Things To Do - 41 min read

70 Things To Do in Orange County, CA (Unique & Fun!)

Lauren Abbott

Lauren Abbott, Updated October 4, 2022

Orange County is a beautiful Southern California region. It’s known for its tourist attractions like Anaheim’s Disneyland Resort, a huge complex of rides, restaurants and shops. 

It is home to Knott’s Berry Farm, a large theme park, bringing tourists from around the world to experience everything it has to offer. Among the many available activities in Orange County is surf beaches enthusiasts and boat-filled harbor sits for families to relax and enjoy.

The County’s 34 towns are known for tourism, theme parks and outdoor sports. Orange County is a charming destination year-round. It is home to some of the state’s signature sights, including Laguna Beach, Mission San Juan Capistrano and Disneyland. The warm pleasant weather year round, along with some of the country’s top amusement parks, makes it an obvious vacation choice

Whether you are planning a solo or family visit to Orange County, there will be no shortage of activities to participate in. Keep reading to uncover some of the best spots and activities to go to while you are in the area to get the most out of your trip. 

Contents

1. Compass Balloons

Credit: Compass Balloons / Facebook

📍Map It: 1969 Villa Cardiff Dr, Cardiff, CA 92007 | Phone: (760) 704-7407 | Website | Hours: Open 7 days a week Monday-Sunday 9:00 am to 7:00 pm| Entrance: $240 per person

Compass Balloons is three hours away from Orange County. It offers tourists breath-taking hot air balloon tours with each flight coming along with a commemorative T-shirt with including champagne for your enjoyment.

Ideal for families and couples, the limit of 8 passengers offers an intimate experience with the full attention from the flight crew. The flights explore nearby attractions as well give wonderful scenic ocean views. 

2. Trip Designs

Credit: Trip Designs / Yelp

📍Map It: 24000 Alicia Pkwy Ste 17-286, Mission Viejo, CA 92691 | Phone: (888) 422-2026 | Website:  | Hours: Monday-Saturday 9:30 am to 4:00 pm, Closed on Sundays | Entrance: $100 for bookings.

This is a sort-after travel companion that helps you start your journey of touring Orange County as well as the rest of the country. Trips are organized to enable you and your family embark on an adventure that will re-energize both you and your family.

If you are looking for an exciting nightlife or just a relaxing time at a beach resort, let Trip Designs create the perfect itinerary so you can just arrive and enjoy.

Related Read: Best Time To Visit Catalina Island

3. A Grape Escape Balloon Adventure

redit: Grape Escape Balloon Adventure / Facebook

📍Map It: 41150 Via Europa, Temecula, CA 92591 | Phone: (951) 699-9987 | Website | Hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, closed on Saturdays and Sundays | Entrance: $179.00 per person (6-14 passengers on average per balloon)

With over 30 years of experience in hot air ballooning, A Grape Escape provides the best hot air balloon rides Orange County has to offer. Our air balloon flights are perfectly positioned for you to see the most of Southern California from the air.

Experienced balloon pilots will guide you along the lavish landscape of wine trails. You and your family can experience amazing views of the Temecula Wine Country as the sun rises.

4. Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum

Credit: Sorcha / Wikipedia

📍Map It: 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd, Yorba Linda, CA 92886, United States | Phone: (714)993-5075 | Website | Hours: Monday to Sunday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm 

| Entrance: $25.00 for Adults, $21 for Seniors over 62, $19 for College/Highschool Students/Retired/Military, $15 for Children (ages 5-11), Free for children (4 and under)

Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum is voted Orange County’s best attraction and best County Museum. It’s the presidential library and burial site of Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th president of the United States and his wife Pat Nixon.

The Library can be used in hosting various events such as weddings, corporate events and even film and movie productions. Kids get to enjoy sets of model trains going up mountainsides, going through tunnels and rolling across the model American terraine.

Related Read: Do You Need A Passport To Go To Catalina Island?

5. Santiago Oaks Regional Park

Credit: Vanessa Mendoza / All Trails

📍Map It: 2145 Windes Dr, Orange, CA 92869 | Phone: (714) 973-6620 | Website | Hours: Monday though Sunday 7:00 am–8:00 pm | Entrance: Parking fees: $3 per car entry, Monday-Friday; $5, Saturday-Sunday; prices change during holidays and events

In Santiago Oaks Regional Park you’ll find the best trails for an adventurous hike or a family trip. The Park has 21 great trails for hiking, walking, and birding and more.

The park has a series of interconnecting trails suitable for hikers and mountain bikes. The trails are really popular among mountain bikers with hiking lovers getting to experience scenic views of the landscape .

6. Paradiso Yacht Charters

Credit: Paradiso Yacht Charters / Yelp

📍Map It: 670 Lido Park Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92663 | Phone: (714) 404-0806 | Website | Hours: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm Monday through Sunday | Entrance: call to request rates.

Paradiso Yacht Charters is a highly-reviewed luxiourious yatch service that offers Boat rentals for tours, at sea burial services, and family and friends charters. When visiting Newport Beach coast line, travelers can rent out boats and host parties in the various Yacht by the hour. Previous visitors have commented on the friendly staff and large selection of quality equipment. 

Related Read: 15 Best Beaches in Southern California for Families

7. Duffy Electric Boats of Newport Beach

Credit: Duffy Electric Boats / Facebook 

📍Map It: 2001 West Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, CA 92663 | Phone: (949) 645-6812  | Website | Hours: Open daily 10 am-8 pm | Entrance: Rent a boat 2 hours – $299, 3 hours – $429, 4 hours – $549

Duffy electric boats are the largest fleet In Newport Harbor. Renting a duffy boat is good way to enjoy time with family and friends or have a special boating riding picnic with the kids.

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and recharge your psyche.  This is affordable therapy is a thrilling activity to participate in with friends and family. This is best for groups and families and provide life jackets for the kids which is convenient for safety. 

