Things to Do in Anaheim – When planning a trip to Anaheim, Disneyland has become the first spot for any tourist.
It is, after all, the happiest place on earth!
While that famed amusement park can easily take a day or 2 (or more!) to fully explore, there are other places in Anaheim that can make your trip even more worthwhile and fun, even for families and kids of all ages.
Things to Do in Anaheim – Besides Disneyland
Anaheim has so much to offer, and there are a lot of options for not only amusement parks, but interesting, unique activities as well. Here are a couple of recommended things to do in Anaheim.
The Disneyland Resort spans over an area that is bigger than the island of Manhattan, as such, it serves as the main attraction for tourists to come to Anaheim.
In addition to Disneyland, there is Disney California Adventure Park. Older children and teens may love this spot more than Disneyland with it’s larger rides. Depending on the tickets you purchase, you can access both when you visit Disneyland. They are walkable to each other.
Disneyland is an iconic destination, yet it’s expensive for families.
Many people wonder: What is there to do in Anaheim besides Disneyland?
Or maybe you’d like to find something to do after you’ve been to Disneyland. There’s lots more to do in Anaheim.
Enjoy the Orange County Beaches
Orange County comes with over 42 miles of beautiful coastline. During your stay in Anaheim, you can take a drive to any of the lively beach towns.
This renowned area boasts 10 miles of gorgeous, sandy beaches. There are five different beaches here:
- Bolsa Chica State Beach
- Huntington City Beach
- Huntington State Beach
- Sunset Beach
- Huntington Dog Beach
Depending on what you want to do, some beaches are better for surfing, etc. On some you can camp, rent cabanas and lounge chairs, and use the fire pits.
Though often hard to get a spot, there is parking here. They charge for standard day use vehicles. There are concessions, restrooms and cold water showers as well.
Be sure to check out the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum.
Whether you’re on a family vacation or on a romantic getaway with that special someone, the warm California sun is an ideal place to relax.
Take surf lessons during the day, and have a bonfire cookout at night. There’s always something to do.
Adventure City – Bring the little ones
If you didn’t get enough of Disneyland, or you would like to seek for alternatives for amusement parks for children, Adventure City is worth considering.
Not only is is much less expensive than Disneyland, it’s much smaller. It will be less crowded. Many love Adventure City also because it’s geared to younger children.
Do note the hours on their website before planning your trip to Anaheim. During the traditional school year, Adventure City is closed on school days with the exception of winter break and school breaks. Depending on the month, it’s open on the weekends and varied weekdays.
Located on South Beach Blvd — between Ball and Cerritos in the Hobby City Complex — Adventure City is a wholesome, interactive children’s museum. It boasts 12 attractions, an arcade hall, a petting zoo, and a pizza party hall.
While this place is quite small (the whole area can be explored within an hour), it’s a great place for younger children as the rides here are for the younger set.
What’s also great about Adventure City is that kids can go at their own pace. You won’t feel the pressure to whisk them away to the next attraction to “get your money’s worth” like you might tend to do at Disneyland (or at Legoland California, 60 miles away from Anaheim).
There are a lot of things to keep the kids occupied for a fun day out.
The Thomas the Train play area and Rescue 911 are a must.
Note, some rides have height and age restrictions. However, several rides no restrictions — and even the youngest can ride.
Adventure City is family-friendly when it comes to its affordable pricing. Your kids may even get more out of it than Disneyland as the lines will be shorter and less crowds.
Food and drinks are fairly priced, unlike a lot of the concessionaires in most amusement parks which have inflated prices.
Yorba Regional Park – Spend some time with nature
Located along the Santa Ana River, Yorba Park is a great place to spend a relaxing day in nature. It encompasses 140 acres, including lakes and trails.
There are beautiful walkways, picnic grounds and trees, and ponds to kick back and unwind in on a sunny day.
This is also the perfect venue for having picnics and barbecues; they have barbecue pits in the park.
Yorba Park has an expansive selection of play areas, too, which the whole family will surely enjoy, and perfect for active kids.
Since the area has trails, you can rent a bike and ride over a mile long of paths.
For sports and recreational activities, there are baseball fields, volleyball courts, playgrounds and horseshoe pits.
You can also spend some time on the river, as they have paddle boat rentals and model sail boating.
