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Orange County Weekend Events

Museum Happenings

Children’s Museum at La Habra

301 South Euclid St.

La Habra, CA 90631

Our mission
is to encourage enthusiasm about learning in a hands-on environment that opens the world even to the youngest child. Our museum features 7 galleries and 14 different hands on exhibits, many of which remain unique to the field today. In addition to these exhibits, an outdoor dinosaur topiary and historic 1942 caboose, the Museum features an exhibit which changes 3 times a year. The Children’s Museum welcomes local, national and international visitors. Children can ride a kid-size carousel, take a walk in T-Rex’s footprints, pet an Arctic fox, pump gas, drive a bus, dress up and perform, and dig for fossils all in one afternoon! Admission: Kids and Adults $8, La Habra residents $7, Kids Under 2 Free). The museum is closed on Mondays.

Creepy Crawlies exhibit – Discover the world of creepy crawlies! Worms, roaches, beetles, walking sticks, spiders and other creepy critters are all around us. Delve into the underground to search out diggers. Put on special goggles to give you “Insect Vision”. What is stronger than steel? Spider silk! Dress up as your favorite bug! Learn about these creatures and how they help to keep our ecosystems healthy. Exhibit runs March 29 – August 21, 2016.

Friday, July 1: S.M.A.R.T. Fridays – Join Volunteers in our Family Art Center for a day designated to Science, Math and Art! Activities will include: -Cardboard Fort: Help us expand our fort by adding a box to anywhere on the fort. -Recycled City: Use the recycled materials and help us complete our city!-Parachute: Can you help our buddy get safely to the ground on the parachute? – Build a roller coaster: Engineer and design a roller coaster for the ball to go all the way through. -Sturdy Cup: Build a tower sturdy enough to hold our stuffed animal!- Hit that Target!: Build a catapult with popsicle sticks and rubber bands to hit the target on the wall! -Balloon Rockets: Make the balloon rockets go across the room. Free with Museum Admission. Activities available 11:00am – 3:00pm.

Saturday, July 9: Caterpillar Adoption Day at the Museum – $ 5 per caterpillar kit Limited quantity available. PRE-PAYMENT FOR CATERPILLARS IS REQUIRED. Adopt a caterpillar to take home and watch it through its metamorphosis into a butterfly! Bring a shoe box and we’ll supply the materials for you to create a colorful and cozy caterpillar cabana. Drop in between the hours listed to pick up your caterpillar & make your cabana. Please call (562) 383-4236 to pay by phone. Event runs 10:30am – 12:30pm.

Saturday, July 9: Creepy Crawlie Craft – Make a craft inpired by one of the insects in our Creepy Crawlies exhibit today! Free with Museum admission. Head on over to the Family Art Center. Activity available 11:00am – 3:00pm.

Discovery Cube Orange

2500 N Main St.

Santa Ana, CA  92705

We INSPIRE and EDUCATE young minds through engaging SCIENCE-BASED programs and exhibits to create a meaningful IMPACT on the COMMUNITIES we serve. Our mission to inspire, educate, and impact is brought to life through the cornerstones of our core initiatives (STEM Proficiency, Early Learning, Healthy Living, and Environmental Stewardship. Explore over 100 hands-on, interactive exhibits as you adventure throughout Discovery Cube’s first and second floors. All of our exhibits teach science concepts using fun and engaging activities. Admission is $16.95 for Adults, $12.95 for Children 3-14, and Free for Children 2 and Under. Memberships also available. Check website for details.

Extreme Dinosaurs Exhibit – Step into the prehistoric world and observe some of the most unique creatures that have ever walked the earth in Extreme Dinosaurs! This family-friendly exhibit transports you back to the Mesozoic Era to showcase the world’s strangest dinosaurs with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along side full-scale skeletons and real and replica fossils. The exhibition features some of the newest, bizarre dinosaur finds from the current “Golden Age” of paleontology.

