Plan a day out that’ll earn you accolades and brownie points from your children!

Looking for the most fun places for teens and tweens near you in Orange County?

Searching for inspiration to plan a day out with teens in the OC?

Wondering which Orange County activities would be a hit with your teenage children?

Don’t worry – we have you covered!

The BEST thing to do in Orange County with teenagers (and tweenagers)

Gif via giphy.

The infamous teenage eye-roll.

The gesture that greets so many of the proposals that parents make on everything from what should we do on our day out? to have you thought about what you want to take up as a career?

We’ve hosted quite a few teams of intrepid teenage adventurers here at our escape rooms.

Read on for our take on the best things to do with teens and tweens in the OC…that’ll earn accolades instead of eye rolls.

Catch a movie at the Van Buren Drive-In Theatre

The image is taken from an LA Times report.

With so many streaming options available on their phones which they can watch curled up in their room…

Catching a movie at a drive-in theater might not seem like something that would get a thumbs up from a teenager.

If you think about it, though, it is a unique experience for them.

It starts off like a picnic, but instead of a campsite, you head to an open ground with a large screen.

Everyone finds their own spot in the car to catch the action from and snuggles in to enjoy the movie. 

Cozier than a regular theater but a much better viewing experience than Netflix on their phones.

Ten to one, this earns a few mentions on their Instagram and TikTok as something they really enjoyed.

Tip: This might be a good opportunity to tell your kids who Martin Van Buren was.

Website: Visit their website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Phone: (951) 688 2360

Check out what’s going on at The Honda Center

The image is taken from the Arena Network website.

With a seating capacity of over 17,000 and representing Orange County’s cultural hub, this venue hosts big tours, pro sports games, fun family events, and much more. 

Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline-pumping hockey match or something more relaxed, like a singing competition, The Honda Center could be hosting it on your day out. 

So remember to check out their website and see what they have going on before you finalize your plans!

Website: Visit their website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Phone: (714) 704-2400

Team up for an adventure at Intrepid Escape Rooms

What do you think they’re looking for?

Know what’s better than trying to entice your teens to watch action classics like Speed and Indiana Jones?

Giving them a chance to actually live through such adventures.

Check these out:

  • You’re an urban explorers’ group checking out an abandoned station deep inside New York City’s subway system. Should be just an enjoyable bit of scouring about an empty station, right?
  • You’re a team of adventurers who’ve been summoned to Malaysia to investigate the simultaneous disappearance of a powerful relic and an eccentric anthropologist. Could the two be connected?

Those are the two escape room adventures that you can take part in down here.

To deepen your immersion into the game, we’ve designed our facility so that your experience begins – not in the adventure space itself…

But aboard The Intrepid Express – a life-size model train that’ll take you to your destination.

And once your adventure begins, you’ll have 60 minutes to crack codes, find secret panels, spot clues and accomplish your mission.

Do you think you have what it takes to get to the final clue and beat the game before the clock hits 00:00?

Website: Visit the home page

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Inquiry form: Visit the contact page


Phone: (949) 885-0111

Go on laser tag missions at Laser Land Mission Viejo

The image is taken from the OC Register website.

Laser Land Mission Viejo offers Orange County teens the perfect activity to take part in with family and friends. 

With a state-of-the-art facility and a variety of mission modes, every game down there is sure to bring an adrenaline-filled experience that just can’t be beaten. 

Whether your group is small or large, it’s guaranteed that a visit to Laser Land will offer plenty of excitement. 

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Phone: (800) 807-7494

Enjoy a day out at the Irvine Regional Park

The image is taken from the OC Parks website.

Looking to wean your teens off of their phones and outdoors? Plan a picnic at Irvine Regional Park.

There’s something for everyone, with hiking trails and lots of activities to choose from. 

  • From lounging on the grassy knolls to taking a ride on one of the many trails available for horseback riding…
  • From boating on the lake to teaching them to fish (a good way to instill patience in young teens)…

There are numerous activities to choose from.

Or you could just enjoy the sun while the kids have fun at the volleyball court.

And when you’re feeling peckish, stop by the concessions stand for snacks!

Get ‘em interested in the natural world at the Orange County Zoo

From magnificent mountain lions to beautiful peacocks, and from handsome bald eagles to cuddly beavers – there are numerous animals to view at the Zoo!

Pro tip: They occasionally make animal ambassadors – staff members who accompany various animals, answering questions about them and allowing visitors to pet them. Before planning your visit, you can contact the zoo to enquire when ambassadors are available.

Website: Visit their website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Phone: (714) 973-6835

Get to know the reptilian world at The Reptile Zoo

The image is taken from The Reptile Zoo’s website.

Want to get your teenage children interested in the world of snakes, lizards, turtles, and crocodiles?

Then you should plan a visit to The Reptile Zoo.

From snakes slithering across their enclosures to a bearded dragon staring back intently at you and a tortoise surveying what’s going on around him…

There’s just so much to admire at this place!

This could be a great way for teens to learn more about these animals and their natural habitats and overcome any fear or misconceptions they may have about reptiles.

They often host experiences such as taking pictures with pythons, petting (non-venomous) snakes, and feeding the turtles – so check their website before you plan your day!

Website: Visit their website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Phone: (714) 500-0591

Learn about plants from all over the world at Fullerton Arboretum

The image is taken from Fullerton Arboretum’s website.

So far, we’ve talked about taking your teens to the Orange County Zoo and the Reptile Zoo. 

If you feel they’d be more interested in learning about plants – and also about conservation and sustainability issues – plan a day at the Fullerton Arboretum.

With over 100 varieties of plants and flowers, there’s plenty to see and appreciate here. It’s a welcome escape from the constant buzz of Orange County.

