Anaheim is a bustling and vibrant city located just outside of Los Angeles that offers an abundance of family-friendly activities and attractions.
Known for its world-renowned theme parks, Anaheim is a top destination for families seeking adventure and fun.
However, beyond the theme parks, Anaheim boasts a diverse range of experiences, from outdoor adventures to cultural attractions, that will captivate and entertain kids and adults.
Things To Do In Anaheim
The city of Anaheim is perhaps best known as the home of the Disneyland Resort.
However, this city has a lot more than just the most magical place on earth to offer families.
1. Disneyland Park
An article about family fun in Anaheim wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the iconic Disneyland theme park.
The Disneyland Park is one of two theme parks located within the Disneyland Resort which was the very first Disney theme park opened by the Walt Disney Company back in 1955.
With so many incredible things to see and do at Disneyland, you could easily spend a few days here.
However, it will come at a price as tickets to the Disneyland Park frequently retail between $140 and $170 per person, per day.
2. Disney California Adventure Park
While the Disneyland Park boasts a classic look, nostalgic to adults. The adjacent Disney’s California Adventure Park has a modern look, featuring themed lands and attractions from the likes of Pixar and Marvel franchises including;
- Toy Story
- Monsters Inc
Both of the theme parks within the Disneyland Resort have something entirely different to offer families, as such we highly recommend visiting both if you have the time and budget to do so.
3. Oak Canyon Nature Center
The Oak Canyon Nature Center is a natural park in Anaheim that spawns 58 acres of land in the Santa Ana foothills.
These acres span three vegetation zones:
- Coastal sage scrub
- Oak woodland
If you visit on the weekend, you can also experience the John J. Collier Interpretive Center, which has a small museum with natural history and animal exhibits and nature education programs.
Join the Discover Nature Family Program for a fun Saturday morning hike through Oak Canyon with a naturalist who will teach you about plants, ecology, and history.
After the hike, you can enjoy a live animal demonstration at the Interpretive Center.
4. Escape Room Era
If you’re travelling to Anaheim with tweens or teens consider trying to break free from one of the themed escape rooms at Escape Room Era;
- Overgrown: Zombie Edition: You’ve survived the apocalypse, but now you have to find the cure for zombification before it’s too late and zombies get inside.
- Christmas at Franklin’s: Play a member of Seal Team ELF-A, and find Benjamin Franklin’s newest toy invention for Santa.
- The Hide: Become private investigators and gather evidence against a serial killer, but be quick – the clock is ticking.
5. SwingIt Trapeze
If your kids love bounce houses, tumbling and gymnastics then consider booking a class at SwingIt Trapeze.
The classes available here include;
- Aerial skills
- Aerial hoop
- Aerial hammock
While select experiences at SwingIt Trapeze come with some risks, all of the instructors here are highly-trained professionals, and their utmost priority is safety.
6. Anaheim Packing District
The Anaheim Packing District is the home of four historic landmarks and the perfect place to relax in the late afternoon or early evening.
- Anaheim Packing House: Originally a citrus packing warehouse, now a culinary marketplace with over 20 artisanal eateries and shops.
- Packard Building: Formerly a car dealership, now a mixed-use space featuring retail, dining, and offices.
- Farmers Park: Formerly a parking lot, now a public park with community gardens and outdoor event space.
- MAKE Building: Formerly a marmalade factory, now a creative workspace and event venue for artists, makers, and entrepreneurs.
7. Flightdeck Flight Simulation Center
Located at Anaheim Garden Walk, 200 yards from Disneyland is the Flightdeck Flight Simulation Center.
At this unique attraction, you can experience becoming a pilot and performing aerial manoeuvres at 600 knots with in-flight instructions.
Meanwhile, for car enthusiasts, this centre also has professional racing simulators to try out driving some of the fastest cars in the world on challenging tracks.
8. Camelot Golfland
Camelot Golfland is a popular family entertainment centre that offers a range of indoor and outdoor activities, including;
- Laser tag
- Bumper cars
- Arcade games
This family-friendly attraction has been entertaining visitors for over 60 years and has become a beloved destination for locals and tourists alike.
9. Angel Stadium of Anaheim
The world-famous Los Angeles Angels baseball team play their home games at the Angel Stadium which is in fact located in Anaheim.
If you’re in town during the Major League Baseball season (end of March to early October) then we highly recommend trying to get tickets to see a ballgame here.
