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Address: Pier 15, on the Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone Number: +1 415-528-4360
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Open now
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Tue - Sun 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: Yes
Description: Experience the Exploratorium, a hands-on museum of science, art, and human...
Experience the Exploratorium, a hands-on museum of science, art, and human perception that's dedicated to the excitement of experimentation, the pleasure of discovery, and the power of play. Indulge your curiosity in over 600 exhibits-indoors and out-and explore eye-opening ways to understand the world around you. Don't miss the iconic Tactile Dome, where you can take an interactive excursion in total darkness using your sense of touch as your only guide (be sure to make a reservation in advance). There's also a unique museum store plus two delicious places to eat: the SeaGlass restaurant, which has a stunning Bay view, and the Seismic Joint cafe. Located at Pier 15 along San Francisco's Embarcadero between Pier 39 and the Ferry Building, the Exploratorium is easy to get to by public transportation (the F-Market & Wharves Historic Streetcar stops out front and it's a ten-minute walk from BART or MUNI) plus there's parking nearby. Tickets are available online (recommended) or at the door.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Visitor rating
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    Very good
  • 85
  • 19
  • 2
Very good if you have patience...

We visited here with our 10yr old, it was a busy day and we found we had to often wait a good while to look at or use the exhibits. As there are so many exhibits you either have... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed April 19, 2015
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1,234 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
40 attraction reviews
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2015 NEW

We visited here with our 10yr old, it was a busy day and we found we had to often wait a good while to look at or use the exhibits. As there are so many exhibits you either have to be patient and wait or go to the odd ones which are free and then keep zig zagging back and... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Ottawa Canada
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
23 attraction reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2015 NEW

Spent a couple great hours at the exploratorium. It is a first class place with lots of great hands on experiences. Would suggest you check out the times for the tactile dome at the beginning of your visit because if you leave it to the end it may not work out with your time frames.

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San Dimas, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2015 NEW

Okay, I'm not sure if there was actually a real fire BUT I was so disappointed our visit was cut short because my family was enjoying the Exploratorium and all the hands on activties. This place has something for everyone. Even adults were smiling, enjoying the many fascinating things there. I loved the slinky treadmill. So fun. And the shadow... More 

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Cool, CA
Top Contributor
205 reviews 205 reviews
43 attraction reviews
346 helpful votes 346 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2015 NEW

This is a time-honored tradition for families traveling in SF. They update their displays and always seem to have added something new and interesting.

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Tracy, California
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
5 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2015 NEW

We went to the Exploratorium on a Saturday. It was busy but not overwhelmingly so, which was surprising. Great hands on experience for the whole family, but just too much. My youngest (6) was overstimulated the whole time and couldn't settle enough to pay any sort of attention to anything. My 8 year old enjoyed the exhibits much more, though.... More 

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Appleton, Wisconsin
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2015 NEW

I'm not normally a fan of visiting museums while travelling, but I had some time to kill with the kids while my wife was at a conference, so I decided to give it a go. I am SOO glad we went. Calling this a museum really is a misnomer. Every exhibit was hands on and had practical, applied, scientific value.... More 

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Detroit, Michigan
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
11 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2015 NEW

This was GREAT. It was a bit costly for a family of four, just short of $100. Everything in the place kept my kids entertained and learning. I even did a lot of learning and hands on as well. We spent about three hours there and did not finish the whole place. The food at the restaurant in the place... More 

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16 reviews 16 reviews
15 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2015 NEW

We went because admission was part of the City Pass. We wanted to go in as soon as they opened in the morning however there was a long line and several school groups waiting to go in. We decided to go do something else for a few hours and try again later in the afternoon hoping that the crowd would... More 

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los angeles
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2015

My kids were bored with this place. It is alot of work and my wife and I couldn't understand why some many people seem to like this place. I guess when compared to other attractions like cable cars, the wharf, Muir Woods, crossing the bridges, and other items...the Exploratorium seems like something to waste some time - but my kids... More 

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san marcos
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
17 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2015

This was not cheap but designed for families with lots of time to spend in one place - or for a whole day. It's a large former wherehouse devoted to hands on science for kids....lots of electrical investigations. I enjoyed some of the water science and animal biology exhibits.

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?