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Exploratorium

Make your own telescope, explore the world with only your sense of touch, gaze at Neanderthal bones. This inventive museum may just cause sensory overload — in the best possible way — as you explore exhibits on science, art and human perception.

Enter a world that thrills and sends the mind into sensory overload with its in-depth combination of science, art, and human perception via hundreds of exciting and interactive exhibits that make learning fun! Think you can live without your sense of sight? For a small fee, you can travel through total darkness in the Tactile Dome, crawling, sliding and climbing through a maze using only your sense of touch as a guide! The Exploratorium is known as the first and foremost of the world’s interactive museums, and is housed at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco’s Marina district near the Golden Gate Bridge. The San Francisco Exploratorium was the brainchild of Frank Oppenheimer, who believed science and art to be complementary ways of exploring the living world.

The Exploratorium uniquely categorizes its exhibits into many thematic displays, such as the following:

Seeing: This exhibit explores the power of human sight, and features such interesting focal themes and experiments as “Cow’s Eye Dissection”, “Looking into Infinity”, “Magic Wand”, “Blue Sky”, “Size and Distance”, “Mona”, “Peripheral Vision”, “Thread the Needle”, “Jacques Costeau in Seashells” and “Pinhole Magnifier”, just to name a few.

Astronomy & Space: You’ll see a planetarium, explore seasons and shadows, and see such exhibits as “Solar Images”, “Build a Solar System”, “Make Your Own Telescope”, “UV Beads”, “Infrared Detector”, “X-Ray Simulation”, and “The Sky is Falling”

Human Body: This exhibit pushes your understanding of the human body to the edge, with its provocative themes and topics. Its uniquely-designed elements include “Opera Singers”, “Hand Battery”, “Body Language”, “Look inside a Tooth”, “The Body Farm”, “Meat is Muscle”, “Which Embryo is Human?” , and “Neanderthal Bones”

Culture: Learn about the rich cultures of the earth and how culture influences human life in “Make Your Own Petroglyph”, “Stepping”, “Breaking the Mayan Code”, “Subzero Gardening”, “Taking the Beat Back”, “Besuboru”, and “Cultivating Competition”

Living Things: This exhibit takes a comprehensive look at life, with “Blood”, “Penguins”, Frog Tracker”, “Stem Cells”, Energy from Death”, “Arctic Whales”, “Turning Garbage into Gold”, “Cell Explorer”, “Unwinding DNA” and “Mutant Fruit Flies”

Listening: Check out “Headlands Experiments”, “Bird Call Quiz”, “Cup Speaker”, “Make Your Own Rainstick”, “Sad Music”, “Build a Soundscape” and “the Language of Nature”

Material World: The nature of material is explored in “Gas Model”, “Bubble Bomb”, Resonant Rings”, “Wind Tube”, “Crystal Creations” and “Bottle Blast-Off”

A visit to the Exploratorium will be a moving experience for any member of your family, regardless of age. The museum prides itself on its ability to create tools and experiences that help the visitor become an active explorer. Be sure to check it out while in San Francisco!

Reviews for Exploratorium

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 4 out of 5 stars (based on 1 customer ratings)
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[3 of 4 customers found this review helpful]

4
Nice visit for family, but no for adults
By Joss from Denver, CO on
Bottom Line:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Comments about Smart Destinations Exploratorium:

I had a good time there, however it's more a suitable visit for family. Find a bus/shuttle to get at there, on foot it's very very long from Fisherman Wharf.

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Exploratorium details

Phone: (415) 528-4362
Address
Pier 15
San Francisco, CA 94111
Hours
Daytime: Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 am-5:00 pm

Evenings: Wednesdays, 5:00 pm-10:00pm; Thursdays, 6:00 pm-10:00 pm for ages 18+ only

Special Monday holiday hours apply, see details (http://www.exploratorium.edu/visit/tickets)

Note
Adults (18+) don't miss Exploratorium After Dark, an evening series that mixes cocktails (cash bar) and conversation with innovative science and art events—beginning May 2, 2013, every Thursday, 6:00 pm-10:00 pm.
Closings
Mondays (except for selected holidays) Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. All holiday hours are subject to change without notice.
  • Open year-round
  • Good for families
  • Parking available
  • Restaurant or snack bar
  • Restrooms
  • Disabled access
  • Reservations not required

Directions and transportation

Address
Pier 15
San Francisco, CA 94111
Public Transportation
MUNI Bus Routes: F streetcar line to the Embarcadero & Green Street stop.

Admission and Offer Information

Proceed to the Exploratorium main admission desk. Present your admissions pass to any ticket agent for entry. Be sure to get your admission pass back from the staff as you will need it to access your other attractions

Exploratorium Packages

Save even more with these pre-built discount packages that include Exploratorium bundled with other great San Francisco attractions.

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