happyly approved


The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94111

Tuesday–Sunday: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Thursday Nights (Ages 18+): 6:00–10:00 p.m. Monday: Closed except select holidays


science-museum, fun-paid-activities, indoor-activities

The Exploratorium is an incredible experience that came highly recommended to me by many of my San Francisco friends. 

This wildly imaginative and interactive museum is truly fun for all ages and sits right on the SF Bay overlooking Treasure Island.  It's close to the notoriously touristy Pier 39 and several delicious dining options.

Toddlers will be wonderstruck as they stand inside a man made tornado, dig and build with magnetic sand, create mega bubbles, and so much more.  There are six exhibits: Observing Landscapes, Outdoor Exhibits, Living Systems, Seeing and Listening, Tinkering, and Human Phenomena.  All of them with their own unique charm, you could spend hours playing, experimenting, and observing with each installment.  One of the best things about this museum is that it encourages you to discover things for yourself.  So get ready to explore, ask questions, and investigate!

While there are many exciting and fun things for the littles to enjoy, some of the exhibits are best appreciated by adults. Every Thursday night, adults (ages 18+) can experience lower admission prices and adults-only programming including guest speakers, music, films and demonstrations.

There are two places to buy food and beverages inside of the building: The Seaglass Restaurant and the Seismic Joint Cafe.  Both places offer family-friendly fare, coffee, natural sodas and more.

Make sure to check out their website to help plan your visit. It has tons of information on tips for visiting with kids, exploring the exhibits, accessibility, community days, and a calendar of events. Their detailed parking information is helpful to review before venturing out!


Restrooms Good for All Ages Good for young kids Good for older kids Has Food
Thoughtfully captured by:
Emily Coleman
Emily Coleman is a Jersey girl born and raised who caught the outdoor bug upon moving to Vermont to pursue a degree in Adventure Education and Environmental Studies from Green Mountain College. She spent most of her years before college deeply entrenched in the world of competitive cheerleading before discovering a passion for outdoor sports including mountain biking, white water kayaking, bikepacking, backpacking, slacklining, rock climbing, and skiing. Having been surrounded by children her entire life in her mother's daycare, she always had a strong affinity for kids. She moved to the mountains of Jackson Hole after graduating to coach for the local Kayak Club during the summers and nanny in the winters. Becoming a part of the Happy Active Family team felt like the perfect collision of her passion for building strong community bonds and encouraging an outdoor lifestyle.
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