Ice Sculpture Field Trip to Carving Ice in Anaheim



Last summer, when the heat was raging in Southern California, we escaped to Carving Ice in Anaheim for an amazing field trip to learn about how ice sculptures were made.  It was literally a cool field trip!

A few weeks prior, my son had asked me if he could learn how make an ice sculpture.  “Yes,” I said.  However, I did not know at the time how hard it would be to find a facility to host us.  After many non productive phone calls to ice carving companies in Orange County, I reached out to my friends on Facebook.  A friend of mine from college replied back and said that she knew a guy from church that owned Carving Ice.  A few days later I got in touch with the owner and set up a date for our field trip.

Carving Ice specializes in creating beautiful, crystal-clear ice sculptures for weddings, parties, corporate functions and any other special event.

slideshow image

The company has worked on special events for clients such as Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch, Sony, Paramount, Universal Studios and Warner Brothers to create unforgettable ice masterpieces.

The first activity that the Carving Ice staff set up for us to see was an AquaSermo show.  AquaSermo is millions of tiny illuminated droplets cascading to the ground forming an image in mid-air – a name, a logo, a message, even a picture.  It is truly amazing to watch.  Here is a sample of what we saw,

Next our families got to make their own ice sculptures!  Their staff had personally carved out each child’s name in ice before we had arrived. First, the children decorated the letters in their name with glitter.

Field Trip Participant Making His Ice Sculpture

Field Trip Boy Filling His Name In Ice With Glitter

Secondly, they packed their glittered filled names with snow and smoothed it off.

Field Trip Participant Packing His Name With Snow

Field Trip Participants Packing Their Names With Snow

The final product was a uniquely personalized ice sculpture that each child got to take home with them.  I made sure to tell the families ahead of time to bring ice coolers with them for the trip.

Field Trip Girl’s Ice Sculpture

Field Trip Boy’s Ice Sculpture

After making our ice sculptures our group got to watch a dry ice science experiment.

Dry Ice Science Experiment

Field Trip Girl In Awe As She Watches A Dry Ice Experiment

Designing an ice sculpture is a true art form.  Carving Ice’s staff showed us how they program their ice carving machine to make various ice sculptures for clients.

Carving Ice’s Staff Showing Us How They Program Their Ice Carving Machine

The Automatic Ice Craving Machine Carving Our Names Out Of Ice

Next the kids got to have a real snow ball fight.  With living in Southern California, they don’t get this opportunity very often!  The staff also made two ice targets for them to practice on.

Field Trip Participant Making A Snow Ball For Target Practice

Field Trip Girl Playing With The Snow

Field Trip Boy Practicing His Aim

For our last activity of the day, we watched the owner of Carving Ice make a dolphin ice sculpture from start to finish.  It was a fascinating process to watch.  Afterwards, the kids took a lot of pictures with the dolphin.

If you are interested in setting up a field trip of your own to Carving Ice please contact them at

Happy Field Tripping,


Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post.  All opinions are our own.  All images used by permission.


How to talk to your children about Internet Safety and Cyberbullying



Kids with Education Tablet Computers

When I was a child, I remember playing freely in our neighborhood roaming from house to house.  My friends and I would spend hours outside riding our bikes, playing on the swing set and simply doing what children were meant to do – be children!

Back then, my parents did not have much to worry about.  They simply opened up the door and out I went.  We knew our neighbors well and watched out for one another.

Today’s society is very different.  Parents have to worry, not just about what’s happening outside their homes, but also what’s streaming inside their homes.  We need to be just as savvy on the internet as our kids are.  But some days it simply feels like this!

U.S. Air Force Airman Jessica Lawson, a graphics specialist from the 51st Communication Squadron, works on a computer during training during the Wing Safety Day at Osan Air Force, Korea 041117-F-VS677-004

With the invention of the internet comes both the good and the bad.  Personally, the internet has helped me reach thousands of fellow field trip fans and families throughout Southern California.

Websites such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook have also changed the way I connect with my family and friends.  For example, my parents signed up for Facebook just to see new pictures of their grandchildren.

Girl with computer

As Field Trip Boy and Field Trip Girl get older, they are spending more time on the internet for school and personal use.  My son enjoys watching how-to-draw videos on YouTube, designing roller coasters on the iPad and playing Minecraft.  Field Trip Girl likes to play games on the iPad and watch the movie “Frozen” over and over again.

Teaching our children about internet safety and cyberbullying has to be on the top of our lists. 

Here’s how:


Purchase or subscribe to an online security software program.  My husband and I are currently looking into getting a software program for all of our gadgets.  It is important that we protect our little ones’ eyes for as long as possible.