8. Wilderness Trio

Credit: Wilderness Trio / Facebook 

📍Map It: No physical location | Phone: (657) 333-8746 | Website | Hours: 7 days a week 9 am – 7pm | Entrance: $649 with $199 deposit 

Wilderness Trio Tours offers several routes, from National Parks of Yosemite, Sequoia Zion to Kings Canyon.  Guides also offer rental gear and no matter what kind of adventure you’re looking for, Wilderness Trio take the pain out of trip planning for you.

Related Read: 30 Best Hiking Trails in Orange County, CA

9. Eisenhower Park

Credit: Sullynyfhli / Wikipedia

📍Map It: 400 N Main Street Orange, CA 92868 | Phone: (714) 744-7274 | Website | Hours: 7 days a week 5 am-11pm| Entrance: Free

Eisenhower Park is This park is a great place for kids to explore and work on their skills. It’s the kind of park that encourages creativity and “self-play,” with a lot of waterworks and rivers with rocks that can be climbed standing out.

Picnic tables and benches can be found all over the park. It’s a nice place to spend the afternoon with a loved one. A notable feature of the park is its stream with fountains with water that runs under bridges and along paths to a large lake off Lincoln Avenue.

10. Downtown Santa Ana

Credit: Ricardo Bravo (@slick_rick_714) / Facebook

📍Map It: 201 E 4th St. Studio Kitchen Santa Ana, CA 92701 | Phone: (562) 704-6909 | Website | Hours: Open 24 hours 7 days a week | Entrance: Free

Downtown Santa Ana is the institutional center of Orange County. In recent years it has developed rapidly as a cultural, entertainment and culinary center for Orange County.

Downtown Santa Ana offers many restaurant options to pick from Mexican, Asian infused and several places that offer vegan options.  It has a mix of beautiful historic buildings, older ethnic stores, small shops, and a weekly farmers market. 

11. Tic Toc Murals

Credit: Don Leach / Times Community News

📍Map It: 23411 Summerfield, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656 | Phone: (949) 916-5043 | Website | Hours: Tuesday-Friday 9 am – 6 pm Monday 9am-5pm

Tic-Toc Murals is an Orange County CA mural company established in 2000 by muralist and artist Seth Thomas. The murals are able to bring a boring office into a nursery of colors.

Tic-Toc Murals is your one stop destination for kid’s murals, scenic murals, faux finishing, decorative painting, custom canvas paintings and furniture. Whether you just want small details added to your room or larger mural work, Tic-Toc Murals can do it all.

12. OC Meets Napa and Baja

Credit: Archel A. / Yelp

📍Map It: Mission San Juan Capistrano 26801 Ortega Hwy San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675  

Do you fancy food and wines while enjoying a live entertainment nearby? Then come to the OC Meets Napa and Baja at the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano. This festival is also known as The AltaMed Food and Wine Festival. 

It’s a three-day event that aims to highlight the beauty of Latin food. You will be impressed with the amount of vendors and the quality of food with each dish that you sample. 

13. Lantern Bay Park

Sandy V. / Yelp

📍Map It: 25111 Park Lantern, Dana Point, CA 92629 | Phone: (949) 248-3530 | Website | Hours: 6 days of the week except Thursdays 6:00 am – 10 pm | Entrance: Free

Lantern Bay Park is an amazing park with beautiful views of Southern California. You get to view the ocean, the coastline and the mountains all in one land mark. What’s not to love with the warm weather and low humidity.

Lots of places to have a family picnic lunch and enjoy the views. Located above Dana Point, there are plenty of tables and chairs for silent retreats as well as pine trees offering shade during hot days. For meditation enthusiasts an “I Heart Yoga in the Park” is held at this park every morning at 10:00 am.   

14. Alton Marketplace

Credit: Alton Marketplace / Yelp

📍Map It: 107 Technology Dr W #51, Irvine, CA 92618 | Phone: (949) 720-3100 | Website | Hours: 7 days a week 24 hours | Entrance: Free

The Alton Marketplace is frequented by a lot of tourists for food shopping, shopping at Costco, and anyone else that wants to go to  Walmart for mass merchandise. With Alton Marketplace’s expansive walkways and lush landscaping, it is the perfect Orange County destination for dining and shopping.

15. Blue Lake Park

Credit: YL1117 / Trip Advisor

📍Map It:  1 Summerstone Irvine, CA 92614 | Phone 🙁 954) 247-9747 | Website |Hours: Mon-Sun 24 hours| Entrance: Free

Renting a boat, going fishing or hiking, playing tennis, or simply finding a secluded, almost hidden spot are all excellent ways to connect with nature at Blue Lake Park.

It is surrounded by bridges, beaches, and other great places to walk and relax, including the East Yale Loop Trail and the West Yale Loop Trail, which serve as elegant bookends to the area. 

There is a small playground right next to the tennis court if you would like to bring your children with you. You can continue running, walking, or riding until you reach North Lake if you want to complete the circuit in its entirety.

16. Pavion Park 

Credit: ArchDaily / Pinterest

📍Map It24051 Pavion, Mission Viejo, CA 92692, United States | Phone: +1 949-470-3061| Website| Hours: Mon-Sunday except Thursdays 7am-11pm

There is a community located on Olympiad and Jeronimo that is immediately adjacent to Pavion Park. In addition, there are a lot of entertaining and one-of-a-kind features in this park, such as a swing glider, colorful padded floors, buttons that move, and animal trail finders.

There is a constant turnover of attendees. This park is perfect for children because it is very spacious and features a wide variety of brightly colored equipment. There is a sufficient amount of grass for both children and dogs to run and play on. 

It is decked out with one-of-a-kind playthings like mommy and me swings, a zip line swing, a seesaw, and a tree house. It is decked out in vivid hues, and the flooring is made of plush foam. Tables perfect for picnics are scattered all over the park.

17. Best Coast OC Brewery Tours

Credit: Management / Groupon

📍Map It: Laguna| Phone (949) 3284222| Website | Hours: Mon-Sat 8am- 6 pm | Entrance: Rent the bus 1,400 tasting flights and seating for 12 adult 89$kids 29 $

It is an excellent choice for hosting celebrations of any kind, including wedding receptions, graduation parties, baby showers, and graduation parties. During this fun pub crawl, you will have the opportunity to taste some of the most well-known and delicious craft beers that Orange County has to offer. 

