Day at the Exploratorium

We visited the Exploratorium, again, yesterday. Neil loves the Exploratorium. He’d rather go there than to the movies or an amusement park. I’m sure, if he could, he would be there every day. On the other hand, sometimes Peter and I feel a little Exploratorium’d out. I don’t know why. It’s really a delightful place. It’s like science as hands-on performance art, and more than a few of the exhibits have the look and feel of a mad scientist’s lab (the kind of a mad scientist you’d see in a movie that is). This is the geysers exhibit:

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The Exploratorium is also deceptively huge. It’s housed inside the Palace of Fine Arts, a remnant of the 1915 Pan-Pacific exhibition, though it feels more like an old airplane hanger. No matter how many people are there, something is always free to be explored with, and every turn or corner has a new surprise.

As beautiful as it is (and with plenty of art and history besides science), I am more entranced by the outside of the Exploratorium. It’s a beautiful nouveaux arts cupola (reproduced from the original of the Pan-Pacific exhibition.) It was another rare sunshiny day in San Francisco, so I took the children outside for lunch. We had some crumbs left, so I nervously let them feed the birds in the pond:

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The last time I let Kelly feed the birds there, the pigeons got so greedy, they started landing on her, which freaked me out. But Neil’s presence seemed to keep them in line. Some of the birds ate crumbs right out of his fingers.

Then we went back in and played with the physics toys until Kelly showed classic signs of Too Much Exploratorium Syndrome, and we headed back home.

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