Celebrating Winter at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco

Jocelyn Murray December 2, 2011 No Comments

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Tis the Season decor California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco

The 'Tis the Season for Science exhibit connects science to traditional holiday symbols (courtesy of California Academy of Sciences)

Ever wonder about all those birds in the Twelve Days of Christmas song? What about snow and how it’s made? Or reindeer and their important place in our environment’s ecosystem? Or the wonderful holiday smells from all those spices used in baking, cooking and alluring home fragrances?

Let it Snow California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco

Children will be delighted by real snow flurries inside the Piazza (courtesy of California Academy of Sciences)

Now you can have these and other intriguing questions answered as you feast your senses with the sights, sounds and smells of this magical time of year at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco where their special exhibit “’Tis the Season for Science” makes a much anticipated return for the second year.

Meander through a created life-size tree “Spice Forest” that fragrantly entices with sweet holiday spices. Scented displays of the plant varieties from which vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and other holiday flavors are included. Just press on the large buttons and you can smell the delicious scents through the displays.

Live Reindeer California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco

Daily live reindeer encounters provide great learning opportunites about these creatures (courtesy of California Academy of Sciences)

There are live reindeer with daily presentations that offer an up close and personal encounter with these popular animals, and delightful snow flurries inside the Piazza twice an hour where children can catch the snowflakes and dance about to the music as they fall.

Beautiful taxidermy displays of the birds in “The Twelve Days of Christmas” bring this traditional Christmas carol to life and includes a partridge in a pear tree, hens, doves, geese, swans and colly birds.

A giant snowman shaped digital dome theater engages guests with fascinating shows on the science of snow.

There are also wonderful festive music and art performances including  dancers, musicians,  carolers, theater troupes, comedians and more.

This exciting exhibit explains the connection between the science behind the holiday plants, animals and food, and the many traditions and symbols representative of this special season.

’Tis the Season for Science activities are included with general admission tickets, unless otherwise noted and can be purchased at the door or online at www.calacademy.org  California Academy of Sciences is located at 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco (415) 379-8000.

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Jocelyn Murray is a travel writer and historical fiction novelist. She holds two university master's degrees in both English and Education, along with a bachelor's degree in Economics and European Studies. She also has a teaching credential and taught at the elementary school level.

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