Irvine's Pretend City Children's Museum celebrates the big two

By Ed Walsh, Global Travel Examiner

Irvine's Pretend City Children's Museum delights children of all ages, celebrates its second birthday this month.

Irvine, California, is home to one of the world's best children's museums. It's called Pretend City. The museum was 12 years in the making. It will officially celebrate its second birthday on August 30, 2011, with a deal you can't refuse: free. More information here. The celebration starts at 12:30 p.m. and admission is free all day.

What is Pretend City?
Pretend City is designed as a small city with a grocery store, construction site, art studio, house, café, bank, emergency services, health center, farm and more.

Visitors can don uniforms and dress up and play the role of a police officer, pizza maker, letter carrier or any other city professional.

Pretend City also offers classes on topics such as art, dance, and fitness.

What makes Pretend City Children's Museum different from other children's museums?

The museum aptly addresses that question on its Web site:

"There are three key differentiators:

"1. Pretend City is an integrated city - children will experience the interconnectedness of all professions of a community, and how every person is essential to the well being of a community.

"2. Pretend City has embedded eight essential brain building blocks into each and every one of its exhibits, encouraging children to learn foundational skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving creativity, interconnectivity, teamwork, cause and effect, and more.

"3. Pretend City's Good to Go from Head to Toe program, a collaborative effort with the Orange County Children and Families Commission, helps parents understand their children's developmental milestones. Good To Go From Head To Toe programs offer a variety of tools and resources easily accessible at Pretend City to help parents understand their children's development, every step of the way"

Happy birthday, Pretend City! Don't forget to stop by for the celebration, with free admission on August 30, 2011.