Category Archives: Imaginology

  • Thursday, April 7, 2022 (3:05 pm)

    Imaginology is this weekend!

    Imaginology returns in person this Saturday and Sunday, April 9-10! We’ve got a packed schedule of take-home crafts, science experiments, live performances by local entertainers, youth competitions and more.

    The free two-day event gives students the chance to explore careers in the S.T.E.A.M. fields –that’s science, technology, engineering, arts and math – as well as agriculture education.

    After being canceled in 2020 and going virtual in 2021, this year the family fest returns IN PERSON with activities and entertainment for kids of all ages.

    Programming includes:

    Science exploration

    Local exhibitors like Compass Charter Schools, YMCA of Orange County and Gemology will provide hands-on experimenting. Plus, try a little physical science with activities like hula hoops, Recess Revolution’s free-play area, or Heroes Hall Museum’s Fort Blisters Boot Camp.

    Tech lessons

    The Coder School and National College Resources Foundation will be on hand to talk about the future and the history of computers. Plus, OC Fair has a fun augmented reality activity in which kids can make their own coloring page come alive!

    Engineering playtime

    From woodcarving and scroll saws to Rigamajigs and module trains, there will be plenty to put together at Imaginology. Harbor Soaring Society will host aerospace adventures, Brain Builders will show off robots and LEGOs and Imaginology’s cardboard engineering competition will be on display.

    Arts in crafts, displays and more

    Local entertainers such as dance groups, DJs and music groups will provide live entertainment at the Main Stage. There is also a plethora of hands-on crafting – many of which come with a take-home project! Plus, Imaginology’s mural competition will be on display.

    Math by way of strategy

    We can find math in just about everything (like having students count out the cash for a burger and brat!). But logic and mathematical reasoning is the way to win at chess, and the local Academic Chess chapter will host their annual Tournament of Champions on Saturday from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Registration is $30 at

    Agricultural education

    Livestock competitions and exhibits will be on display throughout Imaginology. Plus, OC Fair & Event Center’s year-round Centennial Farm will feature activities such as radish seed planting, a terrarium makeshop, oxen demos and more – and don’t miss a peek at the piglets born March 16. There will also be blacksmithing demonstrations at the Farm.

    When: Saturday and Sunday, April 9-10, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
    How much: Admission is free and most activities are included. Parking is $10. Food will be available for purchase.

    For more information including a full list of exhibitors and food that will be available, visit

  • Monday, April 5, 2021 (12:15 pm)

    OC Fair’s Imaginology goes virtual this month!

    This year, Imaginology will be virtual – all the S.T.E.A.M. fun will be at the fingertips of students, parents and teachers this month, from April 19 to 25.

    Still free and open to all, Imaginology is bringing science, technology, engineering, arts and math to students of all ages with lots of hands-on learning.

    Most activities will take place on and on our social media channels, including Facebook (OC Fair) and Instagram (@oc_fair).

    Here’s what’s in store for Imaginology Goes Virtual:

    On the Outdoor Adventure Hunt, participants are sure to have a great time while learning concepts of navigation! With more than 25 different locations throughout Orange County, participants will use GPS and QR code technology to complete the mission. Sign ups are now open; register here.

    Arts Orange County and Media Arts Santa Ana’s annual Día Del Niño festival of arts for families and children will again be part of Imaginology, taking place virtually as well, and offering videos of performing arts events and workshops featuring a spectrum of artists and styles. Go to for a complete lineup.

    The Imaginology Time Travel Virtual Run, presented by Raising Cane’s, provides participants with a challenging way to get active and earn cool swag, thanks to our partners at OC Marathon. Registration is now open for kids and adults; sign up here.

    Esports College & Career Pathways will host live discussion panels for parents and students who are interested in a career in esports, as well as live tournaments full of action for seasoned gamers to play and watch. Registration is now open; sign up here.

    Special sample lessons from The Coder School will be available during Imaginology and we will host a virtual Academic Chess Tournament of Champions. OC Fair staff have also created videos that give simple instructions for S.T.E.A.M.-related projects and encourage kids and families to get creative while having fun.

    In addition to S.T.E.A.M., Imaginology explores agriculture. There will be an entire section all about animals, with videos from Centennial Farm and slideshows from local 4H clubs.

    More activities include quizzes, puzzles, word searches, bingo, connect the dots, scavenger hunts and more. Activities are created for different ages and abilities, so there is fun for all. S.T.E.A.M. resources and the results of our student competitions will also be featured.

    Go to to get a sneak peek. Tune in to our Facebook or Instagram pages between April 19 and 25 for exclusive content! 

    Imaginology involves OC Fair & Event Center’s educational venues, Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall. Thanks to Imaginology sponsors Raising Cane’s, Nova Academy and the YMCA.

