The Science of Hockey and More at the Discovery Cube: Orange County



The LA Kings just missed the Stanley Cup playoffs and the disappointment was beginning to set in… We thought a trip to the Discovery Cube’s new Science of Hockey exhibit might snap us out of our mood. What we didn’t realize is that there are now two Discovery Cube sites – one in Santa Ana and one in the Valley, near the Hansen Dam Recreation Area. And, each has their own Science of Hockey exhibit — the LA site created in association with the LA Kings and the OC museum featuring the Anaheim Ducks. (And, by the way, the Ducks are headed to the playoffs!).

The Science of Hockey exhibits themselves are similar and include interactive stations that allows kids to be the goalie, be the shooter, be the broadcaster, test your reaction time, see what kind of ice is the best for hockey pucks, and test your skating skills.  My kids’ favorite – pretending to drive a Zamboni Machine — is a full-size replica that lets riders move levers, and push buttons so that it’s easy to imagine cleaning the ice during an actual hockey game. The broadcast booth was also a big hit, where the kids had fun making recordings of play-by-play commentary. Just trying to talk as fast as the real broadcasters made us laugh and have to re-record. Did you know how much the player’s uniforms weigh? Test your strength by trying to lift the uniforms.


Both the LA and OC Discovery Cubes share a mission, which is to “inspire, educate and impact” learning in one of their four core areas: STEM proficiency, Early Learning, Healthy Living and Environmental Stewardship.  Discovery Cube Orange County is 45 min to an hour from South Bay taking the 405 South to the 22 East. The museum opens at 9:00 AM and the line starts to form quickly afterwards, so arriving early is a good choice.  The Discovery Cube Los Angeles, located near the Hansen Dam in Pocoima, opened just last November, and has already had 100,000 visitors.

discovery cube OC

The ongoing exhibits at the Cube are a hit, too.  I have two eco shoppers who love participating in the Eco Challenge. The idea behind the Eco Challenge is to become an eco-friendly shopper and discover the importance of identifying and properly disposing of hazardous waste. Where we up to the challenge? We each grabbed a cart, selected an age appropriate shopping list and tried our best to make good food decisions with the scanners (which reminded me of registering for my wedding or baby showers) at the Discovery Market. After we’d checked out and returned our cart, we raced over to test our recycling skills. Embarrassingly, my kindergartener beat me on sorting recyclables and diverting trash from the landfills. I guess I need to brush up on my eco skills before Earth Day!


Dino Quest is located outside and gives kids a chance to run around and get some energy out. My two paleontologists got to dig for prehistoric bones and learn more about dinos in the giant T-Rex. We loved searching for clues on our research mission to track dinos, fossils and geodes with the light up (infared) research transmitter. After completing the treasure hunt, we turned in our transmitter for a special Dino Quest coin.


Next spring break, we will definitely be back at Discovery Cube for The Mega Bubblefest Laser Show. Held every spring break, the bubble show was the highlight of our visit. Bubble scientist Deni Yang’s amazing show showcases bubbles of all sizes – bubbles inside bubbles, spinning bubbles, bubbles that bounce and even kids inside bubbles. The show was entertaining and very artistic for both adults and kids.

Admission Cost: We ended up purchasing a family membership for $100. The family membership is good at both Discovery Cube locations and includes two adults and up to four kids. Regular admission is $16.95 for adults and $12.95 for kids.

Who’s hungry? The Habit (2777 N. Main Street, Santa Ana) was a good lunch option before we headed home. The Habit is less than five minutes from the museum, has outside space to run around and burgers and fries. Everyone was happy. Older kids might like Panini Cafe (2810 N. Main Street) for Mediterranean soups, salads and sandwiches.

Written by Heather Koopman