Press Release

Stephanie Stone (415) 379-5121
sstone@calacademy.org
Helen Taylor (415) 379-5128
htaylor@calacademy.org

What's On in December 2010 at the California Academy of Sciences
Events & Lectures

**Don’t miss ’Tis the Season for Science, six weeks of wintry festivities and family fun with a scientific twist from November 23, 2010 – January 2, 2011; and the brand new planetarium show, Life: A Cosmic Story.**

DECEMBER EVENTS

REINDEER RENDEZVOUS – Drop-in daily (through Jan. 2)
A ‘Tis the Season for Science special event
Visit the east garden to meet the two reindeer (also known as caribou in North America) that have come to visit the Academy for the holidays. Learn about the special adaptations that help these antlered herbivores survive in cold environments and travel great distances, and discover how they acquired such a special place in holiday traditions. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
POLAR JEOPARDY – Daily at 11am and 3pm (through Jan. 2)
A ‘Tis the Season for Science special event
Think you know a thing or two about polar bears, emperor penguins, and the Northern Lights? Want to challenge your knowledge of Earth’s frozen caps? Or want to watch your friends and family put on their thinking caps? Come take part in this fun game show, and expand your polar expertise. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.
 
PENGUINS + PAJAMAS SLEEPOVER (Kids ages 6+ and their adult chaperones)
Tuesday, December 28 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 am
Why count sheep when you could count geckos, butterflies, sharks, and penguins? Now kids can camp out for a night at the California Academy of Sciences—and see the museum in a whole new light. Sleepovers include after-hours access to Academy exhibits, a special penguin talk, live animal demonstration, planetarium show, story time with cookies and milk, parking, breakfast, and more. Tickets $119 per person ($99 for Academy members), available at www.calacademy.org/sleepovers. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.
 
New! LIFE: A COSMIC STORY PLANETARIUM SHOW
Daily, proceed to the planetarium entrance upon arrival for the day’s schedule and to get your passes.

How did life on Earth begin? This tantalizing question forms the basis of Morrison Planetarium's newest show, narrated by two-time Academy Award winner Jodie Foster. Begin your journey by “shrinking” down to enter a single redwood leaf, and discover that all life on Earth shares a common ancestry. Then, travel through time to witness key events since the Big Bang that set the stage for life. Along the way, you will see two scenarios for the dawn of life on early Earth, and discover how our planet has changed since those microscopic beginnings. Free with Academy admission; seats are limited and show passes are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
EXTENDED HOLIDAY HOURS
December 26-30, 2010

A ‘Tis the Season for Science special event
The Academy will stay open until 6:00 pm on these dates (normal closing time on other dates is 5:00 pm). California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
POLAR PERSPECTIVES – Shows daily (through Jan. 2)
A ‘Tis the Season for Science special event
Step into the igloo presentation dome for a glimpse of the stark, vast beauty of the North Pole. Rotating 5-minute shows will tell the stories of the Northern Lights, polar ice caps, and the winter sky with stunning HD footage and twinkling stars. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
ARCTIC EXPLORATION – Daily at 12:30pm (through Jan. 2)
A ‘Tis the Season for Science special event
Explore one of the least-visited corners of our beautiful earth, the extreme North, using Google Earth software. We will travel from the ice of the Arctic, to the evergreen boreal forests and beyond, with time leftover to return to the beaches of California. Free with Academy admission. Science in Action, California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.
 
COLD-BLOODED LIVE ANIMALS – Daily at 1pm (through Jan. 2)
A ‘Tis the Season for Science special event
The Academy’s wintry wonderland will not keep its cold-blooded friends from making an appearance! Come see several live snakes handled by the Academy’s expert staff, and learn about snakes’ amazing attributes and roles in their natural ecosystems. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.
 
“CHILL OUT” WITH AN ACADEMY SCIENTIST – Every Wednesday at 2pm (through Jan. 2)
A ‘Tis the Season for Science special event
Meet Academy scientists who study plants, animals, and climate change in some of the planet’s coldest environments. In their travels, these explorers have studied high-elevation ice beetles, Arctic migrations, frozen clams and warming ice caps. Join them for a fascinating look at their work to explore the world, discover new life, and help explain Earth’s amazing story. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
FESTIVE PERFORMERS – Check website for schedule (through Jan. 2)
A ‘Tis the Season for Science special event
The Academy has invited a variety of musicians, singers, dancers, theatrical groups, and more to celebrate this festive time of year. Enrich your family’s Academy visit with art and music from some of the Bay Area’s greatest talents. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.www.calacademy.org.
 
