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Five Kid-Friendly Alternatives To The Super Bowl In OC

January 31, 2014 5:00 AM

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(credit: Pretend City)

(credit: Pretend City)

(credit: Pretend City)

(credit: Pretend City)


Super Bowl Sunday is an exciting day for family and friends to cheer on their favorite team, but it is not always the most enjoyable experience for children. Instead of planting the kids in front of the TV or sequestering them in a room with video games, take them out for a day of exciting education or fun fitness. A visit to the zoo, a coastal hike or a day of cultural or scientific exploration are all waiting to be enjoyed by you and your kids. Super Bowl fun will fade, so take advantage of this opportunity to build a life-long memory with your child at one of these awesome Orange County attractions.

(credit: Bowers Museum)

(credit: Bowers Museum)


Bowers Kidseum
1802 N. Main St.
Santa Ana, CA 92706
(714) 480-1520
www.bowers.org/kidseum.php

Timing could not be better to get away from the Super Bowl hoopla and take advantage of free admission to the Bowers Kidseum. Thanks to a grant from the Target corporation, the first Sunday of every month is free of charge, making it extremely easy to get your kid out for some creative cultural fun. The Bowers Kidseum is a completely hands-on experience where kids can play with drums from around the world and dress up in various cultural masks or clothing. The Kidseum also has an art room where parents and children can color beautiful designs and make beautiful crafts. For a free, interactive and fun educational alternative to the Super Bowl, the Bowers Kidseum is the perfect location.

(credit: Pretend City)

(credit: Pretend City)


Pretend City Children’s Museum
29 Hubble St.
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 428-3900
www.pretendcity.org

Unplug your child from the TV and unlock their imagination at Pretend City Children’s Museum. Designed to simulate a city, children can make believe they are a farmer, a doctor, a police officer or virtually anything they wish to be. Pretend City is the perfect place for parents of kids aged infant to eight years old to play and bond with their children as kids manipulate objects and engage in whole body learning. Amidst all of the pretend buildings in the museum, there is also a real cafe available for necessary breaks in the action. Pretend City is one of the most active alternatives to a sedentary day on the sofa any parent could ask for.

(credit: OC Parks)

(credit: OC Parks)


Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
18751 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 923-2235
www.ocparks.com/parks/lagunac

A visit to the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park might be one of the most rewarding ways to spend time with your child. With 40 miles of hiking trails with varying levels of difficulty, this is a great place to bring kids young or old for a chance to connect with nature and get a little exercise. The Little Sycamore Canyon Trail is an easy two-mile loop, with only one slightly steep portion at the top of which is an awe-inspiring view of the coast and the surrounding woodlands. Once at the top of this trail, you can have a relaxing picnic or hike back down for a visit to the Nix Nature Center where there are bathrooms, picnic tables and drinking fountains.

Related: Best Playgrounds In Orange County

(credit: Ethan Fisher/Santa Ana Zoo @ Prentice Park)

(credit: Ethan Fisher/Santa Ana Zoo @ Prentice Park)


Santa Ana Zoo
1801 E. Chestnut Ave.
Santa Ana, CA 92701
(714) 836-4000
www.santaanazoo.org

Instead of zoning out in front of the tube, take your child out to visit the tropical rainforest for a few hours at the Santa Ana Zoo. If your child even makes it past the playground near the front entrance, the zoo boasts well over 100 species of monkeys, birds and cold-blooded critters to inspire curiosity and appreciation for nature in your child. At the rear of the zoo, there is a train that provides a tour of the zoo and the Conservation Carousel, where kids can ride atop endangered animals. For lunch, visit the Knowlwood Cafe, located right next to the playground near the entrance of the park, and be sure to visit the gift shop for a memento of your exciting day at the zoo.

(credit: Discovery Science Center)

(credit: Discovery Science Center)


Discovery Science Center
2500 N. Main St.
Santa Ana, CA 92705
(714) 542-2823
www.discoverycube.org

Forget about watching football and explore the Science of Hockey, just one of many awesome exhibits at the Discovery Science Center. In addition to the Planetary Research Station and DinoQuest Adventure, you and your child can learn all sorts of interesting facts about animals in the Animal Grossology exhibit being featured from now until April 20th. With two floors of completely cool scientific information to investigate, you never know what you and your child might learn together at the Discovery Science Center. As an added convenience, a Taco Bell restaurant is located within the museum so you can quickly refuel before heading back for more amazing discoveries.

Related: Follow These Savvy Mom Bloggers For Parenting Advice In OC

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David McDonald is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on Examiner.com.
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