DUBAI: Orange County California, the home of ‘relaxed luxury’ opens its arms to kids, particularly from the GCC and ME by offering them a plethora of fun and thrilling experiences.
The attractions will now include providing educational and entertaining programs particularly for those who come from GCC and Middle East.
Eight edutainment activities in Orange County California that you should check out.
DISCOVERY SCIENCE CENTER
Hands-On Discovery: Santa Ana’s Discovery Science Center features 120 hands-on exhibits, including the world’s first interactive dinosaur adventure. Just down the street, the Bowers Kidseum introduces children to cultures around the world through hands-on arts experiences. For very young children, Pretend City in Irvine and the Children’s Museum at La Habra offer fun opportunities to explore, play and stretch the imagination.
OCEAN INSTITUTE IN DANA POINT
Marine Life: Take your young explorers to the Ocean Institute in Dana Point for a great introduction to the marine life found in local waters. (Reserved for school groups during the week, the Institute is open to the public on weekends.) If you’re interested in experiencing marine life in the wild, check out the variety of family excursions offered throughout the year on Ocean Institute vessels. Whale watching takes place year-round in OC, with migrating Gray Whales appearing off the coast from November through April and Blue Whales from May through October. Multiple operators depart from Newport and Dana Point Harbors. If you’d like to see seals and sea lions up close, head to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Canyon, where pinnipeds rescued along the OC coast are being nursed back to health for release into the wild. Excellent tide pooling can be found in Crystal Cove State Park, the rocky coves of Laguna Beach and at the base of the Dana Point Headlands.
OC ZOO IN IRVINE PARK
Nature & Animals: OC’s zoos are more intimate than others in Southern California-offering terrific introductions for younger visitors. The Santa Ana Zoo offers a particularly strong monkey collection. The OC Zoo in Irvine Park showcases animals that are found in the wild in Southern California. And San Juan Capistrano’s Zoomar’s is a fun petting zoo. OC Parks and the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks offer guided hiking experiences designed for families and children
FAIRVIEW PARK, COSTA MESA
Trains were an important part of OC history, bringing settlers to the area and helping farmers reach faraway markets. There are two places in the county where train enthusiasts young and old can ride on miniature trains: Fairview Park, Costa Mesa (3rd Sat. & Sun. each month) and Irvine Regional Park (daily). You can plan a day trip on a real train-multiple OC cities are served by both Metrolink and Amtrak. Three historic downtowns are close to railroad stations-Fullerton, Old Towne Orange and San Juan Capistrano–offering lots to see and do on foot once you arrive.
Farm Experiences: Help your kids understand where their food comes from at the Centennial Farm at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, the Orange County Great Park’s Farm+Food Lab that makes the farm-to-table connection. While you’re there, don’t miss the opportunity to rise above it all in the Great Orange Balloon; or Tanaka Farms in Irvine, a working family farm and farm-stands with special seasonal events where visitors can pick their own pumpkins, strawberries or watermelons.
SEGERSTROM CENTER FOR THE ARTS
Intros to the Arts: A number of OC performing arts organizations offer regular programmes specifically designed for children and their families. Check out Pacific Symphony, Segerstrom Center for the Arts and South Coast Repertory to see what might be happening during your visit. Laguna’s summer art festivals offer hands-on visual arts workshops and experiences for children. The Annual Street Painting Festival (May) is a fun, accessible way to see artists creating masterpieces before your eyes, The OC also has a number of festivals that provide great creative experiences for children and families including the Imagination Celebration (April/May), the Festival of Children (Sept) and the OC Children’s Book Festival (Oct).
THE WALL SKATE PARK
OC’s outdoor, adrenaline-packed lifestyle is perfect for active children and their families. For the skateboarding enthusiast, there’s The Vans Off the Wall Skatepark which features over 35,000 square feet of rails, bowls, stair sets, rollers, gaps, and offers large indoor/outdoor street courses, 80-foot-wide mini-ramp and beginner’s course for the kids. The location also features a Jack’s Garage retail store and a surf-inspired Mexican menu from Taco Surf.
Behold a royal transformation as everyday kids turn into elegant princesses and shining knights—right before your eyes! Visit Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at the Disneyland Resort to make that childhood dream a reality. For girls, the make-over includes Hairstyle—can choose from Fairytale Princess, Disney Diva or Color Star looks, Shimmering makeup, Princess sash and cinch bag, Face gem, Nail polish, Trendy tutu and an exclusive Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique t-shirt. For boys, the transformation includes Prince costume, Hairstyling with gel, Mighty sword and shield and Confetti. Freeze those moments and finish it with a Disney PhotoPass Service to capture this enchanting Disney experience.