If you’re looking to change up your regular play routine, the Bay Area is rife with new interactive exhibits aimed at the under-10 set. From an immersive exhibit with a larger-than-life colorful sculpture to a destination where your kids learn from real-life scientists, no matter where you live, there’s a brand-new experience waiting for you. Read on for the Bay Area’s three newest museum exhibits for kids.

photo: Odell Hussey Photography

Nature’s Gift at Oakland Museum of California
Total immersion in an exhibit to the point where you become part of the museum itself seems to be trending (think experiences like The Color Factory or The Museum of Ice Cream). Nature’s Gift, created by FriendsWithYou—a collaboration of two artists who hail from LA—follows this same path of immersion. OMCA’s newest exhibit features a gigantic glowing sculpture that’s akin to a larger-than-life bouncehouse. Touch it, walk through it and hangout next to it as the sculpture changes color. The room is flanked by hammocks, bean bag chairs and other cozy nooks that promise to lull your kids into a zen-like state.

Exhibit details: On display through Jan. 21, 2018; You must purchase a $4 ticket in addition to the museum admission to experience Nature’s Gift.

1000 Oak Street
Oakland, CA
Online: museumca.org



photo: Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose

Science + You at Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose
Encouraging your kids to experiment and try new things is your jam. Take their explorations beyond your kitchen table at the new Science + You exhibit where your kids will step into a real-life laboratory. This 1,200 square foot interactive experience explores the role science plays in keeping your body healthy. Highlights include: making healthy soup in the Test Kitchen, mixing and separating solids in the Test Lab, using a glovebox that real scientists use to manipulate objects safely, and understanding Antibodies and how they defeat germs. Bonus: real scientists from AbbVie will be on hand Thursdays and Fridays to perform interactive science experiments just for your kids.

Exhibit details: On display through Jan. 7, 2018

Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose
180 Woz Way
San Jose, CA
Online: cdm.org




photo: © 2017 California Academy of Sciences

Curiosity Grove at California Academy of Sciences
The Early Explorers Cove Play Area was recently replaced by the brand-new Curiosity Grove at the SF-fave California Academy of Sciences. For frequent visitors to CAS, the main thing you’ll notice is that the new Grove has no age restrictions, a change that is meant to accommodate families with kids of multiple ages (read: siblings can now play side-by-side). Plus, there’s no check-in process to hinder flow between the rooms. Expect new toys and an updated look. For our full review of this new play space click here.

California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Drive
San Francisco, CA
Online: calacademy.org

Have you (or are you planning to) visit one of the above experiences? If you’ve been, what are your insider tips for a great visit? Leave us a comment below!

— Erin Lem




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