Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cupcakes + Christmas trees = Science?

I originally had one thing to talk about regarding the Discovery Science Center (DSC). Just one. Maybe they sensed my hesitation to write about it, but someone upped the ante and gave me even more to discuss. And this is a good thing.

While I am not a parent, most of my friends are. Finding an age appropriate activity that doesn't involve sitting in front of a screen is not always easy, or affordable for that matter. This is where Auntie Anne (The Pretzel Lady, as my niece and nephew dub me) puts on her thinking cap. I logged in a few hours this year volunteering at this museum. I love DSC because it reminds me of my favorite place in the Bay Area, The Exploratorium. Even though I never enjoyed nor excelled at science, DSC reminds me that it can be fun. If you're looking for some street cred, know this - They are Orange County's only Smithsonian Affiliate.

Featured exhibits rotate every couple of months, and they are mindful of celebrating the seasons. This month showcases The Science of Gingerbread. Visitors are encouraged to explore the wonders of recipe science in the mock kitchen. Supervisors from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are scheduled to answer questions and debunk myths about bacteria. There's even a gingerbread competition going on. Entries are currently on display through January 2. DSC's Facebook page includes snapshots of a few of the creations.

General admission tickets are $12.95 for adults and $9.95 for children ages 3 to 17. If that's a little steep for your wallet, I've got some options for you.

Are you attending a holiday potluck? Perhaps you want to bring some sweets into work? Divine Desserts in Laguna Niguel has a promotion lasting through the end of the month. Buy a dozen cupcakes and receive a free child's admission. If you're already going to be spending the money, might as well get something out of it. A s'mores or apple cinnamon cupcake sounds pretty yummy right about now.

Tanaka Farms, known for their tractor-pulled wagon tours of strawberry and watermelon patches, has their Christmas tree shipment in. They have a similar offer: Purchase your tree there and receive a child's admission. Pricing is not cheap, but they do guarantee trees lasting until Christmas, or they will replace it (or give you credit towards a tree next year). The sale runs until December 20.

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