Shelby Barone: Extreme Dinosaurs Have Stormed into Discovery Cube OC

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Do your kids love Dinosaurs? Then you’ll not want to miss bringing them to see the Extreme Dinosaurs exhibit at Discovery Cube OC. The interactive exhibit immerses children into a prehistoric world where dinosaurs come to life right before your eyes.

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When we first visited the exhibit, my son was in awe. As we first stepped foot into the exhibit, the dinosaurs began to come to life. They were moving, growling, and roaring. It was thrilling to watch the realistic dinosaurs come to life. There are a couple of stations where my son was able to push a button to bring particular dinosaurs to life along with detailed descriptions of each dinosaur on exhibit.

 

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We spent hours reading about the different dinosaurs and exploring the unique fossils and skeletons that were on exhibit. There was so much about the prehistoric era that I didn’t know until bringing my son to see this exhibit. Along with the 17 animated dinosaurs, fossils and skeletons, there was a fossil dig. Children had a blast role-playing as an archaeologist while using a small paint brush to carefully dust off the fossils covered by sand on tables.

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Once we were done exploring the Extreme Dinosaur exhibit, my son spent hours learning about engineering in the Hands-On Harley Davidson exhibit, and then we had a healthy snack at Bean Sprouts Cafe. Extreme Dinosaurs will only be at Discovery Cube OC until September 5th.

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Discovery Cube OC is located at 2500 N Main Street in Santa Ana. They are open Monday through Friday from 10am to 5pm.

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Shelby Barone: ¡Vámonos! to Discovery Cube OC for the Dora and Diego Exhibit

Shelby Barone: ¡Vámonos! to Discovery Cube OC for the Dora and Diego Exhibit


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“Backpack, Backpack, Backpack, Backpack.” Load up your backpack and bring the family to Discovery Cube OC to explore the ‘Dora & Diego Let’s Explore’ exhibit. Your children will be immersed in the world of their favorite television series “Dora the Explorer” and “Go, Diego, Go,” while visiting Discovery Cube OC until May 15th.

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I brought my younger son to explore the exhibit over the weekend, and while I thought that he might be a little too old for it at first (age 9), he had so much fun that he didn’t want to leave. The exhibit starts with families being greeted from Dora and Boots which makes for a perfect photo opportunity for parents.

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Once we were inside the exhibit, there was a giant pirate ship for children to climb, a giant yellow car to pretend to drive, a toddler play area, and more. My son navigated towards Tico’s Tree and car where he played with Swiper while swiping the nuts (orange balls) and watching them shoot up and over into Tico’s basket. My son could have does this for hours!

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His other favorite part of the exhibit was the animal rescue center. In the center, children are encouraged to pretend to be a veterinarian and help cure the injured animals. There are stuffed animals along with everything children need to be an animal rescuer for the day.

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Once we were done playing with Swiper, and exploring the the animal rescue center, my son got all of his energy out while running around the rainforest maze. There is a mini rock wall (perfect for toddlers), monkey bars, and interactive learning stations. Your children will feel like they are right in the middle of the rainforest while playing.

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The one thing that stood out to me about this exhibit was how there is so much for toddlers to do. There is Isa’s Flowery Garden where toddlers can touch and feel pretend flowers/butterflies, and use insect puppets on a nicely padded surface. Then there is the purple planet toddler slide and a rocket ship with interactive experiences.

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We ended our visit by getting a healthy snack at the Bean Sprouts Cafe before going home. The ‘Dora & Diego Let’s Explore’ exhibit is only at Discovery Cube OC until May 15th. Don’t miss bringing your children for an interactive day of fun. Discovery Cube OC is located at 2500 North Main Street in Santa Ana. The exhibit is include with the price of admission: $17.95 (adults), $12.95 (children 3-14, and $14.95 (seniors).

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Shelby Barone: Bubblefest at Discovery Cube

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Bubblefest, Discovery Cube OC’s most popular event, has returned this Spring and is celebrating twenty years of squeaky clean magical fun! Bubblefest and the Mega Bubblefest Laser Show have captivated Orange County audiences young and old for two decades, and this year’s celebration is bigger and better than ever!

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Bubblefest features hands on bubble play and exhibits, a bubble lab run by a bubble scientist, floating water spheres, inflatables, a photo op of “me in a bubble,” and a bubble and laser light show in the newly opened Julianne Argyros Showcase Theater.

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It’s difficult to say what our family’s favorite part of bubbefest was. My girls, ages 6 and 3, loved the floating bubble spheres, in which they were blown up into a plastic bubble-like sphere and floated weightlessly across an indoor pool of water.

