The Ocean Institute is located in beautiful Dana Point Harbor and offers ocean science and maritime history programs perfect for kids and adults alike. See hundreds of marine animals in aquariums, watch animal feedings, experience ocean-themed exhibits, and have fun with hands-on activities. For an extra charge, take a tall ship or a whale watching cruise. The Dana Point Marine Protected Area is steps away from the Institute.
The center, funded largely by a mega-million dollar endowment from Renée and Henry Segerstrom, was originally inaugurated in 1986, with the first venue Sergestrom Hall as part of what was then the Orange County Performing Arts Center. The latest addition, a community plaza uniting the newer and older venues was built in 2006, and the center renamed the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. The complex has drawn huge audiences for symphony, ballet, and Broadway events. The Segerstrom Center for the Arts, featuring the 2000-seat Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, 500-seat Samueli Theater, Founders Hall and Segerstrom Hall as well as a variety of educational exhibits and recreation services, continues this tradition of artistic expansion. The halls are well suited to hold symphony performances, as they features state of the art acoustics that can be adjusted for large as well as intimate events. Tours are available on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:30a, and offer a great glimpse into the backstage area, as well as notes about the architecture and design.
Irvine Park Railroad is located in beautiful Irvine Regional Park. The one-third scale train takes visitors on a scenic, 12-minute ride through the 477-acre park. Other park attractions include pony rides, the Orange County Zoo, walking trails, horseback riding, snack bars and more. You can rent paddle boats, bikes, and horseshoe and volleyball sets. Annual Irvine Park Railroad events include the Pumpkin Patch, Christmas Train, Easter Eggstravaganza, California History Education Program and Anniversary Celebration. School field trips are available. You can also reserve space for private parties.
Founded in 1932, this is likely the best all-around museum in Orange County. The complex has particularly come into its own since its re-opening in 1992 with expanded and improved exhibition spaces. Created with funds donated by Charles Bowers, the complex was built in the style of the California Missions, and is adorned with murals honoring that motif. Originally intended by Mr. Bowers to focus on local history, the museum has since enlarged its focus to incorporate artifacts from the cultures of Southeast Asia, Oceania, Mexico and Native America.
Imaginations turn, twist and fly through 120 exciting hands-on exhibits at Discovery Cube Orange County. The park, which was formerly called the Discovery Science Center, is located in Santa Ana and has been inspiring kids of all ages for years. Experience science in the museum's themed areas, which include Quake Zone, Techno Arts, Discovery Stadium, Perception, Dynamic Earth, Air & Space, Kids Station and Dino Quest. Kids and adults alike are given a chance to lie on a bed of needles, run with dinosaurs, and dive to the depths of the ocean, all in one building! The establishment also hosts educational programs throughout the year.
Pretend City Children's Museum offers you exactly what the name implies, a small "pretend" version of a city! The museum is set up to have everything a normal city would have, with displays like the Library, the City Hall and The Farm. As children go through this interesting museum the kids can interact with the displays and learn through play. Watch as your two year old has fun in the Orange Plaza while your eight year old pretends to be a firefighter at the Fire Station. Your children won't want to leave!
Located in the Diamond Jamboree Plaza in Irvine, Plush Karaoke Lounge is a trendy bar with 16 private rooms. Each room is equipped with the latest karaoke and sound equipment, lounge seating and chic decor. The song selection features popular top 40 tunes in English, Korean, Japanese and Mandarin. The rooms are rented out by the hour and are perfect for special events. The bar also offers a small menu with Asian fusion cuisine and standard bar bites like popcorn chicken, onion rings and more.
A structure that stands out in Santa Ana's Historic Downtown District, the Yost Theater is the oldest operational theater in all of Orange County. Opened in 1912, as a vaudeville theater during the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema, the theater underwent a few change of names, and finally received the name 'Yost Theater' in 1919, when it was purchased by Ed Yost. A place where a glorious and eventful past thrives amid the flourish of modern technology, the Yost Theater still retains the role of being a premier event venue in Orange County, playing host to some of the biggest names in the music and entertainment industry. See the website or call to know more.
The Orange County Center For Contemporary Art (OCCCA) is run entirely by artists and showcases art by both emerging and established artists. The emphasis is on local artists. It also features lectures on various subjects, performance art and musical concerts, and participates in public outreach programs that are committed to cultural diversity. The main purpose is the pursuit of freedom of expression in the arts and to provide a forum to explore and develop ideas in contemporary art.
In collaboration with the city of Santa Ana, the Grand Central Art Center at Cal State Fullerton features exhibits and performances by established and emerging artists. The complex consists of live/work studios for graduate students, in addition to art galleries and a theater for performance art.
This museum was founded in 1992 and has been committed to the art of the California impressionist period ever since. Along with preserving some of the best art from the era, the museum is also dedicated to educating the public about the state of the environment in California. The museum has taken particular interest in collecting or exhibiting art that portrays the landscape of Southern California. Featured artists include Franz Bischoff, Joseph Kleitsch, Edgar Payne, Guy Rose and William Wendt. The museum offers docent-guided tours, rental of the museum for special meetings and educational programs for schoolchildren. Admission is free.