Anaheim with Tweens: A Perfect Family Day

Anaheim with Tweens: A Family Vacation

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Need a fun family destination? An Anaheim vacation may be just what you need! For those families who have tweens (kids ages 8 – 12), planning a vacation can be a challenging task. When looking for an ideal destination, parents will want to make sure that there are plenty of activities. And for that reason alone, Anaheim, located in Southern California, is the perfect destination. Not only does the city enjoy a Mediterranean-like climate (averaging 70 degrees Fahrenheit each year), there are also plenty of places to visit and things to do with tweens and people of all ages -- from theme parks to Major League Baseball.


The Parks at the Disneyland Resort (1313 Disneyland Drive. Anaheim, CA 92802-3232; 714-781-4565) -- Disneyland and California Adventure -- are the flagship attractions of the area and sure to be a success with people of all ages. Families can spend an entire day exploring the entire 85 acres, filled with thrill rides, restaurants and a lot of character greeting and photo opportunities. During the summer, Disneyland stays open until midnight. Kids ages 3 – 9 pay $62 and kids ages 10 and up pay $72 for an entrance ticket. If you're going to Anaheim with tweens, you can't miss Disneyland.

Families can also consider purchasing park hopper tickets. This way they can also visit Disney's California Adventure Park, which is located right across from the original Disneyland park and features the new World of Color attraction at night. Park hopper tickets are $131 (ages 3 – 9) and $151 (ages 10 and up).


During your Anaheim family vacation, make sure to stop by Downtown Disney (Disneyland Drive north of Katella Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92804; 714-300-7800), which is located right next to the Disneyland parks and includes numerous restaurants, including the Rainforest Cafe and Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen, a large Disney store and a Build-A-Bear factory store. For those who'd like to take some time off of their feet, there's even a movie theater.

The Shops at Anaheim GardenWalk (321 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim, CA 92802; 714-635-7410) is an outdoor shopping, entertainment and dining oasis that features 45 stores and restaurants. There is also a movie theater, bowling and entertainment center, and various upscale and casual restaurants. Don't miss the Anaheim Marketplace (1440 S Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim, CA 92805-6213; 714-999-0888), which offers everything from clothes, perfume, luggage, cosmetics and more. There are more than 200 stores that sell their merchandise at the marketplace. The prices are 30 – 50 percent under the regular retail price for those on a strict spending budget. Visitors can even print out some discount snack coupons from the marketplace's web site.


For those in the mood for a game of professional baseball, Angel Stadium (2000 Gene Autry Way, Anaheim, CA 92806; 714-940-2000) is the place to visit. Families can purchase tickets ranging from $12 to $235 -- and you may even be able to see the Disneyland fireworks display from the stadium. Or why not catch a concert at the Grove Of Anaheim (2200 E Katella Ave., Anaheim, CA 92806; 714-712-2700), a 40,000-square-foot entertainment facility. There is even the opportunity to enjoy dinner while watching a show. Ticket prices vary based on the show.

Deciding where to stay in Anaheim with tweens is easy. Families with kids can stay at one of the many kid-friendly hotels that Anaheim has to offer.

1.Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa (1600 Disneyland Drive, Anaheim, CA 92802; 714- 635-2300) is located with walking distance of the Disneyland and California Adventure theme parks and Downtown Disney. There are 745 rooms and suites that can accommodate up to five people. Tweens will love the pool area with the water slides. The award-winning Napa Rose provides a more upscale dining experience and is only open for dinner. Tweens may enjoy the activities at "Pinocchio's Workshop," which is open from 5 p.m. to midnight and offers activities such as arts and crafts, movies and computer games.

2. Located steps away from Downtown Disney, the Disneyland Hotel (1150 Magic Way, Anaheim, CA 92802; 714-778-6600) is considered the main Disney hotel. Upon entering, guests will be greeted by Disney characters and throughout the hotel you can find other Disney touches. The hotel has 988 rooms that can accommodate up to five people. Activities for kids within the hotel include an arcade and the Never Land-themed pool. Dining is available at Goofy's Kitchen and Steakhouse 55. Room service is also available.

3. If you're on a budget, more inexpensive hotels in the area close to the Disneyland Resort include the Ramada Maingate-At The Park (1650 S. Harbor Blvd., Anaheim, CA 92802; 714-772-0440) and The Anabella Hotel (1030 West Katella Ave., Anaheim, CA 92802; 714-905-1050), which allows families to bring pets weighing under 50 pounds.

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