top of page
  • saheimhaque

๐Ÿš€A Day of Exploration at the Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA ๐Ÿ”ฌ

Hey there, fellow adventurers! ๐ŸŒŸ Today, I'm thrilled to take you on a journey through one of the most mind-blowing places I've ever been to - the Exploratorium. ๐Ÿš€ Get ready to dive into a world where science meets fun in the most epic way possible! ๐Ÿ”ฌ

What is the Exploratorium?

The Exploratorium is like a science playground! ๐ŸŽข Unlike other museums where you can't touch anything, here you can dive right in and learn by doing. ๐ŸŒŸ Every exhibit is waiting for you to explore it firsthand! ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ”ฌ

History Time!

๐Ÿง”โ€โ™‚๏ธ Dr. Frank Oppenheimer, the mastermind behind the Exploratorium, started researching uranium in 1941 and later joined the Manhattan Project in 1945, led by his brother J. Robert Oppenheimer, to create the atomic bomb. ๐ŸŒŸ And yes he is THE J. Robert Oppenheimer's Brother!

By David Barker - The Exploratorium, CC BY-SA 3.0,

In 1969, the Exploratorium quietly opened in San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts, reflecting Frank's dream to make science fun and interactive. ๐Ÿšช He turned old car parts into cool teaching gadgets, inspiring curiosity and exploration. ๐Ÿ› ๏ธ๐ŸŒŒ

How Much Does it Cost?

๐ŸŒž Daytime Tickets: Adults $39.95

๐ŸŒ™ After Dark Thursday Nights Tickets: Adults $19.95

What is the timing of the Exploratorium?

๐Ÿ“Œ Sunday: Members Only (10:00 am to Noon), public from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm

๐Ÿšซ Monday: Closed

๐Ÿ—“๏ธ Tuesdayโ€”Saturday: 10:00 amโ€”5:00 pm

๐ŸŒ™ Thursday: After Dark Experience, open until 10:00 pm for ages 18+

Every Thursday night at Exploratorium, there is After Dark Experience from 6:00โ€“10:00 p.m.! ๐ŸŒŸ It's adults-only fun with 650+ interactive exhibits on science and art. ๐ŸŽจ Plus, dive into the Tactile Dome and enjoy drinks while exploring 75,000 square feet of excitement! ๐Ÿฅ‚๐ŸŒŒ

๐Ÿฝ๏ธ Seaglass Restaurant โ˜• Seismic Joint Cafรฉ: Sun, and ๐Ÿ›๏ธ Exploratorium Store will have dining and drinks options.

What is Inside?

If you love learning new things ๐Ÿ“š, are a curious kid ๐Ÿค”, or just want an amazing experience ๐ŸŒŸ, the Exploratorium is the place for you. When you visit, you'll find endless possibilities ๐Ÿš€ and let your imagination fly high ๐ŸŒˆ. It's ready to inspire and captivate everyone who steps inside.

The Exploratorium is a place where learning is fun! ๐ŸŒŸ You can navigate the dark Tactile Dome ๐Ÿ•ถ๏ธ, walk through the Fog Bridge ๐ŸŒซ๏ธ, and play with light and color in the "Colored Shadows" ๐ŸŒˆ and "Aurora" exhibits.

Explore optical illusions like the "Giant Mirror" ๐Ÿชž and the "Monochromatic Room" ๐ŸŒซ๏ธ. Get hands-on with science in exhibits like "Magnetic Fluid Patterns" ๐Ÿงฒ and "Icy Bodies" โ„๏ธ. It's an interactive adventure where science meets art! ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ”ฌ๐ŸŽจ Some exhibits are-

A Sip of Conflict

๐ŸšฝWould you dare to sip from a water fountain crafted from a real, yet untouched, toilet? ๐Ÿ’ง

๐Ÿ“ธ A favorite spot for photos that might make you cringe, this straightforward psychology of getting contaminated, reveals the tug-of-war between logical thinking and instinctive reactions. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ’ก

To highlight mysophobia. ๐Ÿงผ, they've created an exhibit named A Sip of Conflictโœจ ๐Ÿ˜ฆ And if you're curious about its location, it's no coincidence that you'll find this exhibit right next to a real restroom. ๐Ÿšฝ

All Eyes on Me

Want to be the star of the show? Head over to the exhibit called "All Eyes on Me"! ๐Ÿ‘๏ธโœจ

The equation for calculating the focal length of a parabolic mirror is:

The radius of curvature R = 2 X Focal Length f

๐Ÿ˜ฒ In this exhibit, the mirrors form a curve where light converges at a focal point. Stand at the right spot, about twice the focal length away, and you'll see your own eye reflected back at you from all the mirrors! ๐Ÿ‘๏ธ๐Ÿ”„

๐Ÿ”† Smooth-surfaced parabolic mirrors are commonly used in car headlights, solar ovens, and reflecting telescopes. ๐Ÿš—๐Ÿ”ญ


