California's Great America Winterfest: The Perfect Winter Wonderland

December 17, 2019

One thing I love about the holidays is the opportunity they give us to make new memories with those we love.  Whether thinking of past holiday seasons makes us sad, angry, nostalgic, or joyful, a new season presents new opportunities.  But sometimes we need a new environment, full of magic, wonder, and fantasy, to help build those new memories.  California's Great America Winterfest is the perfect winter wonderland for creating new magical, joyful memories.  

I was soooo very excited to be invited by California's Great America to check out their Winterfest.  My daughter, friends, and I visited on Sunday, December 8th right after a week of heavy rain.  Besides a few puddles, you would have never known there had been a ton of rain just the day before.  It was a little chilly, but some hand warmers helped keep us quite warm.

California's Great America is located in Santa Clara in the bay area which is a little more than a 2-hour drive from Folsom.  We arrived a little after 5:30 P.M.  The event runs from about 5-10 P.M., but hours vary slightly.  I recommend always checking the park calendar for hours and the latest news.

As soon as we walked into the park, we were amazed by the spectacular view of a beautifully lit double-decker carousel.  It immediately makes you feel like you are in a fantasy world.  The grandiose Winterfest entrance provides a warm welcome and honestly filled me with excitement to check out more of the park.  

My daughter immediately spotted Mrs. Claus under an arch posing for pictures with children.  We were able to catch her on her way to her kitchen to bake cookies.  Lucky for us, we had tickets to "bake" with her (this is one of several experiences available at the park) and decided to follow her and start our evening with some cookie decorating.  Her kitchen is located in Planet Snoopy (where you will find all the kids rides) on the far end of the park, so the walk provided a scenic tour of most of the winter wonderland taking us through A Christmas Carol's village.  Good thing we didn't run into any ghosts there or Ebenezer Scrooge!

I was extremely impressed with all the holiday decor and mesmerizing lights.  There were so many lights, signs, statues, and photo opportunities to take in.  I felt I needed a wide lens on my eyes!  It was apparent that California's Great America takes great effort and pleasure to transform the park into a winter wonderland to transport its guests to a magical world.  Make sure to experience the snowy flurry at the Hometown Square every 30 minutes.  

The entertainment is top-notch.  My personal favorite was the Four Drummers Drumming percussion performance which gets you into an upbeat holiday spirit.  If you love to watch shows as much as I do, I recommend picking 2 or 3 and planning your evening with them in mind.  The 5 hours will go by in no time, especially when stopping to enjoy the yummy park food and holiday treats. My kiddo and her friend looooooved the end of the night party with the Tinsel Town characters, Jack Frost, and many other characters.

The amusement park rides are not to be forgotten. The little kid rides had a short line and are all right next to each other in Planet Snoopy.  We were able to maximize our park time by using the fast lane pass for the big rides.  If fast thrill rides aren't your thing, you can enjoy a slow scenic gondola ride, a horse-drawn carriage ride, or some ice skating.   You will even find a large grass area with chairs and bonfire pits to relax and warm up while you enjoy some hot chocolate.  

I truly felt transported to another world and enjoyed a great evening with my daughter and friends.  My daughter thanked me numerous times for taking her to California's Great America Winterfest.  I'm so thankful to have been invited as a member of the media to experience this amazing holiday event so that I could share it with all our MacKid readers.  I encourage you to check it out!  You may just want to make it a holiday tradition as do I.  Learn more about this fun-filled event HERE.

I received a complimentary experience at California's Great America in exchange for sharing my honest opinion about the event with MacKid readers.  All opinions are my own and sincere.  Check it out! It's seriously awesome.  

Macaroni Kid Folsom - El Dorado Hills is a free family-friendly event calendar and website focused on fun family events and information in Folsom, El Dorado Hills, and nearby areas. We gather local family events and activities each week and add useful information about classes, family-focused businesses, book and product reviews, recipes, crafts, school and camp guides and more. We proudly serve families in Folsom, El Dorado Hills, and close neighbors.  Sign up to receive our free family-friendly event calendar here  

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We do our best to ensure that all event information is accurate. However, sometimes dates and times get changed or an event may be canceled and we are not made aware of it. It is always best to check the event website, Facebook page listing, or call ahead to be sure of final event details before going.