20 Things To Do In Anaheim

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So much more than just Disneyland, Anaheim is a cosmopolitan and bustling city on the edge of Los Angeles, falling within the boundaries of Orange County. Sandwiched between the beaches of Southern California and downtown Los Angeles, Anaheim is a family-friendly theme park destination that also offers fun for all ages.

With so many things to do in Anaheim, it’s not surprising more and more people are attracted by its vibrant city centre. So, don’t be afraid to explore beyond Anaheim’s theme parks because you might just stumble upon a hidden gem.

20 Things To Do In Anaheim

Save money with the Los Angeles: Go City All-Inclusive Pass, which provides access to over 40 attractions, including Universal Studios, Knott’s Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain and Legoland. Find out the complete list of attractions here.

Things To Do In Anaheim With Kids

1- Spend The Day At Disneyland

things to do in anaheim with kids Cinderella's castle
Spending at least one full day in Disneyland is one of the top things to do in Anaheim. All photos supplied courtesy of Visit Anaheim.

Anaheim’s most-visited attraction is Disneyland, the massive 40 ha (99-acre) theme park that has been a mainstay vacation destination for American families since 1955.

Home to many iconic amusement rides found nowhere else, Disneyland offers fun and entertainment for all ages.

The Tomorrowland and Fantasyland areas are some of Disneyland’s most popular themed areas, with amusement rides such as Space Mountain and the Matterhorn Bobsleds drawing millions of annual visitors.

With so much to do at Disneyland Anaheim, you’ll need more than one day to explore.

Disneyland is at 1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802.

2- Explore Universal Studios 

Movie buffs and thrillseekers should not miss out on visiting Universal Studios, the only fully functioning film studio and theme park anywhere in the world.

One of the best experiences at Universal Studios is the facility’s Studio Tour, which provides guests with a behind-the-scenes look at how popular Hollywood films are filmed and some of the props and sets used to make them.

Another great attraction at Universal Studios is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which has a real-life Hogwart castle and the shops of Hogsmeade for visitors to experience. Skip the line and book your behind-the-scenes tour here.

3- Scream Your Lungs Out At Knott’s Berry Farm

things to do in anaheim that aren t disneyland roller coasters and rides at Knott's Berry Farm
If you’re looking for things to do in Anaheim that aren’t Disneyland then try the rides and roller coasters of Knott’s Berry Farm.

Knott’s Berry Farm has a history stretching back to the 1920s, making it one of California’s oldest amusement parks.

Originally a berry farm owned and operated by Walter Knott and his family, Knott’s Berry Farm grew from little more than a farmstall to a 57-acre (23 ha) amusement resort welcoming over 4 million visitors annually.

HangTime, California’s first and only dive coaster featuring a 96-degree drop and Soak City Waterpark, the largest waterpark in Orange County, are some of the fantastic attractions at Knott’s Berry Farm.

The amusement park offers a family-friendly atmosphere and shorter waiting lines at rides than Disneyland, making Knott’s Berry Farm the ideal destination for a family visit.

Knott’s Berry Farm is at 8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620.

4- Ride The Rollercoasters At Six Flags Magic Mountain

Six Flags Magic Mountain is the perfect destination for adrenaline junkies looking to experience gravity-defying rollercoasters.

The sprawling 260-acre (105 ha) park has more rollercoasters than anywhere else, featuring over 100 attractions.

While the rides themselves are epic, don’t miss the opportunity to pose for a picture with your favourite DC or Looney Tunes characters such as Bugs Bunny, Batman or Wonder Woman, who roam throughout the park all day long.

Visiting Six Flags Magic Mountain is one of the fun things to do in Anaheim that amusement park fans will want to tick off their list.

Six Flags Magic Mountain is at 26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy, Valencia, CA 91355.

5- Have Fun At Legoland

things to do with kids in anaheim
Visiting Legoland is one of the fun things to do with kids in Anaheim.

The most colourful landmark in Anaheim, Legoland, California, is the perfect place to let your inner child run wild.

It has unique themed areas built with nothing more than Lego bricks to enjoy.

Located in Carlsbad, roughly 60 miles (96 km) south of Anaheim, Legoland California was the first resort of the Legoland franchise to open outside Europe in 1999.

An absolute must for families, the Legoland resort has a range of attractions, including a child-oriented driving school, various Lego renditions of famous cities and amusement rides.

Visiting Legoland is one of the fun things to do in Anaheim, no matter how old or young you are.

Legoland is at One Legoland Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008.

For more California ideas, see:

6- Get An Adrenalin Rush At Disney California Adventure Park

The original Disneyland’s sister park, Disney California Adventure Park, might be overshadowed by its more famous older sibling, however, the park certainly does not disappoint when it comes to an abundance of fun-filled adrenaline rides.

