As a VENUEHost your event…

We Have Events Down to a Science! The winner of SF Magazine’s 2018 “Best Museum Party” award, our sustainably designed facility – located in the vibrant heart of the historic Embarcadero – is an unforgettable venue for everything from intimate gatherings to large events. With spectacular views of both city and Bay – plus access to our lively landscape of hundreds of hands-on exhibits – the Exploratorium’s waterfront home offers an exciting, imaginative setting for just about anything you can dream up. Eight distinctive rental spaces are offered:

  • Full Facility & Gallery Bundles: You can have it all: Rent the entire Exploratorium facility and get spectacular waterfront views of San Francisco and the Bay, a lively landscape of hundreds of exhibits, flexible event spaces, superb catering, and skilled staff. With our gallery bundle options, you can craft the perfect museum selection for your event. Whether you’re looking for a progressive celebration with distinct spaces for your cocktail reception, dinner, and dessert or planning an entertaining reception for 500 guests (or more!), we are happy to help you find the perfect fit.
  • Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery & Terrace: A marvel of glass, steel, and cutting-edge technology, the Observatory features breathtaking views of the city and Bay. This waterfront gallery with an adjoining terrace is an ideal venue for elegant seated dinners, cocktail receptions, weddings, daytime meetings, and more.
    • Indoor Capacity: Seated Dining – 150 guests; Standing Reception – 200 guests
    • Outdoor Capacity: Seated Dining – 100 guests; Standing Reception – 125 guests
    • 3,500 square feet (Indoor); 2,500 square feet (Outdoor)
  • Moore East Gallery: Explore life from DNA and cells to organisms and ecosystems. With large windows overlooking the Bay, the East Gallery brings the outside world in, offering experiences and exhibits that let guests explore life at different scales. It’s perfect for intimate seated dinners, dancing, and receptions.
    • Capacity: Seated Dining – 200 guests; Standing Reception – 450 guests
    • 7,000 square feet
  • Bechtel Central Gallery & Outdoor Gallery: Experiment with light and vision, sound, and hearing inside, and explore winds, tides, and natural phenomena outside. Designed for exploring sights, sounds, and perception itself, the Central Gallery is the setting for our physics and perception installations. The expansive and flexible gallery is our largest single space and is well suited to strolling receptions or dining and dancing among interactive exhibits. The Outdoor Gallery is an open-air space with wonderful views of the San Francisco city skyline, including Coit Tower and the Bank of America Building. Watch shifting winds and tides, explore the Fog Bridge, reveal hidden life, observe human behavior, and find new ways to notice the places we inhabit.
    • Central Gallery Capacity: Seated Dining – 500 guests; Standing Reception – 1,200 guests
    • Outdoor Gallery Capacity: Seated Dining – 300 guests; Standing Reception – 500 guests
    • 20,000 square feet (Central Gallery); 15,000 square feet (Outdoor Gallery)
  • Osher West Gallery: Experiment with thoughts, feelings, and social behavior. The West Gallery, which integrates exhibits on psychology and art, houses the museum’s iconic Tactile Dome and Black Box—a space for immersive installations. Closest to the Embarcadero and adjacent to the Forum, the West Gallery is great for seated dinners and evening receptions, including product launches, alumni gatherings, and more.
    • Capacity: Seated Dining – 200 guests; Standing Reception – 600 guests
    • 16,000 square feet
  • Kanbar Forum: Experience our state-of-the-art venue for screenings, meetings, music, and more. Meyer Constellation sound and state-of-the-art projection make the Kanbar Forum ideal for special media events including seminars, lectures, and film screenings. A fully customizable space with options for theater and cabaret seating, the Kanbar Forum is available for daytime and evening meetings and events.
    • Capacity: Seated Dining – 200 guests; Standing Reception – 250 guests
    • 3,600 square feet

Support the Exploratorium …by simply booking your next special occasion here:


