The sun shines year-round in Anaheim, making it a warm, welcoming family vacation destination. Best known as the home of Disneyland, this fun-filled city is a mecca for travelers from around the world. Whether you’re looking for thrill rides or active adventures, a variety of activities awaits just minutes from Anaheim’s vacation rentals. Start your trip-planning by checking out these fun, kid-friendly attractions.

1. Disneyland

lighted castle
Source: Flickr / Howie Muzika

Disneyland, Anaheim’s most famous theme park, is the perfect spot for a day of family-filled fun. With its wide variety of rides, shops, and attractions, this massive theme park has something for everyone. Bring your little ones on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, or brave the thrills of Space Mountain with your older kids. Shop for souvenirs on Main Street USA, have breakfast with Disney characters and stay up late for the spectacular Night Parade. The park also offers stunning firework shows multiple times per week.

2. Check Out Anaheim’s Other Theme Parks

lego boat
Source: Flickr / Fido

Escape the intense crowds of Disney with a trip to one of Anaheim’s smaller theme parks. If you’re traveling with teenagers or tiny adrenaline junkies, head straight for Knott’s Berry Farm, where you can test your bravery on rides such as Silver Bullet, Boomerang, or Montezooma’s Revenge. For little ones, Legoland California is an excellent choice; cool off in the onsite water park, or watch the fish at the Sea Life Aquarium. Movie and TV fans will enjoy Universal Studios, which offers studio tours, thrill rides, and immersive movie experiences.

3. Try a Flight Simulator

flight simulator
Source: Flickr / Blake Patterson

Become a fighter pilot for an afternoon at Flightdeck, a flight simulation center located just 2 miles from Disneyland. Here, you can step into a military-grade simulator to experience the feeling of high-speed flight, combat, and tricky maneuvers. Choose the F-16 Falcon simulators and engage in a dog fight with the whole family, or opt for the larger Boeing 737. Each package comes with instruction, so you can make the most of your flight. Most experiences are suitable for kids aged 11 and older.

4. Watch a Game

fully-packed stadium
Source: Flickr / Ray_LAC

Delight your little sports fans with tickets to a home game hosted by one of Anaheim’s two professional sports teams. In the winter, watch the NHL Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center. During baseball season, watch the MLB Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim play at Angel Stadium. Both locations are accessible by public transportation, so you don’t have to worry about traffic or parking. After a game, enjoy an evening of ice skating at The Rinks, the Ducks’ training facility.

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5. Head for the Hills

hiking trail
Source: Flickr / Tracie Hall

Explore the Anaheim hills with a visit to the Oak Canyon Nature Center. This large park features 4 miles of hiking trails spread across three different canyons. Most routes are short and relatively easy, so they’re appropriate for even your littlest hikers. Explore the canyons, splash in the stream, and try to spot wildlife. Before you head out, stop by the John J. Collier Interpretive Center to learn the history of the local area.

6. Attend an Outdoor Concert or Movie

park lake
Source: Flickr / Ken Lund

Join Anaheim residents at Pearson Park Amphitheater, an outdoor venue that’s popular with local families. Catch an evening concert or performance; acts range from cover bands to dance troupes. Tickets are inexpensive, and kids ages 8 and under get in free. In the summer, look out for the weekly free movies, most of which are kid-friendly. Arrive early to secure the best seats, and be sure to bring cash for the onsite snack vendors.

7. Get Active

golf balls
Source: Flickr / Austin Kirk

Anaheim is packed with companies that offer family-friendly adventures. Get a workout and burn off extra energy at Sky Zone, a trampoline park that’s fun for adults and kids. Play basketball, climb a rock wall or practice flips in the huge foam pit. Find something for everyone in the family at Camelot Golfland, which features multiple mini golf courses, bumper boats, and an arcade. If you want to let your little ones run free in a safe space, head to Seascape Kids Fun, where children can shoot foam balls, fly down slides, and play games.

8. Get Outdoors

colorful duck
Source: Flickr / Mike’s Birds

Enjoy Anaheim’s beautiful weather at Yorba Regional Park. Rent bikes and explore the local trail system, enjoy excellent bird-watching, or take advantage of the many playgrounds. Bring your fishing pole and practice casting in the park’s four different lakes. The calm water is also a popular spot for model boats. Numerous public grills make it easy to cook dinner for your family.

9. Visit Muzeo

signage
Source: Flickr / Orange County Section California Chapter American Planning Association

Introduce your kids to the world of art and natural history at Muzeo, a popular museum near Anaheim’s art district. Check out the rotating series of exhibits in the main gallery, or head to the Carnegie Gallery for free displays. The museum’s layout enables you to get close to each piece, so kids can enjoy an unimpeded view. A guided tour is a great way to keep the whole family engaged throughout your visit. Most exhibits can be seen in an hour or less, making the museum a great choice for little ones with limited attention spans.

 
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