A group of us mamas actually went here a month or so ago, but i was just cleaning up my phone and realized i never mentioned it here in this space and wanted to share!
i dont know why i had never heard of this park before. The Orange County Great Park is huge...and when i had received an invitation to meet up with some mama friends and ride the great big orange balloon (for free!) i went on the site and smiled...i remember waaaaaaayyyy back when i was 18 and all excited about voting and read all the literature about EVERY measure and every bill...i remember there being something on the ballot regarding what to do with government owned land - the El Toro Marine Base...there were all kinds of options - (another) amusement park, a water park, an airport...i can't remember what else...i can't remember what i chose either...although - probably voted for something that would generate money...and jobs...being the good conservative i am...but the people voted that the land be open to the people and a great park was to be had...well...fast forward 15 years...and now the park is finally being built...which is something to say about both our voting/political system and the legal troubles it all inevitably brings...
so - this park is still very much in the works - but it turned out to be a really fun day for us. we got there kinda early - which i recommend since the wait to go on the balloon can take an hour and a half on some days...and played at the little park area to wait our turn. They only let on about 9 people at a time that day (the carriage can hold up to 20) due to the wind.
The balloon was super fun...i was really worried how some of the little ones would do, but they all did great! i think because the carriage has a sorta high wall - they all felt really safe... it was kinda funny because the little ones did good, but some of the mamas had a tough time :)
they have a nice open space for running around and picnics and a little carousel (also free) and many plans are in the works that should be fun to pop in and visit from time to time.
the park ranger guy said the balloon rides should continue to be free till the end of the year and they run at night (cool date idea!)
i didnt take too many pics of the park - these are all pictures of us in the balloon, but you can visit their website here.