You can also bring your dogs as well!
Get a dose of local culture at Muzeo
Anaheim is home to numerous museums, including the MUZEO, Museum and Cultural Center.
Learn about the History of Anaheim in this permanent exhibit while you enjoy rotating features.
This contemporary museum features renowned exhibits, including Holiday Model Trains during the winter holidays. It’s had exhibits on topics such as “Rome” or “Chocolate.”
Interactive programs always accompany each exhibit so that the art comes to life. Ideal for art lovers and families alike.
This is an accessible place for tourists, that’s great to add to your itinerary and give your trip some variety. Be sure to check their calendar of events. They regularly host Bring Your Lunch and Learn along with other events. Note, they are closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Muzeo showcases art and culture, and is a regular venue for such kinds of events that range from educational to artistic (travelling exhibitions).
The Carnegie Gallery Exhibitions are free. The rotating exhibits have various pricing.
Great eats at Anaheim Packing District
Just a block away from the MUZEO is Anaheim Packing District. After you visit the museum, plan to walk over to this upscale otherworldly food paradise located in a renovated citrus packing house.
No matter what your tastes, you will enjoy perusing the range of local restaurants and their eclectic menus. There are over 25 restaurants to choose from.
With everything from craft cocktails, bubble tea, smoothies, and gelato on a stick — to sushi, fried chicken sandwiches, a grilled cheese bar, Indian food, and wood-fired pizza — there’s something for everyone here.
Soak up on local sights and sounds at Art Crawl Experience
Held only four times a year, this quarterly gathering takes place at Anaheim Boulevard, Harbor Boulevard, and Center Street Promenade, and gathers the community of artists and foodies.
If you are travelling to Anaheim, it’s best to schedule it during the dates of the Art Crawl if you’d like to do something different from amusement park hopping and baseball games.
Artists showcase their work in public through pop up galleries, as well as crafters and indie makers who run pop up shops where you can purchase unique creations.
It is also an event for foodies, as food trucks are aplenty, providing a variety tasty meals and drinks all throughout the event.
There are also local performers to keep things alive and buzzing.
Race Some Italian Carts
At K1 Speed, you can experience the thrill of wheel-to-wheel racing in high-performance Italian karts.
It’s the largest indoor karting facility on the west coast, spanning over 100,000 square feet with over 3,000 feet of racing excitement.
So get ready for an adrenaline kick.
Hit the ballpark at Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Sometimes’ a good ol’ ball game is really what you need to make your vacation or weekend getaway extra exciting.
If you are there in the right season, catch a Major League Baseball game, and see the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Kids will love seeing Rally Monkey, their famous mascot.
The stadium offers deals that can make it cheaper for you to bring the entire family to a game.
Angel Stadium is one of the older stadiums, but it is well maintained and beautiful.
It even has a waterfall in the center field, and fireworks displays on selected occasions.
The stadium is also known for their extensive selection of meals and alcohol, which delights everyone.
They sell several kinds of alcohol, from craft beer, to gluten-free beer and cider, and tastefully-selected imported beers.
Step on the pedal at Speedzone
This 10-acre activity park is a large entertainment center that has a lot to offer in terms of excitement.
First off, you get to race several types of cars across several racetrack.
Imagine an advanced bump cars game, where you can actually speed off and feel the wind in your hair whilst competing with your family and friends.
There are Go Kart races suitable for small children as well.
Aside from car racing, they also have mini golf for those who would like to relax a bit.
They have 18-hole miniature golf courses, an activity suitable for groups.
They have a bowling alley for a classic, fun and competitive experience with no age restrictions. You won’t need to worry about special shoes, and the ball sizes are just one, so they’ve made the bowling experience less fussy.
Lastly, they also have an arcade, perfect for enjoying some time in between races and mini golf.
What to do in Anaheim
While many visitors never venture beyond the many theme park and water parks in the Anaheim area, there’s really a lot more that you can do in Anaheim.
Fly a jet at Flightdeck Air Combat Center
If you are really looking for something quite extraordinary to do in Anaheim, where you’d find difficulty finding the same experience elsewhere, then Flightdeck Air Combat Center will be for you.
Perfect not only for those who are enthusiasts of military combat and warfare, but also for the genuinely curious and adventurous enough to try an authentic military flight simulator.
