Some of the best shopping, recreation, restaurants and fun are right in the heart of Irvine, California. Irvine is an OC gem loved by locals. It’s a family friendly community that’s frequently voted one of the best places to live in Southern California. With so much to see and do in Irvine we’re sharing the top 5 places to visit in Irvine right now.
Orange County Great Park
Orange County Great Park stretches 450 acres the breathtaking park is current in the works to add an additional 3,000 acres. Not your typical park, Great Park has been designed to house activities of all kinds year-round making it an epicenter of fun catering to all.
Great Park Sports Complex
One of the largest sports complexes in the United States the Great Park Sports Complex is 194 acres of adventure encouraging athletes of all ages to get out and play. The massive sports complex houses 24 lighted tennis courts, 24 soccer and lacrosse fields, 4 lighted basketball courts, a baseball and softball complex with 10 additional lighted ball diamonds, 7 acres of multipurpose recreation, a championship soccer stadium with locker rooms, training facilities and seating for more than 2000. 30 acres of the complex is dedicated to two natural artificial tournament quality lighted fields and a spectator viewing area. Do you love soccer as much as we do? The Great Park Sports Complex is home of the Orange County Soccer Club with professional live games during the season; you can purchase single game tickets or season passes for a chance to go see your favorite OC team in action. Click here for the latest Soccer schedule.
Palm Court Sports Complex
The epic Great Park Balloon sponsored by FivePoint is an icon for OC locals with views of it from the 405 freeway leading the way home. The Great Park Balloon soars 400 feet in the air holding 25-30 passengers at a time. Check out Great Park Balloon & Carousel for their current rates and hours.
Classes, Courses & Learning
The Farm and food lab for all ages is an interactive food center to teach people how to sustainably grow their own food. Featuring unique lessons in vertical gardening, planting trees, soil and solar power. The aim of the garden is to teach is students how to grow their very own food right in the comfort of their own homes. Open Tuesday through Sunday. For more information on courses and classes click here.
The Park features playgrounds throughout Irvine Great Park all with their own theme! At the visitors center you can rent umbrellas and chairs during business hours on a first come first serve basis. You can contact the visitors center directly at 949-724-6247 for more information.
A regular for Irvine local. Every Sunday the farmers market comes to OC Great Park showcasing local vendors and food.
For a live interactive map of The OC Great Park click here
Irvine Barclay Theatre
This state-of-the-art venue brings Orange County performance art to Irvine. The 50,000 square foot venue attracts locals from all over Southern California to enjoy live performances with their everchanging lineup. With a wide variety of concerts, performances and shows the Irvine Barclay Theatre is the heart of arts in Irvine. Watch productions of live theatre, dance, music from every genre or stand-up comedy. Click here for their upcoming shows.
Irvine Spectrum Center
Filled with shops and attractions its no wonder this shopping haven is the most popular in all of Irvine. Shop more than 100 local stores, catch a comedy show at the Irvine Improv, get a view of Irvine from the Ferris wheel, make a reservation at one of the restaurants or grab a quick bite. Go play some games at Dave and Busters, watch a movie at Regal or enjoy some weekend live entertainment. There’s something for everyone at the Spectrum.
Designed to enhance the lifestyles of Orange County locals and enticing visitors and shopping enthusiasts from all over the world the Irvine Spectrum Center offers a wide variety of shops all in one place. From must have brands to specialty shops the center provides stores for everyone from the fashionista to the super saver. Check out trendy brands like Urban Outfitters, H & M and Free People. Stop in and get a blowout at Dry Bar, create the perfect lipstick shade at Lip Lab or pamper yourself with a spa service at Aveda Belle Isle Salon & Spa. Shop beachy favorites like Quicksilver, Pac Sun and Vans. Not only can you grab your gear at the Spectrum, with big name stores like Target and the Bristol Farms Newfound Market opening you can pick up your groceries too all in one center.
So much more than just a place for a great shopping experience the restaurants and quick bites at the Spectrum are constantly changing and elevating the center to new heights. With full-service specialty restaurants like Javier’s, Little Sister, Habana and Cucina Enoteca. Casual sit downs like The Cheesecake Factory, Tender Greens and Urban Seoul 2.0. Enjoy tasty places to grab something sweet like Somi Somi, Chocolate Bash or Frost Gelato. The only OC Hello Kitty Café in Orange County is also located in The Spectrum Center. This purfectly cute pink café dedicated to Hello Kitty is a destination in itself for fans of the world-famous cat. They have everything from teatime sweet treats to specialty cocktails. Frequently giving Hello Kitty a run for her money is the famous Duff’s CakeMix shop owned by Food Network star from Ace of Cakes, Duff. Duff’s shop gives visitors a chance to design your very own dessert like a pro. This dessert studio provides all the tools and guidance to design your very own dessert. Come in and give it a try yourself, take a date or plan a party; this unique experience provides everything you need to have some fun, eat some cake and make a memory without all the mess.
Activities & Events
On weekends live music takes over The Spectrum Center with local artists performing throughout the center bringing free live music to enhance your shopping experience; grab a seat and a quick bite and enjoy it all weekend long. The famous Ferris Wheel provides a relaxing ride and beautiful views of Irvine. The Ferris Wheel is available all week long with selected times. Get your tickets in advance here.
For the littles a carousel is a favorite for the kids of all ages. Get your tickets to the carousel here.
The kids love the Spectrum Climber. Standing 18 feet tall the Spectrum Climber is a free 3 dimensional climbing structure with 75 platforms to play and roam.
For the kids and the kids at heart The Escape Room lets you and your team play your way through uncovering clues, solving puzzles and cracking codes to win your way (hopefully) to the end of your mission. The Odyssey VR sends you virtually through anything rides, games, concerts and so much more. Need a good laugh? The Irvine Improv provides live comedy nightly showcasing both the up and coming local comedians and touring comedians from all around the world. Get your tickets here.
In the mood to play some games? Dave and Busters is a classic staple of the center packed with games for kids and adults, it houses corporate parties, providing nightlife and a spot to watch the game. Want to check out the latest movie? Chill out and watch new movies in IMAX or 4DX at the Regal Cinema.
One of Southern California’s favorite water parks is back in Irvine. 20 acres of water rides, wave pools, lazy rivers, raft rides, body slides, cabanas and kids play areas making a splash at the newest water park in Orange County. Get your tickets and season passes here.
Live music lovers come from all over Southern California for concerts in this revamped venue. Originally the Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, FivePoint was launched in 2018. Filled with food trucks, concession stands, beer, cocktails and wine. Artists and festivals from all over the world come to perform in this outdoor venue in the heart of Irvine. For more information on upcoming events click here.
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