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San Francisco Children’s Science Museum

How Much Does It Cost To Park

Exploratorium: The Museum of Science in San Francisco

Parking on the street is free.

The following are the rates to park in the garage:

  • $5.25 an hour on weekdays
  • $6.25 an hour on weekends
  • $17 for a full day

The garage opens at 7 a.m. daily and closes at 7 p.m. Friday – Wednesday. It’s open until 11 p.m. on Thursday, which is when the Nightlife event takes place.

Note: The California Academy of Sciences does not own this lot, so if you have any complaints take note of the information on the signs within the garage.

Sightseeing See More For Less

Make the most of your San Francisco holiday by spending less on admission to the Academy and other top attractions. Check out CityPASS, Go San Francisco Card, Big Bus Tours, and City Sightseeing for the best deals.

See San Francisco’s top four attractions, hand-picked and packaged together at a 44% savings. Visit the attractions at your own pace, in any order, over a 9-day period. Purchase now for instant mobile delivery.

Save up to 55% on admission to the Academy and 25 other top San Francisco attractions with a Go San Francisco Card.

Summer Camp For Science

iD Tech One-and two-week sessions over the summer allow students ages 7-19 to be fully immersed in technology and science at UC Berkeley or St. Marys, among 150 world-class university locations. iD Tech offers a variety of camps: 3D Printing and Modeling Robotics and Visual Programming Build and Code Your Own Take-Home Laptop and many programming languages. Day camp and overnight camp are both available.Phone: 1-888-709-8324

More camps: See our comprehensive Summer Camp Guide for a great list of STEM camps > >

Thanks to iD Tech, the worlds #1 summer STEM program for ages 7-19, for sponsoring this guide to Bay Area science museums and experiences.

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How To Get Here From Fisherman’s Wharf

This route includes two buses that will take you within blocks of this San Francisco museum.

Bus #1: Pick up the 49 heading toward the Mission at the corner of North Point Street and Jones Street. Take this to the corner of Van Ness and McAllister.

Bus #2: You will then walk across McAllister Street to pick up the #5 Fulton on the northwest corner of this intersection.

Take this second bus to the stop at Fulton and 10th Avenue. You will then enter the park and walk until you reach John F. Kennedy Drive. Take a left on JFK Drive and then a right when you reach Music Concourse Drive. At this point, you should see the museum about a block away. There should also be signs at this intersection.

The walk takes less than 10 minutes from the bus stop.

Academy Of Art University Automobile Museum

10 Best Children

The Academy of Art University Automobile Museum is situated at Washington and Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco. This museum in San Francisco was built to restore and promote the antiquity of cars. The rare cars on display highlight the intricate craftsmanship and designs from over the decades. They have a marvelous collection showcasing vintage Rolls Royce, Mercedes, Buggati, etc. all from 1920s to 1960s. The vintage models on display are not only American but also include cars from Italy, Britain, Germany, etc. The university allows access to its design students to study these stunning cars which are in excellent condition.

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Steinhart Aquarium In San Francisco

The Steinhart Aquarium is another amazing experience inside this San Francisco science museum. You walk directly under the water tunnel – where you can take a seat and watch guys like this one swim right next to you.

After you take a few minutes to rest, you can then head into the heart of the aquarium. Here you will find everything from jellyfish to water snakes.

This is the first tank of fish you will see when you enter the Steinhart Aquarium SF.

The aquarium houses more than 40,000 live animals including almost 9,000 species!

The jellyfish tank is another one of my personal favorites. There are colored lights below and the lights change periodically. This makes the jellyfish easy to watch as they float around their tank.

Beat Museum: Best For Hipsters

The rise of the Beat movement in the 1950s was one of San Franciscos defining moments, and it’s lovingly celebrated at this North Beach museum. The 1000-plus artifacts in this collection of literary ephemera range from the sublime to the ridiculous the Jack Kerouac bobblehead dolls are definite head-shakers.

Downstairs, watch Beat-era films. Upstairs, pay your respects at shrines to individual Beat writers, and take a nostalgic ride on the wave of reinvention that carried San Francisco in the modern age.

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Save On Admission To San Francisco’s Top Museums

Save 44% on three days’ unlimited cable car rides and admission to San Francisco’s top attractions with San Francisco CityPASS. Includes California Academy of Sciences and Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise Adventure, plus two other attractions of your choice: Aquarium of the Bay, The Walt Disney Family Museum, The Exploratorium, or San Francisco Zoo & Gardens.

* Denotes part of San Francisco CityPASS.

Stairways Around San Francisco

Exploratorium E9, San Francisco Bay Area CA, Children science museum, interactive attraction tour!

Another fun thing to do in San Francisco with kids is to check out our colorful stairways. You will find them all around the city and they are a fun way to work off some energy.

Some of the most popular are the mosaic stairs including the 16th Avenue and Hidden Garden Stairs. If you plan to visit Coit Tower, you can also climb either the Filbert Street Stairs or the Greenwich Stairs to the top for your visit.

You will also find other interesting stairways in some of SFs other top districts and near some of our best attractions.

