Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Science Museum in the City - San Francisco neighborhood free days at the California Academy of Sciences

California Academy of ArtI truly love this city at the same time I feel fortunate to live here. I just got over a busy week of carrying our escalation pager at work so it felt like I deserved to relax and enjoy the week after.

Since I was on my own to venture out (Mijo has the pager this week), I decided to take advantage of the great fall weather in the city.It was also the time of the year when the California Academy of Sciences lets locals go in for free.  Let me take you on a photo tour of the Academy.

This is probably my fourth or fifth time to visit the Academy and I always feel this overwhelming sense of gratitude everytime I come to visit. I included in this blog some photos of the different areas of the Academy. Of course I did not take a photo of each and every nook and all of the hands-on stuff they have inside but I am hoping that the snapshots I did take hopefully give you an idea what goes on during a visit to the Academy.

 California Academy of Sciences - Entrance
The Academy is located inside the Golden Gate Park. The first photo is the view of the Academy which can be seen from the tilting tower of the De Young Museum. I think the most popular attractions here are the Planetarium, the Rainforest and the Aquarium. Maybe the African Penguins?

California Academy of Sciences - Locals go in free
This time of the year is also what the Academy calls the San Francisco Neighborhood Free Days at the Academy. Last week, it was my neighborhood's turn to go in for free. Thanks Academy!

California Academy of Sciences - Piazza
When you get past the entrance, you'll pass through this piazza before reaching the main lobby of the Academy. From here, I recommend going straight to the Planetarium to get a planetarium pass. The entrance to the Planetarium is included with the Academy fee but going inside the planetarium is timed and seats are limited that is why passes are on a first come first serve basis. It is also one of the more popular attractions at the Academy.

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California Academy of Sciences - Planetarium
The planetarium has started a new show called Earthquakes. There is a kiosk right by the planetarium's entrance where the passes are being distributed.

California Academy of Sciences - Planetarium Showpass
There was a long queue when I got to the kiosk to pick up my planetarium pass but it went quickly. I got the 12 noon pass! I had 30 minutes to spare so I looked around the Academy to make better use of time.

California Academy of Sciences - Queue to the Planetarium
About 10 minutes before noon, I decided to head back to the Planetarium and noticed this long queue that snaked around the area. The seating area inside is huge. We were asked to fill the seats from the middle first. The sound and the quality of the projection is amazing. It is the world's largest all-digital planetarium, after all. I smiled everytime I heard comments from kids which is free of judgement. They reminded me of my young nephews and niece.

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California Academy of Sciences - The Living Roof
While waiting for the scheduled show at the planetarium, I took that time to revisit the living roof. There is an elevator that takes you all the way to the roof. The Living Roof has grown so much since the last time I've seen it.

Academy of 

The 2.5 acres of roof serves as a laboratory that monitors a diverse plants, birds, butterflies and insects. The carefully selected native plants survive on minimal water and care. The skylights allow natural light to reach the coral reef and the rainforest below.

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California Academy of Sciences - The Naturalist Center
You'll pass by this area after crossing a bridge from the planetarium's exit.

California Academy of Sciences - The Forum Theatre
I took the stairs a flight down from the Naturalist Center I decided to fall in lin after I noticed that the next film at the theatre was happening in 10 minutes. The film they were showing was all about the latest discoveries about dinosaurs. They showed a documentary about new findings from digging sites in Mongolia and parts of China and more clues on how these ancient giants roamed, ate, and behaved.

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California Academy of Sciences - Fucault Pendulum
This is one of my favorites and it is one of the permanent attractions at the Academy. This pendulum proves that the Earth does rotate.

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California Academy of Sciences - Earthquake exhibit
This is a new exhibit at the Academy. At least, I haven't seen this one. Lots of interesting facts about how the earthquakes reshaped the map and how some species evolved differently after millions of years after the continents drifted away from each other. You'll also learn what to do during an earthquake.

California Academy of Sciences - Shake House
The Shake House mimics what it is like to be in a house during an earthquake. I guess there are people who haven't experienced being in an earthquake. Unfortunately, the Shake House was closed because of machine malfunction. I grew up in the Philippines so I know how it feels like when the ground beneath you goes up and down and shakes from side to side. Still, I would have liked to have seen what's inside the Shake House.

California Academy of Sciences - Earthquake proof frame
There are also lots of hands-on activities for adults and kids. I like this section because it gives people an overview of what kinds of structures or the types of retrofits to earthquake proof homes.

California Academy of Sciences - Hands on stuff
I like the booth where they have several types of fault movements which cause earthquakes. They also have a table where it shows different types of fault and how different kinds of tectonic plates move.

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California Academy of Sciences - Crafts
There are also arts and crafts available to young kids around the main lobby. This one creates awareness about California's sea otters among kids and their parents.


Academy of Sciences - Cafe
This is the Academy Cafe. I've only been here once and that was years ago.

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California Academy of Sciences - Rainforest
The Rainforest is one of the more popular attractions at the Academy. There is no need to get a pass to get in.  Just fall in line, though, the lines maybe long. They let you in by a small batch of 10 people each time.

California Academy of Sciences - Inside the Rainforest
Here, the Academy created a 90 foot diameter dome that mimics what a real rainforest is like including the humid temperature, tropical animals, insects, and birds and trees and small plants. Lots of tropical birds and butterflies.

California Academy of Sciences - Butterfly inside the Rainforest
Lots of birds and butterflies flying around inside the biosphere. The sound of chirping birds was so soothing to hear.

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California Academy of Sciences - Aquarium
The Aquariu is another popular attraction at the Academy.

California Academy of Sciences - Philippines Sea Coral
This is the Philippine coral reef.  The color is an explotion of blues, oranges, and yellows.

California Academy of Sciences - Tidepool
There are expert docents on site at the Tidepool where you can ask questions while touching live star fish.

California Academy of Sciences - Donor Roll
This is a wall dedicated to the people who donated to the Academy.

California Academy of Sciences - Albino Aligator
This alibino alligator is called Claude.  This area is part of the Swamp section of the Academy.

California Academy of Sciences - African Penguins
There are African peguins. They're so cute!  This section can be found inside the African Hall.

California Academy of Sciences - Garden 
This is the East Garden.


1 comment:

scott davidson said...

As an older art collector since my wife passed away, I must admit to being very partial to collecting nudes in art, as original paintings or as good prints, that I have displayed all over the house. (I like to see the surprised faces of my new visitors).
This one,, by Emile Munier, is hanging in one corner of my bedroom and was printed by, where I am a very good customer.