There’s something particularly beautiful about the word summer. Just the mention of it brings about images of broad, leafy trees, endless stretches of beaches, popsicles from Edward Hill Bakery, and long sunny days. Summer isn’t here quite yet - but it may as well be in Orange County. With comfortable temperatures and consistent sunshine, California has earned its nickname as the Golden State, and that’s good news for everyone, kids and parents alike.
With the temperatures set to climb and the days only getting longer, the time for summer family activities has come. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of Orange County summer activities and kids activities near Newport Beach that you can do with the whole family. So slip on your shorts and grab your flip flops - you’ve got the whole day ahead of you.
Pick some corn at Tanaka Farms
If you’re itching to get outside and get your hands dirty, then Tanaka Farms should definitely be your first port of call. Located in the heart of Irvine, Tanaka hosts year-round farm tours with the purpose of educating kids as they pick and eat a number of different crops of the field. In summer this means picking corn, but depending on when you visiting in the year you’ll also be able to pick strawberries, melons and pumpkins. It’s a great, hands-on summer family activity that will keep your kids busy but also teach them how a farm is run.
See a game at Angels Stadium
If you or your kids are Angels fans, then there’s hardly a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon then watching Cali’s best smash one out of the park at Angels Stadium. Even if you aren’t the biggest Angels fan, you can still catch a number of different away games there throughout the season. Whoever you support, spending the day eating hotdogs and slurping sodas at the Angels Stadium is a cherished Orange Country activity and one that never disappoints.
Catch a wave at Huntington Beach
Summer and surfing are best friends, and no where are they more chummy than in Huntington Beach. Voted California’s best beach town and aptly nicknamed Surf City, Huntington is full of summer family activities and a great way to spend the day. Put on your swimsuit and enjoy white beaches, the perfectly formed waves and with numerous bars and restaurants along the pier, there’s enough here to keep the whole family busy.
Go rock climbing at Rockreation
If surfing isn’t your kid’s thing, then maybe rock climbing is. While this isn’t outdoors, it’s still an awesome Orange County activity that will keep your kids active and entertained the whole day. Rockreation is a massive facility featuring a number of intricate rock climbing walls and the latest equipment which kids can practice their rock climbing skills on. The staff is comprised of experienced climbers, meaning your kids will be in the safest hands as they see how high they can climb. If you or your child are new to climbing, Rockreation also offers a number of climbing classes to ease you into the sport. If you’re a bigger group, it’s also the ideal location to host birthday parties and other events.
A day trip that hardly needs an explanation: no Californian summer is ever complete without a trip to Disneyland. It’s hard to summarize Disneyland in a couple of sentences as the park as so much to offer, but suffice to say if you’re into incredible rides, entertainment and shows, then this is the place to be. The best part is that Disneyland is for everyone. Whether you’re a toddler, teenager, young adult or grandmother, Disney is the ultimate summer family activity. Star Wars fans will also be excited to know that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, a Star Wars-themed park, will be opening at the end of May - just in time for summer.
Explore California’s first theme park with Knott’s Berry Farm
If Disneyland is slightly too big for your liking, then why not take a visit to where theme parks all began with Knott’s Berry Farm. While it now enjoys world-class theme park status, the park’s beginnings were much more humble. Knott’s started out as a simple berry farm before slowly beginning to draw a larger and larger crowd, eventually transforming into the family theme park that people know and love today. It’s an iconic Orange County activity full of family fun, especially with the choice of the Knott's Berry Farm theme park, Knott's Soak City Waterpark and Knott's Berry Farm Hotel on offer.
Learn about Conversation at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center
The Pacific Marine Mammal Center is a free and volunteer-run center that rescues, cares for and rehabilitates marine mammals. The “patients” - as the center refers to them - are rescued from live-threatening conditions and brought back to the center to recover before being released back into the wild. During their rehabilitation, kids and adults are welcome to visit the animals and interact with them in order to learn about the marine wildlife that inhabits Southern California. It’s a great kids activity close to Newport Beach which will help educate and inspire kids about ocean stewardship and conservation.