Mission & History
MISSION & HISTORY >> PRETEND CITY BUILDS BETTER BRAINS
At Pretend City, We Believe:
- young children learn best through play
- families are our children’s first and most important teachers
- diversity enriches children’s lives
- play changes the world
We Strive To:
- support healthy childhood development
- nurture a passion for learning through play
- connect families to each other and the community
- provide enlightening and inspiring resources for families, caregivers, and educators of young children
To ensure that each child is ready for school success by providing real-world learning experiences that children need to develop essential foundational learning skills.
In 1999, Orange County locals Sandy Stone and Alex Airth began transforming their vision for a local, innovative, world-class children’s museum. The women consulted with educational insiders and area families, garnering insight and articulating community needs. The concept of Pretend City soon took form. A strong and forward-thinking Board of Directors soon came together and undertook years of strategic planning and fundraising until, in August 2009, the entire community celebrated the grand opening of Pretend City.
Now, in our 14th anniversary year, we look back on our history with great pride, and we look forward to the future with unbridled enthusiasm. We’ve welcomed well over a million guests into our educational wonderland. In this short time, Pretend City has grown to be a valuable community resource showcasing the annual Health and Wellness Fair, Parent Symposium and serving as a venue for a wide variety of community partners to deliver their programs and workshops.
Offering free developmental screenings, classes, cultural activities and special events along with providing the community with a fun birthday party and event venue, Pretend City sprung from the imagination to become a well-respected early childhood educational institution attracting parents, grandparents, school groups and educators from Orange County and well beyond.
Healthy Kids, Healthy Museum
To protect the health of Pretend City Children’s Museum community, we ask families to please only come play with us on days that everyone is feeling well.