Exploratorium’s adult-only after-hours membership is an innovation in the museum field.
Visitors explore Cloud Rings at a recent After Dark,
SAN FRANCISCO (January 29, 2018) – The Exploratorium recently launched a new After Dark Membership, the first of its kind to promise one night a week of serious play for adults, all year long, for less than the price of two daytime tickets. The popular Thursday night After Dark events provide thought-provoking programs for an adult audience that push boundaries and encourage visitors to reconsider adult topics that range from sex to gene-editing. Visitors are encouraged to touch everything, ask questions, and explore the institution’s 75,000 square feet of exhibit space in a social and informal setting, with or without a drink. Members also get to skip the line with special access to bars that feature microbrews, wine, and science-inspired cocktails.
“Innovation and play are crucial to the Exploratorium’s ethos, and by creating this new membership we’re extending that spirit to our adult audience,” says Julie Nunn, Director of Membership. “There’s a perception in the Bay Area that because tens of thousands of children come through our doors every year the Exploratorium is a children’s museum. But one visit to After Dark reminds us that for adults as well as children, play can be a crucial path to knowledge, empathy, and community.”
And the After Dark membership community is growing steadily. According to Sarah Owens, Membership Manager at the Exploratorium, the After Dark membership is exceeding its expectations to reach 1,000 After Dark members by the end of this fiscal year. “We’ve averaged about 150 new members a month,” says Sarah Owens. “A lot of visitors are coming for a featured After Dark like Glow or the upcoming Sexplorations and then applying the cost of their tickets that same night to purchase a membership. If you plan to come even two times in a year, it makes sense to go ahead and get the membership.”
Two After Dark membership options are available and are priced to be accessible to all wanting to attend—both options cost a little more than attending two After Dark events and can be used to attend 50+ After Dark programs a year. An individual membership is $45 and a dual membership (with one or two named members) is $85. Additional membership perks include free access to Friday Nights during the summer, a special members’ bar line, a 10% discount at the Exploratorium Stores, personalized membership cards, and members-only monthly eNews.
After Dark started in 2009 and approximately 73,000 people attended in 2017. The program explores diverse themes, ranging from the science behind our food to immersive art installations. As an adult-only event, After Dark is able to focus on contemporary and seemingly risque topics such as Cannabis and the upcoming Sexplorations, which includes a talk by renowned author of Bonk and other bestsellers, Mary Roach, as well as a lecture on the scientific study of human orgasms. Each event of this kind is grounded in the scientific study of that day’s theme.
CALENDAR EDITORS TAKE NOTE:
Sexplorations - Thursday, February 1, 2018 • 6:00–10:00 p.m.
Sex involves the transfer of genetic information that has resulted in evolution and specialization—and one of the hottest evenings in town, scientifically speaking. Discover some surprising ways that sperm and eggs come together.
Extended Cinemas - Thursday, March 1, 2018 • 6:00–10:00 p.m.
Listen, peer, touch, and interact as our annual cinematic celebration takes over museum spaces to provide intriguing experiences—both on and off the screen—created by artists and filmmakers from the Bay Area and beyond.
Glow - December
Our annual festival of ebullient lights and subtle glows celebrating the close of the year. Bask in the mesmerizing gleams of special installations and vibrant sculptures, take a shine to illuminating exhibits, and show your sparkle with scintillating activities.