Start by making your way to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, and then breeze right past the long ticket lines. Make the most of your vacation time and get started exploring the shows and exhibits.
Discover the African Penguin colony; get right up close to the glass and say hello as they swoop and dive through the water. Catch a penguin feeding by the museum's marine biologists, during which they will answer any of your questions about the penguins’ biology or behavior. Visit Claude, the albino alligator and some of his swamp friends while listening to a Swamp Talk by the museum's staff.
Enter the Morrison Planetarium, an all-digital planetarium, for a show that lets you explore the farthest reaches of the universe. Then descend into the Steinhart Aquarium and see live 40,000 animals from the world over, including octopus, seahorses, and jellyfish. Watch divers as they clean the tank and tend to the fish in the world's deepest living coral reef exhibit.
Peel off your jacket and enter the 4-story rain forest. Watch for free-flying birds and butterflies and listen as the scarlet macaws argue over their toys. Check out the spiders, amphibians, and reptiles in the many glassed-in exhibits that dot the rain forest trail.