Things to do and see in SoCal {California Science Center}

I was born and raised in Southern California, East Los Angeles to be exact. One of the best parts of my girls growing up (and an awesome part of being a Mommy) is taking them out and introducing them to new and fun experiences. This Summer is the first summer that my girls are not babies, they are not in strollers, they are not wearing diapers and there are definitely no bottles to prepare. They are finally old enough to appreciate our family adventures.
I can't believe I had never been to the California ScienCenter. I have heard about it from fellow Mommies, but have never been, and didn't even really know where it was. I had such a duh moment when I realized that not only is it the big building right next to the Natural History Museum but we pass it each year during our March for Babies walk.

Admission to the California Science Center is FREE (which is awesome!) and there are a MILLION things to see, learn, touch and experience.    

The Science Center is divided into 4 major galleries:                                                     
World of Life: This area relates to all things biological.
Creative World: Delve into technology, structures, transportation and communication.
Air and Space: Here you'll find things that probe the mysteries of outer space.
Ecosystems: Explore items from habitats like deserts, islands, kelp forests and rocky shores.

I have to admit I don't do as much as I could when it comes to our environment. Lately I've been thinking a lot about teaching my girls what they can do to help maintain our planet. I can't wait for them to realize what kind of difference they can make, and the Science Center definitely emphasizes the importance of our responsibility to our planet.

In every gallery there were "Hands-On" areas for the kids. My oldest loved all of the technology and once she found the iPad lab she didn't want to leave. My littlest on the other hand, loved all of the animals. She just thinks everything is cute and wants to give everything kisses. There are areas to build blocks, to climb a tree house, to look through microscopes, to have a puppet show and the list goes on and on. 

The Science Center has such a great focus on hands-on activities. I mean, kids just want to touch everything anyway. This way, they are learning while touching and feeling, which makes it so much easier for the parents to enjoy the exhibits. When kids are allowed to really explore, I don't spend the entire day saying, "Stop! Don't touch that. Put that down. NO!"  Really it just saves my voice. 
I absolutely LOVE this picture. This little lady loves taking pictures of everything, and she has a pretty good eye too!  It's really fun to look through her pictures when we get home and see what it was that caught her eye throughout the day.  The Science Center also offer some extra attractions that you can pay a small fee to experience, such as the High Wire Bicycle, a Motion Based Simulator, and the Ecology Cliff Climb.
The Science Center has a definite focus on Space and aeronautics. From the moment you arrive, you are greeted by different planes on the outside of the building and parking structures. One of the most popular attractions at the California Science Center is the Space Shuttle Endeavour. The Science Center has become the temporary home for the Endeavour and is one of those things that you just have to experience for yourself. To view the Endeavour you pay $2 for a timed ticket (there are viewings in 10-15 minute increments), and then you are able to view an introductory gallery called Endeavour: The California Story which showcases some artifacts from the shuttle as well as images of it's construction that took place in various cities in California. The Endeavour itself is pretty awesome. Once you enter the building, you witness its enormity! I couldn't even fit the whole thing in a picture. (Let alone a picture that I can Instagram) It is pretty amazing being in the presence of something that was once in space. Again, viewing the Endeavour is definitely something that everyone should experience. 
The Science Center also has a theater with a 7-story IMAX screen, offering some pretty amazing looking films. These are the films that are currently being offered, here are the movie times.
 For each IMAX ticket purchased, you get admission to the Endeavour exhibit, and just keep in mind that the sales of the tickets help fund the Science Center and all of its amazing exhibits that are FREE to you. 
You can check the ticket prices below:

Ticket Prices

Endeavour + IMAX ticket prices
AudienceTicket TypePrice***
Adult (Age 18-59)General$8.25
Child (Age 4-12) **General$5.00
Youth (Age 13-17)General$6.00
Student with IDGeneral$6.00
Senior (Age 60+)General$6.00
School Group (K-12)Group*$4.75

 I definitely recommend checking out the California Science Center with your kids or not. Honestly, just because a lot of the exhibits are kid friendly, I would love to go back without the kids, just to get a different appreciation for it.

Disclosure: I was provided Media Passes for me and my family to check out the Endeavour as well as tickets to see an IMAX film at the California Science Center. However, all opinions are my own! :)