The Pilgrim Boat & Ocean Institute in Dana Point

One of Dana Point’s claims to fame is the Tall Ships Festival that happens every year, and that brings in some large old boats to the harbor. If you don’t get a chance to see them during that weekend though, the Pilgrim Boat sits in the harbor right next to the Ocean Institute, and you can tour both the institute and boat for the same price on most Sundays. Here is all the information so you can check out this fun historic spot.

Details

  • $10 for adults
  • Pilgrim is only open on Sundays, but the Ocean Institute is open daily
  • Location: 24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr, Dana Point, CA 92629

Getting There

The Ocean Institute is located on the north side of the harbor near Baby Beach, a popular family beach without any real waves. There is a parking lot right next to the institute that you can park in, but that can be busy during the summer.

The Ocean Institute

This is a great spot for families as there are a half dozen or so exhibits that kids can see and interact with. During the day they even have demonstrations that include feedings and dissections.

There are four main buildings that you can visit, but note that this is not a traditional aquarium with all of the fish you would see at something like the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.

The main attraction was the touch pool that had sea slugs and starfish you could touch. It was fun to feel the different types of starfish and see the differences.

In one of the other buildings, they had a larger tank that housed some sting rays and small sharks. You could pet these animals as well, assuming they swam up and let you touch them.

It was a lot of fun to explore this small area, and the best part was that access to the Pilgrim Boat came with the fee we paid.

The Pilgrim

When our tour was ready to start, we made our way back to the entrance and met up with the tour guide who took us over to visit the Pilgrim.

The tour was about 30 minutes, and we walked all around the boat itself, including walking below to see the deck and learning about how the crew lived.

I didn’t know much about this era, so it was fascinating to hear more, especially since the tour was only 30 minutes and didn’t go on and on.

If you go on a Sunday, do make sure you take a tour of the boat. Times change each week, so the best way to figure out when the tours are is to go in on a Sunday when they open and ask.

If you are in the area and looking for a hike, check out the Dana Point sea caves hike which leaves from behind the institute and which you can learn more about here.

Let me know what you think about this spot if you go in the comments and find more places in Dana Point to explore here.

Dana Point Tall Ships Festival: Participating in a Cannon Battle

Dana Point is a small coastal town in Orange County and once a year it has a half dozen tall ships descend on its harbor for the annual Tall Ships Festival. I saw the fliers for this when I was down in Dana Point a few weeks ago to write this post and added it to my list to go back and see. I am glad I did as I participated in the cannon battle and it was 10 times better than I anticipated it being. Here is all the information so you can have this awesome experience next year.

Details

  • $45 to ride on the escort boat in the cannon battle, $70 to ride on one of the actual ships.
  • This price included access to the festival which let you walk on the boats and go to the Ocean Institute
  • Location: 24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr, Dana Point, CA 92629

The festival is put on yearly by the Ocean Institute and while there was a decent amount of people it was not difficult to get around and see everything. You did have to park about a mile and a half away though and take a shuttle to the lot since there was no parking there.

The festival has all of the things you would expect like live music, food, and vendors selling their arts and crafts.

I went right to the Ocean Institute though so I could get on board the boats and check them out.

It was late in the day so I only got to walk onto three of the boats before they closed them off but I picked the three oldest and it was a lot of fun to see them up close.

You could even look inside the boats and take pictures with the ship’s wheel.

After getting off the boat they were getting them ready to take out on the ocean and you could see people climbing up to take down the sails. I would not like to have that job.

Cannon Battles

From there we got in line to board the escort boat, which is the only one with a motor, I chose this boat because it just goes around the whole event so you can see all of the boats instead of just staying on one.

It would be cool to be on a boat with a cannon though so maybe I will do that next year.

Our boat slowly crawled out of the harbor with the other tall ships before making it into the open ocean.

From here we just started following the tall ships around and watching them as they shot fake canons at each other.

It was a lot of fun though because they shot us a few times too so you really got a feel for the cannon’s power.

I took way more pictures and videos than I planned to, but how often do you get to have such a fun experience like this?

Here is a video I made of my time at the festival.

After an hour and a half, we got back to the dock and were let off the boat. It was a great time and one that I plan to do again next year. If you do not live near Dana Point, there are other Tall Ships Festivals around California that you can visit as well. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Dana Point Tall Ships Festival: Participating in a Cannon Battle

Dana Point is a small coastal town in Orange County and once a year it has a half dozen tall ships descend on its harbor for the annual Tall Ships Festival. I saw the fliers for this when I was down in Dana Point a few weeks ago to write this post and added it to my list to go back and see. I am glad I did as I participated in the cannon battle and it was 10 times better than I anticipated it being. Here is all the information so you can have this awesome experience next year.