Established in 2001, the park honours California’s tradition, adventurous spirit and culture through its seven different lands, each with its own theme and attractions.

The park’s star attraction is its ‘World of Color’ nighttime show, which dazzles audiences with stunning displays of water, fire, light and music at the end of every day.

Disney California Adventure Park is at 1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802.

7- Enjoy The Tamer Rides Of Adventure City

Adventure City amusement park provides guests with an entirely different experience from California’s other mega theme parks.

Only two acres (0.8 ha) in size, Adventure City is the smallest theme park in California, but there are plenty of fun-filled activities for the little ones.

The Balloon Race is popular with visitors, spinning them around in balloon-shaped carriages.

Another favourite is the petting zoo, with chickens, sheep, goats and a pig for guests to interact with.

The rides at Adventure City are much tamer than those at Disneyland or Knott’s Berry Farm, making it a more down-to-earth attraction for young families to enjoy.

Adventure City is at 1238 S Beach Blvd, Anaheim, CA 90680.

Things To Do In Anaheim That Aren’t Disneyland

8- Discover History At Founder’s Park

Anaheim’s historic Founder’s Park whisks visitors back to 19th century Southern California with historically significant sites throughout the sprawling 12-acre (4.9 ha) park.

Like the Anaheim Packing House, Founder’s Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a landmark that tells the tale of Anaheim’s boom from a tiny agricultural community to the metropolis it is today.

Mother Colony House dates back to 1857 and was one of the first houses in Anaheim, while another old house in the park with historical significance is the Woelke-Stoffel house which dates back to 1894.

Wandering through the lush park is an excellent way of delving into Anaheim’s rich history, and it provides a break from the city’s mega theme parks.

Founder’s Park is at 400 N West St, Anaheim, CA 92801.

9- Explore Anaheim Packing District

fun things to do in anaheim external view of Packing House
Looking for things to do in Anaheim away from the theme parks? Eat and drink at the Packing House.

Seamlessly blending modern culture with historic architecture, Anaheim Packing District is an attraction with excellent eateries.

Housed in a former citrus packing warehouse, the open-aired Anaheim Packing House is filled with lush greenery and great indoor/outdoor dining options.

It has been a trendy SoCal attraction since it first opened in 1919.

Given its inclusion in the National Registry of Historic Places in 2015, the Anaheim Packing House is also a significant historic landmark, making it an excellent destination for history buffs and hipsters.

It’s an atmospheric spot to dine with various sections, all with unique themes and eateries.

Anaheim Packing House is at 440 S Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92805.

10- Go Surfing At Huntingdon Beach

things to do in anaheim for free pier at Huntingdon Beach
If you’re looking for things to do in Anaheim for free, you’ll find Huntingdon Beach only 30 minutes away.

With miles of coastline and beautiful golden beaches, spending time on the beach is one of the top things to do in Anaheim. 

With miles of coastline and beautiful golden beaches, spending time on the beach is one of the top things to do in Anaheim.

Huntington Beach is only 20 miles (32 km) from the city centre, and you can be surfing, swimming or sunbaking within half an hour.

There are walking and cycling oceanfront paths to exercise and enjoy the ocean breeze.

The International Surfing Museum is an attraction that surfing fans will want to visit to learn why it was nicknamed Surf City, USA.

The US Surfing Championship started in Huntingdon Beach in the late 1950s.

11- Watch A Baseball Game At Angel Stadium

Angel Stadium’s rowdy 45,000 fans and laid-back California vibe make it one of the best places to enjoy America’s favourite pastime.

The stadium has been the home arena of the Los Angeles Angels since 1966.

The stadium comes to life every year between April and October, when the MLB’s regular season brings teams from across the country to face off against the LA Angels.

With excellent year-round weather, catching a game at Angel Stadium is a memorable experience and tickets are reasonably priced. 

Visitors can also join public tours of the stadium grounds to get a more intimate and behind-the-scenes look at the stadium’s world-class facilities if they’re in town between March and September.

Angel Stadium is at 2000 E Gene Autry Way, Anaheim, CA 92806.

12- See A Exhibition At Anaheim Convention Center

things to do in anaheim
Check out the exhibitions at the Convention Center. Photo: Visit Anaheim/Bruce Benedict.

At 1.8 million square feet (167 225 square meters), the Anaheim Convention Center is a massive entertainment facility that hosts various events.

Keep an eye out for significant exhibitions, shows or conventions.

It’s also fun to stroll around the grounds as there are excellent vantage points of many other Anaheim landmarks, such as Disneyland’s nightly fireworks displays.

Anaheim Convention Center is at 800 W Katella Ave, Anaheim, CA 92802.

