Santa Ana Things to Do

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Most Recent Things to Do in Santa Ana

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    Bowers Musuem

    by Yaqui Updated Jul 4, 2014

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    Charles and Ada Bowers founded in 1936 The Bowers Museum. It is one of the largest museums in Orange County. It was closed temporarily in 1986-92 for self study. In 2007 it added the 30,000+ square-foot Dorothy and Donald Kennedy. Bowers goal is to educate through its exhibitions, lectures, art classes, travel programs, children's art education programs, and other special community programs. The museum's houses many permanent collection of 130,000 objects from all over the world, such as pre-Columbian America; African and Oceanic art, Papua New Guinea; and California Plein-Air paintings.

    The main reason for coming to Santa Ana was to experience and see the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit at the Bowers Museum. As a kid, we had a subscription of National Geographic magazine. In one of those issues back in 1974 or 75, they had discovered a whole army of warriors, chariots, horses, officials, acrobats, strongmen, and musicians. They have discovered over a 1,000 and estimate in three of the pits will contain over 7,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses and more to be discovered. I must have worn out that issue because I was so fascinated by it and still am.

    Emperor Qin had built this army and a place underground to protect him in the afterlife. Emperor Qin’s was on a quest his whole adult life looking for the fountain of youth. It was interesting to know he actually took mercury because some medicine man that convinced him it was a source to keep someone young. Hmmm, I kind of think they knew it was poisonous because he was a brutal Emperor. Anyway, I was enthralling with it and always wanted to see it. When we found out it is a traveling exhibit and was coming to Santa Ana, my hubby made reservations right away. It was one the museums most successful exhibits to date. Emperor renamed himself Qin Shihuangdi ("First Emperor of Qin"), although ‘united’ he was so brutal, but reunited all of the units of China, built roads, The Great Wall and united the currency. Thousands and thousands died while in his servitude. He was not opposed in put to death his own scholars by the hundreds by having them buried alive up to the necks and then executed by the sword. His palace was built to be so enormous and opulent because he feared assassins of course, so he slept in different areas constantly.

    Qin Shi Huangdi (259 BC - 210 BC), ascended the throne at the age of 13, when construction of his tomb began. On completion of his many conquests, he ordered 720,000 conscript laborers to hurry up on building his royal tomb. It was finished just-in-time in 210 BC for his use. His son, the second Qin Emperor saw to his entombment. All the craftsmen’s were entombed with him to keep its secrets as well as with all of his concubines who did not bare him any children.

    We really enjoyed the museum and my boys were not bored at all. My youngest called them Mummy Warriors because of the recent Mummy movie. He was thrilled with the place. They even had a mascot walking around and he was dressed like a terra cotta warrior. We enjoyed the whole day.

    Parking is available directly north and south of the museum.
    Nearby metered and timed street parking is also available

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    OC Courthouse California Historical Marker #837

    by Yaqui Updated Jul 4, 2014
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    Built in 1900 of Arizona red sandstone, this is the oldest existing county courthouse in Southern California. Significant and far-reaching court decisions were handed down here, including the 'Whipstock' case dealing with slant oil drilling, interpretation of farm labor law, and the Overell trial which resulted in law regulating explosives.

    Orange County Courthouse California Historical Marker #837

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    Old Orange County Courthouse 1901

    by Yaqui Updated Jul 4, 2014

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    Orange County Courthouse is a Californian and National Landmark that dates back to 1901. It is of granite and beautiful sandstone construction with 30,000 sq-ft building. It is not where the main seat of local government, but there are still some offices still being used. Now it serves as residence for the Old Courthouse Museum, Orange County Archives, and the library of the Pacific Coast Archaeological Society.

    Open: Mon. - Fri., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. as well as certain evenings and weekends.

    Self-guided tours are also available. To arrange a tour of the Old Courthouse, please call (714) 973-6610. Tours are free of charge.

