Friday, January 11, 2013

California Academy of Sciences

When I was planning our road trip & realized we'd be going through San Francisco, there was one place I wanted to take my kids - the California Academy of Sciences. The main reason I wanted to visit this museum was to see the 4 story rainforest built inside. I knew my kids would love it. And yes, they did enjoy it. But, to be honest, I think I loved it even more than them. I could have stayed and watched the bird & butterfly action all day.

The museum is located in Golden Gate Park.

:: The Rainforest ::
Rainforest Dome

Inside the dome
The main attractions are the many butterflies & birds flying freely around.

We were told the butterflies live only about a month. The museum orders butterfly pupae directly from Costa Rica.
Doris longwing
Malachite butterfly
Hecale longwing
Banded orange heliconian
Violaceous euphonia
Blue necked tanager

Beneath the birds & butterflies are fish from the Amazon Flooded Forest.

Standing in the rainforest dome looking down at the fish.
Looking up while standing in a clear tunnel on the lowest level of the rainforest.

As you spiral towards the canopy of the rainforest there are caged creatures from various rainforests throughout the world. The kids loved this. There were all sorts of unusual frogs, snakes & lizards.

:: More than a Rainforest ::
We spent most of our allotted time in the rainforest exhibit. We quickly did see a few other things at the museum, though.

Claude, an albino alligator

Baby Ostriches
They were cute & ugly at the same time. To see an Academy video of the ostriches click here.

This is the roof of the museum! It's an awesome living roof.

We only had a few hours to spend at the museum. There's much more to see, but I loved what we did see. If we find ourselves in San Francisco again, I would definitely go back. It was exactly the type of place my kids enjoy - full of animals & science.

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