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The Exploratorium

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Address: Pier 15, on the Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone Number: +1 415-528-4360
Website
Today
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Open now
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Hours:
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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    Excellent
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    Very good
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    Average
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    Terrible
A great hands on experience for all

I loved the fact that you learn by doing here. You get to be hands on with pretty much everything here. It's an ideal entertainment and learning experience for the very young to... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed July 31, 2014
Innspector
,
London, United Kingdom

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1,314 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
7 attraction reviews
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

I loved the fact that you learn by doing here. You get to be hands on with pretty much everything here. It's an ideal entertainment and learning experience for the very young to the very old and equally appealing to all. However if you are not visiting with children take advantage of the Thursday evening adults only session. Just go... More 

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
5 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

This is an excellent hands on museum for kids 12 and up. If you or your children are interested in science and how things work this is the place for you. Beware, it is crowded and lots of kids are just pushing buttons, but there is a lot to be learned here.

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Moscow, Russia
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
7 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2014

Hundreds of interactive expositions, related to chemistry, biology, physics etc.which allow to see, to touch, to try and finally to understand how everything works. Great also for parents, who have forgotten all this so long ago!

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Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2014

I was keen on visiting the Exploratorium after seeing positive reviews on tripadvisor.com and I was very pleased to find that this place did not disappoint. After spending the past month of my trip visiting countless museums all of which I could look but not touch it was a very enjoyable being able to interact with every single exhibit. There... More 

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Sydney
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2014

Great activity especially for a rainy day. Spent an easy 4 hours here with all the hands on exhibitions. enjoyed by all the family

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Mission Viejo, California
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
24 attraction reviews
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014

This is a great hands-on place for kids and adults too. We only had a couple of hours to spend here and could have used some more time. My only gripe is that it is frustrating to pay an admission fee and then to have the kids discover that "a really cool thing" to do inside the Exploratorium is another... More 

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Valdosta, Georgia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014

We showed up thinking about a place dedicated for kids, but every one enjoyed it, learned a lot, and had tons of fun. Almost a $100 for a family but it worth it.

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Munich, Germany
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
6 attraction reviews
91 helpful votes 91 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014

I have been to the Exploratorium two times already and I can strongly recommend it to everyone, not only to families. What is the Exploratorium about? It is located in the Palace of the Fine Arts and houses hundreds of different hands-on experiments from different scientific domains such as weather, climate, sound, optics, biology and many more. Next to each... More 

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explOratoriumSF, Manager at The Exploratorium, responded to this review

Thank you for your continued visits and positive review! A couple of important notes: we moved and are now located on Pier 15 on the Embarcadero. We're bigger than ever with over 600 exhibitions on the floor. Our new location is more convenient from the Embarcadero Bart station, Muni buses and the F-Market & Wharves Streetcar Line. Also there is... More 

Milwaukee, WI
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
8 attraction reviews
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014

After our dinner at Slanted Door, we walked over to the Exploratorium where Thursday nights are for Adults only. The young date night crowd was out with wine in hand enjoying the exhibits. Many of the experiments require two people so it's fun to go with a friend/date. It was a fun evening after dinner when looking for something to... More 

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San Mateo, California
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
16 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014

Brought some kids here to explore and it's such an amazing place. I'd say kids between the ages of 8-18 would love this place even more. There's so much hands on activities for the kids to engage in. It's also very educational and people learn a lot while having fun.

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  • 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?