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Science Museum
Northern Waterfront, San Francisco
  • Has a stamp of approval from The Wall Street Journal and Wired
    • The Wall Street Journal
    • Wired
  • Trent M.
    "Fun and interactive science/learning center."(14 Tips)
    Corrie D.
    "Fun for ALL ages and exhibits outside as well as inside so anyone"(11 Tips)
    Marissa C.
    "Thursday night for After Dark"(12 Tips)
    Areej A.
    "Great place for kids and adults .. really really fun"(8 Tips)
309 Tips and reviews
  • museums
  • interactive
  • all ages
  • kids and adults
  • scenic views
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  • Popular
  • Recent
  • Colin M.
    Colin MusselmanOctober 24, 2013
    Get the food here. It's amazing and not too pricey. Best museum food ever, hands down - it's a lot better than most restaurants. Bonus: it's a good break from the crowds (kids) too
  • Alexa Jane D.
    Alexa Jane DennerJanuary 6, 2015
    The Exploratorium is so much fun. Go on the 1st Thursday of the month for late night. Also, get the tacos and the potatoes bravos!
  • Corrie D.
    Corrie DavidsonAugust 12, 2013
    This place is a wonderland that gives new meaning to the idea if hands-on. Fun for ALL ages and exhibits outside as well as inside so anyone can experience it. A must visit if you have kids.
  • Rafael O.
    Rafael OchoaApril 20, 2013
    Visit their new location along the Embarcadero, it's a beautiful new space. I dare you to drink out of the toilet water fountain! Also, head to the back to check out sweeping views of the SF Bay!
  • SFist
    SFistAugust 3, 2014
    Take the kids to learn about tides and plankton, play with marble machines, and explore the Tactile Dome in total darkness. There's a restaurant fit for adults now, where you can have a glass of wine. Read more
  • Marisa L.
    Marisa LownApril 12, 2016
    So much fun for people of all ages!! A very large space so plan to spend at least a half day here to enjoy all they have to offer.
  • Geoff G.
    Geoff GreenAugust 23, 2014
    The whole museum is great for kids and kids at heart. The Bay Observatory on the second floor includes some great displays about the history of the bay as well as some informative older and newer maps
  • Ir&Iv
    Ir&IvApril 24, 2013
    We've been in many science museums including NY, SF and London ones. Exploratorium is the very best. You'll discover lots of new ideas about your mind and the world around. And it's fully interactive!
  • DailyCandy
    DailyCandyFebruary 25, 2014
    With three times as much space and more than 600 indoor and outdoor exhibits, there are plenty of ways to play.Enjoy interactive exhibits, fog installations, and observatory rooms w/ waterfront views.
  • Mortiche W.
    Mortiche WongJanuary 30
    Been here 5+ times
    Our favorite museum for for the young, & young at heart. Excellent exhibits, great rotating features makes every visit full of new discoveries. A place where all are encouraged to explore, be curious!
  • Marissa C.
    Marissa CFebruary 10
    Adults should come Thursday night for After Dark which has drinks, special exhibits, not crowded and no kids! Tactile dome was lots of fun and worth the extra $10, buy tickets at the front desk.
  • Karina L.
    Karina LopesNovember 20, 2014
    Really fun. I loved to play with the experiments. The infrared camera was so cool, showed how my boyfriend has hotter hands than I have
  • kaypsii
    kaypsiiDecember 24, 2014
    best museum to explore and learn how the world is and why! A must-visit for kids & not only! Will take you at least three to fours hours to see and discover all exhibits!
  • Alex C.
    This museum is really great. Huge number of interactive exponates: physics, biology, chemistry, psychology, you name it! Also liked the small demonstrations: attended a cow's eye dissection.
  • Asher K.
    Asher KrellAugust 8, 2014
    Check out the Thursday night adult only hours. You can have a drink while checking out one of the coolest science museums out there. Almost like an art museum for science.
  • Laura C.