Details

  • $45 to ride on the escort boat in the cannon battle, $70 to ride on one of the actual ships.
  • This price included access to the festival which let you walk on the boats and go to the Ocean Institute
  • Location: 24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr, Dana Point, CA 92629

The festival is put on yearly by the Ocean Institute and while there was a decent amount of people it was not difficult to get around and see everything. You did have to park about a mile and a half away though and take a shuttle to the lot since there was no parking there.

The festival has all of the things you would expect like live music, food, and vendors selling their arts and crafts.

I went right to the Ocean Institute though so I could get on board the boats and check them out.

It was late in the day so I only got to walk onto three of the boats before they closed them off but I picked the three oldest and it was a lot of fun to see them up close.

You could even look inside the boats and take pictures with the ship’s wheel.

After getting off the boat they were getting them ready to take out on the ocean and you could see people climbing up to take down the sails. I would not like to have that job.

Cannon Battles

From there we got in line to board the escort boat, which is the only one with a motor, I chose this boat because it just goes around the whole event so you can see all of the boats instead of just staying on one.

It would be cool to be on a boat with a cannon though so maybe I will do that next year.

Our boat slowly crawled out of the harbor with the other tall ships before making it into the open ocean.

From here we just started following the tall ships around and watching them as they shot fake canons at each other.

It was a lot of fun though because they shot us a few times too so you really got a feel for the cannon’s power.

I took way more pictures and videos than I planned to, but how often do you get to have such a fun experience like this?

Here is a video I made of my time at the festival.

After an hour and a half, we got back to the dock and were let off the boat. It was a great time and one that I plan to do again next year. If you do not live near Dana Point, there are other Tall Ships Festivals around California that you can visit as well. Let me know what you think in the comments.

24 Hours in Dana Point: Exploring Caves, Beaches, Ships, Restaurants & Resorts

Nestled in between Laguna Beach and San Clemente, right on the outskirts of Orange County, Dana Point is a great beach community that is worth taking the time to explore. What I like about Dana Point most is that it feels more relaxed than many of its other coastal counterparts like Newport and Huntington Beach. The city has a lot of great eateries, the beaches are vast and beautiful, and there are adventures to be had for the whole family. Here is how I recommend you spend 24 hours in Dana Point.

Breakfast – Stack’s Pancake House

Dana Point is one of those cities that has a ton of restaurant options; there are a few spots that truly stand out though. For breakfast, Stacks is the place to be. It will be busy, so know that going in, but the walk up and order restaurant has some of the best pancakes in Orange County.

For my money, it doesn’t get better than the banana macadamia nut pancakes (there are other options too), which has a huge flavor, especially when you combine them with the coconut sauce provided to go on top. You can have a stack for $5 – $10, depending on how many you want, and I doubt you will leave disappointed.

Ocean Institute

After lunch head over to the Ocean Institute, which is a great spot for kids but which can be fun for adults as well. They have a few tanks where you can pet everything from starfish to small sharks and classes where they dissect things like cow eyes and sea creatures. It’s especially fun for families, but make sure to go on a Sunday when you can tour the Pilgrim boat. The price of doing so gets you into the institute as well, so it is a win win.

The Pilgrim

Dana Point is known for the Tall Ships Festival which happens every fall and which brings dozens of fancy old boats to the harbor. During the rest of the year though The Pilgrim, a boat from the 1940’s is docked in the port and can be toured most Sundays.

I got a chance to take the 30-minute tour, and it was fun and informative.

Pirate’s Cave

While you are at the Ocean Institute and the Pilgrim, take the short 1.2 mile round trip hike out to Pirate’s Cave. I only recommend doing this during low tide though as it can be more sketchy when the water is coming in.

The hike takes you out to a big sea cave below the Dana Point Headlands. You can even walk into it and explore. Read all about doing it here.

Brunch – Monarch Beach Resort

If you are in Dana Point on a Sunday and are looking to get your brunch on, then look no further than the Monarch Beach Resort. The brunch here is pricey at around $75 a person, but it includes everything from sushi, crab legs and oysters, to omelet bars and a chocolate fountain. I was incredibly impressed with the options available, and the service was next level as well.

