Posts Tagged ‘Holiday’

Fun Fall Activities for the Kids

Monday, October 20th, 2014
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Although California’s warm weather continues, there is the unmistakable feeling of Fall in the air. While we don’t have the same explosion of color that the trees in New England have, our incredible growing climate allows the Monterey Peninsula to have Halloween themed farms and events aplenty this time of year. The kids and especially their parents will be especially thrilled to have so many options within such a short distance.

For a good old fashioned Halloween experience, check out Swank Farms in Hollister or Borchard Farms in Salinas. Swank Farms offers an over the top bevy of Halloween activities including a fantastic corn maze that becomes a haunted event at night and a more relaxed pumpkin patch. It also offers an interactive Kiddy Corral as well as a Pumpkin Catapult and Corn Ear Cannon, bouncy elements and a fully stocked snack shack and store. Check the website for the most current schedule of events and tickets and be prepared to be haunted!

Borchard Farms, home of the giant pumpkins also offers a family friendly corn maze, a spooky ghost town, a haunted barn and a petting zoo for kids of all ages. The ghost town is perfect for the little ones as it is 10 and under only and includes pumpkin bounce houses, a haystack maze, a leap the pumpkins game and plenty of Halloween photo op areas.  The haunted barn is a bit scarier and is great for your older ghosts and goblins.  Both Swank and Borchard Farms are also great for picking up pumpkins and decorations for your home or office.

A more relaxed family experience can be found at Earthbound Farms in Carmel Valley. The organic farm offers a wide range of regular and specialty pumpkins amongst a tranquil setting. The farm includes an expansive selection of other organic fruit and vegetables, as well as premade food and other offerings made on site including ice cream, soft serve and other kitchen goodies. The farm stands also include a cut your own herd garden and a walking labyrinth and an interactive kid’s garden with touchable foliage.

If you’ve already got your fill of farm, you can enjoy the thrill of a pirate’s treasure hunt at the Portola Hotel & Spa in Monterey. The Portola Hotel’s Pirates Program is a great way to engage your little buccaneer while at the hotel and emerge them into a world of high-seas adventure. Guests of the hotel from 3-12 years old can participate for free and will receive a Portola Pirate Bag and a self-guided treasure map so you can hunt for buried treasure.

Or, you can visit Downtown Pacific Grove on October 25th, 2014 for a free family friendly trick or treating event. Between 10am-4pm costumed kids and a responsible adult are invited to take to the streets of Pacific Grove and enjoy candy and toys given out at participating businesses while being entertained by musicians throughout downtown.

There is no shortage of Halloween events throughout the Monterey Peninsula. On your October visit, don’t have a fright, have fun and enjoy the spooktacular times today!

Ice Skating by the Bay – Monterey on Ice!

Thursday, December 26th, 2013
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Temperatures are dropping and the snow is falling???

It’s time to lace up those skates and let the winter adventures abound! Well maybe this is true for the folks up in the mountains, but here at sea level, we marvel at a different scene, that of the rugged Monterey Peninsula coastline.  In Monterey we don’t wait for winter to show up, we make the winter wonderland ourselves.

Ice Skating by the Bay brings on the chill, setting up shop at the Custom House Plaza, providing the perfect holiday outing for the whole family.  Set among historic adobes and Old Fisherman’s Wharf, Skating by the Bay is here to help you celebrate the holidays amid a picturesque backdrop like no other.  Whether ice skating is your cup of cocoa, or you just enjoy spectating, Ice Skating by the Bay is set in the perfect location to view the breathtaking ocean, excited passers-by, and jubilant skaters, all the while sipping on your favorite warm beverage.

Found just outside of the Portola’s doors, Ice Skating by the Bay is the perfect outing for guests at the hotel.  Right outside the front door lies a world of wintery excitement and fun to be had.  That’s why Portola is offering a winter package fit for the ice skater within.  Skate for free this holiday season when staying at our hotel; this ultimate family package incudes a one night stay plus ice skating for two.  I guarantee that the time will virtually glide by when you spend it at the Portola, so grab your scarf and grab your gloves; this is a nippy adventure that you won’t want to miss!

November 22nd  through January, 5th, Ice Skating by the Bay is open Monday through Saturday from 11am-10pm, and Sunday from 12pm-8pm, you can learn more online at www.iceskatingbythebay.com/, and visit the Portola’s website to learn more about this fantastic winter package.

Holiday Cookies That Will Make You Smile!

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013
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For me there is no better sign that the holidays have arrived than wintery cookies!   I’m not sure if it’s the taste, the sensory memories, the smell – well just all of it – but holiday cookies baking in an oven bring a smile to my face (and my kiddos)!

