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The Exploratorium

Pier 15, on the Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94111
+1 415-528-4360
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Exploratorium Admission: Thursday Evening Happy...
Ranked #7 of 317 Attractions in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Children's Museums, Science Museums, Museums
Fee: Yes
Owner description: Experience the Exploratorium, a hands-on museum of science, art, and...
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Attraction details
Type: Children's Museums, Science Museums, Museums
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Tue - Sun 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Owner description: 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.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
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1,009 reviews from our community

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English first
Crystal Lake, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2013

When our grown son suggested we go here I was a little apprehensive thinking that it was only for kids. Wow, was I wrong! We were there for hours and enjoyed every minute. Yes, it's for kids as well but the science there is really for everyone. It's very hands on and the place is huge. There were many families... More 

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Dudley, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
41 attraction reviews
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2013

This museum is interesting because it's not just for kids. You can experience lots of great activities and delve into the world of science. It's quirky and enjoyable and in the end, you've had fun learning! Would go again. Mesbah Marriott

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Mountain View, California
Top Contributor
121 reviews 121 reviews
55 attraction reviews
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2013

I used to go to the Exploratorium when it was in the old location and loved it. The new location loses most of the endearing scruffiness of old but it replaces it with an even better museum. I like having the new outdoor areas. Love all the extra space. Like the new exhibits. Like having employees talking and demonstrating things... More 

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Martinez, California
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
34 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2013

When I announced to his aunt(a San Franciscan)that I was taking my 4 year old grandson to the Exploratorium I was told he was too young to appreciate it. Wrong! He moved from exhibit to experiment with wide eyed exuberance. Many of the experiments he actually got the concept, others were just fun games to him. The galleries are large... More 

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Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
11 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2013

We spend 3 hours here with our 6yo daughter, and we didnt see the half of it. Too much to do all at once. Definitely go if you have kids from 3-12. Would be great for locals to get an annual pass.

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Sherman Oaks, CA
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

Wonderful place to explore and discover all kinds of interesting facts. So many interactive activities that one isn't enough time to cover the whole place. Wonderful place to take children in San Francisco.

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Beerot Yitshaq, HaMerkaz, Israel
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
33 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2013

Originally, I wasn't planning on going when I was in San Francisco with my wife because I thought it was more for kids, but some locals told me that it wasn't to be missed. Boy were they right! We had a great time. We spent about 3.5 hours in the museum and we could have kept going if we didn't... More 

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Fremont, California
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
26 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2013

Loved the new place, great location with easy access to BART. Tons and tons of exhibits to explore.. science simplified tp teach concepts in a fun way.

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Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
11 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2013

This is a place you can stay for an hour or a whole day! Plenty of things to do/play with as well as the scientific side of how things happen and work. Very hands on experience with plenty of staff around to help and explain.

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Durham, North Carolina
Top Contributor
178 reviews 178 reviews
115 attraction reviews
253 helpful votes 253 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013

The Exploratorium is an interactive science museum that teaches children and adults, through very entertaining participatory displays, many facets of physics, chemistry, and biology. Tremendous intellection has gone into devising the demonstrations on display. Being bored here, in fact, NOT being astounded, is just inconceivable. The Exploratorium will make you seriously resent that so much of your science education has... More 

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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?