Affordable Things to Do Anaheim
Credit: Birdmanphotos, Ann Dragt

18 Things to Do in Anaheim and Beyond That Won’t Break the Bank

These Wallet-Friendly Activities Are Worth Checking Out

Beyond the magic of Disneyland® Park and the cheers at Ducks games, Anaheim and its neighboring cities are bursting with unexpected adventures that won’t strain your wallet. Picture diving into art museums overflowing with creativity, rummaging through eclectic markets for hidden treasures and lounging in the calm of expansive gardens—all while keeping your spending in check. Embark on a flavor-packed escapade through bustling food halls, practice your golf swing without the hefty price and unwind in a lush arboretum.

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We’ve rounded up 18 fun and wallet-friendly activities in Anaheim and Orange County, so get ready to embark on an adventure that’s as entertaining as it is affordable. Here are 18 things to do in Anaheim and beyond that won’t break the bank!

 

Embrace Art and Culture at the Muzeo Museum + Cultural Center 

Price Point: $10 or less

Affordable Things to Do Anaheim
Credit: Birdmanphotos, Ann Dragt

Dive into the vibrant world of arts and culture at Muzeo Museum + Cultural Center. With its rotating exhibits, educational programs and cultural events, Muzeo offers an affordable opportunity to explore diverse aspects of art and history. From contemporary art to historical artifacts, there’s something here to inspire everyone—25,000 square feet of real estate to explore! For $10 (or $8 if you’re an Anaheim resident), you can explore this cultural center and all it has to offer. They also do fun events like a Wine and Paint night and an Eco Art Camp for kids—be sure to check out their website to see what they have coming up!

 

Explore the Orange County Museum of Art

Price Point: Admission is free

Credit: Orange County Museum of Art

The Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) boasts a dynamic array of exhibitions that capture the innovative spirit of Orange County. With a commitment to showcasing the work of both established and emerging artists, OCMA provides a platform for diverse voices and groundbreaking art. The museum’s free admission policy ensures that art is accessible to all, inviting visitors to explore its compelling collections and thought-provoking installations without the worry of cost. 

 

Shop at the Anaheim Indoor Marketplace

Price Point: Admission is free

Say hello to the Anaheim Indoor Marketplace! With over 200 specialty shops wedged inside Orange County’s largest swap meet, there’s really no telling what you’ll find inside this eclectic treasure trove. Just five minutes from Disneyland® Park, this indoor marketplace carries everything from cosmetics and clothing to food and housewares. The best part? You can shop local and support the Anaheim community while still coming in under budget—it’s a win-win! 

 

Tee Off at The Islands Golf Center

Price Point: $7-16

Swing into fun at The Islands Golf Center, where you can practice your hole-in-one skills without burning a hole in your pocket. This affordable driving range overlooks the basin and offers a relaxed atmosphere, making it a perfect spot for golf novices and enthusiasts alike. Grab a club, hit some balls, and enjoy the scenic views. A small basket of balls is $7, a large basket is $13, and clubs are a whopping $3 (or bring your own)! Stop by microbrewery Noble Ale Works on your way there for a little liquid courage or after to ease the pain of all those shanks.

 

Stroll Through Sherman Library & Gardens

Price Point: Admission is $5

Nestled in the heart of Corona del Mar, Sherman Library & Gardens offers a tranquil escape that blends horticultural mastery with a slice of California’s history. This living museum, spanning over two acres, is an oasis of blooming gardens, with everything from tropical conservatories to succulent displays. Entry fees are modest ($5 per person), and beyond the flora, this landmark provides a deep dive into the Pacific Southwest’s past, making it an ideal spot for both garden enthusiasts and history buffs. Whether you’re meandering through the rose garden or exploring the historical archives, Sherman Library & Gardens promises a serene and educational day out.

