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The 20 Best Things to Do in Anaheim for First Timers

Knott’s Berry Farm

Anaheim is best known as the location of the Californian branch of Disneyland. While this is the top attraction in this Californian city, there are plenty of other things to see and do during your stay as there are activities for all ages and attractions to suit all tastes. With such a vast array of things to see and do, some planning is needed to make sure you get the most out of your time in Anaheim. To help you get the best experience possible during your vacation in this city, the following are the 20 best things to do in Anaheim for first-timers.

The Discovery Cube

20. Get Interactive with the Exhibitions at The Discovery Cube

A fantastic activity for all the family is a visit to The Cube, says Trip Savvy. This is the top science museum in Orange County, and it is located just outside Anaheim in Santa Ana. Both children and adults alike enjoy exploring the 10-story solar cube, which contains more than 100 interactive exhibits. Some of the highlights include a hands-on exhibit about hockey and the Boeing Rocket Lab.

Bruery Terreux

19. Have a Drink at Bruery Terreux

If you are a beer and ale fan, then you should visit Buery Terreux. This is a boutique craft brewery that specializes in farmhouse-style sour and wild ales. The company was founded in 2008, and it has managed to combine traditional and rustic with modern and innovative. Every year, they brew dozens of new beers. Visitors can go to the Tasting Room to sample some of their products, including the 47 different beers on tap.

President Nixon

18. Learn About President Nixon

Former United States President Nixon was born in Yorba Linda, just outside Anaheim. His former home is a mansion on a nine-acre estate that has now been transformed into The Nixon Library and Museum. Although the original home is the main attraction, there are also beautiful grounds to explore and 22 high-tech galleries that are about the life and times of Richard Nixon, the 37th President of the United States.

Angel Stadium of Anaheim Tour

17. Take the Angel Stadium of Anaheim Tour

An excellent activity for sports fans is to take the Angel Stadium of Anaheim Tour. The stadium, which is known as ‘The Big A’, is a place where you can learn about the history of baseball. Visitors also get a behind-the-scenes look at areas of stadiums that the public does not usually see. During the 75-minute tour, visitors will see the dugout, the clubhouse, and the stadium field.

The Ranch

16. Have a Fun Meal at The Ranch

There are many excellent restaurants in and around Anaheim, but you should try to have at least one meal at The Ranch. The inspiration for this restaurant was a famous restaurant that is now closed called the Crazy Horse Steakhouse and Saloon. At The Ranch, there is luxurious décor and lie country music and dancing. There are three kitchens, a restaurant, a saloon, and a private dining area. Former diners say that the food served at this restaurant is exquisite, and there is a fun vibe that enhances the overall dining experience.

Sky Zone Anaheim Trampoline Park

15. Burn Off Some Energy at the Sky Zone Anaheim Trampoline Park

An energetic activity that all the family can enjoy is trampolining at the Sky Zone Anaheim Indoor Trampoline Park. It was the first indoor trampoline park in the world, and it has been opened since 2012. Visitors can bounce to their heart’s content, and somersault into pits filled with foam cubes. There are plenty more fun activities to enjoy, such as dodgeball and fitness classes.

House of Blues Anaheim

14. Watch a Show at the House of Blues Anaheim

A fantastic performance venue to visit in Anaheim is the House of Blues Anaheim, which relocated from Downtown Disney to the GardenWalk in 2017. This attraction is split into four separate live music rooms, each of which offers a different music listening and New Orleans dining experience. If you want to watch a performance at this venue, it is important to book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.

Medieval Times

13. Enjoy Old-Fashioned Fun and Food at Medieval Times

Something fun for all the family to enjoy in the evening is a night of entertainment and food at Medieval Times, says Planetware. This novelty venue has a Medieval theme, so guests can enjoy a night of entertainment that includes jousting, falconry, and horseback riding. While the entertainment is underway, guests are served a Medieval feast of roast chicken with multiple side dishes.

City National Grove

12. See a Show at the City National Grove

The City National Grove of Anaheim is a medium-sized event space in Anaheim that has a jam-packed schedule throughout the year. It hosts more than 200 events annually, varying from comedy shows to sophisticated concerts. If you are looking for activities to enjoy in the evenings, then this is a fantastic option. However, it is something that you should investigate before your trip by checking what is on and booking tickets in advance.

Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center

11. Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center

A great place to learn about the history and creative expression of the region is the Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center (, which is located in the historic downtown Carnegie Library. Entry to the Carnegie Gallery in the museum is free, and this gives you a tour through the history of Anaheim. Many people consider the exterior to the building an exhibit in its own right, but the highlight is the works of art within the building. In addition to the permanent exhibitions, there are temporary exhibitions lent from other local galleries. This venue also hosts a range of events and workshops throughout the year.

