Tips for Visiting the Exploratorium with Kids
With six spacious indoor and outdoor galleries and hundreds of exhibits to tinker with, kids of all ages (including you) will find something fun to do at the Exploratorium. Here are a few tips to make your explorations even more joyful.
The Exploratorium is easy to reach whether you’re driving, biking, walking, or taking mass transit. Two adjacent lots offer our visitors discounted parking and we’ve got plenty of bike racks. Walking from the BART Embarcadero station or the Ferry Building with little ones? Bring your stroller—it’s an easy 15-minute walk—and enjoy the boats, bridge views, and sea birds along the way. For a playground stop, try the pirate-themed playground at Sue Bierman Park.
Strollers are welcome in the galleries. Loaners are available at the Information Desk (first come, first served).
Comfy seating for rests and breastfeeding are scattered throughout the museum. Need a quiet spot to take a break? Slip away to the Observatory Gallery or the rocking chairs on the south side of Gallery 4, or head outside for bay views and benches. Plus, try visiting on weekday afternoons and weekend mornings, which are generally less crowded.
Changing Tables and Breastfeeding
All restrooms have diaper-changing tables or counters (with the exception of the single-occupancy restroom next to Seaglass Restaurant). Want privacy for breastfeeding? Ask a Visitor Services staff member for access to our First Aid Room.
Food and Beverages
Our café and restaurant both offer kid-friendly food options. You’re also welcome to bring your own snacks and take a break in designated outdoor eating areas.
You can come and go. For reentry, get your hand stamped in the ticketing corridor or when exiting near the Tactile Dome. We’re minutes from both Pier 39 and the Ferry Building Marketplace.
At the Exploratorium, you’ll see no shushing security guards—just our outgoing facilitators. Ask them to share tips and tricks for exploring exhibits; find a lost child; or point you to the restaurant, our store, or your favorite exhibit.
Cool Exhibits for Kids of All Ages
You’re never too young (or too old) to enjoy the Exploratorium. While our exhibits can be enjoyed by visitors of all ages, look out for these favorites for specific age groups.
- Create Colored Shadows and create a shadow snapshot in Shadow Box
- Make mega bubbles and explore the science of bubbles at Soap Film Painting, Soap Dress, Geometric Bubbles, and more
- Pause to reflect in a Giant Mirror with endless possibilities
- Explore an oddly colorless world in Monochromatic Room
- Check out the Tinkerer’s Clock where cartoon characters oil, brush, and weld so it runs . . . like clockwork
- Envelop yourself in a gauzy embrace at Fog Bridge
- Float in space, or appear to, at Anti-Gravity Mirror
- Catch the momentary beauty of a water drop falling into a pool
- Make multiple rainbow-colored images of yourself at Recollections
- Create colorful mosaics of ice crystals at Watch Water Freeze
Plan Your Visit
- Looking for discounts? A membership makes it easier and more affordable for you and your family to connect with your curiosity (and each other) all year long, and it pays for itself in as little as two visits. Also, check out San Francisco CityPASS, GO San Francisco Card, and the Discover & Go Library Program.
- Take a look at our events calendar and enhanced safety protocols before you vist, and our FAQ page if you have more questions.