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Mom’s Guide Halloween Park Playdate


Kids love any opportunity to show off their costume, so let’s get together in a light and friendly park environment for some Halloween fun!



Dress the kids in costume and join us for pumpkin painting, a costume parade, soccer fun with Super Soccer Stars, and a dance party with Move Fitness & Dance!



The whole family is welcome and encouraged to attend!


Mom’s Guide Halloween Park Playdate

Sunday, October 22nd

3:30 PM – 5:30 PM

Harry Griffen Park

9550 Milden Street

La Mesa, CA 91942

Kids Care Fest – fun, free & good for your health!

Each fall the Grossmont Healthcare District organizes a free festival dedicated to fun and the health of East County families.

But Kids Care Fest isn’t all about health screenings. There’s also rock climbing, jumpies, pony rides, demonstrations, displays from police and fire officials, free child fingerprinting services and even a book giveaway!

There are also FREE vision and dental screenings, flu shots (while supplies last), and plenty of health resources/referral information.

All participants and the services they are offering are listed here:

Kids Care Fest will take place on October 14th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Lakeside Rodeo Grounds.

For more information, visit

Time to Choose Your School

If you’d like to choose the San Diego Unified school that your child will attend next year, you have just about a month to get in your School Choice application.

What does that mean? Well, if you live within the San Diego Unified School District, you have the option of sending your children to your neighborhood school OR choosing to transfer into another school. That might be a traditional school in a different neighborhood or one of the district’s many charter or magnet schools.


What’s a charter or a magnet you ask? Charter schools are public schools that may provide instruction in any of grades K-12 that are created or organized by a group of teachers, parents, community leaders or a community-based organization. They usually have more freedoms in hiring and retaining teachers, more authority over their budgets and over the way their school is run. Some popular San Diego Unified charter schools include Albert Einstein Academy, High Tech Elementary (and middle and high) and Urban Discovery. 

A magnet school is an entire school with a special focus such as science, art, physical education, etc. These programs and schools are designed to attract students from across a district. Some examples of magnet schools in San Diego Unified include The Language Academy, Spanish dual language immersion and French immersion, Crown Point Elementary junior music conservatory with Suzuki violin and Linda Vista Elementary with its science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) focus.

The window to submit 2018-19 School Choice applications is October 2 – November 13, 2017.  After the deadline, applications will only be accepted for new-to-district students–including military and all incoming TK/Kindergarten pupils–and for families who move to a different area within the district boundaries.

A computerized, weighted, random lottery will be conducted in February 2018.

Explore your school choice on the San Diego Unified website here:


Unleash the Party Animals!

Topping last year’s party might be tricky, but Helen Woodward’s animals can delight even the most picky! You get to select the party package that suits you best, the birthday child chooses the animals, and the animal center does the rest! Click here to learn more and to see the animal choices.


Helen Woodward’s birthday party packages mean tons of fun for kiddos and no stress or mess for moms!

Custom party (2.5 hours)

$225 includes 20 guests (kids and adults), 4 animal interactions, private use of our outdoor covered pavilion area and picnic tables, access to games, and a party pro to lead the activities. You can add on to this package as well.

All inclusive party (2.5 hours)

$389 includes 30 guests (kids and adults), 4 animal interactions, private use of our outdoor covered pavilion area and picnic tables, access to games, a party pro to lead the activities, face painting, themed decorations, themed invite and thank you templates, themed paper goods, and themed party favors.

Ultimate party (3 hours)

$599 includes 50 guests (kids and adults), 5 animal interactions, private use of our outdoor covered pavilion area and picnic tables, access to games, a party pro to lead the activities, face painting, themed decorations, themed invite and thank you templates, themed paper goods, themed party favors, and a behind the scenes look at animal care OR an animal feeding encounter.

If you’re ready to unleash your inner party animal, call the Helen Woodward Animal Center at (858) 756-4117 x318 or e-mail to reserve your party now! **Use code PARTYANIMAL for an extra encounter.**

A Day Out With Thomas in SoCal!

Thomas the Tank Engine has been a part of our family’s life since my little guy, Oliver, first started walking and talking. He received a Thomas book as a gift on his first birthday, followed by a wooden railroad set on his second birthday…and it’s all history from there. In the beginning, my limited knowledge of Thomas was that he was a blue engine who is eager to do just about anything to please Sir Topham Hatt. I’d often times get him confused with Edward or Gordon, the other blue engines on Sodor…but not anymore! I could now tell you about Percy, the #6 Green Engine, who plays Thomas’ best friend and is often seen delivering the mail. Or Flynn, one of my favorites, who is an overly enthusiastic fire engine on Sodor’s Search and Rescue team.

