Sometimes you just don’t want to go to the park again. Why not check out something completely different? Orange County is, of course, chock full of ideas. Here is a list of the best unusual things to do with your kids in OC.(See also our Hidden Gems for Kids in the Inland Empire, and Offbeat Los Angeles Kids’ Spots.)
Angel Stadium Tour
2000 Gene Autry Way
Anaheim, CA 92806
Do you have a little leaguer who’s hero is in the majors? During both on and off seasons, the Angels’ home stadium offers behind-the-scenes tours with access to areas not generally seen by the public. The tours, which last an hour and fifteen minutes, include a visit to the Press Box, Press Conference Room, Clubhouse and Dugout. Advanced reservations are required and tours require a nominal fee.
Sherman Library & Gardens
2647 East Pacific Coast Highway
Corona del Mar, CA 92625
Located in the Corona del Mar Village, the gardens span across 2.2 acres and include a spectacular display of living plants and flowers. During your visit, be sure to stop by The Library which houses a collection of historical materials pertaining to the Pacific Southwest. Stop by the Tea Garden Creperie for a handmade crepe and a cup of coffee or enjoy a more leisurely High Tea amidst the gardens.
City of Fullerton Airport Tour
4011 W. Commonwealth Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92833
Ever wonder how planes fly? Three times a week, Fullerton Airport opens it’s doors to the public for tours. The one and a half hour tour is held on the airfield and includes information about operations, types of aircraft, how planes fly, and more. Tours are conducted Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and must be scheduled.
Crystal Cove State Park
8471 N. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
With over 3 miles of beach and acres of undeveloped woodland, Crystal Cove State Park is popular amongst swimmers, surfers, scuba divers, hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. Located off PCH between Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach, the location offers one of the county’s only places to view sea life in their tide pools. The 1100+ acre underwater park, created within the cove, offers snorkelers and divers spectacular views of various marine life. Apart from the expansive list of day activities, the park offers 3 campgrounds, which are a somewhat strenuous 3 mile hike inland.
Building M, 1530 W. 17th Street,
Santa Ana, CA 92706
For over 40 years, Orange County’s planetarium has inspired children to study science and pursue careers in engineering. The center’s introductory astronomy program takes students on a trip through the Solar System where gravity, the development of the Sun, and principles related to the scientific method are introduced. For a complete list of the current interactive astronomy shows, visit their website.
Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens
415 Avenida Granada
San Clemente, CA 92672
This estate turned cultural center offers spectacular ocean views and pristine gardens while offering the community year-round educational programs and cultural enrichment programs. The mission of the Cultural Center and Gardens is to enrich the community and programming includes field trips programs focused on water conservation and coastal ecology, art workshops including gardening and crafts, a poetry series, theater camp, a music series, and more.Visitors can take a tour of the estate and gardens for a nominal fee.
Caryn Bailey is a mother of two and a writer in Orange County. She blogs at Rockin’ Mama.