Marble Floor design

Science and art unite! This week, NightLife partners with the California College of the Arts to explore the many ways design impacts lives, culture, and science.

Schedule of Events

CCA Innovation
(African Hall)
6:00 - 10:00pm

-----> Explore innovative ideas in fields from industrial and interaction design to illustration and architecture when African Hall transforms into a gallery full of projects, games, and installations by CCA students. 

  • Compete to be the top chef of the year 2050 in the Future Food Lab
  • Challenge your friends to an interactive puzzle game inspired by Alan Turing.
  • Explore the idea of a cyborg
  • Choose your own Sci-fi adventure
  • Build your ideal city through explorations of urbanism
  • Print your own Penguin memento!

Science with an Eye for Design
(Project Lab)
6:00 - 10:00pm

------> At the Project Lab, learn about just a few of the ways that design and technology are used in science labs from around the bay area with guests from UCSF, Stanford, and Abate Lab. They’ll show off their work with synthetic receptors, 3D-printed viruses, interspecies communication, and more.

DIY Design
6:00 - 10:00pm

------> Get creative with design groups PSY/OPS Type Foundry & Museum of Craft & Design to design your own monogram and create wearable "8-bit" designs out of pearler beads.

Music by DJ Sake One



  • Hurry! 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. 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

Hear from Academy Environmental Sustainability Manager Elizabeth Bagley on ways we can save the planet.

7:30 pm, 8:30 pm

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

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Upcoming ticketed museum events

March 30th at 6:00 pm

Explore the Academy at night alongside nearly 40,000 live animals.

April 6th at 6:00 pm

Make room for ‘shrooms because fungi are taking over! Enter the world of mycology at this annual NightLife fave.

April 13th at 6:00 pm

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

April 20th at 6:00 pm

It’s 4/20, you know what that means: let’s get stoned…by celebrating geology! Wait, what were you thinking?

Upcoming free virtual events

April 20th at 7:00 pm

Ice, soil, wood, diatomaceous deep-sea sediment — we're digging deep and returning with cores.