55 Music Concourse Dr.
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco CA
94118
415.379.8000
Regular Hours:

Daily

9:30 am – 5:00 pm

Sunday

11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Members' Hours:

Tuesday

8:30 – 9:30 am

Sunday

10:00 – 11:00 am
Closures
Notices

The Academy will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

There are no notifications at this time.

 

NightLife at the Academy

Every Thursday night a new adventure unfolds.  Set out with friends on a journey to the stars and to the depths of the sea with a cocktail in your hand and wonder in your eyes— only at NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences.  21+, ID required for entry. 6-10 pm (Exhibit times vary)

Collectible NightLife

Collectible NightLife

Music by DJs Tanoa & Tom LG

Show us yours and we’ll show you ours—collections that is!

This week, NightLife salutes the time-tested art and science of collecting. From life forms discovered at the darkest depths of the ocean to space objects collected after crashing through the atmosphere—we’ve got it all.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Collections Showcase in the East Pavilion (Level 1)
6:00-10:00 pm:

  • Philippines Expedition Showcase: Fresh from the Academy’s largest scientific diving expedition to date in the Philippines, Dr. Terry Gosliner and Academy researchers will showcase some of the most fascinating specimens collected at the “center of the center” of marine biodiversity. From photographing fish 400 feet below the surface, to preparing a sea slug to enter into a scientific collection, get an insider’s look into the Academy’s growing collection of nearly 46 million scientific specimens.

16mm Film Reel Collections in the Coral Reef
(Lower Level / Aquarium)

6:00-10:00 pm: View vintage 16mm reels from Bay Area film aficionado and collector Jon Bastian.

Vinyl Collector's Battle in the Piazza (Level 1)
6:00-10:00 pm: Dance to the sounds of two of the Bay Area’s top vinyl DJs—Tanoa and Tom LG—as they battle for the title of “vinyl victor.”

View a Collection of Rare Gems in the West Pavilion
(Level 1)

8:45-9:45 pm, Take a trip to the Academy's Gem & Mineral Vault to admire an impressive collection of precious stones rarely seen by the public.

View Academy Collections by the Project Lab (Level 1)
6:30-9:00 pm, Learn how courageous scientists once risked their lives to save Academy collections after the 1906 earthquake and fire as you view prized collections from the Academy’s library archives.

Skulls Exhibit in the Forum (Level 2)
6:00-9:30 pm, Get inside our heads with the Academy's jaw-dropping new exhibit Skulls, featuring over 600 dead heads and live, flesh-eating beetles.

21+ Event, ID required for entry.

Note: The 4-story Rainforest exhibit closes at 7:45pm and planetarium passes are distributed to visitors on a first-come first-served basis. Special programs and lectures may have limited seating and admission will also be made available to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis.

Buy Tickets

RSVP on Facebook

 

 
Dark Universe Planetarium presentation

Planetarium

Enjoy the following planetarium shows this week at NightLife:

6:30 pm
Storm of Stones
Earth’s surface has long suffered from space rocks slamming into us—and we continue getting pelted (although less frequently) to this day. When we’re lucky, we can also collect surviving fragments of the impactors for further study. Join Senior Planetarium Presenter Elise Ricard to discover the nature of meteorites—where they come from, how we collect them, and what they teach us about our solar system.

7:30 & 8:30 pm
Dark Universe

Explore two of today’s greatest cosmic mysteries—dark matter and dark energy—in a vast, data-fueled starscape of beauty and wonder. Hurtle through deep space and be there for the birth of our own galaxy while exploring never-before-seen visualizations of the invisible matter and forces at work in our Universe.

Note: Passes to planetarium shows are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

BigPicture NightLife

BigPicture NightLife

DJ Set by Andy Cabic (Vetiver)

Show us yours and we’ll show you ours—collections that is!

This week, NightLife is all about our image. Be the first to peep the Academy’s first-ever major photography exhibit and raise a glass to the best in nature and conservation photography at a special award ceremony for the Academy’s inaugural BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition.

See the award-winning work of world-class photographers and learn how they document some of the most captivating moments in life in an effort to snap “the perfect shot.”

In the planetarium, take a closer look at photography in the dome with photographer Art Wolfe during a special presentation at 6:30 pm, followed by two showings of Dark Universe.

In the East Pavilion, browse a pop-up photography show curated by Lexicon of Sustainability.

Plus, make and take home your very own pinhole camera and create your own conservation photography diorama.

Since you’ll likely be inspired to pick up a camera, check out offerings from photo equipment rental site BorrowLenses.com to get started.

At the Project Lab, learn how to photograph specimens at incredibly high resolutions with Giga Macro and see how the future of aerial photography is advancing with toys and tips from DJI Innovations.

Improve your photo skills with a camera-hacking workshop and marvel at antique cameras with the Academy’s resident photo guru Kathryn Whitney.

