It’s that time of year again! Time to start planning your birthday party!
With so many options, it’s hard to know where to start.
But don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.
Check out our 12 ideas for a birthday party that will blow your guests away!
Soar on high over Orange County on an airplane
A great Insta update, don’t you think?
Catch breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean gleaming in the sunlight while the San Bernardino mountains loom in the distance.
Forget singing “Happy Birthday” in a cramped restaurant booth – this is the perfect way to celebrate another year on earth.
From John Wayne Airport to Orange Coast College, from Disneyland to Balboa Island, you can soar on high and see Orange County like never before.
There’s plenty to marvel at above – glistening beaches, meandering hiking trails, and sprawling shopping centers.
And what better time to bring out your camera and snap some killer shots to update your status on Instagram?
You can choose from various options ranging from short scenic flights over landmarks like Disneyland to longer journeys over vast swathes of SoCal.
Some Orange County airplane tour companies that you can check out
Great Park Balloon Ride
That huge orange balloon will certainly light up your special day!
Looking for something a little different than a plane ride to celebrate your birthday? How does a balloon ride sound?
Go four hundred feet into the air on the Great Orange Balloon, the most iconic attraction in Irvine’s Great Park.
The ride lasts approximately 10-12 minutes, during which you can admire the lush greenery of Irvine’s Great Park and spot local landmarks such as the Orange County Great Park Sports complex and the Facility for Airborne Astronomy.
On clear days you may be able to see as far as Los Angeles and even catch a glimpse of the Hollywood sign – now that’s an Instagram shot worth talking about!
The best part? It’s free (sponsored by FivePoint)!
Please note that the balloon ride is available four days a week – from Thursday to Sunday.
A farmers market takes place in the Park on Sundays, from 10 am to 2 pm, if you’re interested.
Pro tip: Make this an after-dark activity on your birthday party itinerary to catch the spectacular nighttime views!
Warning: Check expected weather conditions on your chosen day. If it gets too windy, they may cancel rides.
Embark on a real-world adventure at Intrepid Escape Rooms
We lurk amidst our natural habitat – Orange County’s best escape room!
Immerse yourself in an adventure set halfway across the world without leaving town.
How’s that for a birthday idea?
And that’s what you can expect here at Intrepid Escape Rooms.
How the action unfolds
Team up with your family and friends, and choose your adventure. Will you explore a disused subway terminal or investigate the house of an eccentric academic?
Next, your Adventure Guide will lead you and your group aboard the Intrepid Express – a private “train” that’ll take you to your adventure site.
Peek out of the windows, and you’ll actually see the scenery changing.
At the adventure site, you’ll be given some last-minute advice and tips by your Guide and led into the escape room that’s been set up to immerse you all in the experience.
As the countdown begins, you’ll have to work as a team to solve puzzles, spot clues, and find your way forward.
With the clock ticking, you’ll feel the pressure mounting. Can you keep your wits about you and escape the room before you’re out of time?
Beware…there might be a surprise headed your way!
An Intrepid escape room birthday party is the best way to show your friends that those Sherlock Holmes skills you’ve been bragging about are, in fact, real.
And it’ll sure make for one heck of an Instagram post!
The best places near Intrepid for your birthday dinner
As we all know, a birthday party isn’t complete without dinner.
You can check out some of our favorite nearby restaurants:
- Terra Mia Pizzeria‘s right across the street.
- Chocolate Bash is a fun nearby dessert shop, open till midnight/1 am.
At The District shopping center:
Check out the redwoods at Carbon Canyon Regional Park
The image is from the OCParks website: https://www.ocparks.com/parks-trails/carbon-canyon-regional-park.
Looking to spend your birthday amidst Nature? Head for Carbon Canyon Regional Park.
It’s a lovely park with vast grassy fields, several shaded areas with benches & BBQ pits, and tennis & volleyball courts.
There’s a lake in the middle, where you can catch sight of ducks, egrets, and geese.
The crown jewel of the park is Redwood Grove, one of the very few such groves in Southern California.
Multiple well-marked trails lead to the grove, including the Redwood Grove Trail, a short walk away from the Chino Hills State Park Discovery Center car park.
As you walk the trail, you’ll see rabbits and squirrels and hear birds chirping and the occasional coyote howling.
Once you start catching a whiff of the earthy scent typical of Redwoods, you’ll know you’re very close!
Pro tip: If you’ve got a fishing license, carry it along. You may get a chance to fish in the lake.
Warning: If your birthday party includes children or pets, keep an eye on them as a few visitors have reported seeing rattlesnakes inside (you’ll see signs put up by the park too).
Put your archery skills to the test
Can you hit the bull’s eye?
Take a shot at improving your focus and hand-eye coordination this birthday while bringing out your inner Katniss Everdeen (from The Hunger Games).
Grab a few loved ones, head to the nearest archery range, and let the festivities begin!
The adrenaline of notching your arrow, taking aim, and hitting the target is a sure bet to make it a unique and memorable birthday experience.
Add in a filter – and you’ve got a great shot at blowing up your Instagram!
Some OC ranges you can choose from
Get some retail therapy at The Outlets at Orange
The image is from: https://metrolinktrains.com/explore/orange-county/outlets-at-orange/
What better occasion than a birthday to indulge in some retail therapy?
With 120+ stores carrying the latest trends in fashion, eye-catching accessories, and the latest releases in consumer electronics…
You could treat yourself to a new outfit or find the perfect gift for yourself.
From Ralph Lauren to Tommy Hilfiger, from Banana Republic to Sephora – whatever your shopping preference, you’ll find it down here!
And seeing that it’s your birthday, hit up their customer service for special coupons!
Birthday celebration idea at The Outlets at Orange: Catch a movie at the AMC Theater, followed by pizza and spaghetti at L.A. Italian Kitchen (opposite the theater).
