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“A wonderful place to explore”

Pretend City Children's Museum
Ranked #2 of 44 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.
Irvine, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A wonderful place to explore”
Reviewed 2 July 2014

I visited Pretend City with my great niece. It was a wonderful experience. It was crowded but there was still room to explore and have fun. Very inventive and loads of fun. The staff is helpful and friendly. The facilities are clean. Would benefit from a better eating option.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank BritishWannabees
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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112 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Corona, California, United States
Level Contributor
26 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“My daughter looved it”
Reviewed 8 June 2014

Nice indoor place to play. they have "grocery store" (my daughter's favorite, farm, water play, health center, library, activity arts/crafts, beach area, new home/real estate, police, fire station...and not sure if I remembered everything. Plenty of free parking. $12.50 admission. You can bring lunch, there is an area with tables and chairs where you can it, or you can buy inside some chips, drinks, snacks, most of them for $1.00. Staff is very friendly, helpful. They also have a gift shop, and if you decide to have a birthday there, all your guests can enjoy the pretend city the whole day (I thought this was kinda cool)

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank iloredana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mission Viejo, California
Level Contributor
25 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Always a day of fun”
Reviewed 19 May 2014

I'm a stay at home mom of twins that are almost 3, they love this place and so do I. Its a great place I can take them to for a full morning of fun. They never want to leave and they haven't gotten bored here yet. I just bought our year long membership and love that its going to support a great place like this that is truly made for kids.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Lauree H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Huntington Beach, California, United States
Level Contributor
476 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
“Our 2 year old granddaughter loved it.”
Reviewed 18 May 2014

Due to the heat and smoke from many fires in the area this day we were looking for an in-door activity for our granddaughter. We definitely found it in Pretend City. Many activities for the little ones. Our granddaughter enjoyed the variety of push vehicles ( we call Flintstone cars) the most and kept busy going from one to the next. I will say even though it was quite crowded when we first arrived the majority of the children were quite behaved. We were also impressed by the cleanliness of the facility. We intend to bring her back when she is in town again.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Don H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Irvine, Ca.
Level Contributor
40 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“My Daughter Loved It!”
Reviewed 15 May 2014

My 16 month old daughter and I have been to Pretend City twice now for the "Baby Steps Through Pretend City" days. Once a month, there is a 1 1/2 hour time period where only 0-18 month olds can come to play. I really like this because my daughter isn't getting trampled by big kids. It isn't as crowded either; I've heard that it can get very crowded on weekends and holidays. I would avoid these days if possible based on what my friends have said, but I don't have personal experience with that. The cost for the baby steps is $10 total for an adult and baby.

They have pretend areas like a beach with sand boxes, a grocery store, house, post office, farm, and construction site. I feel pretty comfortable letting my daughter run around and play. The only thing that I don't like is this brown chunky stuff that they use for dirt/bark in the farm area. I always see the babies trying to eat it. It is the only real choking hazard I have seen there.

Definitely make reservations in advance on their website. We walk right in, go in a special line and get our name checked off a list; no need to fumble around trying to get cash out. Also, arrive early if possible because the front parking lot fills up super fast, and the other available parking is way way way in the back. It's really not that far, but carrying a toddler in the heat makes it seem like miles. Do yourself a favor and get their 15 minutes early to get a nice, close, shady spot.

The staff are nice, things look clean, and there is a lot to do. Actually, I wish the Baby Steps was open for 2 hours instead of 1 1/2 because we always run out of time. We will definitely be back next month.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank hmsd25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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