Where to Take the Family for Memorial Day Weekend in Orange County

Where to Take the Family for Memorial Day Weekend in Orange County

This Memorial Day, while we pay tribute to the brave souls who have served our nation, why not also make some joyous memories with your family right here in Orange County?

From sandy toes and strawberry noses to solemn salutes and fireworks that light up the night sky, Orange County rolls out a weekend of activities that beckon families of all shapes and sizes. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a history buff, or a beach bum, there’s something here to spark everyone's interest.

Pack your sunscreen, grab your hats, and let’s explore what makes Orange County the place to be for families this Memorial Day Weekend. Get ready for a blend of honor, history, and outright fun that’s as appealing as a double scoop of your favorite ice cream on a hot day!

Commemorative Events: Honor and Learn with the Family

Anaheim Cemetery Memorial Day Program

Start your weekend with a touch of solemnity and pride at the Anaheim Cemetery, where history comes alive for young minds. 

Picture this: flags fluttering against a blue sky, veterans in uniform, and the solemn notes of “Taps” drifting in the breeze. It’s not just a history lesson; it’s a live reenactment for your kids, providing a real sense of the sacrifices made for our freedoms. Activities often include presentations by local military and civic leaders, making it a poignant experience for both young and old.

Irvine Memorial Day Ceremony

Next up, why not join the Irvine community at Colonel Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park for an afternoon of remembrance? 

This event features a blend of patriotic music, heartfelt speeches, and a wreath-laying ceremony that’s both majestic and moving. It’s a fantastic opportunity for your kids to see community leaders and heroes in action, fostering a sense of respect and admiration for those who serve.

Memorial Day Ceremony at Pierside Veterans Memorial

Wrap up your day of commemoration with a sunset by the sea at Huntington Beach. The Memorial Day Ceremony at Pierside Veterans Memorial is uniquely poignant with the backdrop of crashing waves and the vast Pacific. 

It’s a serene setting where families can gather to honor the brave and reflect on the peace that their sacrifices have helped secure. The soothing sounds of the ocean add a tranquil note to the day’s reflections, making it a perfect ending to a day of meaningful engagement.

Festivals and Public Gatherings: Where Fun Meets Festivity

Strawberry Festival in Garden Grove

Imagine a place where the air is sweet with the scent of strawberries, laughter fills the air, and every turn brings a new delight. 

Welcome to the Strawberry Festival in Garden Grove, a longstanding tradition that’s as tasty as it is fun! This festival is a paradise for the little ones with its carnival rides, parade featuring local marching bands, and, of course, the strawberry shortcake eating contest. Dive into piles of fresh strawberries, explore handcrafted goods, and enjoy live entertainment. 

It's a berry special experience designed to captivate both young hearts and old!

Scottish Fest USA at the OC Fair & Event Center

Don your kilts and get ready to be transported to the highlands of Scotland right here in Costa Mesa! The Scottish Fest USA fills the OC Fair & Event Center with the sound of bagpipes, the thrill of Highland dancing, and the strength of traditional athletic games. 

Kids can marvel at the caber toss, get up close with Scottish breeds at the dog show, and even partake in their own set of games. It’s a cultural journey that promises fun, education, and the chance to try out a Scottish accent.

Old Town Tustin Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off

Spice up your weekend after Memorial Day at the Old Town Tustin Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off, where you can taste chili from over 50 competitors who think their recipe reigns supreme. 

While the spice heats up, cool down with live music, craft vendors, and plenty of kid-friendly activities. The little ones can enjoy face painting, bouncy houses, and more, while adults can indulge in a cold beer from the beer garden. It’s a flavorful fiesta that’s sure to leave everyone smiling—and perhaps reaching for a glass of water!

Outdoor Adventures: Dive into Nature’s Playground

Beaches, Hiking, Parks

Pack your beach bags and lace up your hiking boots because Orange County’s beaches and parks are your family's playground this Memorial Day Weekend! Start your day at Huntington Beach for some sun, surf, and sandcastle building. 

If you prefer a greener scenery, wander through the trails of Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, a haven for nature lovers that offers panoramic views and a chance to spot local wildlife. 

For a more curated outdoor experience, visit Irvine Regional Park where you can rent bikes, paddle boats, and even explore a historic railroad. It’s the perfect setting for a family picnic under the shade of ancient oak trees.

Boating on Newport Harbor

For a change of pace, why not take the family on a maritime adventure? 

Rent a boat and sail around Newport Harbor, where the gentle breeze and sparkling waters create a perfect backdrop for a family day out. Teach the kids how to tie nautical knots or let them take the helm under close supervision. 

For a more relaxed experience, join a guided boat tour to learn about the rich history of the harbor and its stunning oceanfront homes. It's not just a boat ride; it’s a captain’s adventure for the whole crew!

Knott's Soak City Water Park

As the temperatures rise, cool off at Knott's Soak City Water Park. 

With everything from towering slides and rushing rivers to the kiddie splash area, it's a wet and wild sanctuary for water lovers of all ages. Challenge your family members to a slide race, or float down the lazy river discussing your favorite parts of the weekend. It's a refreshing way to add some splash to your holiday fun!

Unique Local Attractions: Unforgettable Family Fun

Knott's Berry Farm Memorial Weekend Fireworks

Get ready for a thrilling evening at Knott's Berry Farm, where roller coasters and fireworks light up the night sky in a spectacular display of fun and excitement! 

Spend your day zipping through loops and drops on coasters like GhostRider and HangTime before settling in for a mesmerizing fireworks show. It’s the perfect way to end your Memorial Day with a bang and a burst of color that will leave the whole family cheering.

Laguna Beach Art Walk

Explore the artistic side of Orange County with a leisurely stroll through Laguna Beach during the monthly Art Walk. As you wander through the streets, you’ll encounter galleries showcasing a diverse range of art, from paintings and sculptures to jewelry and photography. Engage your kids with interactive exhibits and live demonstrations, or simply enjoy the vibrant atmosphere as local artists share their passion with the community. It’s a cultural experience that’s as enriching as it is entertaining!

Discovery Cube

Ignite your family's curiosity and spark a love for learning at the Discovery Cube! This interactive science museum offers hands-on exhibits and immersive experiences designed to educate and inspire visitors of all ages. 

From exploring the depths of the ocean in the Ocean Quest exhibit to discovering the wonders of space in the Planetary Research Station, there's something for every budding scientist and explorer. With engaging activities, live demonstrations, and plenty of opportunities for discovery, it's a day of fun and learning that the whole family will love!

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