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Unique Gifts for Travelers

blubsThe Exploratorium store at SFO distinguishes itself as a unique destination for gifts featuring a vast collection of books curated from its main location at San Francisco’s Pier 15, as well as puzzles and toys designed to educate and entertain.  These gifts foster interaction and are great for children and adults. 

While the items at Exploratorium make great gifts to take home, the SFO location features products that are ideal for travelers looking to engage their minds – or the minds of their children – while on a flight.

teacher“We’ve brought in things that are specific to travelers – like our puzzle books, which are a great size for kids to take on the airplane and keep them engaged while they fly” says Esther Swann, Merchandise Manager for the SFO Exploratorium.  “A lot of people want gifts to take home.  There is a lot of demand for pre-school gifts; our stretchable robots are very popular.  Lots of business travelers and grandparents want to get gifts.”

A Unique Place to Visit at SFO

In addition to the store, the Exploratorium at SFO also has an exhibit, as well as content that is fed in from the Main Museum.  “So you don’t have to come in to buy something, you can come in just to see what’s on display” said Esther Swann.  “Our goal is to expose people to the Exploratorium and we’ve received a great response.  People are engaged.  They’re not looking to just buy a pack of gum.”

market streetThe most popular exhibit at the Exploratorium at SFO is a film called “A Trip Down Market Street”.  Consisting of a single camera shot attached to a trolley as it moves down Market Street, the film provides a fascinating glimpse of San Francisco in 1906.  “People are really intrigued by this film because it’s such a unique snapshot of San Francisco in a specific time” says Esther Swann.  “What’s really interesting is that the film had to be sent to New York to be processed and that’s the only reason it survived – because the 1906 earthquake happened shortly after it was filmed and had it been in SF, it would most likely have been destroyed.”

Stop In and Visit

The Exploratorium at SFO is located in Terminal 3, Boarding Area E, near Gate 69, Post Security.  It’s open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.  The Exploratorium offers a 10% employee discount.

Says Esther Swann, “We do live demos of all of our toys.  Kids come in because they’re bored and they can play with the toys – and the adults can too!”


The Exploratorium Museum first opened in San Francisco in 1969, introducing children and adults to the ongoing exploration of science, art and human perception in an engaging, interactive way.  The idea, then as now, was to foster an environment where people could learn about the world around them through experiences instead of just reading about them.  The Exploratorium has since become a City institution, and visitors to SFO can experience museum related products as well.