August 5, 2021 (9:17 am)
There is lots for kids of all ages to do at the 2021 OC Fair where it’s Time for Fun!
COSTA MESA (Aug. 5, 2021) – The OC Fair always brings the fun and we know that families count on making summer memories when they visit. Here are some tips for a great trip to the fair:
Explorium adventure: Located this year in OC Promenade, the Explorium area for kids has been transformed into a fun and informative national parks-themed adventure. Fairgoers can walk the reimagined trails and forest of California’s National Parks.
Kids of every age can play, learn and immerse themselves in camping and forestry life. There are fun ways that teach about camping and hiking safety and all the wonderful species that live in the California National Parks. Daily crafts, contests and games are at the Rangers Station Theatre. Tip: There is even more fun for kids in the nearby California Fresh exhibit.
Read & Ride: Of course the kids will want to go on rides, and what better way to motivate them beforehand than with the Read & Ride program. Kids ages 5-11 can earn three free carnival rides by reading two books and writing (or drawing) a short summary. Use the form at ocfair.com/readandride and turn it in to the RCS guest services booth in the main carnival area. And families can snap photos of the kids with those giant stuffed animals!
Painted faces: There are two face painting booths where fairgoers can be transformed into superheroes, favorite animals or flower-festooned fairies. Also look for henna and festival glitter booths for more temporary body art.
Animals you can touch or watch: The Great American Petting Farm is the place to be if the kids are obsessed with animals. Located next to Green Gate, this petting zoo is full of animals that are far from shy – in fact, they’ll follow you around all day if you let them! Don’t forget to stop by Centennial Farm as well, OC Fair’s year-round working farm that features goats, cows, bunnies and brand-new piglets that were recently born!
Animals you can cheer on: One of the Fair’s most popular attractions is the All-Alaskan Pig Races, located this year in the Plaza Pacifica area. The races are a hoot for all ages, and take place daily. Plus, the Oasis Camel Dairy exhibit will be in the livestock area for the final two weeks of the fair and families can watch the babies and learn all about these exotic creatures.
Entertainment: Magician Frank Thurston puts on kid-friendly shows daily in OC Promenade and there are local performers of all ages on community stages during the day. Roving entertainers include the Dragon Knights Stilt Show, The Clown Patrol and Red Light Brass Band, delighting guests as they move throughout the fair. The OC Fair’s own costumed characters, The Foodies Oliva Orange and Strawberry Jan (she’s new) are at the giant OC Fair letters daily for picture opportunities.
Food and treats: $3 Taste of the Fair Food is offered on Thursdays until 4 p.m., giving fairgoers a chance to try select samples of food from every vendor for just $3 each – and these are the perfect size for the kids as well! It’s a great way to try the foods without filling up on too much sugar. To just look at sugar, check out the sugar arts winners on display in the OC Promenade – the cakes are amazing.
Arts & crafts: Stop by the tent in front of Heroes Hall so the kids can color postcards for veterans and troops while they learn all about the sacrifice our servicemen and servicewomen make every day. In the Visual Arts Building kids and adults can see all the blue ribbon-winning competition entries that include youth project divisions. It’s always fun to look at the woodworking, quilts and more in the home arts area. And this is the perfect spot to cool off during the day.
Shop for fun: The Carnival of Products and Parade of Products have some toy booths and clay fun, plus plenty of family items for purchase. There are also great shopping options in Crafters Village where artisan and other shops sell everything from fossils to sun hats.
Bonus! Here are 5 tips for parents and families:
Photo ops: There are classic photo booths as well as several cutouts throughout the fairgrounds. There is a great concentration of these in the OC Promenade. Also check food vendors like Eddie’s Asian Inspired Cuisine and Australian Battered Potatoes for more cutouts.
Baby changing station: Located to the left of The Hangar building and behind the west end of the Sky Ride.
No lines in the mornings: This year the OC Fair is opening at 10 a.m. for two bonus hours of fun. Parking is a breeze, no lines for rides and games and there is plenty of elbow room.
What to bring: Bring along your wagon, snacks, extra baggies for leftover Fair food and a soft-sided cooler to keep it all fresh. Factory-sealed water bottles are OK.
Safety: Find a landmark and designate it as a meeting place if you plan on separating. Be aware that the Guest Services and Lost & Found offices are located to the right of The Hangar building.