“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain.”
It is not often that sunny Southern California gets rain, let alone 5 straight days of rain. But this week we have been completely soaked!! So if you are getting a bit of cabin fever and you are an Orange County parent looking for some new activities to do on your rainy day then keep on reading!
Here is a list of some of my favorite things to do when we can’t play outside; ranging from free to not so free (check websites for further details).
- Mission Viejo Mall: A completely indoor mall with a great play area on the second floor for kids to run around, climb and slide. I also like to hit the Disney store for the movie shorts that they have playing on a large screen and for the coloring table. Another store that usually has a fun kid area is Pottery Barn Kids. Typically in the back they have tables, chairs and books set up for little readers as well as a few toys. Downstairs in the center of the mall there is a large fountain which is fun if you have some extra coins in your purse to make a few wishes. The Lego store is just a hop, skip & a jump down from the fountain and they usually have a few tables set up for the kids to build. If you get hungry, just make your way back up the huge glass elevator to the food court. Lots of options for a hungry kid or parent! All in all a great option for a rainy day and all free!
- Mission Viejo Library: We love going to this library. They have a really great kid section (all the way in the back so you don’t feel like your kids can’t make some noise). Not only do they have a large selection of books and DVD’s that you can check out, but they have a separate room filled with blocks, puzzles, and other fine motor skill type toys. On certain days and times they also offer story time, which we love going to as well (the picture below is of their story time room). After we pick out some new books we usually play for a while and it makes for a nice rainy day activity and also completely free!
- Try out a class! There are lots of places that offer a free trial class for your first time. So if you are out of ideas sign your kid up for a new class. My suggestion; start with Gymboree. We went there for a long time with our son and loved it! It got harder with two kiddos, but we will still go back for the occasional open gym. You could also try a gymnastics class. I took the kids to Azarian Gymnastics for their open gym that they have 2x a week ($5 per child), but you could also try your first class free. Another suggestion would be to try your local dance studio..the list goes on…I think you get the point.
- We Play Loud: Located in Lake Forest, this place is a real gem. Not free, but definitely a great rainy day activity. For one adult and one child it costs $13.50. Check their website for hours and more pricing info. You pay for 2 hours of play and there is endless amounts of things to do. From bounce houses, to slides, to a balloon pit and even a giant room filled with balls. They also have a toddler area designed for ages 2 and under, which is super nice. I constantly see employees cleaning the equipment, making me feel a little bit better about my kids playing. The only thing I don’t like is that they do not allow outside food, although they do have a small cafe selling some snack items.
- Big Air Trampoline Park: Located right off the 5 freeway in Laguna Hills. This is a super fun place to run and jump! They have “Toddler Time” on Wednesday’s & Thursday’s from 10am-1pm and only charge $8 per jumper. This is a great way to tire out the kids on a rainy day!
- Pretend City Children’s Museum: Located in Irvine. What is not to love about this place?!? It’s an entire city made for little kids! Besides it being a little pricey ($12.50 per person), there is no time limit on how long you can play…so pack a lunch and stay all day!! From a pint size version of a grocery store, post office and police station, to a fire station, marina, and even a farm. We love spending time here!
- Discovery Cube of Orange County: Located in Santa Ana right off the 5 freeway. This place is awesome! We actually bought season passes here because we knew we would be going back often. From cool science experiments to a dinosaur dig, there is something for everyone! They change events every few months, so there is constantly new things to do and explore. A bit more on the expensive side, but totally worth going and spending the entire day! Adults are $16.95, children (ages 3-4) are $12.95 and babies 2yrs and under are free! Check out their website for all the info!!
- A few other places that I will give honorable mention to and you can check out their websites are: Playland Cafe, Little Prince Cafe and Jump n’ Jammin