Attractions

Air Combat USA

Dogfight training in actual high-performance small planes. Instructors handle takeoff and landing, riders have control in the air. Fullerton Municipal Airport, 3815 W. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, 800.522.7590.

Aquarium of the PacificAquarium of the Pacific

Aquarium of the Pacific One of the largest aquariums in the U.S.; highlights include Shark Lagoon, Lorikeet Forest and ethereal sea jellies. Daily 9 am-6 pm. $14.95-$25.95, under 3 free. 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, 562.590.3100.  aquariumofpacific.org

Balboa Boat Rentals and Parasail 

Panoramic views of Newport Beach and harbor while you’re aloft; choice of altitudes. Boat, kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals, too. Parasailing $65-$75. 510 E. Edgewater, Balboa, 949.673.7200 Map N15

CA Surf ‘N’ Paddle 

Surf and paddleboard lessons, rentals of beach chairs, surfboards and other beach and water equipment. 689 and 695 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949.497.1423 Map I16

Captain Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Safari

Dolphin and whale-watching excursions. Departures daily. $35-$55, under 3 free. 24440 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, 949.488.2828

China Cove Kayak Adventures

Customized kayak tours around Newport Bay. Bicycle adventures, too. Hidden beach Jeep and kayak tour is new.
949.632.4694, chinacovekayakadventures.com

Clint Carroll Surf School

Son of surf great Corky Carroll offers instruction at all levels. Beach transport and equipment provided. Newport Cruisers Bike Rental Shop, 111 23rd St., Newport Beach, 949.355.7285 Map N15

Country Trails and Riding School

Guided horseback rides among massive coast live oaks and California sycamores. Tu-Su. Irvine Regional Park, 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, 714.538.5860, ctriding.com
Map C5

Crystal cathedral

The renowned church boasts three architectural treasures: Philip Johnson’s spectacular glass cathedral, Richard Neutra’s Tower of Hope and Richard Meier’s International Center for Positive Thinking. Tours M–Sa 9 am–3:30 pm. Free. 12141 Lewis St., Garden Grove, 714.971.4000.

Dana Wharf Sportfishing Dana Wharf Sportfishing

Year-round fishing and whale-watching trips from south Orange County. Dana Point Harbor, 34675 Golden Lantern St., Dana Point, 949.496.5794. danawharf.com

Discovery Science CenterDiscovery Science Center

120 hands-on exhibits, live shows, laser theater. Boeing Rocket Lab offers exhibits inside the tilting cube. Opening June 8, Da Vinci—The Genius and Da Vinci Jr. Continuing, LEGO Castle Adventure. Daily 10 am-5 pm, Su 11 am-5 pm. $12.95-$15.95, under 3 free. 2500 N. Main St., Santa Ana, 714.542.2823. discoverycube.org

DisneylandDisneyland

Mickey Mouse’s first theme park includes 55 attractions in eight lands, from Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln on Main Street, U.S.A., to Innoventions and Star Tours—the Adventure continues in Tomorrowland. The Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries and the Mickey’s Magical Map show in Fantasyland are new. Call for hours. Admission (includes all rides and attractions): $81-$87, under 3 free. 1313 S. Disneyland Drive, Anaheim, 714.781.4565. disneyland.disney.go.com

Disney California Adventure

Spectacular Pixar-inspired Cars Land and Buena Vista Street are new. Classics include spectacular nighttime water show World of Color; Soarin’ Over California; California Screamin’; Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Call for hours. Admission (includes all rides and attractions): $81-$87. 1313 S. Disneyland Drive, Anaheim, 714.781.4565. disneyland.disney.go.com

Downtown Disney

Twenty-acre pedestrian promenade adjacent to Disney parks offers dining, shopping, cinema and nightlife, including House of Blues, Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen and ESPN Zone. Non-gated, free admission. 1510-1590 S. Disneyland Drive, Anaheim, 714.781.4565 .

