There’s really two sides to the Exploritorium on Pier 15.
One side you see during daylight: a kid’s museum with neat exhibits and artifacts and science oddities that appears naive and innocent in the sunlight. There’s usually strollers and kids running rampant outside its doors with no costumes, alcohol or late-night mischieva to be found.
The other side you see only on Thursday nights from 6:00 to 10:00 PM when the kiddos are asleep: the Exploritorium After Dark; a lit-up museum building with a subtle orange glow. The same sidewalk, architecture and exhibit space that looked unassuming in the daylight instantly becomes a glowing monstrosity of costumes, cocktails, conundrums and colloquialisms upon entering and a mystifying place of self-discovery upon exiting.
Tonight, I found out what happens after dark: a convergence of weird science, high fashion, electrifying music, provocative art and eye-opening technology in one museum, galleria and theater experience.
Cocktails were sloshed in glittery half-carafes, topped with orange garnishes, speared olives and passion fruit wedges, hugging the rim as if drunk themselves. Creatures flew freely, so close to our heads that I found myself constantly ducking like I was avoiding pigeon poop. Ornate chandeliers doubling as UFOs hung from the ceiling. I swear one moved and was going to scoop Brittany up. Each museum room that was normally divided and sectioned off for normal daytime exhibit use was opened up to fit more bodies, oddities and drink booths.
All in all, after three hours of fun, I realized this: there’s a little bit of Bill Nye, the Science Guy in all of us.