Wednesday, December 17, 2014

FREE Winter Break Teen Membership at the YMCA!

Free Teen Membership!
December 19th - January 12th.

Open to all teens ages 13-18!
Parents can sign up for a free 7-day pass.
 Montebello-Commerce YMCA
2000 W Beverly Blvd
Montebello, CA 90640

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Breakfast with Santa: Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Church

This is a great event for the family organized by OLMM parish school.
Full breakfast for only $5 and kids 6 and under eat free and get a free photo with Santa.
Interested in attending services? Mass times are 8:30am, 10:30am, and in Spanish at 12:30pm.

99¢ Child Admission to the Los Angeles Zoo

Bring a 99¢ Only store receipt to the L.A. Zoo,
purchase a regular adult admission,
& receive a child's admission for only 99¢!

Regular zoo adult admission is $19, seniors $16, and children $14. Children 2 and younger are free.

Families also have the option of investing in an Los Angeles Zoo annual membership for the special Montebello Mom price of $95 that allows for unlimited visits for 2 adults & all the children in a household, and has the bonus of providing two free guest passes to use throughout the year.
Thanks to reader, Joanne K. for sharing this offer!


Friday, December 5, 2014

CicLAvia: A day to play in the streets of Los Angeles

Photo Credit: Gary Leonard, CicLAvia.
A block party event throughout the city of Los Angeles!

Sunday, December 7
9am - 3pm

6 miles of roads closed to traffic!

Play in the street!
Ride your bike from end to end!

The route changes at every CicLAvia. This year the route runs through South Los Angeles.

My husband and son have participated in a few CicLAvia events and both said it was great! My husband recommends the event that kids be very comfortable riding because the atmosphere can be overwhelming, especially at intersections where it can get crowded. Kids who tend to weave back and forth on their bikes or are not experienced may end up crashing with other riders. You can read about CicLAvia safety here.

If you want to start at the far side of CicLAvia and ride home, you can purchase an MTA day pass for $7 and use the trains & subways to get around. My husband suggests not relying on bus transportation because there is only space on a racks for two bikes and every bus was full.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Covina Christmas Parade

Covina Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 6, 2014

Parade begins at Citrus and Badillo St, travels west on Badillo and turns south on Hollenbeck.  Click here for more information..

This parade is fun! It lasts about 2 hours and there was plenty of room to find a decent place to view the parade.

Sensitive Santa, Holiday Photo Event: Puente Hills Mall

Sensitive Santa: Holiday Photo Event
for Children with Autism
Sunday, Decemeber 7
Puente Hills Mall
1600 S Azusa Ave, City of Industry, CA 91748
The poster reads,
"This is a special time to visit Santa, which is reserved just for children with Autism. Puente Hills Mall will make it's Santa Area 'sensory friendly' with lower lighting and quieter surroundings.
Each family who attends will receive a free Santa photo and enjoy festive giveaways to commemorate this magical holiday season.
For more information, please visit"

Pancake Breakfast & Toy Drive: Montebello Fire Department

Montebello Fire Department Toy Drive
Saturday, December 13
Montebello Fire Station
600 N. Montebello Blvd
Bring in a new unwrapped toy valued at $5 or more and receive a free pancake breakfast as a thank you!
Toys gathered will be distributed to children living with the city of Montebello.
All food & seating is indoors! 

Photos with Santa Claus: Wal-Mart

Photo Credit: Tiffany Espinoza
A special thanks to Tiffany for sharing the event!
Click here to find out if Santa
is coming to your local Wal-Mart!

Home Depot Free Kids Workshops: First Saturday of Every Month

Home Depot offers a free hands on building workshop for kids the first Saturday of every month from 9:00 am - Noon. Kids receive a kit to assemble at the store, a Home Depot apron, and a pin for participating. No registration is necessary.
Click here for more information.

Saturday, December 6: Holiday Yard Stakes

Saturday, January 3: Sled 


Farmer's Market: Monterey Park, Fridays 4-8pm

I enjoy taking my kids to local Farmer's Markets. To make it interesting I give each of them $5 & permission to buy any fruits and vegetables they want. They like the idea of having money to spend and since they made the purchase they usually eat what they buy. Try it with your kids!