    Admission to the Old Courthouse Museum is free. Metered parking is available in the lot on the north side of the Old Courthouse

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    Old Orange County Courthouse & Museum

    by WulfstanTraveller Written Oct 8, 2012
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    Thankfully, Orange County has kept its old courthouse, now a museum and visitor centre. This is in downtown Anaheim. Completed in 1901, it is the only surviving true Richardsonian Romanesque courthouse in California.

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    Do the Art Walk

    by marinarena Updated Oct 16, 2011

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    Santa Ana's version of the popular "art walk" outing, featured in various art colony cities in California, is sleepy and low-brow. This makes for a very intimate and unpretentious art scene. Galleries open their doors and participants are encouraged to buy, explore, and get interactive with exhibits. There is an assortment of activities, many are kid-friendly. Some art may be more suitable for adults but nothing too shocking mostly. Refreshments are served up from booths and catering (food trucks often make their way here). The art walk takes place once a month- every first Saturday (as of 2011).

    See shots from Santa Ana Art Walk OCT 2011 here!

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    See Cult and "Little" Films in South Coast Metro

    by marinarena Written Jan 30, 2011

    Regency South Coast Village 3 (formally Edwards) is small, ordinary looking theater from the exterior glance. I would not even mention it except for the fact that it often shows exclusive movies and is in a very ideal spot in the O.C.

    Located across from South Coast Plaza, Edwards is ideal for any movie buff who likes the small, independent flicks- esp from the foreign and art-house genres. If seeing these kind of films loses you, go here for a showing of the classic film(s) of the week. Cinema old-school style! Those movies considered as class would be a more mainstream but with a certain cult following- for example, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Every Saturday night, there is a screening of Rocky Horror Picture Show.

    One movie that I have seen here this year- Bad Education- I give it 3 stars out of 5!!

    Call for current schedules!

    (714) 557-5701

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    Discover the Scientific Taco Bell?

    by marinarena Written Aug 29, 2009
    Discovery Science Center, Santa Ana, CA, USA
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    Thanks to the obsession of Americanized burritos and tacos, a scientific center especially geared towards kids was built in 1999. The Taco Bell Discovery Science Center (nowadays the Taco bell seems to be dropped in advertisements) is a very family-oriented hotspot of Oraneg County, well visible from the 5 freeway. One would be hard pressed to miss the big crater and white rocket on the road.

    DSC hosts the popular Bubblefest, a celebration of the science of bubble blowing. The bubblemakers are quite fascinating and manage to entertain while informing the science behind. Exhibits are are related to dinosaurs and outer space. Don't miss the 4-D Movie theater (separate admission of $3, $2 for members). Check calendar on the website for updates on events.

    General admission for adults in $12.95, for kids $9.95. Children under the age of 2 are free. Prices are slightly higher for the Bubblefest and for other special events.

    Open from 10 AM- 5 PM, everyday except for Thanksgiving Day and Christmas.

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    Dr. Willella Howe-Waffle House 1899

    by Yaqui Written Nov 23, 2008

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    Built in 1889, this home is on the National Register of Historic Place and California Historic Point of Interest and as well as City of Santa Ana Historic Register. It is a Medial Museum and Carriage Barn.

    Built by Alvin and Willella Howe who were both physicians. It was originally located on Bush and Seventh Streets. It was moved in 1975 to it's present location to save it and was restored by the Santa Ana Historical Society and is used as a house museum.

    It is obvious built during the Victorian Era in the Queen Anne style and features two-and-a-half stories and twelve rooms. It cost $3000 and two years to build it. One of the nicest to survive in Orange county.

    Dr Willella Howe-Waffle was the first female doctor for the county and delivered over 1000 babies during her 38 years of practice. She graduated in 1886 from Hahnemann Medical College in Chicago. Dr. Willella was loved by her community and her friends. She took a lot of risk to get to her patients in her buggy. She had two daugters with Alvin Howe, but later divorced in 1897 due to some hardships that was endure from him being accused of performing a abortion, but he was later acquitted. Yet, he felt dishonored and moved north. She married Edson Waffle, a prominent livery stable owner and rancher. She continued to raise her family and her practice continued to flourish until her death at the age of 74. Many remember how kind and how welcoming her home was to visit.

