The Exploratorium in San Francisco

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Jctravel1983 on December 11, 2010

The Exploratorium in San Francisco has more than 500,000 visitors annually and is one of the most visited museums in the city. The museum is housed in the Palace of Fine Arts.

Palace of Fine Arts

The Palace of Fine Arts is a remnant of the Panama-Pacific Exposition of 1915. The building was designed by Bernard Maybeck, who was inspired by Greek and Roman architecture. The Palace of Fine Arts is not demolished after the exhibition and is now regularly used as a wedding location. The Rotunda, the neoclassical domed building is the most striking part of the Palace of Fine Arts. At The Palace of Fine Arts, the Exploratorium located.

Visitor Information

The Exploratorium is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. The museum is also closed during Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Prices of tickets are:
Adults (18-64): $ 14
Students: $ 11
Seniors (65 +): $ 11
Youth (13-17): $ 11
People with Disabilities: $ 11
Children (4-12): $ 9
Children: (3 or under): free
Members: Free
Admission plus input Tactile Dome: $ 17

Every first Wednesday of the month the admission is free. Groups larger than 10 and people who want to get in on this day will have to make a reservation.

The Exploratorium

The Exploratorium is totally dedicated to science, art and human perception. The museum was founded in 1969 by physicist Frank Oppenheimer, the museum is set in several parts and visitors can try and test all things so in an interactive way to engage with science.

Science Area

There is a special section in the Exploratorium that has to do with science. You can see how such a whirlwind created or how force is measured or look how electricity works. You can try everything yourself by participating in experiments, trying things out or pressing buttons.

Optical illusions

A part of the Exploratorium focuses on optical illusions. There are moving images, but also posters and pictures. There are also optical illusions where you can walk through, or where you can work through anything to do with a camera.


Upstairs there is a whole section that focuses on sounds. You become acquainted with various musical instruments and equipment you can find that you can change pitches. There is also the opportunity to to record your own radio play and then to listen to it. There are this many attributes you can use your radio play.


Anything you can find that has to do with biology and science, can be found in this department. Find out how, for example, certain animals, trees and see the strange animal movements, such as extremely large bees. There are also many different fish to see.


In the Exploratorium are many microscopes, so you can see how certain things look like under a microscope. Come to amazing discoveries and see that there are many things bacteria. You can also look through a microscope wood worms, bacteria or how much a dead animal in it.

Tactile Dome

The Tactile Dome is a maze where you are in the dark and need to get out just by feeling. The Tactile Dome is not suitable for people with bad knees, pregnant women or those who are claustrophobic. In the summer months can be busy here, so reservations are necessary during this period. When I was at the Exploratorium, the maze was temporarily closed for maintenance.


Every day there are in the Exploratorium several demonstrations. These are always dealing with science and are held in the sections that connect with the demonstration. When I was at the Exploratorium, was in the Biology section, a demonstration was held where a Bullseye decompose.

Food and drink

In the Exploratorium is a restaurant where you can eat and drink something. The restaurant is open on the ground floor, giving you a table from a nice views of everyone involved with the various attributes in the museum. I have not used the restaurant and have therefore no idea what the offer was and how the quality is.

My opinion

It was pure coincidence that I ended up in this museum. I got the Exploratorium as a tip for an employee in a small shop.I decided to follow his tip, since the museum not too far away and never had any regrets.

The museum is well prepared and the collection is extensive. Everywhere you inter-active doing something, what the museum is very suitable for both children and adults. Signs are everywhere to explain what things mean. This is very interesting and instructive, and sometimes even necessary to read, because otherwise you do not understand what it really is what you are doing.
There is no fixed route, you can just go there you find interesting. Personally, I found especially the sections with optical illusions and microscopes very interesting. I also hung around a while in the portion of the sounds. I thought it was unwise and interesting all sure what I learned during my visit to the Exploratorium.

The museum is also worth visiting on your own, but there are many things directed to more people, such as certain tests. Luckily I had met a couple on the road and we know the three of us viewed the museum so I could try things you do with more people.

Although I have not anything to see in this museum, I am terribly excited about. The things I've seen have been worthwhile. In addition, the high entrance fee at all, considering how many you get in return. I am glad that I got a tip from a friendly retailer, otherwise I probably never went.
Exploratorium at The Palace of Fine Arts
15/17 Pier
San Francisco, 94111
(415) 563-7337

© LP 2000-2009