Sorry, all VIP Tours are sold out for Fermented NightLife on 9/5!

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.

We’re breaking down the science of fermentation, showing you the chemical magic behind kombucha to chocolate and everything in-between.

Music by MOM DJs


Live Talks: Cooking with Culture
African Hall

  • At 7:30 PM, Learn about koji, the mold that gives many Japanese foods that umami flavor you love, with a demo and talk by Mariko Grady of Aedan Fermented Foods.

  • At 8:30 PM, Check out a live food demo of lactic acid fermentation with Kathryn Lukas and Shane Peterson, authors of the new book "The Farmhouse Guide to Fermenting".

Live Talk: tinyB Chocolate
Science Today
8:00 PM

  • Attention chocolate-lovers, find out the secrets behind the incredible taste of Brazilian brigadeiros with Andrei Stoica, owner of tinyB Chocolate.

Fermented Showcase
Project Lab
6:00 - 10:00 PM

  • Get the lowdown on Tartine Bakery’s coffee and bread, learn how to get started with home-brewing from beer to kombucha with SF Brewcraft and Health-Ade, and check out fun and interactive yeast experiments with researchers from Stanford’s Jarosz Lab.



  • 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.


Planetarium Shows

6:30 pm

Get an inside look at the science behind the fermented creations at Tartine!

7:30 pm, 8:30 pm

How did life on Earth begin? Take a high-speed tour of key events since the Big Bang that set the stage for life

9:30 pm

Explore the immense scale of the known Universe in this live presentation that leaves Earth far behind.

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Upcoming ticketed museum events

July 7th at 6:00 pm

Calling all kaibigan: tropic like it’s hot for a night dedicated to Filipino arts, culture, and science.

July 14th at 6:00 pm

See what’s revealed once the sun goes down and explore the nocturnal side of the Academy. For adults 21+.

July 21st at 6:00 pm

Explore the multicultural—and multispecies—uses of ink. And hey, maybe even get a tattoo.

July 28th at 6:00 pm

SF Bazaar is back for a summertime event! Explore indie goods and wares from more than 30 local makers.

Upcoming free virtual events

July 7th at 7:00 pm

Hear from photographers whose incredible images reveal stories about the natural world.