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Chabot Space & Science Center. "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 Aeronautics 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. "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. Discovery Lab: Intended for kids aged 3-7, the Discovery Lab contains hands-on science experiments that illustrate scientific phenomena like wind and moving machines. Wednesdays-Fridays, 1 p.m.; Saturdays, 10:30 a.m.; Sundays, noon. free with museum admission, $9-$13. "Garden Days in the EnviroGarden": Explore the mysteries of planet Earth with hands-on activities, including worm composting, hiking in the forest, or building minivolcanoes. Saturdays, noon. "Escape From the Red Planet!": The hour-long simulated mission on Mars casts kids as the crew on a struggling space shuttle. Saturdays, 12:30 & 2:30 p.m.; Sundays, 1:30 & 3:30 p.m. free with museum admission, $9-$13. 10000 Skyline (at Joaquin Miller, in Joaquin Miller Park), Oakland, 510-336-7300.

de Young Museum. "Armando Rascon: Naco Nocturnes": Rascon uses museum and other personal artifacts as a platform to engage individual memories that redefine cultural perspectives. Through Nov. 5. "Since 2001: Recent Prints by Ed Ruscha": The approximately 25 prints featured in this exhibition are recent additions to the Edward Ruscha Graphic Arts Archive, a body of work that was acquired by the Fine Arts Museums in 2000. Through March 4, 2007. "The Quilts of Gee's Bend": The quilts of Gee's Bend make San Francisco the final stop in their widely acclaimed nationwide tour. Through Dec. 31. "Chicano": Through Oct. 22. "Highlights of the Art and Architecture of the New de Young": Enjoy a 50-minute, docent-led tour. Through Dec. 31, 10:30 a.m. "Introduction to the Masterworks of the New de Young Collections": Enjoy a 50-minute, docent-led tour. Through Dec. 31, 12:30 p.m. "Friday Nights at the de Young": An art-focused happy hour, with special performances and hands-on activities plus cheap admission. Fridays, 5 p.m. $5. 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden (at JFK), 863-3330, www.thinker.org.

Exploratorium. "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. "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. Organ Concert: Weekly organ concerts. Saturdays, Sundays, 4 p.m. free. Ford Free Tuesdays: Get in free to the Legion of Honor every Tuesday, thanks to a grant from the Ford Motor Co. Tuesdays. Free. 100 34th Ave. (near Clement), 863-3330, www.thinker.org.

Museum of Craft & Folk Art. "Menagerie: Artists Look at Animals": An exhibition that focuses on contemporary representations of animals created by artists from throughout North America. Through Oct. 22. 51 Yerba Buena Lane (at Mission), 227-4888, www.mocfa.org.

Museum of the African Diaspora. "Carrie Mae Weems: The Louisiana Project.": Through Oct. 9. "Patterns: Traditional West African Textiles and the Art of Gee's Bend Quilts": Combines work from the west coast of the African continent with quilts by a creative community of women in Gee's Bend, Alabama. Through Oct. 16. Conversation with the Artist - Carrie Mae Weems: Carrie Mae Weems discusses "The Louisiana Project." Sat., Sept. 30, 1 p.m. St. Regis Hotel, 685 Mission (at Third St.), 358-7200, www.moadsf.org.

Oakland Museum of California. "Oakland to the Rescue!": Exhibition of items from the 1906 earthquake. Through Dec. 31. "Video Work by Bill Viola": Newly acquired video work by the internationally known artist Bill Viola. Through Dec. 31. 1000 Oak (at 10th St.), Oakland, 510-238-2200, www.museumca.org.

Randall Museum. Amy Meyer: Join Amy Meyer, author of New Guardians of the Golden Gate #208 How America Got a Great National Park, for a special evening presentation. Thu., Sept. 28, 7:30 p.m. free. "Magnificent Magnifiers": See hand-crafted antique microscopes on loan from Technical Instrument San Francisco, along with two giant microscopes. Through Oct. 16. School Days: After the Quake: This kid-friendly, interactive exhibit features historical photographs, objects, and a full-scale reproduction of a refugee shack, a hovel that became home to many families after the devastating 1906 tremor. A working seismograph will also intrigue any kid or science nerd interested in knowing more about the technical aspects of tectonic-plate shifting, which cause our really cool and quite frightening earthquakes. Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Oct. 21. free. "Saturdays Are Special": Ongoing weekly drop-in, hands-on art and science workshops. Saturdays, 1 p.m. Free-$3. "Drop-In Art and Science Workshops": Each week kids and parents can participate in artistic activities that illuminate some aspect of science. Saturdays, 1 p.m. $3 per person. 199 Museum (at Roosevelt), 554-9600, www.randallmuseum.org.

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