101 Family Day Trips and Staycations from Around Orange County, CA | Kids Out and About Orange County

101 Family Day Trips and Staycations from Around Orange County, CA

**Follow each link to get details about your visit directly from your destination, since some places operate seasonally or by reservation, as well as to check each venue's COVID requirements (masks, limits, social distancing).

Free activities and splurges that are worth it. The coolest stuff for a staycation in town and road trips for less than a tank of gas from Orange County, CA. Kids Out And About has tons of ideas for family travel, with places to explore, learn, and have fun!


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Take A Deep Breath In the Garden

123 Lavender Farm 
Sherman Library and Gardens
Casa Romantica
Niguel Botanical Preserve
Mission San Juan Capistrano
Coastkeeper Garden


Get Wild on a Hike

  Peters Canyon
Santiago Oaks  
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Upper Newport Bay Nature Park


Time Travel Today

  Heritage Museum of Orange County
Fossil Reef Park
Rancho Los Alamitos 
Mission San Juan Capistrano 
Carbon Canyon Redwoods


Make Life a Beach

Coronado Beach
La Jolla Cove
Balboa Beach
South Carlsbad State Beach
Carmel City Beach
Zuma Beach


Splash into Some Water Fun

Great Wolf Lodge
  Knotts Berry Farm
Splash! La Mirada
Castle Park


Spend the Day at a Museum

  International Surfing Museum
Discovery Cube of OC 
The Children's Place at La Habra
San Diego Natural History Museum
Bowers Museum


Explore These Cities

  San Diego
Redondo Beach
Santa Monica
Palm Springs


All Aboard Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (and Boats!)

  Marconi Automotive Museum
San Diego Air and Space Museum
March Field Air Museum
Palm Springs Air Museum
Southern California Railway Museum
Joshua Tree Southern Railway Museum
Newport Coastal Adventure
Los Angeles Maritime Museum


Grow Some Fun at the Farm

  Tanaka Farms 
Centennial Farm
Orange Home Grown Educational Farm
Southcoast Farms
Temecula Berry Company


Play Ball!

  Concourse Bowling
Camelot Golfland
Fiesta Village Miniature Golf
Laguna Beach Batting Cages
Tennis Club Monarch Beach


Treat Yo' Self

  Hans Homemade Ice Cream
Handel's Ice Cream
Summerland Artisinal Creamery
Cauldron Ice Cream
Joe's Italian Ice
Salt & Straw


Connect with Nature

Ocean Institute
Sherman Library and Gardens
  Coastkeeper Natural Play Garden
Fullerton Arboretum
Arden Historic House and Gardens


Amuse Yourself at These Amusement Parks

Scandia Family Fun Center


Talk to the Animals

The Reptile Zoo
Santa Ana Zoo
Orange County Zoo
Aquarium of the Pacific 


Explore the Globe Close to Home

  Earl Burns Miller Japanese Gardens
Noguchi Garden 
San Diego Chinese Historical District
San Diego Little Italy
Museum of Ancient Wonders


Let's Go Chasing Waterfalls

  Ortega Falls
Black Star Canyon Falls 
Sturtevant Falls
  Chiquito Falls
Bonita Falls


Get Active Indoors

  Luv 2 Play - Irvine
Pump It Up - Anaheim
We Play Loud Kids Indoor Playground
Billy Bees
Sky Zone


Challenge Yourself

  Pacific Symphony
Orange County Center For Contemprary Art 
Skull Canyon Ziplines
Mission Escape Games
Great Park Ice and The Rinks


Shop Your Heart Out

  A Whale of A Tale
Laguna Beach Books
Lido Village Books
Comic Book Hide Out

Limiting our list to 101 ideas meant some great destinations may have been left off the list - if there is something you’d like to see added, share it with us on Facebook!

Most of these destinations are within an hour from the middle of the OC. For those that are a bit farther away:

             = Less than 1 hour away

          = 1 to 2 hours away

       = 2 to 3 hours away

   = Just over 3 hours away