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The Exploratorium

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Address: Pier 15, on the Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone Number:
+1 415-528-4444
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Tue - Sun 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thu 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Fee: Yes

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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Exploratorium General Admission
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Exploratorium Admission: Thursday Evening Happy Hour
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Viator Exclusive: San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Plus Bike & Bay Cruise

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 2,658 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 1487
  • 463
    Very good
  • 115
  • 24
  • 5
Some good views

If you have a lot of time you should visit. There's a good show inside the planetarium. And the view of the city is good. I couldn't find it so special.

Reviewed March 28, 2016
Istanbul, Turkey
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2,658 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 2,094: English reviews
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed March 28, 2016

My wife and I visited the Exploratorium whilst in San Fran and after 20mins we soon became bored, although all the kids seemed to be having a ball.

Thank David V
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
99 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2016

If you have a lot of time you should visit. There's a good show inside the planetarium. And the view of the city is good. I couldn't find it so special.

Thank Zaferovski
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviewed March 28, 2016

Lots of interactive displays that teach a variety of phenomenon, like facial recognition, nerve impulses, probabilities, etc. It was actually a little overwhelming how much there was to do. We only spent about 1.5-2 hours before we had had enough exploring. We bought the tickets as part of the CityPass and then continued on to a Bay boat tour. Was... More 

Thank Donna C
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
33 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2016

I got free entry with the Citypass (great buy), i love walking and wondering through museums and the like. this once was quite entertaining with many interactive parts.

Thank MeaganE
Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
63 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed March 27, 2016

Although I live here in the SF Bay Area I hadn't been to The Exploratorium until my brother came to visit with his 2 kids. This place is awesome! So much to see & do and best of all, it's all hands ON which is great for keeping the kids interested! Definitely busy and loud and lots of kids running... More 

Thank Drewski0602
Elk Grove, California
Level Contributor
32 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed March 27, 2016

A great place to spend time with the kids. We stayed for almost 2 hours and would have stayed longer but had to get back home. Everyone seemed to be having a great time, even the teenagers. Good family fun and entertainment.

Thank NCN6821
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
168 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2016

WOW this is such a fun place to go. We went on the late night and got in free (because of the eclipse). The place is full of interactive stations (a different activity at each station). We spent 2 hours here, had LOTS of fun and barely managed to finish section One (I think there were five). Its for the... More 

Thank w00fies
Lancaster, California
Level Contributor
25 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2016

Great science exhibits. This hands on exhibit is great for any age! So much to do and see. Do some research on parking and traffic before you go. The wharf area is very crowded sometimes and finding parking can be difficult.

Thank Graceracer
Arvada, Colorado
Level Contributor
29 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2016

This was my first visit to their new location, after visiting their previous home years ago. Even though we visited on a weekday with lots of schools in attendance, there are so many activities and the place is so large, that you hardly even noticed. Everything is fun, exciting, and yes, educational. (but mostly fun)

Thank JHawn
Level Contributor
109 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2016

The Exploratorium is probably one of the must see in the San Francisco Bay area specially if you are with kids. You will learn a lot of things about science, physics in particular through many interactive activities. You will spend hours trying all activities in this one indoor roof.

Thank dbtgo

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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?