Exploratorium: Free Days + Deals

Review of Exploratorium Ticket Deals at the new location: Pier 15 on San Francisco’s Embarcadero. 


The Exploratorium, at the new Pier 15 location in San Francisco, will offer free admission on certain special days. Next up: Pi Day (March 14, 2014). First come first served, so et there early.

The Exploratorium tops our list of fun things to do this month in San Francisco. Why? Because the museum has a shiny new 300 million dollar 330,000-square-foot location at Pier 15, along waterfront on the Embarcadero. That means new exhibits to help fill up three times more space than the previous location. Also, did you know you can get free admission to the new Exploratorium five times a year?

The admission prices went up for the new location, not surprisingly, but there are a few ways to save, and even at full price you’ll minimize the time you have to wait in line by getting your tickets in advance online.

The Exploratorium is ideal for anyone with a curious mind, including families, and children 5 and under always get in free. Exploratorium also holds adult only Exploratorium After Dark happy hours on the first Thursday of the month, which is even more fun at the new waterfront location.

handWhat’s new? There are 150 brand new exhibits plus hundreds of beloved classics, new outdoor exhibits, a Bay Observatory, a bigger focus on tinkering and social psychology, and much more. –Exploratorium 

DAILY TICKETS: Get Exploratorium tickets online here. This ticket source offers a “low price guarantee” and includes all fees and taxes in their pricing.

  • Find TicketsAdult – $25
  • Senior (65+) – $19
  • Youth (6–17) – $19
  • Child (0–5) - Free

RESIDENT DISCOUNT: Exploratorium offers discount admission for Discount for Bay Area Residents — the museum is currently showing prices $20/adults (reg. $25), or $15/youth, student, senior, and teachers (reg. $19). NOTE: look for the link on the museum’s ticket page just under “General Admission.”

pi dayFREE DAYS: The Exploratorium new free days include:

sf exploratorium

FREE ADMISSION: Children under 5 and California public school teachers get in free.

DEAL: Exploratorium Discount on Membership 42% Off – This daily deal is no longer available. We’ll add the next one here as it becomes available.


  • San Francisco CityPASS: A discount card that provides free admission to six Bay Area attraction including the Exploratorium. This is the perfect choice if you’re visiting from out of the city.
  • Go Select San Francisco Card: This discount card also provides big discounts for as few as two or more Bay Area attractions, and Exploratorium is one of the options. This usually saves you 15% to 30% off each ticket, and you have up to 30 days to use them.

HAPPY HOUR MIXER:  Exploratorium After Dark – Visit on the first Thursdays of the month, 6–10pm, and you get in at happy hour rates: $15 (Adults only, 18+). If you’re visiting during the day on first Thursdays, you can use your daytime ticket to return after 6pm for Exploratorium After Dark. Also, the museum holds Evening Programs on some Wednesday and Thursday nights, at 8:30pm. Check the Exploratorium website for details.

WHEN: Open Tuesday – Sunday from 10am – 5pm including Wednesday evenings until 10pm and Thursday evening adult only hours from 6pm – 10pm. Closed Mondays except for certain holidays.

WHERE: Exploratorium, Pier 15, San Francisco, California 94111, between Ferry Building and Fisherman’s Wharf. Map and nearby things to do.

STAYING OVER? If you’re visiting from out of town, get Exploratorium tickets bundled with a hotel package.

SAVVY TIPS: Things to know to make your visit a little savvier …

  1. Parking (your car) — There’s an independent parking lot right across the street. Levi’s Plaza Garage offers discounted rates. Or you can park at the Embarcadero Center. You’ll also find metered street parking along the Embarcadero, and other parking lots and garages nearby.
  2. Parking (your stuff) — There are coin-operated lockers just past ticketing and the Info Desk. Strollers are also available.

Also See: 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>