Inside The One And Only Exploratorium

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photo©Jeff Gunn

If you are traveling to California or looking for someplace new to visit, there are some pretty spectacular places to see in San Francisco. While I could write pages of attractions you can enjoy in this sunny location, today I am going to focus on one: the Exploratorium. I am pretty excited about this new museum in San Francisco. Actually, excited is an understatement of how I truly feel; I am ready to catch the first flight to California and dash like a crazy woman through their doors at opening. The Exploratorium really is one-of-a-kind and a must on every itinerary.

What is it?

Before I start spilling my enthusiasm all over the place, let me start by explaining what an Exploratorium even is. Looking at the name, you can probably guess it has something to do with “exploring.” The word really gives a small glimpse of what this place really has to explore. This museum is a hands-on place that gets you learning about science, art, human phenomena, and nature.

What types of activities does it have?

The museum has hundreds of exhibits to explore and the activities range from marble machines, shadows, and bubbles, to jumping into a colorless world. The one I am especially looking forward to seeing, or I should say not seeing, is the Tactile Dome. This dome is for anyone 7 and older, and is completely black. As you navigate through the area you will physically crawl, climb, slide, and feel your way through. There is so much to do that an entire day isn’t enough to experience it all.

Who is it for?

This is my favorite part about this museum; it is for people of all ages. With a vast range of exhibits, they have done an incredible job at reaching to all crowds. Some exhibits will be too complicated for children to understand, but adults and teenagers will be open-mouthed at the ingenuity of it. Then there will be areas aimed at younger crowds that have activities that are so much fun and age appropriate, kids won’t realize all the learning they are doing.

What does it cost, and what are the hours?

For an entire day of mind-blowing fun, you can expect to pay $25 for adults, $19 for youth ages 4-17, and nothing for children 3 and under. It is open every day, except Mondays, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. On Thursdays it has special hours for adults from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. There are also five free days spread throughout the year, and might be the times you plan your vacation around. I personally would love to visit on Pi Day or Groundhog Day, but you can get in free Mother’s Day, Engineering Day, and Founder’s Day too.

If you are within driving distance, I would strongly recommend swinging by and exploring the Exploratorium a few times a year. For those of us who live further away – I live clear across the country – planning a trip to visit California is a way to entwine this gem into your vacation. I love a good museum, but this one is on an entirely new level. I am not kidding when I say that it makes learning fun, exciting, and quite addicting. The moment I get through that door I will be exploring, playing, and soaking my mind with information.

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