Hawaii Mom Blog: Visit San Francisco: Exploratorium




October 27, 2016

Visit San Francisco: Exploratorium

The Exploratorium is so much more than a science museum.  It's an education; an experience; a journey of discovery.

Kids and kids at heart will explore and learn about gravity, math, colors, motion, temperature, sound, human interaction, and so much more in the 330,000 square-foot facility at Pier 15.

The Exploratorium is divided into six different galleries - Human Phenomena, Tinkering / Getting Started, Seeing & Listening, Living Systems, Outdoor Exhibits, and Observing Landscapes.

It can be quite overwhelming once you step into the Exploratorium, as over 600 exhibits beckon you from all directions to twist, turn, and pull objects and watch them float, spin, and fly.

Such a great variety of exhibits
There are puzzles to be solved, games to be played, blocks to be built, lights to be manipulated, and life forms to be examined.

We had so many favorite exhibits, and here are just a few of the highlights:
Soap Film Painting - it was a little difficult for my son to get a film of soap to last long enough to see the ever-changing colors, but he was persistent and thought it was funny whenever it popped.
100,000-toothpick sculpture!
A huge outdoor xylophone to play with friends
Will someone answer the Red Phone on the other end and give you the combination?
With Two-Faced, you're supposed to make a face with mirror images of your right or left half to explore how different each side of your face is, but my son couldn't resist making funny faces
The kids got a kick of turning the knobs on the Tinkerer's Clock to see what would happen.

Language Blocks was one of my fave exhibits.  I played this a lot with my youngest son.  This exhibit demonstrated how things we say may be misunderstood.  Trying to get my son to place the shapes on his board exactly how I had them (or vice versa) was challenging, but it was also a lot of fun to see the end result.  I also loved how this exhibit helped with both of our communication skills.

My son loved the challenge of getting a ball through the metal rings with the Ball Launcher.
The Startle Response exhibit was quite funny - you'll just have to see for yourself!
Energy from Death explores death and transformation using a dead rat and a beetle colony (this was one of my middle son's favorite exhibits!).
The kiddos had so much fun making different Colored Shadows
The super fun Shadow Box, where my kids had a blast making all kinds of shadows in a room whenever a light flashed, was a popular spot for many.

The Exploratorium truly makes learning exciting!

There were just so many more engaging exhibits - a Giant Mirror through which you appear upside down, a Tornado-generating machine, a Camera Obscura tent in which a mirror and lens projected a live image in the dark, and one of the most intriguing exhibits - A Sip of Conflict.

Clean tap water is dispensed from a never-used toilet, yet so many people (including myself) were too grossed out to take a sip. My oldest son, however, did give it a try after much contemplation.

The kids also participated in a magic trick (and the "trick" is later revealed).

We spent 3.5 hours at the Exploratorium, but even if we spent an entire day there, I still don't think that would be enough to try out everything there is.

There is just so much to do and see, and it's simply rewarding to watch the enthusiasm of the kids grow as they explore and discover the wonders of the world around us.

The Exploratorium is definitely a must-visit for families visiting San Francisco!

Pier 15
The Embarcadero & Green St.
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 528-4444

Complimentary tickets were received for the Exploratorium.

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