From sweeping views of San Francisco Bay to practically endless selfie opportunities, the Exploratorium is one of the most Instagrammable spots in San Francisco. Grab your phone and get ready to capture can't-miss moments interacting with more than 650 exhibits.
1. Colored Shadows
Step in front of the Colored Shadows wall in the Bechtel Central Gallery and make a trail of chromatic shadows that wiggle, jump, and strut their stuff along with you. #coloredshadows #youarethefilter
Explorer tip: Stand close enough to the wall to create six different colors.
2. Giant Mirror
Take your mirror selfie to the next level—capture yourself upside down, multiplied, or fish-eyed at Giant Mirror. Located in the Exploratorium’s Bechtel Central Gallery, Giant Mirror is constructed with materials from a NASA flight simulator and yields astonishing optical effects. #giantmirror #spaceselfie
Explorer tip: Experiment to find the sweet spot where you can high-five yourself.
3. Mood Lighting
Settle into a comfy chair and pull our color-changing bubble dome over your head—you'll look like an astronaut or an undersea explorer, and feel like a visitor to another world. Feel your mood shift with the colors and find your favorite hue. Pass your camera to a friend and document the journey. #moodlighting
Explorer tip: Make sure your flash is off to capture the exhibit’s glow.
Find your '80s music-video bliss in the Bechtel Central Gallery—experiment with speed, direction, and frequency to create distinct patterns at Lumen-Illusion. Crank up the synthesizer on your earbuds. #lumenillusion
Explorer tip: Play with Instagram filters to punch up the vintage look and feel.
5. Distorted Room
Go from tiny to towering in a few steps in our Distorted Room. Peer in and you’ll see an astonishing effect straight out of Alice In Wonderland: Watch your friends grow and shrink as they wander around the checkered floor. #distortedroom
Explorer tip: To best capture the illusion, take a photo outside the Distorted Room’s side window.
6. Fog Bridge #72494
Lose yourself inside the ultimate filter: artist Fujiko Nakaya’s Fog Bridge, an installation that stretches across a 150-foot-long pedestrian bridge. The swirling fog—formed by water pumped at high pressure through more than 800 nozzles—adds a hint of mystery to every photo. #fogbridge
Explorer tip: Fog Bridge runs daily at 10:00 a.m., noon, 2:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m.—and at 7:00 p.m. during After Dark Thursday evenings. Take your photos in the morning for the best lighting.
7. Spectral Meadow
Start your rainbow slideshow with Spectral Meadow, an artwork composed of radiant light patches—it bathes the whole West Gallery in traveling rainbows, #nofilterneeded. #spectralmeadow
Explorer tip: Make sure your flash is switched off to properly capture the intense color experience of Spectral Meadow.
8. Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery & Terrace
Find a new angle on the San Francisco cityscape—one you can't get anywhere else—in the Exploratorium’s second-floor Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery & Terrace. The glass-walled gallery features exhibits, artworks, and installations about the environment, and the outdoor Terrace provides an unforgettable open-air view of the Bay Bridge and Treasure Island. #observatory
Explorer tip: Set up a hyperlapse on the Terrace and uncover the Bay’s histories in the Observatory Gallery.
Get mesmerized by the subtly shifting colors of Buckyball, a towering illuminated sculpture by artist Leo Villareal featuring two nested, illuminated geodesic spheres. Your stories may never be the same again. #buckyball
Explorer tip: Buckyball is programmed to display more than 16 million distinct colors, so you'll never get the same photo twice.
Don't miss a single shot at Inflatable, our summer exhibition of gigantic, fantastical works of art. Spread across our indoor and outdoor galleries, these ephemeral sculptures include an inflatable insect-eye room, monumental humanoid figures, and more. #InflatableSF
Explorer tip: Ask a friend to stand next to these enormous sculptures to give your photo a sense of scale.