Tag Archives: Orange County

Orange County Fair Food & Fun

The Orange County Fair is a huge celebration the Orange County community and surrounding areas look forward to every summer. The fair takes place late summer every year at the OC Fair and Events Center in Costa Mesa.

In 2015 the Orange County Fair takes place July 17th through August 16th. Pick up your OC Fair tickets at the fair or ahead of time via the OCFair.com website.

Orange County Fair Attractions

OC Fair carnival games booth prizes
Carnival games at the Orange County Fair

It’s a good idea to get a game plan together before you pack your family and/or friends into the car and head to Costa Mesa.

There is so much to do at the fair that having a list of must-try treats and must-do activities will help you get the most out of the experience. Take a look at the following recommendations and get excited!

OC Fair Food

Orange County Fair Food
OC Fair food at “Fair Fix”

It’s not just about the funnel cake and churros anymore, though you will find the stuff sold in abundance throughout the fairgrounds. The OC Fair is well known for it’s delicious, often outrageous fair food.

The fair boasts an odd assortment of snacks from kebabs to fried oreos. Turkey legs, roasted corn, cotton candy and beer may be the go-to choices but the variety you will find at the Orange County Fair will surely encourage you to broaden your foodie horizons and try some new treats. All things fried can be found at the fair. Our advice, come prepared with some antacids and water just in case.

OC Fair Heart Attack Cafe
The Famous “Heart Attack Cafe” offering an assortment of strange, fried foods

Some favorite fair options include:

  • Chocolate-covered bacon from Bacon A-Fair
  • Potato chips from Tasti Chips
  • Deep fried pizza from Apple Fries
  • Drunken doughnut from Texas Donuts
  • Bacon-wrapped pork belly from Biggy’s
  • Krispy Kreme burger from Chicken Charlie’s
  • Deep fried White Castle burgers from Chicken Charlie’s
  • Turkey leg from Juicy’s
  • Deep fried cakes from Fried Sweets
  • Naked shrimp, rice and pineapple-pineapple bowl from Pineapple Express

The fair isn’t just about discovering how much odd, calorie-rich food a healthy stomach can manage. Many people flock to the Orange County Fair for wine tasting and educational seminars.

During the fair, The Orange County Wine Society, Inc. hosts weekend seminars usually held in “The Courtyard”. Participants can enjoy tastings from an array of award-winning wines. If you’re not in the mood for a seminar and just want to get your grape on, you can enjoy a tasting or a glass of award-winning wines at The Courtyard any day during the fair.

OC Fair Rides and Games

If you’re looking for a different kind of thrill, try out some rides! The kids are sure to enjoy “La Grande (Ferris) Wheel”. More adventurous folks will get a kick out of rides like “G Force,” “Insanity,” “Speed,” “OMG,” and “Tango,” to name a few. Height restrictions do apply.

The Tango ride at the Orange County Fair
Tango at the OC Fair

Midway rides and games are not free! You must buy tickets to get on. Tickets can be purchased in the fair at the midway.

Orange County Fair rides
Get your OC Fair ride and game tickets here!

To stay on budget be sure to get a good idea of which rides and games you want to partake in, find out the height restrictions, determine how many tickets each costs and plan to purchase the appropriate amount of midway tickets.

Here are videos of some of the rides – be forewarned that these may make you dizzy.

OC Fair Concerts

The Orange County Fair is well-known for its yearly concert series with past big names including Weird Al Yankovic, America, Mariachi Sol de Mexico and Fergie. Concerts do require purchase of a concert ticket but include admission to the OC Fair for the day.

Concerts are held at the massive Pacific Amphitheater, right next to the OC Fair & Event Center. You can view a schedule of concerts and ticket options at the Pacific Amphitheater Ticket Master page.

Livestock

Visiting the animals at Centennial Farm or the Livestock area is an always free, fun activity for the whole family. Pigs, piglets, goats, kids, cows, exotic cows, turkeys, rabbits, chicks, chickens and more are on view. Visitors can enjoy piglet races and turkey stampedes at the Livestock area.  One of the pigs at Centennial Farm is usually ready to give birth during the fair so be on the lookout for a new mama and her little piglets. Some of the animals are up for auction. Many of them have been raised by Orange County high school students.