They provide guided tours of the local breweries in Orange County. They provide transportation from your door to the breweries in Orange County, and tasting flights are included in the price.

18. Cruisin Tikis Newport Beach

Credit: Cruisin’ Tikis Newport / Facebook 

📍Map It: 670 Lido Park Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92663, United States | Phone: (888) 580-9814 | Website| Hours: 7 days a week, 24 hours | Entrance: $69.95 per person (2-person min.) $400 (6 people max for a private charter) 

Because you stand out among the other boats in the harbor, the tiki boat is an excellent vessel on which to take a tour of the waterfront. In addition, their captain is approachable and friendly, and they supply ice, cups, and plates. 

It is the perfect place for celebrations such as birthdays and weddings, as well as for proposing to a future spouse. They offer the freshest and most delicious fish in town. 

Dock and Dine is an option for those who do not wish to bring their own food and beverages. The charters make it possible to dine in a variety of locations within and close to the harbor.

19. Go Baja Riding Tours

Credit: Go Baja Riding Tours / Facebook

📍Map It:6820 Airport Drive, Unit D-206    Riverside, CA USA| Phone: (951) 687-0808|Website | Hours: Monday to Thursday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM | Entrance: $1000 non-refundable deposit for expeditions

Go Baja Riding offers tours of the desert for both small groups and large groups of people from the same company. It’s a great place to go on tours with lots of excitement. Tours are made to fit the group’s riding preferences and safety needs. 

It has Honda bikes, gear, and a full staff of handpicked professionals who will show visitors around. It offers private services, corporate services, training, and the world-class “You Race Baja.”. 

If you want to get rid of the sand from the desert, you can go fishing or scuba diving. Go Baja Riding Desert Adventure Tours truly has everything.

20. Blinking Owl Distillery

Credit: Management / OpenTable

📍Map It: 802 E Washington Ave, Santa Ana, CA 92701 | Phone: (714) 852-3947 |Website | Hours: Monday-Tuesday Closed, Wednesday-Thursday open 5 pm-9 pm, Friday open 3 pm-10 pm, Saturday open 3 pm-10 pm, Sunday open 10 am-2 pm | Entrance: Free

The Blinking Owl Distillery has onsite tastings of various spirits, whiskeys and wines. With an over 21 guest list, it’s a great spot for friends to a good night away.

Besides having some of the best distilled spirits in Orange County, the distillery has a great party atmosphere and an outdoor setting that accommodate large groups of people. The staff is courteous and offers quick service. 

21. Cherry Park

Credit: Jenn A. / Yelp

📍Map It: 22651 Cherry Ave Lake Forest, CA 92630 | Phone: 949-461-3400 | Website | Hours: Dawn to dusk. | Entrance: Free. 

Recently renovated in 2021, Cherry Park is now a universally accessible playground. It features a play structure for kids ages 2-5 and another play structure for kids 5-12 years old. 

There are shade cloths over several of the play structures, and there is a drinking fountain, picnic tables, a basketball court, and a barbecue. Parking is available along the street. The whole family will enjoy this park! The only drawback is that there is no bathroom, and no dogs are allowed. 

22. Knott’s Berry Farm

Credit: Catirita001 / Trip Advisor

📍Map It: 8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620 | Phone: 714-220-5200 | Website | Hours: Park: 10 AM – 10 PM Waterpark: 10 AM – 6 PM | Entrance: from $69 for general park admission

What began as a roadside berry stand and a chicken dinner establishment nearly a century ago has now grown into a must-visit attraction in Southern California. Knott’s Berry Farm attracts over 5 million visitors annually! The park features roller coasters, rides, shows, and a variety of other family-friendly activities and attractions.

This amusement park has something for the entire family, and even has a waterpark! Make sure to take a stroll on the Boardwalk, explore the Old West Ghost Town, and pay a visit to Camp Snoopy while you’re there. The park also has restaurants located throughout it.

23. Love Catalina Island Visitor Center

Credit: Love Catalina Island / Facebook

📍Map It: 1 Green Pleasure Pier, Avalon, CA 90704 | Phone: 310-510-1520 | Website | Hours: Monday-Saturday 8AM – 5PM; Sunday 9AM – 4PM. Closed daily for lunch from 12-1 | Entrance: Free

When visiting Catalina Island, your first stop needs to be the Love Catalina Island Visitor Center! With so much to see and do, the visitor center is the one-stop place to gather information and plan your itinerary.

From parasailing and zip-lining, to scuba diving or lounging on the beach, Catalina Island offers fun for everyone. It is a perfect getaway for thrill seekers and adventure enthusiasts while also being a great option for a relaxing escape from reality. Be sure to also check out the rich history of Catalina Island while you’re at the visitor center.

24. Flavors of Laguna

Credit: Flavors of Laguna / Facebook

📍Map It: 384 Forest Ave, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 | Phone: 949-310-0909 | Website | Hours: Saturdays, 10:30AM – 1:30PM | Entrance: Varies

This walking tour of Laguna features stops at various participating restaurants and bars. Be sure to wear walking shoes and to apply some sunscreen, and come ready to experience the best local dining spots!

The tour ends at the beach. Flavors of Laguna allows you to experience and enjoy Laguna Beach on a whole new level, while getting to sample foods and drinks from each different restaurant. 

25. Bluebird Park

Credit: Linda B. / Yelp

📍Map It: 772 Cress St, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 | Phone: 949-497-3311 | Website | Hours: 8AM – 8PM, 7 days a week | Entrance: Free

Bluebird Park is a playground perfect for preschoolers and elementary-aged children. It is entirely fenced in and features play structures as well as a bicycle track. There are restrooms, a drinking fountain, basketball court, picnic tables, and barbecue areas.

The proximity of the playground to the beach allows for the sea breeze to cool the park down, even on the hottest of days. There are also shade trees in the park, making this a prime location year-round.

