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When I say ‘Anaheim,’ what comes to mind? Probably Disney, right? Well, the oldest city in Orange County (founded in 1857), has much more to offer the family traveller than the House of Mouse. From unique activities and artisanal food, to some of the best craft beer in the world, here are seven fun non-theme park things to do in Anaheim that may surprise you.

Anaheim palm trees at sunset
They like their palm trees tall in Anaheim. (Photo credit: Shutterstock)

7 fun non-theme park things to do in Anaheim

1. Stroll along Center Street Promenade

The outdoor cafes, trendy boutiques and Good Food Hall in downtown Anaheim offer hip eats and drinks. From vegan eateries to latin-flavoured cantinas, there’s tastes for everyone to enjoy along the Center Street Promenade. Local craft beer culture can even been enjoyed at Barbeer, the local barbershop.

anaheim center street
Talk a walk through the centre of Anaheim along Center St. (Photo credit: Kate Guest)

2. Visit the Anaheim Packing House

Anaheim has revitalized many historic buildings for modern uses. The Anaheim Packing House is a stunning contemporary food hall that used to serve as a citrus packing plant for Sunkist. The hall now hosts more than twenty artisanal eateries, a communal dining area, as well as lively entertainment performances.

anaheim packing house foyer
Delicious indoor fun at Anaheim Packing House. (Photo credit: Kate Guest)

3. Take off at FlightDeck

Channel your inner Maverick and get into the cockpit of a military-grade flight simulator at FlightDeck. You can practice your dogfighting skills without leaving the ground.

4. Explore the Downtown Disney District

No tickets are required to get your Disney fix at this free and fun entertainment zone. In the Downtown Disney District you can browse one of the largest Disney stores. Listen to live music. Enjoy a family meal at some of the District’s restaurants, and enjoy creole food and great music at Jazz Kitchen.

5. Catch a hockey or ballgame

You can get your pro sports fix in Orange County. Yes, the Anaheim Ducks NHL team is indeed named after the team from the popular movie, “The Mighty Ducks.”

Fun Fact: MLB’s Los Angeles Angels have set 6 World Records for the largest gathering of people wearing cowboy hats, luchador masks, blankets, wigs, Santa hats and sombreros.

los angeles angels baseball player
Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at bat during the game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium. (Photo credit: Matt Brown/Angels Baseball LP/Getty Images)

6. Get a taste of Anaheim Brewery

Befitting its German heritage, the craft beer movement is alive and well at Anaheim Brewery. You can taste a variety of Great American Beer Festival-winning porters, stouts and IPAs. In fact, you will find the best IPA in the world in Anaheim. Noble Ale Works was awarded this prestigious prize in 2016 at the World Beer Cup.

tanks at anaheim brewery
A beer for every season at Anaheim Brewery (Photo credit: Kate Guest)

7. Soar at SwingIt Trapeze

If you or the kids fancy running away to join the circus, test your acrobatic mettle with trapeze classes from the pros at Swingit Trapeze.

Getting Around Anaheim

It may not shock you to learn that California is a state that celebrates car culture. Anaheim is no exception, so if you plan to get around with ease, renting a car will help.

Hotel shuttles and Uber can ease the driving burden, just do the math and see what options are more affordable. On a road trip with the family? Check out these family-friendly California road trip stops along the way.

Read more California

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A Helpful Disney Trip Planner for Families

Disclosure: The Travelling mom thanks Visit Anaheim for its sponsorship of this post.

What are your favourite spots to visit in Anaheim? Share your tips and comments below.

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