Teach your children about internet safety.  With the help of AVG Technologies, my husband and I are on step two.

AVG Technologies, an online security company with over 187 million customers worldwide, has partnered with non-profit Childnet International to publish Magda & Mo, a new children’s e-book series on internet safety topics such as cyberbullying and safe searching.

Starring Magda & Mo, two curious kids who want to play online, the interactive books are designed for teachers, parents and kids to read together and learn about making good choices online.

By following Magda and Mo’s adventures and helping them make decisions along the way, children can earn “donuts” for making the right choices when it comes to using the Internet.

The first story is called Animishmash and the Cyber Bullfrog (for ages 7+).  This click-or-tell story looks at how to deal with cyber-bullying and how to be a good friend online.


Magda and Mo are playing a cool new game called Animishmash.  But Bill the Bullfrog keeps sending them mean messages online.  What should the two friends do about it?

The second story is called The Pirate’s Donut (ages 3+).  In this click-or-tell story you can help Magda and Mo safely search the internet, learn new things and avoid scary stuff online.


Mo’s tummy is rumbling and he wants some donuts.  But why do donuts have holes?  Maybe Magda and Mo will find the answer on their parents’ computer?

Childnet International also provides great online resources for parents and children.  They offer a variety of games, activities and e-books to go along with the topic.

5 - 10 Year Olds:

11 – 18 Year Olds:


Have a conversation with your children about cyberbullying.


1.  Do not talk to the cyber bully after the bullying incident has occurred.  By not talking to the bully, your child has already taken away a good portion of the bully’s power.

2. Un-friend and block the cyber bully from ALL of your child’s online accounts.

3. Report the cyber bully to all the websites where they have been harassing your child such as Facebook and Twitter.

4. If the harassment continues, report the cyber bully to your local authorities.  There are several states with anti-bullying laws now on the books.

As Magna and Mo always says “ask before you click!”

To learn more about how to prevent cyberbullying, please visit

Be safe my friends!


Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post.  All opinions are our own.  Images used by permission.

The Pirate’s Dinner Adventure review & coupon code


The Pirate’s Dinner Adventure in Buena Park

Pirates Dinner Adventure in Buena Park

Two weeks ago, my family and I had the pleasure of attending The Pirate’s Dinner Adventure in Buena Park, CA.  It was the first time our family had attended the action packed show.

When we arrived, we were treated to complimentary appetizers in the lounge area.


The Pirates’ Map


The Pirate’s Dinner Adventure Pre-Show Appetizers

We perused the gift shop a bit and found some fun trinkets and drank a tasty peach smoothie compliments of the bar.


The Pirate’s Dinner Adventure Gift Store


Field Trip Boy & Girl Enjoying A Tasty Drink

Once inside, we sat in the front row and had a spectacular view of the stage.  Every seat in the theater is designed so that everyone can interact with the live show.

The stage itself is “set aboard an authentically replicated 18th-century Spanish galleon measuring 46 feet long, 18 feet wide with 40-foot masts, the ship is anchored in a 300,000-gallon indoor lagoon with night sky lighting.”


The Pirate Ship

There were also several pre-show activities to take advantage of as well.

For example, we were a part of the orange pirate team.  We competed against the blue, purple and red teams to see who could cheer the loudest.  It wasn’t us!

However, the leader of our team was a brave and handsome pirate named Andre.  He was definitely true to character!


Pirate Andre and Field Trip Boy Braving The High Seas Together!

During the show, we were served a delicious four course meal.  I chose to eat fresh garden salad, roasted chicken and Caribbean rice.


The Four Course Meal

Mr. SoCal Field Trips and Field Trip Boy selected the vegetable soup, barbecue beef kabobs and buttery mashed potatoes.  To top it off, they served us a warm fudge brownie a la mode for dessert.

Lights, Camera, Action!

The Pirate’s Dinner Adventure Show is a top-notch Hollywood like production.  It was intense and action packed!


The Pirate Queen Sings A Song

The production team uses a variety of polytechnics, lights and sounds to set the ambience of the show.


The Pirate’s Dinner Adventure Show


The Pirate’s Dinner Adventure Show

At the end of the performance, I decided to snap this cute selfie to remember the occasion…pirate and all!


Pirate Selfie!

For my readers, Save $25 off Adult and $15 off Child Admissions to The Pirate’s Dinner Adventure by calling 1-866-439-AHOY and mentioning code USFAM at time of purchase.

Happy Field Tripping,


Disclosure: We received complimentary passes for sharing this discount with our readers.  All opinions and points of view are our own.  Images used by permission.

