The Bay Area Discovery Museum can provide you and your family hours of educational fun that will have both your little ones and your big kids wanting to come back for more.
Located in Sausalito, California at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge, the museum offers both traditional indoor exhibits and unique outdoor experiences designed with plenty of things to do, see and touch to hold everyone’s attention.
Among the newest attractions at the museum is the Imagination Playground on the Festival Plaza. This playspace is designed by an architect to encourage free play with loose parts like foam blocks, noodles, balls and other items that provide for endless possibilities of creativity. Everything is completely unstructured in this area, making the quality of the learning experience up to your child’s own imagination.
Art studios are also a major part of the Bay Area Discovery Museum’s interactive experience.
In Art Studio 5, preschoolers including toddlers and babies are shown a love for the process of art without any emphasis on actually creating a product. In Art Studio 10, your older children can create take-home projects and also get involved in larger collaborative tasks. These studios are places to hang out for a while and not places where rushing is encourage, so be prepared to linger in this area as long as your children want.
The Bay Hall is a great way to teach your children about the Bay Area’s unique features. Simulations of things around the San Francisco and Oakland area are designed to encourage children to get involved and gain an understanding of local culture. There are simplified reproductions of Fisherman’s Wharf and a port as well as a vintage model train set and a glimpse at the unique creatures that live under a pier.
There’s even a Wave Workshop area that recreates the habitat under the Golden Gate Bridge, and this area includes a saltwater tank with live animals. This workshop is sure to be a favorite with children of all ages and with the adults who accompany them.
Lookout Cove is more than 2.5 acres of outdoor space that further explores the cultural and natural phenomena of the region. Featuring a fishing boat, a trail, a shipwreck and a sea cave, among other things, this section features a place to play as well as five site-specific works of art created just for the center. There’s plenty in this area to keep children busy while adults marvel at the attention to detail that went into creating this exhibit.
For those with very young children, there’s even the indoor-outdoor Tot Spot designed to give kids who aren’t yet very sure on their feet a place to play without fear of being knocked down by older kids. While they’re there, they can learn about wetlands, woods, streams and meadows in a way that’s appropriate for their age. Children need to be under 42 inches tall to enter this area.
Discovery Hall includes a rotating array of exhibits designed to provide additional interest and give visitors a reason to come back each time the displays change.
The Museum can get quite crowded, but since school groups usually come to facility in the mornings, families may prefer to visit in the afternoon. Most groups leave at noon. Remember, however, that the museum closes at 4 p.m. or 5 p.m., depending on the day. They are also closed most Mondays.
The Bay Area Discovery Museum offers lots to discover, and visitors rarely leave disappointed. You’ll just want to come early enough that you and your children won’t be left wanting more at closing time.
Bay Area Discovery Museum
557 McReynolds Road
Sausalito, CA 94965