When most people think of Anaheim CA there is one attraction that pops into mind and that is DISNEYLAND. Look, we love Disneyland as much as anyone (grab discounted tickets here), however, the truth is Anaheim has SO MUCH MORE to offer traveling families coming in from both near and far. We recently spent a few days in Anaheim and I am SO excited to share with you the incredible things to do in Anaheim that we uncovered.
Top 20 Amazing Things To Do in Anaheim beyond Disneyland
I love that Anaheim, unlike a lot of Southern California, has an amazing public transit system. So, if you don’t have a car hop on the Anaheim Rapid Transit (ART) and with a couple of bucks, you can be anywhere. (You can pre-purchase discounted ART passes here)
1- Lessons at Vans Skatepark (Our Kiddos Favorite Thing To Do in Anaheim!)
One of our kids’ favorite things to do in Anaheim is the Vans Skatepark. This massive 20,000+ square foot skatepark is a skater’s paradise. My kids were complete beginners but thanks to their incredible instructor Devon they had a blast!
The Vans Skatepark is located at The Outlets at Orange. Kids can take private lessons, rent equipment, enjoy open skate or BMX. There’s a warm-up area, mini ramp, main street course, and an outdoor course. Many skaters come for the Vans Combi pool- a replica of the original in the Upland Pipeline Skatepark.
My kids weren’t quite ready for the craziness but they did enjoy sliding down it on their bums 😉
2- SwingIt Trapeze Lessons
You have to experience SwingIt Trapeze! I was completely shocked that our whole family was able to fly. The staff is incredible and will guide you step by step so that you feel completely comfortable. Check Current Prices Here!
Trapeze wasn’t easy but the instructors are so skilled at helping you learn! Check out my tricks below:
Ella also enjoyed the sideshow tricks while she was waiting for her turn.
3- Catch an Angels Baseball Game or 4- a Ducks Hockey Game
Nothing says summer like heading to the baseball fields. Anaheim is home to the Angels and the Angels Stadium is a fantastic stadium for families. Sundays are family days so there are extra games and fun for the kiddos.
Head across the street to the Honda Center and check out the Anaheim Ducks. Hockey at the Honda Center is a lot of fun. Plus, the Honda Center also holds concerts throughout the year.
Bonus Tips –
AVOID PARKING HEADACHES- You can hop on the rail, bus, or grab an Uber from the ARTIC Transportation Center.
5- Find Instagram-Worthy Food at the Anaheim Packing House
Seriously… you MUST check out the Anaheim Packing House!!! This once Sunkist Packing House built in 1919 got a whole new look a few years ago and is now a foodie hall full of amazing artisan eateries. There is always something new to discover and it is oh so tasty.
I recommend trying the K2 Cro-Nut from Pandor. Just be sure you have someone to share it with.
A Rainbow Cloud from Snow Monster will be quite the treat. Its a Thai Tea with boba topped with freshly spun cotton candy and fruity pebbles.
Check out the Instagram sensation known as Pop Bar. They serve gelato on a stick dipped in your favorite chocolate and rolled in the topping of your choice.
All the natural light flowing in, the succulent plants, swings… it’s so beautiful!!!
If you are in the mood for a meal I suggest checking out the artisan tacos at Urbana…
or a fresh plate of Tikka Masala from Adya. The warm fresh naan is to die for!
BONUS TIP– More Instagram worthy photos can be taken at the GardenWalk located on Harbor Blvd. You will enjoy delicious places like The Cheesecake Factory and crazy desserts from Snowopolis!
6- Visit the Flightdeck for a Totally Unique Thing To Do in Anaheim
Flightdeck is amazing! You get to take a flight course, jump in a suit like Maverick & Goose and dog flight inside simulator pods in front of a giant screen. And, the Flightdeck in Anaheim is the ONLY place in the world you can do this!!! Check Current Prices Here!
My boys LOVED competing against each other. My middle son, Owen, who loves video games said this was his favorite activity all summer long.
7 – Check Out Center Street – One of the Coolest Things To Do in Anaheim!
If you are over at the Packing House you can hop on “Polly the Trolley” noon to 9 PM Fridays through Sundays! It’s a FREE ride from the Packing House to Center St. Promenade and back, every 15 minutes!
8- Stop by Ink & Bean for a nitro cold brew… then stroll the farmers market or sit and relax with a book from the airstream free library.
9- Just make sure you save room for Pour Vida. Their tacos and fresh pressed juices are divine.
