When you look at the calendar, you know the inevitable is happening…summer is about to come to an end. But, just because summer is winding down doesn’t mean you still can’t have fun. There are plenty of things to do with the family around Orange County for one last summer hurrah!
If you’re stumped for ideas, we’ve got a few for you to consider.
Warner Bros. VIP Studio tour
If you’ve ever wanted to step into the set of your favorite TV show or movie, or just wanted a look at what behind-the-scenes television looks like, this is it. The Warner Bros. Studio Tour gives you the open of choosing from three tours; The Studio Tour, The Classics Tour, and The Deluxe Tour. The age of your children and their attention span may dictate which tour you choose.
The Studio Tour gives you a behind-the-scenes look at how movies and television shows are made. The adults will enjoy taking a look the famed “Central Perk” set from “Friends,” while the kids will love checking out the cars from the “Batman” movies and some cool stuff from other favorite DC films. It’s a two-hour guided tour plus an additional one-hour self-guided tour; it also could be your best option with the kids seeing that it’s on the shorter side and involves movies they’ve likely seen.
The Classics Tour takes a look at the movies and shows filmed through the 1970s. This one may not be the best choice for the kids seeing that they’re probably not familiar with many of the movies and shows and the fact that tour is three and a half hours long.
The Deluxe Tour gives you the royal behind-the-scene treatment with all of the elements of The Studio Tour as well as a look at the costume department, props department, and a lunch. The tour lasts for five hours. If you have older kids in the family, this one could be an option.
The Warner Bros. Studio is located on Warner Boulevard in Burbank which is about an hour drive from Orange County, perfect for a day trip!
Natural History Museum L.A./California Science Center
If you’re looking for a “twofer” when it comes to end-of-the-summer family fun, the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles and the California Science Center fit the bill. They are both located at Exposition Park and are just minutes away from one another.
The Natural History Museum has so many different exhibits to see, so be sure everyone has comfy shoes because you’re going to do plenty of walking! Kids will love to check out the Antarctic Dinosaur exhibit as well as the Butterfly Pavilion. A popular stop at the museum is the Discovery Center where kids are told to touch the exhibits! It’s a great hands-on learning tool that’s also a lot of fun! There are also plenty of birds to see as well as gems and minerals. When the family needs a little break, check out the 3-D theater movies and live theater shows.
You can also take the family to the California Science Center. It’s a kid favorite because many of the exhibits are interactive.
The Creative World exhibit lets kids build structures and even move a vehicle by turning fuel into motion. There is also a Discovery Room for younger kids to explore. The California Science Center also features special exhibits that change from time to time, so there’s always something new to explore. The IMAX Theater is also an option when you’re looking for some downtime.
The Natural History Museum is located along Exposition Boulevard, and the California Science Center is on Exposition Park Drive. Both are about a 45-minute drive away from the Orange County area.
OC Night Market
The OC Night Market has a little something for everyone in the family. With an art walk, dancing competitions, eating contests, carnival fun, and over 200 vendors, you can really get a final taste of summer here.
There are musical performances for adults and children that are bound to get you moving as well as beautiful art to check out along the way. No one will go hungry with food for every palate.
The OC Night Market is located at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa.
Newport Dunes Inflatable Water Park
The Newport Dunes Inflatable Water Park is also a fun choice for end of the summer family fun. Kids will love the inflatable obstacle course located right in the sea. There are also paddle boards and boats to rent as well as kayaks. There are so many water activities that you and the family will be busy all day long.
If you decide to stay at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina, the kids can enjoy smores by the fire pit and movies on the beach. There is also a wide variety of other kids’ activities available like arts and crafts, sports, and even science experiments. These activities rotate, so ask for the schedule once you know when you’ll be staying.
The Newport Dunes Inflatable Water Park is located along Back Bay Drive in Newport Beach.
Skull Canyon Ziplines
If you’re a family that loves adventures, taste thrill-seeking at its best at Skull Canyon Ziplines. There are different zipline tours to choose from based on age, weight, and skill level. The most popular zipline ride for kids is the original course. It consists of a ten-minute hike where you’ll then zipline 80 feet above the ground. There are six ziplines available for this 2-hour tour.
There is also an extreme course and monster course where you need to be at least 100 pounds to ride. These tours are longer and suspend you higher off the ground. These may not be best suited for younger kids but can be an option for adults.
If you’re ready for a thrill-seeking adventure, you can visit Skull Canyon Ziplines on Temescal Canyon Road in Corona, California. It’s about a 45-minute ride from Orange County, which is perfect if you’re looking for a family day trip.
The end of summer can be full of fun when you throw one or more of these activities into your calendar!