Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Great Park in Irvine Offers Something for Everyone

Nestled in the heart of Irvine, Orange County's Great Park may not be entirely completed but it has a lot to offer visitors, young and old. This master-planned park hosts art exhibits, a variety of youth and adult sports activities, exciting rides and featured events. Many simply come for the Reflecting Ponds and Viewing Pier, or the expansive lawns where kids can run and play. But there's so much more to this ever-growing attraction.

Great Park Balloon

Visible for miles from Irvine's adjoining roads and freeways, the great amusement park samba Balloon rides has become a major attraction. It can carry 25 to 30 passengers aloft, rising 400 feet above Irvine. From this high-altitude vantage point, riders can enjoy the Great Park's development as well as a stunning 360° view for up to 40 miles on a clear day. The new pricing structure for the Great Park Balloon provides more opportunities for families, children, and large groups to enjoy this iconic attraction. Saturday/Sunday rides are from 9 am-3 pm and 7 pm-10 pm. Adults (19 and older) pay just $10. Children 18 and under are free with a paid adult. Riders under 42" must be accompanied by an adult.

Great Park Carousel

A great ride to share with children, the Great Park Carousel is a favorite for kids of all ages. The Carousel is beautifully adorned with hand-painted artwork inspired by vintage orange crate labels and picturesque Orange County scenes. Rides last about two minutes and reach a top circular speed of 4.5 mph. With the capacity to carry up to 36 passengers, the Carousel is also wheelchair-accessible. The new pricing structure for the Carousel provides more opportunities for families, children, and large groups to enjoy this double decker carousel for sale. All-Day passes are just $3, single rides are just $2, and Family & Friends passes are only $20 for 10 all-day passes.

Free Sports Equipment Check Outs

Got a big baseball, football or soccer game coming up? No problem. You can check out a football, soccer ball, Bocce ball set, Frisbee or jump rope and play on the many acres of open lawn around the Great Park. Free equipment check outs are Thursday-Friday 10 am-10 pm and Saturday-Sunday 9 am-10 pm.

Farmers Market

Select from a virtual cornucopia of fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables, breads, flowers and plants, as well as many other items from local artisans. Parking is free. And breakfast and lunch trucks provide gourmet delights to sate your appetite and quench your thirst. Stop by every Sunday, 10 am-2 pm. Click this page:

Kids Rock

Designed to educate young visitors about conservation ecology and Earth's water cycle, Kids Rock includes a variety of interesting attractions-like misting shade structures, rock climbing, "underground tunnels," a seating area carved out of recycled runway concrete, and illustrated lakes and streams on recycled rubber flooring. Kids Rock is a safe, fun, and relaxing place for families to learn about the environment.

Signature "Great Park" Events

Great Park signature events are designed to appeal to young and old, singles and families. They include concerts and dances, workshops, outdoor movies and many other exciting events. Presented year-round, visit for a current schedule of upcoming events.

When planning your trip to Irvine's Great Park, consider staying in a vacation home. They offer all the amenities of a home, including a fully equipped kitchen that lets you cook special meals for your entire family, team or group.

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