19 Space Field Trips for Kids in Southern California!

Science Field Trips for Kids in Southern California

photo credit: Luc Viatour

Calling all Space Cadets!  10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1……BLAST OFF!

Southern California is home to numerous Space Field Trips for Kids, where children can learn and explore our outer universe!  Whether playing at Moon Park in Costa Mesa to watching the night sky at the Palomar Observatory, children have the opportunity to go more in depth with this topic.

So pick a place and take your child on one of these 19 Space Field Trips for Kids today!

California Science Center, Los Angeles -  The Space Shuttle Endeavour can be viewed in the Samuel Oschin Pavilion.  Guests who come to see Endeavour begin their experience in Endeavour: The California Story, a companion exhibit featuring images and artifacts that relate the shuttle program to California, where the orbiters were built.

Space Field Trips for Kids in Southern California

Following their visit to The California Story, guests are directed to the Samuel Oschin Pavilion to see the Endeavour.

Space Field Trips for Kids in Southern California

You can also see the movie IMAX Hubble 3D which takes movie watchers on a journey through distant galaxies and accompany space-walking astronauts as they attempt the most difficult and important tasks in NASA’s history.

Columbia Space Memorial Center, Downey - The Columbia Memorial Space Center is the only space science learning center in the Los Angeles area dedicated to hands-on robotics and boasts LA’s only Challenger Learning Center.  During your visit, you will learn about Downey’s place in the exploration of space flight, from the Apollo capsules to the Space Shuttle Orbiters.

Science Field Trips for Kids in Southern California

For 5th grade and up, the center offers a field trip to their Challenger Learning Center.  Here students are transformed into scientists, engineers, and researchers on a simulated space mission, complete with mission control and spacecraft.  Advance reservations are required for groups of 16-36 participants per mission.

Science Field Trips for Kids in Southern California

The center also hosts a cool club called Columbia Astronomers for kids that meets the third Saturday of every month at 7 pm.  Kids and parents are invited to expand their knowledge of the universe, share their love for the night sky, and talk all things astronomy.  Following every monthly club meeting, telescope viewing is set up in front of the Columbia Memorial Space Center.

Discovery Science Cube OC, Santa Ana - We have been the Cube on numerous occasions.  One of my daughter’s favorite exhibits is the Planetary Research Center.  Here students can view the earth on a suspended, animated globe from a completely unique vantage point.  Explore weather patterns, observe historic storms and relive catastrophic earthquakes.

Space Field Trips for Kids in Southern California

Discovery Science Cube LA, Sylmar - Similar to the Cube in Orange County, the Cube in Los Angeles has a Planetary Research Station too.

Space Field Trips for Kids in Southern California

Donald E. Bianchi Planetarium @ CSUN, Northridge - The Donald E. Bianchi Planetarium provides bi-weekly star shows and other programs for the many communities of the San Fernando Valley and surrounding areas.  At the heart of the 100-seat star theater lies the Spitz-512 Star Projector, capable of recreating the night sky on our 40-foot dome with accuracy and brilliance.

El Camino College Planetarium, Torrance – This fun planetarium has GOTO Chronos planetarium projector with star plate technology that projects 8,500 stars (down to magnitude 6.5), planets, and the Milky Way.  Thirteen of the brightest stars in the sky are projected in their natural colors.  In addition to stars, the Chronos projector can accurately display 26 of the most popular celestial objects like the Adromeda Galaxy and the Orion Nebula with dedicated projectors for the Magellanic clouds.  They host regular public viewings and school groups.

George F. Beattie Planetarium, San Bernardino – The 57-seat Planetarium features a star projector that can provide views from the North Pole to the South Pole, showing all the stars that can be seen with the un-aided eye on the darkest and clearest nights.  All public shows are at 7 p.m. on Friday nights.  One of the most popular shows is “The Christmas Star,’’ which is presented three times in December.

Griffith Observatory, Hollywood – At Southern California’s most popular observatory, visitors can look through telescopes, explore exhibits, see live shows in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, and enjoy spectacular views of Los Angeles and the Hollywood Sign.  Admission is FREE.

Science Field Trips for Kids in Southern California

photo credit: Matthew Field

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena - JPL’s educational tours are designed for schools and educational groups of 20 people or more.  The tour is specifically geared for children in 3rd grade and up for comprehension of information.  However, we had younger children in our group when we went and it was fine.  First, we saw a short multimedia presentation about JPL entitled “Journey to the Planets and Beyond,” which provides an overview of the Laboratory’s activities and accomplishments.  Next we visited the von Karman Visitor Center, the Space Flight Operations Facility, and the Spacecraft Assembly Facility.

