Make plans for Aliso Viejo Holiday Show Dec. 6

Permalink 11/25/14 12:07, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Happenings, Charitable

The city of Aliso Viejo and Soka University of America are teaming up to present "Voices of Peace," a choral celebration of the holidays at 7 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Soka Performing Arts Center, 1 University Drive.

This 4th annual Aliso Viejo Holiday Show will feature local choirs including the New Vision Singers- Center for Spiritual Living, Saddleback Valley, California Irvine Mission Choir, Soka Singers, Pacific Coast Children's Choir, Soka Soul Wings and Aliso Niguel High School Madrigals as well as special performances by Vita Leonis Philharmonic Orchestra and  Soka University's Erica Turrell and Handrio Nurhan.

Concert proceeds benefit scholarships at Soka University and the Aliso Viejo Community Foundation Scholarship Program. Guests are encouraged to bring canned food for donation to South County Outreach.

Tickets are $10 general admission; and $5 for students and seniors.

Purchase tickets online click here or at the door.


Kelly Tokarski
KT Community Relations

LEGOLAND California Resort announces Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ben Harper as tree lighting hosts

Permalink 11/25/14 12:04, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Happenings, Charitable

WHAT: LEGOLAND® California Resort is honored to announce Emmy® Award-winning actress Sarah Michelle Gellar as this year’s special guest to light the world’s largest LEGO® Christmas tree at the family theme park’s 12th annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014.

Plus, a special, live performance by Grammy® Award-winning musical guest Ben Harper leads the Park’s spectacular Tree Lighting Ceremony!

Gellar, a mother of two and married to actor Freddie Prinze Jr., recently starred in the TV series, “The Crazy Ones” with Robin Williams and is popularly known for her lead role in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and as Daphne, in “Scooby-Doo” and “Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed”.

Harper, a father of four, recently starred in the documentary, “A House is a Home”, this November. The documentary gives viewers a glimpse of the making of his acoustic collaborative album, Childhood Home, with his mother, Ellen. Harper is set to hit the stage in March 2015 for his “Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals Tour”.

Created out of more than 245,000 green DUPLO® bricks, the 30-foot tall Christmas tree is adorned with 400 LEGO ornaments and will be illuminated with more than 11,000 LED lights while towering over the theme park’s Fun Town winter wonderland.

At the ceremony, LEGOLAND California Resort is donating a total of $20,000! On behalf of Gellar, the Resort is donating $10,000 to Baby Buggy, Inc., a charity which works with a network of more than 100 community-based organizations to distribute new and gently-used essentials such as cribs, baby bottles, cribs and clothing, to families.

Furthermore, $10,000 will be donated to the Tony Hawk® Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing safe, legal skate parks for youth in low-income communities across the United States, on behalf of Harper, who is a board member of the Foundation.

The tree lighting ceremony is part of LEGOLAND California Resort’s coolest holiday celebration ever, Holiday Snow Days and Winter Nights. The Park has been transformed into a winter wonderland featuring more real snow than ever before with a tubing area for kids to slide down and, new this year, guests are invited to ice skate as an upgrade.

Guests can enjoy festive entertainment plus nightly fireworks Dec. 26 through 31 and ring in 2015 with San Diego’s biggest Kids’ New Year’s Eve Party on Dec. 31. All Holiday Snow Days and Winter Nights activities located inside the Park are included with regular Park admission. Tickets for the ice rink, located between the ticket booths and LEGOLAND® Hotel, are sold separately.

Black Friday Deals from Dana Wharf and More...

Permalink 11/25/14 12:00, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Happenings
Whale Watching News

Black Friday Specials

Check our web site for Black Friday Deals at danawharf.com

Best of Dana Point - Dana Point Times
Time to vote Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching for two categories: Best Harbor Cruise and Best Whale Watching
Voting is Open for the 2014 Best of Dana Point People's Choice Lantern Awards
The voting for the Best of Dana Point People's Choice Lantern Awards for 2014 is now open at www.danapointtimes.com.