So if you’ve got a mini Thomas enthusiast like I do, then heading up to Perris, Ca for the upcoming Day Out With Thomas: The Friendship Tour, is an absolute MUST! On November 4th, 5th, 10th, 11th, and 12th, Thomas the Tank Engine and his best friend, Percy, will be visiting the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, CA! Little engineers and their families can spend the day at this fun-filled family event, which offers the opportunity to actually take a ride with Thomas the Tank Engine and Percy! In addition, they will meet Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway, and enjoy a day of Thomas-themed activities, featuring an array of friendship-inspired fun. Attendees will be able to participate in events that encourage and celebrate friendship including photo ops, crafts, storytelling, coloring and more.  Children are invited to collect passport stamps throughout the day to receive a special gift.

Ticket prices begin at $21 and are available at Tickets are required for ages 2 and up, and include admission to the museum, the train ride with Thomas, as well as a variety of Thomas & Friends themed entertainment such as arts & crafts, an Imagination Station, temporary tattoos, storytelling and more! Military discounts are also available.

And, as always, the Moms Guide to San Diego is here to offer one lucky family a shot at winning a family 4-pack of tickets to the Sunday, November 5th afternoon (3 or 4pm slot) with Thomas!! Just comment below with your child’s favorite engine on Sodor for your shot at winning! The winner will be selected at random this Friday, October 13th!

Fuel Schools on World Teachers’ Day and All Month Long!

It’s World Teachers’ Day! Today and every day, teachers captivate young minds and inspire a passion for learning. Sadly, they also often spend hundreds of dollars from their own pockets to provide needed materials and supplies, especially in public schools. Whether you have school-aged children or not, you can help support San Diego Unified classrooms by participating in Chevron’s Fuel Your School Program. 

photo credit: Chevron

Fuel Your School is an innovative collaboration with to support teachers and help fund classroom materials in San Diego public schools. From Oct. 1 through Oct. 31, 2017, when consumers fill up with 8 or more gallons at a participating Chevron or Texaco station, $1 will be donated – up to $400,000! – to help fund eligible classroom projects for public schools within the city of San Diego.

All Chevron-branded and Texaco-branded stations in the city of San Diego are participating. Find your nearest station here:

Parents, the Fuel Your School program can help make a big impact for San Diego Unified students. Tell everyone you know – friends, relatives, even the cashier at the grocery store – about fueling up in October, and be sure to visit for details.

San Diego Unified teachers, sign up and post your eligible classroom project request at, an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need. Post classroom project requests on the website, and when a project reaches its funding goal, purchases the materials and ships them to the school. Be sure to let your students and their families know that you are participating!

In honor of World Teachers’ Day, Chevron would like to give one San Diego County teacher a $50 gas card. Teachers, enter for your chance to win by posting the name of your school and what you teach. Parents, post the name of your child’s teacher and school or what they teach. One entry will be randomly selected to win a $50 Chevron Gift Card!


This article and its giveaway is sponsored by Chevron.Chevron encourages public school teachers to post classroom projects for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education to help prepare students who may be interested in these types of advanced technical jobs. However all eligible classroom projects can participate in the program.  Follow the Fuel Your School program on Facebook @ChevronFuelYourSchool, Twitter @FuelYourSchool and Instagram @fuelyourschool. #FuelYourSchool #FuelUp.

Our Fave Kids Free Deals in October

You’ve probably seen the ads for Kids Free promotions at most San Diego museums, Seaworld, Legoland, the San Diego Zoo and more. There really are more than 100 opportunities for kids to dine, stay, visit and be entertained for free this month. Here are some of our faves . . .

Playing with dolphins & belugas …

Tip top on our list of specials to take advantage of is the Kids FREE Dolphin & Beluga Interaction Programs at SeaWorld San Diego. The park is marvelously decorated, there are trick-or-treat stations throughout, and for this month only, one child can play with the dolphins or beluga whales for free with paid adult ticket purchase. This has been on our bucket list for a long time, and now that Gage is finally 10, we can all go together as a family — for 1/2 price!

