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Old 03-19-2009, 12:49 PM
 
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My husband has a conference in Anaheim this summer, and I'm thinking of tagging along with our 3yo. We won't be renting a car, and will be staying downtown. I'd love any recommendations of fun, cheap things to do that are within walking distance of the convention center or of any stations on the train line. (also, any info on where NOT get off the train if we go exploring-- I've never been to that part of the country before and don't want to wander into unsafe areas unawares!) Thanks! I'm excited!
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:52 PM
 
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Its not cheap but your 3 year old will probably hold a grudge for a long time if he/she finds out you were that close to Disneyland and didn't go.
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Northern Arizona
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EscapeCalifornia View Post
Its not cheap but your 3 year old will probably hold a grudge for a long time if he/she finds out you were that close to Disneyland and didn't go.
To add to that, none of you visiting happen to have your birthday occur during your time in Anaheim, would you? That's about the only way you could get into Disneyland "cheap"
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:00 PM
 
Location: South Bay
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i'm not sure the train is going to be an option for you as the nearest stations are over a mile away. even then, the only places of interest within an hour or so for day trips are san clemente (where the station is right at the base of the pier) or LA (but i doubt you're going to want to take your 3 year old on a subway in downtown). disneyland will be your only real option.
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:10 PM
 
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Bummer about the trains!- I hda really hoped we might be able to do some touring. If we're staying right by the convention center, are there shops, parks, etc. that we could walk to? An easy/safe way for us to get to a beach to hang out? My daughter tends to get overwhelmed quickly in big crowds, so noisy zoos, aquariums, and theme parks, can sometimes be frustrating for all of us (we pay $$ and then she gets worn out from the crowds in an hour or two--not sure that she's ready for Disney yet!) But she is thrilled about staying in a hotel and seeing the ocean!
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:23 PM
 
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Awww, without going to Disneyland itself you could wander Disneyland Drive. There's a Disney store that might engage your 3-year-old enough, and the Grand Californian hotel is really quite a beautiful one to stroll around in. You might wanna try Goofy's Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel for lunch or dinner. It's a theme restaurant, kinda frenetic for an adult. (All this "Disneyland" stuff, though, might cue a young child that he hasn't, in fact, been to Disneyland...Just a notion.) Oh, and downtown Anaheim does have a Farmer's Market and Craft Fair, I think on Thursday or Friday. Check the schedule, and if there's live entertainment.

Last edited by Bunjee; 03-19-2009 at 02:38 PM..
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:31 PM
 
Location: RSM
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You're basically right across the street from Disney. Lots of traffic and people. Shops and such are up and down Harbor Blvd for the most part. Don't go too far west on Katella. Downtown Disney is a free place with shops(about a third are kid themed.. Lego store, Build-a-Bear, kids clothing shops, Disney store, etc)

As far as getting to the beach, OCTA has busses, but I don't know the routes or the times. You may want to look up the OCTA website. Occasionally there are taxis at the Downtown Disney valet parking pickup, but if you use that to get to the beach you'll have to call them to pick you up.
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:16 PM
 
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I don't think you really want to just wander around any of the parks around the convention center. Its not the best neighborhood once you get out the the immediate area of Disneyland. Harbor Blvd is the eastern boundary of Disneyland and Harbor runs all the way down to the beach in Newport. Well, it actually ends at Newport Blvd, but its that'll take you to the Balboa Peninsula and beach. Hopefully the bus connections are minimal but its still going to be a long ride. If you kid doesn't like crowds and noise, well, that's pretty much what the beach is in the summer.
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:10 PM
 
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The train station is in the parking lot of Anaheim Stadium, about 2.5 miles from the convention center. OCTA has a bus line for it. Also, Anaheim Resort Transit has a 'trolley' that connects all the major venues in the resort area. Unlimited rides are $4 a day for adults, $1 for kids. It hits the stadium/train station, Honda Center, Gardenwalk, Disneyland, the convention center, the Crystal Cathedral, Downtown Disney and the major hotels.

Here's a link... and there is a map on their site too.

http://www.rideart.org

But to be honest, if Disneyland is off the table I don't think there's too much of interest to a 3 year old in the immediate area. I think the McDonalds on Harbor across from the Disneyland entrance has a play area. You could also take the trolley to The Block at Orange which is a kind of interesting shopping mall. There is a movie theatre there. There is also a multiplex in Downtown Disney.

You can take the OCTA bus 3 miles north of the convention center to downtown Anaheim. The Central Branch of the Anaheim Public Library has a lot of kids programs during the summer. You might see if there is something like a storytime going on during your stay. About 400 yards away is Anaheim Ice, an ice skating rink. The Muzeo, which is a new little museum, is near that. Farmer's Market is on thursday mornings. Sometimes they have a children's entertainer out there, like someone making balloon animals or doing face painting, but call first to make sure it's worth it.

Pearson Park is just north of the downtown and has a nice little playground. On select friday nights during the summer the city offers children's entertainment in the Pearson amphitheater (check to make sure the bus is still running after the show). It only costs a buck or two. If you walk a little farther east there is a gorgeous little park called George Washington Park, with a play area and gazebo and rose arbor. The park is surrounded by craftsman homes from the 1930s.

You can take the Metrolink or Amtrak trains up to Union Station in LA. Olvera Street (the birthplace of LA) is across the way if you want to walk there. At Union Station you can connect to other Metrolink trains that will take you close to other areas of interest such as the Children's Museum, the LA Zoo, LA Brea Tar Pits/LA County Museum of Art, etc
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:41 PM
 
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I think you can take a shuttle to the Amtrak station and then head South on Amtrak to San Juan Capistrano. It is a nice short train ride, about 30-40 minutes if I recall correctly. I've done this trip with my children. Once you get off the train in SJC, there are things to do and see on both sides of the train tracks. You can head towards the mission (a few blocks from the train station) and then head in the other direction to visit a petting zoo and bird park. All within walking distance. Great restaurants close by too. See this link for things to do in SJC.

Attractions and Annual Events in San Juan Capistrano
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