Lunch – Shwack Beach Grill

If you are not visiting on a Sunday, or don’t want to spend money on brunch, head over to Shwack Beach Grill and get one of their popular burgers. This place is a Dana Point staple, and rightfully so, as the food is flavorful and well priced. I won’t tell you what to order as there are a ton of good options, but if you like queso and they have the shrimp queso on the menu, then that is an excellent choice.

Afternoon Option 1 – Jet Ski

After lunch, consider renting a jet ski and getting out on the water.   I rented a Jet Ski from Pure Watersports Dana Point, and it was a fun experience right in the harbor. Once we got past the no wake zone, we had 45 minutes to hit the gas and race around the ocean. I have never jet skied on the open ocean before so it was a blast for me, and the price was right, $95 for a weekday AM rental (more for the afternoon).

Option 2 – Sit by a Beach

In Dana Point, as in most of the Orange County coastal cities, the beaches are one of the main draws. There are a bunch of famous beaches in the Dana Point, but these three are my favorites.

Strands Beach

Strands Beach is one of the largest in the city, and it has a big parking lot which makes it easier to visit during the summer. One of the unique things about this beach is that it has a funicular, which is like a sideways moving elevator that takes you down closer to the beach and skips all of the stairs.

While it is pretty slow and the line to use it is often long, the experience is one-of-a-kind as I am not aware of another beach that has one of these.

Baby Beach

If you are visiting with a young family, then Baby Beach is your best option. This beach is in the harbor and pretty sheltered from the waves, making it an excellent choice for families with small children. It’s also a favorite spot for SUP and kayaking.

Salt Creek Beach

Sitting in the shadow of the Ritz Carlton, this beach is probably my personal favorite. It has a large area of sand, with cliffs on the north and south side. It’s a popular surfing beach, and it can be fun just to go there and watch the surfers while the sun is setting.

If you are staying at the Ritz Carlton like we were, then this is the beach you will probably visit most while you are there. But even if you don’t stay at the Ritz, there is a parking lot nearby which provides access to the beach.

Dinner Option 1 – Lupe’s Mexican Grill

Lupe’s is one of the highest rated spots on Yelp in Dana Point, and it has earned those stars by making consistently good Mexican food. The best thing to order is anything with the Al Pastor meat, which is cut right off a spit in the back. Also, they have some crazy options like a Hot Cheetos burrito if you are feeling adventurous.

Dinner Option 2 – enoSteak

If you are in the city celebrating with your significant other, then enoSteak is a fantastic choice. This place is pricey, but it was responsible for one of the best meals I have had in a long time. Everything from the service to the ambiance is top notch. The food is out of this world though with a selection of unique steaks (coffee encrusted wagyu anyone?) and add ons like a flight of homemade butter (the truffle butter has real shaved truffles in it). I am salivating just thinking about it again.

Hotels

Dana Point has a few popular resorts that are good places to stay in the city, as well as cheaper options like camping right on the beach. Here are a couple to check out.

Ritz Carlton

If you have stayed at a Ritz Carlton before then, you know that the higher price comes with impeccable service. This hotel has a beach butler service that takes you down to the beach in a golf cart and gets you chairs, towels, and umbrellas for when you are sitting on the sand. They also were able to find a phone charger for me since I forgot mine and gave my wife a ride to a nearby property to pick something up without any issues. It is the kind of service that you tell your friends about when you stay at a place like this.

The hotel also looks down on the beach below, and it is one of the best spots in the city for sunset.

Monarch Beach Resort

If you are a golfer, then this is probably where you will want to stay. The hotel sits right on the main golf course and is comparable to the Ritz Carlton in service and amenities. I didn’t stay here, but I walked around while I was having brunch. I was blown away by how beautiful the property was, especially with the pool situated right in the middle. Another great option for staying in Dana Point.

Camping – Doheny State Beach

If you don’t want to spend the money on a hotel though, camping is also a good option in Dana Point. Doheny State Beach is located right next to the harbor, and it has a few dozen sites, most that are only a short walk to the beach. Make sure to book your site in advance though as these spots tend to go pretty fast.

So there you have it, my recommendations for how to spend 24 hours in Dana Point. Be sure to let me know if I left off your favorite spot in the comments below.

Dana Point Sea Caves: Hiking to Pirate’s Cave

While there are many sea caves up and down the California coast, the Dana Point Sea Caves are some of the easiest to access. This short hike takes you along the coast to a large cave with a great view of the water crashing on the rocks in front of you. It is a relatively popular spot known as Pirate’s Cave, so you probably won’t be alone, but the cave is big and has room for many people. Here is all the information so you can check it out.

