People in Orange County know that it’s not hard to have a great date. There are plenty of fun things to do, and the weather is perfect for most activities. But if you’re looking for something new and different, here are 31 ideas to get you started!
Best date ideas in Orange County
1. Hike Red Rock Canyon Trail
There are plenty of gorgeous places to hike in California, and Red Rock Canyon Trail is one of them. It’s an easy hike and there’s plenty to do and see along the way. It’s a great place to take your date if they’re into hiking or nature – what a way to spend the afternoon!
2. Take a walk on Huntington City Beach
Orange County is filled with beautiful views and lavish sandy beaches. But with its long boardwalk, Huntington City Beach is the perfect place for a leisurely romantic stroll with your date. You can people-watch, stop for a bite to eat or drink, and just enjoy each other’s company.
3. Spend the day at Disneyland
Who doesn’t love a day at Disney? Even two adults can have some real fun in the happiest place on Earth. If you’re looking for date ideas that are unique to Orange County, then this is definitely one to consider. Just be sure to buy your tickets in advance so you can get a spot in the park!
4. Go for a bike ride on San Gabriel River Bike Trail
You can find more than one beautiful trail in Orange County, but the San Gabriel River Bike Trail makes for a fantastic place to take a date. This 28-mile bike trail runs along the San Gabriel River, providing for plenty of places to stop and enjoy the scenery. Not to mention, it’s a great way to get some exercise in together!
5. See a movie at The Frida Cinema
There are plenty of theaters you can hit up in Orange County, but The Frida Cinema is a great option if you’re looking for a date night. They show a variety of films – from classics to new releases – and they even have special events like sing-alongs and movie marathons.
6. Do a paint and sip night
Paint and sip nights are a unique way to get to know someone, have a drink, and enjoy your evening. You can relax and let your creative side out, and (hopefully) come away with something you can hang on the wall. There are plenty of places that offer a wine and art experience, like Paint and Sip Ventura.
7. Visit the Mission San Juan Capistrano
Mission San Juan Capistrano is both a historic landmark and a great place to take a date if you’re into history or architecture (or both). It was founded in 1776, and is the oldest structure in California that’s still in use. It’s a beautiful place to walk around, and you can learn a lot about the state’s history while you’re there.
8. Do an Instagram scavenger hunt
There are plenty of Instagrammable places in Orange County. If you and your date want to spend the day taking some great photos, creating a DIY photo scavenger hunt could be perfect. Make a list of your favorite snapshots from around the county, and see how many you can check off by the end of the day. You might be surprised at how many cool places there are to explore!
9. Attend a comedy show at The Laugh Factory
Looking for date nights that will keep both you and your date laughing? Then look no further than The Laugh Factory. They have a variety of stand-up comedians performing every night, and you’re sure to find someone that will make you laugh. Make sure to get your tickets in advance, as shows often sell out!
10. Visit the Santa Ana Zoo
The Santa Ana Zoo is a great date idea if you ‘re looking for something a little different. It’s a smaller zoo, but it’s home to more than 80 species of animals – many of which are endangered. You can learn about the animals and their habitats while you walk around, making for a fun and educational date.
11. Check out the shows at Segerstrom Center for the Arts
The Segerstrom Center for the Arts is home to some great productions from Moulin Rouge to Hamilton. If you and your date are looking for a night of live art and culture, then this is the perfect option. But you’ll want to make sure you pick up your tickets in advance, as shows often sell out quickly.
12. Have a picnic at Irvine Regional Park
Irvine Regional Park became Orange County’s first official regional park in 1897. It has over 160-acres of space that you can spread out and explore. There are hiking trails, paddle boats and picnic areas, leaving you and your date plenty to do and see. So pack up a basket with your favorite cold lunch and head out for the afternoon.
13. Grab food at the Anaheim Packing House
Can’t decide what to eat? Or maybe you simply don’t want to eat the same thing as your date. Regardless of the issue, the Anaheim Packing House is a good way for you to enjoy food without too much sacrifice. Grab a bite to eat, do some shopping, and even enjoy live music – all in one place!
14. Go on a wine tasting tour
California is definitely known for its wine, and some of those vineyards are located right in Orange County. If you and your date are wine lovers, then going on a tasting tour is a great way to spend an afternoon or evening. There are plenty of options to choose from and you don’t even have to go that far from home.
15. See a movie at the Drive-In
Take date night back to the classic era with a drive-in movie date. The Van Buren Drive-In isn’t in Orange County, but it’s right next door, and one of the only ones left in Southern California. So load up your car with snacks and cozy blankets and enjoy a film under the stars with your date.
