43 Fun Date Ideas in Orange County, California for 2024

Last Updated on February 23, 2024 | 0 Comments
You and your other half can enjoy many date ideas in Orange County

Are you wanting to impress a special someone with unique date ideas in Orange County, CA? This metropolitan paradise along the Pacific shoreline is blanketed in sunshine and filled with exciting activities and events that cater to a variety of tastes and interests, making it a hot spot for romance and rendezvous.

Graced by some of California’s top sandy beaches and attractions, Orange County is filled with rich history, life and culture. As the third most populated county in the state, you’re bound to find all kinds of options from waterfront dining to adventure hiking and endless shopping endeavors. If you’re ready to impress, check out this list we’ve compiled of 43 exciting date ideas in Orange County.


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Foodie Date Ideas in Orange County

1. Cooking Classes

A cooking class near you is probably the best date idea in Orange County for two foodies to celebrate their love of good food together. There’s so much popular cuisine to explore within this culturally diverse region, such as Italian, Chinese, French and more. You could even make it a weekly event. Discover cooking classes in Orange County, and plan an evening where you can dice, mix, sauté and learn new techniques to bring to your table for your next night in.

Cooking classes are one of the most fun date ideas in Orange County
via Cozymeal

2. Private Chef Experiences

Do you want to make an anniversary or birthday extra special? Or are you looking for relaxing stay-home date ideas? Then invite a private chef to come to your home and cook a gourmet meal.

To make your evening memorable, look for private chefs near you that specialize in your favorite cuisine, and an esteemed, world-class chef will take care of the rest. They’ll shop for fresh ingredients and prepare an elaborate feast from your own kitchen. You can even relax while they take care of the cleanup. If this sounds dreamy to you, explore private chefs in Orange County and plan an unforgettable dinner.

3. Anaheim Packing District

If your taste buds are feeling adventurous, you and your partner will appreciate this date idea in Orange County. Stroll through Anaheim Packing District to find an enormous array of vendors with endless food and drink options, ranging from classic and traditional to super unique. With the upscale vibes, ramen, gelato and various other types of food to enjoy, you’ll both have a fun night checking out some of the best local food offerings. 

A large cream building with two towers and an Anaheim Packing House sign
via Anaheim Packing District

4. Dining With a View

What could be more perfect than a fancy meal with the one you love? Reserve a table at 180blu located at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel and dine with a panoramic view of Salt Creek Beach. With a selection of hand-crafted drinks, small plates and delectable desserts from Raya, 180blu will surely add an extra dose of romance. If you’re looking for romantic date ideas in Orange County, don’t miss out on making a reservation at this high-end dining establishment.  

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5. Brewery Tour

Monkish Brewing is the place to be for a fun date idea near Orange County. Located about 40 minutes from central Orange County, the Torrance location features a brewery and tasting room. Along with being able to enjoy the tasting room, you’ll find various food trucks and can get beer to go before you leave. For another date idea in Orange County, you can check out the Monkish Brewing Beer Garden in Anaheim. Either spot is an excellent place for a double date idea as well.

A brewery tour is a great double date idea in Orange County
via Canva

6. The Camp

Balancing culture, sophistication and functionality while fusing the boundaries between nature and city life, The Camp is a retail campus that’s a must-visit for health-conscious and eco-conscious couples. If you’re looking for healthy cuisine, the eateries you’ll discover here will satisfy your taste buds and belly while honoring your eco-values. For a planet-conscious date, this is your go-to spot!

7. A Breakfast Date

Enjoy classic California cuisine at the Beachcomber Café. For a morning date idea in Orange County, this quaint little cottage-style restaurant is the best way to start your day. It’s located on Crystal Cove Beach and features delicious breakfast classics like corned beef hash with eggs, avocado toast and so much more. After a romantic breakfast, you can enjoy a day together on the beach. 

