Family Activities:

Pretend City Children’s Museum


Pretend City Children’s Museum

29 Hubble, Irvine, CA

This hands-on “pretend” city has kids going to work at the post office, shopping for groceries or tending to the farm and then hitting the theater or the beach. Trader Joe’s is a proud sponsor of Pretend City so a nearly identical store is one of the favorites of the kids where they can push a kid-sized shopping cart through the grocery aisles and take everything to the check-out counter.

There is a Theater where kids can play dress up and perform on stage. There is a giant sand box where kids can dig. There are water play tables and a gas station where kids can fill up a car or dress as a police officer and direct traffic.

Also, a soft play section sits in the center of the city for kids under age 2. There are large soft blocks the tots can explore and climb and it’s fenced in so the bigger kids know this is an area for younger kiddos.

Two of the children’s museum exhibits promote diversity and rotate often. The Home becomes a different real-life family’s home with real family photos on the wall and the family’s unique home decor, so kids can see how other families live. Whether that family is a police officer’s family, mixed-race family or same-sex marriage family, the kids learn every family is unique. Similarly at the Restaurant, this rotates to different types of cuisine. Whether it’s Asian noodles or Italian pasta, the kids can pretend to cook and serve the meal while understanding different foods, languages and cultures from around the world.

Arts and crafts and story times are always taking place, and developmental classes and evaluations are also available at no additional cost.


11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday

Age or Height Restrictions: Pretend City is recommended for children under the age of 7, who will get the most enjoyment out of it; however, older siblings are welcome.

Things to Know/Bring

Children under 12 months are free to enter. Children with sensory issues are welcomed with sensory support and play. Weighted toys, texture boards, and calming items like headphones or sunglasses are available. Lockers, restrooms and a souvenir/snack shop are also available onsite.


Free, but limited parking surrounds the area.