Download our Wedding Checklist


San Francisco Wedding Venue
Pier 15
San Francisco, California 94123
Contact: Museum Rentals
Phone: 415/528-4500

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

Reception/Special Events

  • 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.

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

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

Cleanup: 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 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

Other: decorations require prior approval; no glitter, balloons, confetti, birdseed or rice

Wondering what CBA or BYO means?
Want more info on our editorial process?

Download our Wedding Checklist

Wedding Venues > Northern California Wedding Venues > San Francisco Wedding Venues