It was midnight when we finally stepped foot inside our home after the Thanksgiving break, but that didn’t stop my kids from using their second wind to search for Snowflake. They know that our Elf on the Shelf is supposed to arrive after Thanksgiving and it was only after a complete survey of our home did they finally go to sleep.
The holidays can be summed up in one word…tradition. This is the time of year when we create memories that my kids will remember long after they stop believing in Santa and his elves. Some of our traditions are as simple as making cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. Others involve scenic drives through snow to board the Polar Express. And a few years ago, we started a new holiday tradition with Winter Fest at the OC Fair & Event Center. This winter wonderland features all of your favorite winter activities in one spot. Now celebrating its seventh year (after a brief hiatus due to the pandemic), Winter Fest is even bigger with snow play, live mini shows, skating, tubing and more!
Your Guide to Winter Fest OC
- Food: Several vendors will be open at Winter Fest with seasonal specialties. Stay tuned for the latest information on available food options during Winter Fest OC.
- Entertainment: This year, Winter Fest is adding a series of nightly live entertainment and character encounters. At night, be sure to catch the lighting of the 30-foot Christmas tree complete with snowfall. During opening weekend, kids can meet the PJ Masks crew (November 25-27th).
- Activities: Last year, we found that there was so much to do at Winter Fest, we needed at least two days. Some of our favorite activities included ice skating, ice tubing, and ice bumper cars. Since it’s located on the grounds of the OC Fair, families can also take advantage of the carnival rides that are open including the beautiful Holiday Ferris Wheel.
- All-New Walk-Through North Pole Journey Experience: Travel from Forest Gate to North Pole Village in the all-new “North Pole Journey” walk-through experience that will immerse you in the sights, sounds, and smells of five magical lands on an important mission from Santa. Stop in three Holiday Towns and collect an element of the holidays in each that will help Santa take flight. Enjoy dazzling lights, music, unique photo opportunities, interactive activities, and visits with your favorite Night of Lights and Winter Fest OC characters including Yowie the Yeti, Snow Princess, Toyland Troupe, Toy Soldiers, Polar Bear, and Santa.
VIP Experiences at Winter Fest OC
This year, you can add one of three VIP experiences.
Fireside Lounge: Enjoy an exclusive fireside lounge area with comfortable seating, fire pits roasting s’mores, and a pristine view of the nightly Holiday celebration. With a private bar, Fireside Lounge is perfect for groups and holiday corporate parties.
Rink-Side VIP Private Cabanas: Private, ice rink-side VIP cabanas for up to 10 people are available to rent, creating the ultimate premium lounge for families, date nights, and girl’s night out. Cabanas can be adjoined to accommodate up to 250 people for memorable office parties. A private server is available for the purchase of specially-themed food and drinks.
VIP Snowflake Summit Ice Tubing Slide: During popular nights, you may want to avoid the lines for the ice tube slide. The fast pass will give you a dedicated entrance to lanes at the Ice Tube Slide. Please note that a limited quantity is available and admission to Winter Fest OC is not included.
Winter Fest Tickets, Discounts, and More
Tickets to Winter Fest start at just $14.95 for kids and $19.95 for adults when purchased online during their pre-sale. If you plan to visit more than once during the season, I recommend purchasing a season pass which starts at $36.95 for kids and $41.95 for adults during their presale.
- Knott’s Peanuts Celebration Food and Meal Plan Guide - January 27, 2023
- Beyond King Tut: The Immersive Experience - January 19, 2023
- Frozen Musical Debuts at Segerstrom Center for the Arts - January 13, 2023