Member Tickets: $12
Non-Member Tickets: $15
Ages 21+, ID required for entry.

Explore the mysteries beyond our solar system with a night dedicated to the search for extraterrestrials.


Extraterrestrial Talks
(African Hall)
Join experts from NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View & METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence) for fascinating talks on exoplanets and the possibilities of life beyond Earth—including what it might look like to live on Mars: 

  • 7:00pm - Ed Bendek and Rus Belikov will talk about the future of exploration and possible travel to our closest star system, Alpha Centauri.
  • 7:45pm - A planetary scientist at Ames, Dr. Carol Stoker specializes in the search for life in extreme environments, including the robotic exploration of Mars.
  • 8:30pm - Learn about the work of METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence) and their search for life beyond Earth with an interactive panel of diverse experts including: Dalia Rawson, Laura Welcher, William Alba, Ted Peters, Alexander Rose and Ariel Waldman.

Space VR
(Children's Gallery)
6:00 - 10:00pm

Explore space virtually with the experiential art shows of Dream Logic VR.

Intergalactic Arcade
(Coral Reef)
6:00 - 10:00pm,
Launch your spaceship (aka ball) into the starfield (aka playfield) with a set of intergalactic pinball machines from the Pacific Pinball Museum.

Searching Space
(Project Lab)
6:00 - 10:00pm
, Near the Project Lab, learn about some of the most intriguing space-related Kickstarter projects, including plans to launch student projects into space via the Pong Sat and a design for a sustainable city on Mars.

The Underground Engine
6:00 - 10:00pm,
Explore a new world with the VR project and projection from The Underground Engine

Music by DJs Mophono, Chris Orr, and Jaysonik with live performances by Dakim and HiScores.



  • 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 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 – 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

Take a tour of the Universe with a sprinkling of the hottest news stories from astronomy and the space sciences!

7:30 pm, 8:30 pm

Join us for a live planetarium show as we discuss the future of the search for extraterrestrial life.

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Upcoming NightLife Events

August 23rd at 6:00 pm

Science, tech, and innovation collide when NightLife partners with Seeker to explore the future of humanity.

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.