The exhibition immerses guests in a naturalistic landscape where 17 animatronic dinosaurs will roar, snarl, move their limbs and more. In addition to the life-size animatronic models, skeletons, a variety of real and replica fossils, the exhibition features interactive activities including a children’s dig site for young paleontologists to explore, Make Me Move consoles that allow guests to initiate movement of the animatronics, hands-on learning like touch panels and a Dinosaur Detective quiz, providing hours of family friendly entertainment and education. Exhibit runs May 28, 2016 – September 5, 2016.

Hands-On Harley Davidson – This summer, jump on a hog and hit the highway with the Hands-On Harley-Davidson™ exhibition. This interactive experience illustrates science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts through a one-of-a-kind exhibit that lets kids Dream It! Build it! … and Ride It! Exhibit runs May 28 – September 11, 2016.

Dream It:

  • Machines in Motion: As a design engineer, learn how acceleration, speed, friction and gravity affect a motorcycle in motion. Conduct your own experiments to see what happens when you throttle-on, lean into a curve or descend a mountain road.
  • Go Global: Choose a motorcycle tour using an interactive world map to learn about your bike’s mechanical systems, solve math challenges and see fantastic destinations.
  • Gear Up: Step into a pretend dealership and select and interactive video to learn about the riding gear that will keep you safe, warm… and dry!

Build It:

  • Motorcycle Mechanics: Learn about engine parts and how they work together to create a smooth and safe ride. View real motorcycle mechanics hard at work in a dealership service department.
  • Build-It Bay: Amazing kid-sized motorcycles inspired by a real Harley-Davidson® Road King® let you build your dream ride using interchangeable custom motor parts and accessories, including seats, mirrors, tail pipes and engine components.
  • Custom Shop: Style your ride with magnetic flames, Harley-Davidson® logos, saddle bags and a personalized license plate!

Ride It:

  • Safety First: Role-play as a motorcycle-riding community service officer, complete with a “see yourself” monitor, and videos that help you learn about traffic safety, hand signals, and preparing for a trip. Helmets, pretend gear, service officer decals for your bike (and flashing lights!) are included.
  • Let’s Ride: A first-person riding experience, including a throttle to control the speed of your bike, working turn signals, costumes, audio effects – and the wind in your face – complete the ultimate ride experience!
  • Off-Road Recreation: A multilevel play space, created with real Harley-Davidson® motorcycle parts, accessories and sounds, complements the pretend dealership.

Saturday, July 2 – Sunday, July 10: Inventors Week – Join us for a week of tinkering, building, and exploring while learning about electronic and robotic principles that every inventor and engineer should know! Practice your skills and test your knowledge with snap circuit building, Makey Makey invention activities, and an interactive stage show! Plus! Join us for a exclusive live video conference with NASA! Learn about the Orion and Space Launch System missions and how NASA plans to explore areas of space that more than 40,000 miles beyond the moon! An engineer from the Ground Systems Development and Operations team at Kennedy Space Center will be available by video conference to answer your questions about upcoming deep space operations. Visit the Cube on July 2nd, 3rd, 9th, or 10th to meet local inventors!

Heritage Museum of Orange County

3101 W Harvard St.

Santa Ana, CA 92704

Heritage Museum of Orange County is a cultural and natural history center in Southern California. The centerpiece of the museum, which covers nearly 12 acres in all, is an historic plaza featuring several buildings from the 1890s set amid extensive floral gardens and citrus groves. Among these is the Kellogg House, familiar to teachers and students throughout Orange County as a favorite field trip destination for over 25 years.

Our regular public visiting hours are:

  • Friday 1pm-5pm
  • Saturday 10am-2pm
  • Sunday 11am-3pm

Check website for exceptions to typical visiting hours.

Prices and Amenities

  • Adults: $5
  • Seniors/Children: $4
  • Free parking
  • Free use of grounds for individuals and families during public hours
  • AAA/Access Member Discounts
  • Special for Santa Ana Residents Only: Free Admission & Tour on the first Sunday of every month.

