Top 10 Museums to visit around the Bay
By bayareadesi team on 14 May 2013
There are lots of museums that you can go to in bay area. They offer educational entertainment at its hands-on best. Here's a list of top 10 we think you should take.
1. Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin St, (between Fulton St & Grove St), San Francisco, CA 94102
The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco is one of the largest museums in the Western world devoted exclusively to Asian Art, with a collection of over 17,000 artworks spanning 6,000 years of history. The museum is a public institution whose mission is to lead a diverse global audience in discovering the unique material, aesthetic, and intellectual achievements of Asian art and culture.
They also have public programs like painting demonstrations, vocal music, night time mixers, story-telling, art projects, etc. so make sure you check their website before you go.
Tip: The museum has "Target First Free Sundays", which is free admission on 1st sunday of every month.Children under 12, SFUSD students, Asian Art Museum members, US Armed force and "Go San Francisco" cardholders get FREE admission.
2. California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118
The only place on the planet with an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum, and a 4-story rainforest all under one roof. Itís a stunning architectural achievement with hundreds of unique exhibits and nearly 40,000 live animals.
Steinhart Aquarium, the Living Collection, is home to 38,000 live animals from around the world, representing more than 900 separate species.
Morrison Planetarium is the largest all-digital planetarium in the world.
Kimball Natural History Museum address two of the most significant and closely-intertwined scientific issues of our time: The evolution of life on Earth and the maintenance of life on Earth.
The rainforest is teeming with 1,600 live animals - including 250 free-flying birds and butterflies, 100 exotic reptiles and amphibians, and a cave full of bats. There's also 100,000 gallon "Flooded Forest" tank, where hundreds of tropical freshwater fish cruise overhead.
Tips: The museum offers free third wednesday of the month and San Francisco resident (depending on zipcode).
3. Cable Car Museum
949 Presidio Avenue #238, San Francisco, CA 94115
Houses a collection of historic cable cars, photographs and mechanical displays.The museum houses three antique cable cars from the 1870s.
The museum is part of the complex that also houses the cable car power house, which drives the cables, and the car depot.
Admission is Free.
4. Intel Museum
Robert Noyce Building, 2200 Mission College Boulevard, Santa Clara, CA 95054
Go behind the scenes in the high-tech world of California’s famed Silicon Valley. See what it’s like inside an ultra-clean, highly automated silicon chip factory, and connect with technologies that give us new ways to work, learn, play, and communicate. The Intel Museum is 10,000 square feet of fun, interactive learning for children and adults. A trip down memory lane and learn about how processors are made of transistors which are tiny switches that turn and off.
Free Field Trips are provided for Grades 2-12. Students learn about Intel microprocessor history, silicon chip design, and chip fabrication. Interactive exhibits encourage students to explore concepts in a fun and educational manner.Field trip programs last two-hours and are tailored for specific grade levels, including hands on classes in the Learning Lab.
Admission is Free
5. The Exploratorium
Pier 15, San Francisco, CA 94111
A museum of science, art, and human perception located in San Francisco, California. More than 1,000 interactive exhibits have been designed and built on site, with 600 on display at Pier 15. There are 150 new exhibits—indoors and out—plus hundreds of beloved classics, a Bay Observatory, a bigger focus on tinkering and social science, and more. Hands-on exhibits explore biology, physics, listening, cognition, visual perception, social behavior, and environment. Exploratorium Summer Camps was awarded the Best of 2012.
There are 6 Galleries:
1. South Gallery - Think with your hands
2. West Gallery - Experiment with thoughts, feelings, and social behavior. Here, visitors are the exhibits—so play with social interactions, observe others, and contribute your reflections.
3. Central Gallery - Experiment with light and vision, sound and hearing, and motion and spatial perception. Playing with light and sound is the best way to learn how they work.
4. East Gallery - of Living Systems. Use scientific tools to investigate living things of different sizes, the ecosystems they inhabit, and the processes they share.
5. Outdoor Gallery - Exploring the Environment. Investigate forces shaping the City, Bay, and region. Watch shifting winds and tides, reveal hidden life, shake a bridge, observe human behavior, and find new ways to notice the places we inhabit.
6. Bay Observatory Landscape Gallery - Learn to uncover the stories embedded in a place by directly observing the geography, history, and ecology of the San Francisco Bay region.
Pricing is fairly expensive though San Francisco resident get a discount. Admission is FREE for Children ages 5 and younger & Members
Tip: In addition to free access for field trips for San Francisco Title 1 schools, the Exploratorium is free to everyone five days every year effective fall 2013. Free Access Program includes upcoming free days on: Engineering Day (September 29, 2013), Founder’s Day (October 13, 2013), Groundhog Day (February 2, 2014), Pi Day (March 14, 2014) & Mother’s Day (May 11, 2014)
6. The Walt Disney Family Museum
104 Montgomery Street, The Presidio, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94129
The 40,000-square-foot museum illuminates Walt’s fascinating life: his tremendous successes as well as his disappointments, and his unyielding optimism as he worked tirelessly to advance the art of animation. His story is told through innovative, interactive galleries. Visitors get to know Walt through early drawings and animation, movies, music, and listening stations featuring his own voice, among others. A 13-foot model of Disneyland as Walt originally envisioned it is a perennial favorite with museum-goers. The museum hosts special exhibits, screenings, book signings, classes & activities.
