San Francisco, California 94123
We'd love it if you would mention that you found Exploratorium on the Here Comes The Guide website.
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 occupies Pier 15. The super-popular interactive museum of science, art and human perception includes the Kanbar Forum (a cabaret-style performance space), numerous indoor galleries, the Outdoor Gallery, the Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery & Terrace, a restaurant, café, and museum shop—all of which can be used individually 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, meeting 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 Fisher Bay 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 Bechtel Central Gallery is perfect for larger affairs where the exploration of sight, sound and perception is sure to stimulate interaction. The Osher West Gallery, which integrates exhibits on psychology and art, houses the museum's iconic Tactile Dome. It can be used in tandem with the adjacent Kanbar 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: 125
- Max. Seated Indoors: 1000
- Max. Seated Outdoors: 0
- Max. Standing/Cocktails Indoors: 3500
- Max. Standing/Cocktails Outdoors: 0
- Max. Seated: 200
CEREMONY CAPACITY: Indoor ceremony spaces can accommodate 1–300 seated guests. The outdoor Observatory Terrace holds up to 125 guests.
EVENT/RECEPTION CAPACITY: Individual galleries hold up to 150–300 seated or 200–1,200 standing. The entire facility can accommodate up to 1,000 seated or 3,500 standing.
MEETING CAPACITY: Meeting spaces hold up to 200 seated theater-style.
Cost: Prices, Deposits, Etc.
50% of the rental fee is required to reserve your date. The balance is due 3 months prior to the event. The evening gallery rental fee starts at $8,000 and varies depending on the galleries rented, number of guests and total contracted hours.
Special Events, Parties
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
AV/Meeting Equipment: CBA, extra charge
Parking: valet, public lots or on-street
Accommodations: no guest rooms
Outdoor Night Lighting: access only, BYO
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: through caterer
View: cityscape of Transamerica Pyramid and Coit Tower; bay views including Bay Bridge and Treasure Island
Other: access to hundreds of hands-on exhibits
Venue TypeBanquet Hall/Events Facility
Alcohol: through caterer, licensed server required
Smoking: outdoors only on the street
Music: amplified OK with restrictions
Wheelchair Access: yes
Insurance: liability required
Other: decorations require prior approval; no glitter, balloons, confetti, birdseed or rice