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Our Omni La Costa Resort PlayDate = perfection

Mama, it’s hot outside, and you deserve to cool off. In luxury.

You can bring the littles if you’d like. We did, and it was awesome!

Omni La Costa kindly hosted four Mom’s Guide families at their gorgeous resort last week. Our youngest kids enjoyed the splash grounds, toddler water slide and the sandy beach. We couldn’t get our big kids off of the “real” water slides or out of the shady cabana.

If you need a little escape from your day-to-day routine,  Splash, Dine and Stay at this playground for all ages, perfect for a family staycation with eight sparkling pools.

With daily family breakfast, a $100 resort dining credit and Kidtopia Kids Club time, this family staycation package is just what your summer needs. Spend sunny days poolside and cascading down waterslides. And don’t forget to take advantage of Kidtopia Kids Club so you can recharge and relax with some ALONE TIME.

Even better than a quick stay is the year-round opportunity to unwind with The Club at La Costa Membership. Club members get to enjoy full resort access + all amenities, including the spa, shops, golf, dining, special events and activities and the athletic club.  Members receive two hours of complimentary childcare while using the club. WOW!

If all of this sounds like a recipe for happy kids and parents, check out the Omni La Costa website for more information about your dreamy staycation or your future club membership.

We may be sliding out of summer, but San Diego moms know that any time of year is the right time to hit the pool here.

We so appreciate the first class treatment we had at La Costa with our guests and can’t wait to head back!

If you’d like to be a part of our awesome Mom’s Guide play dates and outings, be sure to join our Facebook group.

Impossible Science Headed Our Way

For the fourth year in a row the RH Fleet Science Center is hosting its Impossible Science Festival, a hands-on event where kids can learn how to make objects invisible, experience what it’s like to walk on water and explore levitation. There are more than 20 interactive demonstration stations for families to experience.

“The goal of the Impossible Science Festival is to promote education through curiosity,” said Jason Latimer, host and designer of the Impossible Science Festival.

“By exploring subjects that seem impossible but showing how they can be made possible through science, visitors will have a memorable, hands-on learning experience that will blow their minds!”

 

It’s no secret that we love the Fleet Science Center, but the Impossible Science Festival is just about the best time we’ve ever had there.

The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday in the theater lobby of the Fleet Science Center. Ticket prices range from $21.95 for juniors to $24.95 for adults and includes the festival, Fleet exhibits and one film in the IMAX giant dome theater. Members and Explorer Pass holders enter for free.

 

For more information about the Impossible Science Festival, visit rhfleet.org/events/impossible-science-festival.

Resale Round Up!

We’re entering an expensive time of year for most families. Back to school supplies and clothes, Halloween and all of those adorable costumes. And there’s only 140-something days left until Christmas. 

Savvy San Diego moms know how to squeeze the most out of their budgets, and this spending season also happens to be a giant season of savings, thanks to numerous upcoming family swaps and consignment events. Sell the things your family has outgrown, and buy the things you want and need at amazing prices!


Rhea Lana’s of Northeast San Diego

August 12th – 18th
7630 Carroll Road, San Diego 92121

northeastsandiego.rhealana.com

Shop hundreds of families at once and save 60-90% off retail prices! Since each item is inspected, you can rely on Rhea Lana’s for HIGH QUALITY children’s items at unbeatable prices. You can sell, you can shop and you’ll find:
✔️ Clothes (sizes infant-teen) including maternity
✔️ Shoes
✔️ Baby Equipment
✔️ Furniture
✔️ Toys, Books, DVD’s, Electronics
✔️ Bedding
✔️ Nursery Decor
✔️ Much, much more!

Visit northeastsandiego.rhealana.com for more information.

 

Skyline Swap Meet

Saturday, September 29th 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Skyline Church, 11330 Campo Road, La Mesa 91941

Facebook.com/skylineswap

Bring-an-item-take-an-item is the motto of this awesome semi-annual family swap meet. Hosted by the lovely women of Skyline Church, you’ll find children’s clothing, toys, books, furniture and gear as well as household items and adult clothing.

