Branch off of the OC Discovery Cube, this brand new Discovery Cube LA focuses on early learners, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math), Environmental stewardship, and Healthy Living.
I visited the Discovery Cube with three kids (6,5, and 2) during winter break. We had a great time. The Discovery Cube offers interactive science displays that really bring science to life for kids (and were fun for parents and grandparents too!).
We all enjoyed the recycling center game where kids needed to sort through garbage and recyclables as fast as possible to get points and compete against other teams.
The Grossology exhibit was a big hit! Getting to see how food moves through a cow's body and becomes waste, why animals and insects emit certain smells, and learning about blood sucking insects were some of the highlights.
We also really enjoyed the Hockey exhibits. Kids got the opportunity to block hockey puck shots, feel what it would be like to skate on ice, and see a Zamboni.
Pretty cool stuff!
I appreciated the portion of the museum that related to local natural elements like wind and water and how they worked to form Los Angeles.
The cafe was filled with healthy food that was reasonably priced for a museum, and there were lots of picnic tables.
My toddler liked the padded kids place space designed for kids his age.
My family attended the opening media preview of the brand new Discovery Cube Los Angeles, sister museum to the Discovery Cube Orange County, located in Santa Ana.
The museum has four core initiatives that are evident in every nook and cranny of the museum: STEM Proficiency (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math), Early Learning, Healthy Living, and Environmental Stewardship. Boasting 71,000 square feet of hands-on, science-based exhibits in the northeast corner of Los Angeles near the Hansen Dam, there is really something for every learner in your family, mom and dad, too!
Here are a few of our favorite exhibits:
CUBE JR. EARLY LEARNER'S ZONE
Designed specifically for kids five and under, the center boasts an imagination playground where kids can create a unique structure- the kids were in LOVE with this.
DINOSAURS- LAND OF FIRE AND ICE
My five-year old loved climbing the structures in and around this exhibit. Hands on play areas detailing the changes of the continental drift served as the backdrop for playtime and discovery. Dressing up and digging for fossils is a must-try.
Kids learn to make healthy shopping choices as they walk through an immersive shopping market, learn nutrition facts, scan items, and check out. Perfect for role-play loving kids, this was a favorite of all of my kids.
RACE TO ZERO WASTE
This game had my kids scrambling to recycle and divert materials from landfills before the time runs out. Racing with each other (or working as a family team) was a fun way to get them involved and learning about what could/should be recycled. Kids learned the difference between recyclable materials, green yard trimmings, garbage, and items that needed to be disposed of at S.A.F.E. Centers.
Although the program changes, we took a Helicopter tour that shrunk us down and took us through the water treatment systems of Los Angeles. It was a fascinating journey, although it did make me feel a bit queasy. Note- the seats don't move, but the immersive screen gives the impression of movement. My girls loved this exhibit and thought it was hilarious that they got flushed down the toilet. :)
INSPECTOR TRAINING COURSE
My 8-year-old could have stayed here all day. Kids get their own personal tablet and act as environmentally sustainable house inspectors as they walk through an eco-friendly home and learn what the "homeowners" have done (and what they can fix) to make homes more environmentally friendly. Parents will have to help young children on this one as good reading comprehension is a must for this game. After completing your challenge, you can complete additional games or turn your tablet in to get your picture and score on the big board. The lights went on for my 8-year-old here, and she has already seen ways we can improve environmental issues in our own home.
MAKING THE GRADE GALLERY
This rotating exhibit area features a wide variety of grade level specific STEM concept exhibits. When we toured, it was focused on 4th & 5th grade concepts, making most of them a bit over the head of my five-year-old, but my 8- & 10-year-olds were in love with the exhibits. Their favorites were watching how sound waves could literally move and change particles in air, and the interactive topography map was an absolute must. (As a lover of maps, I was in awe.) Even my littlest one liked this tactile approach to learning and we had to pull her away from the exhibit to let others play.
*To see my short instagram video of this exhibit, check the link below*
Plenty of restrooms, a healthy dining option (the Bean Sprouts chain which I love for being kid and allergy friendly-- who else serves up sandwiches and treats in such an adorable way??!!), and a gift store are also onsite. Kids can visit the museum as part of field trips, or plan a birthday party here as well.
Tip: Don't miss the Science of Hockey, opening in February 2015. I am excited to come back and try this!
Disclosure: My family received free admission to the museum as part of its opening media day tour. We were not required to state any particular view; all opinions are my own.