Make Thursday night data night at the Exploratorium, where the weekly After Dark program at this waterfront hands-on science museum combines cocktails and cool experiments. (What could possibly go wrong?) True, the Exploratorium is going head to head with the California Academy of Sciences’ themed NightLife soirees, which also takes place on Thursday nights and also combines booze and biology and all the other sciences. (This month, the topics at the Cal Academy will include coffee, rocks, and robots; at the Exploratorium, it’s movies, mushroom hunting, and forensic science.) However, we say, Why choose? With a little help from Uber, Lyft or, a cab (remember them?), you can hit both museums in one evening—the bar carts at each come out at 6, and won’t be put away till 10. It only takes about half an hour to get from the Exploratorium’s Pier 15 home on the Embarcadero to Golden Gate Park.
Exploratorium Explainers do a cow eye dissection during After Dark.
In Recollections, which combines computer technology, a color camera, a large screen projector, and a special retro-reflective screen, artist Ed Tannenbaum has created an environment in which visitors can explore time and motion.
The Exploratorium’s East Gallery focuses on living systems and visitors investigate living things of different sizes, the ecosystems they inhabit, and the processes they share.
Visitors watch the Icy Bodies exhibit – flecks of dry ice swirling across the surface of water, creating smoky, other-worldly shapes.
A woman creates her own Marble Machine during After Dark.
Visitors play with Remote Rains, an exhibit that replicates the size and frequency of raindrops that occurred during various storms across the globe.
All Images by Gayle Laird © Exploratorium