26. Spooktacular Fun Days

Credit: Neil E. / Yelp 

📍Map It: 8000 Great Park Blvd, Irvine, CA 92618 | Phone: 949-724-6247 | Website | Hours: October 14 & 15 9AM- 3PM | Entrance: $5 for children 12 & under. Adults and parking are free.

Costumes, pumpkin patches, tricks, treats, crafts, and more! This fall festival is specifically geared towards children 12 and under. Vendors from across the community come together to organize fun and games. 

There will be a variety of food trucks at the event. Spooktacular Fun Days is also a food drive, so bring some non-perishable goods to donate to hunger relief in Orange County!

27. OC Japan Fair

Credit: OC Japan Fair / Facebook

📍Map It: 88 Fair Drive Costa Mesa, CA 92626 | Phone: 310-809-5479 | Website | Hours: Friday 5PM – 11PM, Saturday 12PM – 10PM, Sunday 10AM-5PM | Entrance: $10, children 6 & under and over 65 are free.

Mark your calendars for October 21st-23rd! The OC Japan Fair is one of the largest celebrations of Japanese culture in Southern California. There will be food, performances, anime, and traditions being displayed and celebrated at this cultural festival. 

There are no Covid-19 regulations for attendance, and tickets are currently on sale. Tickets are $10 after October 10th, but are on an early bird sale and are $7 if purchased before August 31st, $8 if purchased September 1st-30th, and $9 when purchased October 1st-9th. 

28. Downtown Redlands Art Walk

Credit: Wendy L. / Yelp 

📍Map It: 153 N 5th St Redlands, CA 92373 | Phone: 909-223-6700 | Website | Hours: 10AM – 5PM | Entrance: Free

This bi-annual event draws in over 100 artists to showcase their work. Different vendors from the community also set up booths, making this the ideal event for strolling through downtown to admire the work of local artists.

The Downtown Redlands Art Walk showcases the local talent and brings together the community in support of small businesses. In addition to food there will also be live music. The weather is usually beautiful for this event, and the downtown area is gorgeous and perfect for viewing art. 

29. Orange Coast College Planetarium

Credit: Scott Smeltzer / LA Times

📍Map It: 2701 Fairview Rd, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 | Phone: 714-714-7430 | Website | Hours: Wednesday 10AM – 2PM, Saturday 12PM – 5PM | Entrance:$10 for adults, $6 children 12 & under and senior 65+, OCC students with student ID are free.

The Orange Coast College Planetarium is the perfect destination for an educational yet entertaining outing. The planetarium plays a variety of different shows in their dome, and occasionally does special events, including laser shows.

The lobby features a few permanent items and also received some temporary exhibits, and these exhibits are free to come admire. A trip to the OCC Planetarium is an immersive and interactive experience for the whole family!

30. Scottish Fest

Credit: Mark Weston (Flickr) / KCET

📍Map It: 88 Fair Drive Costa Mesa, CA 92626 | Phone: 714-708-1500 | Website | Hours: Saturday 10AM – 7PM, Sunday 9AM – 6PM| Entrance: to be announced along with the 2023 schedule.

Scottish Fest takes place annually over Memorial Day weekend. This festival is Southern California’s largest celebration of Scottish history and culture! Come enjoy Highland dancing performances and then enjoy traditional food and sample scottish whisky. 

In addition to the food, drinks, and music, there are also booths for over 60 Scottish clans throughout the festival. Representatives will be at each of these booths to teach about the history of each clan, and help people trace back their genealogy to find out which clan they belong to!

31. Beacon Park

Credit: blake Handley / Flickr

📍Map It: 501 Benchmark, Irvine, CA 92618 | Phone: 949-733-3232 | Website | Hours: 5AM – 10PM, 7 days a week | Entrance: varies.

Miles of trails for walking and biking, a treehouse, pools, and so much more make Beacon Park an ideal destination. This park is surrounded by unique homes, making the park part of its own community. 

Living in this community puts you within biking distance of three top-ranked Irvine Unified School District schools. There is a state-of-the-art sports complex, and there are always community events happening in Beacon Park. Check out their website for more information.

32. Heritage of Aloha

Credit: McTwitchy M. / Yelp 

📍Map It: 12100 Mora Drive, Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670 | Phone: 562-762-6099 | Website | Hours: Saturday 10AM-6PM, Sunday 10AM-5PM | Entrance: Free admission and free parking.

This two-day festival returns May 20th-21st, 2023! Heritage of Aloha showcases and celebrates the cultures and traditions of Hawai’i and Polynesia. Come watch the Spam eating contest and then listen to the ukulele playing contest.

After that, dine on island cuisine while attending cultural workshops and shopping in the outdoor marketplace.Proceeds from this event benefit Southern California Community groups and other individuals dedicated to promoting and preserving island heritage.

33. Orange County Center for Contemporary Art

Credit: Andrew C. / Yelp

📍Map It: 17 N Sycamore St, Santa Ana, CA 92701 | Phone: 714-667-1517 | Website | Hours: Friday-Sunday 12PM-5PM | Entrance: Free.

The Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (OCCCA) is a 501c(3) non-profit organization. It was opened in 1980 with the mission of preserving the arts and allowing freedom of expression. Today, OCCCA presents films, forums, concerts, workshops, and classes.

The atmosphere of OCCCA is one which promotes the sharing and nurturing of artistic ideas. It is located in the center of Santa Ana’s Artist Village, and is a must-visit for aspiring artists or for anyone who admires art!

34. Winter Wonderland at the Grove

Credit: Stephen Z. / Yelp

📍Map It:189 THE GROVE DRIVE LOS ANGELES, CA 90036 | Phone: 323-900-8080 | Website | Hours: Evenings in December leading up to Christmas, 7PM and 8PM. | Entrance: Free.

The Grove is transformed into a winter wonderland! Every night in December come and watch the snow fall at 7PM and 8PM.

Ornaments and Christmas trees decorate the area, making everyone feel jolly and festive.Stay tuned for more specific details on their website as the Christmas season draws closer.

