Hawaii Mom Blog: Off-Island: Discovery Science Center




October 19, 2012

Off-Island: Discovery Science Center

We've passed by the Discovery Science Center's giant Cube numerous times before while visiting Southern California, and we finally had a chance to see it up close (and go inside) earlier this month.

From the moment we stepped into the facility, my kids were intrigued and engaged.  There are over a hundred hands-on exhibits where they could do all kinds of cool stuff, such as fly a little airplane, play music on a laser harp, and even make clouds (click on photos to enlarge)!

A really fun thing kids can do while at Discovery Science Center is go on a Dino Quest Adventure.

After going into the Dino Quest Field Office, DS2 got his challenge sheet (challenges vary by age), and his research transmitter, and he began his search for all the items on his sheet - it was like a really cool treasure hunt to him! 
He had so much fun looking for the various items.  When he found a correct item, he'd wave his transmitter and something neat would happen (e.g. items would open up to reveal special objects)!  Throughout his search he also saw fossils and learned about how a dinosaur's organs worked.

After Dino Quest, we headed to the second floor for even more fun!

The current exhibit, Bob the Builder - Project Build-It, enabled kids to pose with life-size characters from the show, pretend to drive machinery, and even build things.

We all had our favorite exhibits in the Discovery Science Center.

DS2 loved the Race to Recycle game (that was one of my favorite exhibits too!).  Not only was it educational learning about all the different items we could recycle, but it was so much fun sorting through all the "garbage" for items that could be recycled and those that couldn't.

DS3 loved the Bob the Builder's Vehicle Shelter, where he could put rocks in a wheelbarrow and later stick them on a wall, and he could also slide down a little slide!

Besides the Race to Recycle game, I also loved the Discovery Market. It's the coolest grocery store I've ever seen.  The kids push special shopping carts throughout the store while picking up specific types of food displayed on the screen.

DH loved the Science of Hockey exhibits, especially You Be the Goalie, where he could pretend to be a goalie and stop flying pucks.

As for DS1, who has an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), he just LOVED the Eurydice exhibit - a rolling ball machine by George Rhoads. Balls would move throughout the machine and different sounds could be generated, and DS1 was just fascinated.

This was the first exhibit he saw when he entered the facility, so we had a tough time getting him to move on to other exhibits.  I'm sure he would've watched the exhibit all day long if he could.

Overall DS1 did great at the Discovery Science Center.  He did have a few minor meltdowns, but fortunately there were lots of places to sit, and even several places where there was minimal noise, which enabled us to take a break so he could calm down when he seemed to be getting overwhelmed by all of the kids or all of the new sights and sounds.

Although at times it was challenging to get him to try out some of the exhibits, with prompting and encouragement he was able to experience and enjoy a lot that the Discovery Science Center had to offer.

We all had a wonderful time at the Discovery Science Center.

Everywhere you turn there's something cool to discover, and it's truly a lot of fun for the entire family!

The Bob the Builder - Project Build-It exhibit runs through Jan. 6, 2013.

Below are more photos from our visit.


Discovery Science Center: 2500 North Main Street  Santa Ana, CA 92705; (714) 542-2823
Admission: Ages 3-14 and seniors ages 62+ $12.95; adults 15+ $14.95
Parking $4 (cash only) 

Thank you to Discovery Science Center for providing complimentary tickets.  All opinions are my own.

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