The $1 entry fee benefits church programs and is the only money you will spend at this event as long as you bring items to swap. Bring a book, take a toy! For more information, visit facebook.com/skylineswap

 

 

Just Between Friends San Diego 

September 20th – 23rd
Scottish Rite Center, 1895 Camino Del Rio S., Mission Valley

sandiego.jbfsale.com

San Diego’s largest children’s and maternity consignment sale happens this September with more than 45,000 gently used children’s and maternity bargains in over 15,000 SF! There’s plenty of FREE parking and DEALS, DEALS, DEALS!!

Saturday, September 22 – Noon-7pm (Admission $4)
Sunday, September 23 – 8am-noon (Half price sale, Free Entry)

Bargain shop like a pro or turn your clutter into cash and consign at this sale. Visit sandiego.jbfsale.com for more information.

 

 

Parent Connection Family Swap Meet

Sunday, October 14th 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Canyon Crest Academy, Carmel Valley

SanDiegoParent.com 

 

Everyone loves the famous Parent Connection Family Swap Meet. Come and browse the like-new-to-you items that hundreds of families are selling. The family swap is a great place to find deals on outdoor play equipment, Halloween costumes, baby/kid furniture, gently used clothing, books and more!

Parent Connection members get the best bargains with early entry! Visit SanDiegoParent.com for more information.

If you need bargains TODAY check out San Diego’s amazing kids’ resale shops. Our complete list can be found here.

Animals at the Library!

We love San Diego’s aquariums, amazing zoo and museums, but sometimes it’s nice to encounter animals and history for free in our local libraries. This is the week to head to your local branch for some interactive fun with wild life!

Totally Tidepools

Monday, July 30th at the Allied Gardens Library

Living Coast Discovery Center presents “Totally Tidepools” at the Allied Gardens library this Monday.  Put on your claws, suction cups or feet to discover what amazing adaptations help tidepool animals survive. There might even be a few animal friends from the tidepools there as well. 2:30-3:30 p.m. click here for details.

 

Animal Magic

Tuesday, July 31st at the El Cajon & Poway Libraries

Photo Credit: Animal Magic

Don’t miss this nonstop, action packed, high energy 40-45 minute MAGIC SHOW with all LIVE EXOTIC PETS. Starts at 10 a.m.  at the Poway Library and 12:30 p.m. in El Cajon.

Marine Mammals ID

Wednesday, August 1st at the San Carlos Library

photo credit: World Below the Waves

Learn about seals, whales, dolphins and more!  Plus, meet local marine scientists and get a close-up look at some preserved specimens.  This show is presented by World Below the Waves and begins at 2:30 in San Carlos. Click here for details.

 

Wild Wonders 

Wednesday, August 1st at the Rancho San Diego Library

Wild Wonders has your passport to adventure with animals from all over the world including South America, Africa, Australia, Asia, and North America! Click here for tickets.

Dinosaurs Rock

Wednesday, August 1st at the Santee Library 

Spectacular interactive presentation and dinosaur dig where kids will get to take home a genuine fossil. 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Click here for more information.

The NAT’s New Play Space Opens TOMORROW!

“THE BACKYARD” OPENS AT THE NAT IN BALBOA PARK ON Friday, JULY 20!

Adventures begin in The Backyard, a brand-new exhibition at the San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat) that allows little learners to expand their horizons, learn, and explore the natural world through play. This new space provides children 0-5 years old with a safe, dedicated place to play while parents, grandparents, and caregivers participate or sit, relax, and observe. The exhibition is included with paid admission and free for members! All children must be accompanied by an adult to gain access to the space.

Inspired by a quintessential San Diego backyard patio, The Backyard is packed with experiences that encourage curiosity about the natural world including, a shade tree, live animals, a potting bench, a giant ladybug, stepping stones, a pergola-covered reading nook, a garden bed for infant tummy time, an urban nature soundscape, and more. Caregivers can enjoy wifi and a coffee or snack from the nearby Flying Squirrel cafe, and new moms can comfortably breastfeed/bottle-feed on the benches provided inside the play space.

