Fun Things to Do in Orange County Before the End of Summer

By Alice Sun
Alice Sun
Alice Sun
July 10, 2022 Updated: July 10, 2022

Orange County, California is not only the home of Disneyland and many other theme parks, but it also has many amazing outdoor activities, spectacular shopping centers, and idyllic oceanfront towns. Here’s a list of activities that can help you and your friends and family spend some time together and escape the summer heat.

Knott’s Soak City Waterpark

Soak City is a 15-acre water adventure park adjacent to Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park. The waterpark boasts 23 slides including Shore Break, featuring a seven-story, 60-foot high drop. It also includes family raft rides, a 750,000-gallon wave pool, and a three‑story beach house with 200 water guns, nozzles, sprayers, and more. Daily admission starts from $48. The park opens on select days through Sept. 18.

The Adventure Lagoon

The Adventure Lagoon aqua park is a newer attraction located in the city of Anaheim. The park consists of multiple floating structures connected in a ring shape on top of a freshwater lake that stays at 74 to 78 degrees year-round. The floating attraction features several climbing stations that allow kids to bounce, slide, or splash. Beach chairs are provided on a first-come, first-served basis. All minors need to be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian, and lifeguards are on site. General admission starts at $30, with an obstacle course and kayaking available at an additional cost. The park is open every day from May 28 through Sept. 30.

Great Park Balloon Ride

One of the most iconic attractions in Irvine is the Great Park Balloon sponsored by FivePoint, a local community developer. It’s one of the largest tethered helium balloons and the first of its kind in the United States. The balloon serves as a public observation deck and can soar 400 feet above the surrounding landscape. It offers an unmatched 360 degree view that spans 40 miles. The balloon rides are offered from Thursday to Sunday at various times. Parking and admission to the balloon are free. For information, call the Visitors Center at 949-724-6247.

Crystal Cove State Park

Crystal Cove State Park is a hidden gem in the Orange County region. The park features 3.2 miles of beach, 2,400 acres of backcountry wilderness, and an offshore underwater kelp forest. Visitors can not only explore wooded canyons, but also see spectacular coastal views and diverse wildlife. The park also features primitive campgrounds, hiking trails, and bike riding trails with a variety of difficulty levels. The park opens from 6 a.m. to sunset. Visitors can buy a day pass at $15 per vehicle.

Free Trolley to Laguna Beach

Every summer, Laguna Beach provides free trolley rides to art galleries, hiking trails, and beaches in the area. These nostalgic vehicles drive along the coastline all summer long, taking visitors from north Laguna all the way south to the Ritz Carlton Laguna Beach. Free transportation is available seven days a week with various wait times. The trolley runs from June 24 to September 5. Visit Laguna Beach’s official website for the scheduled route.

Discover Upper Newport Bay Kayak Tour

Newport Bay Conservancy is hosting group kayak tours this summer in the ecological reserve of Upper Newport Bay. Kayaking the Bay is one of the best ways to appreciate the beauty of the area and to see pelicans, terns, and egrets. Each public kayaking tour accommodates up to 20 people and is guided by certified volunteer naturalists. The tour is two hours long, including an introductory lesson, paddling the Bay, and putting away equipment. The tours are offered on Saturdays from 10 to 12 p.m. Tickets start at $25. Location: Newport Aquatic Center.

Alice Sun