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“Kids of all ages love this place” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of California Academy of Sciences

California Academy of Sciences
Book In Advance
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$34.95*
and up
Viator Exclusive: California Academy of Sciences Early-Access Admission
Ranked #13 of 528 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: The world’s only aquarium-planetarium-rainforest-living museum. Come nose-to-beak with penguins and parrots, watch sharks and sting rays cruise beneath your feet, and feel the spray of the California coast. Fly to Mars (and beyond the Milky Way!) from the safety of your planetarium seat, take a virtual safari in African Hall, or climb into the canopy of a living rainforest. Face your fears—and an albino alligator—inside the Swamp, and meet scientists as they return from research expeditions around the world. From the depths of a Philippine coral reef to the outer reaches of the Universe, it's all inside the California Academy of Sciences.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
San Francisco, California, United States
Level Contributor
56 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Kids of all ages love this place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 16, 2013

Usually when we take kids to inter-active museums they get a little frustrated because there are so many kids trying to use the exhibits. Not here, though. There's so much to see and do that the kids are occupied and interested throughout the visit. I've never heard a kid say that they did not have a good time here.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank ByTheSeaByTheSea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
103 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Just too busy with children and strollers”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 16, 2013

We've tried to find a good time to go -- early morning, late afternoon and it doesn't seem to matter. While the exhibits are marvelous, there are just to many kids to make it enjoyable.

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank carmelouruguay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Overland Park, KS
Level Contributor
73 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Time and money well spent”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 16, 2013

This place is educational and fun for both kids and adults. It offers a great variety of very well-done exhibits that include a planetarium, an aquarium, and a simulated rainforest that you walk through. The staff was knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful. The cafe offered an impressive variety of options as well. The food was expensive (like any café in a museum) but was also good. We spent about 3 hours at the California Academy of Sciences and didn’t get to see everything. We could have easily spent half a day there.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank DelightfulTravlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland
Level Contributor
33 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Watching the reef”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2013

I can watch the coral reef for hours - so many different beautiful fish. And they feed them often - that way the fish don't eat each other - and it's a lot of fun for the audience.

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
Thank michelle1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
31 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Still wondering if I could hide in an exhibit and live here awhile”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2013

The natural history portion was okay - I particularly liked how the Galapagos tortoise exhibit appeared to be climbing a wall. The four story populated (bugs and birds) rain forest was enchanting, deeply moving to experience. From the top of that the elevator takes you down to a brilliant aquarium exhibit where you can look up through the central pool of the rain forest into the exhibit above. I can't remember the last time I was to a planetarium, but it was nothing like this one. The presentation surrounds and owns you. So current that they'd cut into the voice over with updates from the world of astrophysics. The living roof looked like something that would make the whole world better if 10% of buildings had them installed - green, functional and beautiful. The in-house restaurant(s) kind of floored me, though. Not being from the west coast the slow/healthy food movement found in a large scale attraction was almost a novelty, so we made our way through the cafeteria almost as if it were another exhibit itself. Absolutely delicious food of any kind you might want except crap. They have no crap in the cafeteria. The overall layout of the Academy looked very much like something out of Star Trek, including an exhibit at the back that was basically scientists working on stuff. You could watch them, watch video presentations of their projects and fields on a programmable display...although the urge to tap on the glass was king of large. Highly recommend a visit.

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
Thank Cookietheviking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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