Southern California is known for its’ beautiful beach shores and fantastic weather all year round. Although most people travel in the summer or during the holidays, LA and the OC is a perfect break from a cold climate place anytime of the year. Whether you bring the kids along for the ride, or not (no judgements), there’s plenty of things to do in the OC for all ages. Fun fact: did you know that Orange County was once filled with orange groves (including Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm) hence the origin of its name? If you’re traveling with a furry friend, make sure you give that pup a much-needed break at the dog friendly beach in Huntington Beach. If you watched Arrested Development religiously, like I did in the early 2000s and now on Netflix, visit the famous Arrested Development banana stand in real life on the Oceanside Wharf boardwalk, on Balboa Island in Newport Beach. Since you’re there, enroll the kids in some OC surf lessons at Newport Surf School or at Salty Grom Surf Spot in Huntington Beach. If the kids still want fun in the sun but not at the beach, head inland to Knott’s Soak City. Ongoing from May to September, this water park has a lazy river and slides for all ages. When it comes to orange county things to do, there’s definitely plenty!
If you live in Orange County, I don’t need to tell you that the scenery alone is enough to never make you want to leave. And if you’re just visiting, you’ve done quite well (or lucked out) in planning your destination or having a friend or relative in a cool spot to visit! But what if you have children? When it comes to kids and Orange County things to do, the potential things to do are pretty much unlimited! See if your child is interested in fishing, and if the answer is yes, take them to Dana Wharf at Dana Point, which offers fishing and sea life cruises for kids and adults alike. When it comes to great info for tourists, this guide is key.
If it’s a rainy day, consider the Chuck Jones Center (creator of the Bugs Bunny and Wil E. Coyote and more), offering programs based on the art and teachings of Chuck Jones, located at 3321 Highland Avenue in Costa Mesa. If you have a teenager who keeps bugging you for spending cash, training as a lifeguard could top your list of orange county things to do! Costa Mesa Recreation CPR and First Aid in the City of Costa Mesa has classes starting at age 10 and up. Not only will your child gain real world skills, they may even stumble upon their first summer job.
Our Tours and Transportation Guide is a very handy resource for finding info on kid friendly activities in Orange County. You’ll find some great contacts for boat rentals on Balboa Park, dolphin and whale safaris, and boat tours to Catalina Island. You can also find yacht excursions, swimming lessons, and horseback riding trails. There’s plenty of fun for the whole family in Orange County. Just relax, enjoy the sun and the outdoors and each other!
The answer may surprise you. Sure, we can always visit a theme park or head to the beach in the OC, but what do the OC locals enjoy? For starters, Socal is a surfer’s haven. If you haven’t already noticed, the waves all around Socal are pretty epic and at times they can also be dangerous.
If you’re like us at SoCal Pulse and rather watch the surfers from a distance, you’re in luck. The top OC surf spots include Huntington Beach, 56th Street at Newport Beach, the Balboa Peninsula and the Lower Trestles at San Clemente. Just to name a few.
The Vans US Open of Surfing takes place each summer at the Huntington Beach Pier and that also includes skateboarding and bmx competitions nearby. The locals in the OC love to make it to this event each year as it is family friendly and lasts over a week. Plus downtown Huntington Beach gets super busy and the locals know how to cater to the masses by offering great service and food, drink and shopping specials all week long. Aside from orange county things to do at the beach, you can head down to Costa Mesa and watch the NFL Chargers train for free at their OC training camp.