Stroll through the various biomes – coniferous, deciduous, rainforest, desert – and take in the sights. 

You should also drop in at the potting shed, the various lawns, and the heritage house!

Your teens will enjoy relaxing and learning about the different plant ecosystems as well as sustainable environmental practices. 

Website: Visit their website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Phone: (657) 278-3407

Visit Carbon Canyon Regional Park

The image is from the OC Parks website.

Carbon Canyon Regional Park offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors with its vast open fields, shaded picnic areas, and recreational facilities such as tennis and volleyball courts.

The lake, where you can admire the variety of waterfowl like ducks, egrets, and geese, is very popular among visitors. 

Hiking to the Redwood Grove

The park’s Redwood Grove is one of the rarest in Southern California. 

You can access the grove via well-marked trails like the Redwood Grove Trail, which starts at the Chino Hills State Park Discovery Center parking lot.

The trail is home to an abundance of wildlife, including rabbits, squirrels, and various bird species. 

As you stroll, you’ll enjoy the natural symphony of birds singing and the occasional coyote howling in the distance. 

And when you start to smell the earthy aroma of Redwoods, you’ll know you’re getting close to this natural wonder.

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Phone: (714) 973-3160

Hike Santiago Peak

One of the trails leading to the peak.

Looking to bond with your teenaged children over a hike through the stunning outdoors of Orange County?

Take them on a hike to Santiago Peak.

It’s a moderately strenuous trek that’s about 14 miles long (round trip) and takes between 8 to 10 hours.

You’ll find yourself walking through chaparral, sagebrush, and oak woodlands and encountering a variety of plant and animal life, which you can point out to your children.

You could even catch a glimpse of deer and coyotes if you’re lucky.

Once you reach the summit, you might be a little out of breath, but the sense of accomplishment will more than make up for it.

And the views are nothing short of breathtaking. On a clear day, you’ll be able to see as far as Catalina Island, which will, of course, make its way into your children’s (and perhaps your own) Reels.

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Catch a game or an event at Angel Stadium

“You have to be there…”

Are you one of the parents desperate to get their kids more – a lot more – interested in baseball but can’t figure out how?

Our suggestion – take ‘em for a game at Angel Stadium!

The stadium, which has been the home of the Los Angeles Angels since its opening in 1966, is an iconic venue that has been a part of the Major League Baseball (MLB) experience for over 60 years. 

With around 45,000 seats, the atmosphere at a game is nothing short of electric.

And if they don’t have any games scheduled, you can look for other events like concerts – they’ve hosted famous musicians like SZA and Kelly Clarkson in the past.

Website: Visit their website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Phone: (714) 940-2000

Have a day of fun at Knott’s Berry Farm

The image is taken from Knott’s Berry Farm’s website.

Knott’s Berry Farm is a great destination for families with teenagers looking for a fun and exciting day out.

You should make your own plans, but in our opinion, your first port of call should be the roller coasters.

They have some of the most thrilling and exhilarating roller coasters in the world, including GhostRider, Xcelerator, and HangTime, which are sure to get the adrenaline pumping for teens.

They also feature other experiences like the Western-style Calico Railroad, an actual blacksmith who’ll carve you a special piece of metal art (Ghost Town Blacksmith), and the Western Trails Museum packed with collections from the old days.

And when you’re feeling hungry, you can always line up at Mrs. Knott’s for some of their famous chicken noodle soup and dumplings!

Pro tip: Some of their roller coasters may be temporarily closed for repairs; refer to their website for details.

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Inquiry form: Visit their contact page

Phone: (714) 220-5200

Explore art and artifacts from different cultures together at the Bower Museum

The image is taken from the OC Register website.

Looking to get your teens interested in art, history, and culture?

Then add a visit to Bower Museum to your day-out itinerary!

As you may know, the museum features a diverse collection of artifacts and artwork from around the world and special exhibitions that change throughout the year.

One of their main attractions is the American Art collection, which features works by contemporary and historical artists that reflect a variety of styles and mediums, including painting, sculpture, and prints.

They also have collections and exhibits showcasing Polynesian, Asian, and African cultures.

Overall, a visit to Bower Museum should prove an enlightening and enjoyable experience for the entire family!

Website: Visit the website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Inquiry form: Visit their contact page

Phone: (714) 567-3600

Check out the exhibits at the International Surfing Museum

The image is taken from the Visit Huntington Beach website.

The International Surfing Museum is a great destination for families with teenagers who are interested in the culture and history of surfing.

They feature pictures, surfboards, and other memorabilia of some of the most influential and accomplished surfers of all time.

Teens can learn about the pioneers of the sport and see the boards and equipment used by legendary pros. 

The museum also offers a glimpse into the lifestyle and culture of surfing, featuring photographs, film footage, and surf-related artifacts.

Website: Visit their website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Inquiry form: Visit the contact page

Phone: (714) 960-3483

Go all Top Gun at the Flightdeck Flight Simulation Center

The image is taken from FlightDeck’s website.

The Flightdeck Flight Simulation Center is the perfect place to take your family for an exciting adventure, especially when it comes to entertaining teens! 

They offer an unforgettable experience that any age can enjoy – who wouldn’t love the chance to channel their inner Maverick? 

There’s a wide selection of simulations and flight experiences on offer, plus all kinds of controls and setups so you can create your own unique mission every time.

Website: Visit their website

Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Inquiry form: Visit the contact page

Phone: (714) 937-1511

Planning an OC day out with your teens and tweens – a final word

And that’s a wrap! 

I hope this post has given you some good ideas for planning an OC day out with your teens and tweens. 

If you end up taking your kids to any of the places on this list, let us know how it went in a comment below.

And if you have any other great tips, please share them with us!