View Full Version : Other entertainment in SoCal?

04-02-2003, 05:06 PM
Outside of the theme parks and big attractions (like the SD Zoo, Legoland, etc.) what are some of the lower-key places for entertainment in the region?

My wife and I are focusing on Disneyland, but I want to mix things up with some other entertainment.

What other things are there to try? And where's the best place (if there is one) for mini golf? I haven't played really good miniature golf in years.


Ghoulish Delight
04-02-2003, 05:36 PM
Theater is always an option. There are the big name shows that you'll find at the Pantages, or the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion, or the OC Center for the Performing Arts, or one of many other options. Or you can pick up a copy of LA or OC Weekly. They list music and plays and the like. Tons of little independant theaters and cafes to choose from.

The many beaches.

As for mini golf, I couldn't tell you what the BEST is, but there are plenty to choose from. There's a big family fun center that used to be called Bullwinkles, and is now part of the Boomer's chain, I believe. It's in Fountain Valley off the 405. If you'll be staying in the LA area, I'm partial to Caslte Park in Sherman Oaks. So Cal is a big area, so you may be no where near it.

04-02-2003, 06:11 PM
Having grown up in LA I am always partial to the "old town" tour--Union Station, Olivera Street, Hollywood Blvd, Bev. Hills -- it is so fun to drive around!

If you have time and don't mind driving--Santa Barbara is a few hours away and sooo beautiful.

Sunshine--enjoy it!

04-02-2003, 06:25 PM
Exposistion Park is fun. Science, History, and Aerospace all in one;)

04-02-2003, 06:44 PM
Thanks for the input so far. Maybe I should revise my question to "other entertainment in or near Orange County")

I can handle Anaheim-L.A. distance or a bit further. Much further than that, and we're getting beyond low-key :)


Pirate Girl
04-02-2003, 08:14 PM
In Orange County: Fashion Island, Newport Hard Rock Cafe, the beaches. Also, if you want to head to San Diego, Legoland, the SD Zoo, SD Wild Animal Park, and Sea World are all great. Legoland caps its crowds, so its never crowded. you don't have to wait more that 10 min for almost everything there. Sea World and the Zoo are just fun fun fun! You can often get deals on tickets if you are going to the zoo and sea world or sea world and legoland, ect.

Not Afraid
04-02-2003, 08:50 PM
Laguna Beach, Laguna Art Museum, Newport Harbor Art Museum (no call Orange County Museum of Art). Discovery Science Center, South Coast Plaza, Orange County Performing Arts Center, Laguna Playhouse, South Coast Rep, Mission San Juan Capistrano, SJC in general, The Ritz Carlton, Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific, on and on and on.......I've leved here for 40 years and there is soooooo much to do. I obviously have a cultural bent, you'll have to see others for the sports page.;)

04-02-2003, 08:53 PM
Right smack in between Anaheim and Los Angeles is the glorious Golf 'N' Stuff. Which has minature golf. And, uh, stuff. Take the 5 to the 605 South and get off at Firestone Blvd in Norwalk. It's right at the freeway.


Matterhorn Fan
04-03-2003, 06:02 AM
Medieval Times!

Yeah, it's a little expensive. And yeah, it's super-corny. And no, the food's not much to write home about. But it's fun and I'd say it's worth going once if you have any interest in it. You even get a paper crown and your very own knight to root for. I could tell you who wins, but I won't spoil it for everyone. ;)

Hint: Feel free to skip the Museum of Torture.

04-03-2003, 08:22 AM
Farmer's Market downtown LA and the La Brea Tar pits.

04-03-2003, 08:26 AM
I know you said besides the park but I just wanted to put in a vote for Knott's. We go to Knott's every couple of years, it's a fun little place and make sure that you eat at Mrs. Knott's Kitchen, the best part!


