Visiting The ExploratoriumLocated in the Marina District, the Exploratorium is actually inside the majestic Palace of Fine Arts, a striking replica of an ancient Greek temple that is one of the major landmarks of the city.
The museum is housed in the rear of the structure and the entrance is on Highway 1 across from the Presidio and just inland from Crissy Field. The Exploratorium is within walking distance from Fisherman´s Wharf, along the San Francisco waterfront.
- Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10am till 5pm
- Admission: Adults $15, Students and Seniors $12, Children 4-12 $10 and kids under 4 free.
- Address: 3601 Lyon Street San Francisco, CA 94123
- Contact: (415) 561-0399 www.exploratorium.edu
- Parking: Free onsite parking
- Public Transit: MUNI 30 Stockton from Downtown San Francisco or Fisherman´s Wharf.
Exhibits at the ExploratoriumThe Exploratorium is always buzzing with activity and the museum guides, called "Explainers" are on hand to guide visitors through the exhibits and displays. Most activities at the Exploratorium were made on-site by various scientists, inventors and innovators; here are just a few of the many exhibits to explore:
- The Tactile Dome: Visitors enter total darkness and are guided through a variety of environments using only their sense of touch.
- Dance Walk: Visitors navigate their way through several movement themed interactive exhibits including an anti-gravity mirror and a wall that photographs shadows.
- Seeing Exhibits: This area of the museum features a variety of activities, including optical illusions and rooms that mimic color blindness, that are designed to allow visitors to play with their own sense of sight.
- Mind Exhibits: This section of the Exploratorium holds over 40 different exhibits that explore the connections between mind, emotion and the physical body including a lie detector, a mood stimulator and an attention-span measuring device.
- Traits of Life: An area that contains over 30 exhibits devoted to biology including an exhibit that lets you compare cells from many different life forms and a hands-on hydroponics display.
Live Demonstrations at the ExploratoriumThe highlight of many visits to the Exploratorium are the frequent live demonstrations by museums staff and "Explainers". These vary depending on day and season but have included the hands-on dissection of a cow's eyeball, how to make a battery out of your hand and the creation of miniature hurricanes.
Events at the ExploratoriumThere are frequent lectures, special one-day exhibits, films and other presentation at the Exploratorium, many of which feature prominent writers, scientists, educators and inventors.
The After Dark series, which takes place on the first Thursday of the month, is directed at adults and features a cocktail bar and topics that explore current scientific findings and how they relate to modern living, including sexuality, career choices and spirituality.
While some events may be included in the daily admission price, others may require separate admission purchases: check the Exploratorium Calendar for current and upcoming events.
The Exploratorium ShopFor science kits, educational puzzles and games, magnets, solar cells, books, toys and many other gadgets that are designed not only to fascinate but to educate, the Exploratorium Shop is quite possibly the best option in the entire San Francisco area.
More about the ExploratoriumThe Exploratorium was opened in 1969 by physicist Frank Oppenheimer, brother of Manhattan Project designer Robert Oppenheimer, as a museum where art and science intersect and educate the public. Since then the museum has attracted inventors and scientists from all over the world and allowed them to design the interactive exhibits and displays that fill the space.
The Exploratorium plays a very active role in the local education scene and almost anyone who grew up in the bay area will usually have several stories about their visits to the museum during their childhood.