The Best Way to Experience the Exploratorium

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.

Every year, the museum holds an Spring Gala where it shares its major accomplishments and dutifully celebrates them. This year’s theme is Play Is Serious Business!, and the gala will highlight why the Exploratorium’s unique educational philosophy — which prioritizes the creation of a whimsical, creative, and non-judgmental hands-on learning environment — is essential to producing generations of confident individuals with critical thinking skills, bold creativity, and lifelong curiosity. Hors d’oeuvres will be served at the open bar cocktail reception and guests will be able to explore exhibit prototypes and learn from the museum’s exhibit developers and designers at their workspaces. Be on the look out for demonstrations like Boozy Bites (martini-infused cucumbers with pressure), Gummy Shooters (vodka-soaked gummy bears) and science-based bar tricks! The dinner is set to feature many delicacies including sweet spring peas & Tokyo turnip ravioli and Freekeh risotto as well as assortment of desserts. And if you still have it in you at this point, the After Party will take place in the Osher West Gallery and Dolby Atrium after dinner. Here, you can find another open bar, hors d’oeuvres and desserts. An electric dance party is also slated to take place, as well as curated Tinkering activities and of course, play time in the world-famous Tactile Dome.

If You Go:

When: Wednesday, April 6 from 6pm to 11:30 p.m.

Where: Pier 15 (Embarcadero at Green Street)

Cost: Individual tickets for the Gala are $1,000 and include a cocktail reception (6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.), seated dinner (7:30 p.m.), and the After Party (until 11:30 p.m.). Individual tickets to the After Party (8:30 p.m.– 11:30 p.m.) are $100 ($75 for Exploratorium Lab members)., 415-528-4444


Kasia Pawlowska

Kasia Pawlowska loves words. A native of Poland, Kasia moved to the States when she was seven. The San Francisco State University creative writing graduate went on to write for publications like the San Francisco Bay Guardian and KQED Arts among others prior to joining the Marin Magazine staff. Topics Kasia has covered include travel, trends, mushroom hunting, an award-winning series on social media addiction and loads of other random things. When she’s not busy blogging or researching and writing articles, she’s either at home writing postcards and reading or going to shows. Recently, Kasia has been trying to branch out and diversify, ie: use different emojis. Her quest for the perfect chip is never-ending.