Pretend City-Irvine

Pretend City-Irvine

What: Pretend City

Where: Irvine

For: Kids

If you’ve ever wanted to go to a Costco-warehouse sized mini-city for your kids, make sure to stop at Pretend City in Irvine.   It not only offers an air-conditioned play place for kids ages infant to 10, but it allows for parents to relax in an area without having to worry about if their children will run off.

The City

A variety of exhibits change offer a ton of play activities for the kids.  Seventeen exhibits are offered year-round.  There is an amphitheater where the kids can act as a DJ or dress up in costume and dance on the stage.  An art studio allows for craft making.  The bank teaches kids about tellers and how to make deposits.  The beach contains water play and sand toys.  The construction area allows children to build with various materials.  The café gives kids the opportunity to play chef.  The emergency services area gives children police and fire truck vehicles to drive along with hats and gear so they feel like real police officers/fire fighters.  The farm helps them ‘grow’ fruits and vegetables.  The gas station allows them to fill up their foot-powered cars while they’re on the go.  The marina offers water play and raincoats for curious kiddos.  There is a dentist and doctors office for kids to get their check-ups.  A house lets them play inside a child-sized home after visiting the Trader Joe’s.

Trader Joe’s

They can go to the post office to get their ‘mail’.  There is a library with books where parents can read stories to the little ones.  A real café with vending machines filled with food include tables for parents and kids to take a rest and snack.  For the toddlers, the orange plaza is offered as a safe place for them to crawl around and play with soft toys.  Please check the website for hours of operation.

City Center

The Imagination Playground is filled with building blocks where children can build as high as they want.  The blocks are soft, so it doesn’t matter if they topple over.  It allows for kids to utilize their critical thinking skills and encourages sharing and collaborating among children.

Skylar playing in the foot-powered car at the emergency services area.

The Crowd

There are a ton of families that come to Pretend City, especially on weekends and holidays.  Keep this in mind when traveling to the venue.  Although there is a free parking lot around and behind the building, Pretend City tends to get very busy during peak hours (around lunch time) that could cause you to have to find street parking.

Sushi restaurant


General admission for children over 12 months and adults is $12.50 each.  There are military and family discounts available ($9.50 each) with infants and members gaining free access.  After 4:00pm, general admission prices are half off.  We literally spent an entire 10 hour day here (with a stamp you can have in-and-out privileges).  This is definitely worth the price.  There is even a mini-mall store where you can take a piece of Pretend City home with you.  And for the adults, it’s right next to the Irvine Spectrum if you want to head over for lunch or dinner after your day of fun.

Skylar as the DJ in the Amphitheater.

Pretend City Information

29 Hubble, Irvine, CA 92618

(949) 428-3900

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to Pretend City, please comment on this post!  Also, if you have suggestions of other places to go in the Greater Los Angeles Area, please let me know by e-mailing

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