Have you ever driven on the 5 freeway and seen that huge black sideways cube and wondered what it was? Well so have I, and after reading this article, hopefully you will know a bit more about the Discovery Cube in Orange County and how to best go about visiting it.
First of all, if you don’t know what it is, the Discovery Cube is a big science and engineering museum. It has interactive games and activities for kids of all ages and interests. The exhibits are engaging and educational and allow kids to not only play but learn something at the same time. In short, it is a STEM lover’s playground.
From building their own racecars, to creating cloud rings, to customizing their own spaceships, to dodging lasers, this Discovery Cube is filled with so much fun and opportunities for child exploration. There is definitely something there to peak everyone’s interests. Additionally, there are definitely enough activities to do there to keep the little ones engaged for the whole day.
Sounds too good to be true? It is not, but in a way, it also kind of is. Because the Discovery Cube is such a popular exhibit for children, it can get pretty crowded and hectic at times. That is why I created this list of tips for parents who have never been to the Discovery Cube before. This article is meant to help navigate you, so you can have an enjoyable experience when you visit for the first time!
I know no full-time working parent wants to hear this, but if you can, do it. Weekends can get super busy and crowded, and if you want your child to be able to enjoy activities in peace (especially the really popular ones like the laser game or riding the Zamboni) then a weekday visit is your best bet. Watch out though, sometimes the Discovery Cube schedules class field trips during the weekdays also that can make them semi-busy. However, those crowds are still much more reasonable than a weekend. If you are concerned about a class field trip crowding up your fun excursion with your toddler, then call the Discovery Cube in Orange County in advance and see if they scheduled anything the day you are planning to go.
Get there 10-15 minutes before the doors open. Ok, let’s say you cannot go on a weekday for some reason. If you are still planning on going on a weekend (or a busy holiday season), then do yourself a favor and get there before the doors open. First of all, the parking situation will be much more favorable for you because there is limited parking in the lot. Second of all, you can make a beeline for the more popular attractions before everyone else starts arriving. If you aren’t sure which attractions have the highest volume any given season, ask the staff! They will be happy to point you in the right direction.
Wait to pay for parking. If you don’t grab a spot right away when you arrive and the parking lot is looking pretty full, don’t waste your money and pay for parking first. Drive around and see if you can find a parking spot. If you end up finding a spot, you can always pay when you are walking up to the entrance instead.
On holidays, rainy days, and weekends, leave your stroller at home. This is because peak visiting times crowd the first floor, and there isn’t a good clear pathway for strollers. My recommendation is to leave that stroller at home or in your car. Bring your baby carrier instead and skip the bumping into everyone with your stroller. If you brought your stroller by accident or can’t help but travel with one, then I would recommend spending more time playing with activities on the second floor. It is a reprise from the busyness of the first floor, on some days.
Feed you kids a hearty breakfast before you arrive. They have rules against outside food at the Discovery Cube, so unless you wanted to buy food from their Coffee Bar, make sure that your kids are well fed before they arrive.
Bring hand sanitizer/wipes. Hand-foot-mouth disease anyone? No, thank you. Haha. As much as bringing my son to communal spaces brings me joy, the level of germ sharing is questionable. The staff do try to sanitize as many surfaces as they can between uses, but it is nearly impossible to keep the place clean on normal busy days. You don’t have to use the hand sanitizer when you go, but it is always good to have the OPTION to use it. Especially if you see another child licking part of an exhibit.
Read the website weeks/months in advance to see what their special seasonal activities are. The really cool thing about the Discovery Cube is that they have some exhibits that are seasonal. Find out what the season’s offerings are. For example, there is the Bubble Fest and The Science of Gingerbread in some seasons. If you do end up wanting to go to a show, get a seat early so you can get a better seat!
So there you have it! It is a comprehensive list of all the little tips I could think of and find online about the Discovery Cube in Orange County. It is such a great place to take your children, and hopefully these tips will help you avoid random hiccups during your family outing. I hope you learned at least one new thing today about the Discovery Cube and that you make lots of new memories with your kids while you are there!
On that note, if you are interested in capturing some memories with your kids on camera, please feel free to check out my Orange County family portfolio!
Interested in learning more about Orange County activities for families? Check out these blogs below!