The Best Science Museums in San Francisco

Technology Museums, Natural History Museums, and More

San Francisco is heavily influenced by the tech industry, so it's no surprise the city has a number of great science museums. There natural history museums, technology museums, and museums that are specifically designed with kids in mind. Below are some of the best science museums in San Francisco.
California Academy of Sciences & Morrison Planetarium
The California Academy of Sciences is both a natural history museum and a research institute. It has more than 26 million specimens, making it one of the largest museums of natural history in the world. It's also California's oldest museum, dating back to 1853.

The adjoining Morrison Planetarium hosts a variety of shows and events centering around astronomy and the stars. The 75-foot dome and large theatre make for an engaging and enjoyable experience for kids and adults alike.
55 Music Concourse Drive, Inner Sunset, SF, California, 94118
Lawrence Hall of Science
This science center is a fun place to explore with hands on exhibits and a great science curriculum that's suitable for all ages.
Centennial Drive, Berkeley, California, 94708
Interested in more travel advice for San Francisco? Check out The Best Playgrounds in San Francisco and The Best Squares and Plazas in San Francisco.
Museum of Vertebrate Zoology
The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology is a natural history museum that is part of the University of California, Berkeley. It was founded in 1908 and is a major center for vertebrate studies on the West Coast.
Campanile Way, Northside, Berkeley, California, 94720
Randall Museum
This family-friendly museum offers a number of interesting exhibits including a STEM lab, science and ceramics studios, and several exhibit spaces. This museum is all about the kids, and there's plenty of space for the young ones to play. There's a toddler treehouse and a large electric model railroad that even has replicas of Bay Aria trains. Animal lovers will enjoy the animal exhibit which features live coyotes, foxes, reptiles and sea creatures.
199 Museum Way, San Francisco, CA, 94114
Osher Rainforest
Located in the California Academy of Sciences, this domed rainforest climbs 90 feet high. It's home to more than 1,600 different plants and animals and offers a unique experience for visitors of all ages. Nature lovers will love this unique perspective on a rainforest.
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA
Exploratorium
The Exploratorium will entertain and engage kids and adults of all ages. It has a wide variety of kid-friendly, hands on exhibits that include science experiments, as well as interactive zones that incorporate touch, sight, memory, and perception. The museum is found at Pier 15 and it features exhibits that serve to educate and inform on all types of science including physics, biology, engineering and sound.
Pier 15 (Embarcadero at Green Street), San Francisco, CA, 94111
Oakland Aviation Museum
This large aircraft museums offers plenty to see and do for aviation lovers. Featuring a huge hangar full of historic and modern aircraft, visitors can see items from the early days of flight (Wright Brothers models), to World War II aircraft to Vietnam and modern era aircraft. Also on display are exhibits about women in aviation, Black Americans in aviation, aircraft engines, historic airlines, and more.
8252 Earhart Rd, Oakland, California, 94621
Kimball Natural History Museum
The Kimball Natural History Museum is a fun and educational museum for kids and adults alike. It's located in the California Academy of Sciences, and it has exhibits on fossils, natural history, and our planet.
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA
Planning a trip to San Francisco? You might also be interested in Activities and Things to Do in the Fall in San Francisco and San Francisco: Off the Beaten Path Things to Do.
Chabot Space & Science Center
Located in Oakland, this science museum and planetarium focuses on space exploration, astronomy, rocketry, and other space-related sciences. After undergoing a large renovation in 2021, the museum has a number of hands-on science exhibits which are great for children and adults. They also have an engaging planetarium, an outdoor deck space with more exhibits, and large telescope observatories.
10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland, California, 94619
Children's Creativity Museum
This kid's museum is all about using your imagination and creativity. There's a play space where kids can just be kids. There are also labs, workshops, and studios where kids can experiment, explore, and learn. The Animation Lab lets kids create their own characters who then come to life through stop-motion filming. The Tech Lab teaches kids to program robots, and the Music Studio lets kids dress up and create their own music videos.
221 Fourth St., San Francisco, CA, 94103
How much does it cost?

Prices for activities, things to do, and tours range from $25 to $90. The average cost for a tour or tickets is $47. A few of the best options are below.

Where to Stay in San Francisco

More Ideas for San Francisco

The Best VRBO Vacation Rentals in Fisherman's Wharf in San FranciscoThe Best VRBO Vacation Rentals by Ghiradelli Square in San FranciscoThe Best VRBO Vacation Rentals in the Marina District in San FranciscoThe Best VRBO Vacation Rentals in North Beach in San FranciscoThe Best VRBO Vacation Rentals around Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower in San FranciscoThe Best VRBO Vacation Rentals in the Financial District and Embarcadero of San FranciscoThe Best VRBO Vacation Rentals in Nob Hill in San FranciscoThe Best VRBO Vacation Rentals in Russian Hill in San FranciscoThe Best VRBO Vacation Rentals in SoMa in San FranciscoThe Best VRBO Vacation Rentals by Union Square in San FranciscoThe Best VRBO Vacation Rentals in the Mission District in San FranciscoThe Best VRBO Vacation Rentals around Mission Delores Park in San FranciscoThe Best VRBO Vacation Rentals in The Castro in San FranciscoThe Best VRBO Vacation Rentals in Hayes Valley in San FranciscoThe Best VRBO Vacation Rentals in the Lower Haight in San FranciscoThe Best VRBO Vacation Rentals in Haight-Ashbury in San FranciscoThe Best VRBO Vacation Rentals around the Painted Ladies at Alamo Square in San FranciscoThe Best VRBO Vacation Rentals by the Presidio in San FranciscoThe Best VRBO Vacation Rentals by Yerba Buena Gardens in SoMa in San FranciscoThe Best VRBO Vacation Rentals in Sausalito, California

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Search for Travel Costs

Read More
Planning a trip to San Francisco? You might also be interested in Educational Places and Activities in San Francisco and Things to Do In San Francisco on a Rainy Day.
Share This Page

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.