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.

Happy 90th Anniversary, Steinhart Aquarium!

September 20, 2013

Child and Ray from LoveLife Photo Contest

Reaching the glorious age of 90 is no mean feat, as our beloved Steinhart Aquarium could certainly attest. Since opening its doors on September 29, 1923, the Aquarium has survived a major earthquake, been housed in three separate buildings and hosted tens of thousands of fascinating creatures. In its most recent iteration—five years old this month—Steinhart Aquarium is continuing the tradition of bringing a world of biodiversity to Golden Gate Park, and extending the reach of the Academy’s educational and conservation programs far beyond its walls.


Join us in celebrating the Aquarium’s storied past, its stunning present and its promising future with these and other programs and collections.


#Steinhart90 Photo Contest

#Steinhart90 Photo Contest

Share your favorite Steinhart memories for a chance to win a behind-the-scenes tour and limited-edition memorabilia! The entry with the most votes wins. Enter your photos at http://bit.ly/steinhart90 or on Instagram tagged with #Steinhart90.
Submission period: September 16–30
Voting period: October 1–6


Meyer Fish Roundabout, Steinhart Aquarium, 1983

A Very Fish Tale

Explore the Naturalist Center‘s special exhibit of archival materials and memorabilia from Steinhart Aquarium’s rich history. Six cases of specimens and artifacts feature such items as an original invitation to the Aquarium’s grand opening and eggs from our African penguin colony, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Books, photographs, and recently digitized episodes of the Academy’s television series, Science in Action, are also on display. You can discover additional specimens and memorabilia downstairs near the Swamp Gallery, including a two-headed gopher snake and historical tiles and vintage posters from Steinhart’s days gone by.


Science in Action television series

Steinhart Aquarium: Then and Now

Watch vintage episodes like “Monsters of the Deep” from the Academy’s 1960’s TV series, Science in Action, then submit your questions in YouTube’s comments section. During a special program on September 25 at 2:00 pm PST, shark expert John McCosker will answer viewer questions and provide commentary about the making of this groundbreaking show. If you can’t make it to the museum to see the live program in person, tune in online at http://www.ustream.tv/calacademy.

Find many more videos featuring the Academy’s fascinating animals and staff in this Aquarium playlist.


NightLife’s Salute to Steinhart

On September 26, NightLife travels back in time to the Roaring 20s in honor of the Aquarium’s 90th anniversary. Old-timey cocktails and the vintage vinyl stylings of DJ Tanoa set the mood, while African Hall transforms into a swinging speakeasy with swing dancing lessons from Lindy in the Park. Don’t miss a live performance from gypsy jazz band 29th Street Swingtet.


Anniversary Day is Free

Celebrate the big day, September 29, with free admission to the Academy as well as a special Connect with a Scientist program featuring shark expert and former Aquarium Director John McCosker discussing the Aquarium’s rich history.

Seven Ways to Celebrate Shark Week, August 4-11

July 29, 2013

blacktip reef sharkEnjoy shark-themed activities and specimens all week long as the Academy honors the sleek, tough-skinned and threatened fish which fascinate us so.

1. Catch a shark and ray feeding at the Mangrove Lagoon on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:30. Or keep tabs on the animals 24/7 from anywhere through our new HD Shark Lagoon cam.

2. Visit the Naturalist Center and enjoy shark specimens, as well as shark-themed books, games, videos, and an exclusive pelagic thresher coloring sheet!

3. Parents, bring your youngsters ages five and under to Early Explorers Cove for a variety of age-appropriate shark activities and props including plush sharks, shark models, books, and games.

4. Take part in a “Shark & Seek” scavenger hunt. Can you find all six species of sharks swimming around the Academy?

5. Take a selfie with the mako shark in our Built for Speed exhibit. Be sure to share it on Instagram or Twitter and tag it with #MakoSharkSelfie.

6. Join the conversation on social media and share some shark love. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

7. Learn about the importance of shark conservation from the perspective of John McCosker, Senior Scientist and Chair of the Department of Aquatic Biology:

Check out The Last Reef 3D

July 17, 2013


The Forum Theater is home to a stunning new 3D film that uses unprecedented 3D cinematography to immerse you in the teeming world of coral reefs.  The Last Reef: Cities Beneath the Sea explores our connection with these complex ecosystems, revealing habitats as diverse and colorful as any city on earth.

As one can see in the Academy’s own Philippine Coral Reef exhibit, the dynamics of reef life are not only scientifically and culturally important, but mesmerizing to observe.   Beautiful 3D imagery in The Last Reef reveals the behavior and relationships of countless ocean denizens—from well-known animals like dolphins, sharks, and stingrays, to lesser-known but equally fascinating residents like crocodile fish and delicate flatworms. Shot on location in Palau, Bahamas, Cancun, and French Polynesia, the film takes you to the heart of these cities beneath the sea and considers what would happen if one of these wonderlands were to become the last reef, a very real danger being faced today.

The Last Reef plays hourly starting at 11am in the Forum Theater through November 25, 2013.

Happy National Pollinator Week: 6/17-23

June 12, 2013


What better time to think about the birds and bees—literally—than National Pollinator Week? From June 17-23, the California Academy of Sciences, Conservatory of Flowers and San Francisco Botanical Garden have planned a series of events for families and adults to highlight the important birds, bees, butterflies, and other creatures that help plants reproduce.

Here at the Academy, don’t miss:
Pollinator Power
Monday, Wednesday and Friday, June 17, 19, and 21 at 1:30 pm

Join us atop the Academy’s living roof to explore the fascinating lives of pollinators including birds, bats and bees. As these animals buzz, swoop and fly through the air, they are helping to keep California one of the most diverse places on earth. At the Academy, researchers and gardeners work to maintain a living roof of entirely native plants—come find out how this helps keep habitats healthy! Free with Academy admission.

Birds & Bees NightLife (ages 21+)
Thursday, June 20, 2013 from 6 to 10 pm
Music by DJ Eric Sharp

In the mood for some cross-pollination? In honor of National Pollinator Week, learn about the all-important birds, bees, butterflies and other pollinators that allow plants to reproduce from the experts at the California Academy of Sciences, Conservatory of Flowers, and San Francisco Botanical Gardens. Plus, explore the science of hooking up with the Bold Italic, dating site Swoon, Planned Parenthood, and other local enterprises who help make “people pollination” possible. Tickets are $12 ($10 for Academy members). Ages 21+ only.

Chat with an Academy Scientist: Botanist Tom Daniel
Saturday, June 22 at 2 pm
Meet Academy Curator of Botany Tom Daniel who will share intriguing tales of how plants use the power of attraction on animals. From the tops of mountains to the bottom of the oceans, and in high-tech laboratories at the Academy, the explorers featured in Chat with an Academy Scientist see the world, discover new life and help explain Earth’s amazing story. Join them for a glimpse at their fascinating work, and hear their exciting stories first-hand. Free with Academy admission.

Discovery Nature Walk
Saturday and Sunday, June 22-23 at 2:30 pm

Join us for a 30-minute nature walk, exploring gardens and groves that surround the Academy. Learn about the importance of native plants and trees and how they support animals and pollinators in Golden Gate Park, a unique and unusual ecosystem. Free with Academy admission.

Elsewhere in Golden Gate Park:
On June 22, check out What’s the Buzz? at the Conservatory of Flowers and a Honey Tasting & Pollinators Tour at the San Francisco Botanical Garden.

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