Attraction Highlights

How do you create clouds in a bottle? Why do we cry at wordless music? How does a magnet repel a grape? Feed your curiosity and explore mysteries at the Exploratorium, an almost indefinable center of discovery, learning and sheer marvel. Located down at the Embarcadero, the Exploratorium is a participatory museum dedicated to science, art and human perception. Described by the New York Times as "the most important science museum to have opened since the mid-20th century", it has also been referred to as "a mad scientist's penny arcade, a scientific funhouse, and an experimental laboratory all rolled into one".

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Hands-on Exhibits

Step inside a tornado, turn upside down in a curved mirror, walk on a fog bridge, and explore more than 650 hands-on exhibits. The Exploratorium has six main galleries, each focused on a different area of exploration. Common to all are interactive exhibits that reward your attention and give you much to think about. Indulge your curiosity and ask your own questions as you play with the exhibits, and discover new ways to understand how our world works.

Arts at the Exploratorium

Art is integral to discovery at the Exploratorium, inspiring curiosity and emphasizing the importance of a combined approach to seeing and understanding the world. There's a vast number of installations, sculptures and scientific creations on display for visitors to see.

Eat and Drink

Wine and dine at Seaglass restaurant and bar, which offers stunning views of the bay. Seaglass features its own resident artwork - Icy Bodies, by Shawn Lani, forms the bar. If you're not in the mood for a sit-down meal, just grab a quick snack at Seismic Joint before you get back to discovery.

Shop Science

The Exploratorium's two gift shops offer unique gadgets, games, tinkering items, and books that focus on science, art, and technology. They're also designed to complement the exhibitions and extend the learning experience. In the main store at Pier 15, look for a large, interactive Triple Vortex exhibit; a store fixture that converts into Scrapple, an interactive sound exhibit; and a cherry-red Art-O-Mat vending machine that dispenses original artworks.