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Volume 1 • Number 1 • July 2018



go e i D n Sa TY the

PAR de Gu i

Welcome to the first digital issue of our annual San Diego Party Guide. We know you are busy parents who like to have fun celebrations of all kinds: a special birthday, a promotion, a school event and more. So we are providing great resources, available 24/7 all year long, whenever you want and need them.  The Lorax is a great Dr. Seuss book, made into a popular theater production this year at The Old Globe. If you need party favor ideas, flip to page 4 to find out how to make Truffula Tree Seed Treats, goodie bags and more. Turn to page 12 for tips on having a fairy garden themed party. What’s a party without a sleepover? Slumber parties are so much fun for the kids, but may not be so fun for parents. Read the dos and don’ts of a slumber party on page 16.  We all want a free meal or free gift on our birthday. Look on page 20, pick your favorite establishments and sign up for free goodies. It’s always fun to receive a surprise email or card for a birthday freebie.  Be sure to use the resources and services throughout this publication. Our advertisers are eager to help with your party needs! Let them know you saw their ad in the San Diego Party Guide, brought to you by San Diego Family Magazine. It’s another guide that will save you, our readers, hours of research. Keep this link on file and peruse the issue occasionally because new resources can be added throughout the year.

inside 4 Have a Lorax-Themed Party Adorable treats and fun projects 8 How to Host an Allergy-Safe Party Communication with parents is key 12 Enchanting Fairy Garden Parties Locals who will help bring your celebration to life 16 10 Slumber Party Dos and Don’ts How to have fun and stay safe 18 Birthday Cake Mini Milkshakes They’re like a party in a glass! 20 Birthday Freebies in San Diego Who doesn’t love free stuff on their birthday?

Thank you to our advertisers 3 Top Dog Limo Bus 6 Everbowl 7 UltraStar 10 All Time Catering 11 The Hot Spot 14 John’s Incredible Pizza

FollowUs San Diego Family

19 The New Children’s Museum 22

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Main Office: 1475 Sixth Avenue, Fifth Floor, San Diego, CA 92101 Phone: 619-685-6970 Fax: 619-685-6978 E-mail: 2 • • Party Guide 2018

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HAVE A LORAX-THEMED PARTY With Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax playing at The Old Globe summer 2018, there’s no better time to host a Lorax-themed party! Inspired by the beloved children’s story and Pinterest, we created party favors that can easily be made at home. Gather your friends, read the story, and celebrate everyone’s favorite little guy who was way ahead of his time in protecting the environment.

TRUFFULA TREE SEED TREATS Supplies White cardstock Scissors Cellophane bags or sandwich baggies Stapler Any of the following: Skittles Trix cereal Jelly beans Candy-coated sunflower seeds

Directions • Print bag toppers from attachment at www. sandiegofamily .com/resources/ san-diego-partyplanner/2172. • Cut out and fold each in half as indicated (the backs of the toppers are white). • Fill bags with chosen candy or cereal. • Staple a bag topper to each bag. • Send the treats home with kids as a party favor.

LORAX GOODIE BAGS Supplies Orange gift bags White cardstock Scissors Glue Googly eyes Orange pom-poms Optional: yellow tissue paper

4 • • Party Guide 2018

Directions • Print mustaches from attachment at resources/san-diego-partyplanner/2172 and cut around outline of each one (or draw and color your own). • Glue one mustache to each gift bag, as shown in photo. • Using glue, adhere one orange pom-pom to the top of the mustache and two googly eyes above the nose. • Let dry. • Put a piece of yellow tissue paper in each bag, if desired.

OTHER IDEAS - Be sure to read “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss at the party, so everyone knows the story. - Watch “The Lorax” movie. - Plant a tree or do a planting activity to send home with kids as party favors. Serve Brown Barbaloot Snacks (Teddy Grahams) and Humming Fish Snacks (Goldfish crackers) at your party. v

“UNLESS” ROCKS “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot…” Read the book to understand the significance behind this simple, but meaningful, project. Supplies Rocks in various sizes and colors 3-D paint (in bright colors) or black Sharpies Directions • Using 3-D paint or black Sharpies, have kids write “UNLESS” on rocks (one word per rock). • Let dry. • Send rocks home with kids as party favors.

