There’s nothing like winter in warm and sunny Southern California. Pack up the family this winter, Dec. 20–Jan. 6, and join the seasonal fun of Winter Fest OC in Orange County. Expect all the trimmings, including a county fair, snowy attractions, ice tubing, skating and playing in the snow.
On the heels of the most-attended year in 2017, the Orange County Fair & Event Center welcomes travelers and locals to join in the holiday spirit — all 40,000 square feet of it.
Now in its fourth year, Winter Fest OC brings back all the most beloved family-friendly activities and attractions, including Snowflake Summit, an ice-tubing experience down 150 feet; Penny’s Snow Play, a fresh-snow attraction for toddlers and kids; and the Flying Santa and Reindeer Christmas Tree Lighting celebration, Dec. 20–24.
Take a family picture by the world’s largest rocking horse or run over to the bounce house with the kids. Everything is winter themed and over the top, including strolling carolers, a giant ornament (so big you can walk through it), a petting zoo, wandering characters for meet-and-greets, carnival rides, arcade games and crafts. Picture all of this paired with seasonal food and drinks.
With all the old favorites back, Winter Fest vets will also see a host of new activities, beginning with SoCal Dicken’s village. The 1800s-themed Christmas town is a walk down nostalgia lane with Christmas past, present and future. Decorate Christmas cookies and listen to stories after a pony ride or hit the holiday shops and visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus — until they have to go back to the North Pole for the season.
If there weren’t enough photo-op moments before for the teens, the Festival of Lights should prove a needed addition. Guests stroll under the 100-foot tunnel, twinkling with more than 2 million lights. Along the way, make a point to visit Candy and Snowflake Wonderland, or enjoy a VIP experience with private cabanas at Club Winter Fest. Enjoy an unobstructed view of the tree lighting and fireworks with the family.
Stick around for New Year’s parties at the Orange Ball New Year’s Eve Celebration. Watch the orange ball drop, both at 6 p.m. and midnight, along with live music and family-friendly parties. Closing Winter Fest OC for the season, El Dia de los Reyes, or Three Kings’ Day, Jan. 6, sees the Three Kings parade with a live camel.