Details

  • 1.2 miles round trip and flat
  • Wear shoes with support as there are lots of rocks to walk on
  • Only go during low tide

Getting There

To get to the trailhead, drive to the Ocean Institute in Dana Point. There is a parking lot for the institute, but only use it if you are paying the fee to see the Ocean Institute. If not, there is another lot further south that you can park in for Baby Beach. This is a good spot to park for the hike if you are not visiting the Ocean Institute.

The Trail

After parking, walk past the Ocean Institute, and you will be near the rock jetty.

You will see a large grated walkway with stairs to the right, and you will take that to start the hike. There is a sign here that directs you to Pirate’s Cave as well.

As I stated above, I recommend only going during low tide as it is difficult to get past a few sections without getting wet when it is high tide.

From here you are walking on the large rocks the rest of the way. Watch your footing as some rocks move or can be slippery.

If the tide is low enough, there are some tide pools you can see along the way as well.

When you round the main bend, you will be getting close to the cave.

The cave is accessed via a small slit in the rock before getting to the cave entrance. This slit is probably 3.5 feet wide by 8 feet high, and it is likely that it will have water in it, so you will have to get your feet wet.

Going through here takes you back to the main cave, and you will quickly see it is bigger than you probably anticipated.

You can just hang out here, or you can go around the small outcropping and get to another cave on the other side of this one. Don’t do this if the tide is high though as it means you have to go out into the water a little bit.

After hanging out and taking it all in, head back the way you came. If you are looking for more spots to explore in Dana Point, check out this post I made on the area as well.

Dana Point Sea Caves: Hiking to Pirate’s Cave

While there are many sea caves up and down the California coast, the Dana Point Sea Caves are some of the easiest to access. This short hike takes you along the coast to a large cave with a great view of the water crashing on the rocks in front of you. It is a relatively popular spot known as Pirate’s Cave, so you probably won’t be alone, but the cave is big and has room for many people. Here is all the information so you can check it out.

Details

  • 1.2 miles round trip and flat
  • Wear shoes with support as there are lots of rocks to walk on
  • Only go during low tide

Getting There

To get to the trailhead, drive to the Ocean Institute in Dana Point. There is a parking lot for the institute, but only use it if you are paying the fee to see the Ocean Institute. If not, there is another lot further south that you can park in for Baby Beach. This is a good spot to park for the hike if you are not visiting the Ocean Institute.

The Trail

After parking, walk past the Ocean Institute, and you will be near the rock jetty.

You will see a large grated walkway with stairs to the right, and you will take that to start the hike. There is a sign here that directs you to Pirate’s Cave as well.

As I stated above, I recommend only going during low tide as it is difficult to get past a few sections without getting wet when it is high tide.

From here you are walking on the large rocks the rest of the way. Watch your footing as some rocks move or can be slippery.

If the tide is low enough, there are some tide pools you can see along the way as well.

When you round the main bend, you will be getting close to the cave.

The cave is accessed via a small slit in the rock before getting to the cave entrance. This slit is probably 3.5 feet wide by 8 feet high, and it is likely that it will have water in it, so you will have to get your feet wet.

Going through here takes you back to the main cave, and you will quickly see it is bigger than you probably anticipated.

You can just hang out here, or you can go around the small outcropping and get to another cave on the other side of this one. Don’t do this if the tide is high though as it means you have to go out into the water a little bit.

After hanging out and taking it all in, head back the way you came. If you are looking for more spots to explore in Dana Point, check out this post I made on the area as well.

Sabroso Taco, Beer & Music Festival: The Offspring, Sum 41, Lucha Libre & Competitive Eating

When I first heard about this festival, which combines music and tacos I knew it was going to be something I needed to attend. Add to that the fact that the music was the perfect collection of bands from when I was in high school (Offspring, Sum 41, Lit, Unwritten Law) and you had the recipe for a nostalgic and excellent day. Fast forward to last weekend, when the festival took place, and I am happy to report it was even better than I anticipated it being. Here is a recap of my favorite parts, and be sure to check it out next year when it rolls back through Orange County again for the fifth annual Sabroso Festival.

Details

  • Up to date information on the festival can be found here

The festival was held at Doheny State Beach, which is a great spot for a concert like this. It was vast and open with lots of grass to sit on, as well as tables and benches situated around the venue.

The main concert area was in a large grass patch, and it had enough room for everyone in the sold out crowd to be able to see.

