Friday, January 30, 2015

Museums Free-For-All Day: Free Admission to 20+ Museums

Twenty-three museums are participating in the tenth annual Museums Free-For-All Day. Visitors of all ages are welcome to visit a participating museum during regular operating hours free of charge on Saturday, January 31, 2015.

 Highlights of the Museum Free-For-All Day include the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits, and the Skirball Cultural Center. The Museum of Tolerance and the Zimmer Children's Museum are closed Saturday, and will offer a free admission day on Sunday, February 1, 2015.

The Museums Free-For-All day is for general museum admission only and parking fees apply. Admission does not include tickets to special exhibitions.

Participating Museums
The Getty Center
The Getty Villa
 (Timed tickets are required)
L.A. Fire Dept. Museum & Memorial (Hollywood & San Pedro)
Museum of Tolerance (Free admission Sunday, 2/1/15)
Zimmer Children’s Museum (Free admission Sunday, 2/1/15)

For more information visit

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Aquarium of the Pacific: Shark Lagoon Free Admission Friday Nights!
Aquarium of the Pacific
Most Every Friday
6:00 - 9:00pm

January 23 -- January 30
February 6 -- February 13 -- February 27
March 6 -- March 13 -- March 20
April 3 -- April 10 -- April 24
May 1 -- May 8 -- May 15 -- May 22 -- May 29
June 5 -- June 12

From 6:00 - 9:00 pm most Friday nights the Shark Lagoon is open to the public for free! The Shark Lagoon is the outside area in the rear of the aquarium. There are large touch tanks and a children's play area. The event may be cancelled due to inclement weather. Parking can be up to $8, click here for parking details.


Boxing Super Stars: Pico Park, Pico Rivera


Whale Fiesta: Cabrillo & Marine Aquarium

Celebrate the migration of the Pacific Gray Whale and the start of whale watching season at the

Whale Fiesta at
Cabrillo Beach & Marine Aquarium!
Help build a life-size sand sculpture of a gray whale. Enjoy activities & exhibits for the whole family. Parking is $1 per hour, $9 max.
Whale Fiesta
Sunday, January 25
10:00AM - 3:00PM
Cabrillo Beach

Monday, January 19, 2015

Free National Parks Admission Days

Free Entrance Days at National Parks!
All entrance fees are waived, save up to $20 per vehicle!

Yosemite Valley. Yosemite National Park.
Monday, 1/19: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Sat., 2/14 - Mon., 2/16: President's Day Weekend

Sat., 4/18 - Sun., 4/19: National Park Week

Tuesday, 8/25: National Park Service Birthday

Saturday, 9/26: National Public Lands Day

 Wednesday, 11/11: Veteran's Day
  • Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego
  • Death Valley National Park, Death Valley
  • John Muir National Historic Site, Martinez (Northern California)
  • Joshua Tree National Park, Twentynine Palms
  • Lassen Volcanic National Park, Mineral (Northern California)
  • Lava Beds National Monument, Tulelake (extreme Northeast California)
  • Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley (near San Fransisco)
  • Pinnacles National Monument, Paicines (off the 101 by King City)
  • San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, San Francisco
  • Sequoia National Park, Three Rivers (off the 99 by Visalia)
  • Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, Whiskeytown (Northwest California by Eureka)
  • Yosemite National Park, (Central California)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Free LACMA Admission on Sunday, 1/18

Use the code LACMA9 for free admission at the Ticket Booth
on Sunday, January 18, from 10am-7pm.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Disneyland on the Cheap

Jedi Training Academy

I've been asked a few times how to get Disneyland tickets for cheap. The answer: It's darn near impossible.

Nonetheless, here is what I've learned about buying tickets & saving at the Disneyland Resort.

2-Day & 3-Day Ticket Offer

2-day (one park per day) ticket $139 ($69.50/day)
3-day (one park per day) ticket $169* ($56.33/day)
*includes one Magic Morning admission
Upgrade to Park Hopper (both parks any day) for $39 extra

Tickets are available for purchase now and are valid through 5/21/2015, except blackout dates of 3/20/15 - 4/4/15.

