If you are looking for an idea on what to do with kids in Orange County then you need to check out our day at the Orange County Fair. We attended the OC Winter Fest. I will include details of the OC Fair tickets, OC fair dates and a bit more about the winterfest.
If you are looking for something to do with kids in Orange County during the fall season, check out the Tanaka Farms Irvine Pumpkin Patch.
Orange County Fair
For a person who normally has an excess amount of creative juice flowing through her veins, I have felt creatively dry over the past 2 months. Self doubt creeped in and my once daily shooting of sweet pictures of my kids came to a point where I didn’t take out my camera for a full month. Lightroom, which normally saw twice weekly use was going through withdrawals. I’ve spoken to my husband a few times about how I felt upside down and creatively low. It all began during the time change.. as if that loss of an hour sent my world in a spiral. It’s like I’m living in a different galaxy.. On December 31, 2018 he decided, “We are going on a creative hunt! Let’s go to the OC fair and bring your camera.”
My eyes opened wider. YES! A camera at a FAIR! That would be BRILLIANT!
Now for a guy who actually completely dislikes this big camera in front of my face and who often gives me that look when the camera has been out too long this was a large supportive declaration.
He also may have warmed up to my camera after we had a serious talk about my recent memory problems. I seem to be losing memories of moments… holding bits and pieces, BUT NOT if I took a picture of it. If I took a picture of a meal, an event, even just a tree … I could take myself right back there to the moment and live it again, I could feel the chill or warmth in the air and more importantly.. how I felt in that moment. It’s as if a picture contains a secret key or barcode that can unlock a moment my brain has password protected. I worry about what will happen when I forget THAT password. At 32 years old, memory problems can’t be a real issue.. right?
But anyway! Let’s go back to the OC Fair now.. a creatives paradise.
Oh girls… guess where we are going today? To the Orange County Fair!
You can get the Orange County fair tickets for winter fest here. Buy Winter Fest Tickets.
The OC Fair dates are December 20, 2018 to Sunday January 6th. You can see the schedule for daily hours here.
OC Fair Tickets
For the winterfest if you purchase your tickets online you can get a child season pass (3-12) at around $25.
The adult season pass starts at $35. This includes all 18 days and nights including Christmas Day and New Years Eve.
If you purchase the oc fair tickets on site you will pay around $5 more. The rides require tickets or a wristband purchase.
Check out the map of the event here to see what there is to do.
The fair takes on a winter theme with snow decor, snowman, reindeers, a Christmas tree and more. There are snow play activities, snow slides and an outdoor ice rink. There are also nightly fireworks but the night I went it was windy so there were no fireworks.
Our Experience at The Orange County Fair Winter Fest Event
When you walk in, you are welcomed with some photo opportunities including trees and the carousel horse below.
There are a lot of food buying opportunities. The Kettle Corn lured me in.
How cute are these food stalls?! My 5 year old had a mission.. she wanted cotton candy!
We first did a quick walk around.
After having a look at all the rides, it was obvious that we needed to purchase the kids some wristbands.
The fun house was SO much of fun!! It was challenging and yet exciting. We even had a bit of our own Grease lightning moment in there, “I got chills… their multiplying.”
I think my kids went on the fun house 3 times. This was definitely something my 5 year old needed an adult to accompany her through the full house.
The rides were fun and included a mix of smaller rides and larger ones.
Oh the famous boat ride… how I loved thee as a child and now that my child loves thee, I am so scared FOR her.
My 9 year old loves the boat ride, me.. I’m just scared she will fall off of it. I understand her excitement because when I was younger this was the ride I’d keep going back to at the Santa Monica Pier. Oh the anticipation, the stomach tickle, the natural giggle scream that automatically leaves your lips but now that I’m a mom… I hate rides. I get anxiety with all the potential dangers… and now my tiny five year old loves the boat/dragon ride too.
Be still, my speeding heart!
Our sunset was absolutely beautiful! It set the perfect backdrop for our mood and made me feel so thankful for this moment. I was thankful that my husband pushed me to go to the fair even though I was feeling cold.
(I’m a sucker for cold weather.. I just can’t do it! Cold weather makes me hibernate.)
I was thankful for the smiles and laughter each member of our family had. By nature during the winter, I like to be at home.. I like to chill and watch tv, cuddle up with my kids, read a book, drink hot chocolate. Basically, be warm!
But I need that push sometimes to just go on these adventures, travel and just deal with my flying fears. (We travel a lot, check out our family vacation ideas.) But the point is, I sometimes need that push and when we finally get to the place… I’m always better for it.
Something I’ve been really pleasantly surprised by over the last year is the sibling relationship between my son and older daughter. He’s almost 12 and Aalz is 9 years old. I see their fighting get less and I see his protectiveness over her. When she goes to her friends houses to play, he misses her company. They can go on rides together and do older kid things that they can’t do with my youngest. As a mother, I truly want my kids to have close relationships with each other. I want them all to be best friends, each others biggest cheerleaders, a person they can always rely on.
Since my Didi was too young for the ride her elder siblings went on she got to play some fair games. She apparently did get ring around the neck of the duck but apparently, it can’t have any part on the head of the duck. It has to FULLY clear the head and wrap itself around the neck… which is incredibly hard. I’d give this one a skip, if you are at the Orange County Fair.
Have you visited the Orange County Fair? What have you been up to during the winter school break?