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ALERT: The Bay Area Discovery Museum is closed for its annual maintenance hiatus through September 22, 2017. It will re-open with normal hours on Sept. 23, 2017.
Fort Baker, 557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito, CA 94965
Neighborhood: Fort Baker and the GGNRA. Website is here. Free parking. Of course, we think they should have called it the Sausalito Discovery Museum!
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Expanded hours available for members each month)
Closed Mondays, except for special events. Check their
website calendar for these special Monday opportunities.
The Museum is closed on Easter, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Years Day and the last two weeks of September.
Admission Costs: Children (1 to 17 in party) $12.00; Adults: $12.00; Seniors (62 and older): $11.00; Children under 6 months of age and Bay Area Discovery Museum Members: Free. Cash, checks, AMEX, MC & VISA accepted, and group discounts are available by contacting the museum. The Tot Spot is exclusively designed for kids and toddlers 43″ and under.
Insiders Tip: There are occasional free admission days where you can explore the Museum and see if you’d like to join. But these are very crowded, so come as early in the day as you can.
Great Rainy Day Spot to Visit with Young Children! The Bay Area Discovery Museum is a big place to visit that’s dry and features lots of interactive activities for little kids. Although there are open spaces between the various buildings there are a lot of dry spaces to hang out.
If you have young kids, this museum belongs on your “must see” list. The Bay Area Discovery Museum is a young child’s paradise, designed for experiential learning and play for children from the ages of 6 months through 8 years, along with their families, educators and caregivers. There are both permanent exhibits and a rotating series of special programs at the indoor-outdoor facility located at the old Fort Baker just south of Sausalito.
Some of our favorite places here with the kids:
The real-water elevated stream with the toy fish to play with in the Tot Spot area, with the optional overalls to keep from getting too wet.
Chalk and things to write on scattered at different places on different days
The giant foam pad pieces for building things (uphill, past the Tot Spot)
The room full of toy trains and a full size fishing boat with toy fish. (Note: If this room gets too crowded with older kids the stairway area is best to avoid. You can always wander elsewhere and then come back when it’s calmed down.)
The vibraphones and drums to play in the main open area.
The bubble machines!
Note: Members of our editorial team are members of the Bay Area Discovery Museum, but have no roles there apart from that financial support.
Daily & Weekly Programs
Free Daily programs included in General Admission Purchase include:
Toddler Circle Time at the Tot Spot
Daily, 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM
Storytelling, movement and meeting new friends for kids 6-18 months old.
Story Time (Locations rotate — check at front desk)
Daily, 11 AM – 11:30 AM
Interactive story time designed to inspire kids’ creativity.
Research Toys (Locations vary — check at front desk)
Daily, 2:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Participate in a real toy research study at the Museum’s Creative Thinking Research Lab, learn about the latest scientific research in child development and how those studies work. This program allows parents to engage in an interactive activity with their young child and learn about developmental research in the process!.
Weekly Creative Labs Programs
Art Lab at the Idea Spot
Wednesdays & Sundays, 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
The Discovery Museum highlights a series of Spotlight Artists each year, and this activity lets kids try out the techniques, media or concepts of these featured artists. This season’s Spotlight Artists are Ice Architects, Earthworks and Arno Elias.
Science Lab at the Outdoor Learning Lab
Thursdays, 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Kids get to go hands-on with the Scientific Method: hypothesize, experiment, investigate, evaluate… and do it all over again! Experiment with rocks, clay and sand to explore the earth beneath our feet. .
Nature Lab at the Outdoor Learning Lab
Fridays, 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Outdoor play designed to foster appreciation for the environment and to develop kids’ observational skills. In this guided activity kids gather natural materials to create and discover wonders of the natural world.
Maker Lab at the Idea Spot
Saturdays, 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM
This new two-hour drop-in session will give you and your young child a chance to explore how things work, take things apart, plan, test and design creations.
Monthly Nature Walk with Ranger Lucy — Lookout Cove
1st Wednesday of the month, 11:30 AM – 12 PM
Families get to explore our local landscape and discover the naturalist in all of us with Lucy, a knowledgeable and friendly National Park Ranger.
Parking and Facilities
The museum has free parking, and is a short Uber, Lyft or taxi ride from the Sausalito Ferry pier. The museum staff are happy to call a return taxi for you from the front desk if you ask them to do so.
The only nearby restaurants open during the daylight hours are the Presidion Yacht Club bar (call ahead for operating hours, as they vaty), as well as gourmet-focused Murray Circle and its informal companion Farley Bar, both of which serve excellemt but expensive food. The diverse restaurants of downtown Sausalito are about a mile away (a lovely walk if kids are old enough, but much too far for the little ones) or a short drive by car.
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