What's New to LEGOLAND California in 2018 + Kids Go Free Ticket Offer

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Disclosure: LEGOLAND California provided me with free tickets in exchange for sharing this information about the Resort and the Honest Kids special ticket offer.

We are very fortunate to live close to LEGOLAND California. When Tyler was young, we took advantage of the Model Mom Club membership level. It was perfect for our nanny. She and Tyler were able to go to LEGOLAND once a week. They got fresh air and exercise. As an only child, he loved being with other little kids in MiniLand and the play area.

It was this early exposure to the park that sparked his interest in building with LEGO at home. For years, we bought increasingly elaborate sets that he would display in his room once he’d did put them together. We bought books on LEGO and played the LEGO games on the Wii. It was great!

Sadly, now that he’s older, he’s outgrown playing with Lego. I must admit that I miss it. For the past few years, when I'd walk through stores like Target, I looked longingly at the sets.

I thought I might never get my hands on those pieces again. I know. Adults can build, too. But it's more fun with people who share the love. My little brother must have sensed my pain because he’s given me two delicious nieces! He can be so thoughtful, sometimes.

The little ladies got their first Duplo sets this past Christmas, and Aunt Mimi was only too happy to sit down with them and build.

Since both girls are now old enough for a full day trip, my brother is ready to take them to their first theme park and he’s chosen LEGOLAND!

Even though it’s been a while since we've been to the park, his family has never been, so he’s asked me to put together a little bit of an itinerary for them. So, it was pretty much divine intervention that I received an email from LEGOLAND California Resort with information about what’s new at the parks.

There’s also a really good offer from Honest Kids that involves free tickets that I’ll tell you about in just a bit.

With three parks and one hotel (soon to be two), LEGOLAND California has more than 60 different rides, shows and attractions. There are 16 restaurants and 14 places to shop around the resort. The resort is designed for kids ages 2 - 12. There's a really handy guide for What To Do If You're Two that lists all the LEGOLAND attractions without height requirements, which is perfect for my youngest niece.

What's New to LEGOLAND California Resort

  • LEGO ® NINJAGO ® : Master of the 4th Dimension 4D film inside NINJAGO World 
  • Surfer's Cove at LEGOLAND and CHIMA waterpark
  • LEGOLAND Castle Hotel
  • Sea at Night bioluminescence display at the SEA LIFE Aquarium
The waterpark season begins March 5th, and Surfer's Cove opens this summer. The Castle hotel will be available for bookings starting April 27th. The Sea at Night display opens this spring.

Photo credit: LEGOLAND
If you'll be onsite for a few days, planning your visit is key. Though there are several hotels nearby, staying on the property is the most convenient and fun. The LEGOLAND Hotel has themed rooms, scavenger hunts and early access to the park.

Did you know kids can trade Minifigures with park staff? If you have duplicates, this is the perfect opportunity to get a different one. Fans of the LEGO Movie will want to make sure to look for the character meet and greet for a photo opp with Emmet and Wyldstyle.
Photo credit: LEGOLAND
Do yourself a favor and download the app. It has ride wait times, the park map and discount offers. The app will help you figure out what areas of the park to visit first. When you're creating your vacation budget, leave room to add on the Reserve N Ride. This is a pretty cool hand-held electronic gadget that you can use to hold your place in line for you!

If you live in Southern California and want to consider converting your park tickets into a membership, there are several price points available. While the Model Mom Club isn't offered anymore, the yearly member price is affordable, especially when you break out the payments. As a military family, we appreciate that LEGOLAND offers discounted military tickets.

Kids Go Free to LEGOLAND California


Right now, if you buy Honest Kids 8-count juice pouches, you can get one free One-Day Child Ticket with purchase of a full-price One-Day Adult Ticket. Look for the special boxes; the voucher will be on the side. 

If you have problems finding the boxes, go to the Honest Kids page on the LEGOLAND site and redeem the offer with code 189900. Note: the voucher on the box expired this past December, but it has the online code details.

To help with your planning, connect with LEGOLAND California on social media:

Feeling lucky? These blogs have giveaways for Family Four Packs of LEGOLAND tickets! Plus, search Twitter for the #LEGOLANDKidsGoFree tag for other sites offering giveaways. [Giveaways closed as of 1/31/18]

Megan and Wendy
Moms LA
Fancy Shanty
Keep It Simple Mama

LEGOLAND California provided some of the assets needed to craft this post. Click for details on my disclosure policies.