Polls close on Dec. 21 at 11:59 p.m.
Holiday Events
Free Boat Rides With Santa!
Winter Wine Cruise
40 nights of holiday lights!



Permalink 11/25/14 11:57, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Happenings

Just in time for the holidays is SeaWorld’s “Blue Friday.” SeaWorld’s twist on Black Friday offers the lowest prices of the year on passes and its most exclusive park experiences.

Savings include:

  • 2015 Fun Card + three months of parking (Jan. 1 – March 31, 2015) + a single-day companion ticket
  • Pay for a Year, get the 2nd Year Free (2-year membership) – Save $155
  • Save $15 on Dine With Shamu
  • Save $65 on Dolphin Interaction Program
  • Save $105 on Beluga Interaction Program
  • Save $25 on Animal Spotlight Tour

SeaWorld’s “Blue” Friday deals are available Friday, Nov. 28 through Cyber Monday, Dec. 1. Details about the offer can be found at www.SeaWorldParks.com/BlueFriday starting Friday, Nov. 28.

Guests will not want to miss out on all the park has to offer for the holidays during SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration.

Now through Jan. 4, SeaWorld® has been transformed into a wintery, watery wonderland where families of all ages can enjoy stunning live shows, sip hot cocoa and stroll through a sea of millions of twinkling lights.  Plus, guests can even play in real snow and see live reindeer up close!

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™ is a leading theme park and entertainment company delivering personal, interactive and educational experiences that blend imagination with nature and enable its customers to celebrate, connect with and care for the natural world we share.

The Company owns or licenses a portfolio of globally recognized brands including SeaWorld®, Shamu® and Busch Gardens®.

Over its more than 50-year history, the Company has built a diversified portfolio of 11 destination and regional theme parks that are grouped in key markets across the United States, many of which showcase its one-of-a-kind collection of approximately 86,000 marine and terrestrial animals.

The Company’s theme parks feature a diverse array of rides, shows and other attractions with broad demographic appeal which it believes deliver memorable experiences and a strong value proposition for its guests.

In addition to its theme parks, the Company has recently begun to leverage its brands into media, entertainment and consumer products.

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is one of the world’s foremost zoological organizations and a global leader in animal welfare, training, husbandry and veterinary care.

The company collectively cares for one of the largest animal collections in North America and has helped lead advances in the care of animals.

The company also rescues and rehabilitates ocean marine animals that are ill, injured and orphaned, with the goal of returning them to the wild. The SeaWorld rescue team has helped more than 24,000 animals in need over the last 50 years.

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., a publicly traded company (NYSE: SEAS).

The Vanguard University Department of Theatre Arts presents Home for the Holidays

Permalink 11/25/14 11:54, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Schools, The Arts

Home for the Holidays – World Premiere








A Comedy featuring original music, several Christmas standards and loads of entertaining fun


Created and Directed by Vanda Eggington


Welcome back to the early 1950s, and into the live production of Perry Williams’ annual television Christmas show, which is, of course, “Brought to you by Mellinger’s ’Mazing Mercantile!” There’s no telling what may happen when the ON THE AIR indicator lights up, but a heartwarming story and wonderful Christmas music are guaranteed.  |  Suitable for ages 6 and older


Friday, December 5 ................  8:00 pm (Open Forum)

Saturday, December 6 ............  2:00 and 8:00 pm

Sunday, December 7 ...............  2:00 pm

Thursday, December 11........... 8:00 pm

Friday, December 12 ...............  8:00 pm

Saturday, December 13 ...........  2:00 and 8:00 pm

Sunday, December 14 .............  2:00 pm



Go to www.vanguardtickets.com to purchase tickets online


General admission -- $14.00

Seniors age 60 and older -- $12.00

Children age 6 to 12 -- $12.00

Groups of 10 or more -- $12.00

VU Faculty / Staff -- $12.00

VU Alumni -- $12.00

College Students with ID -- $12.00


All shows are presented at the Lyceum Theater located on the Vanguard University campus off Newport Boulevard.


