Last Friday Steve and I got a birds-eye view of Orange County.
We rode the giant balloon at the Orange County Great Park. Those of you who live in Orange County will remember the heated debate that went on for years following the closure of the Marine Corps Air Station in El Toro. Plans to develop this site into an airport were thwarted and this area encompassing over 200 acres is being developed as a multi-use park.
On Friday, the Media Alliance of Orange County hosted an event at the park to promote awareness of this site. The Media Alliance is an organization that was formed to promote media business in Orange County.
At this time, a small portion of the park has been developed, with plans to expand the park more each year. While the park is under expansion, the undeveloped areas are available to use as sites for filming, photography or hosting special events. Thanks, Brian for the great tour of the park and the amazing spaces surrounding it!
There are several runways that are still operational. They are used on an ongoing basis for car testing and to film car commercials. They have also been transformed into multi-lane highways for filming movie scenes. There are abandoned airplane hangars and other outbuildings throughout the grounds that have been used in movies such as The Transformers and Eagle Eye and in the television series 24.
For large corporate events, there is a large venue that was developed for the Cirque du Soleil Kazoo show. For smaller events, the Hangar 244 is a great option. If you are interested in filming or hosting an event at the Great Park, visit eltorofield.com.
For families, the Great Park has plenty to offer. I don’t know about you, but I am always looking for something that is cheap or free to do with the family. Balloon rides are free, as are all of the events listed below. Parking is $10 per car.
Look at the variety of events they are offering in October alone!
-Saturday, October 9 @ 7:00 – Load up the car and bring the whole family for a movie on the lawn, The Karate Kid. Bring your lawn chairs and some blankets and settle in to watch this fun family movie on the big screen. (free parking for this event)
-Saturday, October 23 there will be a Great Park Pumpkin Harvest and Food Drive with plenty of activities for the whole family, including a pumpkin patch (every child takes home a free pumpkin!), arts activities, carnival games, a hay maze, horse drawn wagons and more.
– Saturdays at 10:00 through November 6, The Orange County Great Park is presenting a series of gardening education workshops in sustainable home gardening led by the University of California Master Gardeners. (free parking for these events)
I have provided just a snapshot of what the the Orange County Great Park has to offer.
It’s definitely one of Orange County’s best-kept secrets. Check it out!