We are not huge fans of museums in general, but we love natural history museums. Especially the ones which are interactive, exciting and make us feel like curious kids again. Like California Academy Of Sciences in San Francisco.
The world’s largest planetarium
We have a lot of favorite exhibitions in this museum, but the most fascinating thing we’ve seen was by far its planetarium. Morrison Planetarium is the world’s largest completely digital planetarium! After watching a show in this planetarium we both felt that we should have studied astronomy as that is obviously the most exciting thing in the world.
In addition to the breathtaking planetarium show we also had the chance to talk with researchers later.
Walk in a special rainforest
Osher Rainforest is the most stunning rainforest exhibition we’ve ever seen! We followed a spiral path up inside a 90 feet (27 m) diameter glass dome where the temperature is 82-85 ℉ (27-29 ℃) and the humidity is around 75%. Just like a real rainforest enclosed in glass.
Three levels inside this sphere demonstrated three distinct rainforest ecosystems: Bornean forest floor, Madagascan mid-story and the canopy of a Costa Rican forest. We were amazed by the free-flying birds and butterflies, the exotic reptile and fish species and the beautiful colors of the rainforest were a feast for our eyes.
Dive into the underwater world
Steinhart Aquarium is also located inside California Academy of Sciences and it amazed us both with its size and diversity. We got to know inhabitants of the swamp, the flooded rainforest, the tidepools and the deep ocean, the coral reefs and of course, California coast.
The Discovery Tidepools hands-on exhibit gave us a chance to touch a whole lot of strange creatures and checking out the African penguins feeding is also a lovely attraction – not only for kids.
Is it a museum, a planetarium or an aquarium then?
A little bit of all. We were especially blown away by the planetarium and the aquarium, but we have some favorite exhibits in the natural history museum, too – like the earthquake exhibit or the Science in Action videos and talks by Academy scientists.
The natural history museum is not so comprehensive as some other huge natural history museums in the world (like the one in New York or London), you rather just get a taste of some interesting topics in the area. But with all the aquarium and planetarium attractions in addition even a whole day is not enough to see everything.
Science is fun!
We strongly believe that the most important mission of science museums is to show people that science is actually fun.
Of course, good museums are research centers and places for education as well, but what we as ordinary people appreciate the most is the fun-factor. We love exciting stories and videos, we love touching, smelling and experiencing things, we love being involved in active discovery and we love being amazed. And this is what we enjoyed the most while visiting California Academy Of Sciences.
3D movies, planetarium shows, earthquake room, penguin and fish feeding, living roof, hands-on exhibits and exciting temporary exhibitions make us realize again that science doesn’t mean our boring lessons in school, science is an exciting adventure!
Have we mentioned that there’s museum sleepovers organized for children? We have grown up too fast. 😀
Do you like natural history museums? Which is your favorite?
Please note that this is not an advertisement and we were not compensated for this post. Opinions expressed are solely our own as always.