About Us

Creative thinking begins early in every child’s life. It enables original thought and the ability to see solutions where others don’t. It unlocks possibilities and fosters innovation. It provides the fundamental building blocks for success in school and beyond.

The Bay Area Discovery Museum is designed to ignite creative thinking in children. 7.5 acres of natural beauty inspires families to engage in a world of possibilities. Framed by the majestic backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Museum is a space for imaginations to run wild. Every curated detail of our exhibits brings creative thinking to life for all stages of childhood. Navigate winding tunnels to develop physical and intellectual risk-taking skills. Feel the rush of cold-water tide pools that surprise and awaken curiosity. Imagine new worlds by transforming into a spider, a ship captain, or a bridge builder. At every turn is a new opportunity to challenge the boundaries of creativity.

Now we are taking these experiences beyond our physical location. We launched the Center for Childhood Creativity in 2011 to pioneer new research, thought-leadership, and teacher training programs that advance creative thinking in all children—extending our impact beyond the Museum.

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 accolates.



  • San Francisco Business Times, Bay Area's Most Influential Women, Karyn Flynn, CEO & Executive Director, 2013

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

Media Recognition

  • Red Tricycle, Totally Awesome Museum, 2011
  • San Francisco Bay Guardian, Best Nearby Discovery 2009
  • North Bay Bohemian, Best Family Destination & Best Imagination Center, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005
    Best Birthday Party 2010, 2011
  • Pacific Sun, Best Place for a Kid's Party, Hall of Fame, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007,
  • Lilapick Best Kids Outing 2008
  • Bay Area Parent magazine, Best Children’s Museum, Silver Medal
  • Nickelodeon’s Parents’ Picks Best Enviro-Friendly Place, 2008
  • Grand Magazine, Top 20 Children's Museum, 2007
  • J. the Jewish newsweekly, Favorite Museum, 2007, 2008, 2009
  • North Bay Bohemian, Best Summer Day Camp, 2005
  • Bay Area Parent, Family Favorite, 2004
  • Pacific Sun, Best Children’s Attraction, 2003
  • North Bay Bohemian, Best Children’s Attraction, 2003
  • Pacific Sun, Hero of the Week, Museum’s Community Learning Initiative (CLI), 2002
  • SF Gate, 10 Great Bay Area Places to Keep the Kids Amused, 2002
  • Parents Magazine, Must-See Museum, 2000
  • FamilyWonder.com, Highest Review Rating for Museum, 2000
  • San Francisco Chronicle, Best Family Outing, 1999
  • San Francisco / Peninsula Parent Magazine, Best Place For Kids, 1998
  • Pacific Sun, Best Place to Bring Kids, 1997
  • Valley Parent Magazine, Best Family Outing, 1996


  • MetLife Foundation and Association of Children’s Museums (ACM), Promising Practice Award, 2002

Graphic Design

  • American Graphic Design Awards, excellence in communication and graphic design, 2006
  • AIGA Design Competition, wayfinding award, 2005

Parenting Clubs

  • Ross Valley Mother's Club, Best Day Outing (Hands Down Winner), 2006
  • Lamorinda Moms Club, Best Indoor Activity, 2005
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