Press Release

Kelly Mendez (415) 379-5133
kmendez@calacademy.org

Live Reindeer, Indoor Snow Flurries, Festive Programs, and more
in December 2013 during ’Tis the Season for Science
at the California Academy of Sciences


Full schedule of programs, events & lectures below

New! ’Tis the Season for Science (November 27, 2013 - January 5, 2014) – Celebrate the festive, winter season at the California Academy of Sciences’ annual holiday exhibit. Live reindeer, indoor snow flurries, immersive mini-dome shows, and more will return to delight visitors of all ages.

Note: The Academy will be closed on December 25.

GENERAL INTEREST PROGRAMS
(December 2013)

New 'Tis the Season for Science Program
“P” IS FOR PENGUIN
Daily at 11:30 am
Learn about African penguins and the marine adaptations – including the reason for their tuxedo-colored feathers and why they’re such great swimmers – these animated birds have evolved for their environment. Play a fun spelling game and learn a new mystery word of the day. This program is recommended for children 12 and under. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

New 'Tis the Season for Science Program
REINDEER RENDEZVOUS
Daily at 12:00 pm
Ever wonder how reindeer are able to travel so far? Get up close with live caribou and discover why these animals are known as the Nomads of the North, migrating up to 3,000 miles per year. Learn about their unique adaptations and what makes them such an important part of the northern ecosystems. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

New 'Tis the Season for Science Program

HOLIDAY MIGRATION QUEST
Daily at 1:30 pm
Team up and investigate the winter migration patterns of gray whales and monarch butterflies by participating in a friendly game show-style trivia contest. Learn about wintry animals and how they prepare for, adapt and travel during the coldest season of the year. 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.

'Tis the Season for Science Performances
FESTIVE HOLIDAY PERFORMANCES AT THE ACADEMY
Performances at 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm
November 29-30; December 1, 13, 20-31; January 1-5, 2014
Live on the Academy's Piazza stage, enjoy festive performances by musicians, cultural groups, and more on select dates this holiday season.  For a full schedule of performances, visit www.calacademy.org/holidays.

New Time
JUNIOR SCIENTIST ADVENTURE (AGES 8+)

Daily at 1:00 pm; meet at T-Rex in the lobby
Become a scientist for a day by checking out a field science backpack full of tools and activities to guide your exploration. Navigate the museum floor in search of hidden treasures and track your progress in a fun field guide! Make your way to the T-Rex in the front lobby at 1:00 pm daily for a scientific wrap up, sharing your discoveries with an Academy presenter. Questions are encouraged! Backpacks can be picked up at coat check in the lobby upon arrival; availability is limited and backpacks 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.

Last Chance!
HUBBLE’S HIDDEN TREASURES

Playing weekends*; proceed to planetarium entrance upon arrival for show times
*Please note: this program will not be offered November 30-December 1, December 8, December 26-30, January 1
What are we learning from this famous telescope and the stunning images it returns to Earth? Explore the scientific contributions of one of the most successful missions in space exploration—and discover how it almost wasn’t. Uncover the mysteries of our universe in this live 15-minute program hosted by our planetarium presenters in Hohfeld Hall. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

New Schedule!
SOLAR SYSTEM WALK

Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1:30 pm
Follow a planetarium presenter on a journey through space and time to explore Earth’s place in the Solar System and how our world has become a cradle for life in this 15-minute walk that meets at the Pendulum and travels across the museum floor. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

Planetarium Show!
COSMIC COLLISIONS

Playing daily*; proceed to planetarium entrance upon arrival for passes and show times
*Please note: Cosmic Collisions will not be shown November 28-December 1, December 8, Decmber 26-30, January 1
Creative and destructive, dynamic and dazzling, collisions are a key mechanism in the evolution of the Universe. Celestial smash-ups have changed the course of life on Earth and are responsible for many things we take for granted—the Sun’s warmth and light, our changing seasons, the tides…Narrated by Robert Redford, this immersive 20-minute show explores the full range of collisions, from subatomic particles to the largest galaxies. Travel to the past, present, and future to witness the creation of our Moon, the meteorite impact that ended the Age of Dinosaurs, and the titanic merging of our galaxy with another billions of years from now. You’ll discover how these explosive encounters have shaped our planet and continue to transform the cosmos. 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.