๐Ÿ’กLumen illusion is all about lights that seem to move! ๐ŸŒŸ When lights flash quickly, it tricks our eyes into thinking things are moving, even when they're not! ๐Ÿš€

Light Exhibits

โ˜€๏ธWhen sunlight hits a bird's feathers, something amazing happens! The tiny parts of feathers scatter the light, like a prism, creating beautiful colors and shiny effects. ๐Ÿฆ

At the light exhibit area, you can explore cool pictures and experiments related to the magic of light! ๐ŸŒˆ

Colored Shadows

At the Colored Shadows exhibit, shadows aren't just black! ๐ŸŒˆ Stand in front of the wall and you'll see shadows in different colorsโ€”yellow, magenta, cyan, and more! ๐ŸŽจ It happens when different colored lights mix together, making shadows that are anything but boring! ๐Ÿ’ก

Block the red and green lights and you'll see a blue shadow. If you block only one light, you'll get a shadow that's a mix of the other two colors. ๐Ÿšฆ It might seem strange, but when red and green lights mix, they look like yellow! ๐ŸŸจ So, you'll see lots of colorful shadows dancing around as you move! ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ•บ

Anti-Gravity Mirror

In the "Anti-Gravity Mirror" exhibit, stand beside a large mirror and straddle it. Your reflection appears whole because of your body's symmetry, tricking the brain into thinking the obscured half is real. ๐Ÿชž By positioning yourself cleverly, you can make it look like you're defying gravityโ€”fly, levitate, or even grow extra legs! ๐Ÿš€

Fun Fact:

The flying illusion in this exhibit was used in the original Star Wars movie! ๐ŸŒŸ They made the Landspeeders seem to float by attaching mirrors to hide the wheels. When filmed, the mirrors reflected the sand, making it look like the cars were flying above the ground. ๐Ÿš—โœจ

Pendulum Snake

Check out the Pendulum Snake! ๐Ÿ When you lift the handle, these pendulums start swinging, creating cool patterns as they move. ๐Ÿ”„ Here's the trick: Each pendulum swings at its own speed based on how long its string is.

๐Ÿ˜€ The longest one swings 15 times in 30 seconds, the next swings 16 times, and so on. They all come back together every 30 seconds! ๐Ÿ•›After 15 seconds, the even-numbered pendulums are back where they started, while the odd-numbered ones are halfway through their swing. It makes them look like they're swinging like a snake! ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ•บ

Stripped Down Motor

๐Ÿš—โš™๏ธ Here you get to see a motor with all its parts exposed, so you can understand how everything works together. You can connect the wires yourself and watch the motor come to life! ๐Ÿงฉ

๐Ÿ”‹ It's a hands-on way to learn about electricity and mechanics. Perfect for anyone curious about what makes things go vroom! ๐Ÿ”ง๐Ÿ’ก๐Ÿš€

Hand Battery

This exhibit is electrifying fun! โšก๐Ÿคฒ You can generate electricity just by holding hands with friends and touching the metal plates. It shows how your body can conduct electricity and light up a bulb, making science feel magical! โœจ

๐Ÿ”‹ This interactive exhibit teaches you about conductivity and circuits in the most exciting way, perfect for sparking curiosity and fun with friends and family! ๐ŸŒŸ๐Ÿ”Œ๐Ÿ‘ซ

Shoe Tester

๐Ÿ‘Ÿ๐Ÿ’ช The Shoe Tester at the Exploratorium is a fascinating exhibit originally developed by the National Bureau of Standards in 1933. ๐Ÿงชโœจ It was designed to test the endurance of leather shoes by pressing them against a moving abrasive belt to simulate walking conditions. ๐ŸŒŸ๐Ÿ”ง

๐Ÿ› ๏ธThis helped ensure the durability and quality of shoes, making it an essential tool for the leather industry during its time. ๐Ÿ‘Ÿ๐Ÿ’ฅ

Rolling Through the Bay

๐Ÿ™๏ธ๐ŸŽพ Artist Scott Weaver has been building a miniature San Francisco out of toothpicks since 1974. Ping-pong balls roll through the model, visiting famous sites along the way! ๐ŸŒ‰

Here's the scoop: Scott Weaver's Toothpick City is a work-in-progress at the Exploratorium. It's made of over 118,000 toothpicks and wood glue! ๐Ÿฆท๐Ÿงฉ Ping-pong balls can enter at 15 different points, each leading to a unique tour of the city. ๐Ÿšƒ And keep an eye out for surprises hidden in the sculptureโ€”like the toothpick heart Scott left behind! โค๏ธ๐Ÿ”

The Tinkerer's Clock

Meet the Tinkerer's Clock! ๐Ÿ•ฐ๏ธ๐Ÿ› ๏ธ It's a giant clock outside the Tinkering Studio. Cartoon characters are ready to tinker with the numbers, and visitors can make them move with knobs.

