Over 101 outdoor places to visit for kids in Orange County, with family-friendly beaches, parks, gardens, farms, nature walks, and fitness.
Finding Orange County Parks
Family Activities in Orange County
The 2023 Newport Dunes Christmas lights in Newport Beach are a display of festive lighted Christmas trees on the bay + outdoor ice skating.
The 2023 Christmas Train and Santa’s Village at the Irvine Park Railroad is a family tradition – and fun to be at the park after dark!
Holiday lights at Dana Point Harbor 2023 – lights on November 15th. It’s a festive light display that your kids will love.
Go for a 2023 Candlelight Walk at Heritage Hill Historical Park in Lake Forest to see holiday lights and luminaria at this historic park.
The beach Christmas tree at Crystal Cove State Park appears in December. It’s perfect for festive family photos or celebrating the season.
Things to Do Outdoors in Orange County
Sand free parks in Orange County for families who prefer parks without sand in OC.
List of fenced parks in Orange County for families planning easier play dates for multiples or those with a tendency to wander.
List of all the best California State Parks in Orange County for families with kids plus activity ideas for what to do when you visit.
A list of 15 Pirate Parks in Orange County ranging from playgrounds with pirate ships to overall pirate themes.
Parks with big slides in Orange County, California. Long list includes tunnel, tube, corkscrew, and spiral slides for lots of playground fun.
List of parks with “Mommy and Me” baby swings or what I call “Swing with Me” swings for Orange County, CA. Swing face-to-face with your baby.
List of 20+ parks with workout equipment in Orange County featuring outdoor fitness areas for when you want exercise outdoors.
Spiderweb parks in Orange County! This is the master list you’ve always wanted! These rope or rubber-coated climbers are especially popular with older kids. Remember playing on those playground domes when …
Kid-friendly garden and farm outings for families. Nature preserves, botanic gardens, farms, and more in OC, LA, and San Diego counties.
Make a day out of these 5 family walks all over Orange County, CA.
Box Canyon Park in Yorba Linda provides all sorts of play possibilities with fully accessible equipment. Ramps and wide pathways.
The Adventure Playground in Irvine at University Park allows children unstructured free play opportunities. Perfect for creativity & pretend!
Bluebird Park in Laguna Beach is a playground entirely fenced with a big blue rocketship, a gem-studded turtle sculpture, and trike track.
Huntington Beach Central Park boasts an amazing playground on the west side and is an awesome 350-acre park for kids and families to explore.
Main Beach Park in Laguna Beach offers a playground that helps kids learn ocean lessons at the playful lifeguard tower.
Pavion Park in Mission Viejo is a colorful universally accessible playground with flat play surfaces, spinners, and ramps for wheelchairs.
Northwood Community Park in Irvine is also known as Castle Park. I think of it as a fortress fit for knights and princesses.
Courtney’s SandCastle Universal Playground & Sensory Garden in San Clemente provides inclusive play features in a contained setting.
Find out what OC Great Park playgrounds have to offer families with fun play features and also links to the public Bosque playground.
Marina Park in Newport Beach on the Balboa Peninsula is bayside with harbor views and a nautical lighthouse theme. Near the Balboa Fun Zone.
We go to Catalina Island every summer. We’ve been visiting Catalina ever since I was in high school – so that’s 20+ years. I’m surprised how many of my friends …
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know I’m a self-described “boat kid.” With over 30 years of boating experience with people who each have a different …
Two Harbors is the other ferry drop-off I described in Friday’s post about how to get to Catalina Island. The photo above shows Isthmus Cove which makes up half of Two …
Avalon is the more bustling tourist destination of Catalina Island.