Our very first visit here. We’ve gone back multiple times since.
Sam has always been fascinated with the study of space and planets. For a time being she said she would grow up to be an astronaut.
Meeting Astronaut Col. Mike Mullane, getting their Space book signed and asking a million and one questions about being outer space.
I thought that was pretty cool, until I saw Gravity. Since then I’ve made it my mission to bring space to her instead (… and maybe slightly change her interests.) 😉
There are a lot of facts about the Endeavor and its missions and its history in that museum, and each time we go, we visit and try to learn something new.
A look inside the Endeavor today.
Beyond that however, there are other parts of the Science center that the girls love — especially all the biological exhibits. There’s even a rot room (ewwwww), which talks about the decomposition of materials.
Why we have to go back here EVERY time we come is beyond me.
We like to watch the IMAX shows as well. We’ve seen the one on National Parks, and another one on the Pandas!
They’re as tall as the beaver!
The California Science Center also has roving exhibits. Up until next month, King Tut is on display. I remember we took a survey about what it is we’d like to see, and I think my girls did put Egyptian history. So it’s a nice little perk for them to know that they’re “heard” somehow.
A replica of King Tut’s tomb
There are stations outside the exhibit displayed too, for the kids to learn about ancient Egypt.
King Tut however is a little dark, both in ambiance and in content (it does talk about buring live guards with the king), but somehow the girls had missed all of that in favor of other Egyptian artifacts and pieces.
Listening to the docent explain the actual jewels and gems on display.
The California Science Center is one of many museums located in Exposition Park. When you exit the back, there is a Rose garden in the middle of that and other museums, like the Museum of National History (we will save this for another #fieldtripfriday)! We haven’t gone to much more outside of this, as each time we visit, the girls always choose to go back!
The gift shop at the California Science Center has some cool STEM-related toys. Be prepared to spend! Any purchase of tickets beforehand too will facilitate your entrance to the museum. Sometimes the ticket lines outside can get long.
Sam spent some time with friends who are Greatest Showman fans. Soon after she was googling lyrics, learning the songs, and playing them on our Spotify playlist. We (her parents) tired of listening to the same old songs on repeat for the nth time. And to cope with the constant This is Me car rides, I had a moment of introspection and realized that when I was her age, this is what I would do too — with Broadway Musicals.
I had a phase in my life when it was all Broadway. My Grandfather was the one who introduced me to it, when, at the age of 10, he took me to see Les Miserables,Miss Saigon, The Phantom of the Opera, and The Secret Garden, all in one summer. I took a liking to the Broadway musicals after that, and learned the songs from Cats, Evita, and Fiddler on the Roof on my own. Like me now, back then my house had Broadway on repeat. Can anyone say #karma?
I continued to see some local and foreign plays as I grew up, and even though my husband repeats the story of how he traded Phantom of the Opera for a WWF show when he was younger (go figure right?), I’m glad he appreciates the value of this kind of “art”. Here’s a little secret: One of our first dates was to a ballet! *gasp!*
We agreed on the benefits these types of musicals, concerts and more (operas, musical conciertos included), would have on the girls’ upbringing and said that we would consciously include it in our “family to do list” as it came up.
There were little introductions here and there. I once took Sam to her first show in Manila, Wicked.
I’d love to watch this again!
Like The Greatest Showman, Defying Gravity and For Good were on our playlist for quite some time back then. And I love to see her perk up when she hears it again and says, “why do I know this song mom?”
Thanks to all their Girl Scout selling efforts, Sam was able to watch Cinderella on stage too.
With her friend at the photo booth op.
Both Sam and Jamie were able to watch Matilda just recently as a prize for selling Nuts and Chocolates. That was pretty cool, and one of my favorites still to date.
So far the best we’ve seen in a long time.
Segerstrom is within reasonable driving distance from us, and when I checked their calendar, School of Rock the Musical was scheduled. A friend of mine took her son to see it and in true word-of-mouth fashion, I went ahead and bought tickets because of their review.
I remember the movie and Jack Black being pretty funny, but I could not imagine how they would translate it into a live show on stage. Then I came across this clip of Andrew Lloyd Webber , and was pretty sold on the idea after that. I’m not a rock fan, but I know enough of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s past musicals to know, at the very least, the music would be good.
And it was! The lyrics to the songs were brilliant (no surprise). And the feel of the entire musical was completely different and interesting. I am not a rock n’ roll person, and thanks to this musical I was able to appreciate the genre a little bit better. I think my kids did too.