Alternatively, consider booking one of the 75-minute tours of the ground. This tour is really affordable and is sure to be a fantastic experience for any baseball fan.
10. Honda Center
The Honda Center is an indoor arena and home to the Anaheim Ducks, a professional ice hockey team.
This arena hosts a variety of events, such as basketball games, concerts, and circuses and is perhaps best known for its unique features, including a giant scoreboard that weighs over 20,000 pounds and a 2,000-pound crystal hockey puck that hangs from the ceiling.
Whether you’re a sports fan or simply looking for some entertainment, the Honda Center is definitely worth a visit.
11. Sky Zone Trampoline Park
Sky Zone is a popular place for kids throughout the country, including the location in Anaheim.
It features trampoline courts, climbing walls, and more, encouraging kids to run, jump, and play.
The Anaheim location also features trampoline basketball courts, Ultimate Dodgeball competitions, and a foam zone.
12. Pearson Park Amphitheatre
With a rich history dating back to 1933, the Pearson Park Amphitheatre boasts beautiful Spanish-style architecture that provides an exceptional setting for live entertainment.
Located amidst the lush surroundings of Mexican Fans and Pygmy Date Palms, the amphitheatre offers a wonderful experience for visitors of all ages.
During the summer months, the venue hosts numerous shows that cater to everyone, with some even being offered for free.
So whether you’re a fan of music, theatre or simply looking for a fun day out with the family, the Pearson Park Amphitheatre is definitely worth a visit.
13. Center Street Promenade
If you’re looking for a unique shopping experience while in Anaheim, then be sure to check out the Center Street Promenade.
This area is home to a number of independently-owned and boutique stores including;
- Home Economics
- Look Boutique
- The Good
14. Yorba Regional Park
The natural wonder is in the Santa Ana Canyon in Anaheim, showing the scenery of the Santa Ana River.
The park has many picnic areas, with over 400 picnic tables available. In the park, there are 200 barbecues for picnics and grilling.
You can also fish in one of the four lakes, play volleyball or horseshoes, or exercise in the physical fitness course.
There are many activities to do in the park, such as riding bikes on trails, renting paddleboats, hiking, flying kites in a particular area, and playing at a playground.
15. Seascape Kids Fun
Seascape Kids Fun is a family-friendly entertainment centre that provides hours of fun for children and parents alike.
With a variety of games and activities, including mini-golf, laser tag, arcade games, and bumper cars, there’s something for everyone.
16. Anaheim ICE
Anaheim ICE is a premier ice skating facility which features four ice rinks, including an Olympic-sized rink, and offers a variety of programs for skaters of all ages and skill levels.
From public skating sessions to figure skating and ice hockey lessons, Anaheim ICE provides a range of activities for those who love to skate.
17. Anaheim Convention Center
Anaheim is home to the largest convention centre on the west coast, and it’s home to some of the most well-known conventions in the world, including VidCon and KidzCon.
If you happen to be in town during an interesting convention, we highly recommend paying this convention centre a visit, indulging in sweet treats and participating in the interactive activities.
If your trip to Anaheim centers around an event then it’s worth staying in a hotel within walking distance of the Anaheim Convention Center.
18. Alpha One Laser Tag
Laser tag is a fun and competitive experience for people of all ages.
Alpha One is one of the best places to enjoy the game because former United States military members developed it, so the game has the feel of a real battlefield.
With Alpha One, you can pick your own battlefield, and they’ll supply all the tools you’ll need for an afternoon of fun.
Things To Do Near Anaheim
Just outside the city of Anaheim, there’s also a whole host of other fantastic attractions suitable for kids.
19. Great Wolf Lodge
🚗 Distance to Anaheim: 4.8 miles
The best indoor water park in Anaheim is at Great Wolf Lodge, where you can ride Fort Mackenzie, Alberta Falls, Whooping Hollow, and Wolf Tail.
In addition to the water park, you can go bowling at Ten Paw Alley, play some games at the Northern Lights Arcade, or go miniature golfing at the Howl at the Moon Glow Golf course.
There’s also a Build-A-Bear Workshop at the lodge where kids can make a new furry friend.
20. Vans Skatepark
🚗 Distance to Anaheim: 5.5 miles
If your kids are skaters, they’ll be in paradise at the 20,000-square-foot skatepark at the Outlets at Orange.
If your kids aren’t already skaters, you can book lessons with certified skate instructors and get them on that path.
There’s also a sectioned-off area for beginners, so they don’t have to be intimidated by more experienced skaters.
