Play Space Review: Early Explorer’s Cove at California Academy of Sciences

Early Explorer’s Cove

55 Music Concourse Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118

One of the very first outings I took my infant on was a trip to the Cal Academy to visit the aquarium, but it wasn’t until¬†a few months later that I learned about the Early Explorer’s Cove. This is a wonderful place for toddlers and preschoolers, and I think crawlers also can do very well here.


  • Has a great animal, nature, and science focus
  • Capacity is strictly limited so it never feels too crowded
  • There is a platform treehouse with multiple types of steps and a bridge
  • Toys and books are rotated seasonally


  • Overall smaller footprint than most play spaces
  • Very small infant section that can often be disorganized

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Play Spaces for Crawlers and Young Toddlers

Living in a typical tiny San Francisco apartment, when my son started crawling it was very important to me to find some safe places where he could crawl around more freely. As he’s become a young toddler, I also like spaces that promote additional skill development through play.


Here are some quick links to reviews of my favorite play spaces for tiny humans.

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