Prefer to post up in front of the lens? Meet the social media-savvy photo pros from Social Print Studio and compete in a mobile photography competition.

Then, take home your own photo momento with their live social media printer. Picture that!

21+ Event, ID required for entry.

Note: The 4-story Rainforest exhibit closes at 7:45pm and planetarium passes are distributed to visitors on a first-come first-served basis. Special programs and lectures may have limited seating and admission will also be made available to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis.

Buy Tickets

RSVP on Facebook

 

 
Dark Universe Planetarium presentation

Planetarium

Enjoy the following planetarium shows this week at NightLife:

6:30 pm
Earth is My Witness
Presented by Art Wolfe, nature photographer
For almost fifty years, world-renowned photographer Art Wolfe has been capturing the beauty of the planet's stunning landscapes, wildlife, and cultures from every continent. In Earth Is My Witness, Wolfe presents an encyclopedic selection of his photography along with intimate stories about his encounters that exemplify his boundless curiosity about the world. From the rich sights and smells of the Pushkar Camel Fair to the moment when a polar bear and her cubs leave their arctic den, these images represent what Wolfe has lived for: the instants when circumstance, light, and subject miraculously collide to form an iconic photograph. Together, these images and the stories behind them explore the delicate interconnectivity of life across our planet.

7:30 & 8:30 pm
Dark Universe

Explore two of today’s greatest cosmic mysteries—dark matter and dark energy—in a vast, data-fueled starscape of beauty and wonder. Hurtle through deep space and be there for the birth of our own galaxy while exploring never-before-seen visualizations of the invisible matter and forces at work in our Universe.

Note: Passes to planetarium shows are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

NightLifeLIVE

NightLife LIVE 2014

A monthly outdoor series that pairs emerging music and innovative visual arts with cutting-edge science

This summer, NightLife is going LIVE! On one special Thursday each month, beginning May 8th through October 16th, experience rotating art installations and outdoor performances in the East Garden by bands like Rogue Wave, Small Black, Dam-Funk, Beacon, and more.

Building off the success of our weekly Thursday night events, NightLife LIVE enlists the expertise of buzzworthy local tastemakers to pair emerging bands and musicians with cutting-edge visual artists in an innovative intersection of science, music, and art. 

How is NightLife LIVE different from other weekly NightLife events? In addition to our weekly themed NightLife events, NightLife LIVE will highlight outdoor music performances and rotating art installations in the East Garden one Thursday a month, for six months.

We’re excited to launch this monthly NightLife LIVE series while continuing to offer Bay Area culture lovers the same dose of music, creatures, and cocktails they’ve come to know and love every Thursday night.

Check out the official NightLife LIVE playlist to preview upcoming series performers!  

For adults 21+. Tickets $12 / $10 for Academy members.

Buy Tickets

 

 
NightLife LIVE crowd

 

The NightLife LIVE Lineup

Here's what's coming up in the next six months, with LIVE outdoor performances and art installations in the East Garden. Stay tuned for updates!

May 8th
Live sets by Dam-Funk and Myron & E
DJ set by Grown Kids Radio
Presented by Noise Pop
Artist exhibit debut by Boback Emad

June 12th
Live sets by Small Black and Beacon
DJ set by Heathered Pearls
Presented by ISO50
Artist exhibit by Azael Ferrer

July 10th
Live sets by Rogue Wave and Kacey Johansing
Presented by Soundwave
Artist exhibit by Gabriel Fontanillo and Leyre Montes

August 7th
Live set by Typhoon
Presented by Outside Lands

Artist exhibit by Ardent Heavy Industries

September 11th
Live sets by Kelley Stoltz and Mystic Braves
Presented by (((folkYEAH!)))

Artist exhibit by Karen Cusolito

October 16th
Live sets by BADBADNOTGOOD and Dawn Golden
Presented by Treasure Island Music Festival

Artist exhibit by Make Big Art

For adults 21+. Tickets $12 / $10 for Academy members. 

Buy Tickets

 

VIP tour on Living Roof, gem and mineral collection, students and reasearchers in the lab

Food

A variety of food options are available each week at NightLife from 6-9:30pm.

Academy Cafe, Level 1 (across from Rainforest)
Sit and enjoy bites and drinks crafted by San Francisco’s renowned chef Charles Phan. Special guest DJs rotating weekly.

Academy Cafe Food Cart, Lobby
Grab small bites on the go.

The Moss Room, Lower Level (enter at Academy Cafe)
Sit and enjoy an artisan cocktail or variety of local beers and wines with bites from the cafe.
For large groups, please dial:
415.876.6121

 
Earthquake exhibit, baby ostrich

Drink

"Collectible NightLife" Cocktail Tour

Each week, enjoy a different fresh seasonal "Craft on Draft" cocktail at each bar area. Please note: All bars accept cash and credit cards.

Check out this week's cocktail tour menu designed by our resident mixologist Shane McKnight!