Purchase tickets online or in person at the Disneyland Resort ticket booth.
Days of visits do not need to be consecutive and if you love your time at the Disney Resort you can take your tickets to a ticket booth and upgrade to an annual pass on your second or third visit.

Regular Disneyland Resort Ticket Pricing

What I Have Learned about buying Disneyland Tickets

1. If you can't find a discount price, buy Disney gift cards covering the cost of admission at Ralphs or Vons. At the very least you will get points to use to save on gasoline at Shell or Chevron stations. When you get to Disneyland exchange the Disney gift cards for tickets or annual passes at the ticket booth.

Even if you plan to purchase an annual pass with the monthly payment option, you will still have to make a down payment of $96 per person, buy enough gift cards to cover the down payment.

2. If you find the rare deal for a half-day ticket, such as $54 admission after 4pm, find out how many hours Disneyland is open on that day and find the hourly price. If the park is open 'til midnight you'll have 8 hours at the park, costing you $6.75 per hour. If you were to pay full price for the same day, and it's open for 16 hours, it will cost you $6.00 per hour. You have to decide which is better for you, be sure to take into account cost of meals and parking. Find Disneyland Resort hours here.

Lucky you: Friday, May 23, 2014 starting at 6am Disneyland & California Adventure will be open for 24 hours! Cost per hour, if you can stay awake,: $4. Click here for more information about the 24 Hour Event.

2013 Disneyland Resort Annual Passes at Ralphs.
3. If you time it right you might be able to get last year's annual passes, but use them this year. Nearly every spring, in early June, the Disneyland Resort increases ticket prices. If you plan to visit Disneyland later this year, and have the money available, you can buy the tickets or passes at the grocery store at the old prices even though the ticket prices have increased at the ticket booth. The old price ticket cards may be available in the grocery store for a few weeks before they are swapped out for cards with the updated price and can redeemed anytime until the expiration on the card, generally the end of the calendar year. Read how I did just that in 2013. 

4. Some agencies offer discounted tickets. AAA members and L.A. County employees have access to slightly discounted tickets, but they must be purchased through the agency offering them. Selected multi-day passes purchased through AAA include free parking.

L.A. County Employee Discount Program

5. Before you buy annual passes take into account the amount of gas it takes to get to Disneyland from your home. My car gets about 18 miles per gallon. Disneyland is 20 miles from Montebello. For me that's over 2 gallons round trip. At today's prices, that equals about $8 in gas per Disney visit.

6. Calling Disneyland ticket information and begging doesn't help. I've tried. The only offer available was for Annual Pass holders to save $20 if they renew before the expiration of their old ticket.


How to Save Money at Disneyland Resort
1. Take your own food & water. Meals cost $10 per person anywhere at Disneyland or California Adventure; Downtown Disney meal prices are even higher. I have each family member carry their own snack bag filled with fruit, veggies, water bottle, sandwich, and other small snacks. We usually nibble away while waiting in longer lines. Water bottles can be refilled, look for water bottle filling areas, or ask a Cast Member at any counter restaurant for water, it's free!

Step 1: Fill bottle. Step 2: Question cloudiness. Step 3: Wait for water to clear & drink!
Free ice cold water from Cast Members at counter restaurants!

If you forget to pack food and live near the 5 Freeway, stop by Costco in Commerce off the Washington exit. Load up on food on your way to or from the park. Costco's awesome churros are $1.10 compared to Disney's $4! Hot dog & soda combos are only $1.50. The food court is open until 6pm. Closed Sundays. Costco membership is not necessary, the food court is accessible from outside of the building.

Make a pit stop at Costco to fill up before or after a trip to Disney.

2. The first day of any annual pass you buy, even if it's a block-out day, you are allowed admission to the Disneyland Resort. For example, If you are buying the Southern California Select which only allows weekday visits, your first day, even if it's Christmas day, or a Saturday, you are allowed admission to the parks.
3. When you visit Disneyland Resort for the first time & purchase an annual pass with parking, take your parking receipt with you to the ticket booth; the parking fee will either be refunded or credited to your parking pass.

