On every trip we take to a new city we make sure we include a number of hands on learning experiences for the kids. Sometimes this happens naturally through our day to day encounters, on other days we structure our day around a visit to a site that specialises in such activities. When we headed to San Francisco for a week I had a list of places to visit. At the top was The Museum of Science, Art and Human Perception. also know as The Exploratorium. The Exploratorium with kids was the perfect cover to enjoy it myself! 😉
Our family have visited many Science museums including Wollongong Science Centre and Planetarium, The Powerhouse Museum, Questacon and Scitech Discovery Centre. We had an idea of what to expect. Our expectations were blown away.
The Exploratorium boasts over 600 mind-opening exhibits. Each are crafted to make you challenge your perception and spark your curiosity. They are often quite confronting – imagine drinking out of a toilet bowl! Each exhibit demands exploration. You are drawn in to touch, smell, listen or taste what is on offer. There was never a dull moment throughout our visit and we didn’t see it all despite a whole day adventure.
Like many science museums, The Exploratorium runs a number of real time experiments and talks through the day. We were lucky enough capture a session that looked at the eye in detail. The audience were encouraged to ask questions, to develop a hypothesis about what different parts of the eye might do and to touch. At the end of the presentation, Miss N approached the scientists and asked for a closer inspection of the eye. They proudly passed it over to her. Yes, we have a budding biologist on our hands.
A day at the Exploratorium is never dull. We found the kids bounced from activity to activity until they found ones that resonated with them. They would then spend 15-20 minutes inn the activity they favoured, working out the challenge and then trying again and again to move through it. It was an exceptional experience and one I would highly recommend.
The Exploratorium can be found at Pier 15. We invested in a MUNI 7-day Visitor Passport which made travel from our hotel in Union Square super easy with the Historic Streetcar running right outside. Entry is $29.00 an adult and $19.00 for children 4-12, FREE if they’re under 4. Teachers (like me!) save a penny too with tickets only $24.00.