WinterFest OC is finally back! Back again at the OC Fair & Event center and back to its original format after a 2 year pivot due to the pandemic. WinterFest OC became Night of Lights OC during 2020 and 2021 in order to provide holiday attraction-seekers a safe environment to celebrate in. After an amazing job converting the event to drive-through only in 2020; visitors once again get to walk-through this holiday attraction without having a trail of cars behind them.

Since our first time at this production company’s event was in 2020; we never got to experience the normal festival format. We knew we had to return to the OC Fairgrounds during the holidays and keep tradition alive and experience the holiday festivities here once again. This event did not disappoint. Utilizing just a part of the OC Fairgrounds; WinterFest OC feels like a mini-fair with enough festive activities and things-to-do that it will keep you merry and your spirits bright for the entire season. Plus having food vendors from the actual fair didn’t hurt either.

To keep it traditional, the entrance starts off with 2 light-tunnels. These were the same tunnels that we used to drive-through but now we get to experience it on foot. After the tunnels, you enter into what feels like a magical wonderland. There were literally countless activities to participate in. Admission includes all the displays, sets, photo-ops, meeting with Santa and all the immersive experiences. Depending on the ticket, some of the other activities may be included such as carnival rides. Ice skating, mini golfing, the train ride, merry-go-round, ice tubing and bumper cars can all be purchased as well if your tickets do not include the applicable add-ons. FYI, Ice Skating is timed-entry.

Now, for the two most fun parts: The Tree Lighting and The North Pole. The Tree Lighting ceremony was kicked off with a short parade around the tree and to the tunnels and back. Then, a 3 song performance with a storyline followed shortly on a festive stage with an impressive “holiday house” facade. After the song and dance numbers, the tree gets lit around 5:30. If you missed the performances, no worries as there are 2 reprises. As for the North Pole; it is cleverly set up inside of 5 large tents which may be a great place to duck the cold and the rain. The entrance to The North Pole was through a bright red L.E.D. tunnel. Once you get inside, it is like a winter wonderland. From tree mazes - to 360 degree videos - to snow - to festive backdrops for photos - to photos with Santa; who knew a simple stroll through a light tunnel would teleport you to a world of Christmas?

When we say that there is something for everyone; we really mean that here. Adults can indulge in adult beverages paired with some of their favorite fair foods and snacks. VIP cabanas can be added on by the ice skating rink or by The North Pole entrance at the VIP Fireside Lounge where you can make your own s’more. What we enjoyed with the normal format versus the drive-through is that: you are not under any pressure of a time-restraint. With cars behind you, it was difficult to fully enjoy the attraction the last 2 seasons. With the walk-through festival; you are free to explore where you want and for however long you want. We definitely recommend this as a stop during the holiday season. The entire family will find something magical here. For more information:

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