Note: A ticket to Thursday evening adult-only hours does not guarantee admission to special programs with limited seating. Tickets for limited-capacity programs will be made available to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis.
Exploratorium founder Frank Oppenheimer believed that playing around with things—using objects and concepts in ways other than they’re supposed to be used—was essential to learning. “In fact,” he wrote, “in our rapidly changing culture, adults probably require play as much as children do.”
Fortify your sense of fun at After Dark: Play. Brave a bicycle-powered Ferris wheel made by artist Paul Cesewski. See your heartbeat in Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s monumental sculpture Pulse Spiral, or animate your own shadow puppets in a workshop held by master puppeteer Daniel Barash. Get to know trumpets and cellos in Oakland East Bay Symphony’s instrument petting zoo, and make your own glove-a-phone with Explorables volunteers.
Discover kindergarten’s evolutionary role in shaping twentieth century arts and sciences with Exploratorium artist Marina McDougall, and uncover the secret lives of exhibits on Explainer-led tours. Build classic toys such as tops, oobleck, and paper rockets, or join the Tinkering Studio team to take apart electronic toys—and connect circuits in squishy, inventive ways.
“In exhibits that are obviously intended for play…all manner of lovely things are discoverable, even by the people who invent them.” —Frank Oppenheimer