The city of Monterey Park hosts a Farmer's Market every Friday from 4-8pm in the library parking lot. Parking is available on the street or behind the library in the parking lot.

For more information visit:
 or visit the

Monterey Park Farmer's Market
Every Friday
4:00PM - 8:00PM
318 S. Ramona, Monterey Park, CA 91754

One Friday a month the Farmer's Market turns into the "Night Market" featuring extra entertainment and later hours.
Upcoming dates TBA

Holiday & Tree Lighting Festival: Pico Rivera

Holiday & Tree Lighting Festival
Saturday, December 6
Pico Rivera City Hall
6615 Passons Blvd, Pico Rivera, CA 90660

Event includes live entertainment, a winter snow play area for children, visits with Santa, train rides, food, crafts and the lighting of the civic center tree. Click here for more information.

Princess Party: Toys R Us

Events occur at regular Toys R Us locations. Events do not occur at Outlet or Express locations.

Temple City Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting

Lights on Temple City
Winter Fun, Parade, & Tree Lighting
Friday, December 5
Activities: 5pm
Parade: 7pm
Temple City Park
9701 Las Tunas Dr., Temple City, CA 91780

Santa Photos @ Shops at Montebello: Prices & Packages

The Shops at Montebello Santa Photo Information
Families do not have to purchase a photo package to visit Santa. If there is a long line, ask a Photo Elf if you can visit Santa between photo takes, let them know you only want a visit, no photo.
Santa Photo Hours
Santa takes a break to feed his reindeer for lunch and dinner.
12/5/14 10:00 AM 8:00 PM
12/6/14 10:00 AM 8:00 PM
12/7/14 11:00 AM 7:00 PM
12/8/14 10:00 AM 8:00 PM
12/9/14 10:00 AM 8:00 PM
12/10/14 10:00 AM 8:00 PM
12/11/14 10:00 AM 8:00 PM
12/12/14 10:00 AM 8:30 PM
12/13/14 10:00 AM 8:30 PM
12/14/14 11:00 AM 7:00 PM
12/15/14 10:00 AM 8:30 PM
12/16/14 10:00 AM 8:30 PM
12/17/14 10:00 AM 8:30 PM
12/18/14 10:00 AM 8:30 PM
12/19/14 10:00 AM 9:00 PM
12/20/14 10:00 AM 9:00 PM
12/21/14 10:00 AM 7:00 PM
12/22/14 10:00 AM 9:00 PM
12/23/14 10:00 AM 9:00 PM
12/24/14 8:00 AM 6:00 PM


Regular Packages
  • Multi-image CD for $29. Print your photos at home.
  • One 5x7, two wallets, one 3x5, $25
  • One 5x7, four wallets, $25
  • Holiday frame $20.
  • Free Ornament with $39.99 photo package. 


Kidgits Photo Package Coupon
Kidgits Package, $35*:

Three (3) sheets of photos, any combination of
          the following:
two 5x7
one 5x7, four wallets
four 3x5
eight wallets

  *Coupon required. This package is only available to Kidgits members. Membership is $5 and can be purchased at Guest Services. Kidgit Photo Package coupon available at Guest Services.



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Montebello Garage Yard Sale Weekend 2014

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!

December 5-7, 2014
March 6-8, 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.

Christmas Tree Lighting: Rosemead


Holiday Snow Village: Barnes Park, Monterey Park

Winter Wonderland: Montebello City Park

Swim Lessons: Montebello-Commerce YMCA

YMCA Swim Lesson
Registration is now open for swim lessons, swim club, wet ball, and splash ball.

Swim lessons are paid for the full month and the cost comes out to $5 per lesson for YMCA members, or $10 per lesson for non-members.

To register visit the Montebello-Commerce YMCA or call for more information.

