Orange County is home to several unique children’s museums. From imaginative play to engaging science and history exhibits, these museums allow kids to interact with hands-on activities. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to spend a day at one of these exciting museums with your kids to make lasting memories and learn something new together.
2500 North Main Street, Santa Ana
$5 parking, Cash Only
General Admission – Adults: $17.95, Children 3-14: $12.95, Children 2 and under: Free Seniors 62+: $14.95, Discovery Theater Movie Tickets: $3.00
Open Daily Except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day
The Discovery Cube is the bright-colored building with the giant cube just off the side of the freeway where the 22 and 55 meet. The museum is packed full of exciting, hands-on exhibits that kids love. There are a number of regular and special exhibits plus new special events added on a regular basis. In the new Rainforest Adventure exhibit, kids can explore a gorilla nest, climb a 9-foot kapok tree, build a model insect, and learn about becoming a research assistant. In the Mission Control exhibit, they’ll step inside a replica of a control room from the Jet Propulsion Lab, learn about landing a rover on Mars, and see what it takes to dock the International Space Station. In the Eco Challenge exhibit, kids will learn how to be eco-friendly shoppers and how to identify and dispose of household waste. Don’t miss the Shake Shack at the Discovery Cube where you can step inside and see what an earthquake feels like. Discovery cube has a variety of exhibits that are appropriate for ages 5 and up. Discovery Cube also offers packages for birthday parties and sleepovers.
1802 North Main Street, Santa Ana
General Admission – 2 and up: $10
Open Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Kidseum is a children’s museum located at Bower’s Museum. Regular weekend activities at Kidseum include story times, face painting, and a drop in art studio where little artists can make their own masterpieces. Current exhibits at the Kidseum are Voyage to Vietnam: Celebrating the Tet Festival and Kings, Queens, and Castles. Voyage to Vietnam promotes the understanding of Vietnamese culture and lets kids learn about Tet, the most important celebration of the year. They’ll learn about traditions and customs and take part in preparing for the celebration through interactive exhibits where they’ll select food and flowers, dress up in customary attire, and take part in games, dancing, and parades. Visitors will step into a castle for the Kings, Queens, and Castles exhibit where the game of chess comes to life. Kids will learn about chess pieces and strategies for playing the game. They’ll walk across a drawbridge and play with oversized chess pieces on the giant chess board floor. Kids will have the opportunity to wear royal attire, design their own shields to become a knight, and build castle walls with giant bricks. In addition to exhibits, Kidseum hosts regular special events like festivals, art workshops, archaeology days, music programs and more. Kidseum also offers summer camps and birthday party packages.
29 Hubble, Irvine
General Admission – Ages 1 and up: $12.50, Military & Family: $9.50
Pretend City is a must-do for anyone with toddler through elementary aged kids. There’s just so much to put your hands on here. Nothing is off limits, and imaginative play for young children is so important. They’ll use their creativity and imagination in the Art Studio. In the Amphitheater kids can dress up and put on performances. The Construction Site give kids the opportunity to use a variety of materials to build whatever they dream up. They’ll shop for a pretend family dinner in the Grocery Store, and learn the process of growing food in the Farm exhibit. They’ll learn about sea life at the Beach and Marina exhibits. Kids will work together on the Imagination Playground to problem solve and create whatever they want and have fun doing it all while developing social and emotional skills. Have lunch at the Real Café and take a piece of imaginative play home with you from the Mini-Mall. Pretend City is the museum of every kid’s dreams. Birthday Party Packages are also available at Pretend City.
301 South Euclid Street, La Habra
General Admission – Ages 2 and Up: $10
Closed on Mondays
La Habra Children’s Museum is another paradise for little ones where they can put their hands on everything while they play and learn. Exhibits include a 1942 caboose and an outdoor dinosaur garden. Take a nature walk through a large selection of wild animals (most are taxidermy mounts) from California, the Pacific Northwest, and Africa and visit a selection of living creatures in The Grotto. Kids will learn about science in the STEAM Lab where they’ll play with a magnetic tube wall, flight lab tower, and a ramp and stackers kinetic play area. Dig for fossils in the Dig Site and explore the world of model trains in the Model Train Village. La Habra Children’s Museum features a carousel, an art center, and a play area. A truly exciting trip for toddlers and young elementary students. Birthday party packages are also available al La Habra Children’s Museum.