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7 Hidden Gem Activities in Irvine, CA

Jon Fesmire | March 18, 2021 @ 12:00 AM

Irvine is a great city, located in southern Orange County, California, with lots to do. While you’re probably familiar with the Irvine Spectrum Center, a central location in the city with restaurants, shops, and a movie theater, you may not know about these other great sites.


Puzzle Workshop Escape Room

Want to try out an escape room? 

Head over to the Puzzle Workshop Escape Room with two to six pals. You’ll have one hour to escape from one of the themed rooms. These include CSI: Hollywood, Trapped in Time, Secrets of the Illuminati, Mission to the Stars, and Trail of the Hope Diamond. 

Whether you plan to just do the escape room then go home, or make it part of a larger day, you’re bound to have a lot of fun here.

Due to COVID-19, the workshop is taking extra precautions to remain safe, so check out their faq for details.


Pretend City Children’s Museum

This is a great place for kids to learn about how the world works. Pretend City Children’s Museum contains a model city where children can explore the intricacies of adult life in modern society.

There’s an art studio to help kids build their fine motor skills, an amphitheater to help with self-expression and confidence, a bank to teach kids the sort of math skills they’ll use as adults, and much more. 

The museum also hosts various events, including Family Autism Night, and Way to Play Days to teach parents about developmental milestones. 

You can schedule birthday parties for your kids here, too.


Tanaka Farms

Do you love strawberries? Then you’ll want to give this place a look. 

Tanaka Farms gives tours and wagon rides by reservation. You can pick strawberries, kale, spinach, radishes, and other produce. Even with COVID-19 restrictions, you can still get some great food here with drive-thru orders and curbside pickup.

Need some ideas of what to make with all those fresh fruits and vegetables? 

The website has recipes like butternut squash chili, roasted corn and arugula salad with Maui onions, and vegan watermelon poke bowls. 

When you visit, make sure to purchase some hand-dipped chocolate-covered strawberries.


Adventure Playground

This is a great place to take the kids with the sort of play areas you won’t find at an ordinary playground. 

Adventure Playground has a treehouse, sensory garden, an art wall, forts, and more. Take a walk, have a picnic, and enjoy the day with your family. 

Keep in mind that pets are not allowed, and during COVID, neither are large groups. Wear a mask and observe social distancing guidelines.


Boomers Irvine

Irvine has its own Boomers Park, a fun place to throw a party, take a date, or go with family and friends. 

This is the place to go for miniature golf and go-carts. The site also includes two thrill rides, bumper boats, a rock wall, laser tag, an arcade, and more. 

You can grab lunch or dinner, too. Naturally, Boomers takes reservations for birthday parties and corporate events. Hours and number of people able to be at the park at once may be restricted due to COVID, so check the website.

Boomer Canyon Trails

Not to be confused with the last entry, Boomer Canyon Trails is an excellent place to go hiking, horseback riding, or mountain biking. 

It’s part of Irvine Ranch Cattle Camp and you may spot some of the buildings around, giving this site a sense of American history.

As a nature preserve, Boomer Canyon Tails has endangered animal species, so treat the area with respect. Also while many paths are open for hikes, those in sensitive habitats are reserved for guided tours only. 

While horseback riding is allowed in some areas, horses are not permitted. Nevertheless, this is a fun place to enjoy a masked walk with friends or family, to get some fresh air and exercise during the COVID pandemic.


Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial

This site was created to honor the men and women who have died in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. It started as temporary memorials, erected each year from 2003 to 2010, and made permanent in late 2010. It features several pedestals with the names of many fallen heroes, and it is open to the public.

If you’re a member of a gold star military family, you can request a tracing of your family member’s name, mailed to you for free. 

The website for Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial includes a search engine where you can find the name of your loved one and where it’s inscribed on the memorial.

These spots should give you a good start at exploring Irvine. 

If you have an RV and enjoy going on extended trips, store it with us at RV Storage Depot. We’ll keep it safe until you’re ready to travel again.

Jon Fesmire
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