35. Heritage Community Park

Credit: Ashley S. / Yelp

📍Map It: 14301 Yale Ave, Irvine, CA 92604 | Phone: 949-724-6824 | Website | Hours: 6AM-10PM daily.| Entrance: Free.

This park is over 36 acres in size! Heritage Community Park features pools, restrooms, play areas, drinking fountains, picnic tables, barbecue areas, basketball courts, tennis courts, ball diamonds, a lake, an amphitheater, and a volleyball court. There are additional amenities available to rent.

Heritage Community Park is a wonderful place for the family to come play, or to bring a group of friends for some recreational games. The barbecues areas and picnic tables make it ideal for parties and gatherings. 

Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed at Heritage Community Park. You can also reserve several of the sports areas for private use. You will need a credit card to do so. 

36. Orange County Soccer Club

Credit: Orange County Soccer Club / Facebook

📍Map It: 8272 Great Park Blvd Irvine, CA 92618  | Phone: 949-647-4625 | Website | Hours: See website for schedule. | Entrance: General admission tickets for games begin at $9.99.

The Orange County Soccer Club was formed in 2010. They are a professional mens soccer team. The energy at their games is electric! They have an enthusiastic fan base, and the stadium seats 5,000 fans.

The games are televised, and all of the details about the team are on the website. You can also purchase merchandise from the website. Sports lovers, especially avid soccer fans, will love the experience. 

Attending an Orange County SC game should be on everyone’s to-do list. Check out their website to see when their next home game is!

37. Boot Hill

Credit: Boot Hill / Facebook 

📍Map It: 16 Goldenrod, Irvine, CA 92614  | Phone: 800-383-4286 |  Website | Hours: Various days in October. | Entrance: Free.

The Legend of Boot Hill is an annual Halloween-themed yard walk through. There are scareactors throughout the Western-themed scene. It is elaborately decorated and will get you into the Halloween spirit.

Based on the legend of Jedediah Smith, the Legend of Boot Hill emerges every year during the Halloween season to haunt and thrill spectators. The detail they put into decorating for this event is immaculate. 

To really appreciate the spooky thrills this event provides, be sure to check out the story behind the Legend of Boot Hill on their website. It outlines the history behind the legend and leaves a chill after reading it!

38. Newport Bay Conservancy Kayak Tours

Credit: Dennis B. / Yelp

📍Map It: 2301 University Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660| Phone: 949-923-2269 | Website | Hours: Public tours take place on Saturdays 10AM-12PM | Entrance: See website.

The Newport Bay Conservancy offers guided tours of the Upper Bay. Get up close and personal with the wildlife, without disrupting or disturbing their environment! Kayak tours are a great way to view nature in a low-impact manner.

If you prefer to strike out on your own, they also offer paddleboard and kayak rentals for non-guided use. If you wish to use your own equipment please check out their rules and regulations beforehand.

The Newport Bay Conservancy strives to promote conservation efforts and knowledge about caring for the environment. They promote appreciating wildlife in a respectful way, and to preserve nature for the generations to come. 

39. Craft Brew Tours

Credit: Craft Brew Tours / Facebook 

📍Map It: Orange, CA 92626 | Phone: 240-620-3957 | Website | Hours: Tours run 7 days a week. | Entrance: Transportation prices are $40 during the week and $50 on the weekend.

Craft Brew Tours offers transportation to multiple breweries! They serve a wide area in Orange County. Drinking is allowed on the bus, but no coolers will be permitted.

Perfect for groups of just a few people or for larger parties, Craft Brew Tours is great for date nights, birthday parties, bachelorette parties, and bachelor parties. Food is available throughout the tour as well, and eating us permitted on the bus. 

The cost of the basic package is only for transportation and does not include the cost of any alcohol. They do offer upgraded packages. Check out their website and make a reservation for your party today!

40. Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary

Credit: Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary Gallery / The Orange County Register

📍Map It: 29322 Modjeska Canyon Rd, Silverado, CA 92676 | Phone: 949-645-8489 | Website | Hours: 9AM-4PM daily, closed Tuesday & Thursday | Entrance: Free.

Located in the Modjeska Canyon, the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary is 12 acres of trails and bird observation areas. There is even a natural history museum! This is the perfect destination to go and be one with nature. 

Multiple species of birds can be spotted in the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary, making it a bird watcher’s paradise. Nature enthusiasts will also appreciate the animals. 

Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary also offers multiple summer camps and various other programs. More information about these can be found on their website. They promote educational programs throughout the community and also work with the youth. 

41. Cruise of Lights

Credit: Admin / Cruise of Lights Gallery

📍Map It: 16889 Algonquin Street Huntington Beach, CA 92649 | Phone: 714-840-7542 | Website | Hours: See website. | Entrance: Varies depending on ticket purchased.

December 16-23, 2022 brings the return of the HuntingtonHarbour Philharmonic Cruise of Lights! This narrated boat tour showcases breathtaking light displays on boats, docks, and waterfront homes. Experience Christmas lights like never before!

This event only comes around once a year, but it should be at the top of your list of things to go experience. The Cruise of Lights has been voted “Top 10” by Coastal Living Magazine and “10 Best Christmas Lights Destinations in the US” by AOL.

The funds raised from the event go towards educational youth programs in Orange County. This will for sure be worth the trip!

Credit: Solomon R. Guggenheim Musem / ArtForum

📍Map It: 1 University Dr, Orange, CA 92866 | Phone: 714-997-6815 | Website | Hours

Monday-Friday 12PM-5PM, Saturday 11AM-4PM. Closed Sunday. | Entrance: Free.

The Guggenheim Gallery at Chapman University was built in 1975. The exhibits are contemporary art which use provocative displays to convey messages about societal issues. The gallery features art from professionals as well as from students.

The Guggenheim Gallery is committed to showing the diversity of artists throughout the world and ending oppression. The art showcased here is thought provoking and representative of both history, the present, and the future. 

The gallery is an instrumental part of the art program at Chapman University. It is definitely worth seeing!

