By Josh Edelson
By Chris Hall
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By Jonathan Curiel
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Bay Area Discovery Museum. "Think Tank": Subtitled "an enigmatic exhibition," the fun features interactive hands-on exhibits such as brain games, mind teasers, and puzzles. Through Sept. 15. Free-$8.50. 339-3900. 557 McReynolds (at Murray), Sausalito, 339-3944, www.baykidsmuseum.org.
Berkeley Art Museum. First Impressions: Free First Thursdays: Check out a world of art and film with free entry to the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive each month. Thursdays, 11 a.m. Free. 2626 Bancroft (at Telegraph), Berkeley, 510-642-0808.
Cable Car Museum. Permanent Exhibit: Located in a historic cable car powerhouse, the museum displays a variety of cable car gear, historic photographs, installations explaining how the cars work, and several antique vehicles. Daily. Free. 1201 Mason (at Washington), 474-1887.
California Academy of Sciences. "Astrobiology: Life in the Extreme": A permanent exhibition that explores the types of environments in the universe that could support life. Daily. 875 Howard (at Fifth St.), 750-7145, www.calacademy.org.
California Historical Society Museum. "Eadweard Muybridge: San Francisco in Panorama": The photographer famous for motion studies also made panoramic images; here, see a room-sized picture of the city circa 1877. Through Oct. 8. free-$3. 678 Mission (at Third St.), 357-1848.
Cartoon Art Museum. "Garfield: Meow and Then": A look back at 27 years' worth of comics about the fat, lazy, cynical orange cat. Through Sept. 25. Free-$6. "Play Ball": Over 40 baseball cartoons from 1945-1965 by legendary cartoonist Willard Mullin. Through Oct. 30. Monthly Cartooning Classes for Adults: An intensive monthly workshop for aspiring comic artists, writers, and fans of the medium, taught by a professional cartoonist focusing on an area of his or her expertise. Fourth Saturday of every month, 1 p.m. $40-$50. 655 Mission (at New Montgomery), 227-8666, www.cartoonart.org.
Chabot Space & Science Center. "One Giant Leap: A Moon Odyssey": Take a simulated moonwalk, try on a space helmet, climb into a space capsule, and virtually land a lunar module in this exhibit. Daily. Free with museum admission, $9-$13. "Astronomy in California 1850-1950: Telescope Makers, Telescopes, and Artifacts": Take a look at California's rich history in astronomy with this display of telescopes, astronomy history documents, and other ephemera. Daily. Free with museum admission, $9-$13. "Skywise -- Astronomy Cartoon Exhibit": Help your child understand that vastness and majesty of space with this exhibit of astronomy comic strips. Daily. Free with museum admission, $9-$13. "Destination Universe": Take a virtual journey from the sun to the end of the cosmos with exhibits on nebulae, space travel, black holes, and moving galaxies. Daily. Free with museum admission, $9-$13. "Mars Encounter": The National Aeuronautics and Space Administration sponsors this exhibit on travel to Mars, which includes data on current and past missions, a giant tactile Mars globe, and Martian meteorites. Daily. Free with museum admission, $9-$13. 10000 Skyline (at Joaquin Miller, in Joaquin Miller Park), Oakland, 510-336-7300.
Contemporary Jewish Museum. "Scents of Purpose": The museum showcases more than 90 artists' interpretations on the spice box, an item that's used in the havdalah, a Sabbath prayer service. Through Sept. 5. Free-$5. 344-8800. 121 Steuart (at Mission), 591-8800, www.thecjm.org.
Exploratorium. "Sculptural Information": Sculptural works spotlighting the icons of the information age -- books, print, X-rays, and typewriters. Through Sept. 11. Free with museum admission. "The Nobel Prize: 100 Years of Creativity": The multimedia exhibit "The Nobel Prize: 100 Years of Creativity" offers a historic overview of the prize and the personal stories of 50 Laureates, including artifacts such as Alexander Fleming's penicillin petri dish, Ernest Hemingway's library ticket, and Linus Pauling's paper cutouts of molecules. Through Oct. 2. free-$12. "Traits of Life": A major exhibition area with 30 biology exhibits and demonstrations that help visitors understand the fundamental elements common to all living things from humans to amoebas. Daily. Free with museum admission. 3601 Lyon (at Marina), 397-5673, www.exploratorium.edu.
The Holocaust Center of Northern California. "Holocaust Center of Northern California": The newly opened center's first exhibit showcases its facilities, including a library with more than 15,000 historical volumes, a reading room for screening documentaries and holding educational talks, and ongoing displays of the center's thousands of photographs and artifacts. Tuesdays, Thursdays, 1-6 p.m.; Mondays, Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. 121 Steuart (at Mission), 777-9060, www.holocaust-sf.org.
Lawrence Hall of Science. "Forces That Shape the Bay": The museum's permanent science park exhibit explores new ways to understand the bay. Daily. "Prove It -- A ChemMystery": Kids and adults attempt to solve crimes using the basic forensic skills they learn step-by-step at the exhibit. Daily. Free with admission, free-$8.50. Centennial & Grizzly Peak, Berkeley, 510-642-5132.
Legion of Honor. "Artwear: Fashion and Anti-Fashion": A retrospective of wearable art spanning 35 years and more than 100 pieces. The show begins its study with crocheted garments worn by 1960s fashionistas and moves through the decades to modern-day haute couture. Through Oct. 30. $2-$12. 750-3614. www.legionofhonor.org. "Big Kids/Little Kids": Children aged 3 1/2 to 6 years and their parents take a gallery tour and then participate in a related hands-on art activity. Saturdays, 10:30 a.m. Free with museum admission, free-$8. "Doing and Viewing Art": Kids aged 7-12 and their families tour the Legion of Honor's galleries before taking part in a hands-on creative workshop led by a professional artist. Saturdays, 10:30 a.m. Free with museum entrance fee, free-$8. Ford Free Tuesdays: Get in free to the Legion of Honor every Tuesday thanks to a grant from the Ford Motor Company. Tuesdays. Free. 100 34th Ave. (at Clement), 863-3330.
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