Lil' NightLife

Lil' NightLife
Thursday, November 3, 6-10 pm
21+ with ID
Prices vary; planetarium passes $5

For guaranteed availability, we strongly recommend purchasing tickets in advance. Last rainforest entry 7:30 pm. Vaccination and indoor masking encouraged but not required.

Lil’ NightLife, big vibes. Join us for an evening devoted to all the little (but important) things.

Sounds by ANT-ONE

Check out ANT-ONE's exclusive NightLife playlist on Spotify


Tiny & Shiny
Science Today
8:00 PM

  • Catch a live talk from Dr. Alison Gould to hear how bioluminescent bacteria team up with other animals to help them shine bright.

Humble Abode
East Garden
6 - 10 PM

  • Bigger isn’t always better–at least according to the folks at Pacifica Tiny Homes. Explore what it’s like to live small with a tour of one of their innovative diminutive model homes.

Honey I Shrunk The Arcade
6 - 10 PM

  • Score big at NightLife’s first-ever mini arcade courtesy of our friends at Small Change Arcade. Play your favorite classic arcade games like Ms. Pacman/Galaga combo, Donkey Kong, Tetris, Frogger, Mortal Kombat 2, and NBA Jam on custom-built machines scaled down to 40% of their original size.

Topic: Microscopic
6 - 10 PM

  • Did you know that every drop of San Francisco Bay water is home to thousands of tiny plants and animals? See this bustling microscopic community in action with the SF Microscopical Society.
  • Chat with PhD candidate Callie Chappell from Stanford Fukami Lab and learn about the important role microbes that live in sweet nectar play in the ecosystem. Plus, check out these puny powerhouses under a microscope!

A few don't-miss NightLife details:

  • Effective September 16, NightLife guests will no longer be required to provide proof of full vaccination or a recent negative test. We still strongly encourage all guests to stay up-to-date on their vaccinations, and to mask up indoors. As always, if you’re feeling under the weather, please NightLife another time. View health and safety information here.
  • Last entry into the rainforest exhibit is 7:30 pm—our animals need their sleep.
  • Morrison Planetarium is now open at NightLife with 4 showtimes. To maximize staff and guest safety, planetarium passes are required and capacity is limited. Passes are available online in advance for an additional $5 while supplies last to reserve a seat at a 6:30, 7:30, 8:30, or 9:30 pm planetarium show. Please see our FAQs for more details. (Please note: A limited number of standby seats will be available for all showtimes as space allows on a first-come, first-served basis. Food and drink are not permitted inside the planetarium.)
  • Beverages are available at various bars throughout the building, but food must enjoyed outdoors or in the Academy Cafe only.
  • NightLife is for adults 21+ only. Photo ID required.
  • Still have Qs? See our FAQs here.


Planetarium Shows

8:30 pm, 9:30 pm

Discover how a deeper understanding of Earth might help us spot other living worlds light-years away.

6:30 pm, 7:30 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

December 1st at 6:00 pm

Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, everyone 21+ is invited to shop the halls at our annual holiday bazaar!

December 8th at 6:00 pm

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

Upcoming free virtual events

December 1st at 7:00 pm

Meet the group of plants that are older than dinosaurs and the most endangered organisms on Earth.

December 15th at 7:00 pm

Reflect on a changing world with performers and poets whose work sits at the intersection of art and science.