutive triple somersaults in a row.
You'd have to be nuts to miss this show. And it seems like it's your lucky day because I'm giving away tickets!

One lucky winner will win 2 ticket vouchers

*vouchers must be exchanged for event tickets at the box office before showtime; vouchers are good for any of the three SoCal venues and only for weekday shows.

Giveaway ends on Monday, June 30 @11:59 pm and is open to US residents, +18 years old. Winner will be notified via email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Ticket vouchers will be mailed directly to winner via USPS.

Disclosure: I was provided with tickets to the opening show in exchange for posting about the event and it's voucher giveaway. SoCalBlog will mail the winner their ticket vouchers via USPS and is not responsible for any lost or stolen tickets.

Jun 13, 2014

Father's Day Restaurant Discounts

BJ's Restaurant & Brewery - is giving dads a free limited edition pint glass June 14 and 15. 

Boston Market - Buy one BBQ Ribs Individual Meal and get one free with this coupon.

CA Pizza Kitchen - 3 Course Meal for Two for $39.99.  One Appetizer, Two Entrees, One Dessert.  Friday, June 13th through Sunday, June 15th.

Claim Jumper - Father’s Day Champagne Brunch Buffet featuring over 20 signature items including a carving station with smoked Ham, slow roasted Turkey and Roast Beef, Peel & Eat Shrimp and more. 9 am – 2 pm.  $24.99.  Includes beverage (Champagne, Bloody Marys, Sangrias, Mimosas, coffee and juice).  Full menu available at 10:30 am.

Hometown Buffet - Enjoy an exclusive Father’s Day menu, featuring Prime Rib, Rancher’s Select Sirloin, Carved Ham, and all of Dad’s favorites from Friday, June 13 (3:30 pm – close) through Sunday, June 15 (11 am – close). During this special weekend, restaurants will also be distributing a Two Can Dine for $17.99 coupon for a future visit, with the purchase of two beverages.

Hooters -  Dads can buy 10 wings, get 10 wings free on Sunday, June 15th.

Outback SteakhouseTreat Dad early.  Give him his choice of soup or salad, a 6 oz. Victoria’s Filet, Bone-In NY Strip, Bone-In Ribeye, or Prime Rib & Lobster, plus a side and a dessert. Starting at $19.99.  Offer good now through Sunday, June 15 with this coupon.

Redbox - has a special promotion now through June 15 in honor of Father’s Day. Reserve any movie or game online and get 50 cents off another DVD.

Jun 10, 2014

Ringling Bros. And Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS

Coming to SoCal on July 9 - August 3

Behold the living legends! Children of All Ages will believe in the unbelievable with the all-new circus spectacular, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents LEGENDS, coming to the Los Angeles area from July 9 – August 3 playing at STAPLES Center Los Angeles (July 9-15); Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario (July 18-22); and Honda Center, Anaheim (July 25-Aug 3).

Iconic Ringling Bros. stars meet fabled mythological creatures at the place where legends live…The Greatest Show on Earth®! Experience unimaginable family fun, as amazing circus athletes perform awe-inspiring feats of daring, spectacles of strength and thrills of wonder in a celebration of the LEGENDS that have captured imaginations for centuries. Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson guides Paulo the Legend Seeker on his quest to discover real, living circus legends from around the world…along the way encountering the fantastical Pegasus, a Unicorn and the remarkable Woolly the Mammoth!

Featuring over 100 performers spanning 25 countries plus more than 85 animals from nearly every continent
around the world, the Ringling Bros. 144th Edition features several unique acts including:

  • China National Acrobatic Troupe from Beijing perform several impressive acts including balancing 20 people on two bicycles, fast-paced hoop diving and graceful Diabolo juggling skills
  • Introducing the Double Trapeze, especially designed for Ringling Bros., with the attempt of four consecutive triple somersaults in a row.

