This post is sponsored by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company in conjunction with Blog Meets Brand, and I have been compensated for my participation. All opinions are my own.
Christmas spirit is real. As soon as the music starts playing and lights go up there’s just this indescribable feeling that takes over. I always look for holiday activities to do with the family and recently attended Winterfest at California’s Great America in the Bay Area. If you aren’t familiar, Great America is a theme park that is transformed into a magical winter wonderland. Oh my goodness, you guys! I can’t get over how exceptionally done every single thing was.
The wintery scene features one of the Bay Area’s tallest Christmas trees adorned with thousands of twinkling lights accompanied by giant toy soldiers greeting guests. Winterfest features 7 million LED lights, creating such a vibrant experience that it is visible from the International Space Station.
Pictures really do not do it justice.
After you walk through the gates, the first attraction you walk into is the ice skating rink. As a family we skated for 30 minutes and had an enchanting time. The skating rink has snowflakes that light and dance around the rink. It was located right in front of the iconic Carousel Columbia and near the musical stage featuring live shows. You could hear the performances while skating your heart out!
Afterwords, we headed over to the carousel, top level of course. The kids loved it and we got to see a beautiful view of Winterfest.
It was actually raining off and on while we were there, but it did not stop the fun. There were still tons of rides running. I took Damian on his first thrill ride, Delirium, and he had a blast. If you’re debating not going because of weather – don’t. Just go! As long as we live here, this will be a tradition for us.
Damian and I rode on Delirium but forgot to take photos. The ride spins, swings, and flips you in the air with your feet dangling. Oh, and you swing and flip very, very high up. Some first ride, right? He had a smile so big afterwords I could immediately tell he will love roller coasters.
Among the 20 rides and attractions entertaining guests will be Gold Striker and Flight Deck for thrill seekers and the iconic Carousel Columbia, Flying Eagles and Planet Snoopy for younger guests. We also enjoyed the carnival games and other rides as well. Bumper cars is always a hit no matter your age.
Winterfest features some really special holiday family fun treats. We made decorated cookies with Mrs. Claus in her kitchen with her elves.
I guess Pax was too busy eating his cookies to take a picture. Look how perfect Mrs. Clause looks!
There is so much to do, experience, and take in. The musical performances were so well done that we had to stop what we were doing to watch.
Live shows include a nightly tree lighting, carolers throughout the park, “It’s Christmas, Snoopy!” ice show and more. Holiday crafters can design unique creations interact with the countless holiday characters, including Jack Frost, Candy Cane and the Sugar Plum Fairy. You can also take pictures with Santa, write letters to loved ones, and enjoy some delicious holiday treats. Food specialties include eggnog funnel cakes, peppermint churros, a turkey dinner sandwich, all-you-can-drink hot chocolate and many more traditional holiday favorites.
Single day tickets are available online for as low as $24.99 and admission to WinterFest is included with a 2016 or 2017 Gold or Platinum Pass. The five-week WinterFest celebration will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with daily operations December 19-23 and 26-30 from 5pm-10pm (December 11 from 7pm-11pm).
From December 17-23, from 5pm-7pm, patrons can enjoy the Pavilion Holiday Buffet for $16.49 (plus tax) that includes roast turkey with festive dressing, baked ham, mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, vegetarian baked pasta, tossed salad, dessert squares, Christmas cookies and fountain drinks.
This is hands down the best Holiday themed or winter wonderland event I have seen in Northern California.
What’s your favorite holiday event or activity to do?