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

The Academy will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Planetarium will be closed Sep. 22, 23, 24

What's New at the Academy 

No two visits to the Academy are the same. Check this page regularly for announcements of new exhibits, attractions, special events, and other updates.

A World of Images, a Pair of Photo Competitions

February 19, 2014

Whether you’re a professional photographer or just prone to reaching for your smart-phone when the mood strikes, the Academy wants to see how you see the natural world—and the world within our walls. We’re currently hosting two photo competitions that invite participation from different types, and levels, of shooter.

The 2014 LoveLife competition is open to all visitors and features multiple categories—Land Life, Family Life, Mobile Life, Night Life, and more—that try to encompass the many ways a visitor might experience the Academy. There’s no fee to enter and prizes galore, including an iPad mini, GoPro HERO3, and photography workshops. The 2014 BigPicture competition, meanwhile, welcomes professional-level images from around the world that “illustrate the rich diversity of life on Earth and inspire action to protect and conserve it.” Prizes include $5,000 in cash, $2,000 in Calumet photography gear, and a public exhibition of images on the Academy floor.

Deadlines are fast approaching—March 31 for BigPicture, and April 30 for LoveLife—so enter today … or tell someone who should! We can’t wait to see what you’ve captured.

Spirit of Yosemite Festival, Feb. 15 and 16

January 31, 2014

Happy 150th anniversary, Yosemite National Park! It was 1864 when Abraham Lincoln put pen to paper to sign the “Yosemite Grant,” marking the first time lands were set aside for public use. While Yosemite celebrates those protections in the shadow of El Capitan, we’re celebrating them here at the Academy with a two-day festival starring the Ken Burns’ documentary, Yosemite: A Gathering of Spirit.

Produced in partnership with the Yosemite Parks Conversancy, the film tells the story of the landmark federal act signed by Lincoln that gave birth to the idea of national parks. Throw in a host of speakers, family-friendly activities, and wildlife (both at the Academy and via our planned trip to Yosemite itself), and you’ve got a don’t-miss celebration for any lover of the great outdoors.

We’ll be celebrating the park with friends such as the Yosemite Experience, the National Park Service, REI, Marmot, the John Muir GeoCenter, and more! The Spirit of Yosemite Festival is free with Academy admission and will run from 10 am to 4 pm each day. Please visit the Yosemite Experience for additional details.

Last Weeks for Cosmic Collisions!

January 17, 2014

As the month of January winds down, so too do opportunities to see the Morrison Planetarium show Cosmic Collisions, known for what the New York Times described as its “palpable” realism in depicting the ways in which collisions—between everything from spiral galaxies to protons inside the Sun—shaped the Universe we know today. Narrated by Robert Redford, the film encompasses some of the most spectacular footage ever seen on a dome, from the ethereal beauty of an electrical storm to the violent planetary sideswipe that formed our moon. Cosmic Collisions shows daily through the next two weeks, closing Thursday, January 30, to make room for Dark Universe. Catch it before it’s gone!

View showtimes for Cosmic Collisions

Learn more about Dark Universe

’Tis the Season for Science—Today Through January 5

December 18, 2013

The Academy’s annual holiday exhibit gives visitors a sleigh-full of ways to celebrate the festive winter season. Meet Willow and Yukon—two full-grown reindeer currently visiting the Academy—and learn more about reindeer antlers, fur, vision, and locomotion at four interactive discovery stations. Step inside the giant Snowman Theater for Roaming with Reindeer, a kid-friendly show that dives deeper into the amazing adaptations that help reindeer thrive in harsh Arctic conditions. Take a break in the Piazza for holiday performances by local musicians, where “snow” magically falls twice every hour. Last but certainly not least, keep an eye out for daily appearances of “Scuba Santa” (Dec. 19–24) as well as special appearances by the one and only “Santa Claude.” For details and daily schedules, please visit
‘Tis the Season for Science—Holidays 2013.

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