If you and more pertinently your offspring enjoy walking on asphalt among bright lights and through crowds of people, possibly in the rain and definitely when it’s cold, the annual (we can assume again now, perhaps) Global Winter Wonderland returns to Cal Expo this week.
This year’s flabbergasting bulb-palooza, subtitled Imaginarium, returns on Friday, Nov. 19, and runs most evenings – including Christmas Day itself – through Sunday, Jan. 16. Typically, the gates open at 5 p.m. and close five or six hours later.
What is Winter Wonderland, you might wonder? Here’s how the Cal Expo website describes it:
“Imaginarium is an outdoor walk-thru event that is a magical journey through light. There are over three million LED lights in four different zones. The zones include Rhapsody in Blue (where lights and music are synchronized); Winter Wonderland (where the holidays are celebrated in an area aglow with white); Field of Dreams (where visitors can walk through a field of 30,000 LED roses in various colors); and The Ocean Experience (where visitors can feel like they can walk on water and be inside a wave). In addition to laser light shows, there are also carnival rides, games, a beer garden and food options.”
Admission fees are cheapest when purchased online: $21–$26 for Fridays through Sundays and $19–$24 for the other days. Rides cost extra, and anyone who wants to partake in a lot of them should buy a ride wristband, which are also less expensive online. Buy them before Friday, and they cost $25. After that, or at the gate, they start at $30.
Don’t forget parking! That’s another $12. Keep in mind that facial coverings are “encouraged,” but not required.