Between the Halloween candy hangover and the Thanksgiving turkey coma, this time of the year can be a whirlwind of family get together, meal planning, and racing to get everything done. Orange County moms who are looking to take a break from selecting menu items and choosing appropriately themed table ware may want to spend a relaxing (or at least entertaining) day with the kids at one of the area’s museums.
Why Choose A Museum?
From art to science, southern California has an abundant array of museums to choose from. A museum visit is the perfect complement to a family filled weekend or a great way to spend some quality time together during a mini-holiday break.
Additionally, a museum can be the perfect alternative to pumpkin patches, hayrides, and other similar activities. Although these fabulous fall finds are a great way to spend time together, children may need an alternative to the fall fun overload. A museum provides a different type of activity that kids of all ages can enjoy.
Why Visit A Museum in the Fall?
There are many reasons to select the fall or holiday times to visit a museum as a family. Some examples include:
Fall weather: an indoor museum is a great way to spend a chilly or rainy day.
Fall activities: Some museums offer specialized autumn and/or holiday themed activities for kids and families.
Holiday break: Instead of sitting around the house on a day off from school, fill the day with a museum visit. Also, some museums may have half or full day holiday camps. These classes for kids are a great way to avoid the dreaded, “Mommy, I’m bored”.
What to Do at the Museum?
Look for fall and holiday related activities. Does the museum have an exhibit on autumn leaves? Are there Thanksgiving inspired paintings?
Also check out special family tours, free activity or art making opportunities, and seasonally themed events.
If the museum does not have anything that distinctly relates to the time of the year, make your own fun. For example, on an art museum visit ask younger kids to look for fall colors such as brown, yellow, orange, and red, or have older children go on a fall landscape scavenger hunt.
Local Museums to Visit
Children’s Museum at La Habra, 301 South Euclid St. La Habra, CA 90631: If you are looking for a day after Thanksgiving activity, try the museum’s Scarlet Sisters Mermaid Show. Acrobatic pirates entertain with juggling, music, and more. The Children’s Museum can be reached at 562-905-9793 for added details.
Discovery Science Center, 2500 N. Main St. Santa Ana, CA 92705: Budding scientists and kids who love to explore can enjoy the Science Center’s permanent exhibits such as dynamic Earth, air and Space, Dino Quest, the Kid station, and more. Seasonal activities and exhibits include The Science of Gingerbread (November 26, 2010 through January 2, 2011), with “Science of Snow” shows, hands-on activities, and other gingerbread fun. Call the Science Center at 714-542-2823 for information.
Orange County Museum of Art, 850 San Clemente Dr. Newport Beach, CA 92660: Check out the 2010 California Biennial (on display until March 13, 2011) and enjoy contemporary art from 45 different artists. Families interested in a holiday event may enjoy the museum’s Annual Holiday Celebration on November 14. Get festive with cultures from around the world and take in a special dragon dance. Call the museum at 949-759-1122 for more information.
Pretend City Children’s Museum, 29 Hubble Irvine, and CA 92618: This children’s museum offers a variety of classes for little ones that range from Spanish class to art and architecture. Best for kids 10 and under, Pretend City allows children to explore over 15,000 square feet of hands-on fun. Call the museum at 949-428-3900 for details.
The Bowers Kidsuem, 1802 N. Main St. Santa Ana, CA 92706: As an art and cultural center, the Bowers Kidseum is a great place for elementary aged children and younger. Exhibits include tribal instruments, art lab, a language exploration, and international dress-up. The museum can be reached at 714-480-1520 for more information.