Laura Clark: Dora, Diego & Fast Cars Speed Over to Discovery Cube Los Angeles

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There are two new interactive exhibits for kiddos at Discovery Cube Los Angeles, and we got to check them out last weekend!

Dora and Diego: Let’s Explore!, which runs through September 18, brings kids face to face with Dora the Explorer and her cousin Diego, who loves rescuing animals. Kids can explore exhibits including Tico’s Tree, where kids can help gather nuts. (Will loved this one!) They can also take an imaginary spin in his yellow car.

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There’s also Isa’s Flowery Garden, where kids can pick soft fabric flowers and even put on a pair of butterfly wings.

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The activities don’t stop there! Kids can even burn some calories on the rock climbing wall in Diego’s Rainforest Maze. (Both Will and CC loved this one. It’s very toddler-friendly and wasn’t as tall as the rock wall in the main part of the museum.)

There was also the Purple Planet slide and the Rocket Ship, where kids can push buttons and play games, all while feeling as if they’ve boarded a ship to the stars.

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Next up was Speed: Science in Motion, which runs through September 11. You can imagine how much CC and Will loved getting into race cars and pretending they were going a bazillion miles per hour (that was very scientific, I know. 🙂 while watching a simulated screen of their driving.

In this exhibit, kids can check out the science behind Formula One cars and even pretend they’re at a virtual race where they need to quickly change a tire.

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Kids also get a sense of the parts of the engine on these types of cars and get to explore the laws of motion by pushing a ball down two different tracks.

And, of course, there are hands-on demos that invite kids to come up and test out the laws of physics for themselves, as well as ask and answer questions.

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We had a great time, and as we were walking to the car Will asked, “Can we come back tomorrow?”

Always a good sign!

11800 Foothill Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 91342
Tickets: $17.95 for adults and $12.95 for kids. Kids ages 2 and under are free.

 

 

Laura Clark: Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails

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Thomas & Friends are pulling into a new station, as the super kid-friendly exhibit makes its way to Discovery Cube Los Angeles from now through April 26.

Whether it’s climbing into Thomas’ cab, moving trains around various tracks, placing (rubber-foam) coal onto a conveyor belt, kids will have lots of fun interacting with this very hands-on part of the museum.

Will and I had the chance to check out “Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails” at the relatively new Discovery Cube LA, and my little boy was in train heaven! He made a beeline for the train tables, which were just his size.

thomas-train-tablesWill plays with trains and pretends he’s on the island of Sodor.

He also loved climbing onto Thomas, sorting luggage and climbing onto pint-sized train cars. Discovery Cube LA staff was even on hand to help with crafts such as coloring and gluing shapes onto paper so kids could make their own trains. There was also a place for kids to sit, relax and watch clips from the show, and for parents to learn a little bit more of Thomas’ origins.

thomas-coalWill helps load coal for Percy’s engine.

You might remember our trip down to Discovery Cube Orange County for that “Thomas & Friends” exhibit. This one is the same — or very similar. It’s just at a new location, which is great because it means Will has more opportunities to hang with his favorite tank engine.

01_overviewPhoto credit: Discovery Cube LA

Also, I’m eager to check out Discovery Cube LA. The museum opened in November 2014 in the Hansen Dam Recreational Area of the San Fernando Valley. It’s huge, with more than 71,000 square feet of interactive, science-based exhibits. It promotes STEM proficiency and early learning.

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About to head into the Discovery Cube LA.
In fact, I can’t wait to take CC so she can see the museum for herself. She really enjoyed the OC version and has asked and asked … and asked(!) … to go back.

Laura Clark: Getting Eco-Educated at Discovery Cube Los Angeles’ Inspector Training Course

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While summertime might mean lazy days at the pool or lounging on the couch with a great read, another fun option is to head over to Discovery Cube Los Angeles for a little science- and eco-friendly fun.

We made a special trip to check out the science museum’s Inspector Training Course, an exhibit that features a replica house and a hands-on game that has kids and grown-ups alike learning how to conserve energy and resources at home.

