There are a lot of things to do in Anaheim, California. It is, after all, just minutes away from Disneyland Park, Yorba Regional Park, the House of Blues and tons of other attractions, including Great Wolf Lodge. Anaheim is also a pretty easy place to dart around. With an average temperature of 67 degrees Fahrenheit and just 14 inches of rain per year, there's not much risk of getting rained out or driven home due to the cold. It's no wonder the city receives about 25 million visitors every year. If you're thinking of joining the ranks and visiting this southern California city, make sure to check out the list below. We're bringing you the best of the best in Anaheim entertainment.
Quick View: Best Things To Do in Anaheim
- Disney Land
- Disney California Adventure
- Walt Disney Concert Hall
- House of Blues
- Anaheim Packing District
- Angel Stadium
- Honda Center
- Anaheim Ice
- Vans Skatepark
- Knott's Berry Farm
- Santa Ana River Trail
- Yorba Regional Park
- Anaheim GardenWalk
- Skyzone Trampoline Park
- Adventure City
- Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament
- Newport Beach
- Flightdeck Simulation Center
- Pali Wine Co.
- Concourse Bowling Center
- Pearson Park
- Oak Canyon Nature Center
- The Heritage Museum of Orange County
- Taco Night at Pour Vida
- Great Wolf Lodge
Source: Disneyland Twitter
Anaheim used to be a pretty low-key place. The city was originally founded by 50 families of German immigrants back in 1857. They lived a relatively simple life, planting orange trees and sold fruits to survive. But that all changed in 1955 when Walt Disney decided to open a theme park on 160 acres of nearby farmland. By the time Disneyland celebrated it's 50-year anniversary, Anaheim's population had exploded by more than 20 times its original size. Today, Disneyland hosts more than 14 million visitors a year. If your family is into amusement parks, theme rides, princesses and other kinds of cartoon mascots, then this is the place to go!
2. Disney California Adventure
Source: Disneyland Today Twitter
That's right, Anaheim isn't home to just one Disney-themed resort, but two. Though slightly smaller in terms of size and popularity, Disney California Adventure offers themed lands, inverted roller coasters light and water shows and more! Those who hold a flame for the past are in luck. One of the resort's signature features revolves around Buena Vista Park, a recreation of 1920's Hollywood.
3. Walt Disney Concert Hall
Source: LAPhil Twitter
If you thought all Disney was known for was its theme parks, think again. Located at 111 South Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles, the Walt Disney Concert Hall boasts some of the most impressive acoustics throughout California. The hall, which was designed by artist Frank Gehry, opened back in 2003. Its signature feature revolves around the 6,134-pipe organ that towers above the rest of the stage, which is often referred to as "Frank fries." The space even has a membership program that allows concertgoers to mix and mingle with fellow fans and orchestra members after the show!
4. House of Blues
Source: HOB Anaheim Twitter
You can't go to Anaheim without checking out one of the most iconic live music venues in the country. The House of Blues in Anaheim part of a country-wide chain designed to host original folk art, delta-inspired cuisine, and, as mentioned, live music. Here's a fun little piece of trivia: under every stage in the House of Blues is a metal box filled with Delta Mississippi mud. The idea is to ensure that every artist who takes the stage has the “roots and spirit of the South planted beneath their feet."
5. Anaheim Packing District
Source: Packing District Twitter
If food if your thing, then this is the place for you. The Anaheim Packing District is described as a "walking culinary collection of 50 artisans." In our layman's translation, that reads as a lot of good food in a condensed space. The upscale food court is housed in downtown Anaheim, at a renovated, historic citrus packing house originally built back in 1919. The place brings a lot of variety to the table, so make sure you show up to the Anaheim Packing District an open mind and an empty belly!
6. Angel Stadium
Source: Angel's Stadium Twitter
Sports fans, rejoice. Right in the middle of Anaheim is Angel Stadium. For those who don't follow Major League Baseball, that's home to the Los Angeles Angels, who have been playing at the stadium since 1966.
7. Honda Center
Source: Honda Center Twitter
You didn't think we'd forget about all the other sports fans out there, did you? If baseball isn't your thing you can always head over the Honda Center. That's where the Anaheim Ducks play, one of California's three professional hockey teams. The stadium is also known for having hosted some amazing concerts to conversations with former first lady Michelle Obama. There are also some great restaurants to enjoy. It's no wonder why a trip to the Honda Center is one of the most popular things to do in Anaheim!