Lisa Gipson is the managing editor of San Diego Family Magazine, a crafter at heart, and a huge fan of the little orange guy who “speaks for the trees.” Party Guide 2018 • •



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All Sizes & Budgets Celebrate your birthday Hollywood Style with the magic of the movies! • Package A - movie tickets, reserved seating, birthday name on marquee: $50 + ticket prices* • Package B - package A, plus private lounge rental for 1 hour, set up and clean up: $150 + ticket prices* • Package C - packages A & B, plus tour of the projection booth (birthday child gets to start the movie!), two pitchers of soda in lounge, free return movie admission for birthday child: $250 + ticket prices* *movie tickets are charged at the standard ticket rate.

With reserved seats, discount concessions and a behind-the-scenes tour of the movie magic, this is one party everyone will be talking about! UltraStar Mission Valley Cinemas at Hazard Center 7510 Hazard Center Drive, San Diego, CA 92108 Theater Info: (619) 574-8684 •

Cherie Gough






How to R A FE P

You’ve planned the games, chosen

a cake and shopped for party favors. Then it comes—an RSVP from a classmate with an allergy. According to FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education), 1 in 13 kids have a food allergy. What’s the best way to accommodate guests with food allergies and still plan the perfect party? Parents want party hosts to know they don’t expect the whole event to revolve around accommodating their child. Here are their tips for creating a fun, safe party for all without it becoming a burden.

The Most Supportive Thing Hosts Can Do Moms of kids with food allergies agree the best way to make them feel at ease is to inquire about dietary restrictions when sending out the invitation.

8 • • Party Guide 2018

Jenn Williamson of San Carlos, whose 11-year-old daughter has a peanut allergy says, “It lifts a weight and lets me know that the host is more approachable. I feel comfortable talking with those parents knowing they’re aware of food allergies and are openminded about discussing it.” Tiffany Hinton, mom to three girls with severe food allergies and blogger of Gluten Free Mom Certified, says, “When someone asks if there are any food restrictions, it allows me to be an advocate for my children, share information to dispel myths and help keep them safe.”

Before the Party Kids with food allergies are individuals and each family is unique. Be open to communication. Know that parents are grateful for any effort made to include their kids. After sending invitations, expect contact from parents of a child with allergies. A phone call or conversation in person best facilitates clear communication. They may ask what foods you’ll be serving, how the cake will be decorated and if there will be

understood where Susan was coming from. She took the girls for sorbet so everyone could enjoy the same experience.

Party Day

games that include food items (such as a piñata). This lets them know ahead of time what may need to be modified. My 6-year-old daughter has celiac disease and eats only gluten-free foods. With pizza and cake as standard party fare, parties pose a challenge. I usually provide a snack bag with foods that are safe replacements for her. I can even decorate a fancy cupcake to fit the party theme. It helps my daughter feel included and she gets excited for the party when decorating with me. Since one crumb can make her sick for weeks, I prefer to do the baking to make parties fun and safe for her. Susan Lemus, a La Mesa resident whose children have a dairy allergy, recounts a time when a conversation with a party host helped tremendously. The original plan was to take the girls for ice cream sundaes after a movie and provide a special cookie for Lemus’ daughter. “I don’t want to make it hard on the parents. I really want my kids to feel just like everyone else.” After speaking to Susan, the host better

When a food-allergic guest arrives, review how you’ll handle food safety. Even kids who are old enough to be dropped off need this reassurance. Make sure you understand the child’s needs or ask the parent for clarification. If it puts you more at ease, ask parents to stick around. Ask for a contact phone number in case of an emergency. If an Epi-pen is necessary, parents will train the host or stay at the party. Williamson reviews the steps with hosts before dropping her daughter off at a party. And since her daughter is older, she feels comfortable knowing her tight-knit group of friends looks out for her.

