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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.
From the synapses in our bodies to superconductors to Earth’s magnetic field, electricity is everywhere. Get a charge out of Van de Graff generators and plasma tubes and encounter germanium’s potential at Everything Matters.
With Alex Pinigis
7:00 and 9:00 p.m. | Bechtel Gallery 3, Webcast Studio
Inspired by the discovery that muscles respond to electrical current, Mary Shelley had her Dr. Frankenstein create life with electricity. What monstrosities could she have imagined had she only known about electrically motivated plants? Join Exploratorium biologist Alex Pinigis to learn about the similar electrical systems in our brains and fast-moving plants, and stick around for a demonstration of electrified plants that would make Victor Frankenstein proud.
Prove Your Textbooks Wrong
With Zeke Kossover
7:30, 8:30, and 9:30 p.m. | Gallery 4 Explainer Station
They say glass is an electrical insulator—but according to determined Exploratorium educator Zeke Kossover, everything conducts if you try hard enough. Go with the unrestricted flow at an electricity demonstration that might just short-circuit what you learned in physics class.
Everything Matters: Germanium
With Ron Hipschman
8:00 p.m. | Bechtel Gallery 3, Webcast Studio
Appealingly shiny, nontoxic to mammals, and named for the home country of its discoverer, germanium is germane to any conversation about computer technology—it’s commonly used in the semiconductors that rule our computing lives. As part of the elemental series Everything Matters, join Exploratorium host and raconteur Ron Hipschman for a deep dive into germanium, its history, and its uses.
With Cinema Arts
6:00–10 p.m. | Gallery 1, Micro-Cinema
Energie! (Thorsten Fleisch, 2007, 5 min.)
Energize your retinas with this unconventional animation. An uncontrolled high voltage discharge of 30,000 volts exposes multiple sheets of photographic paper which are then arranged in time to create new visual systems of electron organization.
Van de Graaff Generator
With the Explainers
6:00–9:30 p.m. | Gallery 2
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.
With Coup de Foudre
6:00–10:00 p.m. | Gallery 3
Make glowing, ghostly forms forms dance at Plasmatica, an ethereal and electrifying work by the art collective Coup de Foudre. In these custom glass columns, a charged interaction between noble gases and electrically excited particles forms luminous filaments that jump, flow, and respond to your touch.
With Eric Muller
6:30–9:30 p.m. | Gallery 2
Is it magic, or is it static electricity? (Spoiler: It’s static electricity.) Try it out for yourself: stick a straw to your hand without any tape, cause a can to roll away without touching it, and send a stream of tinsel flying with Exploratorium scientist Eric Muller and his shocking variety of static electricity activities.
Osher Gallery 1
Take an excursion through total darkness in our Tactile Dome. Crawl, slide, and bump your way through the pitch-dark Dome using your sense of touch as your only guide through its chambers and mazes.
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.
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.
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.