Space Field Trips for Kids in Southern California

Moon Park, Costa Mesa - Moon Park commemorates the July 20, 1969 Moon landing.  The 30-foot cratered gray concrete dome, which simulates the lunar surface, is a prominent feature of the park.  The park is located at 3337 California Street, Costa Mesa.

Robert T. Dixon Planetarium @ Riverside Community College, Riverside – This planetarium hosts monthly public showings that start at 7 pm.  To schedule a field trip your home or school group, please call their Community Education Department at 951-222-8090.

Tessman Planetarium @ the Santa Ana Junior College, Santa Ana - Families can see one of the planetarium’s 75 minutes interactive astronomy shows and discover the wonders of the universe.  All of their shows contain information about the latest discoveries in astronomy and science.  Field trips are aligned with the K-12 State of California Science Content Standards.  Every December they present a special Holiday show called “The Star of Bethlehem” that takes a trip through time to see how the sky looked 2000 years ago.

Space Field Trips for Kids in Southern California

Palomar College Planetarium, San Marcos -  This specific planetarium is the 5th largest planetarium in California.  The theater has 138 seats that sit under a 50-foot Astrotec dome.  The planetarium hosts field trips for area schools each Tuesday & Thursday morning all year long.  At the planetarium students are given a brief tour of current constellations and the night sky. The students are then taken on an informative virtual journey through the Solar System

Palomar Observatory, Palmor Mountain – Palomar Observatory is owned and operated by the California Institute of Technology.  The Observatory is a popular destination in Southern California and receives tens of thousands of visitors a year from all over the world.  Most come to see the famous 200-inch (5.1-meter) Hale Telescope — for decades the largest effective telescope in operation.  They also offer guided tours of the facility.

Space Field Trips for Kids in Southern California

photo credit: Coneslayer

Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, San Diego - Join the Science Center on the first Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. or 8:15 p.m. for a special program called The Sky Mountain, a tour of the solar system narrated by the Fleet’s astronomer.  For optimal viewing, each show is limited to 250 attendees. Avoid sold-out shows by purchasing tickets in advance.  For ages 5+.  FREE telescope viewing with the San Diego Astronomy Association  available outside after the shows, weather permitting.

The ​John Drescher Planetarium @ Santa Monica College, Santa Monica – At its heart of this planetariums is the Evans & Sutherland Digistar II planetarium projector, which was the first of its kind on the West Coast.  Using digital technology, audiences can fly beyond the solar system and soar among the stars.  They are open to the public every Friday night, offering public planetarium shows designed for the whole family, and provide weekday special shows for schools and other groups.

UCLA Planetarium and Telescope Shows, Los Angeles – Public planetarium shows (FREE and suitable for all ages) are given by current astronomy and astrophysics graduate students.  Content varies with presenters, but commonly includes discussion about the current night sky, constellations, astronomical phenomena, and more.  Every Wednesday night at 7 pm they host a show for the public!  See website for show listings.

Space Field Trips for Kids in Southern California

Victor Valley College Planetarium, Victor Valley – The planetarium has a regular schedule of shows open to the public for a small fee in the evenings.  All seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.  Seating is limited to 50 persons per show.  Reservations are not normally accepted, but groups of six or more may call in advance with their name, date of attendance, and size of party.

Do you know of any places that host Space Field Trips for Kids in Southern California?  Please let us know and we will be happy to add it to the list.  Thank you!

Happy Field Tripping,


Disclosure: This post is for informational purposes only.  All points of view are my own.  Sources of information came from each individual company’s website.

$10 Tickets to The Celtic Faire at The Fairplex in Pomona on March 7-8!

Celtic Faire at Fairplex

Join the fun at the inaugural Celtic Faire at Fairplex and celebrate the cultures of all Celtic Nations with food, fun, entertainment, shopping and games!

The Cultural Village will feature sheepherding demonstrations and a master storyteller of Celtic myths and legends.  Nearby is shopping, genealogy and history, exciting jousting demonstrations and a beer & food garden

For entertainment the Dublin Stage will feature live performances including The Young Dubliners.

Enjoy traditional Irish food such as corned beef & cabbage, steak and Guinness pie, fish & chips, Irish cream ice cream parfaits, and smashed baked potato with toppings.

