The famous mouse and the city of Anaheim go hand in hand for families ready to enjoy a giant theme park vacation. Spending time at Disneyland is almost a rite of passage for many little ones, so we completely embrace the excitement of this iconic destination – have a blast! However, it’s never good to overload on one thing, which can lead to frustration, kiddie meltdowns, and grumpy grownups. So, what to do in Anaheim besides Disneyland?
When visiting and staying Anaheim, take some time to enjoy the other attractions and happenings around town to create a well balanced and unforgettable family and friends getaway.
First, here’s a bunch of our Disneyland posts you should bookmark, then see below what to do in town BESIDES Disneyland. Enjoy!
- How Disneyland Exhibits World Culture
- Top 5 Ways to Splurge Smartly at Disneyland
- Top 10 Tips for Conquering Disneyland
- 5 Reasons I Hate Disney Parks
Although Anaheim does not boast museums in the traditional sense, it does provide this wonderful center that features rotating exhibits every year. Featuring local and international talent, patrons can come to peruse the works of art for free Tuesdays through Sundays. In the past, installations made from recycled materials, quilts, photography, ceramics and award-winning paintings have all been on display.
Kids love sports, hot dogs, singing, and mascots! Bring all these fun elements together while catching a game at this famous stadium. Before you leave, show the little ones Angels in the Outfield, a classic Disney movie about this plucky baseball team. Then, take an afternoon off from Mickey to enjoy a classic event. Tickets are affordable, and the atmosphere is a thrill.
Let the kids run around and get back to nature with a visit to Yorba Park, a regional favorite. It’s about 140 acres of lush greenery, rivers, lakes and gardens for the general public to admire. Bring the kids for a pick-up baseball game on one of the diamonds, a swing at the playground, or a bike ride down more than 20 miles of trails. On the lakes, there are even opportunities for model boat sailing and fishing.
While the city has some great options for dining out, there are fresh alternatives to a sit-down dinner. To save on a couple of meals and get a feel for the local produce, families can swing by the bustling farmer’s markets. There is one on Thursdays downtown and another on Sundays next door to the Anaheim Packing House. Both are open year-round. Find everything from herbs, eggs and apples to gluten-free cookies, wild caught salmon and homemade hummus. The little ones can dance along to the seasonal music performances, and adults can shop for some unique gifts and handicrafts, such as kid’s clothing, accessories and candles. There’s often a few vendors serving hot meals and snacks as well if you prefer to not cook and want to grab some things to go. It’s a fantastic addition to the Anaheim indoor marketplace, Anaheim CA’s great shopping options.
The Honda Center
This is the biggest place to enjoy live shows and music in the city. They often showcase fantastic children’s programming for all ages, which can be a welcome change from the offerings at Disneyland for the day. Keep an eye out for superhero-themed shows, the Harlem Globetrotters, the circus, dinosaur shows and even outdoor movie nights. If you can’t get enough Disney, they often have Disney on Ice shows on the roster as well throughout the year.
Anaheim Packing District
There is Downtown Disney and a few other shopping areas, but the Packing House is something special. It’s an indoor/outdoor gathering space where a bunch of local businesses flex their retail muscles. You can discover some fun trends in food and fun there, including paletas (Mexican popsicles), bubble tea and French crepes.
What to Do in Anaheim Besides Disneyland:
- Yorba Park
- Honda Center
- Anaheim Farmer’s Market
- Angel’s Stadium
- Anaheim Packing District
Where to Stay in Anaheim
While there are plenty of hotels in Anaheim to choose from, a vacation home might be the best option for a group. Most accommodations cater to smaller parties, so if you looked into an Airbnb, Anaheim can be the ideal city to enjoy your vacation in style. There are a few local options that include great amenities such as full kitchens and pools, so you can utilize your time at Disney and seeing the other city attractions even more.
There are three properties owned by Disney resorts closest to all the action of the parks, but it’s just as comfortable and magical to stay elsewhere near other Anaheim attractions. Use a reservation site like Hotels Combined, which allows you to filter by big things like cost and location. But you can also search based on if you’d like a pool, complimentary breakfast, onsite parking/shuttles, free wifi or even a golf course.
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If we can help in achieving your travel goals, we love to offer personal tips and advice – ask away! Have you explored other parts of Anaheim besides Disneyland? Have you gone to Disneyland recently? Did you do some other things besides going to the parks in Anaheim? Did you discover what to do in Anaheim California without visiting the mouse? Let us know!