Chicks at the Orange County Fair
Chicks at the OC Fair

Centennial Farm features an assortment of crops on display. Learn something new – like how to milk a cow – at one of the seminars held at the Millennium Barn.

Some of the more obscure, exotic animals may cost you extra to see in the Livestock area, such as alligators, giant horse and mini horse.

Be sure to stop by the Petting Zoo so you can feed and interact with the animals! The location changes by year so consult a map or ask for directions at the ticket booth.

Main Mall Exhibits

For a more relaxed but just as fun fair experience, include a visit to the Main Mall. You’ll enjoy live performances (at both The Hangar and OC Promenade), exciting culinary activities and demonstrations, amazing handcrafted wood work, fine art exhibits, art demonstrations, wine tasting (at the Courtyard), commercial exhibitors and more.

Other Attractions

As if all the above wasn’t enough. There’s so much more we didn’t cover! Here’s a quick list of other activities to consider adding to your itinerary:

  • Demo Derby and RV Demo Derby at Action Sports Arena
  • Kids “Explorium” activities
  • Animal-free circus acts by Russell Brothers Circus
  • Evening dancing at Baja Blues Restaurant
  • Comedy and other extraordinary entertainment at Plaza Pacifica
  • Seek out the roaming entertainment (who knows what you will find!) throughout the fairgrounds.

 

OC Fair & Event Center
88 Fair Dr
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

 

Happy travels!
-Long and Sarah, Vacation in Anaheim

ARTIC is Here

ARTIC offers Transportation in AnaheimThe Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) opened in December 2014. The center connects Metrolink, Amtrak, bus lines and taxis for convenient travel options to a variety of destinations.

In addition to a cornucopia of transportation options, ARTIC is a venue for fresh, unique dining options.

Check out this article on Better Living SoCal that Sarah wrote about ARTIC featuring a great interview with the marketing force behind the new transportation hub.

Here’s a video of the ARTIC Grand Opening Party:

The transportation hub is more than just a ticket kiosk. Great dining options await travelers as well! You can have your very own culinary adventure while you wait for your train ride out to… well, wherever!

At ARTIC you can grab a cup of gourmet coffee from The Lost Bean, the second storefront for the brand that has been so popular in its Tustin location. Enjoy some cajun creole cooking from Ritter’s Steam Kettle Cooking. Nosh on some oysters or just snag a beer at The Oyster Bar. If you’re in a rush, there’s also the Mission Market where you can find delicious deli meals to go as well as common convenience store snacks.

Whether taking it easy or in a hurry, there’s a convenient choice for any hungry belly and more shops are set to open later this year.

The ARTIC VIP Celebration:

The transportation facility is one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture in Orange County. The structure offers a gorgeous light display with oscillating colors shining through the building’s energy efficient ETFE roofing. ARTIC is a LEED certified structure, meaning that it is considered to be an environmentally friendly, sustainable structure.

Here is a cool aerial shot of the center as it was under construction:

ARTIC started off like this:

Visit and “Like” the ARTIC Facebook page and follow the ARTIC Twitter account for updates on the new.

ARTIC is located at 2626 East Katella Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92806.

Have you been to ARTIC? We’d love to hear what you think!

Happy travels!
-Long and Sarah, Vacation in Anaheim

Anaheim Packing District

The Anaheim Packing District is tucked within our own little historic community called the Anaheim Colony. The Packing District comprises the Packard Building, the Farmers Park and the Packing House.

Anaheim Packing District with Anaheim Packing House

The Packard Building, formerly the Packard Showroom, is home to Umami Burger and Anaheim Brewery.

The Packard Building at the Packing District Anaheim located in Downtown Anaheim
The Historic Packard Building

Umami Burger offers great hamburgers with exciting twists. Anaheim Brewery offers great beers with a dash of history. The brewery and it’s recipes date back to 1870. National Prohibition shut Anaheim Brewery down in 1920. It wasn’t until 2010 when Barbara and Greg Gerovac sought to bring the brewery back, offering fresh, local brewed beer to Anaheim residents and visitors.