EARTHQUAKE: EVIDENCE OF A RESTLESS PLANET
Shows daily; proceed to planetarium entrance upon arrival for passes and show times
Journey through our planet's geologic history to witness the processes that shape our landscape in Morrison Planetarium's current show, narrated by Emmy-nominated actor Benjamin Bratt. Begin your journey in 1906 with an all-digital recreation of the 7.9-magnitude earthquake that rocked San Francisco, and then dive into the Earth's interior to see how it happened. You will then embark on a high-speed tour through the past 200 million years, witnessing the formation of the Atlantic Ocean and visiting the cradle of humanity in Africa’s Great Rift Valley, along with sites of historic earthquakes in India, China, and Japan. Along the way, you will discover how seismic events continue to shape our landscape. 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.

PENGUIN FEEDING
Daily at 10:30 am and 3:00 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.

THE SCIENCE OF EXPLORATION
Daily at 11:00 am
Academy scientists travel to remote corners of the Earth to explore some of the most extreme environments on this planet. Their mission is to shed light on the mysteries of life: how it got here and how we can help ensure it survives. In this interactive program, we take an in-depth look at a few of our intrepid explorers and see the wild adventures they’ve had while on their amazing explorations to discover and protect life on Earth. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.


CORAL REEF DIVE

Daily at 11:30 am and 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.


SSSSNAKE ENCOUNTER
Daily at 12:30 pm

Meet some of the Academy’s live snakes in-person! While viewing these fascinating (and harmless!) animals in the flesh, we will learn about snakes’ unique natural history, their predatory behavior, and their surprising special senses. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

New Program!
QUEST FOR CURIOSITIES

Daily at 1:15 pm
Join a Naturalist Center guide daily and embark on a quest for curiosities. Explore this hands-on space full of nature’s wonders—from a real dinosaur leg bone to great white shark jaws to many of the Naturalist Center’s thousands of natural history specimens. 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.

SWAMP DISCOVERY
Daily at 3:30 pm
Learn more about these wetland ecosystems of the Southeast United States and their hidden value. Listen to sounds of swamp inhabitants as we follow the life of the American alligator from hatchling chirps to the booming bellows of mature adults, all beneath the moss-draped limbs of a bald cypress. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

 

SHARKS AND RAYS
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:30 pm

Learn more about the Reef Lagoon’s shallow reef residents, who share a family tree with prehistoric ancestors from millions of years ago, 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.


OUT OF THE LAB

Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00 pm

Curious to get a behind-the-scenes perspective on Academy research and the labs where the work gets done? Scientists will join visitors at the Project Lab to share stories about dissecting and documenting the many specimens collected on their global expeditions. Have a burning science question? Ask a real scientist! Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

SCIENCE DISCOVERY
Saturdays and Sundays at 12:00 pm

Meet Project Lab scientists as they share and discuss specimens from the Academy’s collections and around the world. Learn about the fascinating research these scientists conduct everyday and what we learn from preserving these important specimens. Curious minds are encouraged! Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.

Meet Real Scientists!
CONNECT WITH A SCIENTIST (AGES 10+)
Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 pm

Join us for a fun interview with an Academy scientist as they share their cutting edge work and exciting discoveries. Learn the tricks of their trade through dynamic demonstrations and get answers to the science questions you’ve always wanted to know. Meet a new guest scientist every week! Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

SWAMP DISCOVERY
Daily at 3:30 pm

Learn more about these wetland ecosystems of the Southeast United States and their hidden value. Listen to sounds of swamp inhabitants as we follow the life of the American alligator from hatchling chirps to the booming bellows of mature adults, all beneath the moss-draped limbs of a bald cypress. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.


PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN
(December 2013)

SATURDAY SAFARI
Saturdays at 11:00 am
All ages are invited to Tusher African Hall for an imaginary expedition around the corner or around the world. In December, explore how animals prepare for winter. We will navigate with maps to chart our exploration and use props, specimens, storytelling, and songs to set the scene for our travels. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.


JUNIOR ACADEMY: FAMILY NATURE CRAFTS (AGES 5-11)
Sundays at 10:00 am, while supplies last
December 1 theme: Snowy Greeting Cards
December 15 theme: Academy Paper Orbs
December 22 theme: Snowflake Boxes
December 29 theme: Recycled Caribou
Join us in front of the Swamp and get creative with nature-themed craft projects designed for families with children ages 5-11. Space is limited. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

New Theme
JUNIOR ACADEMY: NATURALIST KNOW-HOW (AGES 8-11, with adult chaperone)

Sundays at 2:00 pm
Hone your expertise as a naturalist! A unique skill will be highlighted each month. In December, check out Tricky Tracks and learn how to identify animal tracks in dirt and snow. Space is limited; please register in the Naturalist Center a half hour before program begins. 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.

TODDLER TREKS (AGES 18-36 months)
Tuesday, December 10 at 11:00 am (Theme: Deer Trek)

Join us for a caregiver/child participatory program designed especially for children ages 1-3. Each month will feature a different animal—some extinct, some still among us today. Participants will use props and their imaginations to “trek” together to the place each animal calls home. Please note that both programs each month are about the same topic, so participants should register for only one date per month. Tickets are $6 per child, $4 per Academy member child, free to adults with general admission. Note that Academy general admission is free for children 3 and under. Space is limited; to reserve a place today, buy a ticket at www.calacademy.org/tickets/toddler_treks/, or over the phone at (415) 379-8000. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.


MEET THE CAT IN THE HAT
Sunday, December 15; appearances start at 10:00 am

Join us for a fun-filled day with the Cat in the Hat from KQED’s acclaimed children’s television series The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! Meet the Cat and participate in family-friendly programs throughout the Academy. With the holidays drawing near, it’s the purrrfect time to visit the Academy and explore the new ‘Tis the Season for Science exhibit with everyone’s favorite Dr. Seuss character! Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.


PENGUINS + PAJAMAS SLEEPOVER (AGES 5-17, with adult chaperones)
Saturday, December 28, 2013 from 6:30 pm – 8:00 am

Why count sheep when you can 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 are $99 per person, $79 for Academy members. Group rates and ticketing information available online at www.calacademy.org/sleepovers. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000.



PROGRAMS FOR ADULTS
(December 2013)


NIGHTLIFE (AGES 21+)

Thursdays* from 6:00 – 10:00 pm
*Please note: NightLife will be on hiatus December 19 and 26
Every Thursday night, music, creatures and cocktails come together for NightLife at the Academy. Explore exhibits and aquarium displays while sipping creative cocktails, and let exotic animals from around the world transport you to the tropics, Tibet, and dozens of other remote destinations. Special planetarium shows will take you even farther afield. Each week features a live band or DJ, and a unique theme. NightLife is for those ages 21 and over; a valid ID is required for entry. Admission is $12 per person, $10 for Academy members. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org/nightlife.


NIGHTLIFE VIP TOUR (AGES 21+)
Thursdays at 6:00 pm
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 in a reserved cocktail area prior to the tour. 6:00-8:00 pm (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/nightlife, or by calling (415) 379-8000. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.

 

A Benjamin Dean lecture
THE POWER OF STARS—HOW CELESTIAL OBSERVATIONS HAVE SHAPED CIVILIZATION
Featuring Dr. Bryan Penprase, Professor of Astronomy, Pomona College
Monday, December 9 at 7:30 pm

