The Pretend City Children’s Museum is a charitable institution for kids in Irvine, California. There are 17 hands-on displays spread around the museum, all styled after a miniature city. Purposeful play, hands-on learning, role playing, and instructional programming are all ways in which Pretend City works to “grow stronger brains.” Families, teachers, and local organizations can all benefit from the museum’s wealth of offerings, which include developmental tests and helpful information.
Children’s Museum in “Pretend City” is “the world in a nut-shell,” a place where kids may explore their natural curiosity and utilize their imaginations while learning about how the world works. The museum is a miniature replica of a bustling metropolis designed with a focus on balancing educational purpose with unrestrained play, where children can play out a wide variety of roles based on their own imaginations.
Our experienced staff leads children through engaging exhibits and activities that teach them basic arithmetic, reading, and scientific concepts while also encouraging them to use their imaginations, think critically, work cooperatively, and develop other important life skills. By studying in our one-of-a-kind, hands-on setting, students are able to observe how theoretical principles may be applied in the actual world.
It was Alexandra Airth and Sandra Peffer that conceptualized the idea for the Pretend City Children’s Museum. In 2007, it launched its first educational program, “Pretend City on Wheels,” a mobile field trip experience. A 10-year countywide initiative emphasizing the value of screening children from birth to age five for developmental delays was begun in July 2009 by Pretend City. Launching on August 30, 2009, Pretend City was a hit with kids and adults alike. With the help of “The Possible Dream” funding from The Festival of Children Foundation and OC Register, Pretend City has been able to host two events per month for the autistic community, including creative relaxation workshops, a family autism day, and a workshop.
A variety of city-themed exhibits are on display in a kid-sized version of the real thing at Pretend City. Youngsters are given time cards and encouraged to clock in at various locations to earn Pretend City currency. There is an amphitheater, an art studio, a mind + body center, a sandy beach, a restaurant cafe, the city hall and lobby, a construction site, emergency services (including a dispatch station, police station, and fire station), a farm, a gas station, a Trader Joe’s, a health center with a doctor’s office and a dentist’s office, a marina, an orange plaza, our home, and an ups store. The Imagination Playground, a set of playground structures created by David Rockwell, may be found in Pretend City as well.
Pretend City is not only a museum, though; it also hosts educational workshops and tours for school groups.
Next Point of Interest: Orange County Museum of Art