Piazza Bar


Mixi’s “Live” Moscow Mule


Absolut Vodka, Mixi’s “Live” Handcrafted Ginger Beer, Saffron Bitters & Fresh Lime

Scotch Bar Collection
Sip from some of the finest scotch collections including:


Highland Park 12yr. Single Malt Scotch, Macallan 12yr. Single Malt Scotch, Cutty Sark Prohibition Blend Scotch ,+ More, ask your server!



Planetarium Bar


Gold Rush
Bulleit Bourbon, Benedictine, lemon juice, chamomile infused honey, 49er Bitters & fresh mint



Swamp Bar

Moonstruck Peach Tea


Ole’ Smoky Peach Moonshine, Ole’ Smoky White Lightnin’, Darjeeling Sun Tea, Fresh Lemonade, Sliced Peaches & Fresh Mint

NightLife Craft Brew Specials

Magnolia IPA

Social Kitchen Brewery SKB Pilsner

*Available at Swamp bar only



Aquarium Bar


Basil & Grapfruit Collins

Basil infused Absolut Vodka, Campari, ruby red grapefruit, lemon juice, local honey, soda & fresh basil



3rd Floor / Living Roof Bar


Craft Banana Daiquiri

Brugal Anejo Rum, Giffard Banane du Bresil, lime juice, organic cane juice

Earthquake Bar
Handmade G&T Bar
Damrak Gin with House-made Apricot & Thyme Tonic

VIP tour on Living Roof, gem and mineral collection, students and reasearchers in the lab

NightLife VIP Tour

Want an entirely different NightLife experience? Join us on our NightLife VIP Tour.

Tickets include:

  • Admission to NightLife with express entry
  • One-hour behind-the-scenes tour with a private viewing of the Academy's renowned gem and mineral collection
  • Open bar in a reserved cocktail area prior to the tour
  • Meet and greet with Academy researchers in the project lab
  • VIP access to the Rainforest, and a reserved pass for the 8:30 Planetarium show

$59/person – limited tickets available each week

6pm - 8pm (event ends at 10 pm)

For tickets and details, please click here.

 
NightLife visitors enjoying cocktails, bar, NightLife Private Lounge

NightLife Private Lounge

Looking for a great space to celebrate landing that big account, throw a birthday party, or just gather with all your old friends, all while enjoying San Francisco’s most exciting Thursday night event?  Rent out the NightLife Private Lounge. You’ll get early access to a premium private room with catering and bar service and access to our Thursday NightLife event.

For more booking information contact David Nemoyten at (415) 379-5499 or dnemoyten@calacademy.org.

 
Morrison Planetarium earthquake visualization

NightLife Group Bookings

Click here to buy NightLife tickets for a group of 10 or more people.


Connect with NightLife

   

#CASNightLife

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e-news Join our email list

Next NightLife Event

   

7/24/2014 - "Collectible NightLife"

Buy Tickets

 

RSVP on Facebook

Upcoming Events

   

7/31/14 - "BigPicture NightLife"

Summer 2014 - "NightLife LIVE"

Maps & Directions

   

Map

Click here for information about how to get to the Academy plus parking and safety tips.

NightLife Sponsorship

   

Thank you for your interest in sponsoring NightLife. For inquiries, please contact:

sponsorship@calacademy.org

NightLife Inquiries

   

If you’re interested in performing or presenting at Nightlife, please contact nbooking@calacademy.org.

Please direct general questions or feedback to nightlife@calacademy.org.

What our Visitors Say

   

Nightlife has always been a very entertaining and new experience everytime I have been. Whether from the crazy Dinosaur Burlesque show to seeing Fitz & The Tantrums at the Nightlife Gala I never know.

- Zanni D.

The exhibits are beautifully maintained. Our NightLife visit included a back-of-the-scenes tour. Staff is very knowledgeable and friendly.

- Nina S.

NightLife is great! Fun and informational events, delicious drinks, good music and great company has been my experience thus far.

- Michael A.

At NightLife, I get a kick out of seeing adults experiment with the exhibits. I've been many times and still have not seen everything. Planetarium is up next!

- Michael A.

The Academy is one of those places that gives you both an educational and entertaining experience and the NightLife is such a fun event!

- Barbara C.

I love NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences because no matter how many times I go, I always find something new to learn.

- Gaby B.

Visited on a Thursday night and did the VIP package. Nice to have a private group tour with a separate area for food and beverage and express entrance to the Planetarium.

- Bill K.

NightLife really is the coolest place in town on Thursdays. Great place to take first dates, groups of friends and out-of-towners.

- Kelly B.

The crowd is happy, fun, no-drama type people. You get good food, good drinks, and great DJ's. If you want to go out and have real fun, this is the place to do it.

- Tracey M.

NightLife is the best thnig going on in the city. You have interesting and unique experiences with every visit.

- Tracey M.