Giveaway to The BooMont Park Fall Festival and Haunt in San Diego!


Giveaway to The BooMont Park Fall Festival and Haunt in San Diego!

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Over the next 6 weeks SoCal Field Trips will be featuring the “The Best Places to Visit This Fall in Southern California.”

As I shared with you yesterday, my family loves the fall season.  From the smell of fresh apple cider to collecting fall leaves for our autumn crafts, we enjoy everything about the season.  In fact, sometimes I wish I could transplant myself to the East Coat during this time of year to simply watch the leaves fall.  I was born and raised in California, but in my opinion Maine is the most beautiful state in the union.  I joke around with my husband sometimes and tell him that we need to buy a retirement home in Maine, but then he reminds me of the snow!  So California we shall stay!

In the meantime, I relish in all that Southern California has to offer families this season!  Today in our series “The Best Places to Visit This Fall in Southern California” we feature The BooMont Park Annual Fall Festival and Haunt!

Every October like clockwork Belmont Park in San Diego transforms itself into BooMont Park; a Halloween themed beachfront amusement park featuring activities for all ages.

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The creators of San Diego’s most iconic haunts, “The Haunted Hotel,” “The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park” and “The Scream Zone,” teamed up with Belmont Park to create a family-friendly Haunt BooMont Park.

The month long Halloween Festival runs every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from October 3th – November 1st.   Activities start at 5:00 pm on Friday and run all day on Saturday and Sunday.

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BooMont Park’s frighteningly-fun weekends include FREE trick-or-treating every Friday 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm and Saturdays/Sundays 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm & 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm.  Just make sure to bring a pillow case or bucket for all the candy and goodies too!

The park’s other attractions include:

BooMont Manor ($6) – A family-friendly haunted house sure to ignite the thrills and chills of the season.

Zombie Laser Tag ($8) – Where creatures will join you in this three floor adventure.

A Pumpkin Patch and Painting (Prices Vary)

Superhero Zip Line & Rock Wall

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The Giant Dipper that will be transformed into a Spooky Coaster ($6)

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Belmont Park is located at 3146 Mission Blvd. in San Diego.

Discount Alert!  Visit for a FREE BooMont Manor haunted house coupon with the purchase of an Unlimited Ride or Unlimited Attraction Wristband!  Plus kids in super hero costumes receive 50% off the Super Hero Zip Line & Rock Wall.

Now for your chance to win a Family Pack to attend The BooMont Park Annual Fall Festival & Haunt, please visit a Rafflecopter giveaway !!!

Happy Field Tripping,


Disclosure:  We have been invited to a media preview day hosted by Belmont Park.  All points of view and opinions are our own.  Please see full giveaway disclosure on the Rafflecopter link provided above. 

Giveaway to the Irvine Park Railroad’s 9th Annual Pumpkin Patch!


Irvine Park Railroad’s 9th Annual Pumpkin Patch!

September 20th through October 31st


Fall is almost here and it is my favorite time of year!

Throughout the season, you will find my family in the kitchen making homemade pumpkin pies, hosting our annual Harvest Party and visiting all the season’s bests throughout the southland.

One of our annual traditions every year is to visit The Irvine Park Railroad’s 9th Annual Pumpkin Patch at The Irvine Regional Park.  We especially enjoyed going with our playgroup when my children were younger.

Here are a few pictures from years past:


Field Trip Girl at The Irvine Park Railroad (2009)


Field Trip Boy at The Irvine Park Railroad (2009)

Irvine Park Railroad’s 9th annual Pumpkin Patch is fun for the entire family!  Children and adults are invited to the Pumpkin Patch which is open daily at 10:00 am, beginning September 20th through October 31st.

They have thousands of pumpkins, in all shapes and sizes, to choose from.


Field Trip Boy and Friends at The Irvine Park Railroad (2013)

This year’s Pumpkin Patch activities include:  Train rides, hay rides, panning for gold, a child-friendly haunted house, a hay maze, a moon bounce, carnival games, cookie decorating, John Deere tractor racers, face painting, picture stands and great food.

And lots of great opportunities for photos too!


Field Trip Boy at The Irvine Park Railroad (2009)


Field Trip Girl at The Irvine Park Railroad (2013)

Admission into the Pumpkin Patch is FREE.  Prices for all other activities vary.  Please visit for additional information and costs.

