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Now open at Pier 15 on the Embarcadero, along San Francisco’s waterfront, the Exploratorium is a unique interactive museum dedicated to the excitement of experimentation, the pleasure of discovery, and the power of play. Explore more than 600 hands-on exhibits and enjoy breathtaking views of the city and the bay.
General admission to join this museum’s ongoing exploration of science, art, and human perception. Please note: In the event that demand exceeds capacity, admittance is not guaranteed.
Open Thursday evenings 6pm-10pm for ages 18+ only; cash bar.
Special Monday holiday hours may apply; see website for details.
Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
- Explore the environment with artworks, installations, and exhibits in the Outdoor Gallery.
- Find out how we interpret our surroundings and interact with one another in the West Gallery.
- Experiment with the sights, sounds, and experiences of perception in the Central Gallery.
- Examine life at different scales—from tiny microbes to the interconnected ecosystems of the bay—in the East Gallery.
- Enjoy breathtaking views of city and bay as you investigate the environment in the site’s one new building—the spectacular glass-and-steel Bay Observatory.
- Explore more than 500 hands-on exhibits, including 150 new experiences created by our artists and scientists—25% more than at our Palace of Fine Arts location.
- Watch as exhibits are being created in the open-to-view Machine Shop.
- Get hands-on with open tinkering, building, and making activities in our expanded Tinkering Studio.
Present CityPASS booklet or voucher at the Ticketing Desk.
Special Exhibits Included with CityPASS
The Changing Face of What Is Normal: Mental Health
Open through August 31, 2014
Does what is normal change with time? How do we define, categorize, and treat those we decide are not normal? What’s normal can depend on when you were born, where you live, or the language you speak. Normal can be a highly personal concept—and almost everyone, from certain perspectives, can be seen as normal . . . or abnormal. The Changing Face of What Is Normal: Mental Health is the first major temporary exhibition in the Exploratorium’s new West Gallery, which focuses on human thought, behavior, and social interaction. The exhibition’s collection of artworks and artifacts explore the notion that normality is a subjective, dynamic, socially driven idea. The exhibition offers visitors an opportunity to reflect on the idea of normal. Its artwork and artifacts highlight several key elements in our societal discussion of mental illness.
Upgrades for CityPASS Holders
Tactile Dome: Call (415) 528-4362 for reservations or purchase a ticket upon arrival at the Buy Ticket line. Cost for CityPASS holders: $15.The Dome is not recommended for persons with neck, back, or knee injuries; claustrophobia; fear of the dark; or women in their last trimester of pregnancy. Youth must be at least 7 years old to participate. The Dome is an active experience so dress accordingly.
Advice for Visitors
- Lines tend to be shorter on weekday afternoons and Wednesday evenings.
- Get hands-on and make something in the Tinkering Studio.
- Adults (18+) don't miss Exploratorium After Dark, an evening series that mixes cocktails (cash bar) and conversation with innovative science and art events; first Thursday of each month, 6-10pm.
Parking: Nearby parking lot.
Dining: The SEAGLASS Restaurant (located in the Bay Observatory); Seismic Joint Café (a grab-and-go café along the Embarcadero)
Accessibility: Exhibition spaces, store, café, and all public restrooms wheelchair accessible. Wheelchairs available for no charge. Service animals welcome.
Self-Guide: Become part of the experiment with Sound Uncovered and Color Uncovered, two interactive books from the Exploratorium, available for free from the iTunes App Store.
Gift Shop: Exploratorium Store
MUNI: Take the F streetcar line to the Embarcadero & Green St. stop.
Groups of 10 or more: Call (415) 528-4444.
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CityPASS can be purchased online or at any of our participating San Francisco attractions.
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