The Grand Re-Opening of Camp Snoopy at Knott’s Berry Farm!







Camp Snoopy, the beloved children’s area at Knott’s Berry Farm, turned 30 years old in 2014.

To celebrate the occasion, the entire land has gone through a complete transformation, including the addition of three brand new rides - Charlie Brown’s Kite Flyer, Pig Pen’s Mud Buddies and Linus Lancher.

All three rides were designed by theme park architectural firm Zamperla.  Zamperla designs a variety of theme park rides from roller coasters to aqua rides and everything in between.

Charlie Brown’s Kite Flyer allows campers to soar above the land’s winding paths and babbling streams – but watch out for the kite-eating tree!  As the tree rises, good ol’ Charlie Brown is revealed upside down and all tied up in kite string!


I was very proud of Field Trip Girl giving Charlie Brown’s Kite Flyer a try.  She is very fearful of heights.  However, as mommy as her copilot, she flew like a wiz on the ride.


Pig Pen’s Mud Buggies lets tykes climb aboard their very own all-terrain vehicle for an adventurous ride around the High Sierras.


Six four-seater ATVs will spin, bounce, and bump up to 24 guests at a time, while Pig Pen looks on from his center perch.


Linus Launcher allows riders to relive a classic Peanut’s moment as Snoopy grabs the blanket and launches guests up to 10 feet in the air.


Enjoy a Woodstock’s-eye view of Huff ‘n Puff, The Grizzly Creek Lodge, and all of Camp Snoopy below!

IMG_4059[1] While visiting Camp Snoopy, we also rode several of the camp’s original rides including:

Huff and Puff IMG_4062[1]

This was Field Trip Girl’s favorite ride at the park.  She went on it over and over again, because it was quiet and stayed close to the ground.


The carousel.  Who doesn’t love the carousel!


The Grand Sierra Train


Another great aspect of the new Camp Snoopy is their redesigned theater.   They added new stage props and made a large covered seating area for families.



The entire ambiance of Camp Snoopy has improved for the better.  Even though the park is located right in the middle of Southern California, I felt like I was in our local mountains.  Knott’s Berry Farm has done an amazing job with the new landscape.


While at Knott’s Berry Farm our family also checked out the newly renovated Calico Mine Ride.

IMG_4086[1]This is by far my favorite ride at Knott’s Berry Farm!

“In January 2014 the attraction closed for a comprehensive five month restoration by Knott’s Berry Farm’s design and production team.

The renovation of the iconic attraction includes the addition of over 50 new state-of-the-art animatronic figures, all new audio and theme lighting system, and special effects that will capture the imagination of would-be miners as they journey deep into the winding caverns of the attraction.”


To see pictures from inside the new Calico Mine ride, visit

By the end of the day, my little family was very happy AND very tired after checking out all the new rides and great features at Knott’s Berry Farm.

Our day was jam packed and we would not have had it any other way!


Knott’s Berry Farm is located at 8039 Beach Boulevard in Buena Park, CA. 

Ticket prices vary, however Knott’s provides a list of complete discounts on their website.  

Happy Field Tripping,


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. We received complimentary admission to Knott’s Berry Farm in exchange for providing a review.  All opinions and points of review are our own.  All images are used by permission.

The Children’s Science Learning Center @ Cal State Long Beach






Last March, I led a group of students from Celebration Education on a field trip to The Science Learning Center at Cal State Long Beach.

Earlier that week in our homeschool group, we learned about early U.S. inventors and inventions.  I decided to plan a field trip to The Science Learning Center to expand upon our lesson plan.

Science labs are great.  They are 100% about “hands-on” learning.  The more you touch and feel, the more you learn and grow.


The Science Learning Center at CSULB is a “hands-on” museum that encourages personal discovery through direct physical contact with exhibits.  Visitors are encouraged to turn the handles, push the buttons, and twist the knobs to make their own personal discoveries in science.


Just listen to their story:

“With Frank Oppenhiemer’s ground breaking, interactive science displays at the San Francisco Science Exploratorium as an example, CSULB physics professor R.D. Ayers approached CSULB administration.

In 1979, with the support of then CSULB president Stephen Horn, and college dean Roger Bauer, the CNSM Natural Sciences Museum opened in the basement of Peterson Hall 2, and in 1980, the university embarked on creating a unique outreach program with the Mobile Science Museum – a converted 27-foot mobile home to bring science to the schools.

The CNSM Natural Sciences Museum opened in 1979 and featured, among other things, moon rocks from one of the Apollo trips and Henrietta, a 15′ 8″ Burmese python who was a star attraction until she retired in the late nineties.  Each display was designed to encourage touching, exploring, and questions. Today, the Science Learning Center has many displays housed in the Hall of Science Room 109.”