While your kids are in their lesson, you can do some shopping at the outlet stores.
21. John’s Incredible Pizza
🚗 Distance to Anaheim: 5.7 miles
If you’re wondering what can be so much fun about a pizza place, you should know that John’s Incredible Pizza is not your average pizza joint.
The restaurant does offer an endless buffet featuring some delicious and unique food.
However, the great thing about it is the Fun World, featuring over 100 arcade games, rides, and attractions, including a Lazer Maze, bumper cars, and an Air IncrediBear aeroplane.
Curious about what you’ll be munching on as the kids enjoy the rides and thrills?
Here are some of the pizza options:
- Veggie Lovers
- Spicy Peanut Butter
- Pepperoni Jalapeno
- BBQ Chicken Ranch
If none of those sound good, you can build your own. If your family’s birthday coincides with your Anaheim vacation, John’s is a popular birthday party venue.
22. Adventure City
🚗 Distance to Anaheim: 5.8 miles
Adventure City is yet another theme park in Anaheim that has opportunities for fun for the entire family.
Here are some of the best rides:
- Giggle Wheel, a miniature Ferris wheel perfect for younger kids
- Rescue Ride, where kids can be informed of humorous emergency calls through the “911 dispatcher”
- Rewind Racer, a forward and reversing family shuttle coaster
- Crank ‘n’ Roll, a miniature train
Adventure City is a smaller theme park, so don’t expect the grandeur of a Disney park, but it’s still a great way to spend a day with your kids.
23. Pirates Dinner Adventure
🚗 Distance to Anaheim: 5.9 miles
Buena Park is close to Anaheim and has many activities for families. One of the best things to do with younger kids is to visit Pirates Dinner Adventure.
It’s a fun dinner show on a Spanish ship where performers do exciting sword fighting and acrobatics.
To accompany the live entertainment, you can enjoy delicious entrees such as roasted chicken, Pirate’s pork, or a vegetarian or vegan entree.
24. Garden Grove Strawberry Festival
🚗 Distance to Anaheim: 5.9 miles
If you’re in town during Memorial Day weekend, you can’t miss the Strawberry Festival in Garden Grove, a city just on the other side of Harbor Boulevard in Anaheim.
The festival is a celebration of the area’s agricultural roots, and it’s a great activity for kids because of the carnival rides, live entertainment, and delicious strawberry treats.
Garden Grove is still well worth visiting if you’re not in town during the Strawberry Festival. It’s in Little Saigon, a Vietnamese community with delicious Vietnamese eateries and cafes.
You shouldn’t miss out on a creamy Vietnamese coffee or a steaming hot bowl of Pho while you’re in town.
25. Fullerton Arboretum
🚗 Distance to Anaheim: 6.0 miles
The Fullerton Arboretum is a great option for families who want to spend some time outside and learn about wildlife conservation and research.
Without paying anything, you are welcome to stroll through the gardens and watch the local wildlife.
This location also offers various classes to enrich the learning experience and encourage environmental awareness and appreciation.
Class topics include composting, forest bathing, medicinal and edible plants, culinary, and nature photography.
26. Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament
🚗 Distance to Anaheim: 6.1 miles
Medieval Times is a family-friendly experience inspired by 11th-century Spain that features a feast and a tournament.
If you attend, you’ll be able to enjoy a four-course feast while you watch six knights competing in jousting competitions.
The feast includes roasted chicken, tomato bisque soup, herb-basted potatoes, garlic bread, and buttered corn, although there are also vegetarian options for herbivores.
Before the show begins, you can explore the Hall of Arms and choose which knight you want to cheer for in the competition.
27. Knott’s Soak City
Knott’s Soak City is a water park which is part of the Knott’s Berry Farm theme park complex.
This water park is open from May through to September and offers over 20 water rides and attractions spread across 15 acres of land.
Visitors can enjoy thrilling water slides like Pacific Spin and Banzai Falls, as well as more relaxed experiences such as the Sunset River and the Tidal Wave Bay wave pool.
The park also has pint-sized play areas like Gremmie Lagoon and the Beach House for younger visitors.
28. Discovery Cube Orange County
🚗 Distance to Anaheim: 7.3 miles
If you have younger kids who are interested in science, the Discovery Cube, formally known as the Discovery Science Center, is a must-see museum in Santa Ana, California.