Call the Vanguard University Theatre Department box office at 714-668-6145 for more information.

“Like” us at Facebook/VUTheatre so our posts will show up on your News Feed!



Bill Hughes

Theater Manager

Vanguard University


Carmen Cave, who has served on the City Council since Aliso Viejo's 2001 incorporation, will be honored for her longtime service to the community on Dec.3

Permalink 11/25/14 11:46, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Happenings

A special reception will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Aliso Viejo Conference Center, 31 Santa Barbara Drive.

The reception will give the public an opportunity to thank Cave, who led the city's incorporation effort, for her integral role in pioneering and shaping Aliso Viejo.

The reception will be followed by a recognition during the City Council's business meeting at City Hall.

The council meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at 12 Journey. For more information, call 949-425-2550. 

Kelly Tokarski
KT Community Relations

A galaxy far, far away and some new Friends took center stage as LEGOLAND® California Resort announced two major additions for 2015 at the annual press conference

Permalink 11/21/14 10:34, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Happenings, Business

Light speed ahead! LEGOLAND® California Resort continues moving upward into 2015
Record Year Leads to NEW LEGO® Friends Area and LEGO Star Wars™ Miniland Expansion

A galaxy far, far away and some new Friends took center stage as LEGOLAND® California Resort announced two major additions for 2015 at the annual press conference. General Manager Peter Ronchetti shared  the family theme park’s 2014 successes before announcing  the LEGO® Star Wars™ Miniland Death Star is arriving in time for spring break and an entirely new area, Heartlake City, based on the popular LEGO® Friends product, is opening before summer.


Holiday Snow Days + Winter Nights

“This is our tenth straight year of continuous attendance growth and much of this can be attributed to providing our guests with a fun, family environment to enjoy unique interactive experiences and create family memories,” said Ronchetti.

“In 2011 we were the first LEGOLAND in the world to open LEGO Star Wars Miniland and the success and popularity that it has had throughout the years is out of this world,” said Ronchetti. “Our guests have asked us to bring the Death Star to the experience, and we’re excited to be able to do that next year!”

Opening March 5, 2015, LEGO Star Wars Miniland Death Star spans 6-feet across and offers guests the chance to view iconic film scenes made of LEGO bricks that were filmed inside the Galactic Empire’s space station. This includes the famous trench run scene where Luke Skywalker maneuvered his X-wing fighter through the combat zone and trench to blow-up the station and its planet destroying super laser. LEGO models of Stormtroopers, a Rebel X-wing fighter pilot and an Imperial Star Ship pilot will be on display. Guests can also use their imaginations to construct their own LEGO spaceships at building stations.  LEGO Star Wars Miniland Death Star is opening just before the Park’s annual LEGO Star Wars Days happening March 7 and 8, 2015.

“With all the success we’ve had over the years, we continue to work harder than ever to outdo ourselves each year by creating attractions that immerse guests into LEGO Group’s popular intellectual properties,” said Ronchetti. “Last year we made a huge splash with the addition of the LEGO Legends of Chima Water Park presented by Cartoon Network and this year we are excited to continue that trend with the addition of LEGO Friends Heartlake City.”

LEGOLAND California is making a significant investment in LEGO Friends Heartlake City, opening summer 2015. The new area is based on one of the LEGO Group’s hottest toy lines “LEGO Friends”, which focuses on the lives and personalities of five girls: Mia, Olivia, Andrea, Stephanie and Emma. The new area invites guests to sing along with Andrea at her tour bus, stroll through LEGO horse stables, enjoy a building activity at one of the LEGO brick tables and go for a horseback ride on the carousel in Mia’s family ranch.  The adventures are endless for guests as they enjoy living like LEGO Friends for a day in Heartlake City.

The LEGO® Star Wars™ Miniland Death Star and the new LEGO® Friends Heartlake City are included in the cost of admission to LEGOLAND California Resort. For ticket prices, operating schedule and additional information, visit www.LEGOLAND.com or call 760-918-LEGO (5346).