Oak Canyon Nature Center

10. Oak Canyon Nature Center

If you are a fan of the outdoors, then a wonderful place to visit is the Oak Canyon Nature Center. The purpose of this 58-acre natural park is to connect its visitors with the natural habitat of Southern California. There are four miles of hiking trails that are lined with interpretive information, and there is an informative nature center. One feature of this park is the Roadrunner ridge, which is an elevated trail that will give you a new perspective on the canyon environment.

Knott’s Berry Farm

9. Take the Kids to Knott’s Berry Farm

Knott’s Berry Farm combines two theme parks in one, which makes it arguably one of the top attractions in Anaheim. Knott’s Berry Farm is the main theme park, which has rides for people of all ages, along with other attractions, various entertainment options, a ghost town, and many unique dining experiences. Also within the park is the Knott’s Soak City water park, so there are hours of water-based fun for people to enjoy. It is the largest water park in Orange County, and it boasts 20 waterslides, a giant wave pool, an interactive kids’ play area, and a lazy river. You can spend a full day at this theme park, and you may even need to visit twice so that you can spend one day at Knott’s Berry Farm and another day at Knotts Soak City.

Honda Center

8. Enjoy Sports or Music at the Honda Center

The Honda Center is the home ground of the Anaheim Ducks hockey team. During hockey season, Time Out says that this venue can accommodate up to 17 thousand fans. If you are in the city during the hockey season, then it is worth getting tickets as there is an amazing vibe. Even if it is not hockey season, there are still plenty of reasons to visit the center. Out of season, it is used as a venue for many other sports, such as wrestling, and also for live music performances from major acts. Check out what is on before visiting the area to see if there is an event that captures your interest.

Adventure City

7. Visit Adventure City for Fun and Thrills

Those who are not sick of theme parks after visiting Disneyland Resort can also visit Adventure City. This theme park has been open since 1994, and it has rides to please everyone. There are evens some historic attractions in the park, such as a1946 carousel with 20 horse figures. Other than the rises, there are also other attractions, including a petting farm, a children’s rock climbing wall, an arcade, and a children’s theater.

Packing District

6. Enjoy a Meal in the Packing District

Time Out recommends the Packing District as a brilliant place to find somewhere amazing to eat. The district has been split into three revamped destinations, one of which is the former Sunkist citrus plant, the Packing House. This has been converted into a modern food hall with everything from full-service restaurants to specialist food stalls. You will find almost every cuisine imaginable in this food hall, so there is something to suit all tastes.

Yorba Regional Park

5. Explore the Outdoors at Yorba Regional Park

Although the theme parks in Anaheim will take up most of your vacation, you should make time to explore some of the natural beauty in the area. Vacation Idea recommends spending a couple of hours at Yorba Regional Park. This 140-acre park is located at the mouth of the Santa Ana Canyon. There are more than 400 picnic tables in the park, and there are multiple trails for hiking and cycling. Some of the trails connect to the Santa Ana River Trail, which will eventually take you to the Pacific Ocean. In the park, there are also four lakes that are connected by streams, and you will often see people fishing or sailing their model boats. Entry to Yorba Regional Park is free, so this is an ideal activity for outdoor lovers on a budget.

Downtown Disney District

4. Continue the Disney-Themed Fun at the Downtown Disney District

To keep as much of your vacation as possible focused on Disneyland, for which Anaheim is most famous, you should spend time at the Downtown Disney District. This is an outdoor area of entertainment venues, restaurants, and shops. Both local residents and tourists enjoy spending time at this location. Some of the attractions you will find at the Downtown Disney District include Swing Dancing and AMC Theaters Downtown Disney 12. Although there is plenty to do at Disney Downtown District in the day, many visitors would argue that it is best to visit in the evenings when there is a livelier vibe.

Flightdeck Flight Simulation Center

3. Pretend You’re a Pilot at the Flightdeck Flight Simulation Center

If you have ever dreamed of becoming a pilot and you want to try your hand at sitting in a cabin flying a plane, then you can get a simulated experience of this at the Flightdeck Flight Simulation Center. There are several different experiences you can try. For example, one option is a military flight simulator, and another is a commercial flight in a Boeing 747.

Disney California Adventure Park

2. Enjoy a Californian Experience at Disney California Adventure Park

Disney California Adventure Park is the second theme park in Disneyland Resort along with Disneyland Park. All the rides, shows, attractions, shops, and restaurants in this park have a Californian theme. Like Disneyland Park, you will need a minimum of a full day to explore everything that Disney California Adventure Park. It is best to arrive early in the morning as there are long queues to enter the park.


1. Wonder at the Magic of Disneyland Park

Without any doubt, the most popular attraction and the best thing to do in Anaheim for first-timers is Disneyland Park. It is for this attraction alone that many people choose Anaheim as a destination for their vacation. You will probably need more than a day to get around everything there is to see and do in the park, as it is filled with rides for people of all ages along with multiple attractions, shops, and restaurants.

Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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