Disneyland Resort, Anaheim
Before you head to the Disneyland® Resort, purchase your Park Hopper tickets (or regular, single park admission ticket) online to avoid the long lines and head straight into the park. If you get an early start, spend the first half of the day enjoying the original Disneyland® Park then head across the esplanade to the recently “reimagined” Disney California Adventure® Park. Make sure to pick up your Radiator Springs Racers and World of Color FastPass early - they run out quickly!
Knott's Berry Farm, Buena Park
Knott’s Berry Farm® in Buena Park is California’s first theme park and the site of the world’s original looping roller coaster. After a full day at the park, take your dining experience to a whole new level at a themed restaurant nearby like Medieval Times® Dinner & Tournament or Pirate’s® Dinner Adventure.
Insider tip: If you plan on visiting multiple Southern California theme parks, buy a CityPass admission card. Adult admission cards are $329 (value $449) and child admission cards are $286 for ages 3-9. The CityPass includes a 3-Day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper ticket (allowing unlimited back-and-forth admission to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park), one-day admission to LEGOLAND, and one-day admission to SeaWorld San Diego. Once you activate (first use) your admission cards, you’ll have 14 consecutive days to use the remaining admission tickets.
Just outside the Orange County line is Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, where you can get up close and personal with a variety of sea animals. Bring your own packed lunch, grab a quick bite at the cafe inside the aquarium or dine at one of the many waterfront restaurants in the nearby Shoreline Village. After your visit to the aquarium, take the five-minute drive across the bridge for a tour of the iconic Queen Mary ship.
Family Fun on the Beach
Dive into Southern California surf culture in Huntington Beach, a.k.a. Surf City U.S.A.® Explore the beach with a private surf lesson or walk along the pier and watch the locals tackle the big waves. Relax under a beach umbrella, build sandcastles, hunt for seashells and sand crabs or play in the water. Stroll down the Surfing Walk of Fame and stop in to the free International Surfing Museum. End your night enjoying a California beach cookout around one of Huntington Beach’s bonfire pits.
Discover the Balboa Fun Zone on the Balboa Peninsula, a Newport Beach nook featuring quaint shops and ice cream stands. Grab a donut or breakfast crouissant at the famed Dad’s Donut Shop & Bakery, then rent a waverunner, go parasailing, head out on a whale watching tour or take a spin on the Ferris wheel before heading out to dinner at Back Bay Cafe or Mama D’s Italian Kitchen.
At the Discovery Science Center, children have a blast with the interactive exhibits and don’t even realize they’re learning about science. Traveling exhibits and annual events such as Bug Invasion and Bubblefest throughout the year ensure that there is always something new to discover.
The Bowers Museum of Cultural Art is a place children and adults can immerse themselves in world-class exhibits and a bit of Californian history too. In the adjacent Kidseum, little ones can create their own masterpieces and touch hands-on exhibits from all-over the world.