Hours: Saturday 12 pm – 11 pm & Sunday 12 pm – 6 pm


  • $10 ages 13+
  • $5 ages 6-12
  • FREE for ages 5 and younger

For discounted tickets through Goldstar visit their website.

Parking: $10 at Gate 17 on Fairplex Dr.

Address: The Fairplex, 1101 W McKinley Ave, Pomona, CA 91768

Happy Field Tripping,


Disclosure: This post is for informational purposes only.  All opinions are my own.

Star Wars Celebration coming to Anaheim on April 16-19!

Star Wars Celebration

The Star Wars Celebration is the ultimate fan experience focused on a galaxy far, far away!

On April 16-19, 2015, Star Wars fans from around the globe will unite together at the Anaheim Convention Center for The 2015 Star Wars Celebration!

Star Wars Celebration

There has never been a more exciting time to be a Star Wars fan and celebrate the pop culture phenomenon that is Star Wars — all on the cusp of new Star Wars movies and television shows!

Star Wars Celebration

There is something for all ages at the Star Wars Celebration.

Costumes – Want to show off an amazing Star Wars costume or watch incredible costumers strut their stuff?  Star Wars Celebration is excited to announce its Cosplay Contest, featuring the best cosplay in the galaxy — sure to rival even the most exquisite finery in Coruscant!

Star Wars Celebration

Star Wars Celebration

Exhibit Hall Hours

  • Thursday, April 16, 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Friday, April 17, 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Saturday, April 18, 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Sunday, April 19, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

A Vibrant, Interactive Show Floor

Movie Screenings – See all six released movies of the Star Wars saga, including three of them in 3D.  Plus Star Wars: A New Hope was the first mainstream movie to be dubbed into the Navajo language, and fans at Celebration can see a behind-the-scenes documentary on how that came to be, created especially for the event.

Star Wars Celebration

Exclusive Merchandise

Celebrity Guests & Autograph Sessions –  The Celebration Autograph Hall will host cast and crew members who represent the best of the Star Wars saga.  Carrie Fisher, Princess Leia in the Star Wars Saga, and Mark Hammil, Luke Skywalker, will be there to sign autographs!

Panel Discussions

Star Wars Celebration

Fan-Inspired Activities

Star Wars Celebration


  • Tickets start for Adults at $60.00 per day or $140.00 for a 4-day pass.
  • Children tickets start at $35.00 per day or $60 for a 4-day pass.  
  • Children under the age of six are free with a ticketed adult!

For further information, please visit http://www.starwarscelebration.com/Tickets/Buy-Tickets/

LOCATION: This Anaheim Convention Center is located at 800 W Katella Ave. in Anaheim, California.

PARKING: $15.00 per day

May the force be with you!


Disclosure: This post is for informational purposes only.  All points of view are my own.  Photos copyrighted by Star Wars Celebration and used by permission.

FREE Pancakes at IHOP on March 3!

Free Packages at IHOP

photo credit: Jeffrey W.

On Tuesday, March 3 is National Pancake Day!  And in honor of the occasion you can order FREE Pancakes at IHOP restaurants across the country all day long.

National Pancake Day first got its start back in 2006.  Since then, IHOP restaurants have raised close to $16 million to support charities in the communities in which they operate.

On Tuesday, guests will celebrate a “Decade of Giving” with the tenth annual National Pancake Day at IHOP restaurants.  In exchange for enjoying a FREE short stack of Buttermilk pancakes, guests will be asked to consider leaving a donation for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals or other designated local charities.

This year IHOP hopes to raise $3.5 million for charity.  Now that’s a whole lot of flipping packages!

To find a local IHOP restaurant in your area visit http://www.ihop.com/ihop-locations

Tips for visiting IHOP on National Pancake Day:

1. Go early in the morning when they first open up for business!  We have been to IHOP numerous times for their free pancakes on Halloween and National Pancake Day.  And it can get very crowded!   So the earlier you go, the better!

2. Go in a small group.  The larger the group, the harder it is to find seating.

3. Be patient with the serving staff.  National Pancake Day is one of IHOP’s busiest days of the year.

4. Donate if you are able!  All funds are going towards a good cause.

Happy Field Tripping,


Disclosure: This post is for informational purposes only.  All points of view are my own.

10 Savvy Entertainment Deals (Knott’s, Medieval Times, Zoo Magazines)


This post contains affiliate links.

Welcome back to SoCal Field Trips’ new blog series titled 10 Savvy Entertainment Deals!