All exhibits in the lab meet the grade appropriate standards for California science education.

The Science Learning Center’s exhibits include:

Biology – Terrarium

Zoology – Iggy the Iguana, Frogs, Chameleon, Snakes, Scat


Marine Biology – Submersible, Aquarium, Whale baleen


Geology/Earth Science – Rocks / Minerals, Seismograph, Weather Station


Physics – Bernouli’s Principle, Solar Panels, Spectrum, Gravity, Bubbles, Hologram



Chemistry – Crystal Structures

The Science Learning Center’s staff consists of highly enthusiastic and encouraging graduate students from the University.  On our particular visit, our guides were very kind and shared with us their wealth of knowledge about the field.


When planning YOUR trip to The Science Learning Center:

1. Individuals and groups are welcome to visit the lab anytime the staff is available in the Center.

2. Visitors should allow 30-45 minutes to explore and experience the exhibits.

3. Student group visits are most successful when students are visiting in numbers of 30 or less at a time.

4. For groups of 30 or more, the science lab can arrange for your group to visit with other sites on campus.  During our tour, we also got to visit CSULB’s Marine Science Lab.


5. Advance reservations are HIGHLY recommended for large groups.

6. Parking is a bit of a challenge at CSULB.  There are two types of parking options available – metered and prepaid.  Make sure you know which type of parking structure you park in prior to paying.  Take it from someone who got a parking ticket while there, it is worth double checking!

In addition to the Science Learning Center, CSULB also has a Mobile Science Museum which serves to supplement Long Beach’s local schools’ science instruction.

mobile science museum van

CSULB Mobile Science Museum

“The 27-foot converted mobile home carries over 40 exhibits that invite hands-on inquiry from both children and adults in astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology, biology, zoology, and marine biology.”

Location and Contact Information:

The Science Learning Center

Hall of Science, Room 110

California State University, Long Beach

1250 Bellflower Blvd.

Long Beach, CA 90840

Phone: (562) 985-4841

To schedule a tour of The Science Center, please email Director Jim McKibben at

Pricing:  A $1.00 donation per person.  However, I believe it is worth so much more!

I leave you with a following picture challenge from The Science Learning Center! 

Is this picture of an old woman or a young lady?  Leave a comment and let us know.


Happy Field Tripping!


Disclosure: This is a non-sponsored post.  All opinions are our own.  Images used by permission.

Logan’s Candies Candy Cane Making Demonstration in Ontario!


Jumbo Candy Canes

Logon’s Candies is a unique little candy store located off the beaten path in downtown Ontario, CA.

Last December we had the honor of visiting Logan’s Candies on a field trip with Great Educational Experiences, a homeschool organization from Long Beach.  Friend, and fellow field trip coordinator, Cindy Castro arranged for a large group of families to go and see Logan’s Candies Candy Cane Making Demonstration.

Logan’s Candies has been making signature candy canes and chocolates by hand for over 80 years.  It is a home grown business and owned by some of the original family members today. Candy Cane Sizes Logan’s Candies makes candy canes year round in all sorts of shapes and flavors.  You can special order their candy canes for any special occasion such as a birthday party, the birth of a new baby or anniversary.

The candy cane making process itself is fascinating to watch.

Here’s how they do it:

1. Melt the ingrediants. 2. Put the melted candy on a hook on the wall and pull it over and over again. 4. Twist a red candy strip together with a white candy strip. 6. Cut the strip into small sizes, mold the tip of the candy cane into a hook and package up. 7. Eat and enjoy! When the candy is first melted and served warm it just melts in your mouth.  Yummy! During the holidays, Logan’s Candies Candy Cane Demonstrations sell out fast.  You have to make group reservations in advance by calling the store in AUGUST! 

No reservations will be accepted prior to being post marked August 1.

To make a reservation, you will need to fill out a 3×5 index card with your name, address, phone number, name of group, size of group and age range. 

Mail your card, along with a self addressed stamped envelope to:

Logan’s Candies

125 W. “B” Street

Ontario CA 91762

Then your group will be entered into a drawing.  Logan’s Candies tries very hard to accommodate all tour requests but there are no guarantees.

If selected, Logan’s Candies will contact you at the end of OCTOBER to set up your reservation.

The candy cane making demonstration lasts approximately an hour.  The store is small so the smaller your group size the better.  However, if you have little children, you can put them on your shoulders to see over the crowd.

The cost to attend the demonstration is $6.50 per child and includes a little goodie bag at the end.

