Get Out of the House


Snowless Ski Week

By Rebecca Meekma


Back east, skiing is a sport for tough people. 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 mountainless 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, the buying and the ski week crowds. And we make the decision to stay where we can smell low tide.

But that doesn’t mean we stay at home. There will be a day or two when the girls blissfully sleep in past 6:40 and lounge around the house watching TV. That kind of chill, down day is something we all look forward to. But the other days, we’ll be taking advantage of places that make snowless So Cal the place to be over break.

Here are some suggestions for a Ski Week that doesn’t revolve around snow.

For some family fun: The Harlem Globetrotters at the Honda Center on Saturday, Feb. 18. Meadowlark Lemon and Curly Neal  may not be on the team any longer, but this season sees a girl Globetrotter takes to the court. 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, Feb. 24, and is sure to be a great theater introduction for younger family members. Tickets are $18 and $20.


On Sunday, Feb. 26, head down to San Juan Capistrano for the Kid’s Pet Parade, part of town’s annual Fiesta de las Golondrinas. 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 any San Diego museum, including 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 admission prices, these savings can really add up.

So, get out of the house this February and try something new.


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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