In San Francisco for the holidays? Come pay us a visit this season—here are five must-see reasons why.
1. Enter the small, surreal worlds of Curious Contraptions.
A swimming mermaid, a flying horse, a trio of dancing foods, and more—don’t miss our winter exhibition exploring the charming, often hilarious mechanical sculptures known as automata. In Curious Contraptions: Flights of Fancy, more than 20 automata perform absurd miniature dramas, some based on myths or fairy tales you may know.
2. Look closely—you’ll find out how automata work.
The small machines of Curious Contraptions are handmade, and they come to life thanks to intricate arrangements of handmade cams, cranks, and other simple mechanisms. Their inner workings are intentionally exposed, so press the button, watch the low-tech mechanisms move, and see if you can figure out how it works!
3. Build your own automaton.
Itching to make your own curious contraption? Stop by the Tinkering Studio (located in Gallery 2). Periodically, we’ll be hosting hands-on workshops in which you can make your own whimsical mechanical sculptures out of everyday materials.
4. Roam our exhibits, and discover new and surprising things.
Just follow your curiosity—the Exploratorium contains more than 650 hands-on exhibits exploring science, art, and human perception. And don’t just look: touch, rattle, spin, and investigate! In our six main galleries you can make discoveries about rainbows, wind, giant soap bubbles, termite colonies, bacteria, subatomic particles from outer space, and so much more.
5. Take your holiday memories home with you.
Don’t forget your phone or camera—you’ll find sweeping views of the Bay and hilarious, gorgeous, and perception-bending photo-ops throughout the museum. For more tangible souvenirs of your visit, stop by the Exploratorium Stores and check out the DIY automata kits inspired by Curious Contraptions. We hope you’ll come visit us again, during the upcoming year with an annual membership or next holiday season.