Skip to Content

Best OC Birthday Park Ideas in South Orange County

Best OC Birthday Park Ideas in South Orange County

Looking for the best OC parks for a birthday party? This is, by no means, a complete list.

However, I combed through lots of the parks on this blog to find those that fit my criteria. I still have more to add, but this is my first go at it.

Make sure you consult all the official sources to know what’s allowed and not allowed before you get too deep into planning a park birthday party in Orange County.

Best OC Birthday Party Park Ideas

Make sure you visit the park before you send invitations to make sure it's appropriate for your needs. I'd also suggest, calling the city for info on special permits or instructions. Here are the ones I came up with listed in no particular order.

Criteria (amenities required for birthday parties):

  1. Restrooms
  2. Covered picnic table area (with 2 - 4 picnic tables)
  3. Dedicated parking lots
  4. FREE

Please email me your suggestions for other SMALL parks and playgrounds.

Sometimes, you have bigger needs than a city park. We do have a whole range of regional parks which accept reservations for parties. There are a lot of things to consider when planning a party at a regional park included: availability of reservations, permits for vendors, and the fact that your guests will have to pay a fee to enter the park.

Choosing an OC Parks Picnic Shelter for a Birthday Party

Our Orange County Regional Parks would be pasted all over this post if not for the entrance fee. If you’re looking to reserve a shelter at one of our amazing regional parks, check out this reservation link and refer to for OFFICIAL information on our county parks.

These are the regional parks unofficially covered on my site:

Unofficial Tutorial of How to Reserve a Picnic Shelter at an OC Park for a Private Event

I ended up writing up a tutorial for a dad who was looking to reserve a shelter at O’Neill Regional Park that I will include here as an EXAMPLE! I created it in October 2023, so you can let me know if it is not working for you and I can make sure I edit.

You may want to do all this on your DESKTOP, because I think it might go all wonky on the phone. If you are planning to have a bounce house or vendors, you will need to first check if they are allowed and then check to see if a permit is required.

All the regional parks have an OFFICIAL park page, which I usually link to in my posts. Here is the one for O’Neill:

And then the reservation page is a separate page on the OC Parks website:

I’m pretty sure you will need to create a login to reserve the spot — and you will need to know the name or number of the shelter you want to reserve. Once you click that Make a Reservation link it will take you to this page:

Then you’ll click the tab that says: Camping and Shelters

Then you’ll see a cards with photos of the parks, find O’Neill and click the “continue” button at the bottom.

Then you’ll get to ANOTHER page with campgrounds, but it will also one that says “O’Neill Shelters.” Click the “continue” button there.

Then you get a list where it says: 

  • Shelter (less than 100 people) #2
  • Shelter (less than 100 people) #3
  • Shelter (less than 100 people) #4

Each of those has Available Dates shown with a green dot. But it also has a blue “i” icon and when you click on it, it brings up a window with a photo of that shelter (so you can see what it looks like!) and information about how much it costs and what’s allowed!

So you can do it all online that way OR you could drive to the actual park. When you get there:

  1. Ask to drive around and look at the picnic shelters so you can reserve one for an upcoming party. They can maybe give you temporary entrance for free if you don’t have a pass?
  2. Decide on your shelter — and stop at the kiosk when you exit and park in the 10 minute parking on the way out to reserve your spot?

They will have the BEST info because they work there and it will be the official info.

One thing to consider is guests to the party will have to pay the $5 entrance fee on a weekend.

Originally posted in August 2009.


Tuesday 12th of March 2013

Thank you so much! I had no idea where to celebrate my daughter's 1st Birthday before I saw your post. Great information, all I needed to know.

P.S. I called city of Irvine to check about using Valley Oak park. It is on first come, first served basis and no reservation is needed for a party. They said "Just keep it under 50 people, no alcohol, no bounce house and you are good".


Monday 6th of February 2012

I'm having trouble trying to think of a good birthday party for a 4 year old at a beach location? Any ideas?


Wednesday 11th of November 2009

Hi iam Deepa Iam planning for my daughter's 3rd birthday for 50 guests and i would like to if any park offers closed enclosers like that of crownvalley park in and arround alisoviejo thanks

Just Spotted

Friday 7th of August 2009

those are AWESOME ideas!

xoxo, K

Comments are closed.