I had just found out that the California Science Center has FREE admission with $8 parking. It was a rainy day; but decided to take the drive anyway. I think this place is the best FREE place for the family; especially kids.
There are a lot of interactive things for the kids to do, such as building bridges, making buildings with Tinker Toys, learn how solar energy works when driving a car using a remote, touch an ice wall, building structures to make them earthquake proof and more. They had an earthquake simulator as well. I don't know why anyone would want to wait 15 min. line to feel and earthquake. I guess it's a good experience for kids to know what one will feel like if they never felt one.
They also have a couple play areas for kids. One area is for kids 7 and under and the other is for kids maybe 10 and under. The aquariums filled with fish and sharks as well as the small touch tank was fun to see. You can also pretend you're a barnacle trying to catch food (ping pong balls).
The place closed before we got to finish. We spent about 3 1/2 hrs there and could have probably spent at least another hour. We will definitely be back for another visit.