2014 Explorer Terrain Management System

 

The 2014 Explorer has always held one of the top positions for an SUV in its class. Now the vehicle is even better than before. One of the most innovative additions to the new 2014 Ford Explorer is the Terrain Management System™.

Overview

The Terrain Management System™ allows the driver to quickly shift on the move into one of four settings to match the present terrain. This is achieved by turning a rotary dial on the dashboard. Settings 1-4 are listed below:

  1. is used for normal, everyday conditions.
  2. is for use in mud and ruts.
  3. is for sandy conditions.
  4.  is for slippery conditions like snow, gravel, and grass.

History

Jonathan Crocker, head of Vehicle Engineering for the 2014 Ford Explorer, decided  that some drivers did not understand the conventional four-wheel drive low and high, and would also benefit from a system that was more integrated and less hands-on. In 2011 the Ford Explorer moved from a rear-wheel platform to front-wheel. The principle behind the move was not simply to engage the rear axle in difficult conditions but to integrate and modify the response of different systems for improved performance.

In-Depth

If you are driving your 2014 Ford Explorer under the normal settings, the Terrain Management System™ moves torque to the front wheels and shifts torque to the rear only as required. This is the most economical setting but still allows the vehicle its four-wheel drive function for the best driving conditions.

Should conditions become more difficult and extreme, one can dial the grass, snow, and gravel setting. For example, this setting can be used when the underlying surface is firm and solid, but the top layer of the surface is loose and slippery. Under this setting more torque is applied to the rear wheels,

The transmission, without the aid of the driver, shifts up into a higher gear, and, at the same time, the engine lessens its torque output at the current throttle condition. This action stops the tires from spinning. Simultaneously, the stability control function keeps the steering straight and true.

In the Mud and Ruts setting, the Terrain Management System™ makes the accelerator more aggressive and, at the same time, desensitizes the stability control. This enables the wheels to spin as fast or as slow as need be.

 

The Terrain Management System™ really shows its mettle in deep, sandy conditions. In these extreme conditions you simply dial to sand on the Terrain Management System™, and it will automatically disable the traction control whilst keeping the transmission in low gear to power effortlessly out of trouble.

Conclusion

The 2014 Explorer is much improved with the Terrain Management System™. It enables the driver to deal with most on-road and off-road conditions safely and efficiently. It also aids fuel economy and comfort. The system is easy to use, and each setting can be quickly dialed whilst the car is in motion. The dial is in easy reach, and each setting illuminates to reassure the driver that he has successfully made his selection; this is especially useful at night.

Ford Truck Card Contest

Make a card for your truck and enter it into a monthly drawing.

 

Ford has been building trucks since 1918. The first one was a Model T, one-ton truck. The first F series truck rolled off the line in 1948, and Ford is still going strong and proud today.

Each truck has its own unique style. That’s why this contest should prove to be both interesting and informative. When owners come together with the stories and pictures of these great vehicles, it will easily be a conglomeration of taste, talent, and diversity.

 

All Ford trucks  comes with a silent reminder of a man who had an idea, one which was put to work at a time when the nation was vulnerable. Henry Ford set out to manufacture an automobile made by skilled workers who earned decent, steady wages. He dreamed of a vehicle that was simple to drive and cheap to repair. That and much more was accomplished with the F series Ford truck. To hear and see about all of these vehicles throughout the years would be a treasure, and there are prizes offered for showing off your truck. How great is this!

 

AGE OR USE HAS NO BEARINGS ON THE WINNER!

Regardless of when you bought your Ford truck, whether it was new or used, it qualifies for this contest and can be entered. Be specific in your entry; make your truck interesting. Include why you bought it, where you bought it, what its price was at the time, and how long you had it.  A picture is a must; use it to show what the truck does for you. If it’s a prize possession, all shiny and pristine, or used to climb mud mountains, let it speak for itself.  There is no right or wrong picture. There is no picture too old or too new,  check out the 2014 Explorer Terrain Management System

 

 

CHANGES IN STYE AND USES

 

Initially Ford trucks were for the working man, but over the years they have become a  vehicle that’s great for moms too. Mothers across the country can be seen driving a Ford to haul a batch of kids to soccer, hockey, or ballet.

