Rockin Mama™ Motherhood, Giveaways and Product Reviews Wed, 10 Aug 2022 00:15:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Rockin Mama™ 32 32 111966601 Celebrate 90 Years of Art at the Festival of the Arts Sun, 07 Aug 2022 22:34:00 +0000 An artist puts the final touches on her latest sketch…a child learns about the science of woodturning…a couple sips a glass of wine during a painting workshop. Families can experience all of this and more at the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach, California. This year marks the 90th anniversary of the Festival of Arts, and the planned Birthday Bash celebration will include a number of surprises. Taking place on August 13th, 2022, this is your opportunity to check out the Festival of Arts for free while enjoying all of the birthday activities.

Festival of Arts 90th Celebration

Festival of Arts

One of the best things about summers in Orange County is the Festival of Arts. Our family has made it a tradition each year to visit the Festival of Arts, which showcases the incredible talent of local, Orange County artists. The Festival of Arts runs through September 2nd and features art in a variety of mediums including paintings, photography, printmaking, sculptures, jewelry, handcrafted wood furniture, ceramics, charcoal, glass, and more.

Festival of Arts Isabelle Alessandra

This year, the Festival of Arts will celebrate 9 decades of art. Since the art show debuted in 1932, thousands of artists have showcased and sold their artwork and has been local leader fostering the growth of the arts in Laguna Beach.

Festival of Arts Junior Art Show

The Festival of Arts Celebrates 90 Years of Art

To celebrate this incredible accomplishment, the Festival of Arts will host a 90th birthday bash celebration in partnership with the City of Laguna Beach on August 13, 2022. The festivities begin at 12 pm where families will enjoy birthday-themed art projects, photo booths, live music with Grammy-nominated musician and Bass Player Hall of Famer Lee Rocker, giveaways, surprises and more. The best part…admission to the Festival of Arts will be free all day long on August 13, 2022.

The Festival of Arts 90th birthday celebration will begin with a presentation of awards to two artists who have exhibited their work at the fine art show for 50 years. Festival of Arts president David Perry and Laguna Beach Mayor Sue Kempf will also share welcoming remarks.

A live concert with Lee Rocker (who was a founding member of the group Stray Cats) will begin at 1 pm following the ceremony. From noon to 3 pm, families can make their own festive party hats in the Festival’s Art Center and capture memories from the day in their photo booth. At the conclusion of the concert (3 pm), wish the Festival of Arts a happy birthday with a cupcake reception. Please note that activities and giveaways while supplies last. Pageant of the Masters tickets will be sold separately from this event.

Festival of Arts Laguna Beach

The Festival of Arts is open daily through September 2, 2022 and admission is $10 per person on weekdays, and $15 per person on weekends. You can also save on student and senior tickets. Visit for additional information or to purchase tickets.

Art Center Festival of Arts
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Guide To Universal Studios Hollywood for Movie Fans Mon, 01 Aug 2022 21:00:00 +0000 Families come from all over the world to Los Angeles to see the places where stories come to life on screen. From Hollywood’s Walk of Fame to the chance to see one of your favorite stars’ homes, LA is the film and entertainment capital of the world. One of the best places to be immersed in the world of film is at Universal Studios Hollywood. With the long-awaited return of the Special Effects Show and a permanent addition to the world-famous Studio Tour, here are 5 films movie buffs can immerse themselves in at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Consideration provided by Universal Studios Hollywood, who supplied the tickets.

Studio Tour Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood

The working film studio and movie-based theme park is one of our favorites because it is so unique and immersive. Fun fact: my very first paid job was at Universal Studios in merchandise. It was an excellent place for a teen’s first job and it increased my fondness for the park. Whether you are a movie buff or simply enjoy film and television, Universal Studios Hollywood is your destination! With every land highly immersive and engaging, here are 5 movie-themed lands you do not want to miss, inspired by your favorite films.

5 Immersive Film Experiences at Universal Studios Hollywood

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Hogwarts Express at Universal Studios

Before my son entered high school, he had already read the entire Harry Potter series authored by J. K. Rowling, which follows the lives of young wizard Harry Potter and his friends who are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy. All eight of fantasy films are on the list of highest-grossing films of all time and are now a global phenomenon.

