As forbidding 60-degree weather gives way to more reasonable temperatures in the low 70s, Orange County residents will once more begin to make their way outdoors. For these brave souls in search of open-air entertainment and distraction, fortunately the area is crawling with it. Families of every size and fortitude will find a wealth of activities to help shake off the harsh winter malaise. Usher in the awaited, welcome springtime at any of these kid-friendly venues and events.
Dana Point Harbor Festival of Whales
34675 Golden Lantern St.
Dana Point, CA 92629
Spring starts early in Orange County, as it would in a part of the world where there really isn't a winter. On March 8 and 9, you can kick off your break with a celebration of migration and so much more at Dana Point Harbor. The 43rd annual Festival of Whales is all about whales as they make their way through our local waters. Partake in a whale watching excursion with a near-perfect sighting success rate. Enjoy food, music, art, tours, classic cars and even a fishing exhibition. Parking won't be ideal during this popular event. Take advantage of free shuttle services as well.
Discovery Science Center Bubblefest
2500 N. Main St.
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Date: March 28 - April 14, 2014
Lauded as the "OC's most amazing spring break event," your children will defy you to prove otherwise. "Good clean fun for the entire family," boasts the banner, but the kids won't be dissuaded by such sentiment as the spectacle involves rock music, lasers, smoke and giant bubbles, of course. Attendees are welcome to participate in the creation of outrageous bubble art, and you will even meet a genuine bubble scientist. Also enjoy an inflatable interactive fun zone.
Irvine Lake Mud Run
Oak Canyon Park
5305 Santiago Canyon Road
Silverado, CA 92676
Date: March 29, 2014 at 8am
Beginning, surrounding and ending at glorious Irvine Lake, spring break at the lake is the perfect excuse to shed your winter wardrobe and begin to drop some excesses seasonal weight. Not your typical 5K, on Saturday, March 29, introduce the family to the fine art of mud running. Oak Canyon Park is an exceptional place to bring the kids for hikes, biking and generally getting back to nature. On this particular weekend, you can all get fit and dirty on purpose together. Enjoy "Kids Mud Puddles" fun-run heats for your little spring breakers, ages two to five. The event benefits Blind Start charity.
Related: OC's Best Spots For Family Photos
Return of the Swallows Festival
Mission San Juan Capistrano
32400 Paseo Adelanto
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Date: March 22, 2014
Mid-March marks the return of the regionally renowned swallows to San Juan Capistrano. Beginning on March 19 at 10 a.m., the San Juan Capistrano Fiesta Association commemorates and welcomes spring, and the signature wildlife, with the "Return of the Swallows Celebration." Enjoy food, crafts, live music, dancing, presentations and a special guest lecture on cliff swallows. Come for all of that or just a delightful walk through one of the most beautiful places you will ever visit. On March 22, the 56th annual Swallows Day Parade will be held as another opportunity to come celebrate this majestic bird or just enjoy a glorious day out with the kids.
1313 Disneyland Drive
Anaheim, CA 92802
Everyone goes to Disneyland over spring break. The parks, thus, can get a little crowded this time of year. But do you want to be those few awful parents who didn't take their kids to the Happiest Place on Earth? There is not a bad time to be had anywhere within Disneyland Resort. Visit Disney's California Adventure and check out the new Cars Land everyone is talking about. Or reacquaint the family with the classics at Disneyland proper. When they head back to school, the kids will be talking about you. And they'll be using words like "awesome," "cool" and "not bad for old people."
View Best Spring Break Activities For Kids In OC in a full screen map
for more features.