Ford trucks have also evolved into the very popular SUV. These  Ford trucks are being put to the test daily, doing most of the regular chores Ford trucks would do plus some. You need to bring home a patio set, drop in some garden rocks, or haul a huge puppy to the vet in comfort? Your Ford truck will do it all.

 

AND THE PRIZES ARE: 

 

    • Dickies Built Ford Tough Jacket
    •  Built Ford Tough backpack and one work t-shirt
    •  Subscriptions to Sports Illustrated magazine, and one work t-shirt
    •  One work t-shirt and prize package

 

BIG GRAND PRIZE:

 

At the end of the contest, one tough Ford truck owner will win a trip to see his/her favorite sports team play in a regular season road game. This prize includes travel, lodging, and tickets for both the winner and a guest. The game will be at the discretion of the winner.

Distracted Driving Awareness Month

 

The term “distracted driving” continues to gain national attention as the rate of fatal accidents related to distractions, including texting and cellphone usage during driving, continues to climb at an alarming rate in the United States. During 2012 more than 3,000 people lost their lives in crashes resulting from distracted driving. In an effort to bring awareness to this serious problem, April has been designated as Distracted Driving Awareness Month as a way to encourage driving safety and help curb these fatal crashes. This program, led by the U.S. Department of Transportation in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Safety Council, is promoting a simple idea to consider, “One text or call could wreck it all.”

Drivers Most at Risk

 

Facts have shown that 16 percent of younger drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were found to be distracted while driving. This is a dangerous statistic considering that many of these drivers lack driving experience, a fact that puts them at risk to begin with. Coupled with distractions such as loud music, talking to other passengers in the vehicle, and talking or texting on their cellphone, in many cases these young drivers are an accident waiting to happen. Surprisingly enough, the age group found to have the highest number of fatal crashes related to cellphone usage was the 30- to 39-year old group.

Collected crash data shows that those who multi-task while driving are at a higher risk for being involved in a crash, and the main culprit for distraction is usually the cellphone. In 2009 alone there were almost 31,000 fatal crashes in the United States, involving approximately 45,000 drivers, and resulting in almost 34,000 deaths. Out of these figures, 16 percent of those crashes were attributed to some form of distraction. This signifies an increase from just 10 percent of fatal crashes in 2005.

What’s Being Done to Promote Driver Safety?

While many states and municipalities already have laws in place to address handheld cellphone usage and driving safety, the NHTSA is kicking off their first national campaign directed specifically at cell phones. By promoting “U Drive. U Text. U Pay,” it hopes that drivers will understand the dangers to which they expose themselves, in addition to being ticketed and receiving higher penalties if involved in a crash while talking or texting on their cellphones.

Drivers can do their part for driving safety by putting down the phone while driving and encouraging the younger drivers in their families to do the same. More information on Distracted Driving Awareness Month can be found on the government’s website.

Winter Sports in Orange County

Because its climate is so mild year-round, most Orange County winter sports are held indoors in ice skating and hockey rinks. Opportunities to practice winter sports, like basketball and football are easy to find in Orange County. Because the elevation and climate of Orange County doesn’t support winter sports involving snow, there are no opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and sledding inside the county’s borders.

Curling

The Orange County Curling Club (OCCC), located in Westminster, is open to all ages, and its season runs from September to February. It offers beginner lessons for anyone who has completed their Learn to Curl class, a two-hour class that provides the basics of this winter sport. Anyone can enroll, but those under 18 years of age must bring a consenting parent with them. There is a nominal cost for the class; the club takes cash or checks. The OCCC is located at Westminster Ice at 13071 Springdale Street. You can reach them at 714-987-CURL (2875).

Hockey and Ice Skating

Those interested in watching professional Orange County winter sports can follow the Anaheim Ducks, this county’s only professional winter sport team. They play home games at the Honda Center, just off the 57 Freeway at Katella on Douglass. The Honda Center’s address is 2695 E Katella Ave., Anaheim.

A number of ice hockey leagues exist in Orange County for players of all ages. The Aliso Viejo Ice Palace in Aliso Viejo specializes in ice hockey for children as young as 3 years to 8 years. Those older must join the USA Hockey, which carries a nominal membership fee. Aliso Viejo Ice Palace is located at 9 Journey on Aliso Viejo Parkway, south of Pacific Park Drive and northeast of Aliso Creek Road.