The Food and Drinks

The festival started at 1 PM, and from then until 4 PM, all of the craft beer was free to taste, and the tacos were $3. This was a huge highlight of the festival, and there were hundreds of different craft beer and taco options to choose from.

If I had to guess I would say there was over 100 various types of craft beer, each with lines of varying lengths depending on how popular the brewery was.

They taco area had some of Orange Counties best restaurants/gastropubs represented, with each having one to two tacos created just for this event.

I tried a bunch, but for me, it is hard to beat Pour Vida Latin Flavor from Anaheim, they had some unique ones like Brussel sprouts and lobster.

I also enjoyed the Mess Hall Canteen Food Truck which had a taco with tater tots, chorizo, and a cheddar shell.

Gringo Bandito was one of the main sponsors of the event, so they had a booth where you can try the hot sauces they make. I had never had them before, so it was fun to check them all out. I liked the green on the best personally.

After indulging, it was time to watch the bands. I got a chance to photograph all of them for a few songs, so here are some photos of the great performances.

Metalachi

Unwritten Law

Lit

Sum 41

Rival Sons

The Offspring

I had never seen The Offspring before, and it was incredible to see them put on such an excellent performance. They sounded great live and played many songs from their vast career.

Sum 41 and Lit were also really energetic bands that were a blast to watch as they performed with a ton of passion.

Metalachi was a fun addition that I had never heard of, and they played a mariachi take on popular metal songs like those from Metallica.

Lucha Libre

In between each of the bands, they had a Lucha Libre match set up on the beach.

I had never seen this before, but it was an incredibly fun experience. The crowds kept getting bigger and bigger as the news of how entertaining the matches were moved through the attendees.

I got a chance to see two matches, and each resembled something you would see on WWF with the crowds cheering as people flew around the ring.

Competitive Eating

Not to be outdone by the Lucha Libre, there was also a taco eating competition in between the final music set.

It featured the world-renowned Kobayashi, who you have probably seen before at an eating event on TV. I was excited to see what this was like in person and after Kobayashi had put away 159 tacos in 10 minutes for a new world record, I can easily say it was a completely unusual experience.

The way the contestants shoved tacos into their faces was both impressive and horrifying at the same time.

Kobayashi played to the crowd though, and when he won, he jumped up on the table to show off his now protruding belly to the cheering crowd.

After all was said and done, we walked like zombies with the rest of the crowd out into the parking lot. It was one of the most fun festivals I have been to in recent memory, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for next year. Let me know what you thought in the comments.

Bowers Museum: An Art & History Museum in Santa Ana

Created in 1932, the Bowers Museum is one of Orange County’s premier museums with over 100,000 pieces in its collection. The museum is only a few miles south of Disneyland, and everything from the building it is housed in, to the exhibits themselves, has been well thought out and displayed in an engaging way. I am not a huge museum fan, but I found a good amount to enjoy in my hour here, read on for all of the information.

Details

  • Cost: $13 – $15
  • Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Location: 2002 N Main St, Santa Ana, CA 92706

Getting There

After getting off the 5 Freeway North at Main St, you will proceed left and over the freeway for a few blocks before you see the Bowers Museum on the right. There is a large paid parking lot next to it for $6, but you can find parking for free on the street depending on the day.

The Exterior

The exterior of the museum is one of my favorite parts. This building has been here since the land was donated by the Bowers in the 1930’s. It has since been added to historical register as it beautifully preserved relic of the past. I like taking my time and walking through the small courtyard before heading in. There are a few little exhibits in the courtyard, and it is just a peaceful spot in Orange County.

The Museum

The museum itself is not that large, but they make the most of their space with the exhibits they have.

The main walkway has big paintings on the wall and takes you to the back of the museum where are two of the larger exhibits.

The first was dedicated to 5,000 years of Chinese history and it had a lot of unique things to see.

My favorite was the meticulously crafted chess set in the middle of the exhibit. As a chess fan myself I couldn’t imagine how awesome it would be to play on.

There was a lot of information here about the terracotta warriors, which is another personal favorite of mine. I enjoyed reading about them and seeing the terra cotta horses they had. Lastly, there was a historic desk set up which was cool as well.

The next exhibit was dedicated to spirits and headhunters of the Pacific Islands, and it was the best in the entire museum.

There was so much crazy stuff to see in this exhibit, including old weapons like bone knives and war clubs as well as lots of unique sculptures and other pieces.

The front of the museum had an additional cost exhibit that I didn’t go into, but I did head into the early California exhibit they had.

