How Things Work – Bay Area Discovery Museum

How Things Work

How Things Work

Reveal the Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Now Open! Included with General Admission

What makes a car move? Where does the water go when a toilet flushes?

How Things Work answers these questions and more by revealing new and unique views of ordinary objects. Watch your child learn that a fridge isn't kept cool by magic, but rather by specific systems and processes. This new perspective will spark your child's curiosity about all of the objects they interact with, even those beyond what is inside a house.

Game and Music Room

HTW Instruments

Musical Instruments

Tickle the ivories! How does the press of a piano key or pluck of a guitar string generate a sound? Inspect the mechanisms inside of a guitar, rain stick, and piano and see how external manipulations produce sounds.

HTW May 2021

Pool Table & Ramp Wall

Discover the journey of billiard balls when you play pool. Send balls down ramps using a pool table with a clear top. Then compare this experience to the nearby ramp wall. This special billiards table is child-height for accessible fun and exploration.

Kitchen, Dining, Living, and Bathroom

HTW Kitchen Thumbnail

Kitchen & Dining Room

From the blender to the fridge - no appliance is too small to be split in half. Your child will see the mechanisms that make a kitchen function and find opportunities for pretend play with use of the stove, dining table, dishes, and more.


Living Room

Open and close a flue in a fireplace to serve air flow and send a scarf of pretend smoke up the chimney. Or experiment with circuitry when your child connects the circuits of a giant circuit board to turn on a fan, lights, and doorbell.

HTW Bathroom


What happens when you flush a toilet? How does water disappear down the drain? Observe the wonders of indoor plumbing and see a mundane, everyday experience in a new way.

Laundry and Garage


Laundry & Grandma's Attic

Kids spin a giant washing machine, climb a ladder to explore Grandma's attic, and then make their way down a giant slide and exit through a large dryer.

Grandma's Attic is temporarily closed for repairs. 


Garage & Car

Hop in the driver's seat and pretend to drive and observe what happens to the tires when the steering wheel is turned. Then inspect the real parts of the car's engine.


Build It, Race It: Car Building & Testing

Your child will experiment by building a car with different body shapes, wheels, and other parts. Test out their creation on ramps of varying surface textures and witness how their choices and the track impact the speed of the car.

How Things Work made possible by Aey Phanachet and Roger Evans

Regular Hours

Wednesday - Monday: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Member Hour: 9 - 10 a.m.
Closed Tuesday

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