About Us

Creativity is the foundation of all other milestones in educational development. Harnessing creativity at a young age, when brain development and plasticity is at its peak, not only optimizes academic success, but is critical for social-emotional development, critical thinking and problem solving.

Creative thinking enables original thought and the ability to see solutions where others don’t, a fundamental skill for the youngest generation for whom it’s estimated 65% of the jobs haven’t yet been invented. Creativity skills are essential for preparing children—and society—for future success in a rapidly changing world, and early childhood creativity development is the most impactful investment to close the opportunity gap.

At the Bay Area Discovery Museum, we’re transforming the outcomes for children and the implications for society by building in children fundamental creativity skills at an early age that will change the way they learn and the way they contribute to the world.

In our one-of-a-kind location at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge on 7.5 acres of National Park land, the Bay Area Discovery Museum facilitates child-directed, open-ended, inquiry-driven learning through hands-on exhibitions, rich activities and risk- friendly challenges designed to ignite creativity, as well as STEM skills and critical thinking.

Additionally, the Museum’s research and advisory division, the Center for Childhood Creativity (CCC), is working at a national scale to advance the research that informs our understanding of childhood creativity, advocate for its critical importance and inspire the next generation of innovators, thought leaders and problem-solvers.

Our mission: To ignite and advance creative thinking for all children.

To learn more about how we are unique and how we use stories and iconic landmarks and features, download our interpretive framework. (PDF)


The Museum is consistently recognized as the Bay Area's best! Here is a selected list of recent accolades.


  • Partner in 100Kin10, a multi-sector network fueling the next generation of innovators and problem-solvers by providing America's classrooms with 100,000 excellent science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teachers by 2021. Read the press release.
  • Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in Museum Education, Center for Childhood Creativity’s professional development program, 2014 
  • San Francisco Business Times, Bay Area's Most Influential Women, Karyn Flynn, CEO & Executive Director, 2013


  • Southern Marin Mothers' Club, Favorite Museum to Bring the Kids and Favorite Rainy Day Activity, 2014
  • Bay Area Parent Magazine, Best Museum, 2014 and 2013
  • Marin Magazine Reader’s Choice Awards , Best Summer Camp, 2013
  • North Bay Bohemian, Best Kid's Museum, 2015, Best Imagination Center, 2014
    Best Museum and Best Birthday Place, 2013, 2011, 2010
    Best Family Destination & Best Imagination Center, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005
  • Red Tricycle, Totally Awesome Museum, 2011
  • San Francisco Bay Guardian, Best Nearby Discovery 2009
  • Pacific Sun, Best Kid's Camp, 2015, Best Place for a Kid's Party, Hall of Fame (winner for several consecutive years)
  • Nickelodeon’s Parents’ Picks Best Enviro-Friendly Place, 2008

Historical Preservation

  • California Preservation Foundation, Preservation Design Award, 2005
  • San Francisco Architectural Foundation, Architecture and Youth Award, 2000
  • National Historic Preservation Award from the President’s Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, 1992
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