FLIGHTDECK air combat centerFLIGHTDECK air combat center

Civilians turn into dogfighting machines using very realistic F-16 fighter jet cockpit simulators. No experience necessary. Minimum age 11, height 4’ 11”. Starts at $59. Tu-Su 11:30 am-8:30 pm. 1650 S. Sinclair, Anaheim, 714.937.1511. flightdeck1.com

FULLERTON ARBORETUM

County’s largest botanical garden, with 26 lush acres and more than 4,000 unusual plant species set amid ponds and streams. June, M-Th 8 am-8 pm; F-Su and July-Aug., 8 am-4:30 pm Free; $3 suggested donation. 1900 Associated Road, Fullerton, 657.278.3407.

 

jetlevJetPack America

New water-propelled-jet-pack adventure in (and over, of course!) Newport Harbor. $159-$549. 2600 Newport Blvd., Newport Beach, 888.553.6471 Map N13

K1 Speed

Indoor kart racing offers challenging track for speed enthusiasts. Arrangements for private parties or corporate events possible. $20. 17221 Von Karman Ave., Irvine, 949.250.0242; 1000 N. Edward Ct., Anaheim, 714.632.6999.

Knott’s Berry Farm

More than 165 rides and attractions. Premier collection of coasters includes Silver Bullet, GhostRider, Xcelerator and WindSeeker. Call for hours and prices; under 3 free. Knott’s Soak City Water Park adjacent (separate admission). 8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, 714.220.5200.

MEDIEVAL TIMES

Dinner theater show featuring jousting knights, Lipizzaner stallions, swordsmanship and falconry, four-course feast. Medieval Torture Museum. $35.95-$57.95. 7662 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, 866.543.9637.

Ocean Institute

Live presentations aboard tall ship Pilgrim, docked in Dana Point Harbor; tide-pool sessions; marine-mammal exploration cruises; blue-whale safaris. Sa-Su 10 am-3 pm; behind-the-scenes tour Th-F 3:30 pm. $4.50-$6.50, under 3 free. 24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, 949.496.2274.

oc-great-parkORANGE COUNTY GREAT PARK

Huge in-progress park is bigger than New York’s Central Park. Tethered-balloon rides, $5-$10, under 6 free. Carousel, $2. Farmers market, Su 10 am-2 pm. Interstate 5, Sand Canyon Avenue and Irvine Boulevard. Great Park Balloon and Preview Park, Perimeter Road, Irvine, 866.829.3829. ocgp.org

Orange County Zoo

New lion cubs! Charming, rustic zoo features plants and animals from Southwestern U.S. Audio tours are new. M-F 10 am-3:30 pm, Sa-Su until 4:30 pm. $2, under 2 free. Parking $3-$5. Irvine Regional Park, 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, 714.973.6847.

Pedego Electric Bikes

Electric bike rentals $14 per hour with two-hour minimum or $50 per day. Tour three piers and Newport Harbor for $69. 301 Fifth St., Huntington Beach, 714.465.2782; 2515 E. Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar, 949.612.7989; 34155 Pacific Coast Hwy., Dana Point, 949.488.0696; 1065 Pacific Coast Hwy., Seal Beach, 562.296.5782 Map N9, M16, J16, C1

pirates-dinner-adventure-buena-parkPirate’s Dinner Adventure

Swashbuckling swordplay, aerial artistry, cannon blasts, pyrotechnics, comedy, romance aboard Spanish galleon replica in lagoon. Call for hours. $39.95-$58.95, under 3 free. 7600 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, 714.690.1497. piratesdinneradventure.com

PRETEND CITY CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

Interconnected, interactive miniature city for children from infant to 8 years old. Tu-Su 10 am-5 pm; M until 1 pm. $12.50. 29 Hubble, Irvine, 949.428.3900.

