Ten Things to Do in Anaheim on Your Day Off from Disneyland

As a former Long Beach resident, I lived 20 minutes from Disneyland Resort and Anaheim. For the past 15 years I’ve visited museums, jumped at the newest trampoline park, and dueled with the (other) Pirates. Take a look at some of the alternative fun experiences in Anaheim and surrounding areas just minutes away from Disneyland Resort.

Be sure to check each activity for any health and safety restrictions, face covering requirements, etc. as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Family Activities in Buena ParkThe entrance to Knott's Theme Park

Buena Park is roughly 10 minutes away from Disneyland. Certainly Knott’s Berry Farm is the big draw in Buena Park but nearby are some noteworthy alternatives to a day at a theme park. You can also enjoy their Knott’s Merry Farm Christmas decorations during the holidays.

Big AirBig Air trampoline park in Buena Park

Although Anaheim has its own trampoline park, Big Air is closer to Disneyland and within walking distance to Knott’s Berry Farm. This jumping gym includes Airstrike (dodgeball), The Bullpen (mechanical bull riding), and the X Wall where climbers can test their skills.

Prices are listed as $18.50 per hour for all ages plus an additional $3 for the required socks. This is a great way for your little ones burn off their excess energy. The gym is inside the Buena Park Mall across from Knott’s Berry Farm.

Medieval Times Dinner and TournamentMedieval Times in Buena Park.

This interactive dinner experience offers a rousing jousting tournament within a replicated 11th century castle. Guests will cheer on their own knight to win the grand finale while they savor a bountiful meal with the queen and her royal court. The menu includes garlic bread, tomato bisque soup, roasted chicken, vegetables, and dessert.  Alcoholic drinks are available at an additional cost.  Guests can also opt for vegetarian meals.

The general ticket package includes the show and the meal for $63.95/adults and $36.95/ kids 12 and under. There are three different package upgrades available for an additional fee to maximize the experience. Certainly call for reservations. You can also get discount tickets for Medieval Times through our trusted travel partner, Get Away Today, here. You can save up to $12 per ticket!

Pirates Dinner AdventurePirates Adventure Dinner in Buena Park

Similar to the interactive show and dinner theme as Medieval Times, Pirates Dinner Adventure features pirates dueling with swords, walking the plank, and swinging along the rigging of a replicated Spanish galleon.  Guests will enjoy a full-course meal with appetizer, roasted chicken entrée, shrimp, potatoes, and a brownie dessert all while watching the action unfolding.  Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and kids’ menus are options as well.

General admission for visitors 12 and up is $61.95.  Kids ages 3-11 cost $36.95 and 2 and under are free. You can also get discount tickets for Pirates Dinner Adventure through our trusted travel partner, Get Away Today, here. You can save up to $13 per ticket!

Family Activities in AnaheimTrolley in California Adventure

Not far from Disneyland Resort are several large entertainment venues for families and smaller ones for one-one-one activities.

Anaheim AngelsAnaheim Angels Stadium with blue sky background

Major league baseball kicks off its season in March so celebrate with an Anaheim Angels game! The stadium is a few miles from Disneyland Resort so make an afternoon or evening of it to enjoy so baseball, peanuts, and popcorn under a calm California night.

Tickets are available on the website but book early because they go quickly.  You can also check with your hotel concierge if you decided later to catch a game.

Anaheim Ducks/Honda CenterThe Honda Center building with blue sky background.

A few miles to the east of Disneyland is home to the Anaheim Ducks hockey team- The Honda Center. If you’re a hockey fan, check the schedule for a game during your Disneyland visit. In addition, The Honda Center also hosts plenty of other activities throughout the year such sporting events, concerts, and family activities. Big name draws include The Harlem Globetrotters, Pink! in April, and Elton John in the fall.

Check the website for more information.

Anaheim Packing DistrictAnaheim Packing District with crowds of people walking up the stairs

Centered in downtown Anaheim sits the Anaheim Packing District comprised of local historic landmarks. The focal point is the Anaheim Packing House, a 1919 orange packing warehouse which has been transformed into a two-story food hall. The Anaheim Packing District as a whole, includes more than 30 food and drink options, including the Anaheim Brewery nestled in the historic Packard building. Foodies of all ages will find something spectacular to savor including a grill cheese bar, fish and chips specialty shop, soul food, sushi, and handcrafted gelato.

With a calendar full of local entertainment and events, the Anaheim Packing District is a definite delight.

Escape RoomMission Escape Games, Anaheim with blue sky background

Escape Room adventures are all the rage and Anaheim is no exception. There are many from which to chose in the area but the closest to Disneyland Resort is Mission Escape Games which is actually within walking distance from the parks.

The idea of the escape rooms is persons are locked in a selected room then have 60-minutes in which to solve puzzles and brain-teasers in order to break out of the room. Mission Escape Games currently offers a choice of two puzzles- “Escape the Hydeout”(Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde) and “Escape the Darkest Hour:  Torture Chamber”.  “Escape the Hydeout” is considered a public mystery game which means you may be put with people not in your group. “Escape the Darkest Hour:  Torture Chamber” is a horror themed game which is private up to 10 people.

Reservations are highly recommended for both games. The adventures are recommended for ages 10 and older; kids under the age of 18 need an adult with them. Games rotate periodically so check the website for the newest escape route.

FlightdeckFlightdeck room with people sitting in flight ships

Voted one of the Top 10 activities in Anaheim, Flightdeck flight simulation experience is a definite must. My son celebrated his 9th birthday here so I know all about this adventure.

Both kids and adults can chose from various simulations including flying military jets or trying to land a commercial Boeing airliner. The fighter jets simulated include three different level options but you must complete each level in order to advance to the next. These 70-80 minute Top Gun simulations include a full 40 minute piloting experience. The Boeing journey is a 60 minute experience or 90 if you choose a more challenge route through varied weather circumstances and different airports.

Packages start at $59 per person which includes classroom training and in-flight instructors. Only two miles from Disneyland, I highly recommend this experience for your Top Guns.

K1 SpeedK1 speed go-kart course with red track

Another Top 10 experiences in Anaheim is indoor karting at K1 Speed. This go-karting facility houses professionally-designed tracks on which high-performance electric karts can reach up to 45 mph!  The “Arrive and Drive” experience is for walk-ins who want to test the thrill. Up to 12 racers take the track at one time to race against the clock.  There are several packages from which to choose including one, two, or three laps.

The best seller is “speedpass” for $55 which includes two laps, a commemorative tee-shirt, and membership. Karts are available for both adults and junior-sized.

Discovery CenterDiscovery Cube with T-rek skeleton in front of it

Not far from Disneyland off the freeway is a large cube-shaped building. Adjacent to Santa Ana’s Mainplace Mall, the Discovery Cube Santa Ana beckons kids and adults alike to explore the world of science, water, and even ice hockey. My kids loved visiting this science center, especially checking out the interactive exhibits including the shake shack which simulates a California earthquake. The Discovery Theater offers 3D shows for viewers who want to go to space or deep into the ocean.

General admission tickets costs $19.95 ages 15 and up, seniors get a discount at $16.95, and kids ages 3-14 are $14.95. The 3D movies are an additional $3 each.  The website has updated information regarding exhibits.

There are plenty more fun activities outside Disneyland Resort but these listed are closest to the Resort. If you rented a car then just check websites for directions. For visitors without transportation, local taxis and Ubers can transport you to where you need to go, so check with your hotel concierge.

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Disclosure: We have used all the products recommended on Mickey Visit. We may receive compensation when you click on links to some products featured.

About Lisa Stiglic

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