How to Keep Party Food Safe Instead of big bowls of chips and pretzels that invite cross-contamination (a problem for kids with nut and gluten allergies), use individually wrapped bags. One of the kindest things a friend did was set up a table at her daughter’s party that included only gluten-free foods. My daughter could safely eat anything at the party and I didn’t worry about cross-contamination. Allow party guests to use the kitchen to prepare food they brought. Include non-food items as prizes and party favors. Allergy-free bakeries are fairly common now. Try 2Good2B Bakery & Café in Encinitas and Rancho Bernardo ( or Starry Lane Bakery in Hillcrest ( While celebrating with friends is lots of fun, parties can be a real challenge for parents of kids with allergies. Going the extra mile to create a normal party experience for their children is a gift of kindness that is greatly appreciated. v Cherie Gough is a local freelance writer and mom of two.

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n P e a d r r t a y G y r i a F g n i t n a h c n E

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There’s nothing more enchanting than a celebration with fairies, elves and pixies poking mischief around every corner. Here are some outstanding locals to help bring your fairy celebration—big or small—to life.

Storybook Gardens Using upcycled materials and water-wise plants, Storybook Gardens brings the enchantment of fairy gardening to your event. Owner Melissa sets up stations where each child adds bits to their garden until it is just right. Melissa provides the pots, soil, plants and miniature décor, along with her

12 • • Party Guide 2018

bubbly personality. Got boys? She tailors parties so that children can add farm and construction vehicles instead of traditional fairy sparkle to their garden, if desired. For parties with 10 kids or fewer, Melissa will host your gathering in her beautiful backyard in Carmel Valley. She’ll

lead your fairies on a nature exploration, hunt for objects to include in their miniature storybook land and have children write an imaginative description of their gardens. Storybook Gardens is affordable and travels to events throughout the county. Melissa is patient and creative, and has a background in education.

Curious Gardens at Myrtle Creek Botanical Gardens The recently-renovated Curious Gardens at Myrtle Creek in Fallbrook is a

wonderland come to life. Offering the largest fairy garden workshop in the country, Curious Gardens is a 5,000-square-foot Southern Plantation-style house with indoor/outdoor spaces surrounded by blossoms, butterflies and birds. Upon entering Curious Gardens, the $5 entrance fee is converted to “Curious Cash” which can be used toward the purchase of fairy garden items. Choose from plants, moss, soil, rocks and thousands of figurines. A garden designer is available to help with planting and answer questions. The interactive workshop is a creative way for children and parents to create lasting memories. Reservations encouraged. If holding your own festivities in this delightful natural setting, Curious Gardens will include food, tables and chairs, a fairy garden workshop, and access to Happy Goat Mountain (a rescue goat habitat). The grounds include several charming spaces, including the butterfly garden, green house, bird sanctuary and carriage house. Why should kids have all the fun? The venue is perfect for adult gatherings, too. Reserve space in advance for private parties.

Twigs by Teri Little pixies will shine in the fairy garden workshops at Twigs by Teri in Encinitas. Held one Sunday each month, workshops are perfect for ages 4 and up. Gather friends, cousins or your Girl Scout troop and create a delicate, miniature world. Classes include instruction, soil, moss, rock, sand, watering mister and a figurine. Bring your own container or purchase one at the shop. Guests receive a discount for additional items purchased on the day of the class. While visiting, enjoy the desert tortoise, chickens, goats and Koi. Call to pre-register as class size is limited. Twigs by Teri also offers fairy garden workshops for private parties. Face painting and pony rides are available for an additional cost. Hosts are welcome to bring food. v Cherie Gough is a local mom and freelance writer. Party Guide 2018 • •


