In Southern California, we don’t really have a “winter”, per say. While the rest of the country is bundled in winter jackets, scarves and mittens, we in California, prefer to wear our flip flops and tank tops year round. Warm weather is our signature trademark and we’re proud of it!
However, what if one day you want a break from the sunny weather? Where would you go? What would you do? Boarding a flight to the mid west to experience a true winter storm seems a bit over the top, while planning a weekend getaway to go skiing can be expensive. Furthermore, watching the classic yule log over and over again on your television just isn’t the same.
5 Things To Do In Southern California In The Winter
So instead of day dreaming about snowflakes and icicles, do something about it! Check out this list of 5 Fun Things To Do In Southern California This Winter!
1. Attend a Winter Solstice Festival.
Winter Solstice is an astronomical phenomenon marking the shortest day and the longest night of the year. In the Northern Hemisphere it takes place in December, while in the Southern Hemisphere it is marked in June. Worldwide, interpretation of the Winter Solstice, has varied across cultures and traditions with celebrations, festivals, gatherings, rituals and rebirth. In Southern California, several local museums, cultural centers and Waldorf and Montessori schools host Winter Solstice festivals in the community.
2. Go on a night hike.
The evenings in Southern California are sometimes cooler than in other parts of the state. In fact, the temperature can get as low as 30 degrees in Riverside and San Bernardino. I’ve even seen snow on top of Saddleback Mountain in Orange County. Therefore, going on an evening hike is a great way to enjoy the cooler weather and experience the sights and sounds of Mother Nature at night. Better yet, you can sign up for a guided night hike hosted by a local organization such as Inside The Great Outdoors or The OC Parks System.
3. Visit the snow.
Did you know that Southern California gets snow too? You may have to drive a bit to get there, but once you do, it is worth the adventure! Some of the best places to play in the snow in Southern California are Idyllwild, Mt. Baldy, above the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, Big Bear, Lake Arrowhead, Wrightwood, Palomar Mountain and Mount Laguna.
4. Explore the holiday decorations.
As the amazing charms of winter make their way to Southern California, there are all sorts of opportunities for you and your family to enjoy the holiday season. Due to our gorgeous weather, you can do anything outdoors from taking in a holiday boat parade to walking down main street and enjoying the twinkling lights. The possibilities are endless!
5. Attend Winter Fest OC
Another extraodinary winter event to attend this season is Winter Fest 2016! Winter Fest OC embodies the spirit of the winter season, bringing fun and merriment to sunny Southern California from December 16 – January 1 at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa.
Winter Fest is expected to be a giant wonderland of immersive wintry fun featuring:
- Unlimited ice tubing down Snowflake Summit, a 130-foot, six lane ice slide
- A new-for-2016 Festival of Lights holiday walk-through show featuring more than 2 million lights
- A Snow Play Park featuring real snow blown in daily for snow angels and snowman building
- The world’s largest rocking horse
- Craft Making in Santa’s Workshop
- Nightly Snowfall & Christmas Tree Lighting
- Little Elves Play Area (Ages 3 and Under)
- Cartoon Character Live Shows with Meet & Greets
- Santa Takes Flight
- Snowboard Simulator
- Santa’s Furry Animals
- Mrs. Claus Reading
- Nightly Fireworks
- Pictures in the Winter Fest Snow Globe
- Arcade games
- Bounces houses
- Train exhibits
- Outdoor Ice Skating (for an additional cost or bring your own ice skates!)
- Carnival rides (each carnival ticket is $1 or get an unlimited ride wristband online for only $15.)
Winter Fest Ticket Prices
Winter Fest is an affordable holiday experience for the entire family that ensures a fantastic adventure rain or shine! Tickets start as low as $10, which not only provides access to Winter Fest, but to all the extra attractions and entertainment including shows by Thomas & Friends, Octonauts, Barbie, Bob The Builder, Angry Birds, Caillou, Sid the Science Kid, Magic Tree House, Dino Train and more.
Tickets for Winter Fest cost:
- Child under 3 – Free
- Online Child Admission (3-12 years) – $10
- Online Adult Admission – $15
- Online Value Pack Admission + Snowflake Summit Fast Pass for 4 Individuals – $60
- Online Platinum Ice Pass Admission (includes Ice Skating, Unlimited Carnival Rides, & a Snowflake Summit Ice Tube Fast Pass) – $35
- Online Snowflake Summit Fast Pass – $10
- Online Ice Skating – $10
- Online Unlimited Ride Wristband – $15
- Group Child Admission for groups of 10 or more – $5
- Group Adult Admission for groups of 10 or more – $10
For those that want even more winter fun, purchase a Winter Fest season pass and return as many times as you would like over the 17-day run, including an added bonus of admission to the inaugural New Year’s Eve celebration at Winter Fest ($45 value). Season passes cost $25 for children (3-12 yrs. old) / $45 for adults.
To purchase tickets and season passes to Winter Fest OC, visit https://winterfestoc.com/
Winter Fest Ticket Giveaway!
Now enter for a chance to win a family-4-pack of tickets to Winter Fest 2016!
US Residents Only. No purchase necessary to enter. One winner will be randomly selected via RaffleCopter and notified via email. Winner must respond within 24 hours to claim the prize or a new winner will be chosen via RaffleCopter. The prize will be fulfilled by the sponsor. Tickets must be redeemed and used by December 23.
Winter Fest will take place at the OC Fair & Event Center at 88 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa. Parking is $8 per vehicle.
Happy Field Tripping!