How to Save Time at Disneyland Resort
1. When in line for a ride and the line splits, which side do you go on? The right or the left? Save a few minutes in line by following Disneyland Inside Out's tips here.
2. Arrive at the gates with ticket in hand 40 minutes before the park opens. Disneyland and California Adventure allow guests into the park 30 minutes before the opening. You'll get a head start and be closer to the rides when the park does open. My family once enjoyed 9 rides in the first hour and half of the park opening!
Warning: Both Disneyland & California Adventure have "Extra Magic Hour & Magical Mornings" a few times a week where Guests with multiple day passes are allowed admission to the park one hour early. On those days it won't matter how early you get to the resort, there will already be lines. Check here for early admission days and avoid them if you plan to arrive early.


My last tip: If a trip to Disneyland is a financial stretch for your family consider starting a "Disney Fund." Have a piggy bank especially to save for Disney. Kids can contribute coins found on the floor and birthday money. Every night put all your spare change, rebate checks, money saved with coupons, and money found in the washer; it all goes to the Disney Fund! My family spent the better part of 2 years saving. With all of us contributing, even the baby, we saved enough for annual passes.
Okay, one more tip: If all else fails, apply for a job at the Disneyland Resort. After a grace period employees can bring in three guests for free several times a year. Click here for more information.

Pet Adoption Center Grand Opening Adoption Event: Pico Rivera

SPCALA Everyday Adoption Center
Saturday, January 10th
  Pico Rivera Towne Center

8852 Washington Blvd., Pico Rivera CA

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles, SPCALA, is opening it's first new model adoption center in California.  Join the non-profit in celebrating on Saturday, January 10th. Qualified adopters can adopt a pet for the discounted price of $18.77 from 11am-9pm.

Click here for information about what to bring and what to expect when adopting a pet at this event.

Blood Drive: Montebello-Commerce YMCA

Thursday, January 15, 2015
1:00pm - 7:00pm
Montebello-Commerce YMCA
2000 W. Beverly Blvd., Montebello, 90640


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Observatory Nights: Rio Hondo College

The Gordon D. Crowell Astrophysical Observatory at Rio Hondo College is open for free public observation on the following Friday nights:
February 20, 7pm
February 27, 7pm
March 13, 8pm
March 20, 8pm
April 24, 8pm
May 8, 8pm
May 15, 8pm


Free Lego Mini-Build Event at Lego Stores: 1st Tuesday of the Month

The first Tuesday of every month Lego Stores host a free mini-build event. Kids 6-14 years will receive a kit to create a special themed mini model. The event is limited to the first 250 participants and starts at 5pm. There are Lego Stores at the Glendale Galleria, Ontario Mills, and Downtown Disney in Anaheim.

Image from the Lego Store Calendar.

Image from the Lego Store Calendar.


Details & Event Tips:

I've been to this event a few times with the kids at the Glendale Galleria. The event starts at 5pm, but people start lining up before 3pm. The last time I arrived at 4pm and there were about 50+ people ahead of me, by 5:45 we had built our project and were heading home.

A Lego store associate passes out cards ahead of time that guarantees each child a building kit. Once you have a card you can leave to shop or eat dinner at the food court and you can return later when the line will be shorter, although most people stay in line.

Kids spent the time completing homework, reading books, playing with iPads, and toddlers were running around a bit. I suggest having 2 adults for this event. One parent can wait in line and once you have the cards the other takes the kids to the play area, or to browse the Lego or Disney stores nearby.

Once inside there was one Lego store associate for every 3 kids, instructions were taped to the table and the associates provided help and guidance. The kids enjoyed the experience and come home with a cute Lego structure to add to their collection.

If you don't mind waiting in line, and your kids are patient, it's worth the trip.


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Top 10 Montebello Mom Facebook Posts of 2014

It has been a wonderful year at!
Hundreds of new readers have discovered this little blog and they are all welcome to join the MontebelloMom Facebook community.
I read the comments of every post and my favorite are the support and words of advice readers give to each other.
Listed below are the top 10 posts from MontebelloMom's Facebook page of 2014 as judged by total number of likes, comments, and shares.
Happy New Year!
2. Half-off backpacks at Spencers at the
Shops at Montebello


4. Lala's Free Christmas Trees 

5. Free Admission for Teachers at the Aquarium of the Pacific 

7. New Part Time Jobs in the Montebello area 


9. Costco Secret Code: the Asterisk 


Thanks for a wonderful 2014 everyone!
-Montebello Mom & Mr. Montebello Mom

Montebello Garage Yard Sale Weekend

Four times a year people from all around Los Angeles County converge on Montebello for "Yard Sale Weekend".

