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“Still a work in progress”

Orange County Great Park
Ranked #12 of 47 things to do in Irvine
Attraction details
Reviewed January 15, 2012

Although we live within 10 miles of the park, we had some trouble locating the entrance. Be sure to have good directions. This park has been under development for years. Although it is a pleasant experience and has lots of potential, so far, little of the planned development has been done. Nevertheless, the hot-air balloon ride is certainly worth a visit (check hours and call ahead). Also, the carousel is a beauty. There is a small play area for children and a walkable historical timeline that we found interesting. During our visit, several people were flying model planes,. which was also fun to watch. No charge, so enjoy!

Thank Mommya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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147 - 151 of 157 reviews

Reviewed December 29, 2011

One day this will be a "Great Park" but for now it is low key. There is a cool giant orange hot-air balloon that you can go up in (it stays tethered) and get a great view. Free and wheelchair accessible. It is only open certain days closed Monday-wednesday, closed 3-7pm, and if there is wind. So call first. Drive as far as you can go if you want to park nearby. Otherwise there is a nice walk to get there, and soccer fields.
There is also a small free carasel (merry-go-round). Go in the small visitor center to sign release forms to get to ride the carosel or balloon.
There is a small photo display building that is sometimes open. The park is built on the site of the old El Toro air base -- runways and all. There are some big events there like on New Years Eve.

1  Thank cyber_Lana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2011

It was fun to be in an open air concert, different setting than a regular amphitheater setting, like the Irvine Meadows. It was different. They served drinks in a reserved bar area for beer and wine only. The only thing, you had to finish your drink in the reserved bar area... The concert was fun, being out with friends and family. I would recommend to bring blankets, it was close to winter, and it was coooold! Somehow, some people went on the Orange Balloon, it went up, still tied to ropes, and then back down... they must have had a great view from up there... I would recommend this venue. It was Aug. 2010. But I could not put the right date in.

Thank TiroaFanaua
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2011

This beautiful park was formely the public area of the Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro. Now it's a beautiful metropolitan park with several fun things to do and see and nice areas just to relax in.

You can ride in a huge orange helium balloon that takes you up 400 feet and gives you an incredible overview.

There is also a beautiful carousel you can ride on.

At the Farm + Food Lab, we attended a gardening workshop that was very educational and timely as more people are starting to grow their own fruits and vegetables in the interest of good health. They have raised beds growing a lot of different types of fruits and vegetables that grown in the area. They will be planting a Community Garden next year

Kids Rock Playground is a small play are for the kids with a varity of things for the kids to climb on, crawl through.

Palm Court Arts Complex has a gorgeous courtyard and different exhibits are shown inside.

North Lawn recreation area had some sports activities

All in all a fun place to hang out for the day and the people in the information center - SUPER!! All very nice and helpful and made you feel like they were really excited to have you come visit

The historic Hangar 244 was holding a priva.

1  Thank Off2SeeItAll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2011

I was excited to hear about the free helium balloon rides at the OC Great Park, but disappointed when I got there and found out that the balloon was not flying due to bad weather (it was hazy out, at 2:30 in the afternoon). We ended up letting the kids go up and down the small slides and taking 2 FREE carousel rides. There were no events that day, so parking was FREE and plentiful. My advice, call before going to see if the balloon rides are running.

Thank SDtoSJGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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