Costa Mesa, CA, USA

Travel Costa Mesa Blog

Posts Tagged ‘family-friendly activities’

Fun and Free Things to Do in Costa Mesa During the Holidays

Posted on November 23, 2021 | 7:00pm

Holiday events are happening in Costa Mesa. It’s the perfect time for a quick getaway, with hotel deals as low as $99! From the return of A Christmas Carol at South Coast Repertory to Night of Lights OC at OC Fair & Event Center, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. And of course, don’t miss holiday shopping at the West Coast’s largest shopping destination, South Coast Plaza. Looking for some fun and free things to do during the holidays too? Check out these great free holiday events!

Snoopy House at Costa Mesa City Hall

A Costa Mesa tradition for 50 years, the elaborate Snoopy House holiday display has been a Costa Mesa and Orange County holiday staple for more than 50 years, attracting an estimated 80,000 visitors annually. Snoopy House, which features holiday scenes populated by “Peanuts” characters, is available for viewing from 5:30 to 9 p.m. nightly from December 17 through December 22 in front of Costa Mesa City Hall. Santa will make special visits nightly beginning at 6. Children and their families will have opportunities to receive free photos with Santa.

Costa Mesa Art Walk Audio Tour

The Costa Mesa Art Walk Audio Tour showcases the sculptures around South Coast Plaza, Segerstrom Center for the Arts and South Coast Repertory. You can listen to the audio tour directly on your phone. During the holidays, you can also see the 90-foot South Coast Plaza holiday tree that has over 94,000 lights! The tree is located in Town Center Park.

Centennial Farm in Orange County Fairgrounds and Event Center on December 1, 2017. (Photo by Michael Goulding)

Discovery Day at Centennial Farm

Take the kids to a real working farm at OC Fair & Event Center for Discovery Day at Centennial Farm. Discovery Day has group activities such as radish seed planting for children to plant seeds to take to school, chick education to learn about the chick development process, oxen demonstration, cow milking demonstration and seasonal crops. Livestock includes pigs, goats, cows, poultry, sheep and rabbits. Visit Discovery Day December 1, 9 or 17. Both Discovery Day and parking are free!

The Original OC Swap Meet

Everyone’s favorite swap meet returns to the OC Fair & Event Center! The Original OC Swap Meet has over 150 local small businesses. Find out why this is one of Travel Costa Mesa’s most asked-about events November 27, December 11 and December 18. The event is free, but parking is $10.

STRUT Winter Palace Ball

Ring in the new year at one of Costa Mesa’s hottest new clubs, STRUT. With DJ Josh Peace and hosts like Luke Nero and Wilhelmina Caviar, you’re guaranteed a great time. Dress to impress in Ice King & Queen Looks for a contest that evening. There’s no cover entrance fee for this event on December 31, which is rare for a NYE party, and when you RSVP you will receive guaranteed admission to the Winter Palace Ball before 8 p.m. 

Photo courtesy of SOCO & The OC Mix

Makeshift Muse Holiday Market 

Makeshift Muse Holiday Market at SOCO & The OC Mix is a curated pop-up market with 80 local makers. The event features live, local music and a food court. This event is $10, but the cost will be waived for anyone that brings a toy or non-perishable food donation for the food and toy drive. The event is also benefiting Project Hope Alliance.

Holiday Story Time with Mrs. Claus

Small children will love Holiday Story Time with Mrs. Claus at SOCO & The OC Mix. Mrs. Claus will read stories and lead a holiday sing-a-long every Saturday from November 27 to December 18. Kids get to make and take home their own musical instrument, plus enjoy complimentary hot chocolate, seasonal treats and take photos with Mrs. Claus.  The event is free, but tickets are required. 

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Posted in Events, Misc, Play, Shopping

Family-Friendly February in Costa Mesa

Posted on January 31, 2021 | 9:00pm

You’re probably ready to enjoy a few safe, socially distanced activities with the whole family, now that the stay-at-home order has been lifted. Costa Mesa has some exciting options in February. There are also plenty of outdoor dining options, outdoor shopping and more. Be sure to check our calendar for the latest updates!

Jurassic Quest Drive-Thru Experience

Jurassic Quest returns to OC Fair & Event Center February 5-14. This year, experience over 70 realistic dinosaurs, including the popular T. Rex. Drive through scenes with Jurassic Quest’s animatronic herd as they roar and move. Listen to the digital audio tour featuring performers and dino wranglers. Jurassic Quest Drive-Thru lasts about an hour, ending with a free family-photo. Tickets start at $49 per vehicle. 

Costa Mesa Art Walk Audio Tour

Our new Costa Mesa Art Walk Audio Tour is a great way to get in some education (and exercise). The tour starts at California Scenario by the acclaimed Isamu Noguchi, then goes by Segerstrom Center for the Arts and South Coast Repertory. The art walk ends at Jewel Court in  South Coast Plaza, the perfect place to grab a bite.

Photo courtesy of @aiden_oc_baby

The LAB & The CAMP

A trip to Costa Mesa isn’t complete without a visit to The LAB Anti-Mall or The CAMP. These two outdoor retail centers are home to unique shops, delicious food and some of Costa Mesa’s most Instagrammable spots.

There are plenty of family-friendly activities this February in Costa Mesa. Whether you’re visiting for an event or spending time exploring the city, be sure to stay safe. Be sure to bring your face masks, stay at least 6 feet away from people not in your household and wash your hands frequently. And please continue to support local Costa Mesa restaurants when you can!

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Posted in Events, Misc

Costa Mesa’s Best Family-Friendly Outdoor Activities During Winter Break

Posted on December 19, 2020 | 4:26pm

School is out and you might be thinking there’s nothing for the kids to do. It’s important for everyone to get fresh air, though, and Costa Mesa has some great family-friendly outdoor activities. Spend an afternoon or a day in the City of the Arts to beat those winter blues. Be sure to wear your masks and socially distance from others.

Art Walk Audio Tour

Our newly launched Costa Mesa Art Walk Audio Tour is fun, educational and will help burn off some of that out-of-school energy. Walk through California Scenario, also known as Noguchi Garden, by famed sculptor Isamu Noguchi. The Art Walk then takes you over to Segerstrom Center for the Arts and South Coast Repertory, ending at South Coast Plaza. 

Parks

Want to spend a little time in nature? Costa Mesa has several parks that are perfect for biking, hiking, horseback riding and more. Fairview Park is the city’s largest park, so there’s plenty of space for social distancing. Talbert Regional Park includes a BMX area, along with 9 hiking trails. Both are near enough to the beach to hike or bike there. Grab takeout from one of Costa Mesa’s restaurants and head over to TeWinkle Park, a relaxing setting for a family picnic. You can enjoy the lake and waterfall or continue on with the fun at Costa Mesa Skate Park.

Night of Lights

Not technically an outdoor activity, Night of Lights is a drive-thru winter wonderland experience with a tree lighting, music and more. You can preorder holiday treats, including tamales, cookies and hot chocolate. Then, drive through a million magical holiday lights. Appearances by Santa until December 24. It’s a perfect way to end your day in Costa Mesa. 

Travel Costa Mesa wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!

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Posted in Misc, Play