Pretend City Children’s Museum in Irvine, California change out their exhibits from time to time, but this year, they renovated one of their most popular exhibits – their grocery store! Both children and adults have been anticipating for this kid-friendly TRADER JOE’S to open so they can Work, Work, Work, because at Pretend City, the children run the show! Where else can they fill up their carts with whatever they want, run the register and scanners, bag or stock groceries, clock out whenever they want to, and just let their imagination run wild?
We went a behind-the-scenes to find out what it all entails. TRADER JOE’S was pleased to announce that they incorporated a lot of their own fixtures and branded merchandise as props with handmade signage, artwork, and displays to resemble the TRADER JOE’S we all know and love to shop. Children can be a shopper or a TJ employee. Just pick a department – deli, produce, flowers, produce, or work the demo center – you name it. There is so much they can do and learn in a store like this! They shrank the shopping carts and check stands to make them kid-size. Parents are encouraged to join in on the fun. Watch the tour below!
TRADER JOE’S is only one of several exhibits at Pretend City. The museum is one of our favorite places to arrange play dates when the children were little. We were all very excited for this new exhibit. There is also a Postal Office, a Police Station, a Fire Station, Library, Art Studio, Construction Zone, Amphitheater, Bank, Beach, Marina with water play, Farm, Cafe, Dentist Office, Doctor’s Office, a Home, and Gas Station. Every month, they have several themed events so check out their monthly calendar for the latest updates. They also have Autism Family Nights where they adjust the environment and make it sensory-friendly. They still do it once a month. Pretend City is located at 29 Hubble, Irvine, California. For more information, please visit their website at www.PretendCity.org.
January Highlights: January is Art Resolution Month! Each week their art studio will highlight a new form of art and let kiddos experience new materials and new types of art!
- Cuddle Up Day | January 6
- Bubble Bath Day | January 8
- Letter Writing Week | January 8 – January 14
- Baby Steps through Pretend City | January 9
- National Hat Day | January 15
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day | January 16
- National Popcorn Day | January 19
- National Hugging Day | January 21
- National Opposite Day | January 25
- Lunar New Year Celebration – Year of the Rooster | January 28
- National Puzzle Day | January 29
- Family Autism Event | January 30
February Highlights: February is all about heart health and love with focuses on feelings, emotions, and how our hearts help our bodies!
- Celebrate Groundhog’s Day | February 2
- Boy Scout’s Week | February 6 – February 10
- Celebrate Tu B’Shevat | February 9
- Chinese Lantern Festival | February 11
- Baby Steps Through Pretend City | February 13
- Valentine’s Day | February 14
- Random Acts of Kindness Day | February 17
- President’s Day | February 20
- Tell a Fairy Tale Day | February 26
- Family Autism Event | February 27
- Celebrate Mardi Gras | February 28
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