The graphics and simulation, as well as special effects, go hand in hand in providing a unique and unforgettable flying experience.
You’ll learn how to fly a jet from start to finish, and even engage in air combat with other jets.
You can also try the Boeing 737 simulator if you’d like to experience flying a commercial airliner.
It is also said that real pilots also go here for practice when they’re assigned to fly other types of planes.
While this might sound complicated, there’s no experience or skilled required.
There will be short training sessions beforehand, so you are sure to get the thrilling experience you are hoping for.
This place is highly recommended for the big boys, too!
Temecula – Savor Some Wine
About an hour south of Anaheim is gorgeous wine country. If you enjoy wine tasting, the Temecula Valley is the place to go. It is considered the heart of California’s South Coast wine region.
Here, you can take in the beautiful landscape – rolling hills covered with vineyards, – and taste wine at over 40 world-class wineries. You can choose everything from smaller, boutique wineries to full-service wine resorts.
Temecula Valley is imfamous for its microclimate which makes it an ideal region for growing grapes.
Be sure to check out special events related to wine and food held year-round too.
Take a wild ride at Knott’s Berry Farm
Located at Buena Park, Knott’s Berry Farm is one of the quintessential amusement parks in Anaheim, aside from Disneyland.
This place has grown a long way, from what used to be a family berry plantation, to know a place that will guarantee an all-out amusement park experience.
They have 10 roller coasters, and the most notable one is the Silver Bullet.
They have a couple of thrill rides such as La Revolucion, Supreme Scream, and Rip Tide, to name the most popular ones.
This is great for thrill seekers both young and old.
This place also features high-class family rides.
Step back in time and experience the Calico Gold Mines and the Calico Railroad, or you can also opt for water log rides, and even 4D interactive games.
Lastly, they do have a water park, too!
What’s great about Knott’s Berry is the variety of fun things you can do here.
Stroll around Anaheim Garden Walk
For a leisurely time, Anaheim Garden Walk is a great place to unwind, catch up with friends, and a great destination for a romantic date.
Restaurants are aplenty and nightlife is vibrant here.
It is also a convenient place to do some shopping for travelers and tourists situated in the Anaheim Resort District.
As for activities, there are cinemas, children’s playgrounds, and bowling alleys.
Jump high at Sky Zone Trampoline Park
For highly active folks, this trampoline park is a must-see destination that’s sure to keep your energy high.
It is actually the world’s first indoor trampoline park, and it’s equipped with quality trampolines.
This park is guaranteed to give you that insatiable high from jumping and bouncing around high up in the air and then landing on foam cubes.
And, did you know that jumping around in trampolines can actually be healthy? It improves circulation, and boosts your cardiovascular health — great to work off all that food you’ve been enjoying while visiting Anaheim!
While this destination is generally heaven for people who like to stay active, there is a wide range of things to do at Anaheim that will suit every tourist.
It’s a great idea to mix up your activities with not only the many amusement parks here, but also add some culture, nightlife, and nature to your trip.
What can you do for free in Anaheim
In addition to MUZEO and Yorba Park, here are other free things to do in Anaheim.
Oak Canyon Nature Center
It’s nice during busy vacations to take a day to slow down. The Oak Canyon Nature Center is a perfect place. There is free admission and free parking on-site.
This park boasts 58 acres with a year-round-running stream within the park.
There are four miles of hiking trails. No matter your fitness level or the time you have, there are shorter hikes — ranging from 5 minutes to 30 minutes. You can check out the information on each of the different hikes and even learn in advance the type of hike you will get to enjoy — dense woodland, canyon views, hills, level ground, shade, sun, etc.
In addition, there is a small nature museum with information as well as animals.
The Fullerton Arboretum is the largest botanical garden in Orange County. It is 26 acres with over 4,00o species of trees and plants from around the world.
In addition, be sure to enjoy the Heritage House from 1894, their Visitor’s Center, and the Children’s Garden.
On the other side of the fun-filled Anaheim is its historic, cultural, and nature side that’s worth checking out. While many visitors and tourists associate Anaheim with Disneyland, there are many things to do in Anaheim besides Disneyland.
If you’d like to balance out all the amusement park adrenaline with a quiet, introspective visits and opportunities to enjoy Anaheim in other ways, you can.