  • Thursday, March 25, 2021 (11:08 am)

    Dates announced for 2021 OC Fair!

    Today the OC Fair announced dates for the much-anticipated annual event – July 16- Aug. 15. The theme is “Time for Fun,” celebrating the joy of the return of Southern California’s favorite summer festival.

    “We are grateful to plan for an exciting, and safe, OC Fair this year,” said OC Fair Board Chair Natalie Rubalcava-Garcia. “This milestone will allow the community to come together to celebrate the future and generate much-needed opportunities for economic development and growth in Orange County. The Board and staff have done a fantastic job of responsibly managing our finances and preparing to meet safe reopening guidelines to not just make it through the pandemic, but to emerge resilient and ready for 2021 and beyond.”

    OC Fair officials have been working closely with public health agencies to develop protocols to keep fairgoers safe while bringing back carnival rides, fair food, entertainment, competitions, animals and more to fair fans. The plans for the 2021 OC Fair are based on health agency projections for the summer, but could change if warranted by public health conditions.

    Advance ticket sales will be required and limited capacity will give fairgoers more elbow room. The number of concessions, rides and shopping vendors will be reduced and spaced out to provide more distance between each. Admission tickets will go on sale May 1 on

    “We have worked through many different scenarios for the 2021 OC Fair and we are so excited to move forward with this plan because it means that we really can bring back the fun, and that’s why I love this year’s theme,” said Michele Richards, OC Fair & Event Center CEO. “We want everyone to continue to follow health guidelines and get vaccinated so we can finally celebrate summer together again.”

    The Fair Board voted to keep ticket prices at the 2019 OC Fair rates, $12 general admission and $7 for children and seniors on weekdays (Wednesday, Thursday), and $14 general admission and $7 for children and seniors on weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). The current plan is for the fair to be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, as it traditionally has been. There is a change to move Friday into weekend pricing and OC Fair will absorb the online ticket sale fees.

    Announcements regarding concerts in Pacific Amphitheatre and The Hangar will be coming soon.


  • Monday, April 27, 2020 (9:52 am)

    OC Fair Board cancels 2020 Fair due to pandemic

    The OC Fair & Event Center Board of Directors voted unanimously today to cancel the 2020 OC Fair, one of the most anticipated and enduring summer celebrations in Southern California for 130 years. The Board considered ongoing guidance and updated information from State and County health care and government officials about the status of the coronavirus pandemic and the improbability that mass gatherings like the OC Fair could safely and responsibly take place this summer.

    In addition to the regularly scheduled monthly meeting, the Board called a second April meeting specifically to review all options and discuss whether or not to move forward with the 2020 OC Fair. The action comes amid unprecedented community stay-at-home and social distancing orders and will protect guests, vendors and staff during the COVID-19 crisis.

    “The decision to cancel the 2020 OC Fair was not taken lightly by the Board. As Governor-appointed representatives the Board has a responsibility to provide a safe experience to the community-at-large, the hundreds of people who depend on county fairs for their livelihood, fairgoers and OC Fair staff,” said Board Chair Sandra Cervantes. “While many of our guests have expressed extreme disappointment over the idea of the 2020 Fair being canceled, we strongly believe it is the right thing to do in this current situation. However, we will keep the spirit of the OC Fair alive with virtual fair concepts such as contests, competitions, entertainment and concessions to bring the fair experience to guests through and social media.”

    The 23-day OC Fair welcomes more than 1.3 million fairgoers each year and has an estimated economic impact of $350 million annually. The Fair was canceled 1942-1947 during wartime, but otherwise has been a summer staple since 1890. Information on refunds for concert tickets and Super Passes that have already been purchased can be found at

    “We love the OC Fair as much as our guests do. And, while it’s disappointing that the Fair can’t take place this year, we fully support the Board’s decision,” said Michele Richards, OC Fair & Event Center CEO. “But please know OC Fair & Event Center will still be here to serve the community as we plan for the next OC Fair and the eventual return of our wonderful events.”

  • Thursday, March 12, 2020 (7:16 pm)

    OC Fair & Event Center closes property until further notice

    (Updated June 11, 202o) 

    Out of an abundance of caution and to help stem the spread of coronavirus, OC Fair & Event Center announces a full public closure of the facilities, including Heroes Hall Veterans Museum, Centennial Farm, Equestrian Center and the administration building lobby until further notice.

    OC Fair & Event center will continue to follow public health directives.

