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The Exploratorium to Reopen to the Public on July 1

The Exploratorium to Reopen to the Public on July 1

New Experiences and Crowd Favorites Welcome Visitors After 15-month Closure



SAN FRANCISCO (May 13, 2021)—The Exploratorium will reopen its museum doors to the public on July 1, 2021, after more than 15 months of closure. Before reopening to the public the museum will welcome members only to attend June 24-27, in gratitude for their support and engagement during the pandemic. Timed tickets for members and the general public will be available in advance on the Exploratorium’s website, and museum capacity will be managed based on current public health guidelines. 

“We are extremely pleased to welcome our members and visitors back to our beloved museum,” said Executive Director Chris Flink. “The past year has really highlighted how important it is to engage with topics of science, and the Exploratorium makes learning playful and fun for all. We have missed our visitors tremendously, and we’re looking forward to offering everyone a safe and celebratory experience.”


Exploratorium exhibits exploring colored lights and bubbles. Images © Exploratorium.


The Exploratorium will continue to prioritize the health and safety of staff, visitors, and volunteers by implementing new guidelines that have been approved by local health officials. All staff, volunteers, and guests ages three and over will be required to wear masks and observe social distancing in the museum. Additionally, hand-washing and sanitizing stations will be available throughout the museum floor, and eating and drinking will be allowed only in designated areas. The Tactile Dome will remain temporarily closed.

In addition to six spacious galleries, a unique store, and two dining establishments, new experiences will welcome visitors to the museum, including an enhanced outdoor gallery, additional seating areas throughout, and spaces dedicated to reflecting on the many social impacts of the pandemic era. Crowd favorites also await visitors, including experiences dedicated to exploring light and color, bubbles, mirrors, and observing patterns in nature. Aperture Lucida, a mesmerizing optical device and artwork created by artist-in-residence, Tristan Duke, will be on view again in the museum’s Black Box gallery.   




Artworks will be on display at the Exploratorium's reopening including: "Compound eye" and "Cubatron Core." Images: Compound eye image courtesy of Kirsten Berg, © Kirsten Berg; Mark Lottor's Cubatron Core. Image by Amy Snyder, © Exploratorium


Beginning July 1, the Exploratorium will be open Wednesdays through Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. The Exploratorium will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays. The museum will also reopen for its popular, adults-only (18+) After Dark events every Thursday evening from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. beginning July 1. The museum will be open to daytime members and donors only from 10 a.m. to noon every Sunday. Exploratorium memberships are available for purchase online, and new members can make reservations to visit during the member-only days, June 24-27.

Beginning June 24 both dining establishments, Seaglass Restaurant and the Seismic Joint Cafe, will also be reopening. Seaglass will be serving on Thursday evenings from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Seismic Joint Cafe will be serving Wednesdays-Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

The museum’s one-of-a-kind retail store along the Embarcadero will be reopening Wednesdays-Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m, and Thursday evenings until 10:30 p.m. beginning June 24. Museum tickets are not required for shoppers. 

More information about health and safety protocols and FAQs about what to expect from your experience are available on the museum’s website. Sign up for Exploratorium emails or follow the museum on social media to stay up-to-date on announcements.


Our reopening is presented in partnership with Waymo. The Exploratorium acknowledges with gratitude our community partners: San Francisco Chronicle, SFGate, KGO/ABC7, BARTable, and Bay Area Parent.

About the Exploratorium

The Exploratorium is a portal to the astonishing scientific phenomena that animate our world and shape our actions. We create extraordinary learning experiences that ignite curiosity, upend perceptions, and inspire brave leaps forward. Since 1969, the Exploratorium’s museum in San Francisco has been home to a renowned collection of exhibits that draw together science, art, and human perception, and that have changed the way science is taught. Our award-winning programs provide a forum for the public to engage with artists, scientists, policymakers, educators, and tinkerers to explore the world around them. We celebrate diversity of thought, inspired investigation, and collaboration across all boundaries.

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