We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great family experience”
Review of Exploratorium

Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Exploratorium General Admission
Ranked #12 of 543 things to do in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
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
Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Level Contributor
20 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great family experience”
Reviewed January 20, 2014

We went with children and grandchildren, ages 9-12. Cafe served affordable, good food, and a great location not far from the Ferry Bldg.

Visited January 2014
Thank Richard B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

2,698 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
119 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Amazing new incarnation, but....”
Reviewed January 17, 2014

This place is so much nicer than the old one, but....book a ticket online in advance or you will be in parent and child line of hell.....it is on pier 15 so close to great food, but please dont show up without a ticket. You will regret it.

Visited December 2013
1 Thank kimparklee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indio, California
Level Contributor
176 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“New exploitation was fun”
Reviewed January 16, 2014

Took our grandson ther and he had lots of fun. He really enjoyed all the hands on exhibits. The restaurant on site is very good.

Visited January 2014
Thank zoecatCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New England USA
Level Contributor
53 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Fascinating and fun!”
Reviewed January 16, 2014

We went with an extended family group including a preschooler, elementary school children, a high school student, several college students, and adults in our 30s and 40s. Everyone found lots to explore. This was our first visit to the new location. It is larger and the Bay Observatory deck is nice. We enjoyed the camera obscura and the chance to be outside. The old favorite exhibits are here: the magnetic black sand, the oversized chair, the room that makes you look different sizes depending on where you stand. Exhibits that are new or that we didn't remember from previous visits that we liked were: the decomposing rats, the geysers, the dance room (a temporary exhibit), the monochromatic room. I think this is the best science museum anywhere because it is almost entirely hands-on. Note that on busy days you can avoid the ticket line by purchasing online and then showing your ticket on your phone.

Visited December 2013
1 Thank SJSNewEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Worth, Texas
Level Contributor
85 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Science fun”
Reviewed January 15, 2014

We have older teens and young twenties kiddos and they had a blast however would have had more fun had we gone on the Thursday night adult night. Unless you have small kids go when you don't feel guilty about cutting off the young ones because this place is truly hands on fun!

Visited December 2013
Thank SammaMichelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Exploratorium also viewed

San Francisco, CA

Been to Exploratorium? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing