Relocated in 2013 from dark, dated quarters at the Palace of Fine Arts to hip, concrete and glass digs on Pier 15, the “world’s greatest science museum”—according to “Scientific American” magazine—is cooler than ever. This hands-on museum is all about demonstrating scientific concepts in a sneaky enough way that kids think they’re just playing. Instead they learn about the properties of motion by swinging a pendulum through sand or watch a chicken’s heart beating through a microscope onto an egg yolk. (Warning: that exhibit may turn them off to scrambled eggs). With myriad rooms loaded with things to play with, you can spend an entire afternoon here—and may want to plan on it, as it tends to get crowded and you’ll likely need to wait your turn to play with bubbles or discover how sound travels.
If kids need to refuel before going back to tormenting their siblings, the cafe has good sandwiches, chowder, cookies, muffins, and drinks. Also, if you’re looking for something fun to do at night, there’s an adults-only event every first Thursday evening of the month.