Kidseum (art-based children’s museum operated by the Bowers Museum)

1802 N Main St.

Santa Ana, CA 92706

The newly renovated Kidseum is high-tech and interactive with a focus on its new mission, “Igniting imagination through exploration,” stressing the excitement of art and archaeology. Be sure to check out the new “Glow Cave” with its fun art making activities, ride the magical Wells Fargo stagecoach through time in the “Green Screen Time Machine,” and explore archaeology like never before in our new Archaeology Lab. There will be a lot of visual stimulation and engaging education with new smart tables, smart boards and computers.

Special Weekend Programs for children and adults! (included with admission). Admission is $6 for Ages 2 and Up, Under 2/Members are Free. Adult free admission with current Bowers Museum ticket stub.

  • Face painting all day
  • Drop in Art Studio all day
  • Live Storytelling in the Story Room – 11:00am – 11:30am and 1:30pam – 2:00pm (Saturdays & Sundays)
  • Glow Cave Paintings – 11:30am – 12:00pm and 2:00pm – 2:30pm (Saturdays & Sundays)
  • Archaeology Lab Coin Impressions – 1:00pm – 1:30pm and 2:30pm – 3:00pm (Saturdays & Sundays)

Once Upon a Time Exhibit – Once Upon a Time… Exploring the World of Fairy Tales is a unique and educational exhibit focusing on the power and significance of fairy tales throughout history and from around the world. From an African jungle to a giant’s castle, explore larger-than-life pages of seven favorite fairy tales. Enter via a magical portal into a fabulous storybook kingdom, and learn the meaning and history of tales you’ve known all your life and others that may be new.

Get into the story as you cross a wooden bridge in “Anansi and the Talking Melon,” play a harpsichord in “Beauty and the Beast,” try on a glass slipper in “Cinderella,” work at a cobblers bench in “The Elves and the Shoemaker,” climb a beanstalk in “Jack and the Beanstalk,” catch a wolf in “Lon Po Po,” and crawl through a mole’s hole in “Thumbelina.” Exhibit runs April 16 – August 28, 2016.

Saturday, July 2 – Friday, July 8 (Closed July 4): Hands-on Art Making – In the Art Studio: Summer Flip Flops – Summer days spent on the beach are fun!! Children will decorate their own paper sandals using markers and watercolors. Sea Shells can be glued on to create a mix media art piece. In the Glow Cave: Summer Popsicles – In 1905, eleven-year-old Frank Epperson from San Francisco, California invented the popular hot weather treat, the Popsicle as we know it today. However, the invention supposedly came about as a pure accident! According to the Popsicle Company, one cold evening Frank left a mixture of powder flavored soda water with a stir stick in it on the porch. Because of the cold weather outside, he awoke to a frozen treat on a stick. Children can design glow in the dark paper popsicles of their own. These can be decorated and colored using glow crayons and color pencils. Activities available 10:00am – 4:00pm and are complementary with Kidseum admission.

Saturday, July 9 – Sunday, July 10: Hands-on Art Making – In the Art Studio: Sand Castle Watercolor Salt Resistance – Building sand castles are one of the most popular activities people do while enjoying a day out at the beach. But the lifespan of these “masterpieces” is usually very short. On this day, children can visit our Art Studio and paint their own sand castle using a very fun watercolor technique, salt resist, which adds a lot of texture to a 2D art piece. In the Glow Cave: Abstract Canvas Wall Hanging – Children will explore the use of line, shape and texture while painting their own Abstract art piece. Children may take their art works home to be hung on the wall. Activities available 10:00am – 4:00pm and are complementary with Kidseum admission.

Tuesday, July 5 – Sunday, July 10: Ancient Egyptian Dig – One of the most popular activities at the museum are the outdoor archaeology dig pits located on the patio. Beginning May 31, one dig pit will be open Tuesday through Sunday (closed First Festival Sundays and pending weather), the cultures will change weekly. The Tuesday through Sunday schedule will run until the end of August. The digs are not facilitated and are included with Kidseum admission. All children must be accompanied by an adult when exploring. Dig pits are open from 10:30 am-3:30 pm.