16 . Get your adrenaline pumping at Skydive Elsinore
For the couple that likes to live life on the edge, take a tandem skydiving plunge at Skydive Elsinore. You’ll get an incredible view of Orange County while you free fall, and it’s an experience you won’t soon forget. Just make sure you’re both comfortable with heights first!
17. Take a KPOP dance class
Yes, this is an actual thing! If you and your date are Kpop fans and want to learn how to dance like your favorite stars, it might be the date night for you. There are a few places in Orange County where you can catch a class. You’ll be busting out the moves in no time – and you might even get a chance to know each other better while you’re at it!
18. Ride the Giant Wheel
There are plenty of theme parks in the Orange County area like Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland. But if you’re just in need of a date night that’s a little lighter on the wallet, check out the Giant Wheel at the Santa Ana Fairgrounds. You’ll get a great view of the surrounding area, and it’s a fun way to spend an evening with your date, even if you only have an hour or two.
19. Volunteer together
Volunteering together can be a meaningful way to get to know each other. Not only do you make a difference, but you also get to see how your date responds in different situations. It can be a great way to learn more about each other and have fun at the same time. Orange County has plenty of opportunities for volunteering, so you’re sure to find something that interests you both.
20. Stargaze at the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve
For a date that’s out of this world, head to the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve for some stargazing. You’ll need to check the schedule in advance to find out when they’re open, but it’s worth it for a chance to see the stars up close. Who knows, you might even spot a shooting star!
21. Play tourist for the day
Even if you’ve lived in Orange County your whole life, there’s always something new to discover. So play tourist for the day and explore all that the OC has to offer. Visit some of the popular tourist spots like Newport Beach or Laguna Beach, and take advantage of all the great things that are right in your own backyard.
22. Go go-karting
If you’re looking for a date that’s fast and fun, go-karting might be the way to go. There are a few different places in Orange County where you can race each other around the track. It’s a great way to get your competitive juices flowing and see if your date has what it takes to win (or lose).
23. Attend a concert or show
There’s always something going on in Orange County, so take your date to a concert or show. There are plenty of venues to choose from, and you’re sure to find something that you’ll both enjoy. Whether it’s a local band or a big name act, seeing live music is a great way to spend an evening together.
24. Check out the Old Orange County Courthouse
For a date that’s a little more low-key and steeped in history, head to the Old Courthouse Museum in Santa Ana. It’s a great place to learn about the history of Orange County and see some interesting artifacts. Since it’s free to visit, consider a nice dinner afterwards!
25. Take a surfing lesson
Looking to get active and have a blast? Surf lessons might be for you. There are plenty of beaches in Orange County where you can catch some waves. This is a great way to spend an afternoon together. Just make sure you’re both comfortable with the water before you get started!
26. Check out the OC Night Market
If you want to combine your love of local markets with a night date, check out the OC Night Market. It’s a great place to find food from all over the world, and you can also enjoy live entertainment and shopping. The market is only open on certain nights, so be sure to check the schedule in advance.
27. Have dinner at Medieval Times
It might be a bit on the cheesy side, but if you’re looking for dinner and a show, and want to have a ton of fun, consider dinner at Medieval Times. It’s a date fit for a king or queen! You’ll enjoy a four-course meal while you watch a live tournament. It’s a great way to step back in time and experience an evening of chivalry and romance.
28. Visit the The Camp
The Camp in Costa Mesa offers a unique shopping and dining experience that’s perfect for couples. This green, eco-friendly mall offers retailers dedicated to a healthy and active lifestyle. There are also plenty of events and activities to keep you entertained, so you’re sure to find something that you’ll both enjoy.
29. Take a mixology class
If cooking classes are too basic for you, how about a cocktail making class? There are plenty of places where you can learn how to make some of your favorite drinks (and taste them while you do it). It’s a great way to spend an evening together and learn something new at the same time.
30. Grab dinner on the rooftop
For a date with a view, grab dinner at The FIFTH. Located in Anaheim, this fancy joint has a DJ, craft cocktails, and a full menu. If you want to take in the beautiful California sunset while eating with your date, this is the place to do it.
31. Play some games at Dave & Buster’s
Games aren’t just for kids! If you want a little competition, but you don’t want to go as big as a go-kart race, head to Dave & Buster’s. You can enjoy a meal while you play some arcade games or try your hand at bowling. It’s a great way to have some fun and see if your date is up for a challenge.
Ready to plan your perfect Orange County date night?
Planning your date night doesn’t have to be stressful, nor does it have to be unoriginal. There are plenty of great date ideas in Orange County. It doesn’t matter what you’re into, there’s something out there for you!