Christmas in Southern California is nothing short of magic. From Gingerbread House Workshops to the Merriest events at our favorite theme parks, the only thing missing is a dusting of snow and all of the wonderful things we associate with winter!
Winter Fest OC 2018
Once again, Winter Fest will immerse guests in a Winter Wonderland at the OC Fair & Event Center December 20, 2018 – January 6, 2019. The fairgrounds combination of indoor and outdoor spaces makes it the ideal location for bringing a sprinkling of winter magic to Southern California. With so much to see and do, I’ve put together 7 Things You Must Do at Winter Fest OC.
New for 2018
Many of your favorite experiences from Winter Fest OC 2017 have returned. Additionally, the event features 5 brand new, must-see experiences.
- SoCal Dicken’s Village: Families can stroll through the 1800’s with holidays past, present, and future. This experience features Cookie decorating, holiday storytelling, a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus (through Christmas Eve), pony rides, and shopping through the new Victorian holiday shops. Included, although some experiences may require a fee.
- Candy and Snowflake Wonderland: Capture the perfect Instagram moment in this interactive wonderland filled with candy, snowflakes, and a new selfie experience.
- Festival of Lights
- Orange Ball New Year’s Eve Celebration: Celebrate New Year’s with an Orange Ball drop at 6 pm and midnight along with fireworks. Live bands will also play throughout the night to ring in the new year.
- Club Winter Fest: The new longe area features pristine views of the nightly Christmas tree lighting ceremony and includes a free drink upon entry. Tickets are limited.
7 Things You Must Do at Winter Fest OC
- Take a ride on the Ice Tube Slide. Featuring 8 lanes and a 150 foot ice slide, this exciting experience at Snowflake Summit will elicit thrills and chills! Unlimited rides are included with your Winter Fest admission ticket. To skip the lines, purchase an Ice Tube Fastpass for just $10 (online) while supplies last.
- Play in real snow! Alpine Village is newly expanded this year and includes SoCal’s largest snow play with fresh snow blown daily. Now double the size of last year, the area will feature inflatables, a craft tent, food trucks, a toddler play area, and the festival of lights with a 100 foot animated light tunnel.
- Ice skate under the stars. Located next to the 30 foot tall Christmas tree, families can test out their skating skills at SoCal’s largest ice rink. Admission is $15 (online).
- Take flight on the Giant Ferris Wheel. The Candy Cane Carnival features over a dozen rides and games, including the Holiday Ferris Wheel, the Tilt-a-Whirl, Zipper and the Carousel. If you purchase the Online Platinum Ice Pass, you’ll receive Admission, Ice Skating, Unlimited Carnival Rides & Attractions, and an Snowflake Summit Ice Tube Fast Pass, for $43 (online).
- Capture your favorite Winter Fest Memories. Along with photos with Santa, families have access to a number of photo spots to remember their time at Winter Fest including a 30 foot tall Christmas tree, the world’s largest ornament, and the world’s largest rocking horse.
- Craft with the elves and write a letter to Santa. Winter Fest is decidedly family-friendly and thus you’ll find a number of kid-centric activities including crafts, games, and photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus at Santa’s Workshop. Winter Fest OC also includes winter-themed bounce houses and slides, arcade games, Santa’s petting zoo, a Little Elves toddler play area, and character live shows/meet & greets which include PAW Patrol, Hatchimals, PJ Masks, Octonauts, and Peppa Pig.
- Indulge in festive holiday eats and treats. Enjoy a varied selection of seasonal foods including grilled entrees, desserts, cocktails, craft beers, wines, and sweet treats at Winter Fest OC. You can also nosh on delicacies from local food trucks.
Winter Fest OC Admission and Information
Along with offering families an exciting array of festive, winter activities, the OC Fair & Event Center will be dressed up for the holiday. Throughout the space, you’ll also find roaming Winter Fest characters, magicians, performances by singers and artists and a nightly tree lighting ceremony complete with snow flurries. You can also stroll through the more than two million lights in 5 lands at the Festival of Lights. Be sure to ride through the 100-foot tunnel on the trackless train.
Admission to Winter Fest OC starts at $14 for children and $19 for adults (when purchased online) and includes access to snow play, the model train exhibit, the festival of lights, the inflatables, live entertainment and meet & greets, ice tubing slide, winter bounce houses, the snowboard simulator, Santa’s Petting Zoo, the World’s Largest Rocking Horse, the World’s Largest Ornament, nightly fireworks, nightly snowfall, and the nightly holiday parade. Season passes, fast passes, and unlimited ride wristbands are also available for purchase.
Winter Fest OC Discount Tickets
Save on Winter Fest OC Tickets with the following promotions.
Goldstar: A limited number of general admission tickets are available starting at $10+ for kids and $15+ for adults. The ticket includes admission and an ice slide fast pass.
Costco: A limited number of packages for 2 are available. For $39.99, you will receive 2 general admission tickets, 2 Carnival Ride Passes, and 2 Snowflake Summit Fast Passes.
Select discounts will be offered for First Responders, Teachers, and Military/Veterans with proof of ID. First Responders are guaranteed free admission on Wednesday, December 26th and January 2nd, Teacher Appreciation Days are Friday, December 21st, 28th, and January 4th, and Military/Veterans are guaranteed free admission on Thursday, December 20th, 27th, and January 3rd.
Private VIP Cabanas
Do you plan to visit Winter Fest OC with a group of friends or family members? Why not book a rink-side Private, ice rink-side VIP Cabana, starting at $69 per session. These cabanas can accommodate up to 10 guests (and linked to accommodate up to 150 guests) and includes a private server, exclusive VIP access, a warm, private cozy space, visits from strolling entertainment, and a special menu featuring holiday-inspired foods and craft cocktails (for an additional fee). This is ideal for holiday office parties, birthday parties, family retreats, and/or date nights.
Winter Fest OC Giveaway
One of you will win 4 tickets to Winter Fest OC! Simply complete the Rafflecopter form and leave a comment with one thing you are most excited about. Comments will close on December 20, 2018 at 11:59 pm PST.
US Residents only. Duplicates and comments not including the above information will be disqualified. Comments are moderated. If you don’t see your comment in a reasonable amount of time, send me an email. Bloggers and non-bloggers may enter. If you don’t want to leave your email address, please be sure to check back for my announcement on the winner. Please note that winners must respond within 48 hours of being announced/contacted or another winner will be drawn.
Images: Winter Fest OC