    Laura CNovember 17, 2011
    Science Museum great for children and adults. Features the Tactile Dome, which is a maze of tunnels and slides that you go through completely in the dark using your sense of touch to get you through.
  • Brian S.
    Brian StraussMarch 6, 2016
    The quintessential SF rainy day spot. Don't miss the cow's dissection! Nice new restaurant in back with very healthy grub.
  • Laurie B.
    Laurie BridgesJune 19, 2013
    Never went to see it at its old location, but the new digs are great! We were there opening to closing and didn't get to see it all. Go on a long day so you get the most out of it.
  • Louis H.
    Louis HarboeJuly 22, 2016
    Wonderful, handmade, interactive exhibits on everything from biology, physics, to social behavior. You'll need at least 3 hours.
  • Mike S.
    Mike SolimanJuly 22, 2013
    If you can't find garage or lot parking and are forced to park on the street, be sure to have the "paybyphone" app installed. You can pay for your meter via the app. No need for quarters anymore.
  • Stefan H.
    Stefan HothAugust 6, 2014
    It's perfect for kids that are interested in how things work. But even adults can learn a lot if they come with an open mind and enough money to afford the pricy admission fee.
  • Jordan S.
    Jordan StanisciaAugust 8, 2014
    You'll never finish everything in one visit. Pick a side and really go for it! For added fun, get tickets to the pitch-black tactile dome!
  • Kimberly S.
    Kimberly SSeptember 25, 2014
    Drink water from a toilet! ;) Fun place for kids and adults, lots of different exhibits and things to play with. The magnetic sand is my fave!
  • Puu K.
    Puu KampolratanaFebruary 11, 2015
    I recommend spending a whole day here. So much to explore. Kids love it, and so do this 27-yr-old adult. You will have so much FUN.
  • Destynee A.
    Destynee AutumnApril 2, 2015
    An amazing building of science omg. Just perfect. I would advise at least 3 hours to get he complete experience.
  • Mouthful Social Media
    Mouthful Social MediaAugust 6, 2011
    The Exploratorium is located in the Palace of Fine Arts building in San Francisco’s Marina district, near the Golden Gate Bridge. Check out the Tactile Dome for an amazing experience!
  • Tablet Hotels
    Tablet HotelsFebruary 26, 2013
    Science fans will love this museum. Adults and children alike love the interactive exhibitions like the visual mind set and toilet drinking fountain.
  • joulesm
    joulesmApril 27, 2014
    Been here 25+ times
    Every Thursday night, the Exploratorium stays open late for adults. To avoid the crowds, DON'T go on the 1st Thursday. They still have bars and a whole lot less people.
  • Peter G.
    Peter GazaryanAugust 31, 2014
    The great science museum with a lot! of the interactive installations to perform the experiments from the different areas of science. Fun for both adults and children guaranteed. 100% worth to visit.
  • Exploratorium
    ExploratoriumAugust 31, 2011
    Adults, leave your kids at home on the first Thursday of every month and take a date to After Dark, the Exploratorium's night exclusively for adults. There's a new theme every month and a cash bar! Read more
  • The Wall Street Journal
    This hands-on museum, set to move to a downtown pier next year, is looking to reach a broader audience via exhibitions geared toward adults like "Sexplorations" night and other evening events. Read more
  • Pamela W.
    I hadn't been to this new location. It was wonderful!!! Make sure you take someone with you, as there are lots of things that require 2 people. This is an inter-active destination.
  • Andres N.
    Andres NovoaMay 5, 2016
    Thursday nights they hold their After Dark 18+ event which automatically gives you a discount on admission! $15 for a night at one of the best museums I've ever been to!
  • Elisha O.
    Elisha OlguinMay 2, 2013
    This place is awesome had fun. My boyfriend and I enjoyed it. We will definitely have to come back next time we come visit San Francisco
  • Exploratorium
    ExploratoriumApril 20, 2012
    Beneath the 100-year-old piers, highly specialized divers are working to repair and restore the 1,200 concrete piles—sunk into the bay mud—that support the piers! Learn what they do: Read more
  • Westfield S.