The Backyard contains interactive activities and objects that instill a sense of wonder and curiosity about the natural world. Exhibition highlights include:

  • A garden bed (soft space for ages 0-2)
    • Modeled after a self-contained garden area, this enclosed, soft space is separated from areas designed for older toddlers and preschoolers. It is an ideal area for infants to work on tummy time, rolling over, and sitting up. Within this space, older infants have an area to practice crawling, walking, and grasping different textures.
  • An old oak tree (ages 2-5)
    • Children will embody imaginative, dramatic, and realistic play as they dress like familiar backyard animals, crawl on a giant ladybug, and gallivant around an old oak tree. Self-directed play can take many forms as kids build block structures, color mix on the light table, and uncover hidden sounds and live animals in the garden wall.
  • A potting shed (ages 2-5)
    • Adults can relax and recharge on plush bench seating with free WiFi and a charging station while kids exercise fine motor skills and build imaginations as they create and pot flowers, read books, solve puzzles, and sort shapes.

 

“The Backyard provides flexible experiences that allow adults to choose their level of engagement,” Beth Redmond-Jones, vice president of engagement and education at The Nat, remarked. “They can either be actively engaged in their child’s play or sit back and relax with a latté from The Flying Squirrel Café. And for parents or caregivers who have been gallivanting in Balboa Park all day, or simply just need a breather, that can be a beautiful thing.”

On August 1Backyard Wilderness 3D film opens in the Museum’s 300-seat giant-screen theater and it is AWESOME!! The film follows a young girl named Katie who lives next to the woods but is blind to the real-life spectacle around her until she discovers the intricate secrets that nature has hidden so close to her front door. The story was is so much fun to follow, and the cinematography is stunning! My 4-year old LOVED it, and no matter how much we encouraged a “whisper voice”, he couldn’t help himself from yelling out loud in excitement throughout the movie.

The Nat was an enjoyable experience for our whole family. We spent over 4 hours exploring, and probably only stopped to see half of the artifacts and exhibits. In fact, we loved it so much, that we’ll be getting an annual membership so that we can enjoy it all year! Playdates anyone?!

More Than a Movie

I’ve been having so much fun going all over town as a sponsor of the Summer Movies in the Park because I have discovered amazing places that I really never knew existed like Otay Lakes Regional Park.

Otay Lakes Park offers gorgeous views of Otay Lake, a spacious playground, horse shoe pit and picnic tables.

Such a fun splash pad at the Sweetwater Summit Regional Park!

I’ve met some amazing park rangers who add their special touches to the pre-event fun like Ranger Kyle who led a water balloon fight at Lakeside’s Oakoasis County Open Space Preserve . . .

And these amazing guys who brought out a “touch table” of animal pelts and live snakes before the movie at Sweetwater Summit Regional Park.

 

Every weekend from the end of May into October, our county and city parks host free summer movies for families like ours to enjoy. Even the USS Midway gets in on the action!

This weekend’s fun includes the showings of Spider Man – Homecoming at Mount San Miguel Park, Captain Underpants at 4S Ranch Sports Park and Ferdinand in North Park, Lakeside and Ocean Beach. Some parks will have bounce houses, some have music. Most have sponsors that bring games and prizes. There might be face painting, crafts and games. Some allow parents to enjoy beer and wine!

The rangers at Waterfront Park provide fun blocks and hula hoops, while the 5miles app brings its toddler roller coaster to the movies!

Don’t miss your chance to enjoy a FREE family night out! Even if your little can’t stay up to watch the whole movie (which starts at sunset each night), find a park with pre-movie entertainment and enjoy that. You might just discover your new favorite park!

For the complete list of movies in the park, visit SummerMoviesInThePark.com.

Join Us For This Fun & FREE Baby Shower!

Calling all new moms and soon-to-be-moms. The Mom’s Guide has your ticket to a FREE, fun and educational baby shower-themed event!

 

Pediatrics in Paradise is hosting its annual “baby shower,” offering new and expectant moms the chance to mingle, play games, win prizes and learn about the “4th trimester” and what to expect in the the months following your baby’s birth.

Not only is Dr. Blanca Fresno the host of this event, she is an amazing pediatrician who took good care of my babies AND me in our earliest days, months and years together. She’s a wonderful speaker on all things baby and mommy-related, so bring your questions and prepare to have a fun and informative time.