Here is one of my favorites created by my friends at the Portola Hotel & Spa!  So make a dozen, two or three and celebrate the season with family and good friends!

Wishing you peace, love & happiness this holiday season!

 

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Ingredients

  • ¾ c. butter, softened
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ c. molasses
  • 2 tsp. white vinegar
  • 3¾ c. flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbs. + 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees
  2. In a bowl, beat together butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy
  3. Add eggs and mix well + don’t forget to scrape the sides
  4. Add the molasses
  5. Add the vinegar and blend again until everything is combined well
  6. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda; blend together
  7. Add the pumpkin pie spice; right about now, your kitchen will start smelling amazing
  8. Now, add the flour mixture a small amount at a time to the wet mixture until you have it fully combined
  9. Using a cookie scoop, drop balls onto a prepared baking sheet
  10. Now, sprinkle lightly with sugar.
  11. Bake 9-10 minutes

Yields: 4 dozen

Ice Skating by the Bay – Monterey on Ice!

Friday, November 22nd, 2013
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Temperatures are dropping and the snow is falling???

It’s time to lace up those skates and let the winter adventures abound! Well maybe this is true for the folks up in the mountains, but here at sea level, we marvel at a different scene, that of the rugged Monterey Peninsula coastline.  In Monterey we don’t wait for winter to show up, we make the winter wonderland ourselves.

Ice Skating by the Bay brings on the chill, setting up shop at the Custom House Plaza, providing the perfect holiday outing for the whole family.  Set among historic adobes and Old Fisherman’s Wharf, Ice Skating by the Bay is here to help you celebrate the holidays amid a picturesque backdrop like no other.  Whether ice skating is your cup of cocoa, or you just enjoy spectating, Ice Skating by the Bay is set in the perfect location to view the breathtaking ocean, excited passers-by, and jubilant skaters, all the while sipping on your favorite warm beverage.

Found just outside of the Portola’s doors, Ice Skating by the Bay is the perfect outing for guests at the hotel.  Right outside the front door lies a world of wintery excitement and fun to be had.  That’s why Portola is offering a winter package fit for the ice skater within.  This holiday season enjoy Portola Hotel’s Winter Ice Skating Package. This ultimate getaway package includes a one night stay plus ice skating for two.  I guarantee that the time will virtually glide by when you spend it at the Portola, so grab your scarf and grab your gloves; this is a nippy adventure that you won’t want to miss!

November 22nd  through January, 5th, Ice Skating by the Bay is open Monday through Saturday from 11am-10pm, and Sunday from 12pm-8pm, you can learn more online at www.iceskatingbythebay.com, and visit the Portola’s website to learn more about this fantastic Winter Ice Skating Package.

Gearing Up for Winter

Monday, November 11th, 2013
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It’s that time of year again, the most wonderful time of the year!  And while some of us have been humming Christmas carols since last December, we think it’s about time to start getting in the spirit!

This year, you need look no further than the beautiful Monterey Peninsula to gear up and get ready to haul out some holly and deck the halls! Sure it’s no winter wonderland, but who needs the messy snow anyway?  There’s no better way to escape the hustle and bustle of busy cities, or forget the stress of home than planning your winter getaway in lovely Monterey.

Neighbored by sweet Pacific Grove, one of America’s last hometowns, and cozy Carmel-by-the-sea, a romantic and charming destination like no other, the Peninsula is guaranteed to be a little slice of holiday heaven.  Be dazzled by the twinkling lights and breathtaking sights of Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, decked out for the holidays; marvel at the several-story-high, elegantly dressed, Christmas tree towering over Carmel Plaza, or let the charm of decorated historic downtown Monterey fill you up with holiday cheer.

The holidays on the Monterey Peninsula offer fun and excitement for the whole family.  On December 6 and 7, from 5-9pm, the California State Parks holds its Annual Christmas in the Adobes, an event celebrating the history and holiday traditions that make Monterey so special.  Participants tour over 20 historic adobes by night and enjoy entertainment and refreshment along the way.  As for the young ones, the local area is nothing short of magical, at Pacific Grove’s Caledonia Park on December 7th during the 20th Annual Stillwell’s Fun in the Park.  Transforming the park into a winter wonderland, this annual event features a day of fun and entertainment for the whole family amid the beautifully decorated park, complete with twinkling lights and a visit from Santa himself aboard a shiny fire truck. And don’t miss Santa make another grand entrance via helicopter during the Carmel Valley Chamber of Commerce’s 55th Annual Santa-Fly in on December 14th.

Don’t let the season pass you by without experiencing the magic of the Monterey Peninsula throughout the winter season.