While there, I recommend that you purchase a few candy canes as presents for your family and friends.  Logan’s Candies’ candy canes taste so much better than the store bought kind and range in size from 6″ to 6′ (yup, feet)!

To learn more about Logan’s Candies, visit

Happy Field Tripping,


Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post.  All opinions are our own.  Images used by permission.  


Giveaway to The Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort in Newport Beach!




Last Friday, my family and I visited the beautiful Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort in Newport Beach, CA.


The Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort

We were invited as guests of the resort after The Newport Dunes saw our recent post about the best water parks in Southern California.

The Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort is a 100-acre resort located in the Back Bay of Newport Beach.

Newport Beach

Sunset at The Newport Dunes

Visitors can enjoy a mile of beach front property with great ameneties such as the waterpark, swimming, and a playground on the beach for the kids.


The Park at The Newport Dunes

They offer sailboat, pedal boat and electric boat rentals.  You can  also pitch a tent on any one of their open camp sites, arrange for group camping on the beach or rent a cottage for special occasions.


Families can rent a cottage.

Furthermore, the Dunes has a convenient boat launch and kayaks for touring the Newport Harbor.


Kayake rentals are available.

The Newport Dunes is a great place to go for a day trip or weekend excursion.


Family time at The Newport Dunes

When we visited last Friday, the RV portion of the resort was filled with 4th of July vacationers.


RV living at The Newport Dunes

However, the beach was wide open for exploration.  It was a beautiful day, the weather was near perfect and the scenery was breath taking.


A beautiful sunset at The Newport Dunes

When we arrived, we decided to go swimming first and checked out our life perserves at the waterpark’s office.  Every swimmer must wear a life preserver when playing in the waterpark.  There are no exceptions.

The Newport Dunes Waterpark Pricing:

RV Residents – $15.00 per person (2 hours)

Day Use Only – $20.00 per person (2 hours)


The Newport Dunes Fun Waterpark

Field Trip Boy played in the water the entire time and mostly on the green waterslide in the picture above.  Up and down he went all afternoon long.  It was cute to watch!


Field Trip Boy

Field Trip Girl, on the other hand, decided that the water was too cold for her and played on the beach with mommy instead.


Field Trip Girl

The beach at Newport Dunes is somewhat rough because it has small pebbles and sea shells.  I highly recommend wearing water shoes.

But for a sea shell enthusiast like Field Trip Girl, this beach was heaven on earth!  We made sea shell decorations in the sand over and over again.


The Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort Waterpark is open everyday from 10 AM – 6 PM through Labor Day.

After a fun afternoon of swimming and relaxation, we met Mr. SoCal Field Trips for dinner at the Back Bay Bistro.

Back Bay Bistro 2

The Back Bay Bistro

When speaking about the Bistro, Field Trip Girl said “mommy, this place is beautiful” and Field Trip Boy said “this place is fancy.”  They both were right.

The Back Bay Bistro has a panoramic view of the Back Bay nature preserve.

Bay Bay Bistro 1

A view from The Back Bay Bistro

The Bistro’s menu features a wide variety of fresh local seafood and Prime steaks.  We originally encountered a few glitches when ordering our meal, but the Bistro’s top notch staff remedied the situation immediately.

Back Bay Bistro 3

Field Trip Family enjoying dinner together.

My husband and I each ordered a New York steak served with a baked potato and vegetables.  Field Trip Girl ordered her signature dish, grilled cheese with French fries, and Field Trip Boy ordered chicken strips.  Everything was delicious.


Dinner at The Back Bay Bistro

My favorite dish of the night was the shrimp cocktail appetizer.  It was nicely prepared and appealing to the eye.

The Bistro is famous for Family Brunch on Saturdays and Champagne Brunch on Sundays, which earned the “diners Choice Award by Open Table for Top 10 Brunch Location in Orange County.”

They are also running a summer special called Thursday Date Night – Share Pre-Fix Surf & Turf from 5 – 9 pm for only $29!

And for more summer fun…

Open to the public, as well as RV Park and Marina guests, Newport Dunes’ Movies on the Beach is offered every weekend from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  Be sure to bring blankets, beach chairs and jackets for the cool summer nights.  Parking fees apply.

In celebration of SoCal Field Trips’ 6th Month Blogging Anniversary, the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort is GIVING AWAY a Family Four Pack of Tickets to the waterpark ($80 value)! 

To enter, please visit a Rafflecopter giveaway!!!

The Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort is located at 1131 Back Bay Drive in Newport Beach.

Happy Field Tripping,


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  Our family received complimentary entrance to The Newport Dunes and dinner at The Back Bay Bistro for review purposes only.  All opinions and points of view are our own.  Images used by permission.