We love Seaworld all year long, but this week is especially special.
You’ll find one of San Diego’s friendliest and best-looking Santa’s at Seaworld!
Of course the park is delightfully decorated for the holidays, from Santa’s Christmas Village to Rudolph’s Christmastown.
The holiday-themed shows include the moving story of the Nativity brought to life through song, celebration and live animals in its show, O Wondrous Night, The Greatest Story Never Told and the more playful, Clyde & Seamore’s Christmas Special.
Guests will have the opportunity to meet Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and other loveable characters at Rudolph’s Christmastown. Rudolph’s Movie Experience, presented daily at SeaWorld’s Mission Bay Theater, features special effects like the aroma of hot chocolate and snowfall.
But our favorite part of Seaworld’s holiday celebration is the annual Blue Friday sale, which actually starts on the evening before Thanksgiving . . .
If you have ever considered dining with killer whales, encountering walruses or interacting with belugas and dolphins, now is the time to purchase a Seaworld animal experience! We took advantage of the buy-0ne-get-one-1/2-off beluga whale interaction for our kids last year, and it was a wonderful value.
The savings at Seaworld go beyond animal experiences though. Camps are 50% off, silver and gold annual passes are buy-one-get-one-50% off. Tickets to both Seaworld and Aquatica are buy-one-get-one free, and you can even snag a Quick Queue pass BOGO.
The Blue Friday sale starts Wednesday, November 21st at 8 p.m. and Seaworld San Diego’s Christmas Celebration continues through January 6th. For more information on both, visit seaworld.com.
I know, I know, Halloween feels like it was just yesterday, and we still need to get through Thanksgiving, but whether we’re ready or not, Christmas is already on it’s way, and it’s time to start making your plans. Stores are decorating, people are shopping, and holiday events are happening! The annual Christmas Tree Lighting at the Old Globe in Balboa Park is THIS weekend!! The other popular event that begins soon (and sells out FAST), is the North Pole Limited, the famous and festive train ride to the “North Pole”, put on by the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association.
If you have small children, and you haven’t experienced the North Pole Limited yet, I highly recommend you add it to your list of holiday happenings this year. Although the roundtrip train ride itself is under two hours, the whole experience will definitely take up the majority of your day. Getting to the train station can take anywhere from 1-2 hours, depending on where you’re coming from, so you will want to factor in rush hour traffic, and any strict bedtimes you may be sticking to. The train only operates Friday’s and Saturday’s, with departure times at 5pm and 7pm.
You’ll want to arrive at least 45 minutes early to park and pick up your tickets, and also allow for some time spent at the station after your ride to enjoy the gift shop, the festive lights, the fire pit, and the sand box. With limited access to any real food once you leave San Diego, I recommend you pack a picnic and enjoy it near the on site playground before your train departs. As mentioned, tickets do sell out quickly and MUST be purchased in advance, so if you’re thinking about planning a trip out there, especially with friends, make sure to purchase your tickets SOON.
Ticket prices run from $10 – $80 per person depending on age, and which trip you choose. Tickets purchased in coach are the cheapest, and also sell out the quickest. These tickets will include your train ride, cookies and hot chocolate, caroling with the elves, and a visit from Santa. If you’re looking for a more “premium” experience, your first class tickets will include all of the above, as well as additional soft drinks and candies, and a premium atmosphere…meaning comfier seats, more leg room, and more decorations.
Extra tips and tricks to make the most of your experience:
If you have a large group (upward of 20 people), make sure you explore the option of chartering the Robert Peary car. Get the full scoop of this unforgettable ride here.
If you book a Friday 7pm train ride, be mindful of that afternoon rush hour traffic on your way out to the station.
Dress festive, and warm! There are many photo ops onboard and at the station, so wear your favorite sweater, or even Christmas PJs, but watch out for that temperature drop after the sun sets out in Campo.
Keep an open mind and arrive in your best holiday spirit. The train ride can be incredibly magical for children, but I’ll admit that it does take some parent participation to really amp up the full experience. The organization is run 100% by volunteers, with most of the caroling elves coming from the theater group of the local high school. So if you happen to end up with an elf who would rather be at the football game, instead of singing Here Comes Santa Clause for the 14th time, you’ll be happy to have a car full of jolly moms & dads to sing along 😉
Photo courtesy of the PSRM Facebook Page
If you’ve enjoyed the North Pole Limited in the past, please share your experience and tips with us below. If you haven’t, let us know what you’re looking forward to the most!
It’s the month of giving thanks, and I am pretty good at appreciating the little things. You know how, as moms, we treasure those kid-free moments, even running errands to places like Costco?! Imagine that kind of “fun,” but minus the crowded aisles and carts haphazardly parked here and there while their owners are waiting in lines for free food samples. Imagine casually walking right up to a check-out lane and being at the front of the line.
A little more than a year ago, Sam’s Club ran a terrific Groupon membership special. With Costco membership fees increasing, it seemed like the right time to switch warehouse clubs. It has been a great decision for a variety of reasons starting with the price, which is currently available again through Groupon – $35 for an annual membership, plus $25 in e-gift cards and a free fruit party tray, just in time for holiday pot lucks!
The lack of chaos inside our Sam’s Club has also been a blessing. While I’m sure the management would love more shoppers, this shopper enjoys being able to get in and out quickly. Even on a Saturday. Seriously.
One of my secrets to even happier shopping at Sam’s was upgrading my initial membership to the “plus” membership. For $55 more a year, the plus membership lets me enter the store as early as 7 a.m., Monday through Saturday. Sometimes it feels like it’s just me and the friendly staff! “Plus” members also enjoy free shipping from Samsclub.com, 20% off of prescription glasses and $10 cash back for every $500 spent.
I’m still able to buy all of the great bulk items that I did at Costco, but there are even better selections of some things at Sam’s like bakery cakes and cupcakes.
Sam’s Club does not hand out as many samples as Costco does, which means I buy fewer giant bags of food that I do not need, and I don’t get stuck in the impassable piles of shopping carts while people flock to the sample stands.
Sam’s also probably has fewer “extra” items like clothes and toys, but there are definitely still more things than we need – – – and at great prices!
It has been such a joy becoming a Sam’s Club customer, but it’s definitely not for everyone, primarily because there’s only one San Diego Sam’s Club, and it’s in the East County. But if you’re a downtown, an East County or even a South Bay mom, I highly recommend checking out Sam’s Club for yourself.