Happy 170th anniversary to us! Join us on April 4 for the first-annual Academy Day—a festive day of philanthropy and fun featuring pay-what-you-can pricing, a science fair, screen printing, prizes, and more.

We may be the oldest scientific institution in the West, but we still know how to party.

Celebrate the Academy's anniversary on Tuesday, April 4, at an all-new community event supporting the Academy’s long tradition of connecting families to the natural world, expanding opportunities for youth underrepresented in the sciences, and biodiversity research and exploration. You can participate in this special day by sharing an Academy memorymaking a donation, or enjoying pay-what-you-can pricing while supplies last.

Thanks for 170 years of support—and we'll see you on April 4!

Watch our welcome video!

Girl getting her face painted

Fun (and fundraising)

Your presence is your present—but gifts keep us going. This Academy Day, help us raise $100,000 in critical funds to sustain our exhibits and educational programming; support our nearly 40,000 live animals; and advance our mission to regenerate the natural world through science, learning, and collaboration.

Educator demonstrating an experiment to two kids at the California Academy of Sciences

Science fair

10 am-3 pm, Piazza

Dive into the research and science that drives our three regeneration initiatives—Hope for Reefs, Islands 2030, and Thriving California—with Academy scientists, biologists, and curators.


A San Franpsycho employee screen prints a t-shirt at NightLife at the Academy

Live screen printing

12 pm-3 pm, Piazza

Get a fresh tee or tote showing your support of Academy Day printed by our Inner Sunset neighbor, San Franpsycho—or adorn your face with animal art at our face painting station.

An Academy educator and 3 boys practice making observations through hand lenses

Pop-up programs

10 am-3 pm, Piazza

Step right up to mini science presentations and demonstrations hosted by an all-star squad of engaging Academy educators, librarians, docents, and biologists.


More events and programs

Curate your Academy Day with scientific precision—or enjoy surprising discoveries around every corner. 

  • 8:30 am: Stingrays and snacks: Donors and members are invited to kick off their Academy Day with a complimentary coffee and pastry in the Café.
  • 10:30 am, 3 pm: Penguin FeedingHead to African Hall for a lively penguin feeding and presentation by our biologists—and keep an eye out for our new chicks Pogo and Ozzy!
  • 1 pm: Ocean Action: The Power of pH!Join us for this hands-on program that reveals the connection between the sea, the sky, and you.
  • 1:30 pm: Swamp TalkGet to know the vitally important wetland ecosystems of the Southeast—and meet Claude, our beloved American alligator with albinism.
  • 2 pm: Coral Reef FeedingLearn about the importance of reefs as the colorful inhabitants of the Philippine Coral Reef exhibit munch on their lunch.
  • 4:30 pm: Tour of the UniverseDiscover the immense scale of the known Universe in this exciting live planetarium presentation that leaves Earth far behind.
Pay-what-you-can pricing generously supported by Emery Family Foundation