The Anaheim Ice ice skating rink has open ice skating and hockey leagues, including pick-up games. They also offer broomball games, a sport which is similar to curling. Anaheim Ice offers lessons, open skating, and leagues for all ages. They are located at 300 West Lincoln Ave., just south of Lincoln Ave., east of North Harbor Boulevard, and west of South Anaheim Boulevard.

Other ice skating rinks peppered throughout Orange County include:

  • KHS Ice Arena
  • Honda Center
  • Orange County Ice Palace

Football and Basketball

These are among the traditional Orange County winter sports that the schools in the county offer for their students, male and female alike. Basketball courts abound in some of Orange County’s parks. Hoops Unlimited offers men’s teams in these cities:

  • Anaheim
  • Huntington Beach
  • Irvine
  • Santa Ana
  • Garden Grove
  • Westminster

Their basketball season permits up to 14 games per season for each team and limits players to specific heights, from six feet and under and from six-feet five-inches with a one inch allowance. The contact telephone for Los Angeles and Orange County residents is (949)-459-5858.

The Auto Servicing Benefits of Living in California during the Winter

 

An auto service provides full and preventative service in the maintenance and automotive repair of vehicles. Usually domestic and foreign vehicles such as SUVs, cars, trucks, and fleet are repaired by scheduling an appointment. The latest tools and machinery are used to accurately service the vehicles. California Automotive provides such services, and they are located in Los Altos, California. There are many auto servicing benefits of living in California during the winter time.

One benefit of living in California during the wintertime is that you do not have to worry about freezing temperatures, salted roads, and wintery precipitation. These things can have a great effect on your vehicle. In winter weather using water would require you to drain it out before the freezing temperatures began. If the water were to freeze, it would expand and could hurt the radiator or even cause a crack on the engine block. Coolant doesn’t freeze inside the vehicle like water does and does not need to be drained. It will not damage your car.

Coolant can protect your vehicle for a longer period of time and at higher temperatures than water can. This can be crucial in the summertime, especially if you find yourself stuck in a traffic jam or on a very long trip where the car generates heat.

 

In the wintertime tires can lose a little pressure. Low tire pressure can be a safety issue. It can affect the braking, cornering, and stability of the vehicle. This can lead to tire failure, and it can cause a serious accident. Low tire pressure can also affect the fuel economy, comfort, and the life of the tire. For the wintertime a 4/32-inch tire should be installed in your vehicle.

Another benefit of auto servicing in the winter in California is that you don’t have to worry about salt and sand ending up in your windshield wipers because of the snow.

The California Automotive that is located at 139 1st Street in Los Altos, California provides services for your vehicle such as factory maintained service, brake services, tune-ups, suspension rebuild, air conditioning services, and restoration and customization. Additional services the California Automotive provides for your vehicle are engine replacement, engine rebuild, engine modification, classical vehicle restoration, and electronic high performance tuning.  You can call them at 650-948-9169 or call them toll-free at 866-449-3623. They have other service areas that include Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Paolo Alto, Cupertino, and San Jose California.

Although there are many benefits of auto servicing in California during the wintertime, it is important to maintain your vehicle annually so that it will last you for years.

Winter Events in Cerritos, CA

Are you looking for some fun things that you and your family can do in Cerritos, California? There are so many cool events going on during the winter months. Here are a few Cerritos winter events you don’t want to miss.

 

Kids Club at Los Cerritos Center

A great indoor Cerritos winter event to beat the cold is the Kids Club at the local mall. It is located in front of Forever 21 and is run as an extension of the National Geographic for Kids. This club is a great place for kids to learn through hands-on experiences. There is a different theme each month. During the month of January, they have an All About Pets kids theme where you can win free tickets to the zoo. The next event is January 11 at 11 am.

 

Torrance Antique Street Faire

This Cerritos winter event happens on the last Sunday of each month even throughout the winter months. Its location is in historic downtown Torrance. You will find a vast array of antiques, jewelry, and other products that will be perfect for your home. With over 200 sellers, you are sure to find just what you’re looking for. On top of that, there are live music performances, pet adoptions, great food, and fun for the whole family.

