Orange County Great Park
Irvine CA 92618
- Mon: 10am-5:30pm
- Tue: 10am-5:30pm
- Wed: 10am-5:30pm
- Thu: 10am-5:30pm
- Fri: 10am-10pm
- Sat: 9am-10pm
- Sun: 9am-10pm
Orange County Great Park sits on grounds previously occupied by the Marine Corps Air Station El Toro in Irvine, California. The park features sports and recreational activities in an area dedicated to conservation and support of the arts. The park's gardens teach about sustainability and the food grown there supports local food banks. Great Park opened in 2007, but is still under development. Future plans include jogging and bicycle paths.
Parking and public transportation at Orange County Great Park
The park is located in Irvine—halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego—off the 405 and 5 freeways near Sand Canyon. Parking is free for most activities, but there is a charge to park for major events (about $10), such as the Great Park Pumpkin Harvest in the fall.
The Irvine Transportation Center is very close, which supports OCTA buses, Metrolink, Amtrak and other modes of transportation. Shuttles are available from the transportation center to the Great Park for major events. Orange County bus routes and schedules can help you plan your trip.
Best and worst time go to Orange County Great Park
Visitors should check the website to learn about special events at the park. Sundays are the best time to head to the park, but the park is open most days. Visitors can enjoy the live music and delicious meals and treats from a variety of gourmet food trucks. Don't leave without visiting the Farmers Market.
Admission to Orange County Great Park
Admission to the park is free of charge, and there are many free things to do, but fees apply to some attractions and events.
Must see/do at Orange County Great Park
Adventure seekers will enjoy floating in the clouds when they board a hot-air balloon, the park's iconic attraction. The aircraft holds up to 30 people and climbs to 400 feet for a view of Orange County you won't get anywhere else! Available Thursdays thru Sundays. Fees apply (about $10)
Earth-bound visitors can enjoy the Great Park Artists' Studios in the Palm Court, observe the artists in residence or catch a presentation of local dancers and other performers.
Learning can be fun, and Kids Rock Playgroud informs visitors about our environment and conservation needs. The area features a rock-climbing area, misting shade areas, and attractive and functional recycling exhibits.
Other places to visit near Orange County Great Park
The Irvine Spectrum Shopping Center is located just a few miles away, and the Irvine Barclay Theatre is a 10 minute drive. Events at the University of California at Irvine or at Irvine Valley College are also within 10 minutes.
Insider tip for visitors to Orange County Great Park
First time visitors should stop at the visitors' center near the Balloon ride and carousel. The center has information on all of the activities within the park. Don't miss out on events or attractions. The center also has restroom facilities.
The park is generally open from 10 a.m. to dusk on weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends. Hours can vary on holidays and during special events.
Author's bio: Connie Jankowski is an award-winning writer and a seasoned traveler. She has lived in Orange County, California for about 30 years.