Archives For Maruska

Future Park at Bower’s Kidseum

Maruska —  October 16, 2017

Looking for a unique museum experience? Bower’s Kidseum’s new interactive exhibit, “Future Park” is your answer!

Now through January 15th, 2017 your kids can roll brightly over-sized balls to make a symphony of sounds, use blocks to create a town on a large scale digital model, or play hopscotch on an interactive path. They can also color pictures of cars, buses, rockets, or buildings and scan them into a wall to floor reactive picture. Then, they can scan the same picture and make a 3-D paper-craft model to take home!

There’s also the usual Kidseum fun: face painting, drum playing, green screen adventures, and more. This exhibit is unlike any we’ve ever been to and definitely worth checking out.

Click here for more information.

Kelly, Blog Contributor

About the Author
Kelly and her husband have two boys, ages 5 and 7. She loves taking her boys on adventures around Southern California that focus on learning, getting their wiggles out, and having fun! When she isn’t fulfilling her mommy duties she teaches at a local elementary school and community college. 

Last weekend, we had a chance to visit the Pirate’s Dinner Adventure to watch their Halloween-themed Vampirate’s show! What an exciting evening!

The show was filled with sword fights, gun shots, cannon blasts, romance, singing, stunt performances, and special effects as Captain Sebastian the Black’s crew of “Vampire Pirates” attempted to defeat the Vampire Hunter. There were also lots of aerial acrobatics which I didn’t expect and made the experience even more spectacular.

Kids and adults in costume even got to go on stage to participate in a costume contest for a chance to win a prize. And last but not least, during this engaging evening, we got to enjoy a tasty 4-course feast! An evening my kids wont’ forget anytime soon!


The doors open 90 minutes before the show time printed on your ticket. During this time you check-in and get the opportunity to buy a bandana ($3) or a flag ($4) in a preassigned color. This color will determine which pirate you are going to cheer for. One hour before the show they will serve free appetizers. If you don’t care for appetizers, you don’t need to get there so early, but I would advise to arrive at least 30 minutes earlier to enjoy a fun pre-show. 

Note that seating is pre-assigned when you make reservations so you don’t have to worry about getting there early to get the best seat. I am not sure which section is the best to sit in, but I can say that the orange one had a great unobstructed view of the show. So maybe, when you make reservations ask for the orange section.

Show Setting

An authentically replicated 18th-century Spanish galleon measuring 46 feet long, 18 feet wide with 40-foot masts is anchored in a 250,000-gallon indoor lagoon with night sky lighting. Surrounding the lagoon is a six-sided showroom of six additional “ships” where the audience is seated and will enjoy the action-packed dinner show. 

Photo Credit: Pirate’s Dinner Adventure

Vampirate’s Show

Right now through October 31st, you can experience the Vampirate’s show which is even more exciting than their regular show. This special event also includes a costume contest with prizes (weekends only) so make sure to dress up for the occasion.

It is up to your discretion to decide if this event is right for your kids since this Halloween event might be too spooky for them. It is actually not scary and there were many very young kids in the audience who just cheered for their vampirate, but you know your kid the best. If your kids think a pirate with sharp teeth looks too scary, then this show might not be a perfect fit for your family.


Served during the show, enjoy a fresh garden salad with house dressing or a vegetable soup. The entree for adults was roasted chicken, shrimp and vegetable skewers, buttery mashed potatoes, and mixed vegetables. Tres leches cake drizzled with chocolate or a strawberry Slushie for dessert. Soft drinks and coffee are also included.  

The kid’s meal includes breaded chicken nuggets, mac-and-cheese, fruit and dessert.

Vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free meals are also available upon request. 

I have to say we had the best waitress who kept offering us additional food. So my husband actually ate three pieces of roasted chicken, I got an additional shrimp skewers and my kids got to eat the cake and drink the Slushie. I am not sure if bottomless chicken is always part of the deal or we were just lucky.

Photo Credit: Pirate’s Dinner Adventure

After the Show

After dinner and a climactic vampirate’s battle, every guest is invited to “get up close and personal” with the stars of the show through photo opportunities and autographs.

Rates and Discounts for PlanADayOut Readers:

  • Right now, through October 31st, 2017, PlanADayOut readers can purchase tickets at $32.95 for adults/$26.95 for children (plus taxes and fees) by using the discount code DAYOUT. Buy your ticket here.
  • Ages 2 and under are always free if the child is seated on the lap of a parent.
  • Free admission on your birthday with the purchase of one adult admission ticket. Click here for more info.
  • Parking is free.

Buy Tickets:

To buy your tickets call 866-439-2469 or visit their website here. Make sure to let them know if you have any dietary restrictions.

Address & Website:

Pirates Dinner Adventure
7600 Beach Boulevard
Buena Park, CA 90620

Photo Credit: Pirate’s Dinner Adventure

I can’t wait to kick off the holiday season with a visit to the Irvine Park Railroad’s annual Christmas Train where you can hop on a one-third scale train that will take you through historic Irvine Regional Park to meet Santa at the North Pole.

Kids can share their list with Santa and have their photo taken with him too. Then you board the train again and, on your ride back, you can enjoy the colorful Christmas lights and decorations as well as the magical “Tunnel of Lights”. This is definitely one of my favorite family tradition!



$15 per person. Children younger than 24 months ride free. Christmas train tickets can only be purchased online starting November 1st. I highly recommend purchasing your tickets immediately since this event sells out very fast.

Purchase Tickets:

Christmas Train tickets may be purchased to ride the train at a specific date and time — get in line and board the train any time during the hour for which you purchased tickets. Tickets may be purchased online ONLY starting November 1st, 2017. To purchase Christmas train tickets, click here.


Other Activities:

While waiting to board the train, there are many activities for children to enjoy in Santa’s Village located next to the train station. Activities will open when the Christmas Train runs and include:

  • Story Time with Mrs. Claus (free)
  • Frosty’s Maze (free)
  • Christmas Coloring Corner (free)
  • Picture Stands (free)
  • Christmas Cookie Decorating ($5)
  • Carnival Games ($5)
  • Ice Fishing ($5)
  • Santa Claus Moon Bounce ($5)
  • Rudolph Racers ($5)

At the North Pole, visitors may purchase coffee, hot chocolate, freshly-popped popcorn, hot pretzels and cookies from the Santa’s Snack Shop. A full kitchen menu is also available at the train station.


Picture with Santa:

Visitors may take their own pictures with Santa for free or you may purchase a picture taken by Irvine Park Railroad for $10. Each 5” x 7” photo will be presented with an Irvine Park Railroad border and available for pickup shortly after being taken.


The Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train is open beginning Friday, December 1st through Saturday, December 23rd, 2017. Please visit their web site for hours.



Parking is $3 on weekdays and $5 on weekends. However, parking is free for all visitors after 5 pm.


Irvine Park Railroad, 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, 92869

Giveaway Details

This month we have an amazing giveaway, courtesy of the Irvine Park Railroad.  For a chance to win, visit our Facebook page here, and leave a comment below our post about this giveaway. The winner will be randomly picked on Monday October 16th, 2017 at 12pm. Good luck to everyone!

One lucky winner will receive:

  • 4 Christmas Train tickets
  • 6 Christmas Train activity tickets
  • 1 Wheel Fun Rentals Double Surrey Bike Rental
  • 1 Paddle Boat Rental