January 13, 2014

Usually in the winter we are trying to escape the cold. But if you've been in Orange County lately, you know that this winter has been ridiculously warm '€“ it's almost as if we are trying to escape the heat! Whether it's a chilly, rainy day or a day when the sweltering sun has you begging for the air conditioner, there are lots of indoor places that you can take the kids to keep them busy. From physical play to education '€“ Orange County has a little bit of everything!

Here are some great indoor options for the kids (and many that will entertain the whole family!):

Pretend City Children's Museum, Irvine

" Photo credit: Pretend City Children's Museum

Pretend City keeps kids busy through purposeful play, hands-on learning and role playing. Your child will be entertained for hours '€“ my daughter could have stayed all day! They have 17 interactive exhibits and activities led by a highly trained professional staff. Not only will the kids have fun, but they'll be learning too. They even have a small area for crawlers so you can take the little ones along! For a first-hand account of what you can expect to experience, click here.

Discovery Science Center, Santa Ana

Photo credit: Discovery Science Center

If your kids are into science or just love to play and explore, they'll love the Discovery Science Center. They have more than 100 hands-on exhibits where kids can learn through touch and exploration. There are always different traveling exhibits for kids to experience, which makes return visits a new adventure every time (January 25 - April 30, 2014 will feature "Animal Grossology" '€“ an exhibit oozing with disgusting science and interactive games)! Want to know more about what you can expect? Read about a non-Californian's experience at the Discovery Science Center here.

Bowers Museum, Santa Ana

Photo credit: Bowers Museum

Older kids and history buffs will enjoy the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana. Bowers presents world-class exhibitions from the greatest museums in the world. Some cover local history as well, like their ongoing "California: The Golden Years" and "First Californians" exhibits. Within two short blocks of Bowers Museum is Kidseum, an extension of Bowers geared toward preschool and early elementary ages. Kidseum allows kids to experience history, art and culture through things like an imaginative art lab, international dress-up and a Dig and Discover Archaeology Adventure. Admission for ages 2 and older is only $6, and it's free with a current Bowers Museum ticket stub.

Indoor Bounce Houses

Photo credit: Bounce U

Kids with a lot of energy (read: all kids) just can't stay cooped up all winter! Orange County has several indoor bounce house locations where kids can exhaust themselves through jumping, sliding and climbing. Check out the websites for Pump It Up, Scooter's Jungle and Bounce U to find a location near you.

Angel Stadium Tour

If you have a child who loves baseball, the Angel Stadium Tour will be an experience they never forget. This tour takes you through the innards of Angel Stadium and delivers plenty of Angels baseball history and facts. The best part? The entire family can attend and the cost is only $5 for adults and $3 for kids (ages 3-18). For more information on what you'll experience during the tour and how to sign up, click here.


Photo credit: Lucky Strike Lanes

Even if you have to use bumpers, bowling can be a lot of fun for kids and the entire family. Rent a lane and some shoes, order a pizza and make a day of it! Check out local hotspots like Bowlmor Lanes in Anaheim or Lucky Strike Lanes in Orange.