Frozen Butterbeer

Six years ago, the world of Harry Potter came to life at Universal Studios Hollywood. Walking into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter feels like you’ve stepped into the pages of her books and the films inspired by this phenomenon, and for good reason. The land is faithful to the visual landscape of J.K. Rowling’s books and the Harry Potter film series, with Hogwarts castle the pinnacle of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Be sure to grab a cup of hot or frozen Butterbeer as you stroll the cobblestone streets. As you walk through the archway, you are transported to this fantastical land where a train conductor welcomes new arrivals, merchants are hard at work, and the pub is packed with locals.

Hogwarts Castle

Don’t Miss: The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle returns , showcasing the four houses of Hogwarts including Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin. The stunning light display and special effects projection are accompanied by a special musical arrangement by composer John Williams.

Jurassic World—The Ride
Jurassic World The Ride

I was just a teenager when I read Michael Crichton’s, Jurassic Park. The thrilling sci-fi novel was both fascinating and terrifying. I’ve seen nearly every film inspired by the sci-fi series, the latest, Jurassic World Dominion which was released this summer. Three years ago, Universal Studios Hollywood reimagined their original Jurassic Park: The Ride to reflect an original storyline. Jurassic World – The Ride takes families through the theme park depicted in the film Jurassic World where dinosaurs roam, including the colossal Indominus rex and the magnificent aquatic Mosasaurus in her natural habitat. The ride takes the thrill of Jurassic World to new heights with an exciting 22-foot plunge.

Raptor Encounter

Don’t Miss: After you’ve cooled off on Jurassic World – The Ride, head on over to the Raptor Encounter where you will meet Blue, the Velociraptor from Jurassic World,  a friendly Triceratops and a Baby Raptor.

The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!
The Secret Life of Pets Off the Leash

If you’re a pet owner, you might wonder what your favorite furry friend does when you are away. The Secret Life of Pets is an imaginative story about the mischief and mayhem Max (a Jack Russel Terrier) and his friends get into while his owner is away.

The dark ride, inspired by the film series, combines 64 technologically-advanced animated figures with hyper-realistic
media and projection mapping designed to take families on a journey to meet some of their favorite characters from the movies, including Max, Snowball, Gidget, Chloe, and Duke. Both the preshow queue and the ride are highly detailed, from blinking eyes and smiles to head tilts and nods. As you walk through the apartments, look carefully for the hidden Easter Eggs. As you proceed through the queue, you learn that you are a stray puppy in need of a forever home. Fortunately, there is an adoption event at the pet store.

Need to know: The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash! uses virtual line technology, to help families maximize their time at the park. The virtual line is accessible via the Universal Studios Hollywood app or in the New York City subway station next to the ride.

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem / Super Silly Fun Land
Minions at Universal Studios

We just saw the latest Minions film, Minions: The Rise of Gru, so the movie franchise was at the forefront of our minds during our last visit to Universal Studios Hollywood. My kids still really enjoy the Minions’ zany antics and comic relief. In honor of the latest film, the Minions have taken over Universal Plaza. In addition to meeting your favorite Minions, you can interact with a 16-foot Minion squishy and play a themed game through August 14th, 2022.

Universal Studios Hollywood also offers several interactive Minions experiences and Super Silly Fun Land, including the Ultra-HD adventure Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. After perusing Gru’s iconic house and laboratory, you’ll soon discover that Gru’s secret mission is to create as many mischievous Minions as possible from human recruits. After journeying through the world of Minions, stop by Super Silly Fun Land for the theme park’s interpretation of the seaside carnival from the film featuring more than 80 unique water play features. A dry zone includes spaces for kids to climb, jump, and slide or hop aboard the Silly Swirly Fun Ride for 360-degree views.

Revenge of the Mummy—The Ride

Just like the films, Revenge of the Mummy – The Ride is the experience that will tap into the things you fear. Dark, speed, and heights converge on the park’s first roller coaster. Inspired by the Mummy films, this dark ride immerses you in a complete, multisensory environment.

What’s New at Universal Studios Hollywood – 2022

Special Effects Show
Special Effects Show Universal Studios

The last time I saw the Special Effects Show was when it was located on the lower lot. The show moved to its current location on the upper lot, Stage 56 after undergoing renovation in 2015. Closed due to COVID-19, the Special Effects Show is back and will run daily through August 14th, then weekends beginning August 20th.

Much has changed since the original show, but I promise you’ll be mesmerized by the magic that goes into the art of filmmaking. Audience participation allows the recreation of pivotal scenes from Universal’s most memorable films. And there is a fire stunt you absolutely do not want to miss.

