Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Real Place to Pretend

Over the weekend we took our son to a place in Irvine, CA called Pretend City. It's an actual city that is for the 5 and under set - a play fire station, play grocery store, play police station, play house and even a play ATM machine. Kids are able to drive/pedal "cars" throughout the entire place because there are carpeted roads lining the entire city for them to drive on. Note to parents - be sure you are looking down or else you'll have way too many bruises on your knees to explain.

Given our fascination and access to major theme parks, this small city within a simple warehouse - you literally can see the entire city from the front door - is not quite the experience you think you'll have when looking at the location map on the internet. It is small and it is very "pretend." By that I mean, with the exception of some unique experience, like an art room, the water area, the ATM machines - which spit out fake money the kids love - most of the location looks like Fisher Price designed it. That is not bad if you like Fisher Price - and I do. I love Fisher Price toys. They are well made and fun. However, to pay for a unique experience and get a Fisher Price experience is not something I can recommend for people living outside of Irvine. If you live in Irvine, it'd be a place I'd recommend for parents looking for ways to spend some time with their children because there is plenty to keep kids entertained for a half hour or hour especially if you have a family membership, however, for folks like us who traveled nearly 45 minutes, I am not sure it'd be a place I'd go out of my way to visit again unless there was a special occassion like a birthday or other value add.


  1. It does sound like fun for the kids though. We took my son to the Please Touch Museum here in Philly when he was little and he loved it. He could touch everything, dress up for a tea party with the Mad Hatter, sail a ship and 'shop' in a grocery store with carts and a register and everything. It was pricey to get in but they have a family membership that more than pays for itself after a few visits. The kids love it.