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Every Thursday evening, one of San Francisco's premier museums opens up its doors for an After Dark gathering of the coolest kind. From 6pm to 10pm the Exploratorium transforms into an adults-only intellectual playground, welcoming everyone 18 and older to dance, mingle, and explore while sipping on cocktails (added cost) and participating in the museum's ongoing advances in art, science, and technology. The Exploratorium is located on Pier 15 pier along the city's Embarcadero, and offers spectacular views of the Bay Bridge and San Francisco Bay. It also provides an innovative and hands-on learning space with hundreds of interactive exhibits and changing displays of new art and science experiences. 


  • A pass to the Exploratorium’s popular After Dark evening event
  • Stimulate your senses and learn new things while engaging with nearly 600 hands-on exhibits and installations
  • Explore 150 new experiences created by some of San Francisco’s best artists and scientists
  • Admire panoramic views of San Francisco Bay
  • Dance to music and make new friends at this vibrant and lively intellectual playground

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

There's so much to experience at San Francisco's Exploratorium, including hundreds of interactive exhibits ranging from a monochromatic room to a tactile dome. Thursdays After Dark add an extra element of fun to the equation, where you can geek out with cocktails in hand.

What You Can Expect

Exploratorium Admission: Thursday Evening Happy Hour

Exploratorium Adults Only Evening Admission

From 6pm until 10pm, crowds of everyone from computer programmers to fashion designers pour in to nourish their curiosity. It's a weekly gathering of inquisitive minds amid a festive party atmosphere with ever-changing themes.  

Wander among cutting-edge exhibits that blend art, science, and technology while sipping on cocktails (at your own expense) and mingling with others as a DJ spins tunes. At the Exhibit Making Shop, you can watch staff create exhibits, while the expanded Tinkering Studio provides an opportunity to make something of your own. After Dark crowds also seem to be as diverse as the installations and performances that vary from week to week.

The museum's individual galleries include the West Gallery, which showcases and explores human behavior, the Outdoor Gallery — with nature and human-powered exhibits like a pedal-powered camera obscura — and the East Gallery, where you can learn about everything from plankton populations to tidal memory. Hungry? Indulge in appetizers at the onsite SeaGlass Restaurant (own expense), while savoring incredible bay views through the eatery's stunning floor-to-ceiling windows.

The Exploratorium is an easy 10-minute walk from the Ferry Building and a 15-minute stroll from Fisherman's Wharf.

Customer Reviews


5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

WORTH IT! 4 hours is a bit tight to enjoy all the exhibits, but it's manageable if you eat before and after going to the Exploratorium and not during. Less people than during the day, and interesting talks.

Wendy T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

This tour was amazing!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Fun way to spend a night. Could have spent many more hours exploring the museum.

Lauren B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2015

A lot of fun!

Lisa USA

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2014

This was a great way to spend a Thursday evening! We loved the various exhibits, especially the short films and an interesting session on the wine industry. The Exploratorium is quite large and we didn't get a chance to check everything out, so we will definitely be coming back soon. A perfect activity for friends or date night.

susie s

4 star rating: Recommended June 2015

Pretty good!!

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