The Orange County Zoo is nestled inside beautiful Irvine Regional Park. Tucked among coastal live oak and giant sycamore groves, this eight acre zoo displays flora and fauna native to the southwestern United States.
The Orange County Zoo exhibits its animals in naturalistic habitats for the comfort of the animals, to encourage natural behaviors and to enhance the education of visitors. The Zoo's focus is on animals and plants native to the southwestern United States. Animals on exhibit include black bears, mountain lions, bald eagle, island foxes, ocelot, red-tailed hawk, great horned owls, porcupine, coyotes, turkey vultures, coati and more. The zoo also features a barnyard with domestic goats, chevoit sheep, jacob sheep, pot-bellied pigs, doves and pheasants. In front of each animal exhibit are beautifully painted tiles of the animals, along with interesting facts about the animals.
Pretend City Children’s Museum features a small, interconnected city designed to “build better brains” through purposeful play, hands-on learning experiences, role playing, and educational programming. As a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization serving all children, it depends on community-based funding and guest support.
Through 17 interactive exhibits and activities guided by a highly trained professional staff, children learn foundational math, reading and science skills, while fostering curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, organization, teamwork, self-confidence and socialization. The museum is a unique community resource offering developmental screenings and tools for families, educators and community agencies working to ensure that each child gains the experiences needed to discover their potential and build toward a productive and fulfilling future.
The Aquarium of the Pacific is the fourth largest aquarium in the nation. It displays over 11,000 animals in more than 50 exhibits that represent the diversity of the Pacific Ocean. Each year more than 1.5 million people visit the Aquarium. Beyond its world-class animal exhibits, the Aquarium offers educational programs for people of all ages from hands-on activities to lectures by leading scientists. Through these programs and a variety of multimedia experiences, the Aquarium provides opportunities to delve deeper into the ocean and learn more about our planet. The Aquarium of the Pacific has redefined the modern aquarium. It is a community gathering place where diverse cultures and the arts are celebrated and a place where important topics facing our planet and our ocean are explored by scientists, policy-makers and stakeholders in the search for sustainable solutions. The Aquarium of the Pacific was the first among museums, zoos, and aquariums in the nation to register its greenhouse gases and is a leader in green practices, including its LEED platinum Watershed classroom. In 2009 the Aquarium was awarded the Super Nova Star Award by the Alliance to Save Energy for being the nation’s most energy-efficient business with revenues under $50 million. It was proud to partner with the Pacific Life Foundation to launch Seafood for the Future in 2009.
Discovery Science Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating young minds, assisting teachers and increasing public understanding and appreciation of science, math and technology through interactive exhibits and programs. Taco Bell Corp. has provided major funding to Discovery Science Center. Individuals, foundations, corporations, and the local, state and federal government have also made contributions.
The Balboa Fun Zone is one of Southern California's oldest and last great coastal amusement areas. Merry Go Round
Located on the Balboa Peninsula of Newport Beach, the Fun Zone continues to compete with Orange County entertainment giants such as, Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm, as the fun place to go.
For a fun date at the beach or a night out on the town, Balboa Peninsula has had something for everyone for over 75 years. Many remember when the beat of the big bands was broadcast live over national radio from Balboa's famous Rendezvous Ballroom.