    Come take a trip back in time and see San Francisco’s colorful history come to life. Visit Westfield San Francisco Centre on 865 Market Street to watch our free light spectacular under the dome!
  • Andrew S.
    Andrew SandlerApril 8, 2016
    One of the most amazing museums in the world. Don't forget to go upstairs. There's a great patio/deck overlooking the bay.
  • Livia E.
    Livia E.August 30, 2012
    Great for kids, but just as fun for adults. Go on a weekday when it's less crowded. Just don't expect parents to gave taught their kids manners or patience, lol!
  • Pedro P.
    Pedro PortoMay 19, 2013
    Some genius put all the buttons and tools together and so you can move, transforme and sometimes explodes lots of experiments. Must see.
  • angela
    angelaAugust 15, 2014
    If you don't like crowds, go on a regular Thursday night when After Dark isn't happening. Booze is still served, and you don't have to wait in line!
  • Exploratorium
    ExploratoriumAugust 16, 2011
    After 40 years at the Palace of Fine Arts, the Exploratorium, SF’s museum of science, art & human perception, is moving to Pier 15 in 2013. Take a peek at construction behind the fence! More info at: Read more
  • Jon B.
    Jon BrunerAugust 2, 2013
    The Exploratorium is one of the best museums in the world, but adult nights on Thursdays are more than a little fratty.
  • mipadi
    mipadiMarch 11
    Thursday nights are Date Night. Unless you don't have a date, then it's Single & Ready to Mingle Night. Unless you're shy, then it's Look At Cool Science Stuff Night. Regardless, there's booze.
  • Zeke K.
    Zeke KochDecember 31, 2016
    Great exhibits. Challenging with young kids unless you have one adult per kid, but full of fascinating stuff for young and old. The food is surprisingly good, but crowded and chaotic.
  • Hana M.
    Hana MullerovaMay 25, 2016
    Worth to visit even if you staying few days. Not only for children, better to go in 2.
  • T.J. A.
    T.J. A.August 29, 2011
    Fun for kids of all ages! In the Tactile Dome, not being able to see and just feel your way around this non-obstacle course was an interesting experience. Read more
  • Rebecca M.
    Rebecca MaldonadoJuly 14, 2015
    Great museum for kids and adults alike. Please allow a few hours to see the entire museum; it's quite big.
  • Tim I.
    Tim IngmireAugust 5, 2016
    Lots to do and see and play with. Prepare to spend a lot of time here especially if you have an inquisitive mind.
  • K12 Inc
    K12 IncJune 30, 2011
    Did you know? The Exploratorium was founded by Dr. Frank Oppenheimer, a scientist who worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II, which resulted in the development of the first atomic bomb. Read more
  • William F.
    William FelkerSeptember 14, 2014
    Possibly the best Science Museum I have ever visited. Very engaging activities and plenty for all young and old.
    HISTORYApril 13, 2010
    Founded in 1969 by the noted physicist Dr. Frank Oppenheimer, the Exploratorium offers visitors exhibits, webcasts, websites and events to explore & understand the world around them.
  • Cameron K.
    Cameron KetchamJune 26, 2015
    My favorite museum of all time! Make sure to set aside enough time! There is a lot to see and explore!
  • Beth B.
    Beth BNovember 4, 2014
    Make sure you have a few hours to spare and a lot of energy before entering. It's a big place, don't burn yourself out on the first few rooms of exhibits.
  • Andrey S.
    Andrey StesyakovAugust 7, 2014
    Very good place to have fun, even without children) but I'm really confused about one thing- it is crowdy even on Wednesday
  • The Bold Italic
    The Bold ItalicMarch 10, 2011
    After Dark at the Exploratorium varies in terms of theme and content, so be sure to check online for details about food, presentations, and special exhibits. Read more
  • Daniel S.