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    Discover Science Center

    by Yaqui Written Nov 23, 2008

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    Discovery Science Center -Look for the Cube!
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    This wonderful center has more than 100 hands-on exhibits, live science exhibits you can participate in and so much more. There are two floors, plus a courtyard that has the Dino Quest with lots more to see and do. My youngest was absolutely enthralled with the Dino quest and wanted to see everything. He was smiling from ear to ear. A great place!

    We must have explore every inch of the center and we all had a great time. It was fun watching the boys get so involved in all the exhibits. Mom and Dad had a great time too, but was worn out by the time we left:-). A great place to brings kids of all ages!

    General Admission
    Children (ages 3 - 17) $9.95
    Adults $12.95
    Children 2 and under Free*
    Members Free
    * With the purchase of General Admission
    10 a.m. to 5 p.m everyday

    Launch Pad Science Store opens at 11 a.m.

    Discovery Science Center is open daily except for Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

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    Discovery Science Center

    by GracesTrips Written Oct 11, 2008

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    This is considered a museum but it's more than that. It's especially a great place for kids. The interactive exhibits explain the science phenomenon of why certain things do what they do. Considering what it costs to visit many of the venues, amusements and festivals, this is actually pretty reasonable. About what it costs to go to a movie here in SoCal.

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  • Discovery Science Center

    by DSCinOC Written Jun 27, 2008
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    Discovery Science Center is Orange County’s leading destination for hands-on science fun. Guests can explore more than 100 hands-on exhibits in themed areas:Discovery Stadium, Techno Arts, Air & Space, Perception, Dynamic Earth, Quake Zone, KidStation, Digital Lab and Dino Quest. Visit the Science Center in Summer 2008 for Animal Grossology, Bob the Builder™ – Project: Build It, and Fall 2008 for Masters of the Night: The True Story of Bats.

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    Experience Blue Collar Art in Santa Ana...

    by marinarena Updated Feb 16, 2007
    Artist Village, Santa Ana(CA)
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    in the Santora Arts Building ! It is the landmark in the downtown Artist Village. Also, several galleries are found in the heart of the city. Even if you are not much into art, you will be impressed by the colorful creations done here. Besides visual arts, there are poetry readings, theater performances and more for entertainment. Check out free open house gatherings every first Saturday of each month, especially in the evenings- from 7-10PM.

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    Visit Little Historic Bowers!

    by marinarena Updated Nov 1, 2006
    Bowers Museum, Santa Ana (California)
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    This is a tiny museum judging by its size but it is neverthless wonderful and worth a look. Bowers is arguably the premiere museum of Orange county. It is located near the heart of artistic downtown Santa Ana where the Artist Village thrives.

    Inside Bowers, there is a special focus on Californian, Native American, ancient Asian and African art and artifacts. However, it's exterior is all Spanish style. One will feel as if being in Madrid or Sevilla once entering the Bowers gate.

    See website for more info!

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    Bowers Museum

    by Luisanna Updated Feb 8, 2005

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    the museum has been around since the early nineteen hundreds, it houses permanent exhibts of of native californian art and artifacts, other collections Pre-Columbian art from Mexico, Central and South America. California Legacies is a series of galleries which illustrate the rich, colorful and diverse history of the people who settled the West and Orange County.

    One other thing that I love about the museum is that you can take photos on the grounds, whether you have a Quincianera a wedding or any type of occasion which requires a beautiful background. This is definetly the place.

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    See Orange County's Historical Old Courthouse !

    by marinarena Written Jan 21, 2005
    Old Courthouse Museum, Santa Ana (CA)

    Here is a great way to discover the history of the county as a whole and where to begin a day trip in Santa Ana. The Old Courthouse of Orange County is now a museum, which has free admission! Tell me, what beats free?

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Santa Ana Things to Do

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