Monday, January 2, 2012

California Academy of Sciences - Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

Source : Wikipedia
This new location was reopened in 2008 after being remodeled. We tried to visit it during one of the free days a couple of years ago but failed to go in due to the long line. Check the website for the free days opportunity but make sure to be there really early. Or sign up as members and you have special member hours to explore the museum.

Giraffe exhibit
Once we went in we straight away went to pick up the free pass for the planetarium show. It has only one show each hour so if you miss it you'd have to wait another hour. The one it's showing right now was "Life:  A Cosmic Story". The six projectors that were used made you feel like the images were alive. But personally I think the documentary was too technical.

Albino alligator
From the planetarium we paid a visit to the albino alligator in the swamp area. The alligator was so pale and so not real. If it wasn't moving when we were there I would have thought it was a plastic decoy. The opening area where the alligator was resting is part of the big swamp area which could also be viewed when we went down to the aquarium.

Source : California Academy of Sciences website
The aquarium was also a nice place to view so many different shapes and color fishes and other ocean creatures. Another exhibit that was also impressive was the rainforests of the world. It started at the level 1 and goes up to level 3. Visitors were first 'quarantined' in a small contained area before allowed into the rainforest exhibit. As soon as you walk in, you could feel the temperature was humid and warm. It was around 74F and 91% humidity. Towards the level 3 we were greeted by roaming butterflies. It was cool to see the butterflies flew so close to us. A lot of them too. To exit the rainforest, we took the elevator down to level 1. But we were warned before we entered the elevator to check our surrounding and make sure no butterflies happened to stick to us and get into the elevator.

Our last exhibit before we left for the day was the living roof. The museum roof was covered with green areas of plants and grass with round glass window that could open to let air in. The green roof keeps the building cool during hot days and warmer during winter time.

California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Dr
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA 95118
(415) 379-8000