Admission: $12-20; Free for children below 6
7. Chabot Space & Science Center
10000 Skyline Boulevard, Oakland, Ca 94619
Chabot (86,000 sq. ft. museum) offers visitors the very latest in hands-on, interactive exhibits, displays, and Planetarium shows that explore the mysteries of the universe and of life here on earth. Combined with a full program of activity-filled classes, workshops, Space & Science Camp, outreach programs and special events. There is free access to the three telescopes on the roof.
Tips: General Admission includes 2 Planetarium shows. Seniors (Ages 65 & up) & Students (13 - 18 or with College ID) receive a discount of $3.00 off Adult admission rate.
8. Oakland Museum
1000 Oak Street, Oakland, CA 94607
Through collections, exhibitions, education programs, and public dialogue, museum inspires people of all ages and backgrounds to think creatively and critically about the natural, artistic and social forces that characterize our state and influence its relationship to the world. The museum features:
1. Gallery of California Art
2. Gallery of California History - 2,200 artifacts, works of art, photographs, and ethnographic materials
3. Gallery of California Natural Sciences - At 25,000 square feet, the vast gallery space is the only museum presentation of its kind to showcase a collective portrait of California’s rich biodiversity alongside humans' interaction with the natural world.
Tips: Admission is free the first Sunday of every month.
9. Children Discover Museum
180 Woz Way, San Jose, CA 95110
Expect to test, crank, listen, prod and tinker. One of the largest museums of its kind in the nation, CDM's 150 interactive exhibits lead visitors to explore, understand and enjoy the world in which they live. Over 28,000 square feet of semi-permanent and travelling exhibits address the educational and cultural needs of CDM's audience through the themes of Connections, Community and Creativity. The museum features:
1. Art Gallery - View prints of digital photographs taken by participants in two of the Museum's signature programs serving youth
2. The Art Loft - Experiences offered in The Art Loft change regularly and may include drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, or sculpture.
3. Bubbles - Experience physics hands-on and close up as the bubbles reflect light and create rainbows. Explore the magic of surface tension as by seeing how big a bubble can stretch and by trying to change its shape.
4. Cornhusk Dolls - Pre-soaked cornhusks and basic directions are provided to support the visitors’ handiwork.
5. Current Connections - The exhibit helps children gain an understanding of how electricity is generated, how it is distributed, and how it is ultimately converted to other forms of energy.
6. Kid's Garden & Buzzing Bee Hive - Activities rotate seasonally and have included water exploration, seed planting, newspaper seed pots, and wildflower jewelry.
7. Mammoth Discovery - a 2,200 square foot exhibition that features Lupe's actual skull, femur, and pelvis fossils, a full size replica of Lupe inside, a model of a fully grown mammoth outside, and 20 other fun and interesting hands-on exhibits.
8. Rainbow Pizza & Market - Gather fruits and vegetables at the Rainbow Market and bring them home, or to the Rainbow Pizza restaurant. Create healthy pizzas and put them into the adobe-style oven.
9. Secrets of Circle - This highly interactive 2000 sq. ft. exhibition features 18 exhibits designed to inspire children and adults to ask questions and investigate the answers as they explore the math, science, and engineering of circles.
10. Streets - CDM’s streets are a miniature version of a working city. Children see firsthand the people and systems (fire truck and the ambulance).
11. Theatre - Children can be inspired by watching performances by their peers, interact with professional artists, and explore their own self-expression through a variety of experiential opportunities.
12. Waterways - Watch the balls tumble over waterfalls, squirt high into the area, and travel along a system of pulleys and tunnels.
13. Wonder Cabinets - Snuggle with a puppet and a good book, experiment in "The Sand Laboratory," touch natural wonders, step inside a child-sized kaleidoscope
Tips: If your kid likes water, Bring a change of clothes...they will be drenched. They have a changing area, a feeding area for your baby (you are allowed to bring your food) and a place where you can leave your things.
10. San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles
520 South First Street, San Jose, CA 95113
The first museum in the United States to focus exclusively on quilts and textiles as an art form, the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2012. With compelling exhibitions of historical and contemporary textiles, engaging gallery walks and artist talks for adults. The Museum’s collection consists of some 850 quilts, garments and ethnic textiles, and a research library of more than 500 books on the history and making of quilts and textiles.
Tips: Kids Create on the first Sunday of each month from 1-2:30pm; children ages 5 to 10 listen to stories about textile traditions around the world and participate in fiber art-making activities; South First Fridays, when the Museum is open and free to the public from 7pm until 11pm the first Friday of the month.
Member and children 12 and under: Free