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Will and CC loved being in charge of their own touch pads — aka inspector belts — that they picked up just outside the house. The trivia-based scavenger-hunt game is super kid-friendly and even offers different options, depending on the age of the child. (Will was in the under-5 category.)

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CC sizes up the available games.

Once the kids got their pads and selected their age group and games, they were off and running. First, Will had to find the rain barrel that collects rain water to be used for watering plants or grass. That way, we don’t waste water (especially in a drought!).

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The game has kids exploring different spaces in the house, sending them searching for items in places like the kitchen, garage, bathroom and back yard. After that, they answer trivia questions about everything from low-pressure shower heads and low-flow toilets to how much energy different light bulbs use. It’s really a cool game and makes everyone reconsider just how much energy they use.

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Will loved pushing the button that made the shower splash (recycled) water.

The realism and hands-on aspect of the game makes it extra-fun for kids while also giving them a real-world example of how things like shower heads work. (Part of me also kind of wanted to live in this house, mainly because there was no clutter!)

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We find out which bulb uses the most energy to light up.

While I spent most of my time walking around with Will and reading out the questions for him (he is only 3 after all), CC was able to be independent and search out her own clues. And they were both thrilled to become Super Inspectors after the game. I love that Discovery Cube celebrates kids’ successes by placing their digital pictures on the wall. Great thinking!

We were also able to connect what we learned at the Inspector Training Course with what we’re doing at home to be eco-friendly:

* We have a recycling bin right next to the trash can, and the kids have learned what’s trash and what can be re-used.

* We donate clothes and books every month, so that other kids can re-use what CC and Will have outgrown.

* We have an adorable air plant that CC has named Prince. He requires literally a spray of water per week.

* We turn off the water while we’re brushing our teeth.

* And we buy energy-efficient light bulbs, have low-flow toilets and low-pressure shower heads.

What a great experience for the family!

Laura Clark: Science of Hockey at the Cube

Discovery Cube LA ‘Science of Hockey’ Exhibit Is a Must-See

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It is officially spring break in our house, and if you’re looking for a (literally) cool place to take the kids, visit the newly opened “Science of Hockey” exhibit at Discovery Cube LA.

In addition to all the fun activities at the hands-on museum in Sylmar — “Thomas & Friends Explore the Rails,” an awesome rock wall, an interactive grocery store and more — the “Science of Hockey” is yet another exhibit that gets kids moving and learning.

CC got to practice shooting a few goals in the “You Be the Shooter” section, and then got to try her hand at being goalie in the “You Be the Goalie” section. Kids can even try on hockey gear for size.

cc-hockey-goalieCC gets her goalie on at Discovery Cube LA.

Created in association with the Los Angeles Kings hockey team, the permanent exhibit mixes math and science with the sport itself.

Kids can also help get a player out of the penalty box by correctly answering a series of hockey questions related to math and science. CC also enjoyed designing her own (digital) jersey. Let’s just say it was a lot more colorful than the traditional Kings jerseys.

There’s also a replica locker room that invites visitors to learn about nutrition and training through interactive games and consoles.

Even with all of that, Will loved climbing on the replica Zamboni machine the best while turning the knobs and steering wheel. How many kids have dreamed of doing just that?

will-science-of-hockeyWill got behind the wheel of the replica Zamboni at the “Science of Hockey” exhibit.

Fun for kids who love sports, fun for kids who love to explore science and math, and definitely fun for kids who just like to try things out for themselves, the “Science of Hockey” exhibit is a family-friendly must-see.

And that’s just one exhibit at Discovery Cube LA. Remember, there’s always the rock wall!

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Laura Clark: 2015 at the Cube

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Last year was a big year for the Clark family and Discovery Cube Los Angeles!

The science museum, located on Foothill Boulevard near Hanson Dam, was a welcome outing for both Will and CC, and it became a monthly must-do for the fam. While getting to know the new museum was part of my work as an LA mom ambassador for the Cube, the kids became huge fans and were always asking when we could go back.