For dessert, walk to the Lindt Chocolate shop (it’s near the Neiman Marcus store).
Step back in time at the Heritage Museum of Orange County
The image is from: https://theclio.com/entry/21977.
Want to experience day-to-day from the days gone past on your special day? Head for the Heritage Museum.
It is spread across two historic buildings – the H. Clay Kellogg House and the John Maag Farmhouse.
You’ll have a great time exploring all the exhibits and displays showcasing various aspects of everyday life in Orange County in the old days.
A real treat for any history buff.
Behind The Picket Fence
Want to grab a cool birthday souvenir?
A flea market called Behind The Picket Fence sometimes pops up on the Museum grounds.
Visit their website to see whether they’ll be there on your special day.
Tread where the bells toll – the San Juan Capistrano Mission
The famous bells of the Mission.
This historic landmark has a rich history dating back to 1776 when Saint Junipero Serra founded it.
Today, visitors can explore the historic buildings and gardens and even attend mass at the beautiful chapel.
Take a guided tour to learn about the mission’s architecture and unique bells (that toll to this day).
Or stroll through the beautiful gardens where you can watch butterflies flutter nearby (perfect for that Instagram shot).
There’s even a gift shop where you can pick up unique souvenirs to remember your one-of-a-kind birthday adventure.
Note: The mission doesn’t have a parking lot, but plenty of public parking is available nearby.
Soak in the rays and spray at Crystal Cove Beach
A gorgeous place for a birthday, isn’t it?
With stunning cliffs and clear blue water, Crystal Cove Beach is one of the best OC locations for a memorable birthday celebration.
Is there something special about Crystal Cove Beach? You bet there is! It’s one of the few public places in Orange County where the coastline remains natural.
There are about three miles of pristine beach – hidden from the busy Pacific Coast Highway – for you to hike through and admire.
Breathe in the rich ocean air and even feel the spray on your face as you take in the stunning scenery.
Are you a scuba diver? The offshore waters are designated as an underwater park and generally present excellent conditions for diving.
Pro tip: Wildlife enthusiasts should check out the tide pools – you’ll catch many exciting sights, from sea anemones to hermit crabs.
Grab some shakes and fries at Shake Shack
The iconic Shake Shack has been a part of Crystal Cove Beach’s history since it opened way back in the 1940s.
A great place to grab a birthday dinner of burgers, shakes, and coffee while enjoying the magnificent ocean views.
Visit its website for the menu and contact information.
We both know no list of birthday party activities in 2022 would be complete without addressing Top Gun Fever.
Go all Top Gun at Flightdeck Flight Simulation Center
It’s a plane ride…and you’re in the cockpit!
Here’s a question for you:
- Will you pilot a commercial airplane, steering it through turbulent skies and other challenges?
- Or would you prefer air-to-air combat on board a fighter jet?
That’s the decision you have to make at the Flightdeck Flight Simulation Center.
Whether you dream of flying your own plane or want an adrenaline-pumping experience, this is a fantastic birthday destination!
With realistic simulations and experienced instructors, you’ll feel like you’re flying an actual aircraft.
And if your friends or family members have their own dreams of piloting planes, they can join in on the fun too.
You can follow it up with a visit to Lyon Air Museum
Lyon Museum is a great place to explore vintage planes and helicopters.
With over thirty thousand square feet of space, it has one of the most extensive collections in North America.
This museum will satisfy your appetite for aviation history with items ranging from WWII bombers all the way up to fighter jets that saw action during Vietnam.
No matter what kind of aircraft you like, you’re bound to find it here!
It’s less than a half-hour drive away from the Simulation Center.
Check their website to plan your visit.
Do you want to check out some vintage cars as well? In that case,…
Rev up fond memories at the Marconi Automotive Museum
Gif via giphy.
- The Batmobile from the 1989 movie in which Jack Nicholson was The Joker.
- The KITT used by David Hasselhoff in Knight Rider.
- The General Lee driven by The Dukes of Hazzard.
Watching all these – and more (everything from Stingrays to Ferraris and even an old fire truck) – up close.
Brings up old memories, doesn’t it?
Seems like an excellent way to celebrate your birthday?
Then head for this museum on Industrial Drive in Tustin (incidentally, it’s a short drive away from where we’re located).
The most uncomplicated birthday plans can be the best – just go restaurant hopping!
Sample different cuisines at some of the OC’s best restaurants
Surely a foodie extravaganza is a no-brainer for your birthday?
What better occasion to quit worrying about your waistline and grab some grub than your birthday?
We all know about the mandatory birthday dinner – however, why don’t you go ahead and turn your b-day into an absolute foodie extravaganza?
Our picks of Orange County restaurants that you should visit on your birthday
- The Crab Cooker in Tustin is known for its seafood menu, especially the clam chowder and grilled halibut.
- Freesoulcaffé, also in Tustin, is known for its vegan options (including truffle burgers and vegan ham sandwiches) and industrial decor.
- Ritter’s Steam Kettle Cooking in Santa Ana is known for its “kettle-steamed Creole dishes”.
- Corazon Modern Kitchen in Brea specializes in authentic Mexican cuisine.
- Nep Cafe in Fountain Valley is famous for serving traditional Vietnamese ware.
- Knife Pleat in Costa Mesa; this is where you can satiate your bouillabaisse and risotto (European food) cravings.
- The Beachcomber Cafe in Newport is famous for its array of Golden State favorites!
Celebrating your birthday in Orange County – a final word
That’s it from us on how you can have a blast on your special day in Orange County.
Over to you.
Which of our ideas did you like the best? Which are you planning to do on your birthday?
Can we add any other party ideas and activities to our list?
Do let us know through a comment below!