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16 • • Party Guide 2018

Kerrie McLoughlin

10 Slumber Party Dos and Don’ts Party ideas for kids to have fun and stay safe


the thought of 10 kids sleeping over at your house stress you out? Do you picture getting zero sleep because you have to deal with said kids all night? Do you picture food, drinks, toys and junk exploding all over your house? You’re not alone. I figured out ways to make a slumber party a great experience for the kids and for me. Learn from the Slumber Party Sensei’s dos and don’ts and take a cue from these party tips.


have a slumber party until all the kids are at least 7 years old, can understand/follow rules, communicate well and be away from home without being too homesick. Make sure you get cell phone numbers of all parents and that they will be available, if needed.


find out about any special needs by talking to parents one-on-one. For instance, if a kid wears a Pull-Up overnight and wants it to be kept secret, do all you can to make that happen. And if this is a kid’s first slumber party, you won’t be surprised if he comes to you wanting to go home close to bedtime.


have everyone bring his own pillow and sleeping

bag or you will be washing all your stuff the whole next day. I never have enough pillows for everyone, so they have to use rolled-up towels.


have a game plan for activities, food, etc. Nerf gun wars, crafts, board games and movies work great depending on if you have boys or girls and what their ages are.


set ground rules: No eating outside the kitchen. No sneaking out. No texting after a certain time. In fact, consider collecting all cell phones in a basket at a certain time. They can stay up and watch pre-approved movies (turn the volume down) as long as they want.


make food and drink easy. Pizza is the perfect slumber party food, and if you’re really daring, you can let them build their own (using a pre-made crust, of course—I’m not completely insane!). Clear juice in pouches or boxes is awesome. You’ll have a lot of little people and you don’t want them hopped up on caffeine or spilling soda all over the place. If you have older girls over, you might let them make and decorate cupcakes, as long as they clean

up after themselves.


leave the kids alone. They don’t want you hanging around, and this gives you the chance to have a real conversation with your spouse, make calls, do some scrapbooking or start another crazy project (like cleaning out your closet).


check in from time to time because kids are naughty by nature. This is a good time to pretend like you’re a spy. Buy some binoculars. Just kidding!


have a tent sleepover in the backyard unless you plan to sleep with them. We tried this for about five minutes once until someone told me two kids were plotting to sneak over to the park across the street in the middle of the night. Trust me, you do NOT want to be “that parent” who loses the kids or lets them run wild in the neighborhood!


have everyone pick up before they go home. v

Kerrie McLoughlin has tons of slumber parties at her house, being the mom of five kids and all. Party Guide 2018 • •





Making milkshakes for kids is so quick and easy—it’s like whipping up a birthday party in minutes. When it comes to authentic birthday cake flavor, you don’t need store-bought cake mix, since it’s actually the store-bought vanilla frosting that triggers the memories. The frosting is also the perfect “glue” to adhere colorful sprinkles to the glasses. The key to a seriously decadent and successful milkshake of any kind—aside from using the best ice cream you can find—is to keep all of your ingredients and equipment chilled until the last minute. Makes 6 mini milkshakes.

Ingredients Sprinkles ¼ cup store-bought vanilla frosting, plus more for glasses ½ cup cold whole milk 6 scoops (3 cups) best-quality vanilla ice cream Pinch of salt

Directions Chill milkshake glasses in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Put a few handfuls of sprinkles onto a small plate and a few tablespoons of frosting onto a separate small plate. Remove the glasses from the freezer and dip the rim of each glass into the frosting, followed by the sprinkles. Set aside.

Reprinted from The Sweetapolita Bakebook: 75 Fanciful Cakes, Cookies & More to Make & Decorate. Copyright 2015 by Rosie Alyea. Photos by Rosie Alyea. Property of Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

18 • • Party Guide 2018

In a blender, combine milk, remaining frosting, ice cream and salt and process until the ingredients are incorporated and you have a thick milkshake. Serve in the prepared glasses.


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FREEBIES in San Diego Love free stuff? Check out these fun and FREE ways for kids (and parents) to celebrate birthdays! Most require online registration; visit each website for more information.

