The new home of the Exploratorium at the Embarcadero

The Exploratorium science museum, reopened its doors last month at Pier 15 at the Embarcadero. Built of a cost of $300 million, this waterfront facility is three times larger than the original museum located at the Palace of Fine Arts. The 330,000-square foot has more than 600 interactive exhibits offering a great opportunity to interact and learn through playing, touching, exploring and thinking.

The Exploratorium new home at the Embarcadero

This is the perfect place for everybody….from families with children of all ages, teens, parents, grandparents and even your dog! Yes, it is a pet friendly museum!!! They don’t mention it on the website but we saw a few dogs there and we confirmed it with the staff.

The Exploratorium is divided into six different main galleries and each gallery explores a different area. 1) The West Gallery focuses on “human phenomena” and experiment with thoughts, feelings, and social behavior. The popular Tactile Dome, an interactive excursion through total darkness will be open this summer.  2) The Central Gallery focuses on “Seeing & Listening” and experiment with light and vision, sound and hearing, and motion and spatial perception. 3) The East Gallery focuses on “Living Systems,” and investigate the living world.

One of my favorite exhibit in the East Gallery is a large supercomputer placed in a “social” table which shows you microscopy life in the world oceans by placing a lens disc on top of an interactive map “magnifying” the view.
The Exploratorium new home at the Embarcadero

4) The South Gallery “Tinkering” is the gallery that gives you the chance to slow down and make something! Kids were fascinating doing scribbling machines using everyday objects, motors, batteries and wires. 5) The Outdoor Gallery highlights a combination of large and small exhibits, art installations, and public programs. 6) The one new building on the pier is the Bay Observatory Gallery. This all-glass gallery focuses on landscape observation and offers a 360-degree beautiful views of the city and the bay.

The Exploratorium new home at the Embarcadero

It is difficult to see everything in just one day, we actually ended up buying the museum membership and will come back to continue the fun!

There are two dining areas at the museum. The Seismic Joint Café and the SeaGlass Restaurant in the Bay Observatory. You can also bring your own lunch and there are some local vendor food carts on the outdoor plaza.

We really had fun at the Fog Bridge created by Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya. It is a 150-foot-long pedestrian bridge with high-pressure nozzles that cover the bridge with fog and mist. The fog operates every half hour and you can walk through the fog. We heard the night time lights add a surreal atmosphere to this exhibition.

The Exploratorium new home at the Embarcadero

Location: Pier 15, San Francisco, CA 94111 See in Google Maps >

Hours: Tuesday – Friday – Saturday – Sunday: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Wednesday 10:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m. Thursday 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; open 6:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m. for ages 18+. Closed Monday except for certain holidays

Admission is $25: Adults (18–64), $19: Youth (6–17), college students, teachers, seniors (65+), people with disabilities. FREE: Children ages 5 and younger and members.
If you live in one of the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties, you qualify for special rates.


The Exploratorium new home at the Embarcadero

Have you been in the Exploratorium? I would like to hear what is your favorite exhibition :-)

6 Comments on “The new home of the Exploratorium at the Embarcadero

  1. Your pictures and descriptions make me want to go visit! Our favorite exhibits are the tornado/vortex maker that you run around in, the group smoke ring maker and the giant bubble sheet puller. I will miss the free parking and nice walk around the palace and swan-filled lake though.

    • Barbara,
      Yes, we are missing the free parking too.
      We didn’t see the giant bubble sheet puller, sounds like a lot of fun…. I will make sure we’ll check it out next time we go. It is difficult to see all the fun things in one day.
      Thank you for sharing Barbara!
      Victoria :-)

  2. Wow, this is a great presentation !

    I’ve been out of it, I didn’t know the Exploratorium moved or expanded their exhibits, this place looks very very cool ! ! !

    I want to do the Fog Bridge !

    And it appears the admission price has gone up since the last time I was there, I think it was $12.00 the last time I went.

    You have really done a great job at presenting them, I think they should hire you onto their marketing team.

    • Thank you Sam!
      We got a discount because we live in one of the Bay Area counties. They will ask you. I always bring my student ID with me and I try to use it everywhere I go.

      Yes, We love the fog bridge, it’s also located outside the museum so you can visit it for free. The bridge is temporary and will be open until September 16th, 2013. You really get immersed in a dense fog and lose your vision and orientation. I heard it is very nice at night since they add lights making it more magical.

      Let me know if you go,please share your experience. I would love to hear about it!

      Victoria 😉

  3. Just stumbled on your post. We are planning a trip to San Francisco and were looking for dog friendly activities. Now we know we can plan a visit at the exploratorium.

  4. Thank you for posting… You will really enjoy the Exploratorium, plan on being there all day. If bringing kids make sure you go to the restaurant in the back rather than the cafe in the front, it has a much larger and more kid friendly selection or walk down to the ferry building for a more sophisticated palate. Don’t forget to take your dog to Alamo Square where you can enjoy the views while your dog is off leash enjoying the company of other canine companions. Have a wonderful visit!

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