Travel Rankings & Advice

The Exploratorium

Pier 15 | San Francisco, CA 94111 | Official website
The Exploratorium Photo info
Amy Snyder/The Exploratorium
  • Type: Museums, Sightseeing
  • Time to Spend: Half Day to Full Day
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Overall Rating: 4.0 (4.2)
Value: 4.0 (4.0)
Facilities: 4.5 (4.5)
Atmosphere: 4.5 (4.5)
About these ratings

If you're looking for a rainy day activity — something that will keep both parents and the kiddos interested — The Exploratorium is a great option. With 600 indoor and outdoor exhibits that cover subjects like outer space, the human body and science, this "learning laboratory" encourages visitors to don their thinking caps. Some traveler favorites include the Tactile Dome, where you'll use your sense of touch to navigate through the pitch-black sphere; the shadow room, where flashes of light project your shadowed figure onto a wall; and the toothpick sculpture that carries ping pong balls through some of the city's most notable landmarks.

It's the interactive nature of The Exploratorium's exhibits that really entertains visitors. "[D]esigners of this establishment have done a brilliant job to make science interesting and entertaining, every exhibit invites you to control it and see how your involvement influences the outcome," according to one TripAdvisor user.

The Exploratorium (located on Pier 15 along The Embarcadero at Green Street) is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours on Thursday until 10 p.m. for those 18 and older. Tickets cost $25 for adults and $19 for seniors and children ages 6 to 17; children 5 years old and younger can enter for free. The F Market street car, the BART train and several Muni Metro light rails and bus lines stop within walking distance of The Exploratorium. There are also parking garages nearby. For more information, visit The Exploratorium's website.

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