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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Best Bay Area Science Museums

The Bay Area is rich with tech AND science. Here are four of the best science museums in the Bay Area.
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Sitting atop the Berkeley Hills, the drive and stunning Bay view are almost alone worth the price of admission (if it’s not foggy). You’ll drive through University of California at Berkeley’s campus and the football stadium, snaking uphill until you get to the top. First stop: climbing on the giant strand of DNA sculpture outside the museum, or off the slippery stone whale. Go for it – and enjoy the view. Through September 1, little entomologists will love the temporary bug exhibit, complete with an enormous tarantula on the building’s exterior. Also inside are a planetarium, a hands-on biology lab, a KidsLab for those in kindergarten and younger, and other fun activities.

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This downtown San Jose museum is a family favorite. Plus they have one day a month when you can get in for free! Whether watching the IMAX movie, riding a simulated bobsled, or creating your own robot movements, the adults will have just as much fun as the kids. The multi-story museum has plenty of up-to-date interactive exhibits that teach science and technology without boring anyone. Their Reboot Music exhibit, about making music in the digital age, goes through August 17. You can have spontaneous jam sessions with other museum-goers with their mutli-player ConnecTable or try a laser harp, where you pluck the air and make music. 

The Exploratorium – San Francisco 
You can’t mention science museum without mentioning the Exploratorium. This newly renovated (and moved) museum is now on Pier 17, between Fisherman’s Wharf and the Ferry Building (read our review here). They’ve added a ton of space and some outdoor attractions too. This museum makes science fun for kids, since almost everything is interactive. And there’s the famous water fountain coming out of a toilet, one that pleases the kids and grosses out the parents. Don’t miss the (new) clock near the Tinkering Lab, as it gets close to striking the hour.

Tons to see at the Academy, with a planetarium, giant rainforest dome, aquarium and other exhibits like earthquakes and skulls. (Read our review here). The rooftop is living, so don’t miss it. See how grass and food can be grown on the roof! The Academy runs behind-the-scenes tours, plus occasional sleepovers, as well as a fun Halloween bash. If you need a break, their cafĂ© offers healthful and organic options, and you can take a break, playing outside in the grass before heading back inside if you’re ready for more exploring.

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