    Full of interactive exhibits and sure to blow your mind. This is an engineer's paradise - come early and hit Pier 23 Cafe or Hard Water after!
  • Farshid K.
    Farshid KetabchiJune 12, 2013
    Great space, lots of interesting nature and science experiments, widgets, maps, etc; nice view of the bay
  • Larissa P.
    Larissa PakJune 4, 2015
    The best recreation for kids and adults alike. Maybe even more for the latter.
  • Michael D.
    Michael DavidsonMarch 8, 2015
    WOW. Probably one of my favorite hands on science museums out there. Make a lot of time and try the tactile dome.
  • Danielle E.
    Danielle EbsteinNovember 13, 2016
    Check out Thursday nights for the adult science fair. Drinks available too! Perfect for a date night.
  • Holger L.
    Holger LuedorfDecember 27, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    Most experiments are just as much fun and educational for adults as for kids.
  • Cass G.
    Cass Grimm3 weeks ago
    We went on Thursday at 6pm for adults only where they have a bar and you get to play without kids. It was legit.
  • Brian S.
    Brian StraussOctober 26, 2014
    For best crowd free viewing, come when it's not raining. A sprinkle or two and half the city shows up.
  • Andrew S.
    Andrew ShuttleworthJanuary 17, 2016
    Even if you have a full day I don't think you can experience all the fun and informative exhibits here.
  • Dora
    DoraJune 30, 2010
    Swing by on the third Saturday of every month for a Physics of Toys workshop. Kids get to make (and take home!) really cool toys and gadgets.Powered by Read more
  • Westfield S.
    If your heart is in San Francisco, come enjoy Westfield San Francisco Centre’s new free 3D light spectacular under the majestic dome at 865 Market Street until July 7, 2013!
  • shyain c.
    shyain christopherJune 24, 2015
    Its way more fun for younger children because they don't have to worry about stepping on them.
  • Maggie S.
    Maggie SheldonJanuary 17, 2016
    Great place to go with friends or on a date-- so much to do.
  • Angelica S.
    Angelica SMay 11, 2010
    This place is awesome. Fun exhibits even for adults and all hands on. Really challenges your perception and what you thought you knew.
  • Dai S.
    Dai ShiJuly 6, 2014
    Come to after dark hours on the first Thursday of each month to avoid the screaming children and have a beer while sciencing.
  • David U.
    David UristaNovember 16, 2013
    This place is so fun, my favorite section was the Psychology & Sociology exhibits especially the New York hospital exhibit.
  • Tiara S.
    Tiara SaurusMay 6, 2011
    After Dark, with speakers, exhibits, and programming targeted to an adult audience, and a no-host bar, happens the first Thursday evening of each month.
  • Bob R.
    Bob RainesNovember 7, 2015
    Plan a long day. Great for kids 7 and older. Too much for younger ones. Resist the urge to bring the little ones until they can begin to grasp the scientific principles at work
  • Kat .
    Kat 🐱January 21, 2016
    This place is for both kids and adults! One of the best science museums I have been to.
  • Mattias Petter J.
    A LOT to see and closes early, make sure you plan accordingly, it or go for the evening visits.
  • The Ritz-Carlton
    The Ritz-CarltonMarch 16, 2015
    The Exploratorium, an interactive science museum, is great family fun. Test your sense of touch in the darkness at the Tactile Dome.
  • Aleksey
    AlekseyMay 13, 2016
    A way for kinds to learn how things work. By the way, brass is a mirror for infrared rays. Try to pay attention to it.
  • Imen S.
    Imen SoltaniJanuary 20, 2015
    A playground disguised as a museum. Get in touch with the inquisitive child in you and try the tactile dome if you're not claustrophobic or afraid of darkness ! It's worth it.
  • Sara
    SaraMarch 26, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    If you are visiting and you are not bringing a child, go at opening so you can use everything without waiting for the stuck up moms with their little kids to finish.
  • Bennett W W.