2000 W. Beverly Blvd. Montebello, CA
323 887 9622


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Winter Wonderland, Tree Lighting, & Ice Skating: East L.A. Civic Center

Thursday, November 20, 3pm-9pm
Friday, November 21, 3pm-9pm
Saturday, November 22, 10am-8pm
Sunday, November 23, 10am-8pm

ICE SKATING ($7 admission, $2 rental)
Monday, November 24, Noon-8pm
Tuesday, November 25, Noon-8pm
Wednesday, November 26, Noon-8pm
Thursday, November 27, Noon-8pm
Friday, November 28, Noon-8pm
Saturday, November 29, Noon-8pm
Sunday, November 30, Noon-8pm

Jersey Mike's PTA Fundraiser

 For each coupon redeemed, Schurr High School PTA receives $3!
Must present hard-copy coupon at purchase, print out image below.

Christmas Parade: Uptown Whittier


Holiday Sonata: Uptown Whittier


Spay, Neuter, & Vaccination Clinic: Pico Park, Pico Rivera

A special thanks to reader, Tiffany Espinoza, for sharing this event.
Thanks Tiffany!

"Fall in Love" Adoption Event: Seaaca, Downey

A special thanks to reader, Tiffany Espinoza for sharing this event.  
Thanks Tiffany!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Top 10 Black Friday Shopping Tips

I've been Black Friday shopping for over 10 years. As an experienced shopper I'd like to offer some tips and advice to novice Black Friday shoppers who plan to brave the cold and crowds on the greatest shopping day of the year!

The Whittier Daily News has reported that this year stores are opening earlier than ever before, it's no longer a Black Friday, but a Black Thursday. Many stores are open early on Thanksgiving day, so gobble down that turkey and get in line!
  1. Buy two newspapers on Thanksgiving morning. Sometimes one paper doesn't have all the ads, so buy a copy of the L.A. Times and the Whittier Daily News to cover all the stores. If you normally get the Sunday paper for the ads/coupons, the newspaper distributors know this and deliver a paper on Thanksgiving to distribute the Black Friday ads. If you don't find one of your porch, go out early and buy it. They sell out fast!  If you are hosting Thanksgiving, you may want to buy two copies of each paper so others can look at the ads as well. You can also look up the ads online now, type in a search with the keywords "Black Friday 2014", you'll find numerous websites that post links to ads that have been leaked or are available online.

  2. Make a plan. Figure out which stores you want to visit and rate them according to bargain priority. If a certain item is on sale for a limited number of hours you want to make sure you hit that store with enough time to park, find the item in the store, and pay. If a store is giving out a free item to the first few hundred customers, but there is nothing pressing that you want to buy there you can wait in line, get the free item and go with plans to return later on to redeem the coupon, voucher, or certificate. If a store is offering price matching, know that the price will only be matched during the same time restrictions as the store in the advertisement.
  3. Leave the little kids at home. A store crowded with bargain hungry people is no place for a young child.
  4. Take the Black Friday ad with you. Occasionally an item won't scan for the advertised price, you can't find an item in the store, or there are varieties of the same item but only one is on sale. It helps to have the ad with you to clarify any misunderstandings.
  5. Bring a friend. It helps to have someone to tag team with. In 2010, the line to check-out at Toys R Us snaked the whole way around the store and zigzagged through the aisles so far back that no one really knew if it was the line or not. If you find yourself in a similar predicament, one person can hold a place in the check out line and the other can shop, then trade places. At Kohls on Black Friday the line to check out throughout the day was over an hour long. A friend also comes in handy in cold weather. One year sister came out to wait with me. We took turns holding our spot in line, getting warm in the car, and going to the bathroom.
  6. Know the layout of the store. Try to stick with stores that you are familiar. If you've never visited the store before it may be difficult to find a clerk to help you find something in the advertisement.
  7. Line up early.  A few years ago I went to a large retail store and was a few minutes late for the opening. I saw the line to enter curve around the building into the darkness. Instead of going to the end of the line I waited in the car for the end to come to the front of the store. BIG MISTAKE! I saw people who arrived at the same time as I did enter the store 15 minutes before me. There were so many people arriving that the end kept growing and growing. Even if the item you want isn't the big TV, get in line early.  One year at Toys R Us, the store limited the amount of people in the store at once. The store opened at 9pm, and line to enter lasted until 3am!
  8.  Skip the shopping cart. Some stores are so packed that it is impossible to navigate the aisles with a cart. You'll have to leave your cart at the end of the aisle and risk someone picking through it, or abandon it altogether. If possible carry everything in your hands. If you must have a cart opt to bring a stroller instead. A stroller is smaller and narrower than a cart and it's easier to get through the crowds. However, if you absolutely have to have a shopping cart bring one in from the parking lot, many times the store does not have the staff to round up the carts and bring them inside, all the available carts are in the lot.
  9. Get your car ready. Fill up the gas tank. I don't know how many gas stations are open after midnight, but I'm sure you don't want to find out. Clean out the trunk. You'll need space for all the bargains you will bring home. You don't want to leave packages in the passenger area, it's too tempting for a would be thief.
  10. It's okay to leave. If it gets too intense, the wait gets too long, people are starting to get angry, or you are tired, it's okay to go home empty handed. You can't win them all.