LEGOLAND® California Resort includes LEGOLAND® California

Holiday Snow Days tickets now available! - LEGOLAND California and SEA LIFE Aquarium

Permalink 11/21/14 10:27, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Happenings

Our Gift to You

November 1, 2014 - January 4, 2015!

Receive a FREE ticket to return when you visit LEGOLAND between November 1, 2014 and January 4, 2015.  Present any paid admission ticket at the Our Gift To You kiosk inside the Park, and receive a ticket to return to LEGOLAND California and SEA LIFE Aquarium between January 5 - March 1, 2015.*

* You must request your free return ticket on the day of your paid visit. Free tickets valid only between January 5 - March 1, 2015. Additional restrictions may apply.


Don't forget to join us for our holiday events.

Holiday Snow Days tickets now available!

As we prepare to welcome Shabbat, our hearts and minds are with our brothers and sisters in Jerusalem - Chabad Jewish Center of Laguna Niguel

Permalink 11/21/14 10:21, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Religions, Commentary

Chabad Jewish Center of Laguna Niguel

Email: chabadln@sbcglobal.net

Phone: 949-831-8475



A word from the Rabbi


Dear friend,

This weekend, Chabad rabbis (Shluchim) from around the world gather in Brooklyn for the annual international convention at the Lubavitch World Headquarters.

It is incredibly uplifting and heartwarming to see the thousands of Chabad Rabbis from around the globe representing their communities worldwide.

The energy is infectious, one can readily feel how the Rebbe's work is alive and increasing rapidly throughout the world.

The annual banquet culminating the convention will be streaming live on our website this Sunday - Click here to tune in at 2:00 PM (Pacific Time) to be a part of an extraordinary evening like none other!

With thousands of Chabad Rabbis along with hundreds of friends, partners and supporters of Chabad worldwide - the energy in the room is electrifying. It's worth the watch!

As we prepare to welcome Shabbat, our hearts and minds are with our brothers and sisters in Jerusalem.

What happened this past week in Jerusalem is beyond our understanding. Innocent fathers with large families, brutally butchered by terrorists as they were in Shul praying with their Talis and Tefilin.

For what? Simply for being Jew.

Congregants have asked me "what can I do?” I don't have all the answers, but what I do know is that we need to show ourselves and the world how proud we are to be Jewish.

We know that a little light has the power to dispel great darkness. This Friday night, thousands of Women across the globe will light the Shabbat candle.

A candle for the souls that have left their families too soon. A candle to flicker and show the world that Am Yisroel Chai. The time for candle lighting this week is 4:27pm. When you light your candle tonight, recite a prayer.

Pray for the safety of our Brothers and Sisters in the holy land. Pray for the 26 orphans and their Mothers (living on one block) that need a lot of strength to continue.

Most of all, pray for the ultimate time of peace, for the coming of Moshiach ,when there will be no war, hunger, pain and suffering anymore.

Our tears will turn to joy as we will dance together in the streets of Jerusalem, may it be speedily now!!

Wishing you a good shabbos and a happier week ahead.

Shabbat Shalom!
Rabbi Mendy Paltiel

P.S. Join us on for Shabbat prayers beginning at 10am, followed by Kiddush lunch at 12:30.



Permalink 11/21/14 10:04, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Charitable

Vets hospital 012.jpg

Elk Vickey Long, Vet Rick Rodriguez and Elk Sandie McClure



November 10, 2014, Nine members from Mission Viejo Elks Lodge brought smiles, refreshments, clothing, toiletries, lap robes and a good time to those vets who could make it down to the assembly room to share in Bingo and friendship.  The Elks Orange Coast District shares this visitation with its ten lodges, two each going to the event once a month.

Vets hospital 060.jpg

Vickey Long, Vet Romulo Torres and Vets Chairman Dennis Lumley


The veterans appreciate needed clothing and toiletries that are donated, but probably enjoy  most the company and contact of visitors that care for their well being and are willing to share time and companionship with them.

