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Visit California Debuts 'Playground California' Family Travel Campaign

"Modern Family" star Rico Rodriguez featured in campaign TV commercial

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Visit California is launching its first dedicated family travel initiative, 'Playground California,' with the national airing of its new Kids at Play TV commercial on Feb. 25, 2013.  The integrated marketing campaign showcases the abundance of family travel experiences available throughout the Golden State, positioning California as the ultimate playground for spring break, summer vacation and beyond.

Additional elements of the campaign include digital advertising, media relations, parent blogger engagement and a comprehensive content integration partnership with Nickelodeon and online radio station Pandora and their 'Moms who Rock' series. Combined, the campaign will fully engage head-of-household travel decision makers in the California travel experience.

"We're encouraging modern families to come to California for a good, old-fashioned 'unplugged' vacation," said Caroline Beteta, Visit California president and chief executive officer. "From one of the longest ski seasons in North America and iconic natural landscapes to globally-recognized theme parks and endless stretches of coast line, the Golden State truly is a family's ultimate playground."   

Teen actor Rico Rodriguez, from ABC sitcom "Modern Family" leads a cast of kids unplugged from technology enjoying California's beaches, theme parks, zoos, aquariums, museums, national parks and resorts in the campaign's new "Kids At Play" commercial. In a fun and irreverent way, the spot juxtaposes kid-friendly activities with dialogue centered on common digital and social media terms.  This is the first time a Visit California commercial has only featured children.

The spot will air nationally in the U.S. on cable TV and syndicated CBS programming, as well as in Canada on select national specialty TV networks

The 13 family-friendly locations from across California showcased in the new television commercial include:

Location 1: Mosaic Pool, Montage Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach
The Mosaic Pool has a children's pool and play area for families to enjoy that includes amenities such as books, headsets, board games and group programs. Guests rent out a private cabana for a day, or simply lounge poolside to take in spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.

Location 2: Cable Car, Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco
What's more Californian than an authentic 19th century cable car ride through San Francisco? Cable cars are not only a symbol of the city – they are a fun way for families to get around! Ride to Anchorage Square in Fisherman's Wharf and enjoy some of the nation's best seafood before spotting local sea lions up close.

Location 3 & 7 Mount Hermon zipline and "streaming" in Santa Cruz
Families will love ziplining "online" through the redwood forest canopy in the Santa Cruz Mountains across six ziplines and two sky bridges. On the ground, visitors can explore enchanting centuries-old Californian forests by "streaming," hiking, biking, camping and horseback riding.

Location 4: The Lorikeets, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Escondido
The San Diego Zoo is one of California's iconic family attractions, and its Safari Park offers families the chance to interact and learn about exotic African animals. Feed colorful "tweeting" birds at Lorikeet Landing, as seen in the commercial, then watch cheetahs run and visit the new Village Playground designed as an African village.

Location 5: Beluga Whales, SeaWorld San Diego, San Diego
SeaWorld San Diego allows kids the chance to get beyond the glass; offering one of the only places in the world where visitors can get in the water with Beluga Whales. The in-water Beluga Interaction Program is the perfect example of how to create lasting family memories on a vacation to the Golden State.

Location 6: Rollercoaster, Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier
Take a ride on the wild side at Santa Monica Pier's family amusement park. From the iconic Pacific Ferris wheel to "downloading" on the West Coaster rollercoaster, families will have the chance to play for the day among coastal breezes with spectacular views of Santa Monica Bay.

Location 8: Windansea Beach, La Jolla
"Gaming" in La Jolla is easy for families – whether it's competing for a wave on a surfboard or simply playing catch on the sand. Enjoy an ocean kayaking tour, or take in the cliffs, sea caves, sea birds and beautiful beach homes from the comfort of a beach towel. "Text" messages in the sand, instead of on phone.

Location 9: California Academy of Sciences Museum, San Francisco
California knows how to make learning fun! Rather than being "glued to the tube" kids can explore the Academy's aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum, rainforest, 40,000 live animals and various special exhibits.

Location 10: Squaw Valley Ski Resort, Lake Tahoe
Tubing and skiing and riding –oh my! There's always something fun for families at California's ski resorts. Once the snow melts, families can bike along the Truckee River, walk through wildflower meadows and go geocaching atop High Camp at 8,200 feet.

Location 11:  Transformers: The Ride-3D, Universal Studios Hollywood
What better way to enjoy the awesome power of film, than to step inside one? Transformers: The Ride-3D is in its second summer of wowing visitors, blurring the lines of fantasy and fiction with groundbreaking simulation technology.

Location 12: Horseback Riding, The Hollywood Sign
California's Hollywood sign is emblematic of the state's contribution to the world of film. Families can "get out and play more" by taking a horseback ride under the sign for unmatched view of Los Angeles, the mountains and beyond.

Location 13: Cars Land, Disney California Adventure, Anaheim
Start your engines! CarsLand opened last summer, allowing bringing to life the blockbuster film "Cars," including the town of Radiator Springs. From Radiator Springs Racers to Mater's Junkyard Jamboree, families can enjoy one of California's favorite theme parks in a whole new way.

The commercial recommends viewers to "start planning your family's playtime" now at

Visit California (formerly known as the California Travel & Tourism Commission) is a non-profit organization with a mission to develop and maintain marketing programs - in partnership with the state's travel industry - that keep California top-of-mind as a premier travel destination. According to Visit California, travel and tourism expenditures total $102.3 billion annually in California (20 percent of which is international), support jobs for 893,000 Californians and generate $6.3 billion in state and local tax revenues. For more information about Visit California and for a free California Official State Visitor's Guide, go to  For story ideas, media information, downloadable images, video and more, go to

Media Contacts:
Jennifer Sweeney, Visit California
(916) 233-0255
[email protected]

Brittani Wood, DCI
(212) 444-7166
[email protected]

SOURCE Visit California

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