The kids on the different instruments in the band were awesome. AWESOME. However old these children are, they are talented, and I am completely in awe. I feel like my girls appreciate this better because they both now play instruments. Sam even laughed at the line “cello feet” because she could relate to it given her more recent encounter with the Cello.
trying out their rock hand signals. Ohhh boy.
The girls had questions about some references and things they picked up in the show, which made our car ride conversation home all the more interesting. But they appreciated the show over all and I love that they are expanding their palette outside of the usual choices of movies and activities to do.
All in all, the message of the musical was good (just ignore the swear words, but hey, it’s all part of the vibe). It was great in fact for today’s times, and very relatable from a parent’s perspective. They kept the jokes relevant and current too, which elicited some cheers from the audience.
Walking away from LACMA on the right, you’ll find the La Brea Tarpits. You can’t miss it, you smell the tar and the sulfuric gas as you walk towards it.
Interesting site, stinky smell.
I first heard of tar when we lived in North Carolina, hence the term: Tar-Heel. I never would’ve guessed that a whole fossil site was within driving distance from where we now stay!
And fossils — that’s the magic word for my girls. While they have never watched the Ice Age movies, their books and their love for science and animals have led us to understand a little bit more about the past that is buried beneath our feet.
It’s quite the joyful experience for me when we discover something new together. The learner in me enjoys taking them to these new places — and it’s such a treat when I learn something new along with them.
His name is Zed! So. Cool!
Who know about the vast number of dire wolves in California? There are 400 on the wall there so far.
Or that a Columbian Mammoth that’s the most complete they’ve found (so far)?!
They all say “so far” — because there are still ongoing excavations.
Paleontologist beware: Curious child in front.
The girls got to ask questions from a paleontologist who was at Project 23, the most recent dig site. Ever the naiveté, here I thought they’d found everything there was to be found in the last century. Apparently not! They claim to have found 3.5 million fossils to date, and the count continues to grow. It’s a reason to go back — because you never know what’s new to be featured a few months from now, or even a few years from now!
Considering it was a small museum, we spent a good portion of our day there (apart from a quick lunch break across the street), studying a bunch of the fossils they’ve discovered. Plus, my children like to read all the descriptions.
The Observation Pit where a pile of predators seemed to have gotten caught.
The girls were fascinated as well by the Fossil lab where the scientists were at work on some of their current finds.
Like a scientific fishbowl.
It’s like a big prehistoric jigsaw puzzle with no guide — and they find things out as they go along. Or they use the parts they find to figure out the story behind why all those fossils are piled one on top of the other! A predatory kill perhaps? So much tar has to be cleaned off though!
The Tar is fascinating as much as it is scary. It’s still bubbling the girls said. You could still fall in?! *clutch children closer*
Souvenir photo for the win.
#FieldtripFriday tip: Buy your tickets ahead of time so you can go straight to the entrance. Add $5 to attend an Ice Age encounter.The girls enjoyed it because there was a talking Sabertooth.
And finally, the photo fossil book is a worthy keepsake souvenir. Thanks Maga! 😉
With the kids home these days more than the usual, it takes a little bit more to keep them preoccupied. I have to take them places with me and I honestly hate it when they say, “mom I’m bored,” and default to “can I play on your phone?”
HOW can you be bored. I don’t understand.
I feel like I have zero tolerance when those two phrases came out. Back in my time, I had to find something to keep myself occupied while the grown-ups did their thing, or… I had to sit quietly and read.
Ahhh, reading. Yes! Problem solved.
Besides, we’ve all heard about the “summer slump” right? (Okay fine. I actually didn’t hear of it until recently). So hopefully reading across the summer will help neutralize that.
So, it’s become our default. If you are going to sit and wait, then you need to bring a book to read.
When there’s a bench, there’s a place to read.
Find something — anything on our shelves, and read it.
Yes, even the book’s older than you.
Thankfully it hasn’t been much of a problem. Sometimes, it is their default activity of choice. You know how kids are often too quiet and you begin to get nervous about the havoc they’re wreaking upstairs?
I found them like this…. and then I fixed the books to look better for the photo.
I love that they love books. We’re often in Barnes and Noble looking at new books, and participating in their Summer Reading Program. It’s quite a shame though that they only offer one book per child. 🙁
The standard, “please buy this for me?” I don’t know about you, but when it comes to books, I don’t know how to say no.
And all these stories have made for some good imaginative play here and there, if I do say so myself.
