35 of the Best Free Things to Do in Orange County

 There’s always something new to do or something that we haven’t done in Orange County. While some activities could easily come with high costs, there are plenty of other activities that are completely free. The list of free things to do in Orange County is always growing, especially during the summer!

With so many of the best free things to do in Orange County, you can save money without losing out on the fun as you explore one of the most popular areas in California. What to do in Orange County | Orange County Travel Tips | How to Save Money During Travel | Summer Travel Tips | California Activities | Free Things to do in California | Orange County Summer Ideas | Summer in Orange County #orangecounty #traveltips

Living in Orange County is an amazing experience for me and my family. With so many of the best free things to do in Orange County, you can save money without losing out on the fun as you explore on of the most popular areas of California.

We are always sure to have plenty of water, sunblock, hats, sunglasses, and external batteries for our devices when we head out on any family adventure! {Surf’s up! If you live in California or are planning a visit, get our popular Best Surf Spots in Orange County ebook for only $5.99! This comprehensive list is perfect for surfers and beach lovers alike.}

Concerts In The Canyon

There are plenty of concerts that happen around Orange County, especially during the summer months. You can find any that are local to you and then attend as many as you’d like. Many of the concerts will be local bands but sometimes there are cover bands and local celebrities.

Tuesday Movies

Movie theaters have been implementing discounted or free movies on Tuesdays during the summer for years in Orange County. You may even be able to see those summer blockbusters that everyone will be talking about at a steep discount. 

Mason Movie Nights Under The Stars

See two different family-friendly movies on select dates. They are shown outside in the amphitheater. Be sure to bring a blanket, chairs, and even a picnic dinner. Shows start at sunset so you can come early, have some dinner, and enjoy the movie! 

Shipley Nature Center

Talk a walk through the 18-acre nature center on Mondays through Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm. The hours may vary but the center is the perfect place to spend a summer afternoon. Your kids will love getting outside and you will love that it’s educational.

Community Day at the Back Bay Science Center

Every Sunday, from 10 am to 2 pm you can enjoy the tide pool touch tanks, and water birds, and here you get a little learning in as well! Keep those minds excited and engaged all at once. 

With so many of the best free things to do in Orange County, you can save money without losing out on the fun as you explore one of the most popular areas in California. What to do in Orange County | Orange County Travel Tips | How to Save Money During Travel #orangecounty #thingstodo #travel

Pacific Marine Mammal Center

The Marine Mammal Center rescues and rehabilitates marine mammals, you can catch a glimpse before they send them back into the wild! Check them out daily between 10 am and 4 pm.

Sunday Concerts in The Park | Huntington Beach Central Park

Come to enjoy a free concert hosted by the Huntington Beach Concert Band every Sunday. Concerts run from June 26th until September 4th.

Downtown Fullerton Art Walks | Any gallery in Fullerton

Head to one of the many art galleries in Fullerton and pick up a map. The map will show you the path through a world of art. You can take the adventure on the first Friday of the month from 6 pm to 10 pm.

Concerts On The Green

Every Sunday from 6 pm to 7:30 pm you can listen to different bands at the Newport Beach Civic Center.

Shakespeare by The Sea

Bring your own chairs to the Saddleback College campus for “Othello” and “Cymbeline” most weekends in July and August.

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

Walk through the wetlands at the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve on the first Saturday of the month from 9 am to 10:30 am.

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Free Swimming

Monday through Thursday the city offers free recreational swimming from 3-4:30 pm.

Prehistoric Playground Dinosaur Park

Talk a walk through a re-creation of a fossil reef with replicas of actual fossils! There are fossils including a 70 million-year-old hadrosaur skeleton.

Heritage Hill Historical Park

Take a stroll through the Heritage Hill Historical Park and learn about the history of the Saddleback Valley. Available Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am to 2 pm.

Friday Movie Matinees

Visit the community room at 2 pm on July 15, 29 and August 12th for a free movie with popcorn and refreshments.