New! LITTLE LEARNERS LAB (Ages 3-5)
Sunday, December 12 and 26 10:30-11:30 am

Introducing a special new program designed for some of our youngest learners in the Early Explorers Cove. Come be a scientist-in-training and join us for fun hands-on-experiments! Free with Academy admission; space will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Early Explorers Cove at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
PENGUIN FEEDINGS
Daily at 10:30 am & 3:30 pm

The Academy’s African penguins are always especially animated during meal time. Watch the birds dip and dive in their tank at the end of African Hall as a biologist dons a wet suit and hands out vitamin-stuffed herring and capelin. Each feeding takes 10 minutes, and questions are encouraged. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
CORAL REEF DIVES
Daily at 11:30 am & 2:30 pm

Watch as a diver suits up in SCUBA gear and plunges into the world’s deepest living coral reef exhibit. Outfitted with an underwater microphone, the diver will answer all of your reef-related questions. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
SWAMP TALK - Daily
Join us at the Swamp to learn about some of the Academy’s most popular animals, including American alligators and alligator snapping turtles. You’ll find out what it takes to care for these amazing creatures, which are native to swamps in the southeastern United States. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
SANCTUARY IN THE SEA: A GULF OF THE FARALLONES EXPERIENCE
Daily, Proceed to the Forum Theater on Level 2 to get your passes

Discover the beauty, diversity and history of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, an isolated haven for sea birds, seals, and white sharks, right off the coast of San Francisco. Through the eyes of Ron Elliot, an urchin diver turned videographer, audiences will witness this fragile ecosystem’s transformation from exploited hunting ground to protected sanctuary in this short film. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
EXPLORE THE LIVING ROOF WITH NATURALISTS
Every Monday at 3:00 pm

Learn about the Academy’s 2.5-acre living roof and the diversity of birds and insects that visit its 1.7 million native plants daily. Meet in the Naturalist Center. Free with Academy admission; space will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
SHARKS & RAYS
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:00 am
Saturdays and Sundays at 11:15 am

Learn more about the Mangrove Lagoon’s shallow reef residents and watch a feeding on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
ANIMAL TALES – AGES 2-5
Every Thursday and Saturday at 11:00 am

Winter-themed for ‘Tis the Season for Science
Children ages 2-5 and their parents or caregivers are invited to the Early Explorers Cove to listen to tales about nature, science, and the wonderful world around us. Stories come to life with songs, chants, and items like felt boards, rhythm sticks, and natural specimens. Free with Academy admission; space will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Early Explorers Cove at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
NIGHTLIFE – AGES 21 +
Thursday, December 2, 9, and 16 from 6:00 to 10:00 pm

Every Thursday night, the Academy opens its doors from 6-10 pm for NightLife, a chance for adults to explore the museum in a whole new light. Dance to some of San Francisco's most popular DJs, enjoy food and cocktails, and mingle with the like-minded while you explore the Academy’s world-class exhibits and get up close and personal with aquarium critters. Take in some knowledge with your libations – each week features provocative science programming and a few surprises. NightLife is for those ages 21 and over; a valid ID is required for entry. Admission is $12 per person ($10 Academy members). California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org/nightlife.
 
• December 2: Surf’s Up @ NightLife
• December 9: Indie Mart @ NightLife
• December 16: A Chocolate-covered NightLife
• December 23 and 30: NightLife will be on hiatus for the winter holidays.
 
SPECIMEN SPOTLIGHT
Every Friday at 11:30 am

Winter-themed for ‘Tis the Season for Science
Each week, get to know a different specimen during a short presentation at the Naturalist Center. Free with Academy admission. Naturalist Center at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
P IS FOR PENGUIN — AGES 12 and under
Daily

In this program specifically designed for children ages 12 and under, learn about Pierre, Howard, Ocio, and the rest of the African Penguin colony. Play a fun spelling game and learn the mystery word of the day. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
LIVE SNAKE DEMONSTRATION
Throughout the Week

See a live snake handled by one of the Academy's expert staff and learn about its amazing attributes and role in its natural ecosystem. A variety of snake species are featured from week to week. Come learn more about these often misunderstood reptiles. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
FAMILY NATURE CRAFTS – AGES 4-8
Every Sunday at 11:00 am

Winter-themed for ‘Tis the Season for Science
Get creative with nature-themed craft projects designed for families with children aged 4 to 8. Space is limited. Check lobby for location. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
SCIENCE STORY ADVENTURES – AGES 6-10
Every Sunday at 2:30 pm

Winter-themed for ‘Tis the Season for Science
Come explore the natural world through stories, experiments, games and crafts.
Free with Academy admission; space will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Education Classroom at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
FREE WEDNESDAYS
Wednesday, December 15, 9:30 am – 5 pm

The Academy is free to the public on the third Wednesday of each month. Admission is on a first come, first served basis, and early arrival is recommended due to the likelihood of high demand. Please note that final entry to the museum on free days is 4 pm. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.