From July 5 to July 10 search for buried Egyptian Artifacts. All artifacts must be left with the museum for future digs. Real archaeologists do not keep their discoveries and most discoveries end up in the care of a museum for future generations to enjoy.

Tuesday, July 6 – Sunday, July 10: Live Storytelling – Join Master Storyteller, Miss Cynthia, as she shares stories at the Kidseum. She will share a different story at each of the two sessions at noon and 2:00pm. Check website for story details.

Laguna Art Museum

307 Cliff Dr.

Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Laguna Art Museum is a museum of California art. It collects, cares for, and exhibits works of art that were created by California artists or represent the life and history of the state. Unlike any other museum in the state, it collects California art and only California art, and ranges across all periods and styles, nineteenth-century to present-day. Walk-in tours led by experienced docents feature highlights from the museum’s current exhibitions. These tours begin at 11:00 a.m. in the museum lobby on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays beginning one week after an exhibition opens. No reservations are necessary, but please notify the tour program coordinator if you are bringing a group of ten or more. Tours are free for museum members and free for non-member with museum admission.

The museum is open Monday – Tuesday, Friday – Sunday 11:00am – 5:00pm, Thursday 11:00am – 9:00pm, Closed Wednesday. Admission is $7 adult, Free for children under 12. The museum is free for all visitors the first Thursday of every month from 5:00pm – 9:00pm. Metered parking is available surrounding the museum on Cliff Drive and Pacific Coast Highway. The meters take quarters and credit cards only.  Additional street parking is available in the residential area east of the museum, across Pacific Coast Highway. The museum does not have a parking lot. There is a free trolley service available for visitors on weekends in the spring and daily during the summer months.

Mission San Juan Capistrano

26801 Ortega Hwy.

San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

Mission San Juan Capistrano, historic landmark and museum, is the Birthplace of Orange County. It was founded more than two hundred years ago as the 7th of 21 missions statewide and features a chapel still standing where Fr. Serra once celebrated Mass. Today, it is a monument to California’s multi-cultural history, embracing its Native American, Spanish, Mexican and European heritage. Originally built as a self sufficient community by Spanish Padres and Native Americans, the Mission was a center for agriculture, industry, education and religion.

Admission: Adults $9 (includes free audio tour), Seniors (60+) $8 (includes free audio tour), Children (4-11) $6 (includes free audio tour), and Children under 3 are free. Admission tickets are stold at the Gate House or online. The mission is open daily 9:00am – 5:00pm. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Closed at noon Good Friday and Christmas Eve.

Activities and tours are offered daily. Curiosity Carts are out 10:00am – 12:00pm every Tuesday and Thursday. Garden tours are offered every Wednesday at 10:00am and 10:30am. Gold Panning, Adobe Brick Making, and Arrowhead Necklace are offered every Saturday and Sunday, 11:00am – 3:00pm. $5 non-members, $1 members.


241 S Anaheim Blvd.

Anaheim, CA 92805

The MUZEO engages the community by exploring and celebrating our diverse heritage, culture and arts through creative programming. The MUZEO hosts three traveling exhibitions per year which would otherwise not be displayed in the region. Every exhibit is enhanced with special programs, events and activities. You don’t want to miss a moment of them. Admission fees: Adults $10 and children $6. Parking is available in the structure on the corner of Center Street Promenade and South Lemon Street. Museum is closed on Mondays.

Orange County Museum of Art

850 San Clemente Dr.

Newport Beach, CA 92660

The galleries reopen April 2, 2016, with three new exhibitions.

OCMA’s mission is to enrich the lives of a diverse and changing community through modern and contemporary art. The museum offers free admission every Friday. Hours are 11:00am – 8:00pm. A public tour is offered at 1:00pm.

Pretend City

29 Hubble

Irvine, CA 92618

Pretend City Children’s Museum features a small, interconnected city designed to “build better brains” through purposeful play, hands-on learning experiences, role playing, and educational programming. As a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization serving all children, it depends on community-based funding and guest support. Through 17 interactive exhibits and activities guided by a highly trained professional staff, children learn foundational math, reading and science skills, while fostering curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, organization, teamwork, self-confidence and socialization. The museum is a unique community resource offering developmental screenings and tools for families, educators and community agencies working to ensure that each child gains the experiences needed to discover their potential and build toward a productive and fulfilling future.

