Houman Fakhimi

Museums in and Around Santa Ana, California

Bowers Museum A long-time favorite in Santa Ana, the Lyon Air Museum is perfect for those who want to know how planesfly or helicopters defy gravity. Kid friendly, this spacious Southern California museum is exciting for kids of all ages. Many of the exhibits allow for an up close and personal experience, something that is not always found in museums. You’ll enjoy the “motorscooters” used during World War I, the fighter jets that were used more recently and no shortage of excitedresponses coming from your children. Many visitors comment on how meticulous the museum is kept. That comes from a staff dedicated to providing an incredible experience to all who are interested without getting distracted with an absence of tidiness or a lack of attention to detail.

The Heritage Museum of Orange County offers a look into the past with an authentic approach as much as possible. The spiral staircases, the rich history, the endless antiques, and other museum quality pieces decorate the hallways and bedrooms. This is worth an afternoon as you explore what life was like during the late 1800s.

The Hilbert Museum of California Art is still new, having opened only one year ago. It was founded by Mark and Janet Hilbert, and it is as much of a draw today as it was when the doors opened for the first time. When asked about the legacy he wanted to leave behind, Mark Hilbert explained, “This will be the first museum anywhere that is totally dedicated to the display of California Scene Paintings and California representational art.”

A favorite at the Hilbert Museum is the collection of paintings on display that depict California life. A museum spokesperson explains, “California Scene Paintings capture the regional spirit of the Golden State by illustrating epic landscapes and expressive genre scenes that depicts narratives of people’s everyday lives. The genre, which arose in the early 1900s, went through a golden age in the 1930s, when it documented the catalysts of cultural change of the time: the aftermath of the Great Depression, the industrial development of the state in the years leading up to World War II, and the growth of Hollywood, which lured many outstanding artists to California to work in the fields of motion pictures and animation.”

Finally, we take a look at Kidseum. Part of Bowers Museum, this incredible space for kids brings world cultures together. Courtesy of the latest technological advances, kids can experience a wild stage coach ride that’s out of control. They can see what it was like in a large bucket moving quickly on a rail through a mine deep in a mountain. It’s all about adventure and education, and all things culture related.

Kidseum is the only cultural based children’s museum in Orange County, California. More than 35,000 children are involved with Kidseums around the country. It’s an exciting opportunity to learn about art and culture and the summer months are the ideal time to make it happen.

Santa Ana museums offer something for everyone. Take a different path today and visit a museum.