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December at Pretend City – Home for the Holly Days
‘Tis the season of giving! Join Pretend City as they give back and brighten up the holiday season for the children at CHOC, by collecting new, unwrapped toys. Durable, cleanable toys are best for a hospital setting—check CHOC’s wish list here.
Plus, bring a child’s toy valued at $5 or greater to receive 25% off general admission on the day of your Pretend City visit. One discount per ticket per toy; cannot be combined with any other promotions.
Below are a handful of special days offered at Pretend City during December. All activities are subject to change and limited to availability. Visit the Pretend City events calendar for even more events offered throughout the month.
Sunday, December 1: Imagination Playground Returns
With Imagination Playground blocks, kids can build a new world every day. Objects like animals, rocket ships and robots become a reality. Because Imagination Playground is child-directed and open-ended, it encourages self-expression through deep, joyful play.
December 12 – 23: Christmas Countdown
Join Pretend City for their exciting 12 Days of Christmas Countdown! Each day leading up to Christmas, they will “unwrap” a new holiday activity at the museum. Get in the holiday spirit as they gear up for Christmas and count down the days.
Friday, December 13: Way To Play Day, A Package of Learning
Our Way to Play Day this month is focusing on play and social interaction. Join in for this fun-filled day as the Way-to-Play Guides show you how you can make your playtime in the museum more educational. Plus, free dental, vision, speech & language screenings, and developmental assessments of your child’s speech, motor, cognitive, and social skills will be offered on-site by Help Me Grow Orange County, Irvine/Laguna Beach School Readiness Nurses, and Healthy Smiles OC.
Monday, December 16: Celebrate Las Posadas
Feliz Navidad! It’s time to celebrate Las Posadas. This colorful Mexican holiday celebrates the nine days leading up to Christmas. Join in for some festive activities, art, and events!
Monday, December 16: Sensitive Santa Visit & Photo Opportunity 5–7:30 p.m.
Santa is coming to Pretend City Children’s Museum for Autism Night! Specifically for children on the Autism Spectrum only, the “Sensitive Santa” visit and photo opportunity provides a sensory-sensitive experience with low Christmas carols, dim lights, and trained Santa to ease some of the anxieties that may come with visiting Santa. This is a wonderful opportunity for grown-ups to capture photos of their child with Santa that might not be possible at a busy mall or crowded event. Don’t forget to bring a camera! Sensitive Santa will be there from 5:30-7 p.m. in a private room and see one family at a time.
For other visits with Santa and photo days, visit the Pretend City calendar.
Saturday, December 21: Celebrate the Winter Solstice
It’s officially winter! Learn all about winter solstice and the changing of seasons. Enjoy winter-themed art and activities for little ones and join in on the winter wonderland fun.
December 22-29: Hooray for Hanukah
Spin the dreidel and light the Menorah! Let your little ones learn about this holiday through fun activities, traditions, games, and art. Have fun singing songs and getting into the holiday spirit.
December 26 –30: Festival of Kwanzaa Celebration
Celebrate Kwanzaa at Pretend City! Each day, light a candle on the Kinara and celebrate a new principle through a variety of activities.
December 31: Annual Noon-Year’s Confetti Countdown
5..4..3..2..1…HAPPY NOON YEAR! Join Pretend City for their annual New Year’s celebration in the middle of the day! Celebrate the new year at different times throughout the day as the sun travels across the different time zones. There will be a confetti countdown to celebrate the new year in Bangladesh, Dubai, Athens, and London, as it turns to midnight in these different cities. There will also be New Year’s activities and art for little ones to enjoy.