Make a Reservation
Make a reservation at our exciting Pier 15 location for the 2016–2017 school year.
Free Visits for Teachers
Once you’ve booked a field trip reservation, if you’re the lead teacher, you can preview the museum for free before the date of the trip. When you arrive, tell Guest Services that you are preparing for an upcoming field trip. Simply show a copy of the confirmation e-mail you received from us, and we’ll sign you in free of charge. For more information, please call (415) 528-4444.
What’s Going On
Plan your visit by learning about our galleries and finding out what demonstrations and events will be available during your field trip.
See Getting Here for information about public transportation and parking options, plus car and bike routes.
If you are coming by school bus or charter bus, please see Bus Routes for Field Trips and Other Groups. All buses must use approved routes to the Exploratorium. Don’t delay your visit by taking an inaccessible route!
When you arrive, please check in with an orange-vested Explainer. If you arrived by school bus or charter bus, then please wait for an Explainer to meet your bus before unloading students. If you arrived by public transportation or car, then please check in with an Explainer in the plaza.
While the Explainer organizes your group in the plaza—the open area on the north side of Pier 15, in front of the main entrance—the lead teacher from your group should check in at the Guest Services podium, located in the admission corridor, to confirm the number of students and adults in your group. Guest Services will also receive any final payments or issue a chargeback, if appropriate.
An Explainer will welcome your group to the museum, point out any special exhibits and demonstrations, and answer any questions you may have. The orientation will also cover logistical details and museum rules. The Explainer will then lead your group in exploring one exhibit. The orientations are for teachers and chaperones as well as students. Please plan approximately 15 minutes for the orientation.
The Explainer will not stay with you throughout your visit. However, Explainers are available around the museum to answer your questions, discuss exhibits, and lead demonstrations.
If you would like your group to receive an orientation in a language other than English or have other requests, please tell the Explainer when you check in. We will do our best to accommodate you.
Please note that we are unable to store student lunches. However, backpacks are allowed, so we recommend students carry their lunches in backpacks during the field trip.
Please enjoy eating lunch outdoors only. The lunch area is over the water. Please remind your students to take care of their trash so it doesn't blow into the Bay, and to keep their food away from the birds. If the weather is inclement, an Explainer will help your group find a good place to eat. Seating in our onsite SeaGlass restaurant is reserved for restaurant patrons. No outside food, please. Students who want to purchase food must be accompanied by an adult; one adult chaperone is required for every five students.
Field Trip/Early Bird Tactile Dome Tickets
Half-hour long Dome sessions begin at 10:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 12:45 p.m., and 1:30 p.m. During that time, you’re guaranteed one trip through the Dome. If time and operations allow, we’re happy to offer a second turn. The excursion costs $8.
Visiting the Exploratorium Store
The Exploratorium has two stores; we recommend that school groups use the store located in the center of the Exploratorium. This store has been designed with your students and their interests in mind. It’s located near the main entry/exit point in the heart of the museum. One adult chaperone is required for every five students in the store. It's best to visit the store earlier in your field trip. If you wait until you're ready to leave the store is often crowded.
Our First Aid Station is located at the Information Desk (near the main museum exit). If you need emergency assistance, tell an Explainer, the nearest staff member, or go to the Information Desk.
An Explainer or the Information Desk staff can assist you in finding a lost student.
Lost and Found
Our Lost and Found is located at the Information Desk.