13- Enjoy Art At Anaheim GardenWalk

things to do in anaheim california shops at GardenWalk
One of the things to do in Anaheim for a leisurely time is to head to GardenWalk. Pictured here are McCormick & Schmick’s and California Pizza Kitchen.

Anaheim GardenWalk is a lovely pedestrian-friendly entertainment hub encompassing over 430 000 square acres (174 015 ha) in the Anaheim Resort district.

Located near the entrance of Disneyland Resort, it’s home to restaurants, live musical acts, nightclubs and a virtual reality arcade.

The ‘Art on the Walk’ art installation showcases colourful murals throughout the centre’s walls, allowing visitors to enjoy fantastic art displays by local artists.

Anaheim GardenWalk is at 400 Disney Way, Anaheim, CA 92802.

14- Shop And Eat In CTRCity

Anaheim’s historic downtown area, known as Central City, or simply CTRCity, sits right in the heart of Anaheim and is a trendy district.

Not far from Disneyland, CTRCity’s Center Street Promenade has chic boutiques, luxury lofts and eateries.

You can find some of Anaheim’s best dining and shopping options here.

CTRCity is at 201 S Anaheim Blvd #1003, Anaheim, CA 92805.

15- Cheer On The Anaheim Ducks In The Honda Center

things to do in anaheim besides disneyland cars parked outside the Honda Center at dusk
Watching a game at the Honda Center is another of the fun things to do in Anaheim besides Disneyland.

Home of the famous Anaheim Ducks NHL team, the Honda Center hosts exciting hockey matches and live events, including concerts, professional wrestling and even basketball games.

Opened in 1993, the arena can accommodate up to 18,336 fans and being part of the crowd during a game is fun in Anaheim.

So catch a live hockey game in town to get the full Honda Center experience.

Honda Center is at 2695 E Katella Ave, Anaheim, CA 92806.

16- Admire Art At Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center

things to do in anaheim ca Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center at night
One of the interesting things to do in Anaheim is to visit the Muzeo Museum.

Located within the Carnegie Library in downtown Anaheim, the Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center captures the creativity and history of the region with thought-provoking art installations that rotate throughout the year.

The Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center is home to various local artworks and international works of art covering every corner of the world.

Muzeo Museum is at 241 S Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92805.

17- See A Concert At City National Grove

things to do in anaheim at night concert hall at the grove
If you’re looking for things to do in Anaheim at night, try a concert at the Grove.

Not far from Angel Stadium and the Santa Ana River, City National Grove is a top destination for live concerts and shows, regularly attracting some of the biggest and brightest stars in the entertainment industry.

Prince, Stevie Nicks and Ray Charles are some of the names that once graced the stage at the City National Grove.

With only 1700 seats, tickets for concerts and shows by famous musicians sell out quickly, so book well in advance if you are keen to catch a show or two.

With great sound and lighting throughout the intimate venue, enjoying a performance at City National Grove could be well-worth your time.

City National Grove is at 2200 E Katella Ave, Anaheim, CA 92806.

18- Explore Oak Canyon Nature Center

The Oak Canyon Nature Center in eastern Anaheim covers an area of 58 acres (23 ha) of natural parkland that provides a chance to enjoy a slice of untouched Southern California away from the theme parks.

Perfect for hikers looking to enjoy the four miles of hiking trails that criss-cross the park, Oak Canyon also has excellent outdoor picnic areas, youth centres and even a couple of golf courses to practice your swing.

Enjoy the fresh air surrounded by nature away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Anaheim.

Oak Canyon is at 6700 E Walnut Canyon Rd, Anaheim, CA 92807.

19- Marvel At The Architecture Of Christ Cathedral

The striking Christ Cathedral or ‘Crystal Cathedral’, as it’s also called, is one of the most eye-catching cathedrals in the world.

Seating over 2,200 people, this glass-clad architectural marvel is a mesmerising structure that was one of the world’s largest glass buildings when it was completed in 1981.

It houses one of the largest musical instruments in the world, the Hazel Wright Memorial Organ.

Despite the multiple changes in ownership over the years, Christ Cathedral remains an ever-present landmark of Anaheim’s skyline and a feat of architectural creativity that you need to see to believe.

Christ Cathedral is at 13280 Chapman Ave, Garden Grove, CA 92840.

20- Watch A Practice Run At The Rinks

The Rinks is the official practice facility of the Anaheim Ducks NHL team.

Designed by architect Frank Gehry, the facility features a beautiful barrel-vault roof and two ice rinks – one for hockey and one for figure skating.

Open to the public year-round, there are recreational games before the NHL season, providing hockey fans with an insider’s peek into preseason preparations.

Hit the ice by joining a newbies group class for a fun and engaging experience.

The Rinks is at 300 W Lincoln Ave, Anaheim, CA 92805.