This exhibit featured a ton of information on the Native Americans of California and how they lived.

There were lots of artifacts and pieces of information about early California life here as well, and it was pretty fascinating.

The last part of this exhibit was a large room that talked about the California missions and their impact on the people. I was especially interested in this section as I went to all of the California missions last year and it is a fascinating part of California history to me.

After spending some more time looking around, I made my way out. This museum is an excellent way to spend a little time in Anaheim and Orange County. There is a lot of cool stuff to see here, and I recommend you check it out. If you have kids though, head over to the Discovery Museum across the freeway as that is something they will enjoy a lot more.

Victoria Beach: The Pirate Tower of Laguna

Laguna Beach is one of the most popular areas in all of Orange County, thanks in part to the TV show of the same name; however, Victoria Beach still feels like a relatively hidden gem. That is most likely because the parking is incredibly difficult, but if you are willing to wait for a spot, you will be rewarded with one of Southern California’s best beaches, not to mention the place with the famous medieval/pirate tower. Here is all the information.

Details

  • Free
  • Hard to park, especially on the weekends
  • Location: 2700 Victoria Dr, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Getting There

Driving South on PCH past Laguna Beach you will want to keep your eyes peeled for the road named Sunset Terrace. At the end of Sunset Terrace is where the stairs are that lead down to the beach. That being said there is no parking there as it is a residential area. I recommend looking for parking along Pacific Coast Highway and then walking the rest of the way. Of course be sure to read the signs, so you do not park somewhere where you will get a ticket.

The Stairs

After parking, head back to Sunset Terrace and proceed down to the end where you will see the stairs to the beach in-between two houses.

These stairs will take you down to the beach itself which is a fantastic spot even if you don’t go to the tower.

Of course, if you are already here then you should go to the tower and doing that is easy.

When you reach the sand, proceed right, climb over the rocks there, and head around the bend.

This will lead you to a large ocean pool that hasn’t ever been filled when I’ve been here. Past the pool, you will come to the tower.

The tower is a lot of fun to see, but you can’t do much there other than stare at it. The tower itself is not open to the public at all.

I like coming here at sunset though as you can get some amazing photos.

This is a great spot to set up your towel and just chill, or you can head back to the main beach and sit there as well.

All in all, this is a fantastic beach and one that everyone should experience. Do be sure to note that parking situation though and not try to go on the busy weekends. Let me know if you have any other tips in the comments.

Discovery Cube and Kids Museum in Orange County

If you are exploring Orange County with kids, then you really need to make sure the Discovery Museum is on your list. This playground of over 100 interactive exhibits can easily keep a small family busy for an entire day. Some of the standouts are the large full-scale dinosaur you can walk through and the black cube you can see driving by on the freeway. Here is all the information so you can check it out with your family.

Details

  • Cost: $13 for kids, $18 for adults (as of Dec 2016)
  • Location: 2500 N Main St, Santa Ana, CA 92705

Getting There

Located off the Main Street exit from the 5 Freeway, you can see the museum as soon as you get off. There is a turning lane right next to it so that you can turn into the parking lot that they operate. Parking does cost $5 as well which is somewhat unfortunate, but there aren’t any better options.

The Museum

After walking into the museum and paying, your kids will be whisked away into a world where they can touch and interact with everything.

The main first floor has a small climbing wall, a wave machine, sound waves you can play with and tons more.

There is even an area dedicated to water where you can interact with and see its movements, all in a kid-friendly way.

They have rotating exhibits on the bottom floor as well, with Ninja Turtles being the one there when I went. It had a small replica of the sewer that kids could climb around on and a few interactive games.

Heading upstairs, there is an exhibit on space which features a miniature version of the JPL Mission Control.

There is also a tornado machine and a kaleidoscope with mirrors that you can see here as well.

The museum likes to work with local organizations, so there is a lot related to the sciences of the game of hockey up here including a Zamboni and a locker room area.

Heading outside you will find yourself inside the large black cube which is pretty impressive.

In the middle of it, there is a rocket ship that kids can play with and explore.

Heading down from here and you will be in the dinosaur area, where they have a massive dinosaur that is open at the rib cage and that you can walk through and even touch the heart. It is one of the coolest parts of the museum. There are more dinosaur bones to see and other exhibits related to fossils out here as well.

These are just a few of the fun things you can do at the Discovery Museum. If you have kids, they are sure to enjoy the hours you can spend exploring and playing here. Be sure to check it out and let me know what you think in the comments.