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“Fun and Educational for Kids”

Pretend City Children's Museum
Ranked #2 of 45 things to do in Irvine
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Pretend City Children's Museum builds better brains by providing a rich learning environment for young children. The Museum features a child-sized, interconnected city designed to stimulate purposeful play, hands-on learning experiences, role playing, and educational programming. 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 free 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.
Mission Viejo, California
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Fun and Educational for Kids”
Reviewed December 14, 2012

I volunteered here with a friend one night last week and thought it would be a great place to take my grandchildren. Lots of fun things for them to do and pretend.

Visited December 2012
Thank David A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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115 reviews from our community

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La Habra, California
Level 6 Contributor
311 reviews
115 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 212 helpful votes
“My son loves this place...but it is expensive”
Reviewed August 25, 2012

We live in La Habra - which is a good 40 minute drive to get to Pretend City. If you are not a member, the admission fee is expensive - $11 per person, and adults have to pay too.

We go about once or twice a year.

Pretend City is just like it sounds - it is a city with grocery store, garden, building area, house, stage for performances, doctors office, fishing port, beach, fire station, and so much more.

The space is small inside - so I just let my son run around as I sit in the center - he always comes to check on me.

They also offer several art projects for the kids to complete.

They do not offer much in terms of food - mostly snacks.

If you have not been - it is worth a trip.

Visited February 2012
3 Thank ALinCA5512
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
92 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Children's Museum”
Reviewed August 13, 2012

I love taking my grandchildren here. They love everything about it!
I love seeing the creative play going on, from picking pretend fruit off the trees to dressing up in a costume and dancing on the stage.
Plan on several hours of fun.

Visited August 2012
2 Thank CathyO22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rancho Santa Margarita, California
Level 6 Contributor
103 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Munchkin Land”
Reviewed July 28, 2012

My little girls love this place. it is a place where they can pretend to be adults earning money at pretend jobs in a city. Mine love working at the grocery store best, but they also have a doctors office, garden, construction site, and even a wharf they can pretend to fish. Why didn't they have this place when I was a kid??

Visited July 2012
Thank Jennifer W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hawthorne, California
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Mixed Feelings”
Reviewed July 27, 2012

We took our almost 3 year old son here for the first time today. Apparently we chose the wrong day to come. It was PACKED! We had to park in their "extra" parking which is about a 5 min walk away from the entrance. They charge $11 for everyone, kids and adults each. By the end of the day I felt like I was charged $11 to babysit my own kid. I really don't think they should charge the adults. All you end up doing is following your kid around and keeping them in line and sitting where you can find the space.

So first impressions, on the outside it looks like a giant warehouse but inside it is impressive upon first entering. 20 foot ceilings and the space feels really large. It's basically a city built to preschool scale. Supermarket, orchard, construction zone, house, gas station, beach, marina, cafe, library, doctor/dentist office, theatre etc. Each area has hands on toys and things the kids can play with. Some areas were in need of up keep and were looking a little rough around the edges. The other problem was kids taking the toys or props out of one area and not returning them so you get to that area and there's nothing to play with.

Our biggest peeve was that most of the moms just park their rear ends down and chit chat with their other mom friends and let their kids run wild. I had to stop a few kids at different areas from taking the toys out of my sons hands and their moms barely batted an eye. I was told by a volunteer that during the week, Tuesdays are a much better time to visit and that when older kids are back in school it also helps with the crowds.

Older kids was another peeve of ours. Honestly, if you're older than 5 years old, you don't need to be here. Or maybe they should have designated times for older kids because they do say that kids up to 10 can play. I didn't appreciate the older kids who were getting bored and deciding to run wild and play with the toys inappropriately or push and get out of hand. I get that it's summer vacation and they probably came with younger siblings but I don't think there's much there to keep them entertained.

They have vending machines inside for snacks, but that's about it. I wasn't sure if outside food is allowed, I don't think it is.

All in all, if I came back I would hope for a quieter time with my little one where he could actually touch the toys and things without any other bratty kids being selfish and not sharing and parents not caring. But honestly for the fact that dished out $33 for two adults and 1 kid, I don't think I'd come back.

Visited July 2012
6 Thank Helena C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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