The mission is to encourage a lifelong love of learning in children through interactive exhibits, including:
- Organics Waste Lab
- Helicopter Tours
- Eco Garage
- Mosquito & Vector Control
- Planetary Research
29. Knott’s Berry Farm
🚗 Distance to Anaheim: 7.4 miles
Another one of the best places to go with kids in Buena Park is Knott’s Berry Farm. This little theme park is just 10 minutes from the resort area in Anaheim.
At this location, which began as just a small family farm, the whole family can go on rides, enjoy shows, and experience various attractions throughout the farm.
If you have really little kids, they’ll love Camp Snoopy!
Knott’s Berry Farm’s highlights include the Boardwalk area, the Silver Bullet roller coaster, Old West Ghost Town, and the Timber Mountain Log Ride.
30. Round 1 Bowling & Amusement
🚗 Distance to Anaheim: 7.6 miles
Bowling is a favourite family-friendly activity, and this amusement centre in Santa Ana is a great option because it offers far more than just bowling.
After you knock down the pins, you can play some arcade games, try your luck at the pool tables or ping-pong tables, or sing your heart out at karaoke.
31. The Children’s Museum At La Habra
🚗 Distance to Anaheim: 7.7 miles
The Children’s Museum at La Habra is another fabulous museum near Anaheim.
It has lots of fun exhibits you can touch, an incredible dinosaur garden outside, and even an old train caboose from 1942!
Through realistic taxidermy mounts, kids can see, touch, and hear animals from Africa, the Pacific Northwest, and Southern California.
Science Station is a fantastic place for kids to discover fossils, listen to dinosaur sounds, and learn about taking care of the environment through the Green and Clean Energy Station.
32. Santa Ana Zoo
🚗 Distance to Anaheim: 8.6 miles
Kids love this zoo because it has fun things to do like the Zoofari Express Train Ride that goes through the Crean Family Farm, the Conservation Carousel, and the Fifty Monkeys Ferris wheel.
They can also learn about endangered animals while they ride! The Santa Ana Zoo is just a short distance from Anaheim.
All of those attractions are in addition to all the fantastic live animals you’ll be able to see at the zoo.
This zoo has over 150 different animal species, including giant anteaters, a bald eagle, a binturong, and ring-tailed lemurs.
33. Orange County Zoo
🚗 Distance to Anaheim: 14.4 miles
There’s another zoo close to Anaheim called the Orange County Zoo.
A zoo in Irvine Regional Park in Orange focuses on animals and plants native to the southwestern United States, like mountain lions, black bears, beavers, great horned owls, porcupines and coyotes.
There are tables for picnics nearby, so you can rest and have lunch while you’re busy.
Also, there’s a petting zoo with cute and friendly animals such as goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, and pheasants.
34. Newport Beach
🚗 Distance to Anaheim: 20.1 miles
Many of the best kid-friendly beaches in Los Angeles can be found within driving distance of Anaheim.
Newport Beach has just as much to offer, including the Santa Ana River Trail, a walking path that follows the Santa Ana River.
After you stroll along the river walks and enjoy the beachy atmosphere, you can check out the Balboa Fun Zone.
This area features a waterfront Ferris wheel, an arcade, and a nautical museum, and you can go whale watching.
Here are some other ideas for what to do in the Newport Beach area:
- Bunnyhenge and Sculpture Exhibition in Civic Center Park
- Upper Newport Bay Nature Reserve
- Sherman Library and Gardens
35. Pretend City In Irvine
🚗 Distance to Anaheim: 20.2 miles
Irvine is less than an hour away from Anaheim, and it’s home to one of the best children’s museums in the state: Pretend City.
Pretend City is meant for kids to learn how the world works, and the museum is designed to be an interconnected city where kids can pretend in real-world roles.
On the second Tuesday and fourth Thursday of the month, Pretend City has a Neurodivergent Family Night that’s ideal for children on the autism spectrum.
On these nights, the museum is stigma-free, and there are community partners who specialize in autism available to help enrich the experience and answer any questions or concerns.
36. Huntington Beach
🚗 Distance to Anaheim: 23.2 miles
Huntington Beach, also known as Surf City, is a great place for kids near Anaheim.
They can enjoy surfing, skateboarding, and BMX competitions, as well as movie premieres, art museums, volleyball courts, and a fun beach atmosphere.
Downtown Huntington Beach is just across from the Pacific Coast Highway and is home to the Huntington Beach Pier, where there are farmers’ markets every Tuesday evening on Main Street.
Nature lovers will love the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, where the unspoiled coastal wetland attracts some rare and beautiful birds.