Furthermore, as a field trip coordinator this information especially caught my eye!  Irvine Park Railroad welcomes schools and groups to tour the pumpkin patch on a field trip.  Please visit or call (714) 997-3968 for school and group information.

The Irvine Park Railroad Pumpkin Patch is open daily from:
September 20th through October 31st
Weekdays 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Weekends 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

The parking fee for Irvine Regional Park is $3.00 per vehicle on weekdays and $5.00 per vehicle on weekends.  For complete details, please visit

And now for your chance to win a Family Pack to The Irvine Park Railroad Pumpkin Patch, please visit a Rafflecopter giveaway !!!

The giveaway includes:

  • 4 Tickets that can be used to ride the train or for Pumpkin Patch activities
  • 1 Wheel Fun Rentals® at Irvine Park deuce coupe bike rental
  • 1 Wheel Fun Rentals® at Irvine Park paddle boat rental

Happy Field Tripping!


Disclosure:  We have been invited to a media preview day hosted by the Irvine Park Railroad.  All points of view and opinions are our own.  Please see full giveaway disclosure on the Rafflecopter link provided above.

A field trip to learn about the manufacturing industry at Sanvik Coromant in Cypress!





I am a true believer in introducing children at a young age to a variety of career paths to help them choose which career is right for them.

In fact, if you have hung around me long enough, you already know that if Field Trip Girl or Field Trip Boy ever decide that they want to be a circus clown, I will send him to the best clown school in the world.  That’s how serious I am about the topic!

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In the summer of 2013, I led a group of 50 children and their parents on a field trip to The Sanvik Coromant Corporate Headquarters in Cypress, CA.  It was by far one of the best field trips I have ever been on and completely FREE!

Our gracious hosts provided us with a fantastic tour of the manufacturing plant, set up different educational activities for our kids and provided us with a complimentary catered lunch.  It was top class all the way around!

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Did you know that the manufacturing industry contributes more than $65k to the U.S. economy every second?

Sandvik Coromant is the world’s leading supplier of tools, tooling solutions and know-how to the metalworking industry.  With extensive investments in research and development they create unique innovations and set new productivity standards together with their customers.  These include the world’s major automotive, aerospace and energy industries.

First Sandvik Coromant introduced us to the different types of products that they make out of metal; from everyday handyman tools to surgical tools.  The kids really enjoyed touching and examining them.

Then after a brief lesson in metal cutting our tour guide showed us around the manufacturing facility.  This is where they program the machines to do all the metal-cutting.

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We watched a brief video about the company and learned how Sanvik Coromant is the largest metal cutting company in the world.  The facility manager shared with us how he started off working as an entry-level employee in the manufacturing plant.  Slowly over time they saw his potential and moved him up the corporate ladder.  Today he is one of the highest ranking senior managers at Sanvik Coromant US.

In support of education, Sanvik Coromant recently broke the Guinness World Records for making the “World’s Largest Coin Mosaic” at The International Manufacturing Trade show.  They helped raised over $80,000 for The Manufacturing Institute’s Education Initiative.

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The Manufacturing Institute is partnering with Sandvik Cormomant to attract and recruit a younger generation of applicants to manufacturing, train individuals to obtain the skills needed by our nation’s manufacturers, and diversify the workforce by tapping into untapped talent potential in diverse communities like women and veterans.

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After our facility tour Sanvik Coromant divided us into two separate age groups.  With the younger children we played an educational game, experienced their two-way conferencing system and received a free Leapfrog writing pad.  The kids were ecstatic to receive such a cool gift to take home.

Then Sanvik Coromant taught the older children about the fabrication process and how their programmers put the specifications of the items to be made in the machines.  One mom on the trip said “I was very impressed with how CLEAN the whole place was.  Definitely different from my idea of a machine shop!”

At the end of our day Sanvik Coromant provided us with a complimentary catered lunch.  It was delicious.

Sandik #5

To schedule a field trip of your own to Sanvik Coromant in Cypress, please contact them at 714-761-6500 or by email at

Happy Field Tripping,


Disclosure: This post is for informational purposes only.  All pictures used by permission from Sandvik Coromant.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Annual Brass Rubbing Event in Long Beach!


St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Annual Brass Rubbing Event

October 21 – November 15, 2014

Long Beach

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Are you a fan of the Middle Ages?  Does your little knight and shining armor like to slay dragons?  Or does your little lady in waiting like to play dress up?  Then St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Annual Brass Rubbing Event in Long Beach in just for them!

