From animal attraction to human nature, celebrate the science behind the things that make us blush at this special Valentine’s Day edition of NightLife.

Start the night off by snapping a photo of your favorite Academy animal valentine (be sure to tag it with #CreatureCrush) and tell us why you love it for a chance to win an exclusive, up-close animal encounter!

Love Talks
(African Hall)

7:00 & 8:00pm, Starting at 7:00pm hear a fascinating talk on love, sex and communication with Marcia Baczynski. Then at 8:00pm, explore diversity and fluidity in love and sex with Carol Queen and Robert Lawrence from the Center for Sex and Culture.

Good Vibes Garden
(East Pavillion)
6:00 - 10:00pm,
Get groovy with Good Vibrations checking out vintage vibrators from way back when and learn safe sex and HIV prevention tips with Bridge HIV.

Cupid's Corner
(Project Lab)
6:00 - 10:00pm,
 From 6:30 - 8:30pm, type out a love poem to your secret crush (or #CreatureCrush!) with Silvi from The Poetry Store and her vintage typewriter or take on a cupid's challenge and try to draw your date while blindfolded with local alternative art community Paint Pens Collective.  Then, learn about the animal kingdom’s weirdest mating and reproduction stories with Academy biologist Kelly Markello and take a stroll through the Animal Attraction aquarium gallery.

Swamp of Love
6:00 - 10:00pm, 
Get crafty while making your own liquid-marbled valentines with Julia Moore and marvel at Exotic and love-inducing orchid blooms with Pacific Orchid Exposition. 

Music by MOM DJs.

A variety of food options are available at NightLife from 6:00-9:30 pm, including The Academy CafeThe 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


  • 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.


Planetarium Shows

6:30 pm, 7:30 pm

For millennia, people have told tales about the constellations…Some of them a little risqué!

8:30 pm, 9:30 pm

Discover how life is connected in Habitat Earth, our latest original planetarium show.

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Upcoming events

June 13th at 6:00 pm

Honor Black contributions to global dance with a special Juneteenth edition of the Make History dance battle.

June 20th at 6:00 pm

Inked is back at NightLife! Explore the wonders of ink from cephalopods to live tattoos–yes, the real kind!

June 27th at 6:00 pm

Celebrate LGBTQ+ pride with a night dedicated to community, activism & joy. Featuring drag by Oaklash.

July 11th at 6:00 pm

Gear up for the first ever NightLifeCon! Featuring all things anime, comics, and sci-fi.

July 25th at 6:00 pm

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