Academy of Sciences
Something for Everyone and Every Age!
On a quick trip up to see relatives this summer, we planned a day trip into San Francisco. With just the day and wanting to get the most out of it we decided on the Academy of Sciences at The Golden Gate Park and are we ever glad we did! Have you heard of this place or ever been? If not it is a must see for the young and old alike!
Plan to be at the museum at least 4 hours, that's how long we were there,honestly wished we could have stayed longer. There is just that much to do and see. The featured exhibit while we were there was Skulls, featuring the skulls of all different types of animals. It also included several activities and interactive exhibits that were very user friendly.
The planetarium is seated by reservation only, no extra cost, but you need a ticket. We got ours upon arrival as this show fills up fast. Dark universe was the featured showing explaining dark matter and the ever growing universe. It was a bit daunting to grasps it all at points, but being that my daughter is a huge sky gazer she loved this show. It was very informative and visually just stunning. Run time was approximately 40 minuets in total.
Next up the rain forest exhibit which is 3 stories high. I could not wait to experience this with my gal. As we lined up to enter you got a feeling of all the life that you were about to encounter inside and the stars of the show....the butterflies! They were everywhere! All colors and sizes, it was surreal to watch them glide around the trees and around us. The deep blue water below with fish just added to the amazing beauty and mystery of it all. As we made our way up each floor and level of the rain forest canopy, more and more butterflies appeared as well as birds. Each floor also had displays of various reptiles and fish, I could have spent the whole day there. As we took our elevator ride down and did a mirror check for hitch hikers (butterflies I guess ) we were let out underneath the rain forest into the aquarium section of the museum.
The Steinhart aquarium houses an amazing selection of life, more than 38, 000 to be exact from all corners of the world, some of which I had never seen or heard of before. The water we were just looking down at from the rain forest was now above us and we were in a dome looking up on these amazing fish from the amazon that were 10' long! I was in utter awe the way they swam, it was like dolphins do, surfacing for air now and then. There was a docent there to explain the fish and their evolution, so educational and interesting!
There were sea horses some of which I had never seen and several jellies . The displays of fish went on and on, I was very impressed. Upon exiting we got to see down where the 9' albino alligator and his turtle friends are , he can also be seen from the entry atop the main floor.
There was an earthquake simulator exhibit which we didn't get to experience due to time restraints unfortunately as well as a second planetarium show.
Out in the center atrium area they hold shows and feature different topics. All along the perimeter of the museum there are smaller exhibits that are staffed to answer your questions and some you can even participate in.
In all this museum was a treat for the senses and the mind unlike any I have visited before. Very well maintained, staffed and relevant.
There is a cafeteria, serving all types of food. Parking is on site and payable upon exiting.
Autism PRO's and CON's:
With so much to see and do, there were no real wait times for any of the exhibits. Longest wait was for the Rain Forest aprox. 7-10 minuets to enter.
The museum was busy but again with so much to do and with several floors, it was not an issue for my daughter.
There was a touch station in the aquarium for sensory fixes, with star fish and other sea life.
We had zero issues with my ASD daughter at this museum, great place to visit .
For more information, hours and current exhibits:
I purchased our tickets in advance and at discounted price saving $20.00 for our party of 4: