10 Things To Do In The Inland Empire With Kids
The Inland Empire is a broad term that includes many cities within Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. For families, that means there’s plenty of child-friendly activities available. You’ll have a hard time choosing what to do first.
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Planes of Fame Air Museum
7000 Merrill Ave. #17, Chino, CA 91710
For families who are aviation-enthusiasts, the Planes of Fame Air Museum is a definite must-see! The Museum, located at the north-side of the Chino Airport, strives to preserve aviation history, teach, and honor aviation pioneers with its exhibits. The Planes of Fame Air Museum is considered a “living history museum” because all the aircraft continue to fly. You can choose to explore by taking a self-guided tour, or request a guided tour online. (Admission is $11, children under 12 are $4, and children under 5 are free. AAA discount is offered to current members).
The Sawdust Factory
1525 Howard Access Rd Unit F, Upland, CA 91786
The Sawdust Factory is a special place where kids (and adults) can create their own woodcrafts. Kids select their project, add their own artistic touches, and create a unique piece of artwork. There are a variety of projects to choose from including a bird house, a bug box, race cars, picture frames, and much more. (You pay for the project and a $4 workshop fee). The Sawdust Factory also hosts birthday parties.
7698 Eucalyptus Ave., Ontario, CA 91762
Amy’s Farm is a working farm which strives to provide visitors with the opportunity to experience an operating “urban farm.” Amy’s Farm focuses on sustainable, organic farming methods and tries to show visitors how they can incorporate those same methods at home with their own gardens. Guided tours require a reservation (which can be made online). Families are also invited to stop by and visit and shop without reservations (afternoons and Saturdays are recommended for such visits).
California Citrus State Historic Park
1879 Jackson St., Riverside, CA 92504
There was a time when “Citrus was King” in California. This 377-acre park attempts to recapture that time period. Here you’ll discover the ways the citrus industry influenced our state’s development. Once you arrive you’ll find a replica of a roadside fruit-stand, and that’s just the beginning. The Park is a “living historical museum,” with citrus groves still producing oranges, grapefruit, and lemons. There’s also a Visitor’s Center (open Fridays through Sundays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm). There are plenty of picnic spots available too.
Pennypickle’s Workshop — Temecula Children’s Museum
42081 Main Street, Temecula, CA 92590
At Pennypickle’s Workshop, it’s all about play — and learning about science while you play. This special hands-on children’s museum is designed to look like Professor Pennypickle’s Workshop. Different rooms include the Library (where kids can learn about time and travel), the Dining Room (learn about electricity), the Music Room (learn about sound), the Kitchen (learn about chemistry), and the Bedroom (learn about perception and illusion). (There’s also the Bathroom, Pantry, Play Room, and Basement). Different special family-friendly events are periodically planned at the Workshop. Check the website for an upcoming schedule. The Workshop can also be busy with field trips — check the website for visiting for the latest information regarding open visiting sessions.
Orange Empire Railway Museum
2201 S. A St., Perris, CA 92570
For train enthusiasts, the Southern California Railway Museum is the place. This 90-acre site houses over 200 historic railway cars and locomotives. You’ll find artifacts dating back to the 1870s. Additionally, families can take rides on certain trolleys and trains each weekend and on major holidays. Special events are planned throughout the year; check the website for an updated list before visiting.
Hidden Valley Nature Center
11401 Arlington Ave., Riverside, CA 92505
The Hidden Valley Nature Center is located on 1500 acres and includes 25 miles of hiking and equestrian trails. The Nature Center is open on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and includes a variety of interactive activities for children, including the chance to observe live animals. Families will also enjoy the pond and picnic area. A variety of educational activities are held throughout the year (including a summer camp, Friday Family nights, and the Junior Naturalist Program on Saturday mornings); check the website for details.
Chino Youth Museum
13191 Sixth St., Chino, CA 91710
The Chino Youth Museum welcomes families to come and explore. There’s plenty of space for kids to move around in, and plenty of opportunities for them to use their imagination. They can pretend to cook, hop on a police motorcycle, work at a bank, and more. The Museum is planning special summer-only programs with more information available online. The Museum also hosts birthday parties. (Admission is $4 for each guest).
Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center (JMDC)
7621 Granite Hill Dr., Riverside, CA 92509
Open six days a week (closed on Mondays), the Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center offers free admission to its 9-acres of botanical gardens — which include over ten dinosaur sculptures. Inside at the Museum, you’ll find one of the largest collections of Chinese Dinosaur Eggs on public display in North America as well as other fossils, rocks, and more. Additionally, the JMDC hosts field trips and special events throughout the year.
Fingerprints Youth Museum
123 S. Carmalita Ave., Hemet, CA 92543
The motto at the Fingerprints Youth Museum is “Teach It. Touch It. Test It.” And that’s exactly what kids can do here. Curious children will find no shortage of things to do. Some of the exhibits include a mock television station, a craft room, a water exhibit, and rock wall. (Admission is $5 for adults and children; children under two are free). Check the website for information on special events.
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