In European History, the Middle Ages, or otherwise known as the Medieval period, lasted from the 5th to the 15th century.  It started with the collapse of the Western Roman Empire and resulted in the merging of the Renaissance and Age of Discovery periods.

To celebrate the spirit of the Middle Ages, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Long Beach opens its doors every year to the public to attend their annual Brass Rubbing Event at the Brass Rubbing Medieval Art Center.  The center is located within the Great Hall of Cassidy Castle of the church.

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From their website, “The Center provides an atmosphere of medieval times where learning, and making art flourish. The program describes the historic background and importance of monumental brasses as well as the colorful people they commemorate.  We provide an interesting combination of history, folklore, and art using one of the largest collections of monumental brass facsimiles in North America.  During a visit you may choose from more than 100 reproduction-engraved plates of brass. A trained instructor will provide rag paper, metallic waxes, and instructions for you to create your rubbing masterpiece. Hangers are provided for the finished artwork. Picture frame matting is also available at a minimal cost.”

Some of my fellow field-trip-loving friends have attended this annual event in the past and said it is best suited for children in 2nd grade and up.  Families are also welcome, but younger children must be attended to at all times due to the nature of the location.

This year St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Brass Rubbing Event runs from October 21 – November 15, 2014 and is open to the public on Wednesday – Saturday from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.   The cost ranges from $5 – $15, depending upon the size of the rubbing.

To further enhance your visit, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church also offers workshops for groups with 10 or more folks, Tuesday-Saturday, 9:30 to 3:00.  The cost is $7 per person.  ADVANCE RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED FOR THIS.

Sir John DAubernoun

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is located at 525 E. 7th St. (at Atlantic Ave.) in Long Beach.

For reservations and more Information, please contact Gail Mutke and Ann Baumgart at

Happy Field Tripping,


Disclosure.  All images are used by permission from St. Luke’s Episicopal Church and Wikimedia Commons.  All points of view and opinions are our own.

Get your tickets for Hello Kitty Con 2014 coming to LA 10/30 – 11/2!


Get your tickets now for Sanrio’s Hello Kitty Con 2014: The First Ever Hello Kitty Fan Convention

Yesterday my daughter Field Trip Girl declared that she is going to have a Hello Kitty party for her 6th birthday.  The problem though?  She still has 10 more months to wait!

In the meantime, I have decided to take her to the first ever Hello Kitty Convention at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (The Museum of Contemporary Art) in Los Angeles from October 30th – November 2nd.

Hello Kity 2

Hello Kitty Fans unite!  Sanrio created Hello Kitty Con to celebrate Hello Kitty’s 40th Anniversary and place Hello Kitty fans at the center of the ultimate interactive experience, inviting them to immerse themselves in a never-before-seen environment where the world of Hello Kitty is celebrated, explored and experienced.

Hello Kitty Con 2014 line up of favorite events include:

  • Special appearances and signings with Hello Kitty head designer from Tokyo Yuko Yamaguchi.
  • Workshops on Hello Kitty scrapbooking, flower arranging, nail art, DIY jewelry making and more.
  • A Hello Kitty Friendship Station Pop-up Shop offering convention exclusives.
  • A Hello Kitty Super Supermarket featuring a curated selection of vendors offering products and experiences available only at the convention.
  • Hello Kitty’s Friendship Village and Hello Kitty’s House where fans can discover a life-size home decorated in Hello Kitty inside & out and wander through various Hello Kitty photo opps.
  • Five leading tattoo artists offering FREE (real!) tattoos.
  • Sanrio Tokyo’s resident nail artist and Hello Kitty Nail Art book author Masako Kojima will give fans a chance to Hello Kitty-fy their nails.

Plus Miss. Hello Kitty herself will be on hand for special appearances and to hug fans as a part of her global Share a Hug with Hello Kitty! campaign throughout the four day extravaganza. HelloKittyCON_Logo_FINAL_CS5

A Hello Kitty Con ticket also includes free same-day admission ($20 value) to Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty, the Hello Kitty exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum, as well as many more free activities and goodies throughout the convention.  We planning on seeing the Hello Kitty exhibition next spring when my homeschool students are studying about Japan.

Tickets for the highly anticipated Hello Kitty Con 2014 are now available to purchase at

Field Trip Girl and I look forward to seeing you at #hellokittycon very soon!