The city hosts four permit-free weekends a year when residents can have yard sales. On these designated weekends there is practically a yard sale on every block. It's a win-win for both buyers and sellers.

Yard sale weekends are always the first full weekend (Friday-Sunday) in March, June, September, and December. Saturdays are most popular but there are many sales on Friday and Sunday too!

March 6-8, 2015
June 5-7, 2015
September 4-6, 2015
December 4-6, 2015
 Benefit from my yard sale experience and read my top selling and my shopping tips to make the most of your day.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What streets are the yard sales on?
Yard sales are held on pretty much every block in every street in the city.
What part of Montebello should I start shopping?
The sale is held throughout the city, start at whatever streets are closest to you.
Are there a lot of sales on Friday or Sunday?
Compared with Saturday, there are significantly fewer sales on Friday & Sunday. I would guess about one-fourth of the sales are 2-day sales that extend to Friday or Sunday.
It says here that the yard sale weekend is next weekend, but there are people having yard sales this weekend, which is it?
Many people get confused and think yard sale weekend is the first Saturday of the month, but they are incorrect. The official weekends are the first Friday through Sunday weekend that occurs within the selected months. If a yard sale is held at a time outside of the official yard sale weekend a city issued permit is required.

Free Museum Admission for B of A Customers

Bank of America account holders get free admission to over 150 museums nationwide the first full weekend of every month! Simply present your B of A card and a photo ID at the ticket booth.


There are participating museums in 31 states. If you are planning a vacation check the list of participating museums here.

Remember, each cardholder gets free admission so expect to pay admission for any children. Could be great for discounted day out with the kids or a day away from the kids, whichever you prefer.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tidepool Walk: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, San Pedro

Try something new and head over to Cabrillo Marinie Aquarium for a free guided tidepool walk!

Tidepool Walk
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, San Pedro
3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro, CA 90731 

See what lurks beneath the waves at low tide as you walk across creviced rocks at the Point Fermin tidepools and see what marine life has been left behind!

Children must be supervised. You will be walking on wet craggy rocks and must be careful where you step. It is suggested that everyone must wear sneakers or boots, and long pants. Parking at the Aquarium is $1 per hour. It's worth the drive; my whole family loved it!

Free College Level Art Classes for High School Students!

I came across this program at the Downtown Bookfest. The Ryman Arts program offers high school students who are serious about a future in art to take college level classes and explore possible careers in art. Students take 3 semesters of college level art drawing and painting courses on the weekend, are mentored by Ryman alumni & Disney artists, and build their professional portfolio. 
I met Francisco, a Montebello High School graduate, class of 2008. He is a Ryman Arts alumni who will graduate with a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from CSULB. In the fall he is continuing his studies on full scholarship in China. He says the program is a strong stepping stone for any student interested in art.
The entire program is offered free of charge. Interested high school students can find more information about the program and apply at:

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Artwalk: City Park, Montebello

Big Chill Festival: City Park, Montebello

Sunday, December 28, 2014

New Year's Eve Waterfront Family-Friendly Celebration: Long Beach

Rainbow Harbor at Pine Avenue
Long Beach

From the event website:
"Family-Friendly Waterfront Celebration (Free) Beginning at 5 p.m., Downtown’s waterfront amphitheatre will come alive with a flurry of activities. Live bands...and children's activities including face painting, balloon artists and a trackless train will keep the whole family entertained. At 9 p.m., the sky will light up for an East Coast countdown with a ten minute fireworks spectacular...from Rainbow Harbor’s lighthouse peninsula."

Noon Year's Eve: Kidspace Museum

Kids can celebrate "Noon Year's Eve" at Kidspace Museum!
Kidspace Museum is open on Wednesday, December 31, from 9:30am-3pm, and admission include a Noon Year's Eve celebration. The event includes a countdown to noon with sparkling cider and noisemakers.
480 North Arroyo Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91103