The California Academy of Sciences has resumed their evening event series, Nightlife for 2021 starting Thursday, May 13, 2021.
From basking in the glow of one of the largest living coral reef displays in the world to taking in the interstellar views from the Living Roof, guests can explore the nocturnal side of the Academy and see what makes the museum at night different. With live DJs, outdoor bars, ambiance lighting, and nearly 40,000 live animals (including familiar faces like Claude), the night is sure to be wild.
Special discounted evening admission: Daytime tickets to the California Academy of Sciences typically range between $28 and $42. Tickets to NightLife tupically start at $13-$15, but in the past have gone up as high as $25.
All guests can reserve tickets online for a specific entry timeslot.
Select Thursdays | 6-10p (timed entry)
California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Dr., Golden Gate Park, SF
Tickets: Prices typically start between $13-$15, but are dynamic and vary by date and entry time
- Please note that the last entry into the rainforest exhibit is 7:30 pm—our animals need their sleep
- Reservations required for Morrison Planetarium – To reserve a showtime for the planetarium, scan the QR code posted in the lobby with your phone as soon as you arrive
Visit the reopening page for more information about ticketing, health and safety, exhibits, and FAQs.
Learn More: Upcoming schedule of events | Health and safety procedures
Last updated 8/12/21 – See the latest updates
What can I expect at NightLife?
We’ve made some adjustments to in-person NightLife events to help keep guests safe. At this time, NightLife capacity is limited and timed-entry tickets are required. While expanded programming and capacity ramp back up, NightLife is only on select Thursdays—view upcoming events here. As always, all guests must be 21+ with ID to attend. For those unable to attend in person, the Academy will continue to offer its free virtual NightSchool programs—informal online “classes” with an eclectic mix of science and culture—streaming live (and available as recordings afterwards) on the Academy’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.
Do I need to make a reservation for the rainforest and Shake House?
As of June 19, we are no longer requiring reservations for Osher Rainforest or the Shake House during daytime or NightLife visits. Simply walk up and enjoy! Please note, however, that the last entry into the rainforest is 7:30 pm—our animals need their sleep!
Will the planetarium be open during NightLife?
Yes! The planetarium is reopening during Thursday NightLife events starting July 15, with showtimes at 6:30 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:30 pm, and 9:30 pm. Scan the QR code in the lobby as soon as you arrive to reserve your showtime. If no time slots are available, please try again later as additional reservations are often released hourly depending on the number of tickets still available for scheduled showtimes. Due to a limited quantity of reservations, we regret that not all guests interested in attending a planetarium show may be able to secure a reservation during their visit.
What dining options will be available during NightLife?
Food and beverages are available for purchase in the Academy Café and West Garden from 6-9:30 pm and include a variety of grab-and-go options, craft cocktails, and more.
Will I be able to eat and drink inside?
Yes, but only in the Academy Café! No space inside? Head out to the West Garden or East Garden for abundant outdoor seating. If you’re eating in the Café, please keep your mask on at all times except when actively eating or drinking.
Can I re-enter the event after exiting?
For your safety, we’re no longer offering re-entry hand stamps. If you wish to re-enter after exiting, you will need to purchase a new NightLife ticket.
Are NightLife VIP Experiences available?
Yes! Starting July 15, NightLife VIP guests will enjoy a private rooftop lounge atop the Academy’s lush 2.5-acre living roof to encounter native wildflowers in bloom, enjoy eye-popping views, and learn about the building’s impressive feats of green engineering.The experience also includes two complimentary cocktails and snack, priority entry to Osher Rainforest and the Shake House earthquake simulator, reserved planetarium seating, an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour into our collections (including our rare Gem and Mineral Vault!), and 10% off at the Café and retail stores. Masks will be required indoors. Learn more!
Are there still public programs and demonstrations during the day?
Yes! However, to minimize crowding inside the museum, we are not currently scheduling public programs and demonstrations at specific times. Instead, we will continue to present “pop-up” programs where Academy staff will host spontaneous, exciting, educational mini-programs throughout the day on every floor, in the East and West Gardens, and on our Living Roof.
Are daytime VIP Tours available?
Yes! Book a VIP Tour to explore the secrets of the Academy as you spend 45-minutes behind the scenes learning more about how the museum works—and what it takes to house nearly 46 million specimens. (Please note: Tour includes stairs and unpaved paths.) For ages 8 and up. Members, your discount will be applied after login.
Please note that the VIP Tour ticket price does not include Daytime Admission. You will have the opportunity to add a VIP Tour to your order when reserving your tickets online.
When will Dean Astronomy Lectures start back up again?
We are happy to announce that our Dean Lecture series has returned virtually. To register for lectures in August and beyond, please check out our Dean Lectures page and Morrison Planetarium’s Facebook page for upcoming livestreamed programs, stargazing resources, and more.
When will Penguins+Pajamas Sleepovers start back up again?
We’re hoping to resume sleepovers later this year. Please visit our Penguins+Pajamas Sleepovers page for the most up-to-date info.
For those unable to attend in person, the Academy will continue to offer its free virtual NightSchool programs—informal online “classes” with an eclectic mix of science and culture—streaming live (and available as recordings afterwards) on the Academy’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.