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$24.95/person (plus general admission)
$19.95/Academy member

Tours Available:
Weekdays: 11 am, 1 pm, 2 pm
Weekends: 10 am, 11 am, 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, 3:30 pm

Academy Behind-the-Scenes Tour

Tour guests explore Academy collections during their Behind-the-Scenes tour.

See how the world's greenest museum works as you spend an hour behind the scenes learning more about the institution’s 160-year history and what it takes to house nearly 46 million specimens.

Visit the research collections, not on view to the public, and develop an appreciation for our vast library of life, which includes amazing specimens from our ichthyology (fish), entomology (insects), and ornithology (birds) departments. From stepping out onto our living roof to examining breathtaking geology specimens in our private vault, the Academy tour is sure to show you more of the museum than you ever knew existed.

What's Included:

  • One-hour guided tour
  • Behind-the-scenes access
  • Express entry into the building
  • VIP entrance to Osher Rainforest and Earthquake Simulator
  • Reserved space in the Planetarium
  • 10% retail and dining discount

During holiday periods and summer months, peak pricing may apply to general admission tickets.

Please note: Guests must be age 8 or older to participate, and guests between the ages of 8 and 17 must be accompanied by an adult. Each tour is limited to 14 guests.

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Tour FAQ

Can I just take a tour and not buy general admission tickets?

No, general admission tickets are required to enter the building.

What if I'm running late?

Tours run on schedule, so please arrive early to check in! Refunds will not be given to no-shows or guests who arrive after the tour has left.

Is the tour accessible?

Behind-the-Scenes tours involve a substantial amount of walking, but all are ADA accessible.

While we cannot accommodate service animals on the tour, we are happy to offer a crated area for them.

What should I bring?

Please wear comfortable shoes and clothing appropriate for indoor and outdoor environments. You may encounter uneven surfaces, slick spots, or inclement weather on the tour.

Can I request to see a specific scientific collections room?

You can always ask your Tour Guide, but we cannot guarantee that specific collections rooms or areas will be open to the public.

How can I book 10 or more tickets?

Easy! Click here for our group ticket shopping cart. Booking a tour for 15 or more guests? Please complete this brief form and we'll be in touch.

Please note: A 50% non-refundable deposit is due at the time of booking to reserve group tickets of 10 or more. Your total balance is due 30 days prior to your tour date. If you are booking a tour within 30 days of your tour date full payment is due at the time of booking. Cancellations occurring 30 days or more prior to tour date, will receive a full refund minus the deposit.