Test the limits of your cerebral cortex on a night dedicated to brain power. From animal intelligence to the human mind, discover what it really means to use your brain.


Brain Power Piazza
7:00 - 9:00pm,
Put your worldly knowledge to good use with science-inspired trivia from Brainstormer. Play one round or stick around for all three!

  • 7pm: Physics Round
  • 8pm: Chemistry round
  • 9pm: Biology round

East Pavilion

7:00-7:20pm, Learn how Academy Biologists keep our Octopus occupied with games and puzzles to keep its mind sharp by watching a demo and listening to a brief lecture on how they've pioneered this method.  

Memory Tricks
(Project Lab)
6:00 - 10:00pm, 
 Stop by the project lab to hear San Francisco Memory Techniques Club teach memorization tricks to help sharpen your mind. Then learn about the learning process and explore new ways to go about it from My Mind Education. Check out researchers from Stanford Neuro Research Department to learn why forming memories, recollection, disease and finding your car in a parking lot are all related. Test your memory against your friends with their specially developed Recall Challenge!

Let your brain wander with the nautical, psychedelic house and techno sounds of DJ Tristes Tropiques in the coral reef.

A variety of food options are available at NightLife from 6:00-9:30 pm, including The Academy Cafe, The Terrace located in the West Garden, 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.

6:00-7:45 pm, Osher Rainforest—explore a lush, four-story rainforest that's teeming with life.

6:00-10:00 pm, Discover a world of dazzling live animals and shimmering scientific specimens in Color of Life

Please note: Planetarium seating is limited​. Admission is available to NightLife ​guests on a first-come, first-served basis. No passes required. We recommend arriving 20 minutes prior to showtime.

Special programs and lectures may have limited seating and admission will be made available to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis.


Planetarium Shows

6:30 pm

How well do you know the night sky?

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Upcoming events

February 29th at 6:00 pm

See what’s revealed once the sun goes down and explore the nocturnal side of the Academy.

March 7th at 6:00 pm

From bhangra to Pan Afro-Urban dance and Samba, see how the dance floor becomes a canvas for self-expression.

March 14th at 6:00 pm

Explore the nocturnal side of the Academy and see what makes the museum at night different.

March 21st at 6:00 pm

Sashay into a night of greatness and glam as we celebrate the undeniable impact and artistry of drag.

March 28th at 6:00 pm

Explore the Academy at night alongside nearly 60,000 live animals.

April 4th at 6:00 pm

We're serving more than looks in a night all about weaving connections through fashion.