DECEMBER LECTURES

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1 at 6:00 pm
Author Talk: Richard Cohen

Join Richard Cohen to hear about how he chased the sun around the world during his seven years of research for Chasing the Sun: The Epic Story of the Star that gives us Life. Book signing to follow. This event is co-sponsored with the San Francisco Public Library. 6pm; free; this is a free event held at the San Francisco Public Library – Main Branch, located at 100 Larkin St; Seating is limited, reserve a space at www.calacademy.org/event_tickets/index.php?d=December 01, 2010, or 800-794-7576.
 
MONDAY, DECEMBER 6 at 7:30 pm
Benjamin Dean Lecture

Check www.caladacemy.org/event_tickets for the latest speaker information for this series of talks by noted scientists in the fields of astronomy and space science. Tickets are $12 for non-member adults, $10 for non-member seniors, and $6 for members. Morrison Planetarium at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.
 
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 8 at 12:30 pm
Author Talk: Deborah Burnes

Deborah Burnes, author of Look Great, Live Green, shares her scientific knowledge to detox skincare at every age and stage. Learn about her secrets, shortcuts, and even recipes. 12:30 pm; free with Academy admission; seating is limited - to reserve a place, visit www.calacademy.org/event_tickets/index.php, or call 800-794-7576. Forum at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.


ACADEMY TOURS

For those wishing to enhance their Academy visit, we offer several guided tour options.

Children’s Adventure Tours (Ages 5+)
10am Daily

Treat the kids to a special day at the Academy by signing up for a new Children’s Adventure Tour. The Aquarium Adventure Tour explores coral reefs, lungfish, flashlight fish, and many other fascinating species, and even includes a visit to the aquarium’s prep kitchen, where the animals’ food is prepared each day. Each hour-long interactive tour includes general admission to the Academy for the entire day, VIP access to the Rainforests of the World exhibit, and a commemorative gift. A private animal encounter is included on Saturdays and Sundays. 10am; tours are for children ages 5 and up, and there must be an adult chaperone to every group of up to three children; $44.95 per adult, $29.95 per child. Discounted group rates available. For dates, availability, and tickets, visit www.calacademy.org/tours or call 415.379.8000. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.
 
Platinum Behind-the-Scenes Tour
Available Daily

Go beyond the public exhibit spaces for an all access, exclusive, up-close-and-personal look at the greenest museum on Earth. Tour highlights include stepping into a working lab and interacting with Academy researchers, viewing of some of the Academy's treasured gems and minerals, and visiting the aquarium’s life support systems. The Platinum Tour also includes express entry into the building, VIP access to the four-story rainforest exhibit, reserved planetarium seating, and general admission for the entire day. Available daily; $99 per person (general admission included); purchase tickets in advance online at www.calacademy.org/tours, or by calling 415.379.8000; California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.
 
NightLife VIP Tour (Ages 21 +)
Every Thursday 6-8:00pm

For an enhanced NightLife experience, join us on a NightLife VIP Tour. The one-hour behind-the-scenes tour includes a closer look at the unique native species of California’s largest living roof, a private viewing of the Academy's renowned gem and mineral collection, and interaction with Academy researchers. In addition to the tour, guests receive VIP access to the Rainforests of the World exhibit, reserved planetarium show seats, and an open bar and hors d’oeuvres in a reserved cocktail area prior to the tour. 6:00- 8:00pm (building closes at 10:00 pm); available every Thursday during NightLife. $59 per person (NightLife admission included); purchase tickets in advance online at www.calacademy.org/events/nightlife, or by calling 415.379.8000; California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.
 
After-Hours Wine and Dine Tour
Every Sunday at 6pm

Explore the Academy and its world class exhibits after it is closed to the public, and enjoy a delicious three course dinner designed by renowned chef and restaurateur Loretta Keller in the Moss Room. Begin with a wine reception, take a one-hour private tour of the Academy, and then sit down with your party for a special dinner in the Moss Room. This after-hours tour is unlike anything else in San Francisco, great for celebrating birthdays or anniversaries, entertaining guests, special occasions, or simply a relaxing evening with family and friends. Every third Sunday a specialty liquor is featured in place of wine. Check the website for details. 6:00pm; available every Sunday. $159 per person (dinner included); purchase tickets in advance online at www.calacademy.org/tours, or by calling 415.379.8000; California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.