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wedding venues & services


San Francisco Wedding Venue
Pier 15
San Francisco, California 94123

Contact: Museum Rentals
Phone: 415/528-4500
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Why We Like This Place

For a jaw-dropping event that will wow young and old, you simply must consider the Exploratorium in its all-new venue at Pier 15 on San Francisco’s Embarcadero. Packed with exciting exhibits—and 100,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor event space—the new Exploratorium is making a huge splash on our ever-popular Bayscape.

Situated right on the water between Fisherman’s Wharf and the Ferry Building, the museum’s nine-acre campus encompasses Pier 17, the super-popular interactive museum of science, art and human perception includes a Forum, Restaurant, Café, Museum Shop, numerous indoor Galleries, an Outdoor Gallery, an Observatory Gallery and an Outdoor Terrace—all of which can be used alone or in combination for your spectacular celebration.

What we love about this venue is that, true to its mission, it was designed with the latest developments in sustainable architecture and has been awarded an LEED Platinum Certification! With a goal of being the largest net-zero energy museum in the U.S., it offsets its energy use with “green” features like solar panels and a bay water heating and cooling system. We also like the way it allows for so much movement and flow. You can thread your event through the exhibits in a manner that entertains and engages. Whether you’re planning a wedding, gala, corporate extravaganza, product launch, film screening, dinner-dance or any other kind of gathering, you’ll find just the right spot in this tremendously flexible and dynamic setting.

Weddings, for example, might begin with a ceremony in the Observatory Gallery, a gorgeous glass-walled jewel box of a room on the second floor of the only entirely new structure on the pier. This exquisite chamber affords nearly 360-degree views that include Treasure Island, the Bay Bridge, the Transamerica Pyramid and Coit Tower, and it contains an oculus—a giant glass eye in the ceiling from which to view the heavens. Sliding glass doors open onto the Outdoor Terrace, where more soothing bay views frame cocktails, passed hors d’oeuvres, dinner or dancing under a tent or a canopy of sky.

Three more galleries offer unique entertainment experiences. Your guests can chat, stroll, dine and dance their way through one or all of them, depending on your vision. The Life Sciences come alive in the East Gallery, a beautiful space for an intimate seated dinner or reception with enormous windows overlooking the bay. The expansive Central Gallery is perfect for larger affairs where the exploration of sight, sound and perception is sure to stimulate interaction. In the exciting West Gallery, you’ll find the museum’s iconic Tactile Dome and a “black box” for immersive installations. It can be used in tandem with the adjacent Forum—which has a stage, a state-of-the-art sound and projection system, theater- or cabaret-style seating and a permanent bar—or with other galleries to engender the sense of wonder, amazement, joy and play that makes an event here unforgettable.

And do remember: The Exploratorium’s expertise in interaction and perception extends to its energetic and imaginative event staff. Whether it’s picking out party favors from the Museum Shop, inventing new ways to utilize the galleries and exhibits, or carefully orchestrating a festive flow, they’ll know how to transform your great ideas into a truly inspiring celebration.



  • Max. Seated Indoors: 300
  • Max. Seated Outdoors: 150

Reception/Special Events

  • Max. Seated Indoors: 1000
  • Max. Seated Outdoors: 0
  • Max. Standing Indoors: 3500
  • Max. Standing Outdoors: 0


  • Max. Seated: 200

CEREMONY CAPACITY: Indoor ceremony spaces can accommodate 25–300 seated guests. The outdoor Observatory Terrace holds up to 150 guests.

EVENT/RECEPTION CAPACITY: Individual galleries hold 150–300 seated or 250–1,200 standing. The entire facility can accommodate up to 1,000 seated or 3,500 standing.

MEETING CAPACITY: Meeting spaces hold up to 200 seated.

Fees & Deposits

50% of the rental fee is required to reserve your date. The balance is due 3 months prior to the event. The rental fee starts at $8,000 and varies depending on the galleries rented, number of guests and total contracted hours.

Location Uses

Wedding Receptions
Special Events, Parties
Business Functions/Meetings
Rehearsal Dinners


Catering: select from approved list
Kitchen Facilities: prep only
Tables & Chairs: through caterer
Linens, Silver, etc.: through caterer
Restrooms: wheelchair accessible
Dance Area: provided or through caterer
Bride’s Dressing Area: CBA
Meeting Equipment: CBA, extra charge
Parking: valet, public lots or on-street
Accommodations: no guest rooms
Outdoor Night Lighting: access only
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: no
Cleanup: caterer
View: cityscape of Transamerica Pyramid and Coit Tower; bay views including Bay Bridge and Treasure Island
Other: AV equipment, access to hundreds of hands-on exhibits

Site Views


Venue Type

Banquet Hall/Events Facility
Historic/Landmark Building
Waterfront/Beach Location


Alcohol: through caterer, licensed server required
Smoking: outdoors only on the street
Music: amplified OK with restrictions
Wheelchair Access: yes
Insurance: liability required

Some Essential Info
Price $$$

Choose From List



Amplified Music

w/ Restrictions

Wheelchair Access

Wheelchair Accessible


Year-round, daily except Thursday, starting at 5:30pm.

Reading List