Plus additional circus legends highlighted in the show such as Big Cat trainer Alexander Lacey; edge-ofyour-
seat Cossack Riders equestrian stunts; Globe of Steel motorcycle daredevils; of course no show would be complete without the Ringling Bros. Clown Alley and treasured performing pachyderms!

Debuting this year for the ultimate circus fan, check out the exclusive and intimate fan experience within the
Ringmaster Zone. Access to this VIP area is only available to select ticket holders and offers guests an unprecedented look “behind the curtain” of The Greatest Show On Earth. Fans have the opportunity to walk the Ringling Red Carpet, meet Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson and the stars of the show, step inside the Globe of Steel, take photos on the Ringmaster’s float and have an up-close elephant encounter.

Be sure to arrive early to experience several exciting interactive elements before the show starts included
with the ticket price – visit the Animal Open House (in Ontario & Anaheim only) to get up-close with our amazing animal stars and the All Access Pre-Show where families can step onto the arena floor to meet our performers, learn circus skills, try on costumes and much more!

Use discount code: MOM and receive a family four pack of tickets for only $80. (expires 8/3/14)

Show Information
LOS ANGELES - Staples Center (1111 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles 90015)
Wednesday, July 9 - Tuesday, July 15

  • Wednesday, July 9 7:30 PM
  • Thursday, July 10 12:00 PM & 7:30 PM
  • Friday, July 11 12:00 PM & 7:30 PM
  • Saturday, July 12 11:30 AM, 3:30 PM & 7:30 PM
  • Sunday, July 13 11:30 AM, 3:30 PM & 7:30 PM
  • Monday, July 14 7:30 PM
  • Tuesday, July 15 12:00 PM & 7:30 PM 
**All shows include the All Access Pre-Show

Prices range from $26, $30, $45–$50 (VIP), $75–$85 (Front Row) and $125–$155 (Ringmaster Zone). Opening Night tickets are only $15 each (not valid for VIP or premium seating). Tickets available for purchase online at AXS.com, charge by phone at 888-9AXS-TIX or in-person at the venue Box Office.

ONTARIO - Citizens Business Bank Arena (4000 Ontario Center Parkways, Ontario 91764)
Friday, July 18 - Tuesday, July 22

  • Friday, July 18 7:30 PM
  • Saturday, July 19 11:30 AM, 3:30 PM & 7:30 PM
  • Sunday, July 20 11:30 AM, 3:30 PM & 7:30 PM
  • Monday, July 21 7:30 PM
  • Tuesday, July 22 12:00 PM & 7:30 PM
**All shows include Animal Open House and All Access Pre-Show

Prices range from $20, $26, $42 (VIP), $70 (Front Row) and $100–$115 (Ringmaster Zone) Opening Night. Tickets are only $15 each (not valid for VIP or premium seating). Tickets available for purchase online at AXS.com or CBBankArena.com, charge by phone at 888-9AXS-TIX or in-person at the venue Box Office.

ANAHEIM - Honda Center (2695 E. Katella Avenue, Anaheim 92806)
Friday, July 25 - Sunday, August 3

  • Friday, July 25 7:30 PM
  • Saturday, July 26 11:30 AM, 3:30 PM & 7:30 PM
  • Sunday, July 27 1:30 PM & 5:30 PM
  • Wednesday, July 30 1:00 PM & 7:30 PM
  • Thursday, July 31 10:30 AM & 7:30 PM
  • Friday, August 1 1:00 PM & 7:30 PM
  • Saturday, August 2 11:30 AM, 3:30 PM & 7:30 PM
  • Sunday, August 3 11:30 AM, 3:30 PM & 7:30 PM
**All shows include Animal Open House and All Access Pre-Show

Prices range from $20, $28, $42 (VIP), $75 (Front Row) and $125–$135 (Ringmaster Zone). Opening Night tickets are only $15 each (not valid for VIP or premium seating). Tickets available for purchase online at Ticketmaster.com or HondaCenter.com, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or in-person at the venue Box Office.

** Giveaway coming soon! **