04-03-2003, 09:31 AM
Originally posted by Ghoulish Delight
Theater is always an option. There are the big name shows that you'll find at the Pantages, or the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion, or the OC Center for the Performing Arts,

Just want to point out that Les Mis (http://www.ocpac.org/onstage/) is coming back to the OC Center for Performing Arts.

I know my wife has seen it at least a half dozen times, and would LOVE to see it again. At least that's the hint I've been getting.

Also, I've always been impressed at who might be at local clubs and auditoriums in the Orange County/LA area. Any week you might get some current acts, some up-and-coming, and some used-to-be's at some fairly small venues. Check the Orange County Register "SHOW" section of the newspaper when you get in.

04-03-2003, 10:21 AM
You have to go to "The Block". It is about 5 minutes away in the city of Orange. It is an outdoor type shopping area with many restuarants and a Dave and Busters. We love going there on our first night in town just to relax from the 6 hour drive. You can have a good dinner, do some shopping and play around a little. We really enjoy our time there.

04-03-2003, 10:38 AM
I have to chime in about golf n stuff: I am a mini golf fanatic of sorts, and golf n stuff has some of the best courses I have seen in the old mini golf vein (themeing per hole). The courses are well planned out (meaning its regulation, so its possible to get a hole in one), and generally well maintained. And I personally really like how they have themed each hole. If they still have it (I havnt been in a good 8 years or so) do pay the little extra to do both of the courses... they used to have a special on that, that was a pretty good deal. The downside is expect to pay a fair amount for it, they are among the more pricey mini golfs out there, we checked the prices back in July, and I think it was close to $9 a game.

Doodle Duck
04-03-2003, 01:55 PM
The tiny but spotless Orange Zoo is real nice...only a dollar and it's home park Irvine Park is huge and a beauty...a great & very LONG miniature train Ride there too.

If you have a few extra bucks to drop there is the very fun Wild West Dinner Show at Buena park...right across from the nice Movieland Wax Museum and near Ripley's Believe it Or Not.all just a hop down the street from Knott's. (same area is Midevil Times too!...though we prefered the Wild West Show)

Long Beach (not far away at all) has a GREAT Oceanarium and of course The Queen Mary.

In Hollywood we can HIGHLY RECOMMEND The Guiness Book Of Records Museum...facinating and a bit more fun than the others there. (A Ripley's and the pretty weak Hollywood Wax Museum)

The El Capitan is right down the block as is the gorgeous new upscale center that houses the Kodak (Academy Awards) Theater.
Vist Hollywood Blvd. on Sunday when the street parking is plentiful and free.

Our Top Hotel for Hollywood (about $99 per night) is The Beverly Garland Holiday Inn...which is very close to Universal Studios and City Walk).

Don't miss: The L.A. Zoo is a large very beautiful Zoo...(which IMHO slaps the hiney of the over priced over marketed San Diego Zoo... save the flames...I don't care).

Legoland is a 128 acre world class theme park as is Sea World.

The Wild Animal Park is great if you go any other time but in the summer heat.

L.A. is awesome and easy to see. Learn MORE about where NOT to go rather than where TO go to stay safe and have fun. Most of L.A. and it's surrounding attractions are family friendly...but there are a few wrong off ramps youl'd rather not take.

04-03-2003, 02:28 PM
Here a link to a nice place. I just started a thread in other parks about it


04-03-2003, 06:12 PM

nobody even mentioned coming to see our WORLD CHAMPION ANAHEIM ANGELS???!?!??!??!!?!

04-03-2003, 06:15 PM
Thanks disneyscott, but I think we're a little old for that ;) (we don't have kids)

I really appreciate the info people... we've been a couple of times in the past five years, but this time around we're looking to go a little beyond the routine.

Theater is always an option. Indeed it is. We moved about a year and a half ago and while our new home isn't bereft of culture, it does lack anything of the calibre we could see while we're on vacation.

Medieval Times My wife saw some on TV and I think she won't take "no" for an answer. Looks like fun, but pretty cheesy. I guess it's a meal too :) I'm not an old west guy, so it's my pick of the two dinner and show places in Buena Park.

