OC Ice: Winter Fest to Twirl Again

Find ice tubing, carnival rides, warm drinks, and cozy seasonal details in Costa Mesa.

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SPOILER ALERT: Southern Californians will probably not wake up to large drifts of snow on any given day in December. We won't see thousands of wee flakes stuck to the kitchen window, nor will we run for the closet, the one that holds our sled and our ice skates and our knit cap, so we can suit up and get to the nearest frozen pond. It's rather sunny here, and even warm at the top of a December day, which means we have to be a bit more tenacious when we go in search of classic wintry pursuits. Those pursuits popped up in Costa Mesa in 2015, at the OC Fair & Event Center, and they'll return to lend a little festive frost to the final month of the year. The name of the bundle-up bash? It's called...

WINTER FEST, and it debuts on Friday, Dec. 16 for a 17-day run. The "giant wonderland of immersive wintry fun" will again feature a full-sized ice rink as well as a six-lane ice slide (called the Snowflake Summit, you bet). The "summit" isn't a stretch in the name, either, as the lanes stretch for 130 feet, meaning riders should get their zoom-zoom thrills in. There shall be real snow nearby to frolic in (while one can certainly "play" in snow, the cold stuff does feel more suitable to all-out frolicking), as well as hot drinks, seasonal foodstuffs, live caroling, and "a walk-through holiday light show featuring two million sparkling lights." And while this is all a touch quirky, in the most charming sense, things shall grow even quirkier when you stroll through the "world's largest walk-through ornament." Is that akin to the drive-through trees of Northern California? You'll need to try for yourself and decide. Tickets, dates, and more can be found at the Winter Fest HQ.

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