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11 Family-Friendly Activities In Santa Ana, California


by Gwennie Putnam


Santa Ana, California, is a vibrant city that offers a plethora of family-friendly activities to enjoy. Nestled in the heart of Orange County, Santa Ana boasts a rich cultural heritage, diverse culinary scene, and a wide array of entertainment options for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re exploring the city’s historic sites, immersing yourself in its artistic offerings, or simply enjoying the great outdoors, Santa Ana has something for everyone. From interactive museums and lush parks to engaging educational centers and lively festivals, there’s no shortage of things to do in this dynamic city. Let’s delve into 11 fantastic family-friendly activities that make Santa Ana a must-visit destination for families seeking fun, adventure, and lasting memories.

Discovery Cube Orange County

One of the top family-friendly attractions in Santa Ana is the Discovery Cube Orange County. This hands-on science center offers an array of interactive exhibits and educational activities that are both fun and informative for visitors of all ages. From exploring the inner workings of a beehive to experiencing a simulated earthquake, the Discovery Cube provides an engaging learning experience for the whole family. With its emphasis on STEM education, this attraction fosters curiosity and critical thinking in an entertaining setting, making it an ideal destination for a day of exploration and discovery in Santa Ana, California.

Santa Ana Zoo

The Santa Ana Zoo is a must-visit for families looking to immerse themselves in the wonders of the animal kingdom. Home to more than 150 species of animals, including monkeys, birds, and exotic reptiles, this compact yet captivating zoo offers an up-close encounter with wildlife from around the globe. In addition to admiring the diverse range of creatures, visitors can enjoy attractions such as the Zoofari Express train ride and the Crean Family Farm, where they can feed goats and sheep. With its focus on conservation and education, the Santa Ana Zoo provides an enriching and enjoyable experience for families seeking a memorable day out in Santa Ana, California.

Old Orange County Courthouse

Steeped in history and architectural grandeur, the Old Orange County Courthouse is a compelling destination for families interested in exploring the cultural heritage of Santa Ana. This iconic landmark, dating back to 1901, offers guided tours that provide insight into the region’s past and its legal system. Visitors can marvel at the courthouse’s stunning Romanesque Revival design, featuring ornate detailing and a majestic central tower. The building’s rich history and significance in the development of Orange County make it a captivating stop for families looking to delve into the city’s heritage while enjoying a leisurely day of sightseeing in Santa Ana, California.

Bowers Museum

For families with a passion for art, culture, and history, the Bowers Museum is a treasure trove of enriching experiences. This world-class institution showcases an extensive collection of fine art, artifacts, and ethnographic objects from diverse civilizations across the globe. With its engaging exhibitions and educational programs, the museum offers a captivating journey through different eras and cultures, providing a valuable learning opportunity for visitors of all ages. Whether exploring ancient Egyptian relics, admiring contemporary artworks, or participating in hands-on workshops, families can immerse themselves in the vibrant tapestry of human creativity at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California.

MainPlace Mall

For families seeking a blend of shopping, dining, and entertainment, MainPlace Mall is a premier destination in Santa Ana. This bustling shopping center features an array of retail stores, restaurants, and entertainment options, catering to diverse interests and tastes. From fashion and electronics to delectable dining choices and family-friendly activities, the mall offers a vibrant and dynamic environment for visitors to enjoy a day of leisure and recreation. With its convenient location and lively atmosphere, MainPlace Mall provides families with a versatile and enjoyable outing in the heart of Santa Ana, California.

Kidseum at Bowers Museum

Imaginative and immersive, Kidseum at Bowers Museum is a captivating space designed specifically for young explorers and their families. Focused on interactive learning and creative expression, this cultural center features hands-on exhibits and art activities that inspire curiosity and imagination. From engaging in archaeological digs to crafting traditional artworks from around the world, children and parents can embark on a journey of discovery and cultural appreciation. With its engaging programs and interactive displays, Kidseum offers families an enriching and entertaining experience in Santa Ana, California.