Admission is as follows: Infant to 12 months: FREE, Children: $12.50, Adult: $12.50, Military and Family Members: $9.50. Pretend City’s Art Studio has new art projects daily! See the Art Calendar for details. Pretend City’s Real Café is located between the Home and Construction Site. Our vending Machines contain healthy choices like sandwiches, salads, fruit snacks, milk, bottle water, and other healthier snack options for your family. Take a break in our Real Cafe seating area while you fill up on much-needed fuel before going back on the floor for more play!  We ask that all eating be in the Real Café seating area, or on the outside tables to side the building (next to the Front Entrance). Pretend City Children’s Museum is a nut-free facility.

Super Powers Exhibit – The newest special exhibit, Super Powers is opening this summer! Discover your inner hero and unlock your super powers in this interactive and kid-sized super power training ground. Fly, scale, zip and smash your way through a real-life comic book city. Build your body and your bravery as you tackle challenges and complete missions throughout the exhibit with gadgets and gizmos that enhance your powers. Smash your way into Super Powers at Pretend City! Join Pretend City for a Superhero Summer and show us your inner superhero.  Throughout the summer months of June and July you will have many opportunities to meet Superheroes from your favorite movies and comic books to the hero’s in our very own communities.  Don’t miss all the action-packed activities, epic showdown performances, character appearances and extraordinary events! Exhibit runs June 21 – September 18, 2016.

Sunday, July 3 – Saturday, July 9: Military Heroes – With Independence Day coming up, we are so excited to spotlight some real-live superheroes; our military servicemen and women! We are recognizing military heroes of the past and present with patriotic activities all week long! Join in our military march, the pledge of allegiance, and sensational story time. Anyone dressed in military uniform will receive $3 off admission! Activities available 10:00am – 5:00pm.

Friday, July 8: Way to Play Day, A Package of Learning! – Join us for a fun Way To Play Day, which is specially designed to assist parents in finding answers to questions about their child’s development. With our Way To Play Adventure Guide, there are activities to enhance your play at Pretend City. Good To Go From Head To Toe, Pretend City’s child development initiative, together with our play partners, are here to assist you with ASQ Developmental Check-ups from 10:00a.m. to 12:00p.m.: Assess speech, motor, cognitive and social areas (first come, first served; limited spaces available). Hourly Guided Activities in the Emergency Services exhibit from 10:30am-2:30pm. RSVP: Not required. Fee: Check-ups and activities are included with museum admission.

Friday, July 8: Free Dental & Vision Screenings – It’s time to show those pearly whites and bright eyes at our FREE Dental & Vision screenings! These screenings are helpful to gauge your child’s development as well as ease them into the motions of regular exams later in life. Our friends at Healthy Smiles and the ELKS club are performing the screenings and you can also access our free developmental screenings online . Screenings available 10:00am – 12:00pm.

Friday, July 8: Partner in Play Day: Water Heroes – Splish Splash! In honor of Superhero Summer, we’re focusing on our Water Heroes today! Dive into some fun while learning about lifeguards and how they keep our pool and beach-goers safe! We’re also going to make waves by highlighting swimmer safety—a crucial topic for families this summer! RSVP: Not required. Fee: Included with museum admission. Activities available 11:00am – 5:00pm.

Sunday, July 10: Teddy Bear Picnic – It’ll be a beary fun time at our Teddy Bear Picnic today! Americans are celebrating one of the most famous toys in the world on July 10—the Teddy Bear—which is over 100 years old! In the museum, we encourage you to bring your bears, blankets, and baskets to set up your own picnic! This is a special treat for today only—make sure you follow proper picnic etiquette and clean up your yummy snacks once you are finished! RSVP: Not required. Fee: Included with museum admission. Activities available 10:00am – 5:00pm.

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