43. Orange County Cherry Blossom Festival

Credit: OC Cherry Blossom Festival / Facebook

📍Map It: 5252 Bolsa Ave, Huntington Beach, CA 92649 | Phone: 714-500-4994 | Website | Hours: Schedule TBA. | Entrance: $10 for weekend pass, children 10 & under and seniors 65+ are free.

The OC Cherry Blossom Festival is returning March 10-12, 2023! It is an annual celebration of Japanese and Japanese-American culture. There is a wide variety of performances and activities to see and do. Throughout the three-day festival over 70,000 people will attend to experience and appreciate the festivities.

In addition to the entertainment, you will need to check out the Sakura Night Market to sample Japanese food and drinks! This festival was inspired by the exchange program between Huntington Beach and its sister city Anjo, Japan. 

The sister city program between Anjo and Huntington has cultivated many great relationships. Through the program, more awareness has been brought to Japanese culture and connected Japanese-American’s with their heritage. 

44. Bario Glassworks

Credit: Nelvin C. Cepeda / The San Diego Union-Tribune

📍Map It: 3060 Roosevelt St, Carlsbad, CA 92008 | Phone: 760-696-3288 | Website | Hours: 10AM-6PM Tuesday-Saturday, 10AM-5PM Sunday. Closed Monday. | Entrance: $75 per person for glass working class. Admission is free.

Make your very own glass object! Bario Glassworks offers introductory classes to the art of glass making at their studio. Once completed, you can take more advanced glass working classes. This is a public glassblowing studio and retail gallery. 

If you don’t want to participate in a class, that’s no problem! You can still come and admire the glass art, and watch the professionals work from the public spectator area. The studio also has guest artists and special events throughout the week.

45. Irvine Lake Mud Run

Credit: Lee G. / Yelp

📍Map It: 4621 E Santiago Canyon Rd, Silverado, CA 92676 | Phone: 714-697-5863 | Website | Hours: Runners begin at 9. | Entrance: Spectators are free, participants must register for $59.99.

The Irvine Lake Mud Run is a 5k race which takes place annually. It is an off-road race which features hills and over a dozen mud pits! Awards are given to the top three competitors in the timed category. 

If running is not your thing, that is okay! You can still enter the event and walk or jog at your own pace. You can even attend just as a spectator. This event is unique, and is even muddier now than ever before!

46. Pine Tree Park

Sam N. / Yelp 

📍Map It: 1402 Bryan Ave Tustin, CA 92780 | Phone: 714-573-3326 | Website | Hours: 7AM-10PM 7 days a week. | Entrance: Free.

Pine Tree Park is a medium-sized playground. It has an open grass area for playing as well as a volleyball court. There is a play structure as well as rope swings, perfect for kids of all ages to enjoy!

The park is partially shaded and has covered picnic tables and barbecue areas. Bounce houses are allowed, so this could be a great spot for a birthday party or other gathering.

47. Twin Bridge Travel and Service

Credit: Su D. / Yelp

📍Map It: 15415 Jeffrey Rd, Irvine, CA 92618 | Phone: 949-559-1888 | Website | Hours: 9AM-5PM Monday-Friday | Entrance: Cost varies by service.

Twin Bridge Travel and Service is a travel agency. Whether you wish to travel domestically or abroad, they are there to help you plan every step of your trip to Orange County!

48. Bear Track Landing

Credit: Jim F. / Yelp 

📍Map It:12681 Harbor Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92840  | Phone: 800-434-7894 | Website | Hours: 10AM-8PM daily. | Entrance: See website.

Bear Track Landing was previously known as Spirit Island, and has also been called Wiley’s Waterpark. This waterpark is the main attraction of the resort! The pools and other water features offer entertainment for children and adults alike.

In addition to the slides and pools there are also dining options included at the waterpark. The park is located indoors and maintained at 84 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can go and play any time of year!

49. Heritage Museum

Credit: Heritage House of Orange County / Facebook

📍Map It: 3101 W Harvard St, Santa Ana, CA 92704 | Phone: 714-540-0404 | Website | Hours: Monday-Thursday 8:30AM-4:30PM | Entrance: $10

The Heritage Museum of Orange County is home to the H. Clay Kellogg House and John Maag Farmhouse. The Heritage Museum restores and protects these historical buildings and recognizes them as an integral part of Orange County’s heritage.

In addition to being open to the public, the Heritage Museum hosts special events throughout the year. It features interactive and hands-on learning. Check out their website to see what events are coming up!

50. Founders Park

Credit: BabyVee / Trip Advisor

📍Map It: 400 North West Street Anaheim, CA 92805  | Phone: 949-218-0900 | Website | Hours: See website. | Entrance: Free.

Celebrate Anaheim’s history by visiting Founders Park and taking a journey back in time! This park features two historical homes and the focus is on Anaheim’s agricultural history. It is located on the western boundary of the original Anaheim colony.

Founders Park is educational and entertaining! The buildings have been restored and are well kept up with. This is a popular destination spot for school field trips.

51. Irvine Global Village Festival

Credit: Lynette T. / Yelp

📍Map It: 1 Civic Center Plaza Irvine, CA 92606  | Phone: 949-724-6600 | Website | Hours: October 8th, 2022 10AM-6PM | Entrance: Free

This is the premier multicultural event of Orange County! Located at the Great Park, this event combines fun fall activities with family events. Experience global cuisine, a marketplace, music, art, and more. 

This event combines many cultural aspects from countries around the world. It is an excellent event for adults and children alike. 

52. Moonlight Movies on the Beach

Credit: Moonlight Movies on the Beach / Facebook 

📍Map It: 5000 E Ocean Blvd Long Beach, CA 90803 | Phone: 562-477-6820 | Website | Hours: See website. | Entrance: See website.

What could be more fun than watching a movie on the beach on a balmy summer night? Moonlight Movies on the Beach has a few different locations. All movies start at dark, around 8-8:30PM. 

The website shows the various shows and showtimes. It is BYOF (bring your own food) and alcohol is prohibited. There is kettle corn available for purchase. 

53. Jurassic Con

Credit: Greer Wylder / Greer’s OC

📍Map It: 8800 Rosecrans Ave Buena Park, CA 90621 | Website | Hours: See website. | Entrance: Free

Jurassic Con is a fun and free convention! It takes place at the Ralph B. Clark Interpretive Center. It is excellent for children and adults alike. 