Queen Mary Ship and Seaport

Historic ocean liner—bigger than the Titanic!—permanently berthed in Long Beach Harbor. Shops, dining, art deco lounge. Continuing: Diana: Legacy of a Princess. Shops, dining, art deco lounge; Russian Foxtrot Submarine adjacent. Self-guided and guided tours, M-Th 10 am-6 pm, F-Su 10 am-7 pm. $14.95-$24.95, under 5 free. 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, 562.435.3511. queenmary.com

nixon-libraryRichard Nixon Library & Birthplace

Provocative exhibits include the presidential helicopter, the presidential tapes and a permanent Watergate gallery. Continuing Richard Nixon Centennial Exhibit. Garden tours on Saturdays. M-Sa 10 am-5 pm; Su 11 am-5 pm. $4.75-$11.95, under 6 free. 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda, 714.993.5075. nixonfoundation.org

Rockreation

Indoor climbing facility with instruction at all levels. M-Th noon-10 pm, F until 9 pm; Sa-Su 10 am-6 pm. $11-$16. 1300 Logan Ave., Costa Mesa, 714.556.7625.

sdz-safari-parkSafari Park (Formerly Wild Animal Park)

1,800-acre wildlife preserve with vast enclosures resembling African and Asian plains. $44; children 3-11 $34; kids 2 and under free; seniors 60 and over $39.60. Cars $10-15. Open daily, Through June 28 9 am-5 pm, June 29-Aug. 18 9 am-7 pm, Aug. 19-Sept. 6 9 am-6 pm. 15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, 760.747.8702. sdzsafaripark.org

san-diego-zooSan Diego Zoo

Renowned zoo has some 4,000 rare and endangered animals in state-of-the-art environments. $44; kids 3-11 $34; kids 2 and under free; seniors 60+ $39.60. Free parking. Open daily, call for hours. 2920 Zoo Drive, Balboa Park, 619.231.1515. sandiegozoo.org

Santa Ana Zoo

Modest, idyllic zoo. Tierra de las Pampas exhibit features giant anteaters and greater rheas. Daily, 10 am-4 pm. $7-$10, under 3 free. 1801 E. Chestnut Ave., Santa Ana, 714.835.7484

SeaWorld

Home of Shamu. Marine-themed attractions include new Turtle Reef, thrill ride Journey to Atlantis and Blue Horizons show. Open daily. Call for hours, combo rates. $70-$78, under 3 free. 500 SeaWorld Drive, San Diego, 800.25.SHAMU.

Sherman Library & Gardens

Ten gardens showcase intimate botanical collection. Library research center. Daily 10:30 am-4 pm. Library open T-Th 9 am-4:30 pm. $1-$3, under 12 free. Free on Mondays. 2647 E. Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar, 949.673.2261.

Sky High Sports

Fun center features 360 degrees of trampoline walls; free-bounce, dodgeball and AIRobics. $12 per hour. Call for hours. 2970 Airway Ave., Costa Mesa, 714.437.5867.

Skythrills

Aerobatics in biplanes. Receive instruction, assume control of the aircraft, execute maneuvers such as a loop, roll, spin or inverted pass over the coast—no experience necessary! Or gentler flights in open-cockpit 1930s biplane. Rides videotaped and include DVD. 230 Dale Place, Fullerton, 866.484.7455
Map A2

Sup Co

Paddleboard on the open waters of the Pacific Ocean. Lessons and rentals—and even paddleboard yoga classes—are available. Daily 9 am-8 pm. $30-$69. 1103 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, 949.715.9730 Map I16

thrill-itThrill It Fun Center

New indoor family-fun center features laser tag, rock climbing walls, high ropes course and mechanical bull. Open M-Th 1 pm-9 pm, F 1 pm-11 pm, Sa 10 am-11 pm, Su 11 am-9 pm. The Outlets at Orange, 20 City Blvd., West, Orange, 714.937.1600. thrillit.com 

 

Universal Studios HollywoodUniversal Studios Hollywood

World’s biggest motion picture/TV studio. Rides include Jurassic Park, Simpsons Ride, Special Effects Stage, King Kong 360 3-D. Tram studio tour includes War of the Worlds and Desperate Housewives’ Wisteria Lane. VIP Experience is private guided tour through prop warehouse, working movie sets, soundstages. Call for hours. $76-$84, under 3 free. VIP Experience $259. 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, 800. universalstudioshollywood.com

Vans Skatepark

Skateboard mecca has combi pool, open street course and mini-ramps; Vans store is adjacent. Daily 10 am-10 pm. $12/session (2 hrs.) weekdays; $15/session weekends. The Outlets at Orange, 20 City Blvd. W., Orange, 714.769.3800.

 

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