    Bennett W WongNovember 28, 2014
    It's excellent and educational for everyone. Also perfect for Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy majors.
  • Edward H.
    Edward HomickNovember 8, 2012
    Neat place, even as an adult I enjoyed it, HOWEVER go on the free days (1st Wednesday of every month) because its definitely not worth the 25 dollar admission otherwise.
  • Etienne H.
    Etienne H.April 5, 2014
    Start at the back of the museum and work your way forward. Much easier than fighting the crowds.
  • Todd Z.
    Todd ZDecember 12, 2014
    This is the best hands-on science/nature experience I've ever seen - great for young and old.
  • Andrey P.
    Andrey PlaksinNovember 19, 2014
    You can spend here days and not see it all. Great experience for entire family
  • Jessica R.
    Jessica RoquéDecember 18, 2015
    It'll take more than 1 visit to see/touch/play with everything here. Fantastic museum for both young and old.
  • Alex P.
    Alex ParkerOctober 23, 2015
    One of my top favorite places. I love adult night, and when I have kids, I want them to take camps here.
  • Arjun S.
    Arjun SundararajanMarch 23, 2015
    Don't miss out on the section upstairs. My favorite was the camera obscura !!
  • Jen Q.
    Jen QMay 26, 2015
    Such a fun museum, and the new location is huge. This is science the way it's meant to be taught
  • Wouter D.
    Wouter DaanAugust 26, 2016
    Great interactive exhibits, lots of things to learn for kids and adults!
  • Michelle F.
    It is always busy here and plan to stay a while, you won't be able to see everything in a few hours.
  • Jeff W.
    Jeff WeinsteinJanuary 2, 2014
    A full day of fun for all ages. Great cafe. Come with a group.
  • Ali
    AliSeptember 5, 2014
    Bring cash for Thursday nights if you want to drink! Cash lines are always shorter
  • Paul M.
    Paul MederosDecember 10, 2013
    Adult night is first Thursday of every month. It's a great time to get smashed with interesting people, and DO SCIENCE.
  • Kian L.
    Kian LaviSeptember 9, 2015
    Make sure you check out the camera obscura on the top floor! Definitely a highlight
  • Conor C.
    Conor CumminsAugust 11, 2010
    The Tactile Dome is completely worth the time and extra $! The only downside is all the annoying kids that push buttons on exhibits you're trying to use!
  • Milli P.
    Milli ParkusNovember 28, 2016
    Location!!! Waterfront view! Excellent learning place!
  • NASA
    NASADecember 7, 2010
    Have you ever wanted to fire a laser into Jello? See what a Martian snowflake looks like? Do you want to learn how to make a telescope using reading glasses? Then you've come to the right place! Read more
  • Adam F.
    An amazing, immersive experience. Would fully recommend the tactile dome too.
  • Joe M.
    Joe Murphy LibrarianApril 18, 2013
    Not really adult friendly. But still possible to make your own fun. The cafe is great.
  • Chayce O.
    Chayce ONealDecember 16, 2015
    Epic fun time here! Come on Thursday nights for 18+ and drinks. So much fun with friends. 👍😎
  • Fran I.
    Fran InchaustiJanuary 11
    Buenisimo!!! Muy divertido. Muchas cosas para manipular, aprendes y reis. Para niños apartir de los 6 años. El lugar es muy grande asi que ir temprano. A nosotros nos quedaron cosas por hacer.
  • Maria D.
    Maria DemochkoApril 19, 2013
    По счастливой случайности, оказалась в С-Ф в день открытия этого чудесного места. Там раскрываются все тайны физики и всё можно пощупать/увидеть/услышать и испытать на себе. Очень рекомендую!
    Upvoted 4 weeks ago
  • Leonardo R.
    Leonardo RodriguezOctober 9, 2015
    Un lugar con mucho por recorrer, yo lo visite ya que estaba incluido en el San Francisco City Pass y pasamos un raro agradable. Solo si se tiene tiempo visitarlo si no es prescindible.
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