Up this week are entertainment deals for all sorts of fun activities from Knott’s Berry Farm to Circus Vargus to AMF Bowling!  So let’s get to it.

1. $5 Tickets to Circus Vargus: ArleQuin @ Ontario Mills Mall, Ontario ~ Circus Vargas, America’s favorite traveling Big Top Circus, continues to thrill and enchant with their new and amazing 2015 edition ArleQuin.  Steeped in tradition and devoted to all things magnificent and happy, Circus Vargas presents an array of unparalleled artists and performers dedicated to captivating and astounding with aerial feats, acrobatics, clowning and more.  Plus arrive 30 minutes before the show and kids can go into the ring and pretend they’re the stars of their very own circus.

2.  $31.72 Tickets to Medieval Times Dinner and Theatrical Show, Buena Park - Medieval Times is an exciting, family-friendly dinner attraction inspired by the 11th century world of knights, jousting and majestic revelry. Guests are served a four-course banquet during which they can cheer for one of six knights as they compete in the joust and other tests of skill. Medieval Times dinner and show features live jousting, swordfights, horsemanship, falconry and a “no utensils” meal so you can feast like a king.

3. $10 Tickets to Alice in Wonderland @ The Chance Theater, Anaheim ~ Follow sweet Alice in Alice in Wonderland as she stumbles upon madcap tea parties, a wily Cheshire Cat and has a bizarre encounter with the tyrannical Queen of Hearts.

4. $10 Tickets to Hairspray: The Hit ’60s Musical, San Diego ~  Set in ’60s Baltimore, the hit musical features a cast of performers between the ages of 14 and 26 and tells the story of lovable plus-sized teen Tracy Turnblad — a social misfit who becomes a local celebrity by dancing on TV’s Corny Collins Show. Tracy’s love of dancing leads her to become an unlikely heroine, triumphing over both snotty teen queens and racial segregation. And she does it all without mussing a hair of her stylish ‘do.

5. Get $33-$38 tickets to Knott’s Berry Farm, Buena Park ~ That’s the lowest price I have seen in a long time to this wonderful theme park!  One of our all time favorite amusement parks in Orange County too.

6. $13 Tickets to see Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition or “Bodies: The Exhibition, Buena Park ~ A popular field trip among homeschoolers, this is a unique museum to visit.  The heartrending and cautionary tale comes to life in Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, where visitors embark on self-guided tours through galleries that re-create the vessel’s extravagant rooms, and display 200 authentic artifacts recovered from the doomed ocean liner, including jewelry and china etched with the White Star Line logo.  Bodies: The Exhibition leads guests on an intimate, education-packed voyage through the human body and its collection of intricately assembled systems.

7. $9 Children’s Tickets to go on a Whale Watching and Dolphin Cruise from Davey’s Locker Whale Watchings, Newport Beach ~ On the cruise guests can try to spot up to 10,000 migrating gray, finback, and blue whales, as well as dolphins and other aquatic wildlife.

8. $17 for Two People for Two Hours of Bowling and Shoe Rental at AMF Bowling Company, Various Locations ~ At more than 200 AMF Bowling locations across the United States.

9. $10 for One Subscription to Zoobooks, Zootles, or Zoobies Magazine ~ The pages of Zoobooks and its sister magazines excite the minds of pint-size animal lovers with facts and photographs of winged, scaly-skinned, and furry-faced creatures. As a guide for children aged 6–12 to the world’s most fascinating animals, birds, reptiles, and insects, each issue of Zoobooks unfurls to 20 full-color pages of lifelike animal drawings, photographs of animals in their natural habitats, puzzles, and anatomy diagrams.

10. $12 for 2 Tickets to Lyon Air Museum, Santa Ana ~ The colorful B-17 Flying Fortress known as Fuddy Duddy once shepherded General Dwight D. Eisenhower across the Pacific near the end of World War II. Today, the massive plane is on display at the Lyon Air Museum on the west side of Orange County’s John Wayne Airport. The museum has a curated selection of authentic aircraft and rare vehicles, most of which trace their lineage back to World War II. A 1939 Mercedes-Benz G4 Offener Touring Wagon was actually owned and used by Adolph Hitler until its seizure by the French army at Bertschesgaden. Museum tours are led by volunteer docents throughout the day and last about an hour; along with the planes and cars, you’ll encounter Jeeps, motorcycles, and a 1941 Dodge pickup truck.

Happy Field Tripping,


Disclosure: This post is for informational purposes only.  All opinions are my own.