Heritage Museum of Orange County

The Heritage Museum of Orange County provides families with a delightful retreat into the region’s past, offering a glimpse into the area’s agricultural and cultural history. Set amidst lush gardens and historic buildings, the museum invites visitors to explore its captivating exhibits, including a working blacksmith shop, a citrus packing house, and a Victorian house tour. Families can partake in engaging activities such as candle-dipping and butter-churning, gaining hands-on insight into the daily life of early settlers in Orange County. With its picturesque surroundings and immersive historical experiences, the Heritage Museum offers a memorable and educational outing for families in Santa Ana, California.

Artists Village

Nestled in the heart of downtown Santa Ana, the Artists Village is a vibrant and eclectic district that celebrates creativity and community. Families can wander through the area’s streets adorned with colorful murals and diverse galleries, showcasing a wide range of artistic expressions. From contemporary paintings to avant-garde sculptures, the Artists Village provides a stimulating visual feast for art enthusiasts of all ages. Visitors can also explore unique shops, enjoy live performances, and savor delectable cuisine at local eateries, creating a dynamic and culturally immersive experience for families in Santa Ana, California.

Centennial Regional Park

Centennial Regional Park offers families a picturesque outdoor escape, featuring sprawling green spaces, serene lakes, and a variety of recreational amenities. With its expansive playgrounds, picnic areas, and walking trails, the park provides an ideal setting for families to enjoy outdoor activities and leisurely strolls amidst natural beauty. Boasting lush landscapes and abundant birdlife, Centennial Regional Park offers a tranquil respite from the urban bustle, allowing families to unwind and connect with nature in the heart of Santa Ana, California.

Discovery Well Park

Discovery Well Park is a charming neighborhood park that caters to families seeking a relaxing and enjoyable outdoor experience. With its playgrounds, sports courts, and shaded picnic areas, the park offers ample opportunities for recreation and leisure. Families can engage in friendly games, unwind amidst the serene surroundings, and partake in outdoor gatherings, creating cherished moments in a welcoming community setting. Whether enjoying a leisurely afternoon or organizing a fun-filled family outing, Discovery Well Park provides a delightful and family-friendly environment in Santa Ana, California.

Boomers! Irvine

Located near Santa Ana, Boomers! Irvine is an action-packed destination offering an array of thrilling attractions and entertainment options for families. From exhilarating go-kart races and mini-golf adventures to arcade games and bumper boats, the amusement park provides an exciting and dynamic experience for visitors of all ages. With its lively atmosphere and diverse activities, Boomers! Irvine offers families an exhilarating day of fun and adventure, making it a popular choice for memorable outings near Santa Ana, California.


With its rich cultural heritage, diverse attractions, and beautiful outdoor spaces, Santa Ana, California, offers a plethora of family-friendly activities for all ages. Whether you’re exploring the Discovery Cube Orange County, discovering the wonders of the Santa Ana Zoo, or immersing yourself in the arts at the Bowers Museum, Santa Ana provides endless opportunities for fun and learning. From interactive science exhibits to vibrant art installations and scenic parks, this vibrant city has something for everyone. With its warm climate and welcoming atmosphere, Santa Ana is the perfect destination for families seeking memorable experiences and quality time together.


Q: What are some outdoor activities suitable for families in Santa Ana?
A: Families can enjoy outdoor activities such as picnicking at Centennial Regional Park, exploring the trails at Santiago Park, or visiting the Heritage Museum of Orange County for a glimpse into the region’s history.

Q: Are there any educational attractions in Santa Ana that kids would enjoy?
A: Yes, the Discovery Cube Orange County and the Bowers Museum offer interactive and educational experiences for kids, making learning fun and engaging.

Q: What dining options are available for families in Santa Ana?
A: Santa Ana boasts a variety of family-friendly dining options, from casual eateries with diverse menus to charming cafes and restaurants serving delicious meals suitable for all ages.