You can also pay a visit to Huntington Beach State Park, which has lots of volleyball and basketball courts and plenty of hiking and biking trails.
Here are some other noteworthy Huntington Beach attractions:
- Huntington Beach Symphony Orchestra: This orchestra delivers a variety of music to the community with regular concerts.
- Huntington Beach Art Center: This community arts and cultural centre presents artwork from local artists in various styles and mediums.
- International Surfing Museum: This museum highlights the historical and cultural significance of surfing. The collection includes rare and restored surfboards, motorized surfboards, and other surfing memorabilia.
- Huntington Beach Central Park: This is the largest state-owned park in the Orange County area and has a number of fire pits, cycling paths and open spaces.
You could easily spend a couple of days or more exploring everything Huntington Beach has to offer, and it is conveniently close to Anaheim.
37. Aquarium Of The Pacific
🚗 Distance to Anaheim: 26.0 miles
Located in Long Beach, the Aquarium of the Pacific is the largest aquarium in California.
There are over 11,000 animals in the 360,000 square feet of space the aquarium takes up and over 500 different species in 100 exhibits and habitats.
The aquarium also recently debuted the Pacific Visions expansion, which is a theatre with interactive art installations and shows.
The aquarium holds many awards for its sustainable practices, including the Cool Planet Award from the Climate Registry.
They are doing a few things to help protect marine animals and promote understanding.
These include teaching people about endangered marine animals, promoting sustainable seafood, and offering programs to help people learn more about marine life.
38. Laguna Beach
🚗 Distance to Anaheim: 26.5 miles
Another great beach option is Laguna Beach, which is just an hour from Anaheim.
This coastal city has over seven miles of coves and beaches with tide pools, sea caves, and gorgeous ocean views.
Laguna Beach also boasts thousands of acres of protected wilderness, where you can take the kid’s mountain biking and hiking to enjoy the fresh air and the beauty of nature.
The place is known for being an art colony in the past, so there are many extraordinary events like art festivals, music festivals, film festivals, and art classes that you can attend to explore your creative side.
There are also art museums and galleries where you can see famous artworks.
39. Universal Studios Hollywood
🚗 Distance to Anaheim: 35.2 miles
Disneyland isn’t the only amusement park you can enjoy in Anaheim.
Universal Studios Hollywood is on the opposite side of Los Angeles to Anaheim, and you can get there in as little as 45 minutes.
The theme park features many exciting rides the whole family can enjoy, including Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Transformers: The Ride, and King Kong 360.
You can also take a studio tour to learn about Hollywood moviemaking and experience interactive exhibits showcasing real movie magic.
After all that, you’ll probably be hungry. Luckily, Universal Studios has a lot of yummy dining options, such as Mel’s Diner and Jurassic Cafe.
40. Casa Romantica Cultural Center & Gardens
🚗 Distance to Anaheim: 42.2 miles
This unique centre is a great place to visit and is located in San Clemente, which is just under an hour away from Anaheim.
This centre offers a historic home with California history exhibitions, an award-winning art gallery, cultural events, including the Children’s Performance Series, and activity backpacks for kids.
The gardens are well taken care of and have a great ocean view. Even if you visit on a regular day with no special events, you can still enjoy California’s beautiful environment and scenery.
Los Angeles Travel Planning Guide
🏥 Should I Buy Travel Insurance for a Trip to Los Angeles?
Yes, you should definitely buy travel insurance for any vacation to Los Angeles. Basic travel insurance coverage with Safety Wing averages between $5 – $10 per day and offers peace of mind.
🚘 Do I Need to Rent a Car for a Trip to Los Angeles?
Whether you’ll want a rental car in Los Angeles will really depend on how long you’re visiting for and where you plan to go during your trip. The traffic in Los Angeles is notoriously crazy, yet, public transport is still somewhat limited.
If you do decide to hire a car in Los Angeles, then I’d recommend using Discover Cars to find the best car rental deals.
🏨 Where to Stay in Los Angeles?
The best place to stay in Los Angeles will really depend on what you plan to do most during your trip. If you’re planning to visit Disneyland, for example, then staying in a hotel in Anaheim is likely going to be best.
Alternatively, if you’re planning on exploring the city and visiting Universal Studios Hollywood, then I’d recommend Loews Hollywood.
If you’re looking for a little bit of luxury during your trip to LA, then a hotel in Beverly Hills is a great choice. However, if you’re looking for more of a beach vacation, then consider a hotel at Newport Beach.