Going to the Metreon
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Going to the Metreon
I'm thinking of taking my visiting in-laws to the Sony
Metreon (downtown SF). I have a 2-year-old and was
wondering whether anyone would recommend the "Wild Things"
exhibit for a young child? Or would it be better for
an older child? Or is it not worth going to for any age?
went to the new Sony Metreon which has tons of speakers so we made sure to
bring ear plugs to help reduce some of the volume. If you happen to be in
the area of the Metreon, they had tons of the playground in the Yerba Buena
center afterwards. Cool slides for kids 5 and up and a sand box for the
My niece (27) and I (40 something) enjoyed the exhibit quite a bit. It's
full of large creatures and noises. It's interactive so you turn cranks,
lift levers, and step on the large monster footsteps to make things work.
I noticed that the younger kids were down on the ground floor building with
large vinyl blocks. I didn't hear any crying kids (and there were lots of
them) so the monsters aren't that scary.
The entire Metreon/Park/Arts Center complex is beautifully conceived. The
park is relaxing with lots of fountains, and there is a carousel, ice
skating rink and bowling alley in the complex along with the Buena Vista
Arts Center(BVAC). Actually, BVAC is now showing an exhibit of one of
UCB's faculty, Trinh Minh Ha. Because of an international conference
at the Moscone, the day we were there we heard many out of town visitors
remark on how beautiful it was and how much they liked San Francisco.
Enjoy! It makes a very nice place to take visitors.
My friend's daughter, who is seven, would not go into the "wild things"
exhibit because it was too scary. But she is very sensitive to scary things.
She didn't like the "dark" part, BUT she loved the playground part.
You can drop some serious cash in the Metreon. I don't know what else
there is for little 2 yr olds. The imax is spectacular -- it's probably
worth a visit.
We took our two-year-old daughter to the Sony Metreon "Where the Wild Things
Are" exhibit shortly after it opened. She enjoyed it, but I don't think it
was worth the price. It was very crowded, and most of the interactive parts
weren't appropriate for her age. I thought the best/most interesting part
for her was the set of tunnels and blocks near the end. Some children might
be scared by having to go through dark hallways before getting to the outer
play area, or by the large noisy characters from the book. On the other
hand, if you did a family outing to the Metreon you could go across the
street to the carousel and fountains at Yerba Buena Gardens, which our
daughter loves. There is also a play area with a slide and a really great
sandbox that has water trickling through it (bring a change of clothes).
I wanted to chime in with further exhortations to take your kids and
visitors to the Yerba Buena area. We went to Yerba Buena Gardens
recently with our 3 and 6 year old, as well as a teenage visitor. This
whole complex really has become a wonderful place to take the family and
out of towners...BUT I found that the Metreon complex itself gave me a
headache! The teenager loved it, natch. It is meant to have a
futuristic feel, with one particularly wild floor devoted to some science
fiction style video games (one of which, a wacky video bowling arcade,
actually did tempt me a bit - but not the 3D shooting game). There's a
loud, busy Sony electronics store (Metreon is owned by Sony), from which
I fled to the respite of a Hear music store (branch of the 4th street
business). There are some okay eating places, including Long Life
Noodle, like the new one on Shattuck, and some other mini-chains (several
notches above McFood). There are stores with somewhat educational ware,
including one based on the Discovery Channel, one based on The Way Things
Work, and quite a good children's bookstore/play area just outside of the
Wild Things exhibit. There is also an "In the Night Kitchen" place to
eat with fun decor - food looked to be passable. Lovely deck outside
overlooking Yerba Buena Gardens, which is a nice place to picnic.
Sometimes there are concerts in the park.
Our kids enjoyed the Imax theatre (they saw the Underwater one - there's
also climbing Everest, which would probably be less interesting to little
folks). It was pricey - about $6 for kids and $9 for adults for a 40
minute show. Wild Things was also rather expensive - would have been
around $24 for a 4 person family, so we skipped it for now.
BUT - nearby are the carousel (rescued from the old Playland at the
Beach), a very well-designed rooftop playground, with water play and
slides to entrance toddlers to much older kids, a skating rink (where, if
you're lucky, you can fall down right in front of Bryan Boitano) and a
small bowling alley with the kiddie bumpers to prevent gutter balls.
There's also Zeum, which is designed for kids 9 and up...so we're saving
it for later.
We used to rely on feeding the kids at Chevy's, but it's in the midst of
remodeling and moving a block away. If you go up to Union Square you can
feed the kids for free at Fresh Choice (in the basement of the men's
Macy's). For good food, there's a Cha Am branch nearby as well as LuLus
for good food (ask for one of the booths to keep the kids "trapped" and
able to lie down), as well as the aforementioned places in the Metreon,
and Yank Sing for excellent dim sum a few blocks away.
We also take the kids to MOMA regularly. They loved the Calder exhibit -
and they liked the Carleton Wilkins (?) stereophonic views of old
California. We bring along a small set of colored pencils and a
sketchbook, and sit the kids down on a bench in the center of the room
while we take turns looking around. The little kids "sketching" always
makes the guards laugh. (MOMA has an excellent gift shop with a good
kid's section. They sell a set of tiny colored pencils in a CD case).
The food at MOMA is expensive and so-so.
this page was last updated: Jun 13, 2011
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