Veterans Chairman, Dennis Lumley, said that several of the veterans stopped them to say thank you for caring, thank you for coming, which is all that is needed for the Elks to come together again for the next visitation. “Elks Care, Elks Share”

Members in attendance November 10th were: Mission Viejo residents Dennis Lumley, Sandie McClure, Lloyd  & Carole Bryan, and Mark Sherling, Mike & Vicki Long of Dove Canyon, Kathy Andrews, and Daniel Hernandez of Lake Forest. Also attending was Orange Coast District Veterans Chairman Harvey Langham.


Mission Viejo/Saddleback Valley Elks Lodge #2444 is celebrating 44 years of service to Saddleback Valley Communities. It is one of 10 lodges in the Orange Coast District of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) whose headquarters is in Chicago, Illinois. The BPOE is a charitable organization with a 146 history of giving. "Elks Care Elks Share."


Andy Costello
2014-15 CHEA Public Relations Chairman
Mission Viejo, Saddleback Valley Lodge #2444





The producers of DR. SEUSS’ HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! THE MUSICAL have announced that Stefan Karl will star as The Grinch at Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Permalink 11/21/14 09:06, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: The Arts

Casting Announced for the Holiday Classic

December 10 – 14, 2014 
at Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Hailed by The New York Times as “100 times better than any bedside story,” this classic holiday musical will enchant adults and children alike when it makes its Orange County premiere December 10 – 14, 2014.

Bob Lauder returns for his fifth GRINCH tour as Old Max, and Andreas Wyder shares the stage as Young Max.

The holiday-loving Whos are played by Isabella Burke (Annie Who), Vincent DiPeri (Papa Who), Riley Glick (Annie Who), Raleigh Shuck/Aviva Winick (Cindy-Lou Who), David Thornton (Grandpa Who), Katy Vaughn (Grandma Who) and Melissa Weisbach (Mama Who).



Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Nuclear Comics & Skate Shop Celebrates 20th Anniversary at Grand Opening of New Location

Permalink 11/21/14 09:03, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Happenings, Business

Nuclear Comics & Skate Shop is celebrating the Grand Opening of their new location in Laguna Hills with a big sale on December 5, 6, and 7.

This event will feature some big name comic artists doing signings and sketches throughout the weekend.

Artists who have appeared at past events include Drew Johnson (DC Comics), Dave Johnson (Batman), Amy Mebberson (Disney), ROCOM and Tio Lavranos. The new shop is located at 24741 Alicia Parkway, Suite J., in Laguna Hills.


December 1 marks the 20th anniversary of the opening of Nuclear Comics & Skate Shop, which just completed the move from its original location in Laguna Niguel.

In honor of the anniversary, free comics will be given out throughout the day on Saturday, December 6.

The shop boasts the widest selection of comics in all of Orange County and has regular customers coming from San Diego to Los Angeles. The shop also is a full service skateboard shop.


“We are excited to bring this unique blend of comics and skateboarding to the Laguna Hills community,’ reports owner Kenny Jacobs. “Comics have permeated so many aspects of our daily lives, from movies and television shows, and they offer something for all ages. We sell comics to everyone from business executives to families who enjoy the visual appeal of the graphic images.”


Nuclear Comics & Skate Shop also has a significant web presence on Facebook through Instagram & Twitter @nuclearcomics.


Kenny Jacobs

Fun concert features unique arrangements of holiday favorites - Laguna Woods Saturday, December 13th, 7p.m. Clubhouse 3 Theater

Permalink 11/21/14 09:00, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Schools, The Arts

Feast of Lights 2014.jpg


Big Band Holiday Jazz Concert at Laguna Woods

Laguna Woods, CA  -- The Jazz Studies program at Saddleback College is pleased to bring a new holiday tradition to Laguna Woods. On Saturday, December 13th at 7p.m., in the Clubhouse 3 Theater, the Saddleback College Big Band, under the direction of Joey Sellers, presents their Holiday Jazz Concert. This fun concert features unique arrangements of holiday favorites, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to introduce those of all ages to the great American music called jazz. This lively concert for the whole family features a sing-along, some humor, and music that will lighten the hearts for all in the theater.


