Group Visit FAQ
Thanks for your interest in visiting the Exploratorium with your group. Here, you can experience the excitement of experimentation, the pleasure of discovery, and the power of understanding. To help you plan your group visit and navigate your day, read on.
Can I just show up with a big group?
To expedite entry, we strongly recommend that you purchase admission tickets for your group in advance by contacting our Group Reservation office at 415.528.4683. When you book your reservation, the group leader will receive complimentary admission.
How will I know what’s going on the day that I visit?
Check out the digital monitors above the admissions area, which list what’s going on. Our Guest Services staff can also tell you if there are any special programs going on that you shouldn’t miss.
The Exploratorium is a big museum; how will I know where everything is?
Grab a floor map to orient yourself. Our 600 exhibits and artworks are organized into six galleries, each focused on a different topic. You can visit the galleries in any order you choose; just pick an area of interest and dive in.
How long will it take to see everything?
That depends on how much time you spend at each exhibit. We recommend allowing at least two hours to explore.
What if I have a question while I’m exploring?
Our Explainers (in the bright orange vests) are here to help. You can find them throughout the museum and at our Explainer Stations. Ask a question or just see what they’re up to; they regularly do magic demonstrations, plant dissections, and a plankton drag from the bay.
What’s that big dome in the middle of the West Gallery?
That’s our Tactile Dome—you go through it in complete darkness, using only your sense of touch as your guide. You can reserve timed tickets in advance for up to 17 individuals (ages 7 and older).
What if I get hungry, thirsty, or tired while I explore?
To help you enjoy your visit, there are restrooms, water fountains, and lots of places to sit and relax throughout the museum. The SEAGLASS Restaurant offers a wide range of locally sourced, sustainable food and beverages; however, the restaurant is not set up for large groups. If your group would rather bring their own lunches you are welcome to eat in the outdoor ticketed space next to the restaurant. Boxed lunches can also be purchased in advance. The Seismic Joint Café, near the museum’s entrance, offers sandwiches, snacks, and drinks.
How can we get the most out of our group visit?
You might consider coming for a preview visit before you bring your group. If that’s not possible, here are some suggestions for navigating the museum once your group arrives. Connect Ideas: Choose an exhibit to explore. Think about what you learned when you interacted with it. Now, look around and find two more exhibits that have some connection to the first one you chose. What’s the connection? As you explore the rest of the museum, look for other exhibits with connections as well. Look for Natural Phenomena: Look for exhibits that demonstrate phenomena you’ve noticed out in the natural world. Where else have you have noticed these phenomena, and under what conditions? Use Your Senses: Find exhibits that involve your sense of smell, touch, sight, and hearing; find at least two for each of these senses. What did you discover about each sense by exploring the exhibits?