As a SHOPDiscover unique gifts…

The Exploratorium Store carries unique: * gadgets * games * tinkering items, and * books that focus on science, art, and technology. Every purchase you make in our museum stores and online supports the Exploratorium and its mission to ignite curiosity in people of all age. We scour the globe for the coolest science toys and kits, the most engaging books, the freshest artwork and jewelry by independent local artists and tinkerers. We’ve curated an awesome collection of products that will wow you as much as our exhibits do. Many of them are directly connected to the content areas on the museum floor, and they let you take a little piece of the Exploratorium experience home with you. Merchandise is catalogued within these collections: * Science & Tinkering Kits * Toys & Games * Gifts * Books * Home * Apparel & Accessories, and * Exploratorium Exclusive.

Support the Exploratorium …by simply purchasing your specialty merchandise here:


As an EATERYFood for thought…

  • Seaglass Restaurant is a casual, waterside venue with stunning views located at the east end of the museum. It features family-friendly, multicultural, * locally sourced menus that showcase small producers. Seaglass also offers natural * soft drinks, organic and fair trade * coffees and teas, and sparkling house-made * drinking-vinegar beverages. It also features a bar that showcases artisanal distillers, many organic, and a thoughtfully curated * wine and beer list.
  • The Seismic Joint Café is a casual take-out spot located near the museum’s entrance, just off the Embarcadero. It features family-friendly fare: plus a * coffee bar * baked goods * natural sodas, and * more. There are spots to sit – indoors and out – just outside the café.

Support the Exploratorium …by simply dining here:


Be a DONORShow that you care…


Join a like-minded community of the engaged, inquisitive, and adventurous. Annual membership means you’ll enjoy unparalleled benefits and special access to upcoming events, including. Join our community of the inquisitive and the adventurous, and know you’re helping the Exploratorium. Your membership helps our efforts to give new science teachers access to experienced teachers/mentors for one-on-one support and encouragement both locally and online. Membership at specified levels are offered: * Individual – After Dark * Dual – After Dark * Dual Explorers * Family Explorers * Family Explorers (with Caregiver’s Card) * Insiders * Supporters * Sustainers, and * Innovator.

Corporate Membership: Where will your company’s next big idea come from? Studies show that getting out of the office and into a museum often inspires creativity. Choose the membership level and benefits that are right for you. Membership at specified levels are offered: * Observer * Maker * Explainer * Investigator, and * Influencer.


Sustain the wonder for future generations. Generations have come through our doors to learn and play. Today, the Exploratorium urgently needs your help to recover from daunting financial losses due to the pandemic. You can make a difference with your gift of any size – donate today!

