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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.
Beyond the skin we live in, clothing and accessory is a ubiquitous human visual identity. It can be a strong marker of culture, values, and resources. It can define how we see ourselves or how we want to be seen. Get your hands on contemporary wearable designs, catch a fabulous fashion show, or learn about how humans transform themselves with their “second skin.” Come wearing the true you and celebrate the creative, expressive, and radical ways in which we adorn our physical forms. Then learn about the silvery rare earth metal Yttrium at Everything Matters.
Make Up Yourself
With the Rice Rockettes
6:30–7:45 and 9:00–9:30 p.m. | Osher Gallery 1
Get in step with the Rice Rockettes for a hands-on skillshare of some of the essentials of drag: makeup, wigs, shoes, and attitude! Let these pros guide you through the steps to achieving a vibrant cut-crease look, advise on the perfect accessories, and teach you to walk the walk (in heels). Join in on the dress-up at our makeshift makeup counter and wear your new style with pride.
Contemporary Muslim Fashion
With Saba Ali
7:30 p.m. | Osher Gallery 1, Kanbar Forum
This year, for the first time, a model wearing a hijab and burkini appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue—a sign that a more nuanced discussion of Muslim dress and identity has entered the national conversation. Get a fresh and informed perspective with stylist Saba Ali—hear about her work in the fashion industry and ways in which cultural identity can be carried through this fast-growing fashion sector. Discover the vibrant and diverse palette of style represented in Muslim culture, what it signifies for the wearer, and what it signals to the observer.
All the World’s a Stage
With Heike Winterheld
8:00 p.m. | Osher Gallery 1
How much of what you did today—how you decided to dress, whether you worked out, what emotions you chose to display—was influenced by concerns about how others perceive you? Self-presentation refers to the behaviors intended (even unconsciously) to manage the impressions others form of us. Come join Exploratorium social psychologist Heike Winterheld in an intimate and interactive conversation about the ways in which science-based strategies can help you present yourself as you intend, the role of shyness in impression management, and the costs of worrying too much about how we come across to others.
Everything Matters: Yttrium
With Ron Hipschman
8:00 p.m. | Bechtel Gallery 3, Wattis Webcast Studio
The metallic element Yttrium probably won’t spontaneously combust during Everything Matters: Yttrium—it requires temperatures over 400 C—but there’s no doubt it’ll be an explosive evening anyway. Come be in your elements with Exploratorium host and scientific raconteur Ron Hipschman; follow tales of intrigue and invention, join in dynamic demonstrations, and uncover fascinating connections between individual elements and our collective experience.
Articles of Interest
With Avery Trufelman
8:30 p.m. | Osher Gallery 1, Kanbar Forum
Hear the hidden, overlooked, or forgotten stories of clothes and styles in the American fashion lexicon with radio producer Avery Trufelman. Following up her six-part series Articles of Interest on the 99% Invisible podcast, Trufelman’s work covers a broad range of concepts like the rise of casualwear, the environmental impact of the textile industry, and why womenswear doesn’t have pockets. Try on something new and see what you discover.
6:30–9:30 p.m. | Gallery 2
Think of any scenario. Using five words or less, describe it in a sentence. Now watch as artist PNosa interprets your words and uses his sewing machine to draw your idea, freehand, on fabric. Embroidered patches will be available for purchase.
7:00–9:00 p.m. | Gallery 2, Tinkering Studio
Light up your life by constructing a working, wearable circuit. You’ll experiment to learn how to connect a circuit, and then design a way for it to work on a wearable item. We’ll provide the tools, you’ll provide the energy—then take what you make with you.
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 3
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.
Van de Graaff Generator
With the Explainers
Bechtel Gallery 3
Get ready to have your hair stand on end (literally). Experience our electrostatic generator firsthand—with high-voltage direct-current electricity turned down to low current levels, our Van de Graaff generator both will, and won’t, shock you. Please keep your hands on the sphere until our Explainers tell you to let go!
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.