Bugs to Bones: Spooky Science in Santa Ana

Halloween + learning make for an annual must-do at Discovery Cube OC.

Discovery Cube

GOOD 'N MESSY: Any scientist, regardless of whether they work with beakers or magnifying glasses or computers or brushes meant for scraping dirt from ol' dinosaur bones, can assert one thing: Learning is not about neat and straight lines. Science gets a little icky, a little weird, and totally wonderful, and that is a-okay, for that is often how the process of furthering knowledge can occur. Discovery Cube Orange County is very much about learning, in all of its icky, awesome forms, and its annual Spooky Science exhibit is clear evidence of this approach. The "spooky" part means that kids and their parents will encounter everything from bugs to bones -- eek and eek, though both are pretty dang cool -- but there are other wonders to see. For example, holograms are part of the show, and while they aren't goopy or especially messy, they do tend to show up in films of a frightful or sci-fi nature. If your young'un has only seen the bewitching play of light on the big screen, perhaps it is time to delve into what makes a hologram work (which, granted, may make it a bit less scary, if you and your kid are cool with that plot twist). And while the exhibit is open every weekday, right through to Sunday, Nov. 1, the weekends are really when the Spooky Science ramps up, complete with...

THOR'S BUG SAFARI... and a visit by the Rat and Mouse Club of America. No, our whiskery friends aren't all that scary, either -- many animal mavens keep pet ratties and mice at home -- but they have provided a few fearsome moments in pop culture. Again, it may be time to defang that myth as well and get to know the critters that are too often described as "creepy." Dr. Sue's Traveling Insects and Anthropod Zoo will also make a weekend appearance, so you'll get your fun fill of getting to know the close-to-the-ground scurry set, those wee beasties that can make us jump. Science, after all, has some adventure to it, and it isn't all 2+2=4 (though that's pretty dang important, too; let us not discount that). Ready to feel prickles on your arms and the love of discovery in your brain? The OC institution has the brainy eeks.

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