Magical Mushrooms

NightLife Admission: $15 ($12 Academy members)
Planetarium Passes: $3 (more info below)
21+ with ID

Select events subject to premier pricing: $22 ($18 Academy members).

Step away from the baby bellas and learn how to unleash fungi’s true potential. Discover the power of psilocybin, the naturally-occurring psychedelic compound produced by very special 'shrooms and learn about what makes even the most everyday mushroom "magic." 

Music by Heat Wave’s Daniel T.


Wondrous Fungus
African Hall

  • At 7:30 pm, join Debbie Viess (A.K.A. Amanitarita), biologist and co-founder of the Bay Area Mycological Society, for her live talk “Amanitarita’s Freaky & Fabulous Fungi.”

  • At 8:30 pm, expand your mind with a talk from fungal taxonomy specialist Alan Rockefeller as he demystifies the world of psilocybin mushrooms.

Myco & Micro
East Pavilion
6 pm – 10 pm

Learn about what kind of local mushrooms to look for—and which ones to stay far away from with the Bay Area Mycological Society and the San Francisco Microscopical Society.

Psychedelic Safari
Coral Reef
6 pm – 10 pm

Descend into a virtual garden of bioluminescent fungus with an augmented reality experience created by artists from Onedome in San Francisco.

DIY Fungi
6 pm – 10 pm

Cultivate your very own mushroom spores to take home with Bay Area Applied Mycology.

Fungal Friends
Project Lab
6 pm – 10 pm

Get up close and personal with mycorrhiza, try a taste of earthy mushroom simple syrups, and even bring photos of your mushrooms to have them ID’d by the experts.



  • 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.



  • Heads-up! Starting January 10, 2019, planetarium passes will be required for the 7:30, 8:30, and (new!) 9:30 pm shows. This will allow more guests to reserve their preferred showtimes in advance and better plan their evenings—and also help us manage high demand for limited planetarium seats.
  • 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 and seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.



  • 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

Learn about the beneficial microbes in mushrooms that are an essential part of nature with Stanford's Kabir Peay

7:30 pm, 8:30 pm

Discover how life is connected across our planet in Habitat Earth, an Academy original planetarium show.

9:30 pm

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

Upcoming NightLife Events

October 31st at 6:00 pm

Come in costume for NightLife’s annual Halloween bash! See a spooktacular drag show with Heklina + more.

November 7th at 6:00 pm

Telluride’s Mountainfilm on Tour heads to NightLife with a selection of adventure-packed documentary films.

November 14th at 6:00 pm

Feed your brain and body this week as NightLife explores the connections between neuroscience and human health.

November 21st at 6:00 pm

Sink your teeth into BiteLife, celebrating the science of taste and flavor.