 BONUS TIP #1: If you want to avoid the first major rush of crowds and most of the lines, head out around midnight. This would work well if the items you want are not any of the main doorbusters or a limited quantity items and you were looking to simply get the discount available to all early shoppers. If shopping for clothes and the size you want isn't available, take home the exact item in a different size and return to the store in a week when the stock is replenished to exchange the item.
BONUS TIP #2: Make sure Black Friday sale prices are significantly better than regular sale prices. Use your knowledge of sales throughout the year to compare the Black Friday price to regular sales throughout the year. If it's not a significant discount do not make that store a priority. I remember one year the Children's Place offered 30% off everything in the store for Black Friday. I can usually get a 20% off coupon and use my Children's Place credit card to get an additional 10% off which is pretty close to the Black Friday sale the store was running. At the mall a store was offering $10 off of jeans, but my sister said that $10 off of jeans sale is pretty common. In 2011 I waited six hours in line at Sears to get 55% off of a washer/dryer set. Throughout the following year I scanned the Sears ads and the lowest sales price at any other time was 37% off, so I know I bought it at a good price.

Black Friday Shopping at the Shops at Montebello: Free Mickey Toy!

"Promotion is valid November 28th from 6:00am to 11:59pm. Visit Guest Services and present your receipts for November 29, 2014 only to receive a plush toy. Limit one plush toy per customer, while supplies last. Rules and regulations apply. See Guest Services for complete details."


Thanks again to the Shops at Montebello for sponsoring this Black Friday shopping trip!

Lego Event: Toys R Us

Events occur at all regular Toys R Us locations; they do not occur at Express or Outlet stores.

The Toys R Us website reads: "Event intended for children, ages 3-up. Parental supervision required at all times. All giveaways and event materials distributed to participating children only. Limit one per child. Quantities limited; no rain checks."

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day Ceremony: Monterey Park City Hall, 11/11

The city of Monterey Park and American Legion Post 397 will honor local veterans at an annual
Veterans' Day Ceremony
Tuesday, November 11
City Hall
320 W. Newmark Avenue
Monterey Park
Music, speeches, & wreath presentation.

Veteran's Day Ceremony: Montebello City Park, 11/11, 11am

Veteran's Day Ceremony
Tuesday, November 11
Montebello City Park
1401 W. Whittier Blvd

In 2013 there were speeches, presentations, & a local high school band performed.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Tree Lighting Ceremony: Citadel Outlets, Commerce

Saturday, November 8
5:00PM - 7:00PM
Citadel Outlets
100 Citadel Drive, Los Angeles
The holiday season is officially kicking off at Citadel Outlets on Saturday, November 8, with the much-anticipated 13th Annual Tree Lighting Concert.  Over 20 thousand attendees are expected to attend the lighting of the World's Tallest Live Cut Christmas Tree (115-ft), see the World's Largest Bow atop the Citadel wall and enjoy the free, outdoor concert headlined by country star Jana Kramer, The Voice's Christina Grimmie, YouTube sensation Cimorelli, pop boy band After Romeo and X Factor's Josh Levi. Event attendees are encouraged to bring gift donations for Children's Hospital Los Angeles.