Winter Fest brings dozens of new holiday-themed activities to Orange County

COSTA MESA, Calif. (KABC) -- The fourth annual Winter Fest Orange County is back and offering even more fun for the family this holiday season.

The event, which will be at the Orange County Fairgrounds and Event Center, started Thursday and ends Jan. 6. The Winter Fest features 40,000 square feet of attractions that include ice tubing, an outdoor ice rink and real snow children can play in.

This year there are also new attractions: SoCal Dicken's Village, a village themed to Charles Dickens' popular novel "A Christmas Carol," where people can experience the 1800s and see the past, present and future holidays; Candy and Snowflake Wonderland, an interactive wonderland filled with candy, snowflakes and even a selfie experience; Festival of Lights, a 100-foot tunnel filled with 2 million lights, where people can explore five lands that have animated displays; Orange Ball New Year's Eve Celebration, where an orange ball drops at 6 p.m. and midnight every night until the new year and it features multiple live bands and fireworks; Club Winter Fest, the private ice rink.

There are also some favorites that are back this year: Snowflake Summit, which is a 150-foot slide for ice tubing that features eight lands; Flying Santa and his Reindeer, where Santa and his sleigh fly over the fairgrounds until Christmas Eve during the tree-lighting ceremony; and Penny's Snow Play, where children of all ages can go to two areas filled with fresh, real snow every day.

In addition to those attractions, the festival will also feature the world's largest rocking horse, winter-themed bounce houses, a giant walkthrough ornament, strolling carolers, petting zoo, meet-and-greet characters, arts and crafts, arcade games and food and beverages.

On Jan. 6, residents can also be part of the Three Kings' Day celebration that features a parade and real camel.

Discounts will be offered for first responders, teachers and active military and veterans with proof of ID.

First responders get in for free Weds and Jan. 2. Teacher Appreciation Days are on Friday, Dec. 28 and Jan. 4. Military members get in for free on Dec. 27 and Jan. 3.

Tickets and select value packs are available starting at $10. For more information, you can also head to winterfestoc.com.
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