Lunar New Year

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. Member discount applied after login.

Get a second chance to kick off the new year when NightLife rings in the Year of the Rat with a night devoted to Lunar New Year traditions.

Music by Jay Midnight


Year of the Rat
West Garden
6:30 - 8:30 PM

  • Get face-to-face with this year’s lunar animal ambassador as Rattie Ratz Rescue brings a few of their cutest rodents.

Melody Yan
7:00 & 8:00 PM

  • Begin the celebration with a special performance from musician Melody Yan as she plays the Guzheng (Chinese zither)—a plucked string instrument with 2,500+ years of history.

Lion Dance
7:30 & 8:30 PM

  • Check out a powerful lion dance performance and ceremony by SF’s own Jing Mo Athletic Association, a Chinatown-based martial arts performance troupe. Examine a lion dance costume up-close—and take a photo with it.

Tea Ceremony
6:00 - 10:00 PM​​​​​​​

  • Learn about the significance of tea and tea ceremonies with Fabula Tea, and try your hand at traditional Chinese calligraphy.



  • 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 $5 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

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

Narrated by George Takei, Incoming! explores the past, present, and future of our Solar System.

9:30 pm

Find out what the Apollo astronauts found on the lunar surface, and why we may want to go back.

Upcoming NightLife Events

October 29th at 7:00 pm

Curious spirits, awaken! The creatures come out for a spine-tingling night of science, death, and drag.