Everyone who has been to the Exploratorium – whether it was at the former Palace of the Arts site, or at the current Embarcadero location – understands how special this museum is. With over 600 interactive exhibits, there’s no shortage of activities to stimulate your mind and senses here; well, your senses and the senses of every other patron, which adds up to nearly 180 million people from all around the world every year. So in spite of all the inventive displays and learning opportunities offered, the act of weaving in between (understandably) excited children can wear thin on one’s nerves. And let’s not get started on trying to drop-in and see — well, feel — what the Tactile Dome is all about. Sure, Thursday nights when Exploratorium After Dark takes place alleviates some of these issues, but if you’re going to spend $15 on admission, plus $10 for Tactile Dome access, plus money on drinks, you may as well go big and experience the Exploratorium in the most ideal environment because it’s that time of year again.
The Exploratorium is going all out with it’s two-part party, major fundraiser of the year. For the uninitiated, the springtime gala — dubbed Phenomena(l): Afterglow at the Exploratorium this year— is like high school grad night, the Oscars and the White House Correspondents’ Dinner all rolled into one. It’s a big deal. The night starts with Party at the Piers, a dinner portion featuring performers, specially designed installations and an interactive dining experience. Funds raised from ticket sales benefit educational programs that reach thousands of students and teachers across the world — last year’s gala raised $1.63 million which helped employ more than 3,500 local students as docents. The after party — Afterglow — includes an audio-reactive DJ booth, themed installations, a giant, hands-on, sensor-enabled Beach Ball Synth created by IDEO, access to exhibits, the Tactile Dome and more. So come out to the Embarcadero for a night of dancing, learning, decadent desserts, late-night fare and, of course, an open bar featuring drinks from Science of Cocktails
If You Go:
When: Wednesday, May 17 from 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Where: Exploratorium, Pier 15, Embarcadero at Green St.
San Francisco, CA. 94111
Cost: Starting at $100