Anaheim might be the home of Disneyland, but there’s plenty more to enjoy once the mouse ears have come off. Find your thrills in our guide to the top adventurous activities in and around this southern California city.
The remarkable streets of Anaheim offer excitement by the bucket-load – with escape rooms, aqua parks, baseball games and flight simulators on the doorstep. Tick off every adventurous activity in the book and swim, skate, blade, hike and trapeze around the Heart of Orange County.
Take yourself to a ball game at the Angel Stadium, one of the oldest stadiums in Major League Baseball. Catch the Angels at home and experience the works, order hot dogs, popcorn and big gulps from the well-stocked food courts, and visit the face-painting stations to show your team spirit. If you’re visiting outside baseball season, don’t fret, the stadium has an impressive roster of entertainment year round, from monster truck rallies to big-name concerts.
Live out your Top Gun fantasy at Flightdeck and pilot your own plane without ever leaving the ground. Suit up and command the full-size cockpit – taking off, cruising and landing in a hyper-realistic simulator. Choose between flying a commercial Boeing 737 in a white cap and shirt, or controlling a military-grade fighter jet in a commando-green jumpsuit. Whatever your mood, Flightdeck provides an immersive flying experience that will leave you wanting more. Next stop, flight school.
Grab a board and unleash your inner Tony Hawk at the Vans Skatepark in Orange. Beginners and seasoned skaters are catered for at this 20,000sqft (1,858sqm) indoor park, with quarter pipes, handrails and banked ramps to explore. Want to take your skating to the next level? Book a private lesson with one of the expert instructors and finally nail the perfect run. Don’t forget to pick up a pair of fresh sneakers in the neighboring store to mark an afternoon spent practicing ollies, grinds and switches.
Take time out of the city and explore nature at Anaheim Coves, ambling through the 26 acres (10.5ha) of parkland surrounding the Orange County water basin. It has 2.5mi (4km) of well-kept trails looping around the greenest corners of the park – perfect for hiking, jogging or cycling. Keep an eye out for colorful milestones: each has a positive mantra written on it to keep you going.
If you ever dreamed of running away with the circus, SwingIt is the perfect place to spend an adventurous morning. The skilled gymnastics team will teach you the art of trapeze in a relaxed and friendly environment, so (once you’re safely harnessed up) you can fly through the air like a real acrobat. While you’re waiting for your turn, why not practice some sideshow tricks to complete your new aerial act?
And now for something completely different. Brewery, coffee roasters and all-round party company Modern Times has opened Leisuretown, a unique entertainment space that harks back to the glory days of Californian resorts. The vast site in Downtown Anaheim is part-restaurant, part-swim club and part-botanical haven, all split into unique grown-up-only spaces. So, you can grab a coffee from the 1900s craftsman house and watch the beer-making process from a shipping container, all before cannonballing into a 1960s-style pool.
Stimulate your mind and body at Mission Escape Games, an exhilarating hi-tech escape room experience. Each of the adventures lasts a heart-pumping 60 minutes (or less, if you solve the puzzle), and has its own theme, from science fiction and horror to bank heists and mystery. Team up with friends, family or join another group as you test your wits against the puzzle master and the hidden clues in your room.
Rent blades and give ice skating a go at Anaheim ICE. Book a lesson on the private rink to get your bearings, then show off your new-found skills on the Olympic-size public arena next door. Already a pro? Try a figure-skating class with an ice-sport master, in which you can attempt more challenging moves (without anyone seeing you fall).
Cool off from the high California sun with a splash at the Adventure Lagoon in northeast Anaheim. It has one of the largest floating aqua parks in the US – channel your inner Ninja Warrior and attack the obstacle courses with everything you’ve got. If you fall in, no problem, the water is warm all year round. For something a little less action-packed, rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore the outer edges of the lake.
Find out more and start planning your trip now by visitingvisitcalifornia.com/road-trips