sold out

Tonight’s NightLife event is now sold out.

Update: Tonight's NightLife event is now SOLD OUT


The creatures come out at NightLife as the Academy partners with Bay Area Science Festival and Peaches Christ Productions to transform the museum into a spine-tingling, supernatural tribute to '80s horror movies and creatures even stranger than life.

Don't forget to come in costume for our annual Halloween bash and a fright night of epic proportions!


Haunted Hall
(African Hall)
6:30 - 9:00pm
Tour a haunted hall full of scientific curiosities, monsters from the “Upside Down” and terrifying hybrid pterodactyl creations hacked by the mad scientists of Chimeric Enterprises (aka the Bay Area Science Festival).

Stranger "Queens" Drag Show
(West Garden)

​Don’t miss the centerpiece of the night—a drag show and 80's Horror costume contest hosted by local drag legend Peaches Christ, whose performance can always be counted on to electrify. Includes performances by: Kegel Kater, Meredeath & Chaka Corn.

Don't miss your last chance to view Quarso’s SpaceWay, the immersive installation that has been lighting up our west garden this summer.

Phantom Lab
(Project Lab)
6:00 -10:00pm

Curious spirits can learn about spiders, ants, phantom limbs and other creepy creatures with Academy scientists while enjoying Halloween-themed spirits and cocktails of their own.

Upside Down Arcade
(Coral Reef / Aquarium)
6:00 - 10:00pm

Enjoy every ‘80s-movie kid’s favorite pastime (before they go missing...) and blow off steam in the “haunted” arcade located in front of the Academy’s Philippine Coral Reef.

Music by DJ Omar (Popscene); Performance by Peaches Christ


Event attendees are encouraged to dress in Halloween costumes. For the safety and enjoyment of our guests, please keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Costumes should not be obstructive, offensive or violent in nature.
  • For the safety of all visitors, we ask that guests refrain from wearing masks or other items which obscure the face.
  • Costumes should not contain sharp or pointed objects, or materials that may accidentally strike guests or exhibits.
  • Costumes should not contain any elements which resemble or could easily be mistaken for an actual weapon.
  • The California Academy of Sciences reserves the right to turn away any guest with a costume that we deem offensive or unsafe.



  • This is one of our most popular events of the year and often sells out. We highly recommend purchasing tickets in advance.



  • Last entry for our 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 cocktail—there are multiple bars throughout the museum.
  • Special programs and lectures may have limited seating and admission will also be made available to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Programming schedule and lineup subject to change.



  • Planetarium passes are available on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 6:30 pm. Early event arrival is strongly recommended due to limited capacity and high demand for passes.



  • A variety of food options are available at NightLife from 6:00-9:30 pm, including The Academy Cafe, The Terrace, 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, 7:30 pm

Come see the night sky in a spooktactular way on a tour of long-dead stars!

8:30 pm, 9:30 pm

Explore two of today’s greatest cosmic mysteries—dark matter and dark energy!

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Upcoming NightLife Events

August 30th at 6:00 pm

NightLife celebrates the best of the Academy with after-hours science inside the greenest museum on Earth.

September 6th at 6:00 pm

NightLife breaks down the science of fermentation—from beer to cheese and everything in between!

September 13th at 6:00 pm

NightLife LIVE 2018 music series—performances in the West Garden by Classixx + SUMif, Co-presented by Noise Pop.

September 20th at 6:00 pm

Feed your brain and body this week as NightLife explores the fascinating world of human health and wellness.