We've done the Block before, and enjoy the experience... also South Coast Plaza and Mainplace for shopping.

Golf 'n Stuff sounds great on the mini golf side of things.

There's a bunch of other stuff here already that looks like it'll be worth a try.

...plus Disneyland, of course :)

Gotta check out some of the museums, etc... and also San Juan Capistrano. It was on my list last time, but we ran out of time.

Umm... I'm not sure if this post was incoherent enough :)


04-04-2003, 06:44 AM
Here is a link for Anaheim/Orange County.


04-04-2003, 07:59 AM
Warner Bros Studio Tour (Burbank) - - Not a theme park like Universal, but a REAL studio tour of the backlot, costume and props warehouses and some current sets. Well worth it.

Groundlings Theatre (Hollywood) - - If you like Improv, the Groundlings is a venerable LA institution that has spawned such talents as Phil Hartman, Paul Reubens, Cassandra Petersen, Lisa Kudrow, etc. See them before they are famous!

TV Tapings - - Free tapings of sitcoms, talk and game shows are everywhere. Though they may involve some tedious waiting, these are a fun time for those who want a peek into the industry. Find tickets in Hollywood (by Grauman's) or at CBS Television City, NBC Studios, etc.

The Beach - - Try the wide tourist and surf beaches of Hermosa/Manhattan, Huntington, Pacific, Carlsbad, Oceanside. Great bodies, fish tacos, margaritas!

Point Loma - - A gorgeous park in San Diego takes you to a cliff overlooking San Diego Bay at the very spot of California's fist discovery by the Spanish. Small museum and grounds, but breathtaking view on a sunny day.

Gaslamp District - San Diego's downtown dinner, club and tourist mecca is always fun. One of the best evenings out in SoCal.

El Coyote - Campy 40's Mexican Restaurant is the first stop for fun Hollywood clubbers with super-magical day-glo green margaritas (they are truth serum!) and the only packed house in Los Angeles that is guaranteed to deliver a non-pretentious, smiling and laughing crowd every night. The yummy, but basic, food keeps the jerks away (an LA rarity)! Sometimes dressed-down celebrities join in the fun.

Horseback Riding in Griffith Park - - There is a fun sunset/evening ride from Sunset Ranch in Hollywood (near the Hollywood sign) across the hills of Griffith Park to a Mexican Restaurant in Burbank for margaritas - - and back again. Some great vistas of LA and fun for a group outing.

Celebrity Cemetaries - - Stately Forest Lawn Glendale (Walt Disney, L. Frank Baum) and spooky Hollywood Forever Memorial Park (CB DeMille, Douglas Fairbanks, Hattie MacDaniel) are a treat! Marilyn is at tiny Westwood Memorial Park. There is a cool tour in hearsts (Grayline) from Hollywood if you don't want to do it on your own.

Ghoulish Delight
04-04-2003, 10:11 AM
Bowers is an excellent museum.

Orange County Zoo? Haven't been there, need to check it out. I know about the Santa Ana Zoo. Also tiny and cheap. They are all about small primates. Makes a nice afternoon.

04-04-2003, 11:32 AM
Nobody has brought this up yet? Okay, I know it's in Hollywood, but hear me out.

When are you going? If it's between the end of June and end of September, you REALLY want to consider a night at the Hollywood Bowl (http://www.hollywoodbowl.com). Bring a picnic dinner and a jacket, and spend a night under the stars listening to great music. The cheap seats range in price (depending on the show) from $1-$15. Better seats are in the $30-$65 range. Be sure to check the transportation page if you don't want to deal with parking (and if there's only two of you, it's probably cheaper to use BowlBus or Park&Ride).

04-04-2003, 12:29 PM
Originally posted by mhrc4

nobody even mentioned coming to see our WORLD CHAMPION ANAHEIM ANGELS???!?!??!??!!?!
Or the ducks, who have been playing really well as of late.