8. Anaheim Ice
Source: The Rinks Twitter
Now, here's something for the folks that don't want to watch a game so much as they want to play a game. Anaheim Ice offers scheduled hockey games and tournaments designed for both kids and adults. Their state-of-the-art facilities are totally affordable too, which may be welcome news to families traveling around a city known to get a little pricey. There are also daily public ice skating sessions for those who aren't interested in hitting the ice for the sake of competition. If you're starting at a beginner level think about signing up for a skating lesson or find yourself a "skate mate" who can offer a little assistance on the ice!
9. Vans Skatepark
Source: VANS 66 Twitter
Ok, we get it. You're into skating but you didn't travel all the way to Anaheim, California to throw on a winter a jacket and hang out on the ice. If skating is something you prefer to do on dry land, head over to the Vans Skatepark, located in neighboring Orange County. There, visitors can explore the 20,000 indoor street course which includes different obstacles designed for skaters of different levels. They also offer private lessons for those who want to learn how to skate!
10. Knott's Berry Farm
Source: Knotts Twitter
Back to what the Anaheim area is best known for - it's theme parks! Knott's Berry Farm is a 57-acre theme park located in Buena Park, California. It's rides, roller coasters and water slides and themed areas attract upwards of 4 million visitors every year! If you happen to be visiting Anaheim during December, you'll be able to check out Knott's Merry Farm - the park's original Christmas attraction. There, you'll find musical features, festive lights, magical dancing and other activities designed to put you in the holiday spirit.
11. Santa Ana River Trail
Source: San Bernardino NF Twitter
As we mentioned earlier, Anaheim was originally founded by a group of German settlers, and the name reflects that legacy. "Heim" is the German word for "home." The "Ana," however, was taken from somewhere else entirely - the Santa Ana River, one of Southern California's most important natural features. While it isn't a very popular swimming destination for reasons related to water quality and pollution, it does provide some perfect scenery for other kinds of recreations. The river trail is a multi-use trail complex that stretches 30 miles down the river, from the Pacific Ocean to the Orange-River side county line. You can bike, hike, run or walk along this scenic stretch!
12. Yorba Regional Park
Source: via Anaheim.net
What's not to love about a park? Particularly one located in one of the sunniest spots in America. Yorba Regional Park consists of 140 acres of picnic tables, lakes, trails, fishing spots, sailing zones, and more! Plan ahead and make a day of it. You can ever stay for dinner! There are over 200 barbecues located around the park. Take a break from the flashy stuff and spend a few hours getting back in touch with nature.
Source: MUZEO Twitter
If you're trekking around downtown Anaheim make sure to stop by Muzeo, aka Anaheim's museum and culture center. There, you'll find some permanent exhibits detailing Anaheim's history along with a series of rotating programs designed to spotlight diversity, heritage and culture.
14. Anaheim GardenWalk
Source: The Garden Walk Twitter
If you're in the mood to do a little shopping, look no further than the Anaheim GardenWalk. The 430,000-square-foot outdoor entertainment experience features plenty of shops, music venues, restaurants and more. The main plaza is just steps away from the Disneyland Resort a short drive from Angel Stadium and the Honda Center, and minutes away from some fantastic hotels!
15. Sky Zone Trampoline Park
Source: Skyzone Twitter
There are a lot of exciting things to do in Anaheim, California. However, you'd be hard-pressed to find one that offers the same level of stimulation the Sky Zone Trampoline Park does. This sports center offers wall-to-wall aerial action. There's also a rock-climbing wall, ultimate dodgeball, free style zones and a ninja warrior course.
16. Adventure City
That's right. We've circled back to theme parks. We can't help it, there are 11 in Anaheim alone! Adventure City is a particularly good option if you're traveling with small children. The rides are overwhelmingly kid-friendly, with carousels, express trains, an arcade and petting zoo, to boot!
17. Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament
Source: Medieval Times Twitter
Take a special trip back in time! The Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament serves as one of those experiences the family won't soon forget! Settle in a prepare to enjoy a 75-minute spectacular full of chivalry, rivalry, revelry and more! Hailed as "North America’s most popular dinner attraction," the show comes complete with a four-course meal. And yes, in true medieval style, wine is available an abundant for the 21+ crowd.
18. Newport Beach
Source: Newport Beach Twitter
Newport beach is located just 30 minutes away from Anaheim, in Orange County. It's also one of the most visited beaches in all of California. If you're looking to take in some of the famous Gold State sun, think about spending the day on the sand. Of course, there's also the entire town to explore. Newport beach offers tons of things to do, from restaurants, shopping centers, yachts, water adventure or simply hanging around the sandy and soaking up the beach!
