At a glance


Palace of Fine Arts
3301 Lyon Street, San Francisco




12:00 - 5:00 PM

Contact info

(415) 528-4444




  • Good for Kids
  • Good for Groups
  • Near MUNI
  • Parking
  • Inside

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The Exploratorium at Community Day

Feb 21, 12:00PM – 05:00PM

Join the Exploratorium and other organizations at the kickoff of a yearlong celebration of the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. The Palace of Fine Arts was the Exploratorium’s home for 44 years so we’re thrilled to be returning with activities, historic films, a behind-the-scenes tour, and a glimpse of our time at this historic location.

Schedule of Events

Early Animation and Color Mixing with Explorables
Noon–3:00 p.m.
Come make Thaumatropes, Flipbook Animations, and Palace of Fine Arts Rotunda Color Transparencies. All materials provided; take what you make.

Historic Films with Cinema Arts
12:30, 1:30, and 3:30 p.m.

The Exploratorium Remains Inside the Palace of Fine Arts
1:00 and 3:00 p.m.

Meet at the McBean Theater
Join a guided tour of classic Exploratorium exhibits that remain hidden in the nooks and crannies of the Palace of Fine Arts.

Blast from the Past: Exploratorium at the Palace of Fine Arts
2:30 p.m.
Catch an insider’s glimpse of the Exploration’s days at the Palace of Fine Arts (1969–2013) with Senior Scientist Ron Hipschman.

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Community Day at the Palace of Fine Arts

Feb 21, 12:00PM – 05:00PM
This day-long community event will honor the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition and will kick-off a year of Centennial events.
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Private: Palace After Dark – Saturday

Feb 21, 07:00PM – 10:00PM
Stroll the Palace grounds– experience what it was like to be at the Exposition and enjoy a film and light installation by Optic Flare in the Palace of Fine Arts Theater lobby.
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City Rising: San Francisco and the 1915 World’s Fair

Feb 21, 2015 to Jan 10, 2016
Palace of Fine Arts
After the fair closed, this ephemeral “city within a city” was all but erased from the landscape. The only building saved from demolition—and still standing in its original location—was the Palace of Fine Arts. Repaired in the 1930s, reconstructed in the 1960s, and recently restored, this beloved city landmark is one of architect Bernard Maybeck’s San Francisco masterworks.
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Promises of Progress: PPIE

Feb 25, 07:30PM – 09:30PM
Shaping San Francisco
Shaping San Francisco presents: On the 100th anniversary of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE), Gray Brechin and others discuss the relationship of world’s fairs to the idea of progress over time. How did the presentations at PPIE in their early 20th century context boost now long-held assumptions about progress and development through technological innovation and economic growth?
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