Two people eating at a breakfast table with breakfast dishes and coffee
via Canva

8. Four-Hour Dinner at The Hobbit

Got time? Why not take a lot of it and enjoy an extraordinary culinary experience at The Hobbit? A unique four-hour dining adventure awaits you at this quaint little house that’s been transformed into a restaurant. In this intimate space, you’ll be absorbed by elegance, incredible food from a prix fixe menu and your partner's lovestruck gaze.

9. Cabo Wabo Beach Club

This date idea in Orange County makes for an excellent day or evening together. Devour delicious Mexican cuisine and sip handcrafted cocktails in a chic and lively atmosphere at Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo Beach Club. You’ll find this chic lounge located inside The Waterfront Beach Resort Huntington Beach. Here, you’ll be mesmerized by a stunning sunset as you wine and dine by the flaming fire pit.

A day at a beach club is one of the laid-back date ideas in Orange County
via Cabo Wabo Beach Club 

First Date Ideas in Orange County

10. First Thursday Art Walk

The famous Laguna Beach hosts a First Thursday Art Walk from 6 to 9 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month. With this perfect first date idea in Orange County, you can stroll through local galleries, admire the street entertainment and explore the various exhibits that are sure to be a talking point.

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11. Disneyland

Impress your partner with an alluring date at California’s famous attraction: Disneyland. This fun and laid-back date idea in Orange County allows you to experience magic and tasty Disney-themed snacks. Jump on rides, absorb the nostalgia and stay until the evening to dine or watch the fireworks. 

Disney characters dancing in an outdoor show
via Disneyland

12. Concerts

Book tickets to see a concert at The Observatory — a premiere venue for live music and entertainment. With this fun date idea in Orange County, you won’t need to worry about breaking any awkward first date silence because the music is always turned up.

13. Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum

Bookworms, political enthusiasts and history buffs will enjoy this unique Orange County date idea. Strike up curious conversations that can last for weeks to come when you visit the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. Explore millions of recorded documents and thousands of photos from the past president’s life and career at this historical landmark.

One of the date ideas in Orange County for history lovers is a trip to the presidential museum
via Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum

14. Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Located in Costa Mesa, Segerstrom Center for the Arts is a one-stop spot for exciting entertainment. From symphonies, plays, comedy, musicals and even yoga, you're bound to find an awesome date idea near Orange County to enjoy at this artsy venue.

15. Wine and Paint Night

If you’re looking for something different and artsy, why not sip on your favorite drink while making some gorgeous art? At Pinot’s Palette, you can do just that while spending quality time with your partner. After enjoying this date night idea in Orange County, you’ll get to go home with one-of-a-kind artworks that remind you of your special first date.

A woman painting on an easel
via Canva

Free Date Ideas in Orange County

16. Old Courthouse Museum

The Old Courthouse Museum is home to the Orange County Archives and is one of the oldest buildings in Southern California. Enjoy navigating through the ancient halls and rooms and discovering local and regional historical exhibits. Admission is completely free, so this is the perfect date idea for history-loving couples on a budget. 

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17. Bike Trails

Get some exercise while taking in beautiful views on the Fullerton Loop for some free outdoor fun. It boasts 28 miles of recreational trails, so you can pack a picnic lunch to make a day of it. 

A couple riding bikes on a bike trail surrounded by trees
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18. Pacific City

Even if you don’t have much money to spend, Pacific City is a great place for couples to walk around hand in hand and admire the lively atmosphere and free entertainment that’s readily available. This beachfront mall always has something interesting going on and makes for a terrific date idea in Orange County for all kinds of couples.

19. Beach Picnic

Seal Beach Pier is a wonderful place to bring a picnic lunch and walk off your meal along the oceanside. This date idea in Orange County is a nice choice if you want a free and relaxed time under the sun with someone you care about.

A day at the beach is one of the classic date ideas in Orange County
via Canva

20. Rodeo 39 Public Market

You can make this date an inexpensive but still tremendously exciting one. Tour through Rodeo 39 Public Market, located in Stanton, to discover a range of eateries, merchants and shops for various flavors and delights. This definitely won’t be your last rodeo at this venue because there’s so much here to explore. 

