Discover Cube LA/OC is such an amazing and fun place for kids of all ages! It is all about interactive science exhibits and there’s always a new one every couple of months. The OC location always has an outdoor dinosaur play area which I would definitely recommend visiting especially if you are closer to OC. The LA location is smaller but worth visiting. I wasn’t sure how my 1 and 3 year old would like it. We took them before when they were 6 months and 2 years old during the Eric Carle exhibit which of course the 2 year old loved. But this time, there wasn’t an Eric Carle exhibit, it was the dinosaurs. And they had a blast. My 3 year old was a little nervous because he thought that the dinosaurs were real because the displays actually move! AMAZING!!!! There’s information about each dinosaur, which as an adult I loved but then all of sudden they start to move and make noise! LOVE IT! There’s a paleontologist display and plenty of room for pictures. Even dinosaurs are displayed outside in the picnic tables so I’d recommend having lunch outside.
In addition, there’s a Dino dig area for toddlers and young children filled with puppets, jeeps to ride, a coloring table, fossil digs that you can actually put together to create a dinosaur, a book nook with dinosaur-themed books, and a dinosaur game show throughout the day.
Now this is just the dinosaur exhibit; there are 5 other exhibits and 3 sit-down shows. My three favorite ones were the Discovery Market, LA Kings and helicopter exhibits! At the market we ran around with a grocery cart and scanned items but there is a game associated with it so we also learn about nutrition and recycling. The kids loved it! the LA Kings exhibit allows little ones to drive a Zamboni, play hockey, pretend to be a hockey goalie, amongst other interactive activities. The helicopter simulator was awesome for several reasons – parents can take a break, kids can push the helicopter control panel and pretend to ride it while watching a tour of LA.
For two hours my kids were so engaged, but you can definitely stay longer especially if you have older kids, decide to have lunch, and visit the playground that is literally next door (not associated with Discovery Cube).
- Tickets? Yes, Adults: $17.95 at the door, or $12.95 online (+$3 service fee). And if you have AAA they are $12.95 at the door just show them your coupon code that you can print or show on your phone via AAA website. There’s also military and teacher discounts. The annual membership (entry to LA and OC) is $99 that allows entry to 2 adults and up to 6 children.
- Parking is free and easily available.
- I would consider arriving during their lowest peak times usually at opening or 2.5 hours before closing. We arrived 2 hours before and we didn’t have to wait in line for anything and that means less stress for us and two kids and more to interact with!
- The OC location has a lactation room but the LA location does not. The LA location offered me their First Aid room as an option. This is only if you prefer a quiet space, but there are plenty of benches to nurse.
- The OC location has an awesome dinosaur playground. And although the LA location does not, it does have a huge park playground literally next door that you can stay and play.
- ATM available: yes! But always carry some cash
- What’s for lunch? Pack a lunch or buy at their cafe located on the second floor. There are some healthy options for both children and parents. I like that they decorate the kids options so they might actually want to eat healthier options.
- Have lunch with the dinosaurs! There are picnic tables in front of the entrance with two huge dinosaurs. I wish we knew because we would have definitely had our lunch out here instead of eating beforehand.
- Packing list: stroller, snacks/lunch, water, and hand sanitizer. Although I do remember seeing hand sanitizer stations at the LA location.
- Bathroom accessibility for my toddlers: Yes, the LA location has a family restroom when you enter the building. Since the space is smaller, it was easy for us to get there when my toddler needed to run to use it. They even have a kid size potty which is always a plus!
- Of course your child might want to buy something from the gift shop. If you do decide to buy something, I found the most affordable item – the tube! Kids can fill their tube up with as many dinosaurs/animals for $8.99 rather than $1.49 for singles. I managed to squeeze 15 (hooray)! They are still playing with their tube of animals! It also made me think that this is an awesome idea for a kids party (minus having to pay)! But if visiting the gift shop isn’t an option. I suggest bringing your own dinosaurs and bringing them out while you exit the center!
- The dinosaur exhibit will last until Sept 3rd. After they will have two new exhibits – Spooky Science and Pumpkin Launch which I plan to come back to in October!
Science is everywhere: No matter which activity you try here, your child is forming new synapse connections! I love it! There is so much sensory learning going on so whichever type of strengths your child has, they will feel successful at some of the activities here that they will participate in. Discovery Cube makes learning fun and gives us, the parents, ideas on how we can make learning fun at home. Whether it is recycling, baking, or grocery shopping, learning can happen anywhere if you are talking to your child about what you are doing and encourage learning about STEM anywhere you go. I also like that there is always a new exhibit so we are definitely coming back!