Jupiter’s Claim (from the film Nope)
Jupiters Claim at Universal Studios

Timed to the film’s release, the original Jupiter’s Claim set from Jordan Peele’s horror film Nope will be featured exclusively on the world-famous Studio Tour. Jupiter’s Claim is a family-fun theme park set in the Santa Clarita Valley of Southern California and inspired by the history and aesthetics of the California Gold Rush. This pivotal location in the film is where the characters investigate mysterious, unexplained phenomena.

Super Nintendo World

Super Nintendo World

As a child growing up in the 80s, I absolutely believe I am more excited than my kids about the opening of Super Nintendo World. The very best view of its progress is from the StarWay as you head down towards the Lower Lot. This will be the first Super Nintendo World to debut in the US and will transport families and Mario fans into the world of Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach to be part of the Mushroom Kingdom.

Recently, Universal Studios Hollywood revealed details about “Mario Kart™: Bowser’s Challenge,” one of the world’s largest, most interactive rides ever experienced. The ride will fuse augmented reality with projection mapping technology and actual set pieces along a moving ride track…unparalleled anywhere within the theme park industry. As more details are revealed surrounding the opening Super Nintendo World, I’ll be sharing them here and on Facebook and Instagram.

Transformers Universal Studios

Universal Studios Hollywood Tickets + Universal Express

The best way to experience Universal Studios Hollywood is to add Universal Express to your ticket. I have utilized express ride passes at theme parks across Southern California, and Universal Express really is one of the best. For an additional fee, you will receive one-time express access to every ride, attraction and seated show at Universal Studios Hollywood. I don’t know of another theme park that includes show access. This is the best way to maximize your time at the park, particularly during the summer months when crowds are larger and wait times are longer.

The best prices for Universal Studios Hollywood tickets are found online, and if you are a Southern California resident, you’ll receive exclusive pricing. If you are planning to spend more than a day at the park, Getaway Today is offering a deal where you can Buy a Day, Get a 2nd Day Free Universal Studios Hollywood ticket. Your visits must be completed before December 15, 2022.

For more information or to purchase Universal Studios Hollywood tickets, visit

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Knott’s Soak City Family Guide Thu, 21 Jul 2022 01:33:00 +0000 We are entering the hottest months of the summer here in Southern California and we have spent our summer days cooling off at Orange County’s largest water park, Knott’s Soak City! The 15-acre water park is open through September 18th, so there is still plenty of time for splashtastic fun! With 23 slides for adults and kids of all ages, there really is something for everyone. Check out our complete Knott’s Soak City Family Guide.

Tidal Wave Bay

Consideration provided by Knott’s Soak City Waterpark and Knott’s Berry Farm.

Knott’s Soak City Water Park

Soak City is located adjacent to Knott’s Berry Farm and features 23 speed, tube and body slides, a 750,000-gallon Tidal Wave Bay wave pool, the one-third-mile Sunset River (one of the longest lazy rivers at a water park), and the three-story Beach House which boasts 200 water guns, nozzles, sprayers and other interactive water play.

Wave Pool at Knotts Soak City
Lazy River Knotts Soak City

Rides and Slides

  • Banzai Falls: Race to the finish on this speed slide, which features 6 lanes and a height of over 41 feet. Riders slide head first on a mat and end with a splash.
  • Beach House: Splash, slide, and play at Soak City’s three-story Beach House. Activities include interactive water guns, faucets, water slides, and more. Plus, every five minutes, the water bucket unloads 500 gallons of water on everyone below.
  • Laguna Storm Watch Tower:  A storm is brewing atop the 43-foot tower! Choose from the Typhoon, Tornado, or Cyclone tube slides.
  • Malibu Run: Situated at a height of 39 feet, the four single-person, inner-tube slides include open flume and enclosed, dark flumes for the ultimate thrill!
  • Old Man Falls: Thrill-seekers will love defying gravity with the speed-slide action of Pipeline, Point Break, and Riptide, situated 63 feet high atop Old Man Falls.
  • Shore Break: At seven stories high, the towers feature six thrilling water slides, including two dueling slides that propel riders through a series of drops and turns. Four of the six slides have guests climb inside the Aqua-Launch chamber where they wait for the floor to drop from underneath them for a vertical free fall.
  • The Wedge: Families (up to 6) can ride together on an open-air raft ride that features twists, turns, and unexpected drops.
  • Tidal Wave Bay: Surfs up at the 750,000-gallon bay. Enjoy the sun when the waves are calm, then brave them as they start to roll in.
  • Sunset River: Take a break from the thrilling aquatic action at Knott’s Soak City on the 1780-foot lazy river. At one-third mile in length, it is one of the longest and widest water park lazy rivers in the world.
  • Gremmie Lagoon: Even the smallest of kids can make a splash at the tot-sized playground, which features an interactive octopus, submarines, and oversized landmarks that squirt, sprinkle, soak, and splash kids and their parents.
Hand-Breaded Chicken Strips

Snack Break

Knott’s Soak City offers 2 dining locations, separate drink refill stations, and 2 Dippin’ Dots carts. Additionally, those who rent a cabana for the day have access to a separate menu with waiter service.