Exciting Date Ideas in Orange County

21. Knott’s Berry Farm

For a fun time that will make you feel like kids again, visit an amusement park filled with thrill rides and water activities that will get your adrenaline racing. Knott’s Berry Farm has something for everyone, including a museum, an array of theme park rides, dining and special events every month. For a fun-filled date idea in Orange County, mark a visit to this theme park down on your agenda.

A couple riding a roller coaster at a theme park
via Canva

22. Hockey Game

If you want to cool down from the hot California sun and prefer hockey over baseball, then check out the Anaheim Duck’s schedule to find out when they play next. Hot chocolate, hats and mittens at a good old hockey game will never go out of style, and it’s the perfect way to break the ice!

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23. Go-Kart Racing

Want to speed things up? K1 Speed in Irvine will stoke your need for speed! With this thrilling date idea in Orange County, you can have a little fun competition racing on two unique race tracks with speeds of up to 45 mph. And, if the road feels a little too risky, then you can test your racing skills together inside their state-of-the-art virtual reality zone.

Two people go-karting on an outdoor track
via Canva

24. Baseball Game

If you and your date are sports fans, cheering on the Los Angeles Angels is a great date idea in Orange County. Nothing beats the energy you’ll feel that runs through a roaring stadium, or how much better a hot dog tastes at a ball game. Visit the Los Angeles Angels official site to purchase your tickets. 

25. Indoor Rock Climbing

Another adventure awaits you at Sender One. This premier indoor rock climbing facility offers unique climbing experiences for all levels from beginner to advanced. They even provide yoga and fitness programs. 

Two people rock climbing on an indoor wall
via Canva

26. Drive-In Movie Night

For an old-fashioned date night idea in Orange County, head to the Irvine Spectrum. Loaded with all kinds of events and activities, you can fill your day with fun before quieting down and snuggling in the car for a movie. Don’t forget to ride the Ferris wheel while you’re there to make it feel extra romantic.

27. Surf Lessons

Orange County is known for some of the most beautiful beaches and surfing destinations in the world. If you’re up for it, try surfing lessons at Huntington Beach. Ride on waves of fun as you explore your comfort level on the board. If you decide that surfing isn’t your style, there’s still so much to do in the area. This is a wonderful date idea in Orange County for those wanting to soak up some sun.

One of the best date ideas in Orange County is surf lessons
via Canva

28. Orange County Fair

Going to the Orange County Fair is the perfect date night idea that is guaranteed to enamor you with unforgettable, classic fun. It typically runs from mid-July to mid-August. With over 150 acres of rides, games and good eats, including countless events that happen frequently, this summer date idea in Orange County is a must.

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Outdoor Date Ideas in Orange County

29. Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach is a natural paradise. You can spend a whole day here exploring the caves and tidepools, taking in the breathtaking scenery and snapping Insta-worthy photos. You’re sure to get inspired together with this unique outdoor Orange County date idea.

A beach with blue ocean and green palm trees on a clear day
via Canva

30. Gondola Rides

Elevate your escapade with a gondola ride through scenic Newport Harbor. Perfect for a sunny day, this excursion along the luxurious waterfront raises the bar with beautifully crafted boats lined with ritzy cushions. They even serve chocolates and sparkling cider. Relax and unwind with this intimate date idea in Orange County that you’ll be talking about for a long time afterward.

31. Whale Watching

If you’re not ready for the adventure to end, then whale watching should add an extra splash of excitement. These whale-watching tours embark from Dana Point Harbor and run for about two hours. Go on Tuesday and pay half the price. It’s a wonderful way to spend a day on the water while spotting stunning local wildlife. 

A whale breaching from the ocean
via Canva

32. Stand-Up Paddleboarding

Unleash your adventurous side and rent a paddleboard with your boo. Share laughs as you both learn to balance on the water and create some lasting memories. You can ride the waves and revel in the oceanic beauty of Southern California at the Balboa Peninsula.

