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 RAINFOREST DOME
Inside the dome
The main attractions are the many butterflies & birds flying freely around.
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.
Top Right: Beneath the birds & butterflies are fish from the Amazon Flooded Forest.
Top: Violaceous euphonia
Bottom: Blue necked tanager
We were told the butterflies live only about a month. The museum orders butterfly pupae directly from Costa Rica.
Top Right: Doris longwing
Bottom: Banded orange heliconian
Looking up while standing in a clear tunnel on the lowest level of the rainforest.
MORE THAN JUST A RAINFOREST
We spent most of our allotted time in the rainforest exhibit. We quickly checked out a few other things at the museum, though.
They were cute & ugly at the same time. To see an Academy video of the ostriches click here.
In the swamp area is Claude, an albino alligator
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.