SF Design Week event

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.

NightLife partners with San Francisco Design Week to explore the many ways design impacts lives, culture, and science—from exhibit design to architecture and beer labels to fonts.

Celebrate the release of The Lost Type Co-op’s new series of typefaces, created in collaboration with and inspired by the Academy’s scientific collections. Join Lost Type’s designers for jokes, stories, and projects of a delightfully typographic nature during a series of short talks. They’ll share some of their original inspiration found while exploring the Academy, including pointed pen calligraphy in Entomology and pressed plant folios in Botany.

Take an exclusive mini-tour through our newest exhibit, Skin: Living Armor, Evolving Identity, with designers from the Academy’s exhibit and creative studio teams.

Wonder what it takes to design and animate a scientifically-accurate coral reef for a full-dome planetarium? Join members of the Academy’s Visualization Studio for a screening of Expedition Reef and a talk on how they did exactly that.

At the Project Lab, check out the evolution of beer branding with design studio Gamut SF.

Discover Bauhaus architecture in its centenary year with AIA San Francisco and learn about the cultural and ecological complexities of landscape architecture with designer Phoebe White.

Finally, get hands-on with a screenprinting demo by local clothing brand San Franpsycho and art activities with California College of the Arts and Carrie Leeb of Spark Studio.

DJ set by Sazon Libre



  • 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.


Share This

Upcoming NightLife Events

May 30th at 6:00 pm

Embark on a late-night science adventure: NightLife explores the mechanics of flight in the natural world.

June 6th at 6:00 pm

Come dressed to go “Under the Sea” and celebrate World Oceans Day and the wonder of coral reefs.

June 13th at 6:00 pm

NightLife partners with SF Design Week to explore the many ways design impacts lives, culture, and science.

June 20th at 6:00 pm

NightLife gets under your skin with the opening of our newest exhibit!