The California Academy of Sciences, which had its Big Bang Opening Gala on September 25, 2008, houses an aquarium, a planetarium and a natural history museum at 55 Music Concourse Drive in Golden Gate Park. NOTE: The California Academy of Sicences' free day is now the THIRD Wednesday of the month, not the first Wednesday. See more at Discover Northern California: http://tinyurl.com/cf63wm
If the place was less crowded, we would have enjoyed it more. Waiting in line for 45 minutes to get in (even though we bought tickets in advance) and then another hour or so for the rain forest just doesn't work well when visiting a place with young kids. It's great to see a bit of everything but going to an actual aquarium such as the Monterey Aquarium is much more spectacular.
If you have young kids, this place is probably worth coming to once to check it out but there are many other places they'd probably have more fun at with less crowds. I think this would be more fun for older kids who can appreciate all the exhibits and read up on everything. There are several cafes with lots of food choices as well as outdoor and indoor dining areas. If you are planning a visit here, buy your tickets in advance (AAA offers discounts), arrive early, and be prepared for the crowds. See more at bigbluetrunk: http://bit.ly/e5cScT
At the Rainforest exhibit, we were greeted with lush plants, scaly lizards, bright tree frogs, and graceful butterflies. The spiral walkway escorts you through each level of the rainforest in a gradual and mesmerizing fashion. At the end, there is a special treat waiting for you at the bottom, as an elevator drops you off right onto the aquarium floor. It was a highlight for all involved. See more at Keeps Me Smiling: http://bit.ly/c5DaTL