There will be a free goodie bag for each mom and mom-to-be as well as terrific raffle prizes.

First prize is a brand new baby crib. The second prize winner will receive a car seat for her newborn.

Baby Shower in Paradise will be held at Concordia Church in Otay Ranch. Register now and secure your seat. Hope to see you there!

What: Baby Shower in Paradise, hosted by Pediatrics in Paradise

When: Saturday, July 21st at 11 a.m.

Who: Pregnant women and new moms

Where: Concordia Church & School

1695 Discovery Falls Dr, Chula Vista, CA 91915

For more information visit pediatricsotayranch.com/baby-shower

 

My New Favorite Birthday Party Hot Spot!

The Playground at Grossmont opened just under a year ago, and has enough fun to keep your kiddo entertained for hours!! It was the moment when I was 9 months pregnant, sitting in the lazy boy massage chair, watching my son in the foam pit with his new friends that I decided…yep, I love this place, and this is exactly where we should celebrate Oliver’s 4th birthday!

 

 

 

Trampolines, ball pit, ride-on cars, bounce house, puzzles, train table, infant area, even an Xbox…they really have it all.

 

 

 

 

 

Soooo…that happened, and I can officially say this is our absolute new favorite party spot! Everyone, from age 2 weeks to 65 years had. a. total. blast! The Playground has a killer party room, complete with kid & adult tables, sofas, a piñata hook, and karaoke! We comfortably fit about 18 kids and just as many adults, with plenty of room to spare for food, gifts, and a dance party!

 

 

 

 

During the summer, the beaches are hot and the parks are crowded. Weather can be unpredictable, and unless you reserve a covered picnic area, it’s hard to guarantee a spot near an outdoor playground. There may be the option of having a party at your house, except that always involves a ton of prep and cleanup. The Playground is the happy medium of it all. We were in and out in three hours, and the staff was beyond friendly and accommodating.

 

 

 

 

 

The Playground offers various Party Packages for nearly any size or budget, from a simple non-private table reservation, to a full buy-out. Parking for guests is easy, and free. Everyone needs socks to enter, so I’d suggest throwing in a few extra pairs from home since someone is guaranteed to forget theirs!

We couldn’t have asked for a better place to celebrate our little man’s big day. We’re now regulars at The Playground, and every time we visit, we remember how much fun we had at Oliver’s Batman Party!

 

5500 Grossmont Center Drive, Suite 125

La Mesa, CA 91942

1-619-724-6350

info@theplayground4kids.com

There IS Such a Thing as Free Lunch

This summer, kids all across San Diego County have access to free and nutritious lunches nearly every day of the week. Thanks to programs provided by charitable and government organizations, there are more than 200 sites across the county serving children ages 18 and younger. Some even feed accompanying adults for free or a nominal fee!

 

In most cases, children simply show up to eat – there are no income qualifications, no enrollment and no paperwork required to participate.

Participating County library branches are: El Cajon, Valley Center, Lincoln Acres, Spring Valley, Borrego Springs, Jacumba, Julian, Ramona, Vista and Casa de Oro. Kids can show up for the meal and stay to enjoy the libraries’ numerous reading and enrichment programs.

Select community youth centers, resource centers, churches and schools are also participating. Heavens Windows, Feeding San Diego and San Diego Hunger Coalition are some of the charitable groups that help make the summer lunch programs possible.

Want to find the lunch program nearest to you? The most comprehensive list of sites can be found on the California Department of Education‘s website here.

Use the links below to view additional lists of lunch sites. You can also text FOOD to 877-877 and enter your zip code to receive a list of nearby participating locations.

Heaven’s Windows heavenswindows.org/child-nutrition.html

California Library Association “Lunch at the Library” cla-net.org/?589#Libraries

211 San Diego Summer Lunch  my211.force.com/s/search#keyword=Summer%20Lunch%20Program

The Summer Fun Cafe
Hosted by Feeding San Diego in partnership with San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD), Summer Fun Café sites offer food and resources to children and families at outdoor events throughout the summer. Children 18 years and younger eat free; parents and guardians are free with their child, while other adults may purchase meals at community barbecues for $2.

