WINTERFEST OC is bringing snow to Southern California with an all-new outdoor holiday theme park. Returning to the OC Fair, this extensive holiday festival takes over the fairgrounds providing a variety of holiday activities for the whole family. Guests can easily spend an entire evening enjoying the many winter activities at the festival and making beautiful memories with their loved ones.

First, it’s important to mention that there is a surprising amount of activities included in an $8 – $15 dollar general admission ticket, making WINTERFEST OC a very affordable way for guests to spend a winter’s evening. Most notably, guests have the opportunity to play in the snow which residents of Costa Mesa would generally have to drive over an hour to experience. There is a small dedicated snow play area with a slide and snowboard simulator. In another area, Snowflake Summit, guests have the opportunity to ride down a large slide in inner tubes an unlimited amount of times with their ticket as long as they are willing to wait in line.

Aside from experiencing snow, guests have a chance to see rows upon rows of Christmas displays in the Festival of Lights area. The lights themselves are not overly impressive; however, they do bring that warm holiday feeling of seeing neighborhood lights all in one convenient place. Probably the best way to see the Festival of Lights is to jump on the train and pass through, which is free with your ticket.

In addition to the lights, there is a fair amount of shows taking place throughout the evening. The Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony showcases many festive characters singing and dancing around a massive tree. Directly behind the tree, there are live cover bands playing each evening at the Hangar Stage. Pig Races also occur periodically during the night in a separate area of the park. Guests may even get to hear a live mariachi band playing during the evening as well as see nightly fireworks. With many events occurring at the same time and a booming PA system, there can be a little noise pollution despite how big the park is. Also, since not all of the music is holiday-related it can take away from that festive feeling of Christmas. However, at the same time, by providing a variety of different music and events that do not relate to religious holidays, WINTERFEST OC can be more inclusive to a wide range of audiences.

Although there are many activities included with your ticket, guests will likely want to pay a little extra for some of the WINTERFEST OC offerings. Since the festival takes place at the OC Fairground there are many carnival rides and games offered at WINTERFEST. Although these are not particularly festive for the holiday season, they do make fun activities for you and your family to enjoy. There is also a considerable amount of food items you can only get at the fair, including fried Oreos, a brick of curly fries, and cotton candy. There are also two areas to shop for your last-minute gift-giving. The SoCal Dicken’s London Towne showcases many vendors dressed in character selling homemade holiday crafts. There is also a Winter Market that has many of the vendors you may see at a local county fair. Even if you don’t buy anything, it is fun to check out these small vendors selling unique items. Lastly, guests may also want to purchase a ticket for the outdoor ice skating rink which is conveniently centered in the middle of the park. While circling the rink, guests can get a good look at the Christmas tree as well as get in some decent people watching. Although it’s not necessary, your experience may be elevated by taking advantage of some of WINTERFEST OC‘s paid offerings especially if you are a teenager or older.

A trip to the fair and the snow all in one, WINTERFEST OC brings a seasonal carnival to Orange County from December 19 – January 5, 2019. You can purchase tickets at https://winterfestoc.com/.

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Danielle Nicole

From a young age, Danielle has been drawn to all things creepy, cute, and weird. In 2017, she fell in love with horror by way of immersive theater and never looked back. Her passion for consumption of Southern California’s spooky art forms has brought her to haunts, film screenings, escape rooms, immersive theater and pop-up events. With a Master’s in Counseling Psychology, she is specifically interested in exploring the psychological aspects of horror.
Danielle Nicole

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