Tickets are $10, $8 and $5.  Call the Laguna Woods Village Clubhouse 3 ticket office at 949-597-4288 to order tickets.


The Saddleback Big Band is a standard size big band that explores wide stylistic territory. From the great Swing Era music of Earl Fatha Hines, Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson through the exotic voyages of Sun Ra, the rich textures of Gil Evans to music penned moments prior to performance, this engaging ensemble always thrills. Most concerts feature a world premier combined with music of swinging historical importance. Guest artists have included Bill Holman, Ron Stout, James Moody, Jerry Pinter, Tony Malaby, Mark Helias, and Roberta Piket among others. Though the Big Band enjoys playing at its home in the beautiful McKinney Theatre at Saddleback College, they are also frequently the featured ensemble at jazz festivals and jazz venues throughout the Southland.


Located in Mission Viejo, Saddleback College provides quality higher education and training to the greater south Orange County community.  Having served more than 500,000 students since 1968, Saddleback College offers over 300 degree and certificate programs to help students reach their personal, career, and educational goals.  For more information, please visit www.saddleback.edu and for Fine Arts information, please visit www.saddleback.edu/arts.




David E. Anderson, Jr.

Director, Audience Development

Division of Fine Arts & Media Technology

Saddleback College

One lucky child selected each night through LEGOLAND California Resort’s Facebook Page will light the LEGO Christmas tree Dec. 4 through Dec. 24

Permalink 11/20/14 16:24, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Happenings

Shine up your skates and grab your mittens! LEGOLAND® California Resort is getting its outdoor gear ready for its annual winter celebration, Holiday Snow Days and Winter Nights.


Save up to $15 + 2nd Day FREE - the earlier you book online the less you pay.

The winter fun kicks off November 22, 2014 and runs through January 4, 2015 with more than 50 tons of real snow, a new ice rink, festive treats, holiday entertainment and family fun activities.

During Holiday Snow Days and Winter Nights, the Park’s Fun Town transforms into a winter wonderland featuring 7-foot tall snow-covered tube runs for children to slide down and a snow-play area where families can throw snowballs at LEGO® themed targets and build snowmen using LEGO accessories.

Plus, new this year, guests can enjoy gliding on ice at the Resort’s ice rink located in front of the ticket plaza for additional fee. Park guests can also sing along with holiday entertainment including live music featuring LEGO Friends Live, Jingle Jammers, the Big Test Holiday show and the Holiday Character Dance Party.

Holiday Snow Days continues with the annual LEGO Christmas tree lighting event and concludes with San Diego’s biggest Kids’ New Year’s Eve Party on Dec. 31.

On Dec. 1, with the of help Santa and special celebrity guests, the Resort’s LEGO Christmas tree will officially light-up the night during the 12th annual Tree Lighting Ceremony.  The 30-foot tall Christmas tree is created out of more than 245,000 forest green DUPLO® bricks and is adorned with more than 400 LEGO ornaments.

One lucky child selected each night through LEGOLAND California Resort’s Facebook Page will light the LEGO Christmas tree Dec. 4 through Dec. 24.

Fireworks spark each night Dec. 26 through Dec. 31 at 7 p.m. The best view to see the festive fireworks display is in the Park’s Fun Town. Don’t miss a stroll through Miniland U.S.A which is decorated for the season with LEGO holiday scenes including Santa arriving on top of the White House in Washington, D.C.

LEGOLAND California Resort is also featuring holiday treats including hot chocolate, warm spiced apple cider, churros, holiday cookies, Bratwurst and Knockwurst baguettes, and buttery mash potatoes.

Also new this year, guests can enjoy s’more kits to roast their own s’mores over fire pits while watching everyone ice skate. All delicious treats are available for purchase throughout the celebration and s’more’s can be found by the ice rink in front of the Park’s ticket plaza.