Asian Chicken Bowl
  • Longboard’s Grill: The quick-serve restaurant features grilled burgers, hot dogs, fish and chips, chicken sandwiches, fresh salads, assorted wraps, and a variety of side options.
  • Portside Pizza:  The pizza venue offers salads, pizzas, and funnel cakes.
  • Drink Refill Stations: Fill up your all-season or single-day souvenir cup at one of the three stations located throughout Knott’s Soak City.
Vegetarian Wrap

Three Dining Plans are offered including a Single Meal Deal (entrée, side, and fountain drink), All Day Dining (Enjoy an entrée and a side as often as every 90 minutes. Drinks are not included), Premium All Day Dining (Enjoy a select entrée & side, or snack, as often as every 90 minutes and free refills on beverages every 15 minutes), and All Season Dining (Enjoy lunch and dinner at the park with a 4-hour interval between meals. Drinks are not included). Tip: Purchase a Souvenir Bottle online for the best price on drinks throughout the season.

Knotts Soak City Cabanas

The Cabana Life

One of the best ways to make the most of your visit to Knott’s Soak City is to rent a semi-private cabana. The summer season can get busy at the water park, so renting a cabana ensures you have a shaded space to relax in between water play.

Soak City Cabanas

Each cabana reservation includes 8 wristbands and amenities including a table with an umbrella, 4 inner tube rentals, and waiter service (food is an additional cost). The three cabana offerings include Shore Break, Wavepool, and Malibu and correspond to the location. Prices for the day start as low as $199 and reservations can be made online.

Knotts Soak City Park Map

Before You Go

  • Pack a swimsuit, a rash guard, towels, sandals/water shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a waterproof phone case. If you forget any of these items, the Wipeout Surf Shop sells all of your waterpark needs.
  • Lockers are available for rent starting at $15 for the day. This is the most secure way to store valuables such as your cell phone and wallet.
  • Knott’s Soak City allows small hand-held coolers containing water, a small umbrella, personal float toys, and life jackets (however they must be Coast Guard-approved).
  • Knott’s Soak City provides inner tubes free of charge for any ride that requires one. Inner tubes can also be rented for the day.
  • Life jackets are available throughout the water park for complimentary use.
Knotts Soak City Lazy River

Soak City Tickets, Season Passes, Location, and Parking

Knott’s Soak City is located at the following address:

  • 8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, CA 90620

The best pricing for tickets to Knott’s Soak City is online and starts at $48.

If you have a Gold or Platinum Season Pass, you have access to Soak City throughout the year. Plus, you can bring-a-friend on select days for just $49.99 (up to 4) (July 8 – 31, 2022).

Parking is $25 per vehicle, per day. If you have a Regular or a Gold Pass, you can add the All Season Parking Pass to your 2019 Season Pass for $80 online.

Knott’s Soak City is open through September 18th, 2022 (closing times vary)

A visit to Knott’s Soak City is the perfect way to stay cool this summer!  Visit for more information.

Knotts Soak City Waterpark
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Hadestown at Segerstrom Center for the Arts Sun, 17 Jul 2022 07:21:38 +0000 If you had to choose one show to watch on Broadway in New York City, which show would it be? That was the question I asked myself last November when our family frequented the Big Apple for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I wanted to see a show that I had not seen yet and would not likely get an opportunity to see in Southern California. Segerstrom Center for the Arts is my favorite theater to watch Broadway shows and I always look at the current and upcoming season to make a plan. I narrowed my choices down to Hadestown and Waitress, ultimately deciding to wait on the Ancient Greek Myth-inspired musical until the National Tour brought the show to Segerstrom! Performing August 9-21, Hadestown will show you “how the world could be.”

