Orange County has tons of fun activities for kids and families with a slew of museums that are perfect for days when you need a little inside time. Learn about dinosaurs, see World War II planes up close and learn all about California’s surf culture. Which adventure will you choose?

photo: Pretend City Children’s Museum

Pretend City Children’s Museum

Pretend City Children’s Museum is “the world in a nut-shell.” It is designed for children to learn how the real world works. The museum is a child-size interconnected city built with rich educational intention, where children can assume various real-world roles. Through interactive exhibits and activities facilitated by highly trained professional staff, children learn foundational math, reading and science skills while fostering curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving and teamwork. 

29 Hubble
Irvine, CA 
Online: pretendcity.org

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photo: Discovery Cube Orange County

Discovery Cube Orange County

The Discovery Cube Orange County gives those seeking immersive, interactive science activities a way to jump into the learning fun. Kids love learning about dinosaurs, planning a healthy meal and trying their luck at rocket launching. Discovery Cube's seasonal gingerbread exhibit is not to be missed!

2500 N. Main Street
Santa Ana, CA
Online: oc.discoverycube.org

Lyon Air Museum

Lyon Air Museum is located on the west side of John Wayne Airport in Orange County and is comprised of authentic aircraft, rare vehicles and related memorabilia, with emphasis on the defining event of the 20th century—World War II. 

19300 Ike Jones Road
Santa Ana, CA
Online: lyonairmuseum.org

photo: Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum

Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum

Richard Nixon’s Presidency is one of the most exhaustively documented administrations in American history. The Nixon Presidential Materials Collection contains approximately 46 million pages of documents, 3,700 hours of recorded Presidential conversations known as the “White House Tapes”, 4,000 separate recordings of broadcast video, nearly 4,500 audio recordings, 300,000 still photographs, two million feet of film, and more than 35,000 State and Public Gifts.

18001 Yorba Linda Blvd.
Yorba Linda, CA
Online: nixonlibrary.gov

Bowers Museum and Kidseum

Bring the whole family to the Bowers Museum and Kidseum where you can take part in an archaeological dig, a drum circle, make your own piece of art or enjoy a performance by quality musical, dance or theatrical artists at Kidseum, in the classy Norma Kerschaw Auditorium, the expansive John Lee Court or the outdoor Key Courtyard. 

2002 North Main St.
Santa Ana, CA
Online: bowers.org

Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum

The International Surfing Museum is dedicated to preserving the past, participating in the present, and influencing the future of all aspects of surfing culture worldwide. It houses collections of surfing memorabilia and culture including some of surfing history's most significant artifacts such as Duke Kahanamoku's surfboard and the Guinness World Records breaking World's Largest Surfboard. Stop by to learn all about the history of surfing and really immerse yourself in Surf City USA culture!

411 Olive Ave.
Huntington Beach, CA
Online: surfcityusa.com

—Kate Loweth

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