Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in Placentia, CA

  • Published 2023/03/10

Placentia is a small city in Orange County, California.

This California city is renowned for its warm weather, laidback neighborhoods, and accessibility to Orange County’s major cities, including Los Angeles.

Placentia is ideal for travelers wishing to take a break from hectic city life.

It offers laid-back vibes and a welcoming and warm California atmosphere.

You can enjoy plenty of outdoor activities at its parks and natural areas.

It’s also home to numerous shopping outlets and restaurants.

Moreover, this small city has exciting and colorful festivals celebrated by locals annually.

Here are free things to do in Placentia, California:

Have Fun Outdoors at the Tri-City Regional Park

Tri-City Regional Park is Placentia’s most extensive park, which borders the cities of Brea and Fullerton.

You can visit this park along North Kraemer Boulevard.

This park which spans over 40 acres has plenty of amenities and outdoor activities.

It has a lake for fishing, walking trails, a children’s playground, a wildlife sanctuary, picnic shelters, and plenty of trees for shade.

At the same time, this park has a vast green open space for various activities.

Visiting this park allows you to appreciate Placentia’s laidback atmosphere and charm while enjoying various activities with your friends or family.

Tri-City Regional Park is also an ideal jump-off area if you’re planning to visit Fullerton and Brea, which borders its vicinity.

Witness the Placentia Tamale Festival

The Placentia Tamale Festival features the city’s Mexican heritage with lots of fun activities and delicious food.

This festival happens every December at the Old Town Placentia.

It is a wholesome celebration of locals throughout Orange County.

Limitless tamales will fill your tummy while you enjoy music, games, and activities.

One of the festival highlights is the Las Posadas procession which features Santa Claus and other colorful characters.

At the same time, dozens of food stalls serving famous tamales and other Mexican dishes add more mouthwatering excitement to this festival.

Mark your calendars during December when you visit the city to join the Placentia Tamale Festival.

Relax at Richard Samp Park

Richard Samp Park is one of the neighborhood parks in Placentia situated along Loyola Drive.

Like most parks, it has a playground, a picnic area, green open space, plenty of trees for shade, and a relaxing atmosphere.

If you’re searching for alternative spots to spend your day outdoors, this park is an ideal spot for you and your loved ones.

Richard Samp Park is less crowded and has a friendly, welcoming environment perfect for those who want to take a relaxing break.

Explore Old Town Placentia

Old Town Placentia is a unique place that offers visitors a glimpse into the city’s Mexican heritage.

It features over 33 acres of residential and business establishments showcasing Mexican culture and heritage.

Although it may not be as busy as other downtowns, Old Town Placentia has its own charm.

Its history, culture, and friendly locals make this area in Placentia unique and fascinating.

Have Fun at Kraemer Memorial Park

Kraemer Memorial Park is along Bradford Avenue.

The park is known for its towering trees, expansive green open space, and top-notch amenities.

Many parkgoers love to hang out at this park to enjoy the outdoors and enjoy various activities.

At the same time, it’s also where you can find the iconic Placentia water tower, which you can take photos of as a souvenir.

The park is also home to a children’s playground, a charming picnic area, and walking trails and benches, perfect for those who enjoy the outdoors.

Kraemer Memorial Park has basketball and baseball sports facilities, offering plenty of options for other outdoor activities.

Have a Barbeque Cookout at Parque Del Arroyo Verde

Parque Del Arroyo Verde is a neighborhood park popular for barbeque cookouts.

You can visit this park along East Palm Drive.

Like most parks in Placentia, this park has a playground for kids, a sports field for various activities, a walking trail, and plenty of trees for shade.

However, what makes this park an ideal place to have a barbeque cookout is its barbeque pits which you can use during your visit.

It’s the best place to treat your family or friends with your best barbeque recipe for a splendid feast.

Besides being a great place to have a barbeque cookout, Parque del Arroyo Verde is an excellent place to do other activities, such as sports.

Take note that the park charges parking fees.

Bring Your Kids to the George J Koch Park

George J. Koch Park is another neighborhood park you can visit during your trip to Placentia.

This park is situated along Valencia Avenue.

Unlike most parks, this one is the go-to place for locals to bring their kids because of its top-notch playground.

The playground has swings, slides, climbs, and other rides and play sets, guaranteeing your kid a fun-filled experience.

George J. Koch Park charges parking fees.

Celebrate the Heritage Festival

Heritage Festival is an annual occasion that Placentia locals love to celebrate.

The festival happens every October along Kraemer Boulevard.

It features the city’s diverse heritage, wherein locals go out and celebrate a day filled with fun and games.

This festival which has been happening for more than 50 years, is known for its colorful parade along Kraemer Boulevard.

It features colorful marching bands, local personalities, and vintage cars and floats, giving the festival its signature fun atmosphere.

Besides the parade, there are plenty of family-oriented activities such as games, food stalls, concerts, and arts & crafts expos.

Remember to include the Heritage Festival in your itinerary when visiting Placentia.

Get into Sports at the Tuffree Hill Park

Tuffree Hill Park along Tuffree Boulevard is known for its top-notch sports facilities, which everyone can enjoy.

It’s a recreational park with soccer and baseball fields regularly utilized by locals to get active.

