It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Growing up in Southern California, winters were always fairly warm and we had to travel to get to snow, which was always a treat! Even though I am now a Northern California resident, I can often be found in Los Angeles and Orange County throughout the year, and holiday time is no different. There's something about seeing Christmas lights in palm trees that make me smile. :) I don't know if you can tell, but holiday season has always been my favorite time of year. I love everything about the holidays - the music, food (mostly the sweet treats), decorations, and LIGHTS!
Our eldest daughter (MeiLani) will be turning sixteen around Christmastime (where has time gone?!). In light of this milestone, one of my best friends and I will pack up my daughter and her bestie to take an early girls' road trip to celebrate and partake in some fun. Mei has been a traveling girl since she was a baby, so she always up for an adventure. Southern California is one of her favorite destinations and she requested a special trip for her birthday and Christmas combined, so I am excited to share more memories with her at Winter Fest 2016.
This will be our first time attending a Winter Fest event, so everything will be new! However, if you've attended before, you'll be happy to know that there are some experiences back by popular demand, along with many new experiences. After perusing the website, here are some that I am MOST excited to experience (to see all available experiences and shows click here):
- Tree Lighting Ceremony - Nightly, on the dot at 5:30, the lights begin glowing on a 30-foot-tall Christmas tree. Christmas trees are my favorite.
- Snowflake Summit - A 130 ft, 6 lane ice tubing slide and get this, UNLIMITED tubing is included with every admission ticket to Winter Fest. I am afraid of heights, and tall slides. However, I am excited to try this one out because I love tubing!
- Meet & Greet with Santa - You can't experience a winter event without Jolly Old St. Nick! Let's hope I was good enough this year, I might need to slip him a candy cane to check my name! You'll be able to take pics with Santa, so have your cameras ready!
- Candy Cane Carnival - Enjoy over a dozen holiday carnival rides, including a Holiday Ferris Wheel, Carousel, and try your hand at carnival games!
- Mistletoe Lounge - Enjoy holiday cocktails, craft brews or indulge in specialty coffees or try the popular Winter Fest hot chocolate (it wouldn't be a holiday event without hot chocolate)
- Festival of Lights - Grab some hot chocolate or a speciality coffee from Mistletoe Lounge and stroll down a pathway illuminated with 2 million lights with your family and friends, to experience 10 holiday themed lands. One of our favorite family traditions is to look at Christmas lights with our kids, so this is right up our alley!
- Snow Play - This area is free for everyone enjoy. I've already been told that I will be hit with a snowball, thanks to the real snow that will be blown in for the event. It's been a while since I made a snowman, hopefully someone will want to play with me.
With the awesome lineup of activities, like ice skating, snow play, ice tubing, and strolling through the Festival of Lights, I can guarantee that my birthday girl is going to have a lot of fun with her best friend. She's a big kid at heart, and already asked if I thought they'd let her in the bounce house, ha ha! I'm not quite sure about that, but we will definitely have a race around the outdoor ice skating rink.
If you're looking for a fun date night, or special night to hang out with your teens (or kids of any age), take them to WinterFest 2016 in Orange County. The event is held at the OC Fair & Event Center, and will only be open from December 16, 2016 - January 1, 2017. Admission begins at $10 per child, $15 per adult and you can purchase tickets and wristbands on the Winter Fest website.
With over 20 different experiences, there is definitely something for everyone to enjoy, throughout the day. If you have younger children there are live action mini shows during the day, and a special place for snow tubing in the snow play area. If you want an extra special experience, you can reserve a Private VIP Cabana that can accommodate up to 10 guests.
I can't tell you how excited I am to experience Winter Fest 2016 and perhaps start a new road trippin' tradition for my entire family!
What are your favorite family holiday traditions?
This is a sponsored conversation, all images are via Winter Fest, and as always, the magic and opinions are 100% mine.