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Best Summer Play Date Ideas in OC

play date 610 header kids
(credit: Katie Bodell)

While meeting up with other moms and dads for play dates with kids can literally be done most anywhere, there are some super fun spots to visit with friends right here in Orange County. From great parks to beaches to water wonderlands, here are some fun summer play date ideas in the OC.

Great Park Balloon Flickr User Angry Julie Monday
(credit: Flickr/Angry Julie)

Orange County Great Park
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 724-6247

Even without a physical address, Orange County Great Park is one of Orange County's perfect meet up spots for a fun play date with friends. From the iconic Great Park Balloon that soars above the rolling hills to the Great Park Carousel (an all day pass is just $3), the Certified Farmers Market, and the Farm + Food Lab (a hands on gardening experience), there is plenty for groups with kids of all ages. Kids Rock, a cute little play space, sits adjacent to the Carousel for climbing fun while moms and dads chat with grown-ups.

Aliso Creek
(credit: Katie Bodell)

Aliso Beach Park
31131 S. Pacific Coast Hwy.
Laguna Beach, CA 92652

Although parking can get busy on weekends, I love meeting up with friends at Aliso Beach Park in Laguna during the week. The coastline boasts two large parking lots (one is under the tunnel across the street), a fun large play structure for kids who are less than interested in the sand, and on site snacks and clean restrooms. If you are ready for a full on beach day, Aliso Beach boasts great skimboarding. A small tidepool sits to the south for exploration, but be sure to wear appropriate shoes.


Atlantis Play Center
13630 Atlantis Way
Garden Grove, CA 92844
(714) 892-6015

More than just a playground, Atlantis Play Center offers uniquely created animal slides, climbing structures, and swings for children and their parents. Entrance into this park does have a fee ($1/person three and older), but in exchange you get a safe and creativity inspiring play yard, shady picnic tables, and no random visitors. In order to visit the center, adults must have children in tow! A splash pad area and snack bar serving up cool treats are offered in the summer.


Buccaneer Bay
13806 La Mirada Blvd.
La Mirada, CA 90638
(562) 902-3191

To beat the heat this summer, plan a play date at Buccaneer Bay, the waterslide park in La Mirada. With kids prices at just $14, you won't find a much cheaper place to play with friends. A lazy river, three water slides, kid's water play structure, zero-depth beach entry, and places for moms and dads to enjoy the fun make this a perfect play date field trip that won't break the bank.

Crystal Cove 1
(credit: Trekaroo/doubleadventure)

Crystal Cove
8471 N Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 494-3539

With 3 1/2 miles of beach and undeveloped woodland, Crystal Cove is a great play date option for those looking to reconnect with nature. Exploring tide pools and hiking the sandy coves allows for the perfect on-land discovery, while swimming and snorkeling are available for older kids and families. Grab a shake at the Shake Shack at the top of the hill and make it a play date full of memories.

What are your favorite summer play date ideas in Orange County? Share in the comments below!
Katie Bodell is the Blog Editor for Trekaroo, the largest family travel website in the U.S. She is also a freelance writer, a happy wife to her best friend, and a mom to three sweet California girls. See more on: Trekaroo | CheapOair | Google+ | Twitter.
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