XOXO Exhibit at Children's Creativity Museum in SF for a Limited Time - 510 Families

XOXO Exhibit at Children’s Creativity Museum in SF for a Limited Time

Thank you to the Children’s Creativity Museum for hosting my visit and sponsoring this post. Do not miss the brand new XOXO: An Exhibit About Love & Community.

The Children’s Creativity Museum, located in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Gardens, is a hands-on, multimedia art and technology experience for kids ages 2-12. Kids over 5 will appreciate the cartoon production, short film making, and computer studio, while younger kids will enjoy the lower-tech interactive exhibits. Everyone will love the new XOXO exhibit, carousel and epic slides at the nearby playground. This is one museum sure to satisfy kids of all ages!

The Children’s Creativity Museum is now open. Masks are required for everyone 2-years old and up.

Children's Creativity Museum looks fun from the outside
Children’s Creativity Museum fun from the outside | Photo by Jac via FourSquare

The Mission of the Children’s Creativity Museum is Next Generation Innovation

Our mission is to nurture creativity and collaboration in all children and families. We believe that creative expression, innovation, and critical thinking are core to fostering the next generation.

Various core studios and traveling exhibits keep the museum fresh and, well, creative at every visit. Create a video one day; touch everything; sing karaoke with 2,000 choices; practice coding on robots; sketch and scan; admire other children’s art in the gallery; and always choose a different animal on the carousel right outside.

The Children’s Creativity Museum for Little Kids

two children playing at train table
The train table and music table at the Children’s Creativity Museum have a bunch of cool, rare pieces that we’d never seen before | Photo: Julie Herson

Kids under 5-years will jump head-first into all the engaging interactive stations in the downstairs section of the museum. Be it the old-school train table, telephone booths (with real telephones, which seemed to be lost on the kiddos LOL), or the cozy Storybook Park reading nook, the downstairs area is ideal for the younger set. The many opportunities for tactile exploration through creating art, taking pictures, building puzzles, and more will keep your little kids busy for way longer than expected.

kids balancing on teeter-totter
This teeter-totter helps the kids learn about balance in a fun and unique way | Photo: Julie Herson

New to see: XOXO: An Exhibit About Love & Community now through Labor Day

Also downstairs, you’ll find the museum’s newest feature, the XOXO exhibit, which fosters love and community through a number of unique activities and setups. You can create love notes to then “crunch” into “love tokens”. Then you can either put them in an envelope or place them in a jar on the wall. Kids love the “crushing” part.

child playing with machine
This fun “crusher” machine lets your kid create a Love Token | Photo: Julie Herson

The other part of the exhibit offers you the chance to write down any negative feelings and then “shred” them in a special manual shredder. Kids go crazy for this one! My kids are now writing down their dark or sad feelings at home and using our own paper shredder just like at the museum. It’s surprisingly useful at getting kids to express themselves and move on from arguments with siblings or just feeling sad.

two kids looking at paper shredder machine
This analog paper shredder lets your kids “shred” their negative feelings as part of the new XOXO exhibit | Photo: Julie Herson

Upstairs at the Children’s Creativity Museum

Pro tip: When heading to the second floor, use the spiral gallery ramp so kids can freely run up while enjoying the beautiful artwork along the way.

The upstairs area at the Children’s Creativity Museum offers more inventive hands-on opportunities for both big and little kids. Younger kids will spend time building their own instruments with cardboard, pipe cleaners, rubber bands, etc. They can then dance around on the fun interactive dot carpet that plays music (though a bit too softly). There’s also an opportunity to dawn headphones and create your own music with computers and electronic keyboards with different instrument sounds.

kids walking on colorful dot rug
This musical dot rug makes sounds as the kids step on each dot, upstairs at the Children’s Creativity Museum | Photo: Julie Herson

Older kids will head straight for the Innovation Lab where they can create real stop-motion movies using LEGO and other figurines. This activity does take time and patience, so most little kids won’t have the bandwidth to complete a full movie (even if their parent really really wants to give it a try). There are also only so many stations (4-5), so on more crowded days, there will most certainly be a wait. That being said, this is a super cool exhibit that your creative LEGO-loving kiddos will adore.

children movie making lab
The Innovation Lab upstairs at the Children’s Creativity Museum is awesome for older kids | Photo: Julie Herson

Playground and Carousel

There’s an awesome playground just across the way from the museum. There are two epic slides and plenty of other climbing, running, and general getting-your-ya-yas out areas to explore (including a tot lot section). Enjoy a mid-morning snack or lunch after you finish at the museum. Great for making a day of it.

little girl climbing play structure at playground
The two epic slides at the playground near the Children’s Creativity Museum are awesome but very fast for little kids | Photo: Julie Herson

Oh! And don’t forget to try the scavenger hunt sheet that the museum gives you at check-in. Super fun! And of course, your kids will also want to ride the carousel. It’s beautiful, classic and the ride feels longer than the Tilden Park Carousel. $5 per person.

kids riding carousel
A trip to the Children’s Creativity Museum isn’t complete without a ride on the beautiful carousel | Photo: Julie Herson

Plan your visit to the Children’s Creativity Museum

Location: The Children’s Creativity Museum is located in San Francisco at the corner of Fourth and Howard Streets in Yerba Buena Gardens. 221 Fourth Street, San Francisco, CA.

BART: The nearest BART station is Powell Street. Find parking suggestions here >>


  • Thursday and Friday- 10 am to 12:30 pm – no timed sessions *1st floor only (Preschool Playtime) Walkups only; no reservations required.
  • Saturday and Sunday – 10 am to 4 pm – no timed sessions. Reserving your tickets in advance is highly recommended

Admission Prices:

  • Thursday-Friday tickets are $15 for ages 1+
  • Saturday-Sunday tickets are $20 for ages 1+
  • Under 1 year: FREE
  • Members: FREE
  • Book Your Tickets >>

Right outside The Children’s Creativity Museum is the LeRoy King Carousel, a fully restored 1906 carousel. Your kids will notice!

Carousel Price: $5 per person (good for one ride) or $3 with paid museum admission.
Open Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30 am – 4:30 pm

Food: Bring your own food and water. There is no food or seating area onsite, but the outdoor courtyard is a lovely place to eat, especially on a mild day. Joyride Pizza, Chipotle (in the Metreon), and Starbucks are within walking distance if you get hungry.

For deals on admission:

The CCM participates in a number of programs for free and deeply discounted admission. See if you qualify.

  • The CCM participates in the Discover & Go program for FREE admission through the East Bay libraries when you plan ahead.
  • Creativity Museum offers free admission and carousel rides to EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) and Medi-Cal cardholders and their family members through the Museums for All program.
  • Blue Star Museums offers free admission to active-duty military families.

Website for more information >>

Thank you to the Children’s Creativity Museum for hosting my visit and sponsoring this post.

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