San Fran - Exploratorium or Discovery Museum?

Discussion in 'California & the West' started by redtulip, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. redtulip

    redtulip Earning My Ears

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    Hello, we have time to take our 4 & 6 year olds to one museum in SF enroute to Disneyland at the end of Feb. Can someone compare the Exploratorium to the Discovery Museum? Looking at the websites, I thought the outdoor area of the Discovery Museum looks fun, but it seems everyone talks about the Exploratorium as the place to go. Is it more for an older audience though?

    Also, I see that just outside of SF is a NASA facility with a visitor's centre. Is that worth a stop as we head south? My youngest is totally into planets/space etc, but I read somewhere there's not much to see there?

    Thanks!
     
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  3. mamacatnv

    mamacatnv That be a Mum Y'all - a Texas Mum

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    The Exploratorium is amazing - totally hands on and there is something for all ages. I will say tho that IMO the Exploratorium would be better for the older kids, your's might be a bit young, but then again there is lots to see and do. We have been to the Exploratorium 3 times in the past year with kids ages 12, 13, 18 & 21.
    The Discovery Museum???? I am at a loss, are you talking about the California Academy of Sciences?
    I Googled, the Bay Area Discovery Museum is across the GG Bridge in Sausalito. I've never heard of it, sorry, can't help on that one.

    The best museum IMO for your kids age group would be the Childrens Museum in San Jose (S. of San Francisco about 40 minutes). It is one of the top rated childrens museums in the country and it is soooo much fun!
    http://www.cdm.org/index.asp?f=1

    NASA - The only one that comes to mind is Ames at Moffett Field - that is South of San Francisco between San Jose and San Fran right on Hwy 101. I've never been.
     
  4. eduk8r26

    eduk8r26 DIS Veteran

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    I went to the Discovery Museum about 10 or so years ago with my then 8-year-old godson. He really enjoyed it. It probably would be more appropriate for younger kids. It's the one just acrosss the Golden Gate Bridge.
     
  5. redtulip

    redtulip Earning My Ears

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    The children's museum in San Jose looks fabulous. Thanks for the tip! I think we might save the Exploratorium for our next trip...!
     
  6. mamacatnv

    mamacatnv That be a Mum Y'all - a Texas Mum

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    Given the age of your kiddo's I do not think you will regret it - the kids museum is tons of fun!
    If you have time, go to the Ole Spaghetti Factory nearby in San Pedro Sq. we love Spaghetti Factory!
     
  7. Psymonds

    Psymonds Mouseketeer

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    The discovery museum is much better for the under 8 crowd. we take my 2 YO and our 6YO nephew a few times a year, but the location is just bueatuiful to hang out. One of the best views of SF and a great fun time for the kids too.

    I like the exploratorium as well, but we had our office party there, so the exhibhits were interesting enough to entertain 100 engineers, but a little too advanced for the 0-5 crowd.
     
  8. redtulip

    redtulip Earning My Ears

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    Thanks everyone for your feedback. We are home now...but we did stop at the children's museum in San Jose (ended up not having time to go to the Bay Area Discovery Museum). The kids loved, loved the children's museum in San Jose. We could barely get our 4 year old to leave.

    FYI, we also stopped at the visitor's centre at NASA Ames. It was quite interesting and the kids liked seeing a model of Mars, a real moon rock, a piece of a real space craft. It's small, and not worth a special trip, but it was on the way. And free!
     
  9. been2marceline

    been2marceline <font color=teal>Fish are Food, not Friends!<br><f

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    Thumbs up on both - the Exploratorium is a little more "interesting" = most of the stuff is hand crafted by volunteers - if the kids are super curious - its a winner!
     

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