 

Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts

Wintertime is the perfect time to catch a show at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. They have a wide range of events, from Broadway Shows to special musical guests. During Christmas time, they have a long list of Christmas shows for your enjoyment. Here are just a few: Helen Reddy Holiday Show, Michael Londra’s Celtic Yuletide, Blue Suede Christmas, Colors of Christmas, and Broadway on Ice. In January amazing performances continue with the musical Man of La Mancha, The Best of Doo-wop, and Hotel California-A Salute to the Eagles. There is always something to see at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.

 

Knott’s Berry Farm

 

When looking for Cerritos winter events, Knott’s Berry Farm should be high on your list. Just a short drive from Cerritos, Knott’s Berry Farm turns into Knott’s Merry Farm, a winter wonderland. This is a fun and exciting event for the whole family. There is a musical tree lighting featuring Snoopy and his friends. The must-see at Knott’s Merry Farm is Snoopy’s Magical Night of Lights. You will find thousands of themed lights that will amaze you. Santa’s Christmas Cabin will truly bring out the holiday cheer. If you are in Cerritos during the winter, be sure to schedule a time to see Knott’s Merry Farm.

 

Whale Watching

During the winter and spring months, there is a large migration of whales to the California coast. It is worth the drive to take a whale watching tour. The cruise tours will take you through the most popular spots where whales often spend their winters.  Individuals who love photography and nature should plan one of these Cerritos winter events.

 

Skiing
The great thing about California winters is that you are not far at all from skiing or snowboarding. Less than an hour and a half from Cerritos is an amazing ski area called Mountain High. It is the closest winter resort for southern California residents. The resort offers lessons for both children and adults. They also have a tubing park which is perfect for kids.

Winter Activities in Los Angeles, CA

 

Christmas and the festive holiday season has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean that life slows down in Los Angeles. In January, while other parts of the country are curling up with hot cocoa and wool sweaters, residents of LA will find plenty of interesting things to do with these Los Angeles January activities.

 

DineLA

 

One of the top Los Angeles January activities, after the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl are over, is DineLA. This year’s DineLA Restaurant Week will be held January 20 through January 31. Hop in your car and head to your favorite restaurant to enjoy special prix fixe menus during this week. Over 300 restaurants are participating, so you might have the chance to try something you’ve never tried before.

While DineLA is a twice-a-year event, it does not have set hours. You can visit a participating restaurant any time it’s open. Reservations are recommended, however, because these restaurants tend to be packed all year long but even more so during this busy time.

 

Huntington Gardens

 

Huntington Gardens is a breathtaking place to visit, but in January the garden’s over 1,200 camellias bloom for the first time. These flowers bloom from January to March, and Huntington Gardens is one of the best places in the country to view them. Seminole, Verbanica, Hong Kong Orchids, Sticks on Fire, and the Japanese Flowering Apricot also bloom in January.

The gardens open daily at noon and at 10:30 am on the weekends, with the exception of Tuesdays when they are closed. Admission is $20 for adults ($23 on weekends) and $8 for children. The gardens are part of the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, located at 1151 Oxford Road in San Marino. To visit take CA-110 N, turning right on East California Boulevard. Then turn right on Allen Avenue, followed by a left on Orlando Road. Turn right on Oxford Road to find the location on your right.

 

Whale Fiesta

 

January marks the beginning of whale-watching season in Los Angeles, and with that comes one of the most family-friendly January activities in Los Angeles. If you have kids, you’ll want to head to the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium on Sunday January 26 to celebrate this. From 10 am to 4 pm, the aquarium celebrates all things whales with nature talks, a life-size model of a gray whale, the Great Duct Tape Whale Contest, and even puppet shows. While you are there, don’t forget to see the exhibits in the museum, which is open until 5 pm.

To get to the museum, travel along Harbor Freeway South, and take the Harbor Boulevard exit. Turn right onto Harbor Boulevard, followed by a right onto 22nd street. Next take a left at Pacific Avenue and a left onto Stephen M. White Drive. The aquarium is located at 3720 Stephen M. White Drive.

 

Teen’Scape’s Game Day

 

The Los Angeles Public Library’s Teen’Scape program is hosting a game day for teens on January 17 at 3:30 pm. Whether your teenager likes to play videogames, like the Xbox 360 Kinect or Wii, or board games, they can do so at this event, all while socializing with other teens in a safe environment. These Los Angeles January activities will take place at any of the LAPL branches around the city and is free for library card holders.