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De Young Museum And Legion Of Honor

Not all children enjoy visiting art museums, but the de Young Museum can be surprisingly fun for older kids. From the fascinating features of the African and Oceanic collections to the striking images of contemporary works, this museum will help your children develop a more diverse view of what art is. Kids who have studied the history of the Mayans, Aztecs or Incas in school will especially enjoy the collection of Mayan painting and sculpture.

Whether you tour the museum or not, dont miss the Hamon Tower. Its free to go up, and once there, youre treated to a 360-degree view of the city and San Francisco Bay.

Let The Kids Play At Pier 39

TripSavvy / Melissa Zink

If your kids would like to take home something with San Francisco written all over it, Pier 39s souvenir and specialty shops will tempt them to spend . Theres also a double-decker Venetian carousel in the center of the complex, frequent free performances that kids love on the stage near the end of the pier and the Aquarium of the Bay, a unique, walk-through underwater attraction. On the west side of the complex, youll find where the California sea lions hang out.

San Francisco has great street performers, and most kids love to watch them. Youll find some of the best of them between Pier 39 and Fishermans Wharf.

Children enjoy watching the sea lions who have taken over the small marina beside the pier. Its a good place to get a bite to eat and when the kids are ready to go, Pier 39 has free public restrooms.

On the downside, Pier 39 gets very crowded and noisy, especially during the summer, making it hard to navigate with active kids and strollers. Some people think Pier 39 is a tourist trap and according to the official definition, it probably is, created with the aim of attracting tourists and offering overpriced goods and services. This may be more of a turn-off to adults than to the kids, who tend to care less about such things than they do about having fun.

Don’t Miss: Children’s Museum Of Phoenix Free Admission

Museum Of Craft And Design

The Museum of Craft and Design, famously known as the MAD, is another prized possession of San Francisco. The museum was envisioned by Aileen Osborn Webb, an American Art patron and philanthropist, who is credited for founding The American Craft Council. Established in 1956, the museum was created in an attempt of acceding and upholding the artists, designers and artisans from the contemporary and alternative art and design arena.

Academy Of Sciences Nightlife

Best Museums for Kids in San Francisco  Winnie

This San Francisco science museum also hosts a 21+ Nightlife event. This event is held most Thursday nights from 6pm to 10pm. As you can imagine, this is another hot ticket and is popular for both locals and visitors.

I’ve had the chance to attend several times and they are really cool if you love science or learning about off-beat topics. Each Thursday night offers a different theme. Past themes include Fungus Among Us, Year of the Dog, and Nightlife Spotlight .

You can explore the museum, listen to live music, and mingle with other science lovers. You can also grab a drink or some food at the bar — cash only. It starts at 6 pm and runs until 10 pm.

> > Pick up your Nightlife tickets in advance

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Children’s Discovery Museum San Francisco Ca

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    This is one of our favorite spots for a morning with the kids, especially if there is no school. Our kids are 3 and 1, and they both get so much out of our more

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    My older sister, two nieces , and I came to the Children’s Creativity Museum on 08/07/21 more

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    for children, field trips, and families. Keep that in mind. I recommend going into the humid more

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    said, there are some equally offensive exhibits. The fact that they feel the need to have children more

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    to recommend it to the right visitors. It really isn’t a good museum for active children or people more

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    I’ve gone to Children’s Fairyland since I was little. Loved it as a child. Recently we took My more

  • Corona Heights

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    a bathroom emergency and we were literally told to go down the hill. Meanwhile there were white children more

  • Lakeshore

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    Masks optional except in indoor exhibits and shops. 2 adults and one child $72 children under 1 free. more

  • excited by his discoveries and enthusiastic for school! This school seriously respects children more

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  • Best San Francisco Museums For Kids

    Do you want to take your kids out to a fun museum in San Francisco?

    Although museums are usually not the first thing that comes to mind, there are some that kids will find interesting.

    Weve had a look at the most engaging places to keep everyone busy.

    And theyre much more interactive than the typical school teacher!

    Here are the most fun museums we recommend in San Francisco if you have active kids.

    Don’t Miss: Museum Of Fine Arts Boston Ticket Price

    An Evening To Remember

    An impossible-to-forget bi-monthly event here are sleepovers for youngsters and parents where they get to stay overnight at the museum. Penguins and other nocturnal animals come to life in their nighttime environment, and laying out under the stars of the planetarium is a nice touch. Dates fill up really fast though, so its important to reserve well ahead of time.

    California Academy Of Sciences

    San Francisco Museums Allowed to Reopen June 29

    The California Academy of Sciences gives your kids the chance to experience different types of museums all in one–an aquarium, a four-story rainforest, a planetarium, and a living eco-roof.

    You’ll find that each part of this museum is thorough and engaging, so it really can entertain the whole family for the entire day. Kids will also enjoy the interactive earthquake exhibit and Claude, a rare white alligator. Visit this museum in the heart of Golden Gate Park.

    > > Pics and visiting details

    Read Also: Field Museum Chicago Special Exhibits

    Rainforests Of The World: Four

    I love starting my visit with a trip inside the Osher four-story rainforest. This large enclosure includes free flying butterflies and birds that live in different rainforests around the world.

