Published on December 22, 2022, Updated on January 27, 2023

Pretend City Children’s Museum in Irvine, California is designed to teach children how the real world functions while stimulating their curiosity and imagination. The museum is a child-sized, interconnected city where children can assume various roles from real life and let their imaginations run wild.

The museum contains 17 interactive exhibits designed to resemble a small, interconnected city. Through purposeful play, hands-on learning experiences, role-playing, and educational programming Pretend City aims to “build better brains.” In addition, the museum provides community resources, including developmental screenings and tools for families, educators, and community organizations. Pretend City provides educational field trips and classes, in addition to its exhibits.

Alexandra Airth and Sandra Peffer established Pretend City Children’s Museum. Its first educational program, “Pretend City on Wheels,” was a mobile field trip experience in 2007. In July 2009, Pretend City launched a 10-year countywide program aimed at educating the community, parents, and caregivers about the significance of developmental screenings for infants to five-year-olds. [2] On August 30, 2009, Pretend City was first introduced. In November 2010, the museum received “The Possible Dream” grant from The Festival of Children Foundation and OC Register, which funded autism programs and allowed Pretend City to host two events per month for those with autism, such as creative relaxation classes, family autism day, and an autism workshop.

Pretend City is a non-profit children’s museum. It relies on community-based funding and visitor contributions.

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  • Field Trips
  • Community Impact
  • Educational Philosophy
  • Special Needs
  • Developing & Discovering Diversity Program 

Parties & Rentals

  • Birthday Parties 
  • Facilities Rental

Child Development

  • Baby Steps
  • Good to Go
  • Way to Play Days
  • Play@Home
  • Family Autism Events
  • Development Milestones
  • ASQ Development Checkups


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Pretend City Children’s Museum

29 Hubble, Irvine, CA 92618, United States
Phone: (949) 428-3900
Take 1-5 S
3 min (1.3 mi)
Take exit 90 from I-5 S
3 min (2.7 mi)

Drive to your destination – Laguna Dental Center 2 min (0.3 mi)