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We also loved the keepsake picture of us in an actual bubble!

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Needless to say, the Mega Bubblefest Laser show was a huge hit all around. In the days that have followed Bubblefest, all three of my kiddos have had a renewed interest in bubbles. They are loving attempting to mimic the amazing stunts the bubble whisperer, Deni Yang, used on stage, and have employed some of his tricks such as misting the air with a spray bottle of water to increase the humidity so as to make the bubbles last longer. Science and fun truly did collide at Bubblefest!

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Shelby Barone: Winter Wonderfest at Discovery Cube OC

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The other day I was walking around Target with my friend and saw the coolest sweater. It was a picture of a sheep covered in Christmas lights and it read Fleece Navidad. Obviously I was going to buy the sweater and was showing it my friend who said you are getting the wrong sweater. Confused I asked how? She casually pointed to the one right next to it which read Obsessive Christmas Disorder. Most people would have been offended by that suggestion; I on the other hand am wearing my title with pride!

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That being said I must be the go to person for all things holiday fun. That’s what she’s saying right? So here is another one of my suggestions for holiday fun, The Discovery Cube OC in Santa Ana! Did you know that Discovery Cube OC is hosting Winter Wonderfest as well as the Science of Gingerbread? Next week most kids start their holiday break which means parents have to keep their kids entertained. Discovery Cube OC is an excellent place to entertain your children and on top of it they learn all sorts of cool things. With Winter Wonderfest, you are taught the science behind sledding down ice ramps and how snowflakes are formed, and then you can put your knowledge to action by sledding!

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My kids got to preview the exhibit and loved it. My son isn’t a fan of getting wet from the ice but loves to sled. Luckily for him, the 70 foot long ramp as well as the small ramp right next to it are snow free.

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I didn’t expect to sled but by having the snow free option, I even went down a couple times. They do have two ramps covered in snow to come down which my daughter basically lived on. For parents with little kids, they have you covered. There is a 5 and under ramp/area so your little ones don’t feel overwhelmed as well as a snow play section to build snow things and even hit mom with a giant snowball!

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What I love about Discovery Cube OC is that they think about what kids would like to do to keep their minds thinking. After about an hour my son was done but my daughter wanted to keep on sledding.

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A dilemma most parents face, one kid wants to do A and the other wants to do B. Before I could utter the phrase “we’re leaving” to my daughter, a staff member walked up to my son and asked if he liked to build things. My son said yes and we walked to the “tinker” section. Of course that meant we stayed for another hour. I sat back drinking a hot cocoa and watching my kids enjoy themselves. If it wasn’t for me having to buy some last minute present they probably would have been sledding and tinkering the entire day.

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Shelby Barone: Allergy-Friendly Bean Sprouts Cafe at Discovery Cube OC


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Families visiting Discovery Cube OC can now enjoy healthy dining options at the all-new Bean Sprouts Cafe. The Cafe is centrally located in the middle of the center and offers families creative and healthy dishes, savory sandwiches, and features a full coffee bar. The onsite restaurant is much more than just a place for a quick snack, but a premier dining destination to have a full and enjoyable meal with your children.

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During our recent visit to explore the fun holiday centered learning event, “Spooky Science,” we stopped at Bean Sprouts for lunch. We began with our favorite “Crocamole” that featured 1/2 an avocado shell filled with freshly made guacamole and vegetables designed like a crocodile. My children were thrilled to eat their veggies during lunch when prepared in a fun and unique way.

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Once the kids were done fueling their growing bodies with nutritious vegetables, they had a freshly made pizza for lunch. The best part – they offer gluten-free pizza so that parents with children who suffer from food allergies can also enjoy pizza at Bean Sprouts. When it comes to food allergies, Bean Sprouts is one of the leaders in the community of understanding the importance of knowing the ingredients in your children’s food. At the register is a binder that contains detailed allergy information on all the foods served at Bean Sprouts, and is available to all parents to review before ordering food.

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The restaurant is not just for kids, and features fresh, and delicious sandwiches for parents. My tastebuds were tantalized with every bite of the “Chicken Pesto Chango” sandwich. The sandwich was filled with fresh grilled children, mozzarella, nut-free pesto, and sun-dried tomatoes inside of a soft ciabatta roll. The sandwich was paired to perfection with a crisp side salad that I enjoyed while sipping on a cup of iced tea.