San Diego Staycation at the Rancho Bernardo Inn

Friday, November 18, 2016

I have a confession to make: my husband and I haven't gone away on vacation together since the early 2000's.

I know. I know.

It's entirely our fault. We didn't make getting away a priority. When Tyler was little, he would spend a week with his grandmothers, which, let's be honest, felt like a vacation even though Phil and I stayed at home.

Now, our travel is 95% related to Tyler's sports. For tournaments and games we've been up and down California, to Arizona and Lake Tahoe; and this year we add Las Vegas. But these trips can hardly be counted as getaways. The presence of smelly hockey gear is not remotely romantic.

You'd think, living in a city like San Diego, staycations would be a no brainer. There are so many things to do here! We have many distinct neighborhoods, miles of some of the best beaches in the US, mountains and deserts. It's ridiculously easy to find something to do no matter what your vacation style. For us to not take advantage of the awesome things our city offers is kinda ridiculous.
Photo credit Tonya Staab
So, it was a nice surprise when I found out I'd been chosen as Innfluencer for the Rancho Bernardo Inn. I applied on the fly and promptly forgot about it. When the email came with the available dates for our stay; I knew exactly what to do: surprise anniversary staycation!
Even though I do little things for Phil like buying his favorite ice creams, making sure he always has gum in his car and buying salt water taffy when I'm at a specific store; it's rare that I get to make a grandiose gesture like this one and treat him to something like this.

Hopefully, our stay at The Inn has exposed Phil to how nice mini getaways can be and he'll be more open to them in the future.
If you've never been to San Diego, the Rancho Bernardo Inn is a resort in the northern inland corridor between Escondido and Poway. It's tucked away in the community so that, if you didn't live there, you'd pass right by. The grounds are beautiful and the resort has plenty of things to keep you occupied like the 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, spa facilities and four dining options.
Photo credit Tonya Staab
If you've known me for awhile you know I love to read. I also think it's important to get kids to read. The fact that The Inn has a Little Free Library was really touching. I brought three books, left them when we checked in and two were gone the next day!
Photo credit Tonya Staab
We got to the hotel and had just enough time to check out the amenities in our room and wander the grounds before our dinner reservation at Veranda. Since we were early for dinner, we decided to catch the last of Happy Hour at Avant, the bar upstairs. They have live music several nights a week.
Photo credit Tonya Staab
We had a lovely dinner and it was nice to take our time and "catch up" with each other. We decided to hit the jacuzzi before bed and when we got back to the room, the hotel had left us a bottle of wine and a charcuterie tray.

Like most people who have been married as long as we have, we watched the news, continued our conversation from dinner and went to sleep.
Photo credit Tonya Staab
Early the next morning, we left the cozy hotel bed because Tyler had a game. Yes, yes, I know. What can I say? We love watching him play. Even though the room had a Keurig, we grabbed coffees and pastry from the cafe (which has a cute little gift shop filled with locally made products). After the game, one of Tyler's teammates was nice enough to take him back to their house so we could go back to the hotel for the breakfast that was included with our package. Sundays call for mimosas, right?
As part of our hotel package, the Eat, Drink and Be Merry, we had tasting room tickets to local wineries and breweries. After we checked out, we planned the rest of our afternoon around the football schedule. Since I don't drink wine or beer, guess whose husband got to bring a buddy? Just keeping my Wife of the Year title secure!

We visited three breweries: Iron Fist, Lost Abbey and Mother Earth. If you're visiting San Diego and book this package, you'll definitely need access to a car or service like Uber as the breweries are not close to the hotel.

If you or someone you know is planning a trip to America's Finest City, consider the Rancho Bernardo Inn resort! 

If you'd like to read about another package option, my blogging friend Maryann and her family stayed at The Inn earlier this summer and took advantage of the Family Fun Package. If you want to see what our overnight looked like in 'real time' I posted a few other photos on Instagram.

Thank you to The Inn for hosting us as part of their #Innfluencer campaign and to Tonya for her photography!

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