The Farmer’s Park is a two-acre park sandwiched between the Packard Building and the Packing House.

Farmers Park Redwood Boardwalk
The Redwood Boardwalk at the Farmers Park

The park features a community vegetable garden, beautiful landscaping, a redwood boardwalk for leisurely strolls and even an outdoor ping pong table. Farmer’s Park hosts many events including Farmer’s Park Flicks outdoor movie nights, Annual Halloween Parade Float viewing areas, a German Christmas Market and a Sunday Farmer’s Market taking place every Sunday from 10:00am to 3:00pm.

The revitalized Packing House had its grand opening on May 31st, 2014, during which 20 culinary stores opened shop and served up their best. Each shop is unique in its offerings. From Indian food to gourmet ice cream and raw vegan juice to bulk foods and spices, this food court has your craziest cravings covered.

cappuccino from Cafecito Orgánico
A gorgeous and delicious Cafecito Orgánico cappuccino

Our favorites include Cafecito Orgánico for their cappuccinos, the Iron Press for the amazing waffle sandwiches and Pop Bar for out of this world popsicles, if you can brave a long line.

Restaurants at the Packing House open at 10:30am but you can pick up juice and coffee starting at 9:00am.

Here are some sweeping shots of the Packing District’s Packing House:

The beautiful, trendy decor and signage within the airy warehouse make for an exciting, invigorating experience, day or night. The Packing House is a great place to grab a snack, take a date, have a meal with friends or even break out the laptop and get some work done with free WiFi available.

In this video, ABC covers a bit of the history and the construction of the Packing House food hall as well as the cuisine offerings.

Packing House Grand Opening at the Anaheim Packing District in Downtown Anaheim
The Packing House had its Grand Opening May 31st, 2014

The Packing House building used to be the premier citrus processing facility in Orange County.

The old railway tracks that carried the produce from the warehouse are still there, though no longer in use. An old open-air railway car sits on the tracks now and serves as a patio and dining space for the restaurants inside, namely Adya Indian food, which has a dedicated seating area at one end.

The building is surrounded by orange trees to commemorate the Packing House’s historical significance to Orange County.

For more information, check out this article Sarah wrote on the Anaheim Packing District. Also, be sure to “Like” the Anaheim Packing District Facebook page for updates, events and general fun.

The Anaheim Packing District is located at 440 S Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92805.

 

Happy travels!

-Long and Sarah, Vacation in Anaheim

VidCon at Anaheim Convention Center

VidCon, a portmanteau of the words “Video Convention”, is the world’s largest meeting centered on the creation and consumption of internet videos. The event is held every summer at the Anaheim Convention Center.


VidCon is the product of Hank and John Green who were early entrants to the online video community. At the time of this article the Green brothers have over 500 million views.


VidCon was first held in 2010. It has grown in great leaps each year. The convention is more than just an industry conference where people can establish important business contacts. As their website states, it is also a huge celebration.


The massive event brings together industry leaders, talent, creators, fans, brands, and others. Nearby hotels book up quickly and tickets sell out even faster so it is important to plan as far ahead as possible if you want to attend VidCon.


The convention features interviews with creators, performances, live vlogging (video blogging), panels, meet-and-greets and plenty of other activities.

VidCon held at Anaheim Convention Center every yearThe people who make VidCon possible also negotiate a special Disneyland ticket price for convention goers.

Are you interested in attending VidCon but worried about the cost? Here’s an insider tip: volunteer at the convention and save some money! Volunteering can be very rewarding and allows you to help make the event a reality. You will miss some performances and panels but the savings may just make up for it. For more information visit the VidCon Volunteers page.


If you want to learn more about VidCon all you have to do is visit youtube.com, type “vidcon” into the search bar, hit enter and watch some videos. You can find anything from how to pack for the convention, to coverage of the event, fan vlogs, and more. Expect plenty of snarky humor and quick-talking.

Here’s a last bit of VidCon silly-fun:

Happy travels!

-Long and Sarah, Vacation in Anaheim