Morrison Planetarium
Morrison Planetarium
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This observatory has a custom-made telescope that projects a field of 3,800 stars.
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Admission tickets
from $23.00
All you need to step foot in the door.

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Neighborhood: North Beach
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles21 reviews
Excellent
9
Very good
6
Average
4
Poor
0
Terrible
2

Passport31649
India1 contribution
3.0 of 5 bubbles
loved it the first time I went with friends, but this time we had a shock when we realised it was closed and will not be open for a few years. I think it's going to be closed till 2008, so remember not to go there, otherwise it'll be a wasted trip. But I did have a good time in San Francisco.
Written August 10, 2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

611ellejay
Sacramento, California3 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2015 • Friends
I had been a member of the Academy of Sciences for over 10 years when they closed down to move their location and update their facilities. I would go almost every other month as I absolutely loved the Morrison Planetarium and the shows. I thought it was all well done then and was very much looking forward to an even better experience at the new location. Unfortunately, I was very much disappointed. The star show was lacking in information about local sky positions and what you can see. The auditorium somehow felt smaller and had less of a feeling of being under the night sky. The "magic" was gone. I left the auditorium almost depressed by the change in the experience. The non-star shows were visually good with the new projector, but I go to the planetarium for star shows. The rest of the AoS's experiences were enjoyable. The exhibits were interesting and well done, but I was not awed. I've been back only once after that initial disappointing visit and will prob visit every other year as it is still a very worthwhile and educational experience, but the magic for me just isn't there. I know everyone's individual experience will differ. I will say if you haven't been, it's definitely worth going. They have a cafeteria/cafe on site. There was a good variety of food, but I thought the quality was a little lacking for the price. Check out their website ahead of your visit. It contains a lot of helpful info to plan your day. They do offer free admission one Sunday a month. I believe you can also go thru CityPASS to get a reduced admission ticket.
Written November 30, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Liz950
Miami, FL61 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2015 • Couples
Habitat Earth is a must see. Travel through space and time during an immersive dome show. What are plastic bags doing to the entire eco system is just one of many things delivered to you from the beginning of life to current living and future opportunities. Explore the living roof, evolving traditions, naturalist center, rainforest, and aquariums. Coral reef dives, swamp discovery and so much more.
Written August 28, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LindaJB2
California35 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
My 19-year-old daughter and I visited on Friday, Nov. 12, 2010. We bought our tickets at the front window at 12:22 pm ($21.95 for a student with a AAA discount & $26.95 for an adult with a AAA discount), then went inside to have lunch at the cafe, which was very crowded & equally overpriced ($10 for a small serving of rigatoni). At 1:20 pm, we went to the entrance of the planetarium, but was told that all of the "passes" had already been distributed for the entire day & we would not be able to see the show. Needless to say, I was livid since we specifically traveled 2 1/2 hours to see the planetarium, not the museum or aquarium. The woman at the planetarium entrance continued to say, "There are signs all over that state you must come to the planetarium to get a pass to enter, it's also printed on your tickets (which it is), and that it is first come, first served." I explained that I did not see any signs &, when I purchased the tickets, nothing was mentioned then, & I did not read the tickets because I was not aware that I needed to read them, only that they were my proof to get through the entrance. I then went to the Customer Service desk & was told the same thing. I asked for a refund, but was told I needed to see a supervisor. The supervisor then repeated that the "passes" are 1st come, 1st served, & when I explained that we traveled specifically to see the planetarium, he then went inside the planetarium & came out with 4 passes: 2 for the 3:30 show & 2 for the 4:30 showing. I chose the 3:30 show, so we had to wait two hours. When my daughter was younger, about 8 years ago, we had seen the show & thoroughly enjoyed it. The planetarium then shut down for 5-6 years & reopened 2 years ago. It is now 100% digital (no longer with the projector in the middle of the room) & is almost like a movie theater. The planetariums I have visited over the years showed the nighttime skies & pointed out the constellations & other planets, & this one had 8 years ago, but the show now is completely different. It was more like a science lesson & was very disappointing. Graphically, it was wonderful because it was in 3-D, but they did not show the nighttime sky, nor point out the stars or constellations in relevance to our view from the earth. They talked about cells, how life began on Earth, its core, microscopic life, etc. It seemed more like a program from The Discovery Channel. They explained the theory of evolution, although the word "theory" was never mentioned. My daughter was also disappointed ~ it wasn't anything like she remembered and that's what she (and I) was excited about seeing. Also, there were empty seats at this show, which means that people with passes either didn't show up or they didn't give out enough passes. Thoroughly disappointed and I wouldn't recommend the planetarium to anyone.
Written November 15, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Golda99
San Francisco35 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2018 • Couples
I was very disappointed. It is not a planetarium, it is a movie theater with a poor video projector. The sky was not dark, the images were fuzzy (pixels the size of nickels). I nearly cried. Don't waste your time. Go and find a real planetarium with an optical projector. The Fujitsu Planetarium at De Anza College in Cupertino is a small, but nice example of a 'real' planetarium.
Written June 12, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MerelyATourist
931 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2015 • Couples
We saw "Fragile Planet" at the planetarium during our visit to the California Academy of Sciences in early July. Another available show at the time was "Habitat Earth" but that one has far less (if any) astronomy. (When I visit a planetarium I was to see stars!) This is a titled dome (30 degrees), much like an IMAX Dome, not a traditional, all-above-you, full-dome system such as the Hayden Planetarium in New York. It still works well for virtual space traveling. "Fragile Planet" is a good show, specially produced for (and by?) the Morrison, but it's a little dated now (2008), especially concerning discovery of extrasolar planets.This resulted in a live presenter giving us updated information midway through the show.

Some full-dome digital projection systems, such as the one at the Hayden, are very dark. There's not enough light from the projectors for the size of the dome. The image brightness at the Morrison was just barely adequate. More of a concern was a lack of contrast (a difficult problem to solve in any dome) and very visible blends between the six sub-images that came from the system's projectors. In addition, the black level of the sub-image filling the top of the dome was distinctly brighter than the other five. All of these issues could be improved by using a darker screen along with much brighter projectors with better contrast ratio.
Written July 16, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stuart_Away_Again
Cambridge, UK848 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2013
Interesting show about earthquakes in SF but nothing about the universe or planets - why not just explain more clearly what the show is about?
Written July 28, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

permia
Ireland61,733 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Couples
This was a thrilling show displayed on the vast screen within the large dome. And it is 'free', already included in the main entrance ticket.

To ensure that all astronomical details are right up to date, the guide intervened at one stage with some commentary reflecting the latest discoveries.
Written November 6, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mateja K
56 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2018 • Family
We went to the Planetarium Friday end of July. Very Crowded with kids. We came at 10AM and show related to astronomy was only at 1.30PM..Before only Coral reef show that had nothing to do with astronomy. We also could not get tickets for both shows on display on that day-only one show in planetarium is possible. Othewise the quality of the screen for Incoming was superb, explanations were great for me and my teens. 3D movie about the universe playing showing in another hall was also great. Recommended but reserve enough time to wait for the shows.
Written July 28, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Márcio C
Salvador, BA61 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2014 • Couples
The place is very beautiful and modern, containing high technolgy HD projectors and nice chairs. We have watched LIFE: A COSMIC STORY and we fully became imersed on the video.
Written January 2, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Morrison Planetarium - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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