Exploratorium preparing for move to S.F. waterfront

SF Examiner file photoThe Exploratorium museum is departing its longtime home at the Palace of Fine Arts at the beginning of the year. It is slated to reopen in April at Pier 15.

After 43 years of educating students, tourists and Bay Area residents about the wacky ways of biology, physics, chemistry and more, the Exploratorium will be closing its doors at the Palace of Fine Arts at the start of the new year.

The interactive science museum located at 3601 Lyon St. will be making its way to a new location at Pier 15, scheduled to open April 17. In the final days before it closes, the museum will have special holiday hours, and the last day of operation, Jan. 2, will be a free admission day between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Staff members from all museum departments will join the public in exiting the building one last time “ceremoniously to indicate that we are moving,” Exploratorium spokeswoman Jenny Slafkosky said

The day after the closure, a “pop-up” museum tour will head from the Palace of Fine Arts to the Pier 15 location, with demonstrations and mobile science activities set up along the walk to the new Embarcadero space.

While the museum transitions to its new home, more pop-up demonstrations will take place. Announcements will be made via Twitter.

On March 10, a fleet of trucks will bring the On the Move festival to Pier 15 and to neighborhoods such as the Bayview and Mission as part of an all-day celebration.

“It’s street fair meets road show,” Slafkosky said.

The fleet of 10 trucks will be outfitted with museum favorites, including the shadow box and dancing colored shadow exhibits.

Before the museum closes Jan. 2, the Holiday Animation Film Festival will be held from Wednesday to Jan. 1. It features animated shorts shown at the McBean Theater.

For more information, visit www.exploratorium.edu.

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