55 Music Concourse Dr.
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco CA
Regular Hours:


9:30 am – 5:00 pm


11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Members' Hours:


8:30 – 9:30 am


10:00 – 11:00 am

Please note: The Academy will be closing at 3:00 pm on 10/24 (final entry at 2:00 pm). We apologize for any inconvenience.

Parking and traffic in Golden Gate Park will be congested the weekend of Oct. 3–5. Save $3 on Academy admission when you take public transportation.

Naturalist Notebook 

January 18, 2012

Love is in the Air . . . and Under the Sea at the Naturalist Center


Join us January 17 – March 23 to celebrate spring-themed activities and family fun!
• Specimen Spotlight: find out more about some of the most amazing reproduction strategies. Fridays 11:30 AM in front of Project Lab (L1)
• Games, puzzles and coloring sheets
• Springtime Scavenger Hunt
• Craft: Life Cycle Explorations. Fridays 11:00 – 4:00 pm
• Nature Nook: Pollen Power! Featuring an up-close look at pollen under a microscope and a matching activity with flowers and pollinators.
• New Life/Mating display with a smaller Books & Media We Love display in February
• Science Story Adventures. Sundays 2:30 PM Education Classroom (L3)

Penguin Valentine Craft
Monday, February 13, 11AM – 4PM
Decorate a heart to help our penguins get ready with their nests. Academy Biologists will distribute decorated hearts to penguins 11:30 AM and 3:30 PM.
Craft hosted in the Naturalist Center

Filed under: Programs — nature @ 12:30 pm

January 16, 2012

The Bay Area Environmental Education Resource Fair this Saturday


The Bay Area Environmental Education Resource Fair – BAEER Fair 35
Conference on Engaging Youth In the Environment
Saturday, January 21, 2012, 10:00 am – 4:30 pm
Marin Center Exhibit Hall, San Rafael

Join Naturalist Center staff for a WSI: Wildlife Science Investigation workshop at the BAEER Fair at 10:30 am. Investigate a series of animal tracks and other clues to solve four wildlife crime scenes.  Make your own tracking guide and learn how to read nature’s signs, including skulls, tracks and scat. This workshop will inspire you to explore the outdoors or create your own scenarios indoors.

The BAEER Fair promotes environmental education and the resources available to teachers and the general public throughout the Bay Area. The event is designed to provide learning and networking opportunities for teachers, community educators, students, families and all concerned about the environment we share. The BAEER Fair features 75 exhibitors and 16 workshops and is a special project of the Lawrence Hall of Science. Be sure to stop by and say hello to us at the Academy’s table.

Filed under: News,Programs — nature @ 12:24 pm

January 13, 2012

This week’s holiday craft at the Naturalist Center

Jan. 13-14: Make an Arctic Fox
Use the Japanese art of folding paper called origami to make an arctic fox. The arctic fox is an incredibly tough animal that can survive frigid Arctic temperatures as low as -50°C (-58°F).


Filed under: Programs — nature @ 12:02 pm

January 10, 2012

Spotlight On…

Check out this week’s featured specimen!

(Pictured below, really close up!)

Photo: N. Sincero 2011

Can you guess what it is?

Here are some hints:

  • According to the World Conservation Union (IUCN), about 20,000-25,000 individuals of this species exist in the wild.
  • This animal doesn’t need to drink water, instead it gets all the water it needs from the food it eats.

Leave us a comment with your answer! Then come see us in the Classroom on Sunday, January 15th at 2:30 pm for Science Story Adventures to see if you’re right and to learn more about this animal. Science Story Adventures is our program for children ages 4 – 8 and their caregivers. In the program, we explore the natural world through stories, specimens, games and crafts.

Filed under: Spotlight On... — nature @ 8:54 am

January 6, 2012

This week’s holiday craft at the Naturalist Center

Jan. 6-7: Polar Bear Hugs
Give a polar bear hug to your favorite person!


Filed under: Programs — nature @ 1:49 pm
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