Orange County is full of fun and interesting places to take the kids! Even better, many of them are free! Keep this list for the next time you need a slightly offbeat family outing, or forward it to your nanny and know you’ve helped your kids have a new, awesome, educational, adventure!
Farm+Food Lab at Orange County Great Park
open 7 days a week 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Enhance your gardening knowledge or learn basics about how to start your own garden at Farm+Food Lab at Orange County Great Park! The experience features themed raised bed gardens, fruit trees, vertical gardening, a chicken coop, a worm compost bin, and solar and wind powered lights. Use gourds to make music, visit the pizza and spaghetti garden, watch hens laying eggs or take a pickling class!
Laguna Hills Community Center and Sports Complex
M-Sa 8:00 am-10:00 pm
Sunday-12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
There are many options for fun and exercise at the Laguna Hills Community Center and Sports Complex. It boasts a softball field, baseball field, soccer field, skate park, roller hockey rink, snack bar, picnic shelter, and a prehistoric playground. It also offers audio tours of fossil display and a self guided paleopack program for children 2-9. Don’t forget to make a reservation!
Laguna Koi Ponds
M-F 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday & Sunday 10:00 am – 5:00pm
If a quieter day with the kiddos is your cup of tea, then Laguna Koi Ponds should definitely be on your list of places to visit! It includes 35000 gallons of display ponds filled with koi. Watch as your children faces fill with wonder at the beautiful swimming fish.
Pacific Marine Mammal Center
7 days a week 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
The Pacific Marine Mammal Center rescues, rehabilitates, and releases marine mammals stranded along the Orange County Coast. Take your mini marine biologists to check out the amazing program!
Open M-F 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Saturday & Sunday 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Centennial Farm is a three acre working farm, created to educate youth on the importance of agriculture. Your Children can see fruit and veggie gardens, as well as pigs, chickens, cattle, and goats.
Environmental Nature Center Butterfly House
Open 7 days a week 10:00 am- 3:00 pm
The Environmental Nature Center Butterfly House is a unique and fun experience for the whole family! It is home to many different species of butterflies, as well as a nursery of chrysalises that can be witnessed turning into beautiful adult butterflies.
Crafts for Kids at Lakeshore Learning Store
Saturday 11:00 am-3:00 pm
Have some budding artists in your family clan? Crafts for kids is your perfect Saturday activity! It is a free crafts program for kids ages 3 and up. No reservation is required so just show up and have fun creating!
Train Rides at Fairview Park
Third Saturday of every month 10:00 am-3:30 pm
The trains at Fairview Park have over 5 miles of track to chug along! There are a variety of engines and riding cars to see and ride in. Choo Choo!
Kids Workshops at Home Depot
First Saturday of every month 9:00 am- 12:00 pm
Young craftsmen who attend this event will receive a Kids Workshop apron, commemorative pin, and a certificate of achievement. The program includes a fun and educational project for the whole family! In order to secure your spot, it is best to register online before attending.
Heritage Hill Historical Park
T-Sa 9:00 am-5:00 pm
Heritage Hill Historical Park is a great day trip for the entire family. It combines education and fun effortlessly into one experience. The park includes 4.1 acres of fully restored and furnished historic building that span he early history of Saddleback Valley and El Toro area from the Mexican Rancho era, to the founding of the town of El Toro, through the citrus farming days of the early twentieth century. Even the landscaping in the park is historically accurate! Tag along on a guided tour Wednesday through Sunday.