20 • • Party Guide 2018

Baskin-Robbins Countywide Sign up for the Birthday Club online and receive a free ice cream on your birthday. Parents register first; then add spouse and children to your account. Benihana San Diego – 619-298-4666 registration/ Register for Benihana’s Chef’s Table club to receive a complimentary $30 gift certificate for your birthday meal. The Boathouse Harbor Island – 619-291-8011 specials_birthdaynight.html Celebrate your birthday with a free prime rib dinner. Check the website for Birthday Night where all the birthdays that month receive a free entrée with purchase of a second meal. Reservation is required; bring your ID for proof of birthday. BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse Multiple Locations Receive a free birthday pizookie when you sign up for premier rewards. Black Angus Multiple Locations Prime Club members receive a free steak dinner and dessert with purchase of any dinner entree by joining the Prime Club Email Program. Free steak dinner offer good on first birthday after sign up. Prime Club offers not available on certain holidays.

Chuck E. Cheese Countywide Sign up for the Chuck E. Club and receive 100 free tickets for your child’s birthday. Parents register, then add the child’s first name and birth date to the account. Denny’s Countywide Get a free Grand Slam breakfast on your birthday when you bring ID or proof of birth date. No sign up required. Designer Shoe Warehouse La Jolla – 858-657-0314 Mission Valley – 619-296-4079 Otay Ranch – 619-296-4079 Sign up to be a Rewards Member and receive a $5 birthday gift certificate. Parents, use the gift certificate for yourself—you deserve it! IHOP Countywide Join the IHOP Pancake Revolution to receive free meals: One on your birthday, one upon registering and another one on your one-year anniversary of joining the Pancake Revolution! Jersey Mike’s Countywide Register online for the Sub Club and you’ll receive a free sub and drink coupon on your birthday.

Medieval Times Buena Park - 714-523-1100 Celebrate your birthday like royalty for free at Medieval Times with the purchase of a full priced adult admission. For offer call 1-888-WEJOUST (935-6878) and mention code BFCRM at time of purchase. Offer valid during birthday month. Proof of birthday required upon entry. Pinkberry Fashion Valley – 619-294-4600 Hillcrest – 619-260-9106 Register for the Pinkcard reward program (either online or download the app), to receive a free yogurt on your birthday and earn a free yogurt after every 10th purchase. Red Robin National City - 619-267-2000 University City - 858-450-0343 Escondido - 760-747-7112 Join the Red Robin Royalty program and receive a free gourmet burger of your choice. Offer good once during your birthday month. Starbucks Countywide Join My Starbucks Reward (there’s an app for that!) to receive a birthday drink or food reward on your birthday and earn reward points for every purchase. v Adrienne Sigeti is the editorial assistant at San Diego Family.

Do you know of a great birthday freebie that’s not listed here? Email us at

Party Guide 2018 • •





10 Guests & 2 Adults

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PARTY PACKAGES Package Includes: • 2 1/2 hours in Private Party Room • Personal Party Host • Set-up, Clean-Up & Party Supplies • 2 Pitchers of Soda & Bowl of Popcorn Each Guest Receives: • Admission • $10 Game Card • Free Return Admission Pass • 100 Redemption E-Tickets • 2 Slices of Pizza • 5 Frames of Mini-Bowling Birthday Honoree Receives: • Light Up Lanyard • E-Ticket Prize Wheel Spin • Jumbo Dice Roll for E-Tickets • Party Hat • Surprise Bowling Gift Package @ $375 + tax Additional Guests @ $25 Additional Adults @ $2.50 Add-Ons Available

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San Diego Family Party Guide 2018  

Unique party ideas, tips, places to celebrate and FREE ways for kids (and parents) to celebrate birthdays from the local brand you already t...

San Diego Family Party Guide 2018  

Unique party ideas, tips, places to celebrate and FREE ways for kids (and parents) to celebrate birthdays from the local brand you already t...