The Exploratorium

Exploratorium San Francisco

Review of Ticket Offers and Free Days for The Exploratorium in San Francisco.

The Exploratorium offers a few ways to save on tickets. It’s not easy to find these, but I’ve got  you covered. Your choices include tickets for $4 off, a Bay Area resident discount, and special free admission days. The admission prices went up when they moved to the new Embarcadero location, not surprisingly. But the information below will help you save, plus you’ll minimize the time you have to wait in line once you get to the Exploratorium by getting your tickets in advance. Skip down for details on getting tickets and which days are admission free.

sf exploratoriumThe Exploratorium tops our list of fun things to do this month in San Francisco. Why? First, because of their shiny new 300 million dollar 330,000-square-foot location at Pier 15, along waterfront. That means new exhibits to help fill up three times more space than the previous location.

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.

What’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 

DEAL: Exploratorium Tickets Online — Best Price Guarantee by this source. Fees are $2. Print and go “any day” tickets valid for everyone (or scroll down this page for combo pass deals).

  • Adult – $27
  • Senior (64+) – $22
  • Student – $22
  • Youth (13–17) – $22
  • Child (4-12) – $17
  • Child (3 and younger) – Free

RESIDENT: Exploratorium offers discounted admission for for Bay Area Residents — the museum is currently showing the following admission prices for Bay Area residents.

  • Adults (18-64) – $22
  • Seniors or PWD – $19
  • Teachers or Students – $19
  • Youth (13-17) – $19
  • Child (4-12) – $17
  • Children 3 and younger Free

pi dayFREE DAYS: The Exploratorium 2015 free days include …

  • February 1, 2015 Groundhog Day
  • March 14, 2015 Pi Day
  • May 10, 2015 Mother’s Day
  • September 27, 2015 Latino Engineering Day/Día de la Ingeniería
  • October 14, 2015 Founder’s Day
  • December 6, 2015 Winter HoliDay

TEACHER FREEBIE: California Public School Teachers can get free admission. You’ll need to apply on the Exploratorium website.


  • 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 25% to 50% off each ticket, and you have up to 30 days to use them from first use. Print or show on your smart phone to get in.

handHAPPY 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+). This is separate from the daytime tickets – guests who visit us during the day on Thursday will not be able to re-enter Thursday night without an After Dark ticket. 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.

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.

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