There's always a chance that, if you wake up in SoCal to a free day and a bit of cash in your pocket, you just might see a whale that day.
Of course, you'll need to find a whale-watching cruise or a pal with a boat (or, yes, in some cases a well-situated, shore-close bluff). You'll need to be a bit lucky. And it'll need to be a particular time of year: Winter for the greys, summer for the blues, basically, with the always delightful orca or minke whale making a surprise cameo.
Or you can swim for the California Science Center, beginning on Friday, July 3. True, you won't need sunscreen to sit inside the Exposition Park institution's IMAX theatre, and you probably won't need to layer for a day out on the ocean.
But you will need some wonder and/or joy, though "Humpback Whales 3D" may provide that before you leave. The Ewan McGregor-narrated film celebrates the 50-foot-long animals in all of their blowhole-laden, fluke-tail'd, 48-ton glory.
And, yes, they're travelers at heart: They "migrate more than 6,000 miles round-trip every year." Surely that's rather longer than the distance you'll need to travel to the California Science Center to see the documentary about "the most acrobatic of all whales"?
If you're playing around Exposition Park before or after the film, and visiting Space Shuttle Endeavour, a centerpiece of the California Science Center, ask your kids this: What is longer, a space shuttle or humpback whale? Answer: A space shuttle, which is 184 feet to a humpback's 50.
Still, measure out, with your eyes, how long a whale might be when you see the huge craft. Very impressive stuff, and a conversation sure to send young imaginations reeling.