Plan ahead and save! Buy online at least one day in advance to lock in the lowest price on NightLife tickets. For more information, see our Plan-Ahead Pricing FAQ.

NightLife is 21+ with ID. Last entry to rainforest dome is at 7:45 pm. Planetarium passes available for purchase online.

Be the first to see the Academy’s sixth annual BigPicture Natural World Photography exhibit during this special NightLife celebrating some of the most fascinating moments of life on Earth, captured by the world’s best nature photographers.

Learn about the captivating field of nature and conservation photography during an awards ceremony and presentation with BigPicture Jury Chair Suzi Eszterhas and judge Roy Toft.

Gaze up at the stars through the lens of satellites and spacecraft with “Photography in Space,” a live planetarium show.

Plus, learn how conservation and sustainability efforts in the Galápagos connect to California (and the planet), with a panel moderated by the Academy’s Chief of Science Dr. Shannon Bennett.

Panel participants include Dr. Terry Gosliner, Academy Curator of Invertebrate Zoology; Dr. Arturo Izurieta, Executive Director of the Charles Darwin Foundation; Prof. Bill Durham, Academy Fellow; and Harvey Fineberg, president of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

At the Project Lab, you’ll see incredible macro images made possible by the GIGAmacro imaging system.

Plus, check out rarely-seen Galápagos specimens and archival materials from the Academy’s collection and learn more about the important scientific partnerships making a real-world impact between the Academy and Charles Darwin Foundation.

Music by DJ Sep



  • Last entry for the Rainforest dome is at 7:45 pm. Please note: drinks are not allowed inside the Rainforest exhibit.
  • Thirsty? Each bar area features a unique seasonal craft cocktail—there are multiple bars throughout the museum.
  • Special programs and lectures may have limited seating and admission will be available to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis.



  • Planetarium passes are required for the 7:30, 8:30, and 9:30 pm shows.
  • Passes are $3 each and may be purchased online or at the ticket window. Since shows do sell out, we always recommend buying in advance.
  • The 6:30 pm live show is always free. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Please arrive at the planetarium 15 minutes before your ticketed showtime for seating. We run a tight spaceship!



  • A variety of food options are available at NightLife from 6:00-9:30 pm, including The Academy Cafe and The Academy Cafe Food Cart located in the front lobby.
  • Enjoy a different fresh seasonal "craft on draft" cocktail at each NightLife bar area designed by our resident mixologist Shane McKnight!

All bars accept cash and credit cards.


Planetarium Shows

6:30 pm

Experience an unprecedented view into the depths of space in this live planetarium show.

7:30 pm, 8:30 pm

Discover our place in the cosmos in the new planetarium show Passport to the Universe, narrated by Tom Hanks.

9:30 pm

Find out what the Apollo astronauts found on the lunar surface—and why we may want to go back.

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Upcoming NightLife Events

August 1st at 6:00 pm

Explore the cutting-edge and eco-friendly ways that transportation is rapidly evolving. Presented by Cruise.

August 8th at 6:00 pm

The Marías perform at our 2nd installment of NightLife LIVE, in Partnership with Outside Lands Music Festival.

August 15th at 6:00 pm

Tune out of the digital world & join us for an experimental, phone-free night dedicated to life in the analog.

August 22nd at 6:00 pm

Join us and a few of our furry, scaly, and feathered friends for a night all about animal behavior.