SEA LIFE® Aquarium joins in the holiday fun with an underwater LEGO Christmas tree, holiday-themed Daily Dive Show and a ‘green’ crafting event. The LEGOLAND® Hotel is also getting in the holiday spirit with nightly entertainment, daily holiday-themed LEGO model build contests and holiday décor exclusive to Hotel guests.

New this year, guests can enjoy a paid Ultimate Snow Days VIP Experience from Nov. 22, 2014 – Jan. 4, 2015 or a VIP Holiday Breakfast Experience every Saturday and Sunday in December and every day from Dec. 21, 2014 – Jan. 3, 2015.

The celebration concludes on Dec. 31, 2014 with Kids’ New Year’s Eve, the biggest annual family-friendly party allowing kids to ring in 2014 without missing their bedtime! Like the famous ball dropping in Times Square, Kids’ New Year’s Eve rocks the night with special musical performances by Grammy-nominated artists who will count down the seconds until a huge LEGO brick drops from 22-feet in the air launching a spectacular fireworks display at 6 p.m.

LEGOLAND California Resort is extending its Park hours for the winter holiday during these dates: Nov. 28, 29, 30, Dec. 6, 13, 20 - 23 and 26 - 31.

LEGOLAND California Resort is offering a gift for holiday guests; From Nov. 1 through Jan. 4, 2015, buy a one day admission to LEGOLAND California and return a second day to LEGOLAND California and SEA LIFE Aquarium for free between Jan. 5, 2015 and March 1, 2015.

All Holiday Snow Days and Winter Nights activities located inside the Park are included in the price of a LEGOLAND California admission ticket. Tickets for the ice rink, located between the ticket booths and LEGOLAND Hotel, are sold separately. Both VIP Experiences must be purchased separately by calling (760)-918-5398.  

For more Holiday Snow Days information, visit www.LEGOLAND.com or call (760) 918-LEGO (5346).

Adopt-A-Family program makes holidays brighter

Permalink 11/20/14 14:18, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Charitable

Photo of gifts for kidsMake the holidays merrier for some families of the City’s adopted Headquarters Battalion of the 1st Marine Division through the “Adopt-A-Marine Family” program.

The program provides holiday gifts and cheer for a specific Marine family at Camp Pendleton. The Adopt-A-Marine program is a great way for individuals, schools, organizations, businesses and churches to give back to those who serve and protect our country.

For more information, call 949-470-3061 or e-mailrecreation@cityofmissionviejo.org by December 8.




Kelly Tokarski

City of Mission Viejo

Public Information Specialist



Behind-the-scenes excursion to Camp Pendleton Dec. 2

Permalink 11/20/14 14:13, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Happenings

Marines1Marines on baseIf you’ve ever wanted to experience the life of a Marine behind the scenes, register today for a special excursion to Camp Pendleton on Tuesday, December 2.



The City’s Marine Adoption Committee is offering the public a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to Camp Pendleton for an up-close and personal look at Marine life. The excursion is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.



Cost is $20 and includes the round-trip bus ride and lunch. Space is limited, so early registration is encouraged.

For more information and to register, call Bruce Hunt at 949-457-2357.



Kelly Tokarski

City of Mission Viejo

Public Information Specialist


Abandoned kitty is ready for his forever home

Permalink 11/20/14 14:11, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Charitable

hefeweizen croppedHefeweizen, a.k.a. “Hef,” was abandoned  in a cat carrier at the door of a local business.  When Mission Viejo Animal Services picked him up, he was not a happy camper but who could blame him?

After a few days at the Animal Services Center, this 2-year-old tabby began to warm up to staff.  Now, Hef is friendly and affectionate.  He loves attention and will wrap himself around your legs to get it.  He is also very active and enjoys playing with his catnip mice and pretending to be a  hunter.

Hef is ready to find a forever home, so drop by the Mission Viejo Animal Services Center at 28095 Hillcrest to meet Hef today.