Over the course of the last school year, Sam’s teacher had what they call a “25-book challenge”, where different genres were given and the kids had to pick different books to read that fell within those genres. Five books were a free choice, and the rest of the 20 books were divided across different genres, from historical non-fiction, to tall tales, to fantasy and science fiction, just to name a few.
It was fun and challenging to choose age appropriate books that fit the genre, and find something that would sustain Sam’s interest enough for her to read it.
A friend had gifted Sam with this book and thanks to that challenge, she took interest in historical non-fiction!
I liked the idea of a 25 book challenge that I am trying to use it on the girls this summer. It forces them to broaden their palette, go outside their comfort zone and find something different. It gives us more to talk about because they formulate an opinion about it.
Jamie is going to teach me about the American Revolution in 1776.
Sam’s teacher had index cards too with questions that needed to be answered — and I like that it taught her about to pay attention to different parts of the story — the plot, the theme, the character development, and even the glossary of terms or other parts of the book. And while I don’t have a deck of cards for them to respond to, I make sure this new “book of choice” is a topic of conversation in the car.
Jamie is still at that stage where she’ll read one part of a series after another (but then after one or two books you get the gist of how it’s all going to go down), but it is still good she likes them, and finds something to fill her “challenge”. Recently, I’ve tried to expand her book choices with some informational ones too.
“Learn about the artist before we paint.”
And so with 6 weeks left until school, I’ve told the girls once again that those two phrases are not allowed at home, and only allowed once in a while out-of-the house. Because as it stands, there’s no excuse not to bring a book (or two) wherever we go.
Science is a big deal these days, and quite the attractive subject for my kids. Thankfully so, as it was not a favorite subject of mine as I was growing up. Maybe it just wasn’t as attractive — I don’t know. But it is a nice change, and with the world’s focus on bringing more STEAM into kids’ lives, it is actually fun.
The girls have always loved The Discovery Cube in Santa Ana. It’s a great interactive museum with short explanations about why things work the way that they do. In fact no matter how many times we’ve gone over the years (The family membership was cheap according to my husband, so hey why not…), I feel like we always take away something new and different.
The Cube as its called was a staple for the annual Bubblefest. The girls love the show, first and foremost. Then of course there are other parts that come with it, like the hamster ball and other bubble exhibits.
Deni Yang performed two years in a row.
One of the better illusion shows (I thought), was Jason Latimer’s Impossible Science show. We watched it twice, and he met the audience outside for autographs, so Sam was able to ask her most burning question.
Sam taking the opportunity to ask her impossible science questions.
He feels like the modern day magician, and says that it isn’t magic, it is science. Ooooooh.
The museum also has rotating special exhibits. There was one put on by Boeing about the future of Aerospace and the girls had fun using the simulator or learn about some of their future stealth jets.
Learning about the efficiency of birds in V-formation.
More recently, we learned about the special demonstrations the cube does for field trips!
I loved this one on wavelengths and earthquakes! So much fun.
The more current one that’s on display this summer is all about dinosaurs. We’ve seen a couple of exhibits at the Cube on Dinosaurs — and who would’ve guessed there would be that many of them outside of the more common ones?
What is a Griffin? I don’t know. That’s what’s apparently found in Gondwana. Where?!
This last trip that we took with my mom, the girls and I entered the Kitchen for the first time. We paid $20 for a table for 4 (and this is something you can split with another family if you’d like), to learn how to make the “Red White and Blue Salsa”. It is truly a healthy kitchen with healthy meal options for kids. My hope was that Sam my picky eater would find something new to eat.
Jamie on the other hand enjoyed all the ingredients individually, because she is like me — quite adventurous with food. My mom recently introduced her to hicama (aka – singakamas!), so she was quite delighted that it was part of the recipe.
Learning to mince with Maga.
My favorite part was giving the girls the ability to use kitchen equipment — like knives. I”m always so afraid that they’ll hurt themselves in the kitchen, but this whole experience taught me that they can actually handle some of these instruments, with proper guidance.
A new hack when deleafing the strawberry!
As the girls get older, they pick up a few new things here and there — and to me that’s what these repetitive visits are all about. While I’ve always tried to visit a new place each chance we get, the Cube is something I don’t mind repeating every now and then because of this. Plus, it is a nice place to hang out in on a hot day!
* The Discovery Cube has an annual pass that you can get as a family. Paying an extra $20 for 2-years of free parking is worth it too. Most of the activities are free, except for some of the featured shows that are also nice to watch once in a while.*