Cypress Summer Concerts on the Green

Every Saturday from June 4th to Aug 20th there will be concerts on the green. Just bring a blanket, chairs, and a picnic if you’d like.

Watercolor Class | Aliso Viejo Library 1 Journey

Bring the kids along for a watercolor art class taught by professional artist, Katherine Taylor every third Saturday of the month from 2-4 pm.

Movies In The Park

The movie is shown at dusk every Friday from July 15th until August 19th.

Coastkeeper Garden

Every day from 7-4 pm you can enjoy this sustainable garden and you can also enjoy some time playing in the Natural Play Garden.

Sunday Concerts at Sea Terrace Park

Every Sunday there will be two acts starting at 2:30 pm and running until 6 pm. Shows are starting on July 10th and go until August 14th. Sunda concerts are one of the best free things to do in Orange County.

Fullerton Arboretum

Any day of the week from 8 am to 4:30 pm you can take a walk through the grounds at the Fullerton Arboretum. You can see over 4,000 different types of plants, ponds, wildlife, and more.

Wednesday Concerts at Hart Park

This time you can bring your dancing shoes! Every Wednesday from 7 to 8:30 pm starting June 22nd and ending on August 10th.

With so many of the best free things to do in Orange County, you can save money without losing out on the fun as you explore one of the most popular areas in California. What to do in Orange County | Orange County Travel Tips | How to Save Money During Travel #orangecounty #thingstodo #travel

Family Funtime Shows

There are different dates and types of entertainment ranging from magic to marionette shows from June 23 until August 18th.

San Joaquin Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary

Walk along nearly 12 miles of trails over 320 acres of the wildlife sanctuary! You can easily enjoy nature while doing one of the best free things to do in Orange County.

Concerts in the Park

Enjoy a different band in the Tri-City Park starting at 6:30 pm.

Tustin Movies in the Park

Movies will start at dusk at the family-friendly parks including Cedar Grove Park, Peppertree Park, Camino Real Park, and Frontier Park.

Summerfest in Fountain Valley

Different activities every day from June 23-26th with some extra activities at an additional charge. Summerfest is definitely one of the best free things to do in Orange County.

Adult BYOI Bring Your Own Instrument

This one is for the adults only but bring your own instrument and learn the basics on Wednesdays starting at 7 pm.

Concerts in Peppertree Park

Concerts will begin at 6 pm on June 22nd, 29th, July 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th, August 3rd, 10th.

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Visit The Beach

Orange County has many different beaches you can visit, so take advantage of the beaches near you or make a trip of it and check out some beaches further away! The beaches are not only popular they are among the best free things to do in Orange County.

The Muckenthaler Cultural Center

The Muckenthaler Cultural Center is a non-profit cultural center and they are a great learning opportunity for the whole family.

Bowers Museum

On the first Sunday of the month, Santa Ana residents can visit the museum for free.

Take a Hike

Orange County is home to many different trails that offer beautiful views and awesome opportunities to interact with the great outdoors! 

Walk Along The Harbor

Parking is free, some activities may cost a have a small cost but you can always just walk along the harbor and check out the ships that are docked.

Old Courthouse Museum

This museum is always free and they are a great resource for children as well as adults.

Surf Spots in Orange County

There are so many opportunities to do something wonderful in Orange County. You can find free things to do in Orange County to fill in the time between trips to Disneyland or even cross-country travel. One of the most popular things to do in Orange County is surfing. Surfing is so much fun and you don’t have to arrive at the beach like a pro. In fact, it is one of the best free things to do in Orange CountyYou can get lessons at many of the different beaches in Orange County. The trick is finding the best beaches to surf. Our eBook could really make it easy to find the best surf spots. 

With so many of the best free things to do in Orange County, you can save money without losing out on the fun as you explore one of the most popular areas in California. What to do in Orange County | Orange County Travel Tips | How to Save Money During Travel | Summer Travel Tips | California Activities | Free Things to do in California | Orange County Summer Ideas | Summer in Orange County #orangecounty #traveltips

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