19. Flightdeck Simulation Center
Source: Fly Flightdeck Twitter
Looking for a little adventure? Look no further than Orange County's Flightdeck Simulation Center. Located just minutes way from downtown Anaheim, the center provides guests with an opportunity to feel the thrill of aerial maneuvers, from commercial flight experiences to fighter pilot extremes. Those who don't feel like taking the controls are free to relax in the Officers Club and watch all the aerial action on screen. Classroom training and in-flight instruction are also provided. Kids are also welcome! Just as long as they hit the minimum age of 11.
20. Pali Wine Co.
Source: Pali Wine Co Twitter
Ok, so maybe this isn't exactly the most "kid-friendly" suggestion on the list, but if you can arrange a few hours of adult time, try to make it over to the Pali Wine Company. The winery has been open since 2005, after its two founders pooled their resources together to create their signature Pinot Noir. They have tasting rooms throughout California - including one located right in the middle of the Anaheim Packing District!
21. Concourse Bowling Center
Source: Concourse Ent Twitter
If you're into indoor games - no matter the variety - then you've got to check the Concourse Bowling Center. Hailed as "the best bowling alley in Anaheim," the Concourse Bowling Center also has billiards tables and air hockey. Spend the day, plan a party, or simply stop in for a bit to see what all the hype is about! There's also a bar and grill at the venue, so you don't have to worry about going hungry - or otherwise!
22. Pearson Park
Do yourself a favor and take a quick trip to Pear Park. The 19-acre destination was originally opened back in 1927 but was renamed in 1960 in honor of former Anaheim mayor, Charles A. Pearson. There are picnic stables, tennis course, play areas, soccer fields and even a swimming pool to keep the kids entertained. Of course, there's also the amphitheater incorporate into your visit. The events venue can accommodate just over 2,000 seated guests and was designed to replicate the beautiful Spanish-style architecture, with terra-cotta roof tiles; Wisteria and Bougainvillea-shaded column-supported arbors; and a landscape of towering Mexican Fan Palms.
23. Oak Canyon Nature Center
If you're heading out west for the landscape, make sure to visit Oak Canyon Nature Center. The 58-acre natural parked is the perfect place to get up close and personal with nature. Consisting of three adjoining canyons, four miles of hiking trails and one of the few remaining areas of oak woodland and coastal sage scrub in the region, Oak Canyon Nature Center truly provides something special to those who visit. There are also tons of native wildlife to discover, making it a California experiences the kids won't soon forget.
24. The Heritage Museum of Orange County
Source: Heritage MusOC Twitter
The Heritage Museum of Orange County is just a quick drive from Anaheim. It's considered one of the most important cultural and natural history centers throughout California. The historic plaza covers almost 12 acres of floral gardens, orange groves and history buildings from the 1890s. The museum serves as a popular location for school, trips weddings and other private events.
25. Taco Night at Pour Vida
Source: Facebook You can't travel to Anaheim, California without stopping in for some tacos. Of course, the options can get a little overwhelming, so we decided to do a little research and track down some of the most popular taco spots throughout the city. Pour Vida is an Anaheim favorite. The place has a sprawling selection of imaginative tacos, with combos like "pork & plantain," "BBQ salmon," and more!
26. Great Wolf Lodge
Our southern California property is located in the city of Garden Grove, just 15 minutes outside of Anaheim. At 121,000 square feet, it remains our largest of all our resorts. The 84-degree indoor water park includes our signature six-story Howlin' Tornado as well as our dual body surfing experience, Wolf Rider Wipeout. There's also the massive wave pool and lazy to check out. Of course, the adventure doesn't stop once you dry off. Other activities and attractions include our live action interactive game, MagiQuest, our bowling alley, and Story Time, hosted each evening in the Grand Lobby. The property also contains seven unique dining experiences and 603 suites to choose from. Head down to the front desk when you want to explore outside of the resort.
As you can see, there's a lot going on in Anaheim, California. From theme parks to shopping centers and, of course, Great Wolf Lodge! Check out some of the destinations we've highlighted next time you make it over to the west coast! Whether you're there for the weekend or a more extended stay, there's no shortage of things to do and places to see! Head to our main site to learn more about our southern California location. Explore our indoor water park, outdoor adventure area, themed suites and more. It's a great place to stay when away from home. We hope to see you soon!