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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
New water-propelled-jet-pack adventure in (and over, of course!) Newport Harbor. $159-$549. 2600 Newport Blvd., Newport Beach, 888.553.6471.
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.
Find 50-plus rides and shows, and Sea Life Aquarium’s 7-foot-long Lego submarine. Check out the new waterpark complete with lazy river (open seasonally). dults $80; kids 3-12 and seniors 60+ $70 (add $13/ticket for admission to aquarium or waterpark; add $19/ticket for admission to all three). Aquarium-only; adults $20; kids 3-12 $15. Parking $12-20. Call for hours. 1 Legoland Drive, Carlsbad, 760.918.5346. legoland.com
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.
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.
ORANGE 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.
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.
Pirate’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.
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.
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
Richard 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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.