Hotspots in Anaheim, CA
Get a birds-eye view of Southern California with a helium balloon ride at Great Park. Flights are dependent upon wind and weather, but rides are free and on a first-come, first-serve basis. You only have to pay for parking. And, you don’t have to worry about safety; the balloon’s cage is constructed of sturdy steel with enclosed sides and mesh netting above the rail, so you can have peace of mind while your family enjoys this this sky high adventure! To get there, plug the address into your GPS; otherwise, visit the website for directions.
This charming theme park is designed for kids ages 2 – 10, with enough rides, shows, and activities to keep your family entertained for 5-6 hours. Most rides are designed for kids of all ages, but Adventure City also features a few rides for your little thrill seeker. Not on the scale of some of the other well-known theme parks in the area, but perfect for the younger members of your family. Admission is less than $15 per person and parking is free.
This hands-on museum has science-based exhibits and activities to keep kids of any age engaged. Little ones can explore the toddler area while school-aged kids will have so much fun checking out exhibits they won’t realize they are learning. But, if you have youngsters who are sensitive to sound, you may want to avoid the Grossology exhibit due to the high volume of the presentation. There is also a Taco Bell on site, but you can sit in the outside eating area and bring your own lunch.
Just 15 minutes from Anaheim lies a hidden gem of organic produce, agricultural learning and fun at Tanaka Farms. Farm tours are offered year round, with seasonal pick-your-own produce including strawberries, watermelon and pumpkins. You and your kiddos will hop aboard a tractor ride tour of the farm, tasting organic, fresh-from-the-ground fruits and vegetables, and learn all about how the farm works. For kiddos who are still taking naps, schedule enough time in advance because the tour itself lasts about 90 minutes. With plenty of tented shade, you can bring a picnic lunch or enjoy fresh eats right from the produce stand.
If you’re looking for the Disney experience but want a little more breathing room, then head on over to Disney’s California Adventure, adjacent to the famous Disneyland Park. The park is filled with replicas of California landmarks, as well as play areas, rides, and shows for the entire family. Although most would agree that it is geared towards young kids and older kids more than toddlers, the park is also filled with amenities for the youngest visitors, including microwaves, air conditioned TV rooms, changing tables, and kid-sized toilets.
While this popular Anaheim park is full of nostalgia thanks in part to the amphitheater, it is the sports fields and courts, children's play area and more that keeps local residents coming back day after day. While shade is ample thanks to the canopy created by the giant trees, you can enjoy a family feast covered picnic areas and barbeque facilities and then walk off your meal while meandering around the small duck-filled pond and cactus garden. On a warm day, you can take a dip in the swimming pool or engage in some friendly competition on the softball, football and soccer fields, or tennis and volleyball courts. However, plan your visit for the daytime when you have kids in tow as the crowd can shift as the sun sets.
With 21 acres of grassy hills, trees, streams, a lake and multiple playgrounds, it's easy to see why Eisenhower Park in the City of Orange is a local favorite. After your youngsters have burned off excess energy, wander over to the pond to feed the ducks or cast a fishing pole for a leisurely afternoon. A small waterfall and bridge make it a great backdrop for family photos as well, so don't forget to pack your camera. Picnic areas boast grills and ample shade and leashed dogs are welcomed and can often been spied splashing around in the stream. Parking is free, but you'll have to find the park first; for those traveling down Lincoln the park is easy to miss but once you do find it, drive around the hill to find the parking area.
Take your family on an adventure without ever leaving the ground at a flight simulation center in Anaheim. Climb into an actual cockpit simulator or Boeing 737 flight simulator and experience aerial maneuvers, take-offs and landings as well as air-to-air combat for an adrenaline pumping experience. Aviation-enthusiast family members can zip up into a flight suit and learn about various flying techniques. And, although up to 10 people can "fly" at the same time, each in their own simulator, those prone to motion sickness may want to climb aboard the observation area dubbed the "Offer's Club" to view the action and listen in on the pilots as they interact with one another - and with air traffic control. Plan 30-90 minutes for this high-flying adventure, and be sure to reserve in advanced.
Every Tuesday and Thursday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. starting in January and running through June, the city of Anaheim sponsors a visual arts program that teaches children painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture and photography through hands-on projects. Along with the fresh air, you and your kiddos will also take in valuable lessons about artists, cultures and more. These free events and activities can be found at parks throughout Anaheim each week. And although registration in advance is not necessary, the classes are contingent upon the weather so give the hotline number a call for an up-to-date status of classes. Or, simply visit the city's website to find out where the Artmobile will be popping up next!
K1 Speed is an indoor go kart race track for kids and adults alike. The building is hidden a bit, but don’t give up, because when you find it, you’ll be in for an adrenaline rush. The karts are electric, divided into two groups: juniors 4’ tall and up, and adults over 4’ 10” with races separated accordingly. Check for coupons in local savings magazines or online before you go, or purchase a package deal because races can be pricey. But, if you have kiddos shorter than 4 feet tall, they will not be able to race.