It seems to be growing every year, so check back for more information! Dinosaur lovers will love this event. 

54. Great Park Artisan Food and Arts Festival

Credit: Laina A. / Yelp

📍Map It: 6990 Marine Way Irvine, CA 92618 | Website | Hours: See website. | Entrance: Free

The Great Park Artisan Food & Arts festival is a wonderful place for foodies and art lovers alike! This annual event takes place at the Great Park. Free admission and plenty of vendors to choose from!

Walk around and enjoy the vendors. The community works hard to put this event on and the hard work is evident!

55. Harpist from the Heart

Credit: Fang-Fang F. / Yelp

📍Map It: 27636 Ynez Rd Temecula, CA 9259 | Phone: 921-235-3746 | Website | Hours: 7AM-10PM daily. | Entrance: Contact Annette. 

Annette is a professional harpist. She provides beautiful and elegant background music for events. Whether it is a wedding or a baby shower, or any other event in between, she will come to your location and play for you!

Harp music is soft and sweet and complements any event that is going on. Since it is such a pleasing tone, conversation can still happen and it won’t be a distraction. 

56. Heroes Hall Museum

Credit: Heroes Hall / Facebook 

📍Map It: 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, CA 92626 | Phone: (714) 708-1501 | Website | Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 10:00 am-4:00 pm | Entrance: Free

This year-round, two-story museum showcases the veterans from Orange County alongside other heroes who have served in the armed forces. There are currently six exhibitions including one on war photography and another featuring an A-4M Skyhawk fighter jet.

Heroes Hall provides various school tours tailored to different grade levels as well as “bus scholarships” for schools that may not have the means to visit due to a lack of funding. This 3,600 square-foot space prides itself on its ability to bring “stories of heroism and sacrifice to life.”

57. Candy Cane Lane

Credit: Poway Candy Cane Lane / Facebook

📍Map It: 1431 N Shaffer St., Orange, CA 92867 | Phone: N/A | Website | Hours: (December Only) 5:00 pm-11:00 pm | Entrance: Free

This jolly home light display, Candy Cane Lane, comes to life each December. With over 55,000 lights and consisting mostly of homemade decorations, this family loves to spread the Christmas spirit through their unique holiday display. They have even handed out candy canes to spectators on many occasions.

To experience this magical arrangement, on-lookers can either drive by or walk on the sidewalk next to the house. If you are looking for something enchanting and festive during the holiday season, this place will inspire the whole family.

58. UVSA Tết Festival

Credit: Tet Festival / Facebook

📍Map It: 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, CA 92626 | Phone: (714) 576-6411 | Website | Hours: Varies | Entrance: $8

The nation’s largest Vietnamese Lunar New Year Festival can be found at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa. Since 1982, the Tết Festival has been educating people about traditional Vietnamese culture. Various traditional foods, performances, and exhibitions are sure to be fun for people of all ages.

The UVSA (Union of Vietnamese Student Associations) is a non-profit organization that strives to “build unity” for Vietnamese Americans. This organization not only educates visitors but also prides itself on giving back to the community.

59. Water Lantern Festival

Credit: Admin / Water Lantern Festival

📍Map It: Long Beach, CA | Phone: (949) 675-0551 | Website | Hours: TBD | Entrance: Starting at $25.99

This festival boasts to be more than an attraction, but instead something to experience. Tiki torches set the tone, while food, music, and mesmerizing lanterns reflect off the water. This experience is about coming together, both family and strangers alike, to create a calm and loving environment.

After the sun goes down, thousands of people gather together, light rice-paper lanterns, and let them float away. Each ticket comes with an eco-friendly lantern, a marker to decorate the lantern, a wristband, and a drawstring backpack.

60. Southern Wild Lion Dance

Southern Wild Lion Dance – Gió Nam Múa Lân / Facebook

📍Map It: Orange County, CA | Phone: (949) 414-9315 | Website | Hours: Scheduled | Entrance: Various

Founded in 2004, Gió Nam Múa Lân (Southern Wild Lion Dance) is a non-profit organization that showcases the traditional art of lion dance. To see this spectacular show, events need to be booked at least 2 weeks in advance.

The lion dance, which is over 2,000 years old and dates back to ancient China, is now performed at various events as a way of promoting good luck. During the performance, the lion will eat lettuce and a tangerine. As a way of scaring off evil spirits and spreading happiness, the lion will spit out the lettuce leaves and tangerine peel.

61. Disney’s Annual Egg-Stravaganza

Credit: Valerie Lee / Disneyland Resort

📍Map It: 1313 A Harbor Blvd Anaheim, CA 92802 | Phone: (714) 520-5060 | Website | Hours: Seasonal | Entrance: Ticket (varies) + Egg Hunt Map ($9.99)

Kids will love spending time at Disneyland in the two weeks leading up to Easter. During this time, there is a special event that takes place where kids can search through the resort, following a map, to find Disney-themed Easter eggs.

Every time an egg is found, a matching sticker gets placed on the corresponding spot on the map. When the map is filled up with stickers, the map can then be turned in for a prize egg. There are six different collectible prize eggs.

62. Adventure Playground

Credit: MKFI / Wikipedia

📍Map It: 1 Beech Tree Ln, Irvine, CA 92612 | Phone: (949) 724-6818 | Website | Hours: March-October, (Daily) 10:00 am-6:00 pm; November-February, (Daily) 10:00 a.m-dusk | Entrance: Free

This large playground, which promotes the importance of unstructured play, has a tree house, a sensory garden, an art wall, and so much more. With no cost to get in, everyone is welcome to enjoy the amenities. Since this space is open for all, there are no reservations or accommodations for large parties or groups of people.

Coupled with the playground equipment and concrete slides, the park strongly encourages children to explore natural play options like mud, creek beds (both wet and dry), and fort building. Bring a second set of clothes to this attraction because the kids will get dirty. 

