Museums, Science and technology North Beach
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5 out of 5 stars
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Exploratorium (Photograph: Courtesy Exploratorium/Amy Snyder)
Photograph: Courtesy Exploratorium/Amy SnyderEntrance to the Exploratorium at Pier 15
Exploratorium (Photograph: Courtesy Exploratorium/Gayle Laird)
Photograph: Courtesy Exploratorium/Gayle LairdPlayaflies by artists Michael Brown and David Williams at After Dark: Glow.
Exploratorium (Photograph: Courtesy Exploratorium/Gayle Laird)
Photograph: Courtesy Exploratorium/Gayle Laird
Exploratorium (Photograph: Courtesy Exploratorium/Thomas Humphrey)
Photograph: Courtesy Exploratorium/Thomas HumphreyVisitors to Fujiko Nakaya’s Fog Bridge encounter each other as shadows in the ghostly billows of fog.

The Exploratorium is a museum for the child in everyone. At its massive home on the Embarcadero waterfront, this fifty year old San Francisco institution uses play and experimentation to introduce visitors to scientific principles. From the storage lockers that play tones when you touch them to the outdoor “fog bridge” by artist Fujiko Nakaya, everything in the museum is hands on. New exhibits appear regularly but even the museum’s most beloved mainstays - the Sweeper's Clock, a fascinating movie loop in which two street sweepers keep time by pushing around piles of trash, the toothpick diorama of San Francisco and the Tactile Dome, a sensory-deprivation crawl-through maze (advance reservations required) - are worth returning for again and again. Upstairs on the second floor, the glass and steel Bay Observatory and the sustainable seafood restaurant Seaglass offer a more in-depth view of the San Francisco Bay.

By: Shoshi Parks


Venue name: Exploratorium
Address: Pier 15
San Francisco
Cross street: at The Embarcadero St
Opening hours: Tue–Sun 10am–5pm; Thu 6–10pm (18+ only)
Transport: Streetcar to Embarcadero & Green St/ Bus 2, 4, 8, 18, 24, 27, 38, 44, 54, 56, 58, 72, 74, 76, 82X
Price: $$
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