Pretend City Children’s Museum is a nonprofit children’s museum in Irvine, CA. The museum features 17 interactive exhibits designed as a small, interconnected city. Pretend City aims to “build better brains” through purposeful play, hands-on learning experiences, role playing, and educational programming. In addition, the museum offers community resources such as developmental screenings and tools for families, educators and community agencies.
Pretend City Children’s Museum was founded by Alexandra Airth and Sandra Peffer. Its first educational program was a mobile fieldtrip experience in 2007 called “Pretend City on Wheels.” In July 2009, Pretend City launched a 10-year countywide program designed to educate the community, parents and care givers about the importance of regular developmental screenings for children, specifically infants to age five. On August 30, 2009, Pretend City opened. In November 2010, the museum was awarded “The Possible Dream” grant by The Festival of Children Foundation and OC Register, which funded autism programs and enabled Pretend City to hold two events a month for those affected by autism, such as creative relaxation classes, family autism day, and an autism workshop.