โš™๏ธ When it's time, for the characters to finish their work, the numbers swing out, and a gentle gong rings. ๐Ÿ””

Artist and engineer Tim Hunkin says the clock reminds us of old mechanical gadgets. It's a fun way to see how things used to work! ๐Ÿค–๐Ÿ”

Probably Chelsea

๐Ÿ‘ค๐ŸŽจ These sculptures show 20 different possible portraits, all based on the DNA of one personโ€”Chelsea Manning. It's crazy how the same DNA can lead to so many different looks! ๐Ÿงฌ

Do you know?

๐ŸงฌYour DNA plays a big part in how you look, like your earlobes, thumb placement, eye color, and more. ๐Ÿง”โ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸฆฐBut other things, like where you grew up and what you eat, also make you who you are! ๐ŸŒ๐ŸŽ So, while DNA is important, it's not the only thing that shapes you! โœจ

Don't forget to take a look at the cell models; it made me nostalgic, reminding me of my school days!

Mood Lighting

Step into the Mood Lighting area and pick your color! ๐ŸŒˆ Sit in a comfy chair, surrounded by your chosen hue from warm amber to cool violet. Notice how each color makes you feel inside.๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿฅฒ By the way I could not differentiate anything!

Scientists study how colors affect our emotionsโ€”it's a mix of what we learn from our culture and biology. Colors can really change our mood and even how we perceive time! โฑ๏ธ๐Ÿ”ด๐Ÿ”ต

Scheduled Events

The Exploratorium offers a variety of engaging events and exhibits throughout the year. During our visit, there was an event named After Dark: Fruiting Fungi ๐Ÿ„

There were so many different types of mushrooms, you can't even imagine! You can get creative with fun art projects ๐ŸŽจ, watch cooking demos ๐Ÿด, and see colorful mushroom dyes. ๐Ÿ„

Also, enjoy curated movies about these little fellows and get to know local mushroom enthusiasts.๐Ÿ˜€ Check Exploratorium's website for upcoming and current events before you purchase your ticket. ๐ŸŽŸ๏ธ

Tactile Dome

The Tactile Dome is one-of a kind adventure in absolute darkness! ๐ŸŒŒ Let your senses guide youโ€”feel the textures, and sniff out the scents around you. ๐Ÿ˜ŠUse your listening power and senses in a different dimension! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

โ˜€๏ธ Daytime Hours: 10:15 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.

๐ŸŒ™ After Dark Hours: 6:15 p.m. - 9:15 p.m.

๐Ÿ’ฒCost an extra $15.95 (or $12.95 for members)

๐Ÿงฆ A Pair of socks is mandatory!

If you feel nervous in the pitch-black, don't worry! Exploratorium team is watching over you every step of the way. ๐Ÿ•ต๏ธโ€โ™‚๏ธ Relax and Carry On! Be brave and find your way out! ๐Ÿ˜„


There is a huge glowing sculpture that's 25 feet tall just outside the entrance! ๐ŸŒŸ It's called Buckyball and it's like a giant soccer ball made of lights. ๐Ÿ’ก Inside, there are thousands of tiny LED lights arranged in patterns, kind of like a puzzle! When the lights change colors & move around, it's like a beautiful light show. ๐ŸŽ†

This sculpture was inspired by a shape called a geodesic dome, which looks like a soccer ball too! Scientists found this shape in a tiny carbon molecule and called it "Buckyball" after the inventor Buckminster Fuller. ๐Ÿโœจ It's super cool and scientists are still learning all about it! ๐Ÿงช๐Ÿ”ฌ

The Wave Organ

Do you love music? and want to hear some Organ played by the Sea? Head to the Wave Organ! ๐ŸŒŠ๐ŸŽถ It's a unique sculpture in the San Francisco Bay that creates sounds when waves touch it. ๐Ÿ’ฆ

Here's the story: Inspired by recordings of sounds coming from a pipe in Australia, artist Peter Richards, with the help of sculptor George Gonzalez, built the Wave Organ using materials from a cemetery. They used organ pipes made of PVC and concrete, set up at different heights to match the tides. When waves hit the pipes, they produce music that you can hear if you listen closely. ๐ŸŽต It's a special place dedicated to Frank Oppenheimer, who helped make it happen. ๐ŸŒŸ

It's been a blast exploring one of the most interactive museums I've ever experienced! ๐ŸŽ‰ I hope I've sparked your curiosity too! ๐Ÿ”ฅ If you're ready to dive into the wonders of science firsthand, there's no better place than the Exploratorium! ๐ŸŒŸ Let your inner child come alive! See you exploring some other corner of the world with even more fascinating places. Until then, happy adventures with Haque's EYE! ๐Ÿ‘๏ธโœจ



bottom of page