  • Matching Gifts: You may be able to leverage your generous gift even more. Find out if your employer matches charitable contributions.
  • Cash: Gifts by check or credit card are the simplest and most common way to support the Exploratorium and allow you to help now. If you itemize your income tax deductions, your gift is deductible up to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income (or as currently allowed by law). If you are unable to deduct the full gift amount in one year, you may carry the unused deduction forward on your tax returns for up to five additional years.
  • Appreciated Assets: By contributing appreciated assets you receive a double benefit: you avoid tax on the appreciation and you receive a charitable income tax deduction on the value of the assets. Because of this potential double tax savings, a gift of appreciated securities usually has a lower after-tax cost than an equivalent gift of cash. If you itemize your income tax deductions, your gift is deductible up to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income (or as currently allowed by law). If you are unable to deduct the full gift amount in one year, you may carry the unused deduction forward on your tax returns for up to five additional years.
  • Securities: Generally, if your securities have decreased in value, they should be sold first and the cash proceeds donated. The Exploratorium welcomes gifts of securities. A gift of appreciated stock contributed directly to the Exploratorium is deductible at the full market value of the stock given, and donors are not liable for any federal capital gains tax.
  • Direct Gifts from your IRA: These gifts are a way for individuals age 70½ and older to make donations to the Exploratorium of up to $100,000 per year (and up to $200,000 per year for married couples) directly from their individual retirement accounts through the Charitable IRA Rollover. This allows you to make a meaningful gift without having to count the transfers as income for federal tax purposes, and is a great way to utilize your required minimum distributions.
  • Closely Held Stock: This kind of stock is privately owned and not publicly traded. If you are considering a gift of closely held stock, it is important that you not enter into a prior written agreement with either the corporation or a potential purchaser before you make your gift.
  • Real Estate: Real estate can create an important gift. Because of the special nature of real estate, the Exploratorium will carefully evaluate each property prior to acceptance.
  • Personal Property: Special rules apply for these donations, so it is important to discuss this type of gift with the Development Office prior to contributing it outright or designating it as a gift from your estate.
  • Legacy Giving: Ignite curiosity for future generations and join the Oppenheimer Circle when you generously include the Exploratorium in your estate plans. Planned gifts provide a stable foundation for our future and can offer you significant tax or lifetime income advantages.
    • Make a Bequest: Instruct your attorney to include a charitable bequest for the Exploratorium in your will or living trust. This is one of the simplest ways for you to provide for the museum in your estate plans. Your gift can be made for a percentage of your estate, a specific dollar amount, or specific property. A percentage bequest is frequently chosen by donors because it allows their future gift to remain proportional to their estate.
    • Donate Retirement Funds: Due to potential taxation concerns that can significantly diminish the value of your retirement account, you may find it beneficial to name the Exploratorium as the beneficiary recipient of your 401(K), 403(b), Keogh, IRA, or other qualified pension plan.
    • Direct gifts from your IRA: Direct IRA gifts are a way for individuals age 70½ and older to make donations to the Exploratorium of up to $100,000 per year (and up to $200,000 per year for married couples) directly from their individual retirement accounts through the Charitable IRA Rollover. This allows you to make a meaningful gift without having to count the transfers as income for federal tax purposes, and is a great way to utilize your required minimum distributions.
    • Contribute Life Insurance Policy Proceeds: Perhaps you find that a life insurance policy once necessary for your family’s security is no longer needed. Another simple way to make a gift to the museum is to name the Exploratorium as the future beneficiary of the policy.
    • Create a Charitable Remainder Trust: Name the Exploratorium as the recipient of an irrevocable trust that can provide income for you or a named beneficiary for a period of years (often for the lifetime of the individual). At the end of the term of the trust, the remaining trust assets are distributed to the Exploratorium. Cash, stock, or real estate can be used to fund the trust. Trusts are highly flexible gift-planning tools that have enabled donors to accomplish a variety of important personal financial goals and ultimately provide an important gift to charity.
    • Donate property: Bequeath your home or other property to the Exploratorium. You may also donate it while retaining the right to live there for the remainder of your life and receive an immediate income tax deduction.

Volunteer: A volunteer project at the Exploratorium is a marvelous opportunity to participate behind the scenes in this hands-on museum of science, art, and human perception. In exchange for contributing your time and sharing your talents, you can engage your curiosity by learning new things, interact with visitors and volunteers from around the world, and most of all, have fun! The dynamic community of Exploratorium volunteers brings curiosity, enthusiasm, and dedication to its volunteer work, providing the museum with fresh perspectives and invaluable assistance. Recent volunteers have included welders, stockbrokers, architects, technical writers, research scientists, artists, teachers, and students. Everyone is welcome to apply (minimum age 15), including international volunteers. Volunteer projects vary throughout the year. There’s always a need for all types of skills and experiences, so you don’t need to be a scientist or an expert to apply. The program is flexible, matching available opportunities to your talent and availability. Volunteers often move on to another project or area of the museum after completing their initial assignments. Volunteers help with a wide range of projects, from exhibit maintenance to administrative tasks, from educational programs to special events. Most volunteer projects begin with one-on-one training with a staff supervisor and then develop into independent work

Support the Exploratorium …by simply joining, giving, and volunteering here:

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Pier 15, The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94111, USA

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