Get Out of the House


Say No To Skiing

Back east, skiing is a sport for tough people. It is cold out. I mean really cold. Conditions are usually granular; powder is unheard of. Basically, you are skidding down a hill of slick snow (um, ice), trying to stay warm. Sure, you can have fun while you’re doing it, but it’s a totally different experience from skiing out West. When I finally skied Tahoe, it was as if the snow angels sung as temperatures were warm enough to ski in a fleece (unzipped!), never mind the neck gator, hat and pocket warmers I was used to, the snow was light and fluffy and we could sit outside in the sun and have a drink on the deck after a few runs. Crazy!

“Ski Week,” officially known as Mid-Winter Break, is around the corner, and for many Laguna families, that means the annual pilgrimage to Mammoth. But not us, as I gave up skiing several years ago and husband never really developed a love for it growing up in mountain-less Wisconsin. Sometimes I feel for my girls that at 7 and 9 they haven’t tried it yet, but all I can think about is the lugging, and the buying, the ski week crowds, and, did I mention the lugging and buying? And we make the decision to stay where we can smell low tide.

But that doesn’t mean we stay at home staring at the walls. Sure, there will be a day or two when the girls blissfully sleep in past 6:40 and lounge around the house, watching TV, playing Wii until their dad or I order them outside to scooter or catch lizards, but that kind of chill, down day is something they need, something they look forward to. Correction: something we all look forward to. But the other days, we’ll be taking advantage of the time off, checking out some events and places that make snow-less So Cal the place to be over break.

For all the families not skiing in February, here are some suggestions for a Ski Week that doesn’t revolve around snow.

For some real family-fun: Check out the Harlem Globetrotters at the Honda Center on Saturday, February 18. I haven’t been since I was a kid and I’m really looking forward to taking the girls to see the performance/game. Meadowlark Lemon and Curly Neal (you know you remember them) may not be on the team any longer, but this season sees a girl Globetrotter take to the court for the first time in19 years! I’m humming the music already. And, I’ve got four tickets to give-away. The first person who emails me for them gets them!

We went to Medieval Times in Buena Park last summer and had a blast: we wore the paper crowns, ate with our hands, booed the evil knight and cheered our section’s knight to (almost) victory. A new show has just debuted, filled with more horse stunts, skilled riding and fighting than ever before. And the nice people at MT have offered a family-four pack of tickets – good any (k)night in February, including Ski Week – to one of my readers. First person to email me gets them.

This winter has been a banner season for whale watching. Not only have California Gray Whales been spotted nearly every day, but a pod of Orcas hung out just off shore for a few weeks. Don’t miss our local sea life: dolphins and sea lions can put on a good show, too! Take a two-hour trip out of Dana Point with Dana Wharf on any Tuesday and pay 2-for-1. Sounds like a deal!

Fairy Tales: Hansel and Gretel and Cinderella opens at the Playhouse on Friday, February 24 and is sure to be a great theater introduction for younger family-members. Just make sure they can sit still. Tickets are $18 and $20.

On Sunday, February 26 head down to San Juan Capistrano for the Kid’s Pet Parade, part of SJC’s annual Fiesta de las Golondrinas. I keep threatening to take our cat Trouble to a pet contest, but I don’t think he would enjoy it, even though I know he’d win Handsomest Pet. Does your lizard travel well? Enter him or her in the competition. Or maybe stick to canine competitors.

Or go explore: February is Museum Month in San Diego. Stop by any Macy’s in San Diego County and pick up a Museum Pass which gives you and up to three guests 50% off admission at pretty much any San Diego Museum you would ever want to visit, including The San Diego Air & Space Museum, The New Children’s Museum and Old Town Historical State Park. The pass is reusable, so you can score all month long once you’ve picked it up. Considering how high admission prices have gone at some institutions, these savings can really add up.

So, get out of the house this February, try something new, , no worries, I’ve heard conditions aren’t great this season.


Rebecca Meekma is that friend who always knows something fun to do, and the Calendar Editor at Parenting OC magazine. Reach her at [email protected].



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