    Some of the other creatures you’ll see in the rainforest range from snakes to poisonous frogs. But don’t worry – all the animals accept the birds and butterflies are kept in their own separate homes.

    Your visit starts on the ground level. You will slowly make your way up the circular walkways to the top of the rainforest. Each level teaches you about the plants, animals and climates of a specific rainforest.

    Here are just a few close ups I was able to get of the beautiful butterflies in the rainforest.

    Once you reach the top level of the rainforest, you will be directed to the elevators and head down into the Steinhart Aquarium. But first – check for butterflies to make sure you don’t accidently take any with you!

    Shadow Puppet Science Kit And Video

    • Explore light and shadow as you build your very own shadow puppet using BADM’s shadow puppet science kit. Each kit contains the template for a shadow puppet, laser cut in BADM’s very own Try It Studio, plus a flashlight, decorative items and everything you need to create a shadow puppet performance.
    • Pricing: $35
    • Pair with our Light and Shadow BB2U video for a fun day of shadow play!

    Recommended Reading: Art Museum In Madrid Spain

    Disney Movie At The Disney Museum

    Every day of the week , the Walt Disney Museum shows a classic Disney movie in their Fantasia Theater. These films range from Bambi to Mary Poppins.

    Although the schedule varies slightly, you will usually find at least one show in the morning and a couple showings in the afternoon. Tickets are free with admission into the museum.

    The museum itself is also interesting. It walks you through the life of Walt Disney. It shows you all about how he got started, some early versions of his cartoons, the process to create those cartoons and so much more.

    Status: The Disney Museum is open, but their theater is still closed.

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    Move To Piers 15 And 17

    I want to take Annabelle here

    The Exploratorium relocated from the Palace of Fine Arts to Piers 15 and 17, located between the San Francisco Ferry Building and Pier 39 along the San Francisco Embarcadero, in April 2013. The Piers location was identified by Goéry Delacôte and then-board chairman Van Kasper as a potential space for relocation in 2004.:11 In 2005, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution exempting the museums 66-year lease of the piers from San Franciscos competitive bidding process due to its unique nature as a cultural and educational institution. Groundbreaking for the project, which required substantial construction and renovation, occurred on October 19, 2010. The Exploratorium holds a 66-year lease on the piers with the Port of San Francisco. Exhibits are currently only viewable at the Pier 15 campus Pier 17 houses some staff, with the option for future expansion.

    Piers 15 and 17 are historic piers, built in 1931 and 1912, respectively.:21 In 1954, the area between the piers was infilled and paved over. This infill was removed as part of the construction phase, restoring the space between the piers to public plazas, a pedestrian bridge, and open water.

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    San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art

    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is a modern art museum in San Francisco situated at a short distance from Union Square. A seven storeyed building, it showcases temporary paintings of artists like David Park, Rene Magritte, Diego Rivera, etc. The permanent works here include art pieces by Doris and Donald Fisher, founders of the clothing line GAP. The museum unveiled its expansion and newly designed structure by Snohetta in May 2016.

    Education Households And Income

    Of all major cities in the United States, San Francisco has the second-highest percentage of residents with a college degree, second only to Seattle. Over 44% of adults have a bachelors or higher degree.San Francisco had the highest rate at 7,031 per square mile, or over 344,000 total graduates in the citys 46.7 square miles .

    San Francisco has the highest estimated percentage of gay and lesbian individuals of any of the 50 largest U.S. cities, at 15%.San Francisco also has the highest percentage of same-sex households of any American county, with the Bay Area having a higher concentration than any other metropolitan area.

    Income in 2011
    Median family income $87,329

    San Francisco ranks third of American cities in median household income with a 2007 value of $65,519. Median family income is $81,136.An emigration of middle-class families has left the city with a lower proportion of children than any other large American city, with the dog population cited as exceeding the child population of 115,000, in 2018.The citys poverty rate is 12%, lower than the national average.Homelessness has been a chronic problem for San Francisco since the early 1970s.The city is believed to have the highest number of homeless inhabitants per capita of any major U.S. city.

    Homelessness, historically, has been a major problem in the city and remains a growing problem in modern times.

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    San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park & Maritime Museum

    Located near Fishermans Wharf, the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park immerses visitors in Pacific Coast maritime history. The Park includes a magnificent fleet of historic ships, a Visitor Center, Maritime Museum, Maritime Research Center, and Aquatic Park Historic District.

    The park includes a fleet of six National Historic Landmark vessels, all moored at Hyde Street Pier, an extension of Hyde Street. The ships are open to visitors year-round, and a Visitors Center is located across the street.

    The Maritime Museum is located in the nearby Aquatic Park Bathhouse building. Built in 1939, this unique structure was designed in the Streamline Moderne style, a late offshoot of the Art Deco period, and mimics the lines of an ocean liner.

    There are approximately 35,000 items on display at the museum dedicated to local maritime history.

    San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park & Maritime Museum Hours:

    • Hyde Street Pier is open daily from 10am to 4pm
    • The Maritime Museum is currently closed.


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