A few days after Christmas I finally went to see the new California Academy of Sciences museum in San Francisco with my boyfriend Kelly. The museum was recently entirely redone, and as a huge fan of the old museum I was looking forward to seeing what they'd done with it. Here's their website: http://www.calacademy.org/
Thankfully you can buy tickets online, but even with that the line to get in snaked around the block at opening time. They've kept a bit of the old facade, and if you remember the old museum you can identify other things that have remained. There is a giant, multi story living rainforest, the aquarium, plantetarium, the old African hall with it's dusty taxidermy and other exhibits. It was great to see a museum so jam packed (20 minute line to get into the rainforest, just like Disneyland!) but when we were done, both Kelly and I agreed that we liked the old museum better. I couldn't quite figure out why I felt that way, since the new museum is certainly very flashy. My friend Adam (who works for the Exploratorium, a very cool SF museum) sent me this article which pretty much sums up my feelings too. Very bright and shiny, but missing the sense of wonder that the old version provided. But I'm glad I went, and hope it continues to draw the crowds so the research they do can continue. The one area that did improve was the aquarium, I wish I could have the jellyfish tank in my living room!