    The following events previously scheduled to take place at OC Fair & Event Center have been impacted: 

    • Orange County Market Place – weekends, canceled until further notice
    • Farmers Market – Thursdays, canceled until June 18
    • OC Wine Fest – June 13-14, canceled
    • BrideWorld – June 14, canceled
    • OC Market Place Taco Fest – June 20, canceled
    • Costa Mesa Speedway – June 20, canceled
    • FamFest – June 20-21, canceled
    • Pacific Symphony – July 4 & Aug. 21, canceled
    • 2020 OC Fair – July 17-Aug. 16, canceled
    • SoCal World Guitar Show – Aug. 22-23, canceled
    • Irish Festival – Sept. 5-6, canceled

    The following is a list of events originally scheduled for earlier this year that have been rescheduled for a later date: 

    • AAOC Trade Show and Conference – March 26, postponed to Sept. 10
    • Mom Made Market – March 28-29, postponed to Oct. 10-11
    • Fight Club – April 9 & June 11, postponed until Oct. 15 & Nov. 12
    • OC Marathon – May 1-3, postponed to Nov. 6-8
    • OC Night Market – May 8-10 & May 15-17, postponed to Oct. 23-25 & Oct. 30-Nov. 1 

    For a complete list of upcoming scheduled events, please visit

  • Wednesday, April 17, 2019 (10:03 am)

    Imaginology 2019 steams through OC Fair & Event Center


    There were robots and aerial artists. There were piglets and augmented reality. There were model railroads and folklorico dancers. It all added up to lots of hands-on learning and fun at Imaginology 2019.

    Science, technology, engineering, arts and math came to life at OC Fair & Event Center on April 12-14 as more than 43,000 curious kids of all ages explored a huge variety of activities.

    Imaginology is a free annual community give-back event that provides learning opportunities, entertainment and career options in the STEAM fields.

    New this year was eSports Playground, an entire building of video gaming, coding workshops, esports tournaments and the chance for students and parents to learn about the educational aspects of video games.

    Dia del Nino, a cultural festival produced in collaboration with Arts Orange County and Media Arts Santa Ana, expanded to two days of art makeshops, entertainment and physical fun – including circus workshops.

    Imaginology also gives local students opportunities to display their skills.

    FFA and 4-H students displayed their showmanship skills in the livestock arena and thousands of students also submitted their art projects for to be judged for the chance to win cash prizes. There were also esports tournaments and robotics competitions.


  • Thursday, April 11, 2019 (12:29 pm)

    S is for Science

    IG Presents will be back in The Hangar this year for lots of hands-on activities and giant puzzles & games. PLUS: The Wild Science! Mix-Up Science Show features audience participation in physics and chemistry.

    Don’t miss this fun, interactive indoor area at Imaginology!

    Imaginology is a three-day free family event centered around S.T.E.A.M. education, offering hands-on activities, workshops and more. Stop by Imaginology at the OC Fair in Costa Mesa, April 12-14. Hours are Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., and Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For more info, visit

  • (9:28 am)

    T is for Technology

    BIG NEWS! Esport-management will be at Imaginology in a brand-new building, the eSports Playground!

    Activities include: coding workshops with Microsoft, the Coder School and Code Ninjas; LEGO Minecraft Biome City Build with Play-Well TEKnowledgies; Hour of Code with Minecraft; make your own video game with Microsoft MakeCode; and meet eSports pros.

    Learn about exciting career opportunities in the world of esports and video game entertainment.

    Imaginology is a three-day free family event centered around S.T.E.A.M. education, offering hands-on activities, workshops and more. Stop by Imaginology at the OC Fair in Costa Mesa, April 12-14. Hours are Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., and Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For more info, visit

  • Wednesday, April 10, 2019 (5:27 pm)

    E is for Engineering

    Vital Link – OC is a big part of Imaginology! They’re returning this year with Bytes and Bots workshops, engineering competitions, a speaker series, drone flight demos and so much more.

    Make sure to stop in at the two Vital Link buildings, each full of STEAM-related creations from local students.

    Imaginology is a three-day free family event centered around S.T.E.A.M. education, offering hands-on activities, workshops and more. Stop by Imaginology at the OC Fair in Costa Mesa, April 12-14. Hours are Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., and Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For more info, visit

  • (3:27 pm)

    A is for the Arts (and Agriculture!)

    OC Dia del Nino is coming back for its second year at Imaginology!

    Celebrate the arts with tons of hands-on workshops, including papermaking, mural painting, stop-motion animation, several different types of dance, circus and puppetry and so much more.

    The children’s festival, presented by Arts Orange County, will take place Saturday and Sunday during Imaginology (find them in Nino Village, just north of Centennial Farm)

    Imaginology is a three-day free family event centered around S.T.E.A.M. education, offering hands-on activities, workshops and more. Stop by Imaginology at the OC Fair in Costa Mesa, April 12-14. Hours are Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., and Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For more info, visit