Except for way back when I was actively dating and looking to couple up, I’ve always found date night to be a struggle. So often I’m loathe to pull myself off the couch after a long day. Invariably its worth it but I’ve found need something more than just a dinner out to get me out of the house. So when I was offered a chance to try out an adult-oriented evening at the Exploratorium, I jumped at the chance.

What a delight to be able to enjoy and explore this amazing museum and not have to chase after my kids or wipe any noses! The space is chock full of great activities, events, presentations to delight and astound. What would I do first? Would I set inside a tornado, turn myself upside down in an optical illusion, or venture into a pitch-black dome? The pitch-black dome was the winner. We started off with tickets to the Tactile Dome.

I would share photos from inside the tactile dome but, of course, they would be pitch black. The tactile dome submerges you in darkness as you feel your way up and down ramps and slides. A little unnerving but also loads of fun! If you aren’t wearing any socks, you might want to bring some along. You won’t be wearing shoes as you crawl, clamber, slide through this exhibit.

After that adventure, we grabbed a fizzy cocktail and relaxed in the Cinema which played four thought-provoking shorts. Then, as we chatted about them, it was time to play!

We had lots of fun checking out all sorts of activities that played with light effects, photography, and electricity. In the shot above we were experimenting with magnets and electricity. We tapped into our inner child as we tested out how a slinky would do as we adjusted the speed on its own little treadmill. Can a slinky sprint?

After we tested a gigantic version of Newton’s cradle, it was time to fuel up at The Exploratorium’s restaurant. I was so pleased we didn’t have to leave the venue to get a great meal, Seaglass (the Exploratorium’s restaurant) is right inside! Rather than a limited array of cafe style bites, at Seaglass we were able to get a fantastic three-course meal. The different sushi rolls were a total standout.

As we strolled around after and pondered which exhibit we should test we admired the variety of groups attending After Dark at the Exploratorium. There were work groups, friends, couples, and those that appeared to be on first or blind dates. I can’t imagine a better first or second date night option.  If you ran into an awkward pause, you could just talk about all the exhibits, the provocative programming, or maybe even immerse yourself in the exhibits and not talk much at all. All the fun experimenting might also help mitigate some of those first date nerves. And if things were going well you wanted a break from all the experimenting you could just head on over to Seaglass for dinner and drinks.

When my husband and I go out on date nights, we often struggle not to talk about the kids, our schedules, day to day tasks and chores. Our night at the Exploratorium gave us a great opportunity to relax into all the fun and escape all that. I’m super excited to return with a group of friends so we can mix and mingle. With over 650 exhibits to try, we only scratched the surface on our first night!

For a limited time, you can take advantage of a discount and join in on all the fun at The Exploratorium too. Just use code FUTUREFOOD when you check out to get 5% off any After Dark tickets between now and November 30th or $5 off any After Dark membership package. Visit the Exploratorium After Dark website here to view a calendar of upcoming events and buy tickets so you can see for yourself!

Thanks to the Exploratorium for sponsoring this post.


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