Dr. Bryan Penprase will describe the variety of constellations, cosmologies and calendars from cultures around the world and through the centuries. Using a wide variety of works and visualizations drawing from both ancient and modern astronomy, Dr. Penprase presents a visual feast of astronomy, with constellation maps, aerial views of aligned celestial structures, and images of the universe as created by a wide range of cultures. Learn about the legends and sky watching practices that developed as ancient people took note of the motions of the sun and moon across the sky and on the horizon. From there, Dr. Penprase will provide an overview of constellations from the perspective of a wide variety of cultures, including the ancient Chinese, Egyptian, Hawaiian, Native American Chumash and Navajo tribes, the Inuit culture, and will also cover the Southern skies, such as the Aboriginal Australians and the Incan cultures. The wide variety of descriptions of the early universe, the structure of the physical universe from ancient Greek, Egyptian, Chinese, Babylonian, Mayan and other cultures are explained and illustrated with original art. This lecture will provide a unique wide angle lens to the many ways that society understands and describes the stars, and in the process, explores how that process reveals universal qualities of humankind. 7:30 pm; tickets are $12 per person, $10 for seniors and $8 for Academy members. Seating is limited and advanced ticketing is required. To purchase tickets in advance, visit www.calacademy.org/lectures, or call (877) 227-1831. Seating is limited and filled on a first-come, first-served basis. This lecture takes place at Morrison Planetarium at the California Academy of Sciences.


Film Screening

LAKE TAHOE: CONSERVATION IN ACTION
Presented by the California Academy of Sciences and KQED Science
In partnership with the San Francisco Public Library

Wednesday, December 11 at 6:00 pm

Join us for a screening of a short film about the conservation efforts of the past few decades to keep Tahoe blue. The film will feature the story of scientists and citizens alike who have worked tirelessly to understand the ecology of Tahoe and preserve the beauty and functional ecosystem while maintaining a recreational treasure for years to come. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America, located in the Sierra Mountains at the border of California and Nevada. With a depth of 1,645 feet, it is the second deepest lake in the United States. The lake was formed about 2 million years ago and is a part of the Lake Tahoe Basin with the modern lake being shaped during the ice ages. It is known for the clarity of its water and the panorama of surrounding mountains on all sides. The post-World War II population, building boom and completion of the interstate highway links for the 1960 Winter Olympics held at Squaw Valley, resulted in a dramatic increase in development within the basin. From 1960 to 1980, the permanent residential population increased from about 10,000 to greater than 50,000, and the summer population grew from about 10,000 to about 90,000. The League to Save Lake Tahoe (Keep Tahoe Blue) has been an environmental watchdog in the Lake Tahoe Basin for 50 years. Their efforts combined with other agencies and scientists from UC Davis has helped slow the degradation of the Lake in recent years and may now even be leading to a reversal of the damage caused by the development of past decades. This is a free event held at the SF Public Library Main Branch, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco. Seating is limited and advanced ticketing is suggested. To reserve a space in advance, call (877) 227-1831.


CONSERVATION PHOTOGRAPHY CLASS AND EXCURSION:
Salmon & the Life of Water: From Mt. Tam to Tomales Bay
Saturday, December 21 from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Sunday, December 22 from 8:30 am - 6:00 pm

Led by Gary Sharlow, Photographer & Education Manager
This class includes full day admission to the Academy on Saturday, December 21 and a three-hour afternoon photography workshop held at the Academy. The second day includes roundtrip transportation between the Academy and the field site with lunch provided. Join an interpretive guide while hiking and making a number of interpretive stops over the course of the day. Dive into the art of conservation photography during this hands-on, two-day workshop as we learn a number of photographic skills in the classroom on Saturday. On Sunday, the group will put its skills into practice on an all-day excursion to the Mount Tamalpais watershed, starting with a hike along the waterfalls and streams of the watershed and continuing with stops along salmon creeks and the mighty redwoods of West Marin on the way out to the final destination of Tomales Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Conservation photography is a field rich with history, which has only recently been recognized as a discipline and powerful medium for conservation of wild areas. Throughout the experience, Academy staff and guest experts will offer photographic guidance and insight into the subjects' natural history. Deadline to purchase tickets is December 7; tickets are $175 per person, $150 for Academy members. Space is limited. To reserve your space in advance, visit www.calacademy.org/photography or call (877) 227-1831.