10- Take the Family to Medieval Times
A family favorite for us is always Medieval Times. But, we had not been to Medieval Times in ages. I was shocked by how much the kids still loved the show and dinner.
The place was PACKED! The show was better than ever and the kids loved the food. They also loved eating without silverware. I ordered their vegetarian meal, it came with all the regular sides plus pita, hummus and fresh veggies and then a lentil soup. Yum!
The knights are fun to watch, but what I really love is watching all of the magnificent horses. They brought out some who were literally dancing to the music. It was so beautiful to see. Grab discounted tickets here!
11- Grab Lunch at Dave & Buster’s… 12- AND save time for the Arcade
Of course… it’s not the food the kids cared about but the MASSIVE arcade. Our kids played for a good hour and a half before we could pry them off the machines. They had a blast!!
And, once they were done they got to go to the most incredible ticket redemption store I had ever seen with the best prizes. Ella could hardly believe she had enough tickets to buy the adorable stuffed raccoon below 😉
13- Moms & Dads will LOVE the Anaheim Brewery
I know breweries are not really for the kids but this one was too good not to mention. Anaheim Brewery is a revived prohibition brewery. Even though this stop is for the grown-ups, you can sandwich it with fun activities for the kids.
All beer is made right there on site. The founders Barbara and Greg are so passionate about brewing beer and it shows! The beers are light, airy and absolutely delicious.
14- Find Hands-On Fun at the Discovery Cube
Last but certainly not least The Discovery Cube in Orange County is another fantastic place to take the kids. They have a ton of hands-on educational activities that will entertain your little ones for a full afternoon. Make sure to check out the Eco-Challange!
My bigger kids love checking out the Science of Hockey area and the Inspector Training course. If you live in SoCal their family annual pass is a really affordable way to keep the fun going all year long.
Bonus! 15- Round 1 Bowling & Amusement
The newest addition to Anaheim Attractions is Round 1 Bowling and Amusement. Technically it is in the neighboring city of Santa Ana, but it’s just a couple miles away. You can check it out here!
Some Other Stops in Anaheim
16- Shop at Anaheim GardenWalk
17- Listen to Music at The City National Grove of Anaheim
18- Find Some Thrills at Adventure City
19- Eat Famous Chicken and Waffles at Roscoes
20-Ralph B. Clark Regional Park
21- or Yorba Regional Park
22- Visit Thursday Downtown Anaheim Certified Farmers Market
23- Walk Around and Dine in Downtown Disney
24- Skate at Anaheim Ice
25- Hit Another Amusement Park Knott’s Berry Farm in Nearby Buena Vista
26- & Knott’s Soak City (buy discount tickets here!)
27- See Some Animals at the Santa Ana Zoo
28- Head to a convention at the Anaheim Convention Center
29- Hike at the Oak Canyon Nature Center
30- Grab a Drink at Unsung Brewing Company
Family Friendly Accommodations Near Disneyland
Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance Hotel
I have to tell you about the amazing resort we found; Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance Hotel! This brand new hotel features an on-site water park called Surfside, a beautiful fitness center, rooms designed with families in mind and you can even see fireworks from the pool area and some of the rooms.
We stayed in a family suite which had two queen beds + a bunk bed. Even with all 6 of us we never felt squished. Check Prices Here!
photo provided by Courtyard Anaheim
My favorite feature was the dual showers, meaning that two people can shower simultaneously! This was so wonderful during our hectic mornings.
photo provided by Courtyard Anaheim
photo provided by Courtyard Anaheim
Great Wolf Lodge
Another great place to check out is the Great Wolf Lodge. It is so family friendly and located about 3 miles away from Disneyland. You can check out my Great Wolf Lodge Southern California review here!
There’s a water park inside the hotel, don’t miss out check current prices here!
Need help planning and booking your magical Disneyland vacation? Contact our friends at Tink’s Magical Vacations. Their services FREE, but they will save you both time and money.
Looking to head over to Buena Park? Check out my 25 things to do in Buena Park! [9 are free]
Going to Disneyland? How to Buy Discount Disneyland Tickets – 7 Easy Ways
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Have you explored Anaheim beyond the Disney Parks?
Please share your Anaheim tips below. + Check out these other great articles!
*a special thanks to Visit Anaheim for arranging our stay for purpose of our reviews as well as Vans Skatepark, The Outlets at Orange, Flightdeck, Medieval Times, Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance, SwingIt Trapeze and the Discovery Cube for hosting the munchkins on our recent visit. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are 100% my own.