If your littles are too little to get into the water with dolphins and belugas, you might like to consider Seaworld’s kids free “Dine with the Orcas” breakfast and dinner. Admission to the park is not included, but remember, that’s also part of the kids free promo! For more info. visit:

After school swimming …

We spend a lot of time at the amazing Salvation Army Kroc Center for figure skating, ice hockey, swimming and summer camps. During October, the Kroc Center is offering the following FREE events for kids —

Take a gondola ride …

I’ve heard great things about The Gondola Company where guests gently cruise through the enchanting canals of the Coronado Cays. Sure, it would be more romantic without the kids, but when up to 4 children ride for free with paid adult couple, I say welcome aboard for another memorable family experience! Get the full details here.

photo credit: The Gondola Company

“Pigging” out at Carnitas’ Snack Shack …

San Diegans rave about Carnitas’ Snack Shack and there’s even more to love in October when up to two kids eat free with paying adult purchase at the Embarcadero location. I’ll take the SnackShack Steak Sandwich, and the kids will gobble up the kids’ combo. You’ll need to present the offer in person, so get yours here.

photo credit: Carnitas’ Snack Shack


FREE for all!

Our final pick for the month is free for ALL —  Animals on the Bay Day at the Living Coast Discovery Center. This is the ONLY day of the year with free admission to everyone. Enjoy animal encounters and feedings, games, raffles, prizes and special wildlife presentations throughout the day. Coming up this Sunday, October 8th, click here for details.

For a list of other fantastic kids free promotions, visit



Halloween Family Day at the NAT


Don’t forget — it’s Kids Free October, which means children 12 and younger get free admission to 43 participating museums, including the NAT, with an adult ticket purchase. For more information visit

Celebrate the Creeps of the Deep at Birch Aquarium

We’re so excited to be able to give away a family 4-pack of tickets so one Mom’s Guide family can meet some of the creeps of the deep and get hands-on with Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego science at the eighteenth-annual Haunted Aquarium: Sea Monster Mash. All families are invited to dive into the spooky, slimy side of ocean science and enjoy a Halloween-themed evening of music, crafts, and close encounters with underwater creatures.


Photo credit: Beth Chee

On October 20 and 21, from 6 to 9 p.m., guests will experience eerie and unusual organisms from the Scripps Oceanographic Collections, see a super-sized squid dissection, and create their own seaweed slime to take home. Meet Scripps Oceanography scientists studying ocean creatures big and small and get an insider’s look into what it takes to study different creatures of the deep.

Photo credit: Beth Chee

Inspired by the Infinity Cube, guests will make unique glowing crafts and learn more about bioluminescence from Scripps Oceanography experts.

Haunted Aquarium is a fun and educational Halloween celebration. Costumes are encouraged, especially if they have an ocean science theme. Billy Lee and the Swamp Critters will return for music and dancing, and Splash! Café by The French Gourmet will be open for ghoulish treats.

Photo credit: Beth Chee

Haunted Aquarium often sells out, so purchasing early is encouraged. Discounted pre-sale tickets are available for $18.50 for the general public, $13.50 for Birch Aquarium members. Tickets will be available at the door for $20. Children ages 2 and under are free, and children under 16 must be accompanied by a paid adult. General admission tickets cannot be used for Haunted Aquarium. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call 858-534-FISH.

If you’d like the chance to win tickets to this spooky spectacular, simply comment here with the sea creature you fear most! One winner will be randomly selected this week. Good luck!

Some Boo for You!

Calling all aspiring mommy bloggers …

Does your family enjoy trick-or-treating, costume contests and pumpkin patches?

What about roller coasters, bumper cars, laser tag and zip lining?

Belmont Park Transforms into BOOmont Park in October, and we need one Mom’s Guide family to cover the Halloween festivities and spooky fun.

BOOmont Park is Halloween fun for all ages every weekend in October beginning this Saturday! Activities like free trick-or-treating, Zombie Laser Tag, Super Hero Zip Line & Rock Wall and Pumpkin Patch Station will run every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 5pm to CLOSE plus Tuesday, October 31st.

If you and your kids would like to snag unlimited attraction wristbands and share all of the fun with our readers via social media, enter for your chance to win here. Just leave a comment telling us what costume your kid(s) want for Halloween. One reader will be randomly selected to win up to 4 unlimited park combo wristbands, which include rides, laser tag and zip line. This offer is good for the weekend of October 6th.

Don’t miss Belmont Park’s transformation into a Halloween-themed beachfront amusement park with fun for monsters of all ages.  Admission and Parking are FREE!

BOOmont Park




Every Friday, Saturday, Sunday: September 30th – October 29th, plus Tuesday, October 31st

Time: BOOmont Park runs every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 5pm – CLOSE

Trick-or-Treating: 6:30pm – 7:30pm

Location: 3146 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109
Cost: FREE Admission and Parking for Belmont Park

FREE Trick-or-Treating

Pumpkin Patch – Pricing varies

Super Hero Zip Line & Rock Wall – Kids in full super hero costumes receive 50% off !! 

$8.00 Zombie Laser Tag

For more information about BOOmont Park please visit or call (858) 228-9283.