Hadestown North American Tour


I have seen my share of Broadway shows, and one of my favorite things to do before the show is to listen to the soundtrack and look up the history including where the show first debuted and the awards it received. The original version of Hadestown premiered in Barre, Vermont in 2006 while another production was performed in the city of Vergennes. Singer-songwriter and playwright Anaïs Mitchell, who wrote the music, lyrics, and book, was unsure about the future of the musical, so she turned it into a concept album that was released in 2010. Two years later, Mitchell met with director Rachel Chavkin and the two reworked the show, adding songs and dialogue and creating a new version that debuted off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop in 2016. With positive reviews, the show debuted on Broadway in 2019 and has been nominated for 14 Tony Awards, winning a total of 8 including Best Musical and Best Original Score.

Hadestown Musical

The show’s tag line is “come see how the world could be,” and it tells a modern version of the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Two mythical tales collide when Eurydice, a young girl in search of food, goes to work in an industrial underworld to escape climate-change-induced poverty before her love, Orpheus comes to her rescue. Simultaneously, King Hades falls in love with Persephone and takes her to the underworld to become his wife. Welcome to Hadestown, “where a song can change your fate.” Mitchell and Chavkin have dreamed up an incredible show with a story that poses industry against nature, doubt against faith, and fear against hope.

Hadestown at Segerstrom

Hadestown Tickets and Showtimes

Hadestown will perform at Segerstrom Hall from August 9 – 21, 2022. Showtimes are as follows:

  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday Evenings at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday at 1:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Tickets start at $28.00 and can be purchased via phone, in-person at The Box Office, or online. For more information or to purchase tickets to Hadestown at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, visit

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CHOC Adventure in the Park – Presented by Disneyland Resort Fri, 15 Jul 2022 15:00:00 +0000 Every day, CHOC and its team of health care workers provide compassionate, innovative care for families of children with complex medical and psychosocial needs. As I listened to the family of the 2022 CHOC Walk ambassador share the story of their son Robby Gomez and the integral role CHOC has had in their lives, I can’t help but feel compelled to provide support and raise awareness. For 30 years, CHOC and its supporters have participated in the annual CHOC Walk which raises up to $3 million dollars each year. After adapting due to COVID-19, CHOC Walk is back as a newly reimagined experience. CHOC Adventure in the Park will take place on August 27th, 2022 at Disney California Adventure Park. Find out how you can be a part of this magical celebration!

CHOC Adventure in the Park

CHOC Adventure in the Park

For one night on August 27th, 2022, CHOC and Disneyland Resort will host a 30th-anniversary party filled with exclusive experiences and Disney magic. CHOC Adventure in the Park takes place at Disney California Adventure Park where CHOC supporters who have raised $250 or more will enjoy access to many of the park’s attractions, dining, and retail locations. Additionally, guests will enjoy party keepsakes based on fundraising levels, special photo locations, sightings of your favorite Disney characters, a DJ, and a special viewing of the nighttime spectacular “World of Color.”

As in previous years, the goal of CHOC Adventure in the Park is to raise funds for healthcare programs, education, and research for kids in Southern California.

CHOC Adventure in the Park Event Details

  • When: Saturday, August 27, 2022
  • Where/Time: Disney California Adventure Park – Mix-in begins at 5 pm followed by a private party that begins at 9 pm (until midnight)
  • Cost: $50 registration fee + participants must raise a minimum of $250
  • Parking: $30

It should be noted that the deadline to fundraise towards your ticket is August 5, 2022.

2022 CHOC Walk Ambassador

Fundraising Incentives 

Who doesn’t love prizes? This year, there are several CHOC Adventure in the Park incentive packages which include exclusive 30th-anniversary collectors’ items, park hopper tickets, exclusive 2022 CHOC Vans, hotel stays at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, and more. Participants can choose to purchase or fundraise towards the available incentive packages. Be sure to note the fundraising deadlines on their incentive page.

Fundraising can take place via social media (including Facebook), cash and check donations, DIY campaigns, and more. Be sure to visit the dedicated Fundraising Tips page for a wealth of resources to make your fundraiser a success.


CHOC (Children’s Hospital of Orange County)

CHOC is the leading destination for children’s health, providing exceptional, innovative care. The donations received have funded health care programs, education, and research for their system including the hospitals in Orange and Mission Viejo. Specifically, CHOC Walk has helped the organization develop the Fetal Care Center, the Outpatient Heart Center, the Disney art installations, and Care For All, where CHOC has treated children and teens to families without insurance or inadequate coverage.

The Grove of Anaheim

For more information and to register for the 2022 CHOC Adventure in the Park, visit their website here:

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