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Indulge at Zabon Ramen & Rolls at the Anaheim Packing District

Price Point: $15.45 with 20% off when you download the Visit Anaheim Savings Pass

Dive into the culinary wonderland of the Anaheim Packing District, where an array of international cuisine and artisanal food awaits. With options ranging from Asian street food to gourmet doughnuts, this food hall is a gastronomic adventure featuring bites that won’t cost a fortune. Stop by Zabon Ramen & Rolls for a bowl of miso ramen (just $15.45!), and if you download the Visit Anaheim Savings Pass, you can get 20% off your order here! This Japanese hotspot has a full menu of eats that are delicious and easy on your wallet.

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Play the Day Away at Board Games at Meeples Family

Price Point: $3 per person (per hour)

Meeples Family is a haven for board game fanatics who are on a budget. For just a small admission fee (we’re talking $3 per person), you gain access to a vast collection of board games that will keep you entertained for hours. With cozy seating and a welcoming atmosphere, it’s a great spot to challenge your friends or make new ones over a game of strategy and fun. Pick a game, snag a tent, and hit up the concessions to keep you sharp during your shakedown. Open seven days a week, this quaint cafe is all sorts of nostalgic, so come ready to relive the past through your favorite childhood board games.

 

Score Cheap Tickets to an Angels Game

Price Point: As low as $15 per ticket

Photo By: The Rambling Man / Wikimedia

Break out the roasted peanuts and Cracker Jack, and head down to Angel Stadium—baseball season is right around the corner! What better way to kick off the first home game than with a view of the Angels scoring their first win of the year? Before you ask, a day at the ballpark doesn’t have to break the bank. Pro tip: navigate to the single game tickets page on the MLB website and select seats in the upper view section to keep those ticket prices within budget. You can also download the Visit Anaheim Savings Pass to save up to 50% on tickets for select games. This is easily one of our favorite things to do in Anaheim in the summertime!

 

Browse at the Downtown Anaheim Farmers Market

Price Point: Free

If there’s one thing Californians love, it’s a good farmers’ market. The one in Anaheim happens year-round, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. every Thursday on Center Street Promenade. Join Anaheim natives in securing their farm-to-table goods by exploring and tasting a wide variety of fresh produce, artisanal products and tasty treats. It’s a free and fun way to see what Anaheim has to offer while surrounding yourself with local flavors and friendly faces. Be sure to stop by Lucky 13 Sweets & Treats’s booth to try one of their amazing Toffeedoodle cookies (you can get a dozen for 20 bucks!).

 

Take a Day Trip via the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center

Price Point: Approximately $15-40 

Affordable Things to Do Anaheim
Credit: Anaheim Regional Transportation Center

Did someone say “day trip?” If you’re looking for things to do in Anaheim, pack your bags and head over to the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) for a mini getaway; this transportation hub provides bus, rail, taxi and other services. Located right next to Angel Stadium, it’s centrally located for all your travel needs! Whether you’re venturing south to the coastal county of San Diego or exploring the northern city of Santa Barbara, the Metrolink and Amtrak Pacific Surfliner are your gateway to regional gems across Southern California’s coastline. Train tickets to San Diego cost about $20 (depending on the day of the week) and about $30 if you want to make the trek up to Santa Barbara.

 

Hop Aboard the Balboa Island Ferry

Price Point: $1.50 for adult pedestrians and 50 cents for kids ages 5-11

Credit: Balboa Island Ferry

For a dose of vitamin sea, hop aboard the Balboa Island Ferry! This short but scenic ferry ride to (and from) the charming Balboa Island not only provides a picturesque view of Newport Harbor but also serves as a gateway to the quaint streets and charming atmosphere of the island. With incredibly low fares, this journey is an affordable way to experience Newport’s waterfront lifestyle. Once on the island, visitors can stroll along the bayfront path, indulge in a famous chocolate-dipped Balboa Bar from Sugar ‘n Spice or browse the boutiques and galleries that dot Marine Avenue.

 

Ice Skate at The Rinks

Price Point: $16-23; free for kids 4-12

Ready for a skate date that won’t break the bank? Located in the heart of Anaheim, The Rinks offers affordable skating programs for all ages and skill levels. They offer skate times to the public for $16 with $7 skate rentals, and if you have little ones in tow, their First Strides Try Skating for Free program (ages 4-12), offers first-time skaters the chance to get on the ice and learn how to skate for free!

