My son is soon-to-be 5 years old. Over the past 5 years, I’ve met other moms and have looked around to find fun and different things for him to do. Surely most moms do the same and as I go through the places I’ve been below, Orange County moms might say, “Yup! We do love that place!”
California is known for its sunshine, but the Winter can still get a little nippy, especially for our little ones. So most moms prefer to stay indoors where the kiddies can run around without worries about whether they’re going to be too cold or not.
The following are some of the fun places my mom friends and I have taken our kids. Some fun places YOU might consider if you’re a new mom or just visiting or you simply haven’t heard of them:
It wouldn’t be California if you didn’t mention the beach and sea life!
1. Pacific Marine Mammal Center, Laguna Beach FREE:
Here’s a sea life center whose mission statement is to rehabilitate and help sea animals survive.
They are open daily until 4PM and is free to get in. All they ask is for some support through donations.
2. Ocean Institute, Dana Point:
There are a lot of hands-on stuff and fun things for kids to do here. It’s a great way for them to be indoors while appreciating the aquatic wildlife!
3. Discovery Science Center, Santa Ana $17.95 for adults, $12.95 for children, annual passes available:
This looks bigger than it really is. To be honest, I could circle the entire thing in about 5 minutes and be done with it, but my son could spend hours going over everything over and over. There are 2 stories of science and fun things for little kids to do.
Discount Movie Theater
You won’t find the newest releases here, but a lot of the movies featured are typically in transit or in between the new release stage and the disc stage. So if you missed it when it was out in the movies, you will still have a good chance of being able to see it on screen!
4. Regency Theaters, Huntington Beach $3 all movies, $2 surcharge for 3D movies
5. Tristone Cinemas, Brea $3.25 Matinee, $4 Evening
6. Irvine Woodbridge Movies 4, Irvine $2 all movies, $3 Evening, $4 surcharge for 3D movies
7. Picture Show Entertainment, Santa Ana $2 all movies, $2 surcharge for 3D movies
8. The Reptile Zoo, Fountain Valley $5 for everyone during expansion, kids 3 and younger are free, annual passes available:
If your little one likes reptiles then you will be so popular! This place has turtles, snakes, alligators … and so much more!
I’m not a fan of trampoline parks, especially since the last 2 times I’ve been to them, my little boy and nieces have gotten very hurt. I don’t believe they should mix all age groups together, especially since teens and adults could easily crush a baby, toddler, or any little person, simply by landing right on them. So you won’t see any on my list below. However, they do exist in Orange County. You just have to look for one.
Indoor Play Zones and Bounce Houses
9. Seascape Kids Fun, Anaheim Hills $10 for Kids 1 – 17, adults and infants (under 1 year old) are free:
This is a whole lot of fun, even for the big kids! There’s a lot to do as you can imagine with most bounce house places, but what we love about this is that you can stay as long as you like!
10. Jump ‘n Jammin, Mission Viejo General admission: $12.95, Toddlers: $5.49, Extra Adult: $3
There are slides, a jump house, and enough fun to fill at least 3 hours! Moms can hang out in a little sit down area, where the kids can have time to snack. There are only vending machines available so perhaps think about feeding them a proper meal before you go.
11. Billy Beez, Anaheim Infants + 1 adults: $9.95, Toddlers (1-4): $11.95, Kids (5-17): $14.95, Adults (1 adult $3.95 2nd adult $6.95):
This place is so massive, you can get overwhelmed. There’s a play area, where kids can pretend to be grown ups, there are slides, and just enough fun to fill an entire day. It can get overwhelming due to the size of this indoor play zone, but the kids are GUARANTEED to have fun!
12. We Play Loud, Lake Forest Ticket prices start from $13.95 and depend on your party. The more the merrier!:
You WILL need to remove your shoes and you DO need to wear socks. There’s a baby section, which is quite a nice area, but for the most part, toddlers, preschoolers, and young children love this place! There’s a bouncy house and quite a large area for slides, ball shoots, and more!
13. Pump It Up, Anaheim, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Lake Forest Prices average about $10 depending on the location.:
There are facilities that are busier than others. It’s mostly just jump houses and a few bits and bobs to play with, but not all that much. However, if you’re looking to kill a couple of hours, this place will work just fine.
14. Wonder of Dinosaurs, Lake Forest $12.95 per child (2 and above), $7.95 per adult:
This place is fantastic! I don’t think people realize just how awesome this place is because it’s pretty much always dead. It’s probably because of the location but the facility itself is full of fun! There are mechanical dinosaurs that look almost real, small dinosaurs are available to ride on, there are bouncy houses, and so much more! It’s a treat and quite different from many of the indoor places we’ve been.
15. Local Library: Most libraries have a nice little nook for children to hang out and read books. It’s a great place for parents to sit and read to their children. Sometimes kids are encouraged to bring their homework and have quiet time there to do their work as well.