The Exploratorium

Isn’t that a great name for a children’s museum? What’s more, it really lives up to it. (My only criticism would be the very mediocre food – it doesn’t seem right to eat rubbish fish ‘n’ chips while staring at the sea ocean.)

Located on Pier 15 (on Embarcadero half-way between Fisherman’s Wharf and the Ferry Building), The Exploratorium is packed with interactive exhibits split over six galleries. The entrance fee is quite steep ($29 for me and $19 for the Jam), particularly for those accustomed to free museums in London, but we barely saw (heard, touched, smelled etc) half of what was there.

We spent most of our time in the “Seeing and Listening’ gallery as the Jam dashed from one exhibit to another. We particularly enjoyed fixing our shadows on the wall, the monochromatic room and the Alice in Wonderland (my name) room:

My big boy
My big boy
My baby
My baby
For some reason, most people choose the ordinary drinking fountain just to the right...
For some reason, most people choose the ordinary drinking fountain just to the right…

We also enjoyed the “Tinkering’ and ‘Living Systems’ galleries. In the latter, the Jam thought the looped video of a decaying bird was another highlight. Despite being a little too young for many  of the exhibits in the ‘Human Phenomena’ area, he enjoyed the unusual drinking fountain:

We only had around fifteen minutes with the ‘Outdoor Exhibits’ – the Jam liked the echo tube – but there didn’t seem to be very much happening on the day we visited. We didn’t have time for the last gallery (‘Observing Landscapes’) but it seemed more adult-orientated anyway.

I would definitely recommend this place to anyone with kids (or big kids aka husbands) visiting San Francisco. It’s definitely worth the ticket price but make sure you allocate enough time to get your money’s worth!

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