Start your summer off right with some of our favorite options for family fun in Orange County.
Take a Family Hike
Crystal Cove Trails
Crystal Cove State Park has 18 miles of hiking trails with stunning views of mountains and the ocean. The routes are suited for beginners and advanced hikers alike, giving families options to choose their own adventure in the native wilderness. With differing levels of hiking difficulty available and plenty of great photo opportunities, Crystal Cove trails are perfect for the whole family.
crystalcovestatepark.org | Laguna Beach
Have a Beach Day — or Two
With four family-friendly beaches in total, it’s not hard to see why Crystal Cove is on our list. Moro Beach is the place to be for stand-up paddle boarders and kayakers plus campers looking for incredible ocean views. Meanwhile, body surfers head to Reef Point. The Historic District features 46 vintage cottages while Pelican Point has bluff-top parking with beach access points and restroom facilities with outdoor showers.
crystalcovestatepark.org | Newport Beach/Laguna Beach
San Clemente State Beach
For those wishing to spend some time in the waves, San Clemente State Beach is a hotspot for surfing. The mile-long beach stretches between the ocean surf and the foot of a steep bluff. In addition to surfing, activities you can partake in include swimming, picnicking, fishing, hiking and skin diving. Campsites are available for RV as well as tent camping. Eight people max are allowed per campsite. The campground provides water, electrical and sewage hookups. The tent area provides fire pits, tables, shade and water.
parks.ca.gov | San Clemente
Huntington Beach Dog Beach
Once you’re on the beach sand, it’s no surprise that dogs and their owners love Huntington. Known as “Surf City USA” Huntington Beach is a popular spot among tourists and locals alike. Big crowds can often be found on the pier with local artisan markets, tons of restaurants and other large events like the annual US Open of Surfing. Ideal for animal lovers, the 1.5-mile stretch on Pacific Coast Highway between Goldenwest and Seapoint streets is designated for dogs with an off-leash optional policy.
huntingtonbeachca.gov | Huntington Beach
Go to the Park
Orange County Great Park
This gem of a park features 1.5 miles of trail space and numerous amenities including the Great Park Gallery, Farm + Food Lab, Sports Complex, The Carousel, Balloon, Visitors Center, The Artist Studios and Hangar 244. The Great Park Certified Farmers Market also happens every Sunday 10 am-2 pm in parking lot 2.
cityofirvine.org | Irvine
Or Go Fishing
Dana Wharf Sportfishing
This boat-based fishing option in Southern OC will have you hooked. You’ll find opportunities for fishing clinics and trips for kids and adults alike just outside Dana Point Harbor. Experienced, family-friendly crew and skippers will be happy to guide you throughout the outing. The full-service galley is stocked with cold drinks, snacks and hot food for when you want to take a break and just admire the spectacular ocean views.
danawharf.com | Dana Point
Take a Bike Ride
Back Bay Loop
The Back Bay Loop Trail is a 10.5-mile, well-marked trail that goes around Upper Newport Bay and is frequented by outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. It has multiple entry points with options for scenic stops. The flat paved trail easily accommodates bikes and strollers so the whole family can experience the bay.
newportbeachca.gov | Newport Beach
Spend Some Time at the Museum
The interactive activities at the kids’ museum make science education fun for young visitors. Jump into a hurricane, take a simulated helicopter ride, survive the bed of nails, explore the solar system or go on a dinosaur quest, the immersive attractions can easily offer hours of entertainment.
discoverycube.org | Santa Ana
The Children’s Museum at La Habra
Founded in 1977, The Children’s Museum at La Habra is one of the original kid-friendly museums in California. Unique features include a hand-carved carousel and an outdoor dinosaur garden. One of seven hands-on experiences includes a S.T.E.A.M Lab for kids to test their engineering skills. All the kid-friendly attractions plus a guided tour of a 1942 railroad car are sure to make this a memorable museum visit for the whole family.
lhcm.org | La Habra
Watch Some Soccer
Orange County Soccer Club
Based in Irvine, Orange County Soccer Club is an American soccer team dedicated to developing young talent, some of whom were featured in Parenting OC’s Family Fun Issue. The Orange County SC has had several talented players throughout its history, but some of their most notable include Thomas Enevoldsen, Aodhan Quinn, Darwin Jones and Kevin Alston. Originally founded as the Los Angeles Blues in 2010, the team currently plays in the second-tier USL Championship. Enjoy the thrill of seeing home games at Championship Soccer Stadium, located inside Great Park in Irvine by purchasing their Family 4 Pack which includes tickets, drinks and hotdogs for — yes, you guessed it — four people.
orangecountysoccer.com | Orange