Please share with anyone you know who might need support this summer!

 

Free & Cheap Summer Movies w/Kids

Looking for inexpensive family entertainment this summer? San Diego’s summer movie specials make it easy to build memories with your kids without busting your wallet.

You can catch free and cheap kid-friendly movies all over town and in all kinds of places, from outdoor movies on the beach to movies on the Midway. Enjoy movies from your lawn chair at the lake or snuggle into a luxury lounge chair to catch a family-friendly flick.

Movies in a Pool

Photo Credit: City of Poway Parks Department

Summer Movies in the Pool

The Summer Movies in the Park series includes movies in municipal pools. This summer families can enjoy FREE movies while floating. On July 7th The Lion King will be shown in the Las Palmas Pool, National City and Moana will be shown on July 20th at the La Mesa Pool.

Kroc Center Dive-in Movies

Free to Kroc Center members and just $10 per person to non members, enjoy swimming and movie watching on Wednesdays throughout the summer. The event kicks off on Wednesday, June 20 with the screening of Hotel Transylvania 2, followed by Wednesday, July 25: Finding Dory and Wednesday, August 15 with a showing of Wreck It Ralph

Movies at the Lake

Photo Credit: Santee Lakes

Santee Lakes hosts a summer movie series and this Friday’s film is LEGO Batman. The pre-movie fun starts at 6 p.m. with games and crafts for the kids.

Bring your blanket and enjoy this movie under the stars! Parking is $10 per carload. We like to make it a day, playing at the splash grounds, feeding the ducks and having a picnic dinner. 🙂

 

Movies on the Beach

Photo Credit: Catamaran Hotel

The Catamaran Hotel’s Summer Movies on the Bay continues tomorrow with a sunset showing of Inside Out. These free movies are shown on the north side of the pier overlooking the bay each Monday, Wednesday and Sunday.

The Hotel Del’s Movies on the Beach series gives viewers a few different ways to watch under the stars. General admission beach chairs are available for $20 per person. There is also a VIP family movie package available including a private beach bonfire, s’mores for 4 people, two Del Beach beach chairs and a Del Beach daybed. This package must be reserved in advance. Cost is $300.

The Hotel Del movie lineup includes  The Lego Ninjago Movie on July 7th,  Coco on July 14th and Star Wars – The Last Jedi on July 21st.

 

Movies in the Theater

Luxury cinemas are typically not in the picture when it comes to bringing my kids to the movies, but thanks to the Cinepolis Summer Kids Series movies like Paddington 2, Despicable Me and The Emoji Movie are just $3 per ticket. You do need to purchase the tickets in advance, but how fun is this idea for a summer play date?

Of course we love, love, love our traditional theaters that also offer sweet movies all summer long for only $1 per ticket!

Regal’s Summer Movie Express shows films like Sing, Hop and Alvin and the Chipmunks for just $1 every Tuesday and Thursday.

Ultrastar Cinemas in Mission Valley also offers a Summer Kids Series with $1 movies each week, Monday through Thursday. Upcoming showings include Boss Baby, Ferdinand and Captain Underpants.

Reading Cinemas in Clairemont is hosting its Reel Kids Summer Movie Festival now with $1 summer films as well. Happy Feet, Kung Fu Panda and Shrek 2 are on the roster.

Movies in the Park

San Diego parks from Oceanside to OB participate in the Summer Movies in the Park series. Each park handles their movie night a little differently. We have loved being on the USS Midway for a movie (next up, Hidden Figures on July 13), checking out the snakes and animal pelts on display at Sweetwater Regional Park before the start of their movies, and enjoying the pre-movie jumpies and faces painting at Scripps Ranch Community Park.

All movies are free and there are more than 100 shown from the end of May into October. Find the full list here.

And if you can’t find something you want to see through the parks department programs, check out the Liberty Station Outdoor Movie Series on the second Saturday of each month from May through October. The six curated films reflect the diverse arts and culture offerings at the growing Arts District at Liberty Station and appeal to film lovers of all ages. Evenings feature surprise pop-up performances or activities along with curated shorts preceding the feature film. Next up is Wonder Woman on July 14th.