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Luckily for them, they never had to wait long!

What’s great about the interactive museum is that it (along with its sister museum in Orange County) has cool permanent exhibits like the Tornado above, but the Cube also features new, rotating exhibits, such as Thomas & Friends, Clifford the Big Red Dog and Curious George — all of which Will totally went crazy for!

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Our adventures kicked off with Thomas the Tank Engine, where Will had the chance to “explore the rails” and meet Sir Topham Hatt, place foam-rubber coal onto a conveyor belt and climb in and out of Thomas’ cab.

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Next, we checked out “The Science of Hockey” exhibit, which gave CC and Will the chance to knock a puck into a goal and pretend that they were captains of the Zamboni!

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We also had the chance to explore the world of Clifford the Big Red Dog, complete with a little neighborhood set up for the kids to garden and explore. Kids could even push plush dog bones into a seriously oversized feeding dish for Clifford!

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And who wouldn’t want to meet Curious George?! Will, CC and I had the opportunity to hang (for a little bit) with that famous monkey, as well as get hands on with a rocket slide, a fun faux elevator and an interactive feature that showed kids just how wind affects farm life.

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We also can’t forget about CC’s awesome gingerbread house for the Cube’s annual competition, as well as Noon Year’s Eve, where kids and parents got to ring in the New Year a little early!

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The kiddos were always up for an adventure to Discovery Cube, especially when a new exhibit arrived for them to explore. But no matter which exhibit came to the Cube, Will’s first love was — and still is — the Helicopter Tour, which simulates a deep dive down into LA’s water filtration system or flying over the Sierra Nevadas to check out how our water gets to us. It’s pretty amazing!

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And we’ll definitely be back again — and again — in 2016, too!

Laura Clark: Clifford, ‘Animal Grossology’ on Display at Discovery Cube Los Angeles

Laura Clark: Clifford, ‘Animal Grossology’ on Display at Discovery Cube Los Angeles


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Clifford the Big Red Dog made a larger-than-life appearance this weekend at Discovery Cube Los Angeles as the hands-on museum’s latest traveling exhibits, “Adventures With Clifford the Big Red Dog” and “Animal Grossology,” settled into their latest home.

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“Adventures With Clifford” now takes over the space that Thomas and Friends filled before, and the activities are just as fun for curious kids.

On display through September 7, this interactive exhibit is well-suited to little ones. Will loved the variety of activities, which included a play area called Cleo’s Backyard that offered tunnels and soft spaces to crawl; a giant dog bowl that kids could fill with stuffed dog bones; and Emily’s Backyard Theater, which lets kids choose videos and dress up as Clifford characters.

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The exhibit is designed to help kids learn “Clifford’s Big Ideas”: share; play fair; have respect; work together; be responsible; believe in yourself; and more.

We even got to meet Clifford himself! But that wasn’t the only day he’ll be around to say hi. Check the website for his meet-and-greet dates.

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“Animal Grossology,” also on display through September 7, gives kids a humorous and interactive look at animal digestion, blood suckers, vomit munchers and, yes, poo. Kids of all ages will enjoy the (clean!) hands-on fun, with older kids getting more info out of each exhibit.

animal-grossology-discovery-cubelaIn fact, for little kids like Will, there are activities to keep them entertained, including a faux submarine that takes kids on an underwater adventure via screens and even sports a fun slide. Will loved that, too!Kids can discover which animal poo belongs to which animal, why flies throw up on food before eating it (definitely gross), and how some frogs carry eggs in their mouths and spit out their babies once they’ve hatched. (Will loved the game that came along with this one!)

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Discovery Cube Los Angeles

And right now, tickets are only $10 for adults and kids!

11800 Foothill Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 91342
Tickets: $10 for adults and kids through January 3, 2016. Kids ages 2 and under are free.

This blog post was written by and all the photos are by Laura Clark. You can read her blog, L.A. Story, here.