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Free for After Dark Members
Adults Only (18+)
Note: The Tactile Dome and some programs have limited capacity and are available to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis.
Lose yourself in over 650 interactive exhibits exploring perception, art, and science at our adults-only After Dark. Grab your friends and a drink and get immersed in mind-bending experiences and unique, thought-provoking programs.
When is one not enough? Look again at the surprising ways doubling quantities affects our perceptions and our world. From stereoscopic illusions and vision research to cellular division and the startling implications of exponential growth, this evening's program will leave you seeing double.
Double Dutch Demonstration
With the Bay Area Double Dutch League
7:00 and 8:30 p.m. | Bechtel Gallery 3
Jump in on the fun with the Bay Area Double Dutch League as they demonstrate the skipping skills required to bring the schoolyard sport to a competitive level. Get educated on the history and benefits of skipping rope and test your own footwork against two ropes and two turners.
The Last Doubling
With Ron Hipschman
8:30 p.m. | Osher Gallery 1, Kanbar Forum
Is growth always good? The biggest threat to our existence on planet Earth isn’t asteroids—it’s us. Why can’t our population continue to grow? Learn about the exponential function and the conclusions we can draw from it with Exploratorium scientist Ron Hipschman.
6:00–10:00 p.m. | Osher Gallery 1
Face up to your own hidden faces. Most faces aren’t perfectly symmetrical; by posing for a double selfie and “mirroring” each side of your face, you can see two different, symmetrical versions of yourself. Does one look more natural than the other, or more like your actual face?
6:00–10:00 p.m. | Osher Gallery 1, Black Box
In Silhouette invites you to experience remarkably complex and inventive works of shadow play. Arm yourself with a handheld flashlight and bring these optical wonders to light.
With John Proffitt
6:30–9:30 p.m. | Osher Gallery 1, Math Cinema
Duplicate yourself in this reflective experience by industrial designer John Proffitt. This “poly-mirror” is a prototype that presents a doubled and reversed image alongside the user’s usual reflection, making it possible to pose in kaleidoscopic shapes, mix colors, and high-five with only one hand.
7:00–10:00 p.m. | Bechtel Gallery 3, Sun Painting
Make a thaumatrope, a Victorian-era toy that spins two pictures into a single image with the help of string and the phenomenon of persistence of vision. All materials provided; take what you make.
Endangered Species Condoms
With the Center for Biological Diversity
6:30–9:30 p.m. | Gallery 4 Corridor
The rapid growth of our human population is pushing other species off the planet, but you can help slow the process in one very specific way. Come pick up some free endangered species-themed condoms and learn a little about the link between human population growth and the species extinction crisis.
Double-Take a “Cell-fie”
With Rebecca McGillivary
6:30–9:30 p.m. | Gallery 4 Bio Bar
Get ready for the ultimate close-up and take a photo of yourself with your very own cells. Learn about the tiny building blocks that make up your body by viewing your own cheek cells under a microscope. Then take your own “cell-fie” and double-expose your face with an image of your cells, showing off what you look like at two vastly different magnifications.
How Many HeLa?
With Sam Reisman
7:00–9:00 p.m. | Gallery 4
Imagine the city of San Francisco covered completely in living cells. Groups of dividing cells expand exponentially, and cells that can grow in vitro, like HeLa cells, may divide rapidly and indefinitely—so come chat with Exploratorium biologist Sam Reisman and figure out how long it would take for HeLa cells to grow to cover all 49 square miles.
Osher Gallery 1
Journey through total darkness in this twisting, turning, tactile sculpture. Walk, crawl, climb, and slide your way through a wonderland of textures using only your sense of touch as a guide.
Please Note: Due to the nature of this experience, certain restrictions apply. Guests who are afraid of the dark; claustrophobic; have back, neck, or knee injuries; or are in their third trimester of pregnancy should not participate. Guests wearing casts are prohibited. Also, please wear comfortable clothes.
You can reserve tickets for our 6:15 and 7:00 p.m. sessions. We also operate drop-in, first-come, first-served sessions at 7:45, 8:30, and 9:15 p.m.; tickets can be purchased at the Information Desk.
Learn more about the Tactile Dome.
6:00–9:45 unless noted
Various locations throughout the museum
Ticketing at 6:00 p.m., first come, first served
Osher Gallery 1
Draw hypnotically flowing patterns with a swinging table, and watch friction cause the patterns to slowly shrink along a spiral path. Pick up a ticket to reserve your spot in line for this popular activity.
Bechtel Gallery 2
Tune in to surrounding sounds by experimenting with strings and vibrations, and use electromagnets to build a basic speaker. Learn how to listen with your bones, and explore the workings of the inner ear.
Cow Eye or Flower Dissection (alternating)
Do cows see color? How does a lens work? Examine the intricate structure of a cow eye to learn about similar structures in our own eyes, as well as some key differences.
Stigma, stamen, pistil, anther, style: Uncover the beautiful architecture of flower anatomy, and gather some surprising strategies that plants use to reproduce.
Osher Gallery 1
Everything is not as it seems—at first. Pick a card, any card, and watch the Explainers reveal some surprising aspects of human perception.