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


9:30 am – 5:00 pm


11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Members' Hours:


8:30 – 9:30 am


10:00 – 11:00 am

The Academy will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

The Academy will be closing at 3:00 pm on 4/24. We apologize for any inconvenience.


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)


Dance Party NightLife

Music by DJ Tom LG

Shake, shimmy, and twist your way into NightLife’s first ever museum-wide dance party. Whether you’ve got two left feet or can cut a rug with the best of them, NightLife invites you to try out popular dance styles from around the world.


Dance Workshops in African Hall (Level 1)
7:00 pm, Get heels-up during a Cupid Shuffle demo from Circus of Smiles.

7:45 pm, Jump and jive with a swing dancing lesson from Lindy in the Park.

8:30 pm, Learn to “vogue” with ODC/Dance hip hop instructor Jocquese Whitfield.

Dance Performances in the Coral Reef (Aquarium Level)
7:30 pm, View “Triangulating Euclid,” a mind-bending math-meets-motion performance piece by ODC/Dance, lauded by the Huffington Post and SF Chronicle.

8:30 pm, Bring out your inner goddess with a belly-dancing demo from Misia Denea.

Dance Workshops in the Piazza (Level 1)
6:45 pm, If you're looking for a high-energy workout to burn off the cocktails, take a Rythm & Motion dance workshop from ODC/Dance instructor Dudley Flores.

7:30 pm, Care to clog? Test out your toe-tapping abilities with Sarah Dwight-Gilroy of City Dance

8:15 pm, Dance Performance & Instruction

9:00 pm, Learn Cuban-style salsa from Rueda con Ritmo instructors Ryan Mead & Sidney Weaverling of ODC/Dance.

Dance Artifacts & Rituals by the Project Lab (Level 1) 6:30-9:00 pm, Dance hasn’t always meant tap shoes and tutus! At the Project Lab, see how dance costumes and rituals have evolved over time with Academy anthropology experts.

DJ in the East Pavilion (Level 1)
6:00-10:00pm, Feel the rhythm with Tom LG spinning in the East Pavilion.

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


Enjoy the following planetarium shows this week at NightLife:

Universe Update
Take a tour of the Universe with a sprinkling of the hottest news stories from astronomy and the space sciences!  Ryan Wyatt, Director of the Morrison Planetarium, pilots you through the stars and beyond the galaxies, explaining the latest space headlines in easily-digestible terms, and returns you safely to Earth in less than an hour.

7:30 & 8:30 pm
Pal o' Me Heart

This week's special program Pal o' Me Heart tells the story of two Irish boys, set during the Easter Rising, an armed uprising that took place during Easter Week in 1916. This immersive, fulldome, adaptation was filmed on location on the remote Pembrokeshire coastline with the two dancers performing in and out of the water. 

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


Big Bang Party After Dark Fundraiser

In lieu of NightLife this week, join us for the Academy's annual fundraiser event & biggest party of the year!

April 24, 2014
8:30 pm to midnight
For adults 21+

Party After Dark spills across the Academy’s multiple indoor and outdoor venues and will feature a live DJ set by indie-rockers of Ra Ra Riot and Youngblood Hawke, photo booths, complimentary bites and open bars, light projections, gourmet food trucks and a Silent Disco. See the full schedule here

The Big Bang supports the Academy—the Bay Area’s largest cultural institution—as it shares its mission to explore, explain, and sustain life with 1.5 million visitors each year and millions more online. ($45 of each ticket is tax-deductible).

For more information call 415.379.5411 or email events@calacademy.org
Dress to impress!

Individual Ticket $100

Bundle (15 Tickets) $1,000

Groups enjoy special savings.

Buy Tickets

Please Note: Weekly NightLife events will resume on May 1st. 

Ra Ra Riot

Party After Dark Entertainment

Ra Ra Riot (DJ set)
Acclaimed indie rock band Ra Ra Riot are fresh off the release of their new album, Beta Love, and will headline the Party After Dark with a DJ set by Wes Miles (singer) and Matt Santos (bass player).

Youngblood Hawke (DJ set)

Self-described as a mixture of pop, rock, indie, dance, and even a little hip hop, Youngblood Hawke (DJ set) will open up the Party After Dark.

East Garden Lounge, Food Trucks, & Silent Disco
Kick off your heels and relax under the stars with a cocktail in one hand and a specialty dessert in the other. The East Garden will be transformed into a posh camp site, complete with luxe camp-style lounges by Shelter Co., lanterns, photo booths and hot toddies!

Plus, eat fresh Neapolitan-inspired pizza with Del Popolo—a mobile pizzeria & a s’mores flavored treat from Cupkates.

Dance to Motown and Top 40 through wireless headsets in a Silent Disco-music courtesy of MOM DJs

Buy Party After Dark Tickets Here

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


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:

Earthquake exhibit, baby ostrich


"Dance Party" 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!

Skyy Vodka, Mixi's "live" Handcrafted Ginger Beer, fresh lime & saffron bitters

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

El Jimador Silver Tequila, elderflower, ruby red grapefruit juice, lime juice, house-made hibiscus soda & a pinch of rosemary hibiscus himalayan pink salt.


Pac Brew Lab Belgian Pear
Pac Brew Lab Imperial IPA
Pac Brew Lab Squid Ink Porter

Chamomile infused Skyy Vodka, lemon juice, English Breakfast Tea infused local honey, rhubarb bitters & fresh thyme

Brugal Anejo Rum, coconut water, Mixi's "live" Handcrafted Ginger Beer, fresh mint & Creole Bitters


Handcrafted Gin-fusion of local botanicals, fresh cucumber juice, Velvet Falernum, Cocchi Americano Apertivo & fresh lime juice

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.

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Next NightLife Event


4/17/2014 - "Dance Party NightLife"

Buy Tickets


RSVP on Facebook

Upcoming Events


4/24/2014 - "Big Bang Party After Dark Fundraiser"

Maps & Directions



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:


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.