Where to See Snow in Southern California This Winter

 

Southern California residents and visitors can see snow in Southern California just a short drive east of the coastal areas. Although this region can have unpredictable snowfall during the fall, winter, and spring, the mountainous areas inland can receive a dusting or be overwhelmed with snow from cold winter storms coming in from the north.

Because snow in Southern California is a rare event, it’s a good idea to check your resources for travel and traffic conditions. Sometimes the state highway department limits access to four-wheel drive vehicles or requires chains. It’s also a good idea to bring extra food, water, clothing, and blankets should you venture up a mountain to see the snow. Having your car in top condition also helps prevent any problems that could strand you in colder temperatures.

Mount Baldy

Located on the western border of San Bernardino County, Mount Baldy lies in the Angeles National Forest at an elevation of 7,800 feet, high enough to support a robust winter recreation area for snow enthusiasts. It averages about 130 inches of snow annually and is visible on a clear day from the Los Angeles area. The easiest approach to Mount Baldy is from the 210 in Los Angeles, heading north on Glendora Mountain Road.

Wrightwood

This recreation area is close to Mount Baldy, and the drive is almost entirely on freeways, which is perfect for those drivers not used to mountain driving or snow-packed roads. A tubing center offers full services and tube rental on weekends and holidays.

Big Bear

Further east lies Big Bear Lake, accessible from I-10, a popular destination in the summer and winter. It’s the largest mountain area to experience snow in Southern California, offering downhill and cross-country skiing, as well as sledding for youngsters. The only place in Southern California to bobsled lies at Alpine Slide located at Magic Mountain, part of the Big Bear Lake region. It has runs for all ages and skill levels.

Idyllwild

Located in Riverside County, this mountaintop resort area often receives snowfall visible from Orange County. It’s a year-round recreation area with an elevation 5,345 feet. This community welcomes winter visitors but has no skiing facilities. It does have a robust arts community with plenty of amenities for residents and visitors. Access is from Highway 74.

Southern San Diego County

The southern-most region of San Diego County experiences snowfall periodically in the mountains through which I-8 passes. Numerous smaller highways give access to the smaller communities inland, particularly Alpine and Pine Valley, the largest communities in the Cleveland National Forest.

The Anza-Borrego Desert lies east of the center of San Diego County. Its highest elevation is 2,400 feet and receives snowfall during the coldest winter storms.

Disney Holiday Parades in CA

Venues to View

Everyone is aware of the famed NFL SuperBowl commercials in which the most valuable player always replies “I’m going to DisneyWorld,” when asked where are you going after the game? Although Disneyworld is one of the best vacation spots on earth, another locale with the same namesake is equally as fun! In fact, the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California not only boast some of the best holiday celebrations in the U.S., but the world.   The Disneyland Resort has superb venues to entertain the entire family like at the Disney California Adventure Park and Disneyland Park. Both of these parks attain numerous activities to accommodate youth of all ages. Even parents and adults can have loads of fun here! Although this venue is renowned for its year-round fun, from early November to early January the magic of Disneyland is heightened.

Winter Wonderment

To celebrate the winter solstice, the Disneyland Resort is annually converted into a winter wonderland from November to early January. Since 1977, this captivating venue has been celebrating Christmas by hosting some of the most lavish festivals you can imagine. So if you and your family are some of the lucky visitors at this resort during this time of the year, you all will witness the best Disney parades ever!   On December 26th, the Disneyland Resort holds an incredible event called the Christmas Fantasy Parade. This event is an extensive musical extravaganza that showcases your favorite Disney personalities, and tons of memorable Christmas tunes. In addition to this fabulous event, Disneyland has several other Christmas parades throughout the month of December. And not to mention the amazing parade that happens on Christmas Day that features the likes of Mickey and Minnie alongside old Saint Nick himself.

Festive Traditions

Like other holiday parades, Disneyland’s Christmas parades include awesome floats, beautifully decorated in festive colors. Frankly, nothing compares to watching Santa Claus and your favorite Disney characters dressed in their best holiday garbs parading down Main Street U.S.A. Families from all around the world have enjoyed this unbelievable Disney parade for years, and many return time after time!