63. Orange County Aerial Arts

Credit: Orange County Aerial Arts / Facebook

📍Map It: 3001 Red Hill Ave #1, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 | Phone: (714) 846-6143 | Website

Hours: Monday, Thursday, & Friday, 3:00 pm-10:00 pm; Tuesday, 9:00 am-11:00 am; Wednesday, 9:00 am-10:00 pm; Saturday, 9:00 am-3:00 pm; Sunday, 10:00 am-3:00 pm | Entrance: Varies

As a tuition-based organization, this performing arts company prides itself on offering over 13 classes for kids of all ages. Whether it is juggling, ground acro, trapeze, or aerials (leveled by age), there are exciting opportunities for everyone.

Pre-professional training programs are also offered, which provide students with a chance to expand upon their skills and train for audience-based performances. If you are looking for enchanting and unique entertainment for a party or event, there are various packages to choose from.

64. Fisherman’s Village

Credit: Management / Trip Advisor

📍Map It: 13755 Fiji Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292 | Phone: (310) 806-6970 | Website

Hours: Daily, 10:00 am-10:00 pm | Entrance: Free

If you are looking for a fun and vibrant place with spectacular views and a great atmosphere, Fisherman’s Village is the place. Aside from on-the-water activities, like paddle boarding, jet skis, and sailing, this space also offers excellent food options.

The waterfront is also a great place to visit for leisurely activities. Four different souvenir shops offer a variety of gifts, trinkets, clothing options, and much more. For those looking for a more active way to explore, there is an option for renting bicycles to ride around and take in the ocean views.

65. Escape Campervans

Credit: LA Times

📍Map It: 4858 W Century Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90304 USA | Phone: (877) 270-8267 | Website | Hours: 24/7 | Entrance: Varies

If adventure, exploration, and spontaneity is your goal, Escape Campervans is perfect for you. Whether hopping around state parks or driving with no particular plan for when to stop, this van will provide everything necessary for the trip.

Aside from handling like a car, these vans come equipped with a bed (varying in size depending on the model of the van) and cooking arrangements. There are many models to choose from, each with its own distinct, unique paint job. Whether you need something small and compact, or larger and more luxurious, Escape Campervans has everything you need.

66. K1 Speed Anaheim

Credit: Management / Trip Advisor

📍Map It: 1000 N Edward Ct, Anaheim, CA 92806 | Phone: (714) 632-6999 | Website | Hours: Monday-Thursday, 12:00 pm-10:00 pm; Friday, 12:00 pm-12:00 am; Saturday, 10:00 am-12:00 am; Sunday, 10:00 am-10:00  pm | Entrance: Starting at $27.95

This indoor karting center promises to deliver “an unforgettable, adrenaline-pumping experience.” With electric carts able to reach speeds up to 45 mph, this venue offers one challenging track with a tunnel, an arcade equipped with pool tables and air hockey, and a lounge that offers appetizers, meals, and drinks for the 21+ crowd.

If you plan on drinking at the Anaheim Paddock Lounge, however, it must be after you have finished racing for the day. From various groups and parties to holiday get-togethers and corporate events, this space will provide excitement and joy for anyone over 48 inches tall. Due to safety protocols surrounding racing, there are many rules and regulations in place, all of which can be found on the website.

67. Pro Wrestling Guerrilla

Credit: Pro Wrestling Guerilla / Facebook

📍Map It: The Globe Theatre – 740 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90014 | Phone: N/A | Website | Hours: TBD | Entrance: Starting at $80

This wrestler-owned company puts on wrestling matches for the public’s viewing pleasure. Matches can also be purchased on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Matches can be seen monthly and the well-known, yearly featured event happens sometime in August or September (date varies by year). PWG is known for mixing both comedy and wrestling into one exciting, jam-packed event.

68. Xterra Laguna Beach Triathlon & Trail

Credit: Xterra Laguna Beach / Facebook

📍Map It: 8471 N Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 | Phone: N/A | Website | Hours: 6:00 am-12:30 pm, 9/25/22 | Entrance: Varies by event

This “off-road experience,” which takes place at Crystal Cove State Park, includes swimming in the ocean, trail running, and mountain biking. With eight different categories open for registration, there is something available for anyone who is fit and ready for a challenge. Those who finish in the top fifteen of each event are awarded points towards being a “Regional Champion.”

With safety being a top priority, there are many rules to follow to make sure everyone is having a blast. If you do not what to physically partake in the event, but still wish to experience it, volunteers are always welcome.

69. Hertz Ride Riverside

Credit: Kevin H. / Yelp

📍Map It: 7740 Indiana Ave STE C, Riverside, CA 92504 | Phone: (951) 977-9808 | Website |

Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 9:00 am-5:00 pm; Saturday, 9:00 am-4:00 pm | Entrance: Varies

Not only does this location rent out five different types of BMW motorcycles, but they also offer customizable, multi-night tours from expert tour guides. With everything planned out ahead of time, all you have to do is sit back, ride, and take in the sights. Each motorcycle has luggage storage suitable for longer trips.

With over 19 locations spanning both Europe and North America, Hertz Ride Riverside is a small piece of this traveling puzzle. If you are an avid motorcyclist looking for a guided or self-guided trip to escape the daily grind, this could be the experience for you.

70. MKO Performance Horses

Credit: MKO Performance Horses / Facebook

📍Map It: 25200 Trabuco Rd, Lake Forest, CA 92630 | Phone: (949) 750-4700 | Website | Hours: Sunday, 8:00 am-12:00 pm; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, & Friday, 8:00 am-7:00 pm |Entrance: Lessons start at $80

This horse riding school offers both Western riding lessons and, barrel racing lessons, as well as summer camps for children who have a passion for horses. With three leaders- the owner, a horse trainer, and the lead instructor- each child is sure to get a lot of focused, direct instruction. Commitments to lessons are made monthly.

The summer camp at MKO Performance Horses offers children the ability to learn the basics of grooming, saddling, washing, braiding, painting, and feeding these large animals. Children are also taught how to clean out stalls, bake horse cookies, and get a sense of different breeds and their anatomy. 

 

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