33. Hiking 

Crystal Cove State Park is a great place for adventure seekers to wake up their wild side. Explore the El Maro Canyon Loop Trail for a moderate hike through a stunning landscape, glorious canyons and panoramic ravines. 

Hiking is a fun date idea in Orange County to enjoy outdoors
via Canva

34. Victoria Beach Pirate Tower

Explore Victoria Beach and you’ll find a mysterious tower that stands underneath a cliff. This 60-foot-tall structure has sparked curious rumors throughout history. It was built in 1926 and was once occupied by a California state senator and even Bette Midler at one time. 

35. Botanical Gardens

Capture forever photos with a charming walk through Fullerton Arboretum. This 26-acre botanical garden keeps plants from all over the world and is the place to go in the OC to witness the beauty of nature, birds and natural wildlife.

A trip to the botanical garden is one of the romantic date ideas in Orange County
via Fullerton Arboretum

Cheap Date Ideas in Orange County

36. Wine Trolly Rides

Looking for a cheap but whimsical Orange County date idea? Snack on tasty treats and sip on wine as you and your partner learn new information on an educational and historical tour with OC Wine Trolley. It’s a fun way for both visitors and locals to learn more about the area while tasting delicious California wines.

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37. Ice Skating

For only about $12, you and your date can enjoy an easy and affordable afternoon at Anaheim Ice. Don’t worry about skates, because rentals are available. Check out public skate times before you venture out for this date idea in Orange County as available times can vary.

Four people skating at an indoor ice rink
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38. The Arcade 

Head to Dave & Buster’s for old-school exhilaration. The arcade offers food, drinks and all kinds of interactive and inexpensive fun arcade games. You can find a few locations around Orange County and head there in the evening for fewer crowds.

39. Free Balloon Rides

It might seem surprising, but you can score a free 400-foot balloon ride at Great Park in Irvine. For an inexpensive date idea in Orange County that passes for an elaborate expense, this fun adventure is sure to impress your other half.

Taking a free balloon ride is one of the unique date ideas in Orange County
via Great Park

Unique Date Ideas in Orange County

40. Virtual Wine Tasting

Overwhelmed by all the different date ideas in Orange County? Why not stay in? You can bring the elegance of a wine tour right to your living room with a virtual wine tasting. Get out your best fancy glassware because, with the guidance of a professional sommelier, you’ll feel as if you’ve teleported to an in-person wine tasting with this exciting experience.

41. Online Mixology Classes

For another unique idea, why not join an online mixology class? Test your art at mixing, shaking and stirring interesting cocktails while having a lot of fun. You’ll be guided by a professional mixologist on how to craft the perfect drink, and by the time you’re done, you’ll both raise your glass to an evening well spent!

Two people cheersing fruit drinks with cocktail umbrellas
via Canva

42. Mission San Juan Capistrano

This quaint little city is filled with Spanish-inspired architecture, culture and flair. At Mission San Juan Capistrano, you’ll explore Native American history and crafts, tour through stunning exhibits and shop for treasures and trinkets at the gift shop. You and your date can also enjoy walking through the gardens and visiting the museum here to learn all about Orange County’s history in the 18th century.

43. The Zoo

The Santa Ana Zoo is known primarily for its huge population of primates. With over 50 monkeys housed over 20 acres of land, you and your partner will have a great time monkeying around here. Make a day of it, pack a picnic and giggle at the antics displayed by these marvelous animals during this whimsical date idea in Orange County.

Going to the zoo is one of the cute date ideas in Orange County
via Canva

We’ve shared only a few Orange County date ideas but there is so much more to explore in this lively, upbeat county. Whether you choose to hit the beach, explore the vast array of markets or stay in together, you’ll certainly enjoy an awesome time with your beloved.

For even more ways to explore Orange County and beyond, check out other experiences happening on Cozymeal.