 

Treat Yourself at Starbread

Price Point: Approximately $5-15

Indulge your taste buds in Filipino flavors with a visit to Starbread. Tucked away in West Anaheim, this bakery specializes in pandesal, a delicious Filipino bread roll that’s fluffy on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside. They also offer a variety of pastries and treats, including the famous Starbread filled with sweet fillings like ube and cheese. It’s a budget-friendly haven for those with a sweet tooth and a sense of adventure for trying international treats. You can get 20 pieces of their famous Starbread for $12—a total steal if you ask us.

 

Get Some Fresh Air at Oak Canyon Nature Center

Price Point: Admission is free

Credit: Kayla Saunders

Nestled in the heart of Anaheim Hills, Oak Canyon Nature Center offers a serene escape into the wilderness, featuring hiking trails, a small museum and diverse wildlife. This outdoor oasis is perfect for a peaceful day of exploration and is absolutely free to explore, making it an ideal spot for cost-conscious nature enthusiasts. Stop into the nature center to check out some local critters and learn more about the animals who call this area home. With 58 acres, there is plenty to explore. We recommend popping in a podcast and losing yourself in the great outdoors for a few hours.

 

Vintage Shopping in Old Towne Orange

Price Point: Free

Credit: Ken Lund

Old Towne Orange, also known as “The Orange Circle,” is a historic district bursting with character. Stroll through tree-lined streets filled with antique shops, charming boutiques and cozy cafes. This vibrant area is perfect for a leisurely day of exploration, where you can admire historic architecture, hunt for unique treasures and savor affordable eats. Don’t forget to snap a selfie with the iconic Orange Plaza Fountain as a backdrop. Some of our favorite Old Towne spots include Bosscat, Haven Gastropub and 1886 Brewing Company.

 

Live the Lush Life at Fullerton Arboretum

Price Point: Free

Fullerton Arboretum
Credit: Cal State Fullerton (CSUF)

Discover a slice of paradise at the Fullerton Arboretum, a hidden gem where you can get a moment of quiet amid this metropolis. Stroll through 26 acres of lush gardens, including themed gardens like the Desert Garden and the Heritage House Garden. Enjoy a leisurely walk along tranquil trails, or simply relax by the ponds and admire the vibrant flora and fauna. With free admission and affordable events like plant sales and workshops, it’s the perfect spot for nature enthusiasts and those seeking a peaceful escape from city life. Parking is ample, and you are guaranteed to get your steps in.

 

Eat Your Heart Out at Friday Night Munchies

Price Point: Admission is free; bring $10-25 for food

Dive into the vibrant food scene of Santa Ana with Friday Night Munchies, a weekly food truck event that serves up delectable delights without the hefty price tag. Gather with fellow foodies and explore a rotating lineup of gourmet food trucks offering diverse cuisines, from tacos to artisanal desserts. Enjoy live music and outdoor seating while you discover new flavors. With reasonable prices and a festive atmosphere, Friday Night Munchies promises a delightful and budget-friendly culinary adventure.

 

See the Animals at OC Zoo 

Price Point: $10 or less

Affordable Things to Do Anaheim
Credit: Danielle Kennedy

Get ready to take a walk on the wild side of Orange County at OC Zoo. Nestled within Irvine Regional Park, this compact and charming zoo is home to a variety of native and exotic animals—from black bears to bald eagles. The best part? Admission prices are incredibly wallet-friendly, making it an ideal outing for families and wildlife enthusiasts. Tickets are just $2, which, when added to your $3 weekday or $5 weekend parking fee, makes this a lively experience for under $10. Don’t forget to explore the adjacent park’s scenic beauty and serene lake for a complete day of outdoor enjoyment.

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Jane Adler is a marketing and branding consultant by trade, but a writer by preference. She shares a name with Meryl Streep's iconic character from It's Complicated and is presently trying to manifest that life (particularly that Santa Barbara house) for herself. Jane is an avid consumer of content and carbs and often used the latter to write on the former.

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