For more information, visit www.cmvas.org or call 949-470-3045.

Kelly Tokarski

City of Mission Viejo

Public Information Specialist

Longtime library assistant set to retire next month

Permalink 11/20/14 14:08, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Happenings

Janet SeavyLongtime library assistant Janet Seavey is set to retire next month after more than a decade working at the Mission Viejo Library.

Janet started working here in 2001 as an assistant library clerk. In that role, she worked at the front desk handling library patrons’ check out, library cards and fielding questions about services.  A year later, she began working as a passport services agent.

“Janet’s attention to detail was the perfect fit to work as a passport acceptance agent,” said supervisor Kathleen Kelton.

In 2004, Janet was promoted to mailings and transmittal duties of passports, and four years later she moved up to library assistant/passports.  Janet has been responsible for overseeing agents, training volunteers, keeping Mission Viejo’s passport office in compliance each year with the Los Angeles office, and monitoring the process and mailings of passport applications.

“At last count, since the program’s inception in 1998, the library and its agents have brought in more than $2.4 million in passport acceptance fees and $480,600 from photography services,” Kelton said. ”So far, revenue totaling $3 million has been collected by the agents.”

Along with being an exceptional employee, Janet is known by co-workers as a generous, kind and conscientious person. She also makes the best cookies and pot of coffee on the planet.

After she retires, Janet will spend time researching her family’s genealogy, making cookies for friends, volunteering and reading.


Kelly Tokarski

City of Mission Viejo

Public Information Specialist

Save the date for Chamber of Commerce holiday mixer Dec. 18

Permalink 11/20/14 14:05, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Business

Chamber MixerThe Mission Viejo Chamber of Commerce will host a casino-themed holiday mixer on Thursday, December 18 at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center, 24932 Veterans Way.

Guests to the 5:30 p.m. mixer can enjoy blackjack, craps and roulette with play money and chips along with free refreshments from Mountain Mike’s, Paradise Cafe and Bakery and Coldstone Creamery.  Beer and wine will be available for purchase from the High Park Tap House.

In the spirit of the holidays, the chamber has teamed up with the nonprofit California Elder Care Referral Service to support needy seniors.  An angel tree will be on display for folks to select an ornament with a specific wish list item needed by a local senior.  Donors will be rewarded with extra gambling chips in exchange for each $20 donation made to the California Elder Care Referral Service.

Mixers are free for chamber members; $10 general admission.  Visit www.missionviejochamber.com to RSVP or call 949-470-8409 for more information.


Kelly Tokarski

City of Mission Viejo

Public Information Specialist

‘R. HERO’ Dalmatian sculpture dedication Saturday, Nov. 22

Permalink 11/20/14 14:03, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Charitable

R Hero dogThe City of Mission Viejo will host a special public dedication and unveiling of the new “R. HERO” sculpture at La Paws Dog Park on Saturday, November 22. The dedication is from 10 a.m. to noon at 25100 Felipe Road.

The 6-foot high, 150-pound purple “R. HERO” Dalmatian aluminum sculpture now sits at the entry to La Paws Park.

The sculpture is a donation from Bunni and Rick Benaron as part of The Hero In You Foundation, which honors first responders and will serve as a reminder of the sacrifices firefighters, police officers, paramedics and military service personnel make, while inspiring future generations to become heroes.

The City of Mission Viejo is home to one of 20 unique “R.HERO” sculptures across the country. The sculptures serve as public art displays at fire and police stations, children’s hospitals, children’s museums and other public venues.

Hosted by the Mission Viejo Cultural Arts Committee and Mission Viejo Friends of the Arts, the dedication ceremony will feature pet vendors, representatives from the Orange County Fire Authority and Orange County Sheriff’s Department, free refreshments and crafts for families. The public is invited.

Firefighters, police officers, paramedics and military members should RSVP to Dru Maurer atdmaurer@cityofmissionviejo.org.


Kelly Tokarski

City of Mission Viejo

Public Information Specialist

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