Happy Field Tripping,


Disclosure: This is an informational post only.  All opinions and points of view are our own.  Images used by permission from Sanrio.

What happens when a field trip goes awry?



Last Tuesday, I led a group of 75 students and their parents on an oceanography field trip out of San Pedro, CA.  However, it didn’t turn out quite the way I wanted.

Garrett on boat

Field Trip Boy on a haul and troll off the coast of San Pedro.

Originally, I had scheduled a 2 hour floating science lab for the children.


Field Trip attendees boarding the boat.

Instead, we spent 3 1/2 hours on the boat and saw very little marine life.  I was not a very happy field trip coordinator by the end of the day.


The Port of Los Angeles.

So what happens when a field trip that you plan goes awry?  From my experience, this is what I recommend:

1. Ask the company that you hired to lead the field trip to please tell your attendees what happen.

On our field trip we were suppose to do a haul and troll.  Basically, this is when crew collects sea life from the bottom of the ocean floor for students to explore.  At the end of the trip the sea life is returned to the ocean for future explorers.


The ship crew lowering the net into the ocean.

However, in our specific case when the captain lowered the net down it caught on something and broke.  It was not his fault, but it was sad to see.


The net that broke on our field trip.

Therefore, I asked the captain to please explain to my families what happened.  This helped them to understand that this was not a direct result of anything SoCal Field Trips had done and warded off any future questions I would have had to answer about it.

2. Review the original field trip contact that you signed.

On our contract I verified that our tour was suppose to go from 11 am – 1 pm.  Instead it lasted 3 1/2 hours!  This was a bummer, because I had purposely scheduled our trip to end by 1 pm so that my families could avoid the afternoon traffic rush.

3.  Ask the field trip company to either reschedule your trip for another day or provide you with a refund. 

In our specific contract there was no such clause.  So when I got home I called and asked the company how could we resolve the problem.  We are now discussing an appropriate resolution.  Thankfully all of my families have been kind and patient in the process.


Field Trip Boy and Field Trip Girl heading home after our adventure at sea.

Dealing with the aftermath of a field trip that goes awry can either go well or head in the opposite direction really fast.  It all depends on how you handle the situation and the quality of the field trip venue’s customer service before and after the trip.  Good luck in your field trip planning this school year!

Happy Field Tripping!


Disclosure: All points of view and opinions are our own.

Visit your local museum for FREE on Museum Day Live on Saturday, September 27!


Visit your local museum for FREE on Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day Live!

Saturday, September 27


It’s that time of year again for Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day Live! on Saturday, September 27.

This is a great opportunity for your family to get in free to participating venues with a ticket. 

My family and I have attended Museum Day Live! several times in the past.  The crowds can be a bit large, but it is worth it because you get free admission into some of the normally more expensive museums in Southern California.

The Museum Day Live! Ticket provides free admission for two people.  Since I have a family of four, my husband typically registers for one ticket and I register for another one (two tickets will get in four people).  But you need to have separate email addresses to do this.

As a bonus for participating in this year’s Museum Day Live!, you will also receive a free digital edition of Smithsonian Magazine when registering.

The Southern California venues participating in this year’s Museum Day Live! are:

Los Angeles Area

California Science Center

Chinese American Museum

Craft and Folk Art Museum

Fowler Museum at UCLA

Los Angeles Maritime Museum

Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust

Pasadena Museum of California Art

The GRAMMY Museum

The Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA)

Zimmer Children’s Museum

Orange County

Heritage Museum of Orange County

OCMA / Orange County Museum of Art

Santa Ana Fire Museum

The Inland Empire

Orange Empire Railway Museum

Pennypickle’s Workshop Temecula Children’s Museum

Riverside Art Museum

Temecula Valley Museum

San Diego County

Creation & Earth History Museum

Mingei International Museum

Museum of Making Music

San Diego Archaeological Center

San Diego Automotive Museum

San Diego Chinese Historical Museum

San Diego History Museum

The Adobe Chapel Museum

The Martson House Museum & Gardens

Santa Barbara Area

Casa Dolores, Center for the Study of the Popular Arts of Mexico

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum & Parks-Janeway Carriage House

To order tickets for a specific museum in your area for September 27, please visit the Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day Live! website.

Happy Field Tripping,


Disclosure: This is a non-sponsored post.  All points of view and opinions are our own.