In addition to the December events mentioned, there is the fun-filled Pixar Parade at Disneyland’ California Adventure Park, that features Buzz Lightyear and Woody from Toy Story, as well as Crush and Nemo from Finding Nemo; and other stars of your favorite Disney Pixar films performing live for you. As if this parade would not “wow” you and the children, Mickey also holds a phenomenal event called Mickey’s Soundsational Parade at Disneyland Park. This energetic gathering features Mickey leading a plethora of incredible drummers that perform classic tunes while partying on Main Street U.S.A. with the attendees. If you were unaware that Mickey is a master percussionist, it is a pleasure to watch him ”walk to the beat of a different drummer!”

As if December does not deliver enough fun, the New Year at Disneyland Resort also brings in outstanding events throughout the first week of January. With new attractions such as the World of Color, a light show like no other, and ¡Viva Navidad, which celebrates Latino culture and other amazing attractions, like Jingle Cruise, there is no reason why you should not bring the family to Cinderellas’s Castle and view the breathtaking fireworks in person.

It is no secret how magical Disney parades are to people from all points of the globe. So if you plan to visit the Disneyland Resort during the holidays, it would behoove you to come early, in order to get a cozy spot to witness the most wonderful Disney parades you can envision.

DIY Christmas Decorations for Southern California

 

Christmas in Southern California: Events and Decorations

While Southern California might not have all the snow and cold that rings in the Christmas spirit for the colder climates of the United States, there are still a ton of wonderful events and DIY Christmas decorations ideas that allow you and your family to get into holiday spirit. Here are just some our favorite ways to enjoy the holiday season in Southern California.

Christmas Trees and Reindeer Branch Decorations

Even though this isn’t Vermont, from Ventura to Orange County there are plenty of Christmas tree farms for families to carry on the timeless American tradition of cutting down their own Christmas tree. These full service tree farms offer the saws, carts, and landscape perfect for that memorable winter outing. Fresh cut trees are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face and joy throughout the holiday season. In addition to serving as that quintessential decoration in your household’s living room, the extra branches from a the bottom part of the Christmas tree offer a lot of fodder to create unique DIY Christmas decorations:

  • Branch Reindeer. You can create a simple standing reindeer decoration by taking a thicker branch – about 2-inch in diameter and 4-inch in length – and drilling four holes in the bottom, and one on top. Inside the four bottom holes, stick smaller branches for legs. Inside the top hole, secure another small stick to act as a neck. On top of this “neck” you can add another thicker branch slightly smaller than the first – about 1-inch in diameter and 1.5-inch in length – as the head. Atop the head, drill two small holes for antlers. If you don’t have a drill, hot glue guns work fine. These little reindeer figurines make for a great family activity and look great atop your fireplace mantle or dining room table.
  • Ceiling Wreath. Another great DIY Christmas decorations idea is to take the bottom tree boughs that are still full of nettles and add use wire to tie them into a wreath. This wreath can be then hung from the ceiling to make a great impromptu Christmas chandeliers. Additionally evergreen trimmings can be added in vases around your home for extra cheer.

Southern California Luminaria Displays

A family trip to the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont, CA during their Luminaria Nights offers an unforgettable Christmas outing. Here, the garden offers a nice half mile of candle lit trails. The stroll around the gardens includes live Christmas acoustic music, hot cider, and fresh cookies. Following your visit, your family might be inspired to create their own DIY Christmas decorations that light up with candles.

  • DIY Christmas candle holders. Mason jars filled with tea candles, evergreen trimmings, and fake berries can make a simple and rustic holiday decoration. This is a great child-friendly activity: simply given them the supplies and let them create their own safe luminaria display.

The Mission Inn Festival of Lights

While the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens offers a more demure Christmas evening, nothing goes as Christmas glamorous as Mission Inn’s famed Festival of Lights. Often touted as the premier holiday light events in Southern California, families will enjoy a unique display of lights and decorations both inside and out this historic building. Additional attractions include a small ice rink, a multitude of festive food treats, and a trip for the kids to take pictures with Santa Claus. This is also a great opportunity for families to get inspired with Christmas decorations. You can use lights throughout your homes inside and out to create a host of DIY Christmas decorations projects.