Thank you to the great folks at the California Academy of Sciences for giving us full access to facilitate this series of posts.
Beautiful cities abound, of course, but I would be hard pressed to name one more stunning, interesting, or just plain fun, especially for kids and the young at heart, than the city by the bay, San Francisco. We went for a weekend recently and I wanted to share with you one particularly special place we visited: the California Academy of Sciences. It’s the perfect place for parents to expose their kids to the STEM subjects, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, and have fun, too.
It was my first time there, so I guess I didn’t really know what to expect, but I can say for sure I didn’t expect this. Wow!
This is a bird’s eye view taken from a tower in Golden Gate Park where the Academy of Sciences lives.
I could go on and on about its permanent attractions, they are amazing, including the Osher Rainforest (which I’ll talk about in a future post), the Steinhart Aquarium, the massive Morrison Planetarium and more, but I wanted to make special mention of a fascinating exhibit showing through the end of November called Skulls. If you are near or are going to be near, hurry and don’t miss it.
Can you imagine anything cooler for kids than a 4,000 square foot exhibit hall full of skulls?! Hundreds and hundreds of skulls! If you’re skeptical, don’t be. The kids loved it.
My boys particularly enjoyed the exhibit featuring flesh-eating beetle larvae thoroughly cleaning a skull. And just the other day, my older son referenced an exhibit he remembered, “Eyes in front, ready to hunt.”
They learned about the skulls of animals who are active at night, like this Northern Night Monkey with its huge eye sockets (above), and they even did some detective work by discovering which skulls on this 90-foot-wide wall didn’t belong. The exhibit features many hands-on activities allowing kids to compare different skulls, imagine how their vision might change in different skulls, and seeing how skulls have changed over time.
Skulls is unique with plenty of fun and learning for the whole family.
The museum is closed on Thanksgiving, but open generally
Monday – Saturday
9:30 am – 5 pm
11 am – 5 pm
Thursday Nightlife (age 21+)
6 – 10 pm
Also, there are many programs especially designed for kids.
But, like I said, Skulls ends soon, so don’t wait, it is well worth it! For more information, check out the Academy website here.
Cool science stuff!!