At the same time, it has tennis courts and other sports facilities you can enjoy.

Besides its sports facilities, the park has a duck pond wherein you can feed its resident ducks bread crumbs if you’re not in the mood to play sports.

Tuffree Hill Park is your go-to place whenever you’re itching to get into action when visiting Placentia.

Take note that it charges parking fees.

Cast Your Line at Anaheim Lake

Anaheim Lake is a popular fishing spot that borders Placentia and the neighboring city of Anaheim.

This lake, situated just south of Placentia, is where most local anglers love to cast their line to catch some catfish.

The City of Anaheim regularly stocks this lake with catfish, making it an excellent place for relaxing fishing sessions.

If you’re planning a short fishing session while enjoying your trip to Placentia, this lake is your go-to place to cast your line.

Besides the abundance of catfish at Anaheim Lake, it also offers a quiet and relaxing atmosphere, perfect for taking a break from exploring Placentia.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Since Placentia is situated in the heart of Orange County, it would be awesome to explore this vibrant California region further.

Outside Placentia are equally charming cities and towns with interesting attractions and activities.

Here are some of the recommended free things to do nearby Placentia, California.

Stroll along the Downtown Disney District

Shops along the Downtown Disney District

Kit Leong /

Downtown Disney District is a fun-filled attraction with the same atmosphere as Disney World.

You can visit this place 13 minutes or eight miles south of Placentia in Anaheim.

This place is the accessible version of Disneyworld, where you and your loved ones can enjoy character-themed attractions.

Lego store at the Downtown Disney District

Kit Leong /

In addition, it has plenty of Instagrammable sections, perfect for those who want to treasure their experience with photos.

Since most of its attractions are free, you’re guaranteed to have a splendid time at the Downtown Disney District without worrying about spending.

If you have an extra budget, you can indulge in dining and shopping at one of its establishments.

Build-a-bear building at the Downtown Disney District

Patrick Pelletier, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Bask under the Sun at Huntington Beach

Pier at Huntington Beach

SvetlanaSF /

Huntington Beach is one of Orange County’s most famous outdoor destinations.

You can visit this famous beach 30 minutes or 24.3 miles south of Placentia in the City of Huntington Beach.

Also known as “Surf City,” this beach is known for its long and winding white sand coast and endless beach activities.

Sunset surfing at Huntington Beach


Whether you’re a surfer or a simple beachgoer, this beach has something exciting waiting for you.

Besides water activities such as swimming, surfing, and sunbathing, you can visit various attractions at Huntington Beach, such as the International Surf Museum and the Surfing Walk of Fame.

People at Huntington Beach

gabriel12 /

Dive into the Wilderness at the Oak Canyon Nature Center

Lastly, check out the Oak Canyon Nature Center.

You can visit this nature center within 13 minutes or nine miles southeast of Placentia in Anaheim.

This place is the perfect destination for nature lovers and the entire family looking for outdoor adventure.

The nature center covers over 58 acres of unspoiled natural areas and wildlife habitats in the southern portion of Orange County.

Visiting this nature center allows you to enjoy the unspoiled wilderness of Orange County, which stretches to the Santa Ana Foothills.

Nature hiking and birdwatching activities are the best ways to enjoy your visit to the Oak Canyon Nature Center.

Explore Old Towne Orange

A water fountain at Old Towne Orange

Felipe Sanchez /

Old Towne Orange is a historic place 12 minutes south of Placentia.

This small town is rich in history, which offers you more details about Orange County.

Visiting this place allows you to see plenty of well-preserved early 1900s houses and buildings with unique stories.

It’s a haven for historical enthusiasts who want to step back in time.

Street scene at Old Towne Orange

Felipe Sanchez /

Drop by its 1937 soda fountain and its old buildings, which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Exploring Old Towne Orange is a unique historical experience.

At the same time, you’ll enjoy browsing through old antique shops, art galleries, and plenty of other local specialties.

A cafe at Old Towne Orange

Philip Pilosian /

Walk through the Halls of the Old Courthouse Museum

Exterior of the Old Courthouse Museum

Steve Cukrov /

The Old Courthouse Museum is a historical landmark in Orange County.

You can visit this place 14 minutes or 10 miles south of Placentia in Santa Ana.

It’s a fascinating historical attraction since it’s Southern California’s oldest court building, constructed in 1901.

The 30,000-square-foot courthouse offers plenty of fascinating history about Orange County.

Interior of the Old Courthouse Museum

mikeledray /

You can learn about it by exploring its interiors filled with exhibits featuring artifacts.

These artifacts were collected from locals and historians and hold backstories from people and events relevant to Orange County’s past.

At the same time, you can pose at the Old Courthouse Museum’s unique granite and sandstone architecture for some souvenir photos.

Hallway exhibit in the Old Courthouse Museum

Steve Cukrov /

Final Thoughts

Placentia may be one of the least popular places in Orange County, but this small city has a lot to offer visitors.

Within its 6.63-square mile area are gorgeous parks and fun-filled festivals which you can enjoy.

You can also try plenty of fun-filled activities in Placentia.

So pack your bags for a fantastic weekend getaway without breaking the bank at Placentia and its neighboring places in Orange County.

For a curated travel itinerary, take note of these free things to do in Placentia, California.

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