Experience a winter wonderland in the heart of San Francisco. Outdoor snow flurries, a hands-on polar-themed exhibit, and festive ice rink make the Academy a holiday destination for science lovers of all ages.

‘Tis the Season for Science: Life on Ice, the Academy’s annual holiday exhibit, celebrates the remarkable adaptations that allow Arctic and Antarctic animals to thrive in snowy ecosystems.

This year, see how another animal adapts to life on ice: You! Lace up your skates and take a spin around our newly expanded outdoor Holiday Ice Rink. With two extra-long skating sessions available daily, you’ll have plenty of time to perfect your form.

This exhibit closed on January 6, 2019. See you next season!

Woman ice skating with blurry background at Academy outdoor ice rink

Holiday Ice Rink

Science and skating, intellect and endorphins, all in a day's Academy adventure! But get your skate on soon: The rink melts away after January 6!

Kids explore hands-on activities in ’Tis the Season for Science exhibit

Life on Ice

Learn how plants and animals brave the planet’s most extreme environments—and see how you stack up next to life-size models of polar bears and Emperor penguins!

Musician wearing holiday reindeer ears plays trumpet in live band

Live Performances

Festive live performances by musicians and cultural groups bring holiday cheer to the Academy’s Piazza stage on select dates this season.

Guests line up to enter the giant Snowman Theater inside the Academy's Piazza

Snowman Theater

Step inside a snowman-shaped digital dome theater for Science of Snow, a kid-friendly short film about the dazzling geometry of snowflakes.



Experience the Wonder

Visit an aquarium, planetarium, rainforest, and natural history museum—all under one living roof.

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