The Great Park

I have been wanting to check out The Great Park in Irvine for a while.  I don’t know how I learned about it, maybe in the paper or a magazine or something.  I read about the huge helium balloon that you can ride.  It takes you up into the air a little ways and then comes back down.

I thought it looked cool.  There’s one very similar at Safari park, but you have to pay extra to ride and the one at The Great Park is free.  As you know, I’m all about free.  The only problem is, if I drove up there just to go for a free ride in the helium balloon, I might as well have gone to Safari Park and paid for the ride with the money I would have saved on gas.  So this week was the perfect opportunity.  Since we spent the night in Anaheim on Wednesday, we stopped by the park on our way home Thursday afternoon.  I didn’t know at the time that the balloon ride (and carousel for that matter) are only open Thursday through Sunday.  Luckily for us, it was a Thursday that we made the trip.  I thought we lucked out when we got there because it looked like it wasn’t very busy at all.  But when we went into the visitor’s center to get tickets, they told us that they had sold out for the day.

We could come back an hour before they opened that night and try to get them in the evening if we wanted.  We opted out and rode the carousel a couple of times instead.  It turns out that the weather wasn’t cooperating that day and they couldn’t take as many people up at a time as they can on a clear, breeze-free day.  Maybe next time.

 

About The Great Park . . . it looks like it will be really great.  It’s still under construction.  It will be a huge urban park.  Right now, the big draw is the helium balloon and the carousel.  Did I mention that both are free?  Because they are.  Since my kids could ride a carousel all day, every day without getting sick of it, we rode it a couple of times.

Even though we were disappointed about the balloon ride, we did end up having a good time.

We thought the bike rack was really cool and the kids loved this checker path.

If I’m ever up in Irvine on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday again, I’ll be back.

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