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Finally, we ended lunch with a delicious cake pop. The kids savored every bite of their delicious dessert before running off into Discovery Cube OC to learn while having fun. Bean Sprouts also offers a wide variety of grab-n-go snacks and a coffee bar to help parents get a little extra fuel before leaving to put the kids down for an afternoon nap.

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Now that Discovery Cube OC has an onsite healthy dining destination; families can make a day out of their experience. I guarantee that you’ll be hooked after dining at Bean Sprouts and want to consider purchasing a annual family membership so you can enjoy dining at Bean Sprouts throughout the year.

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This blog post was written by and all the photos are by Shelby Barone. You can read her blog, OC Mom Blog, here.

Shelby Barone: The New Expansion at Discovery Cube Orange County


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It’s an all-new discovery Cube OC as today the center opened their highly-anticipated new wing, restaurant and more. The center has expanded to become a 44,000 square-foot venue with permanent exhibits, interactive programs, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning spaces. It is the perfect place for families to keep their children learning throughout the summer.
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Discovery Cube Orange County will also feature a new 10,000 square-foot Julianne Argyros Showcase Theater and Exhibition Hall. It will provide the ability to transform an exhibition space into a 500-seat theater for greater flexibility in giving the families of Orange County an ever-changing destination for entertainment and education.
New Exhibits:
Sherlock Holmes – The first exhibit on display in the Julianne Argyros Showcase Theater and Exhibition Hall will be The International Exhibit of Sherlock Holmes, a “who done it” mystery geared toward youth-sleuths in training.

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Helicopter Tour – Guests will hop inside a virtual helicopter and fly from the mountains to the sea, over the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, a biodiversity hotspot located in the heart of Orange County. Guests will learn about this collection of public parks and protected wildlands that serve as a valuable resource to many rare and endangered species of plants and animals that call Orange County “home.”

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Inspector Training Course – This immersive exhibit, presented by the Orange County Vector Control District, has guests go on an adventure in their own backyard to find and eliminate invading vectors. Using a touch-screen tablet, guests will make their way through the Inspector Training Course to learn how to coexist with and keep their home free from mosquitos, fleas, and rodents in this competitive scavenger-hunt styled game.

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Petersonville Healthy Kitchen – Expanding on Discovery Cube’s emphasis on teaching guests how their bodies function, this full, working demonstration kitchen, presented by Sheila and Jim Peterson, will let children become chefs creating good-for-them recipes. In addition, they will learn valuable kitchen safety tips as part of this health and wellness exhibit.

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Water Gallery – With Californians experiencing one of the worst droughts in history, the Water Gallery and Water Lab, presented by Pacific Life, will give families the opportunity to learn about one of nature’s most nourishing elements: water. From salt water to fresh water, frozen water to water vapor, guests will be exposed to the scientific side of the H20 chemical formula in a fun and engaging manner.

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Eat Well. Play Well. Sleep Well. – Opening later in 2015, for guests age 5 and younger, is a play area, which focuses on the three aspects of keeping kids healthy. If they eat, play and sleep well, children are more likely to think well, according to children’s health experts. This area also will provide parents with ideas for bedtime stories, structured playtime and healthy snacks.
Along with seven new exhibitions, Discovery Cube Orange County will have enhanced guest service areas for families and teachers, including:

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Welcome Center and Launch Pad Science Store – Presented by Janet and Walkie Ray, the all-new Welcome Center will be a bustling hub that provides visitor information and hosts lost and found, baby care, first aid, and a retrospective chronicling of Discovery Cube’s history. The Launch Pad Science Store is triple the size of the original and will feature promotional and educational merchandise.

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SchoolsFirst Teacher Resource Center – This special area is dedicated for teachers to check out science kits, lesson plans, and discuss school topics with Discovery Cube trained staff.
Dining:

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As part of DCOC’s healthy living initiative, a new onsite Bean Sprouts Café is debuting at the grand opening. Bean Sprouts Café, a kid-friendly café and cooking school, specializes in healthy foods for visitors of all ages, supplements its regular menu with vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, casein-free, nut-free and egg-free options. Visitors can order pizzas, soups, salads, sandwiches and desserts as well as “Imaginibbles,” a signature line of themed, hand-held foods designed to make eating healthy fun.
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Tickets:
Tickets are available on-site or online at www.oc.discoverycube.org/. General admission prices are as follows: adult ($17.95), senior ($14.95), and children ages 3-14 ($12.95). Entrance to The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes is an additional $10 per person, with discounts available for a limited time.

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All photos and content on this blog are by Discovery Cube Mom Ambassador Shelby Barone. You can follow Shelby on her personal blog, OC Mom Blog, here.