Lunar New Year
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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

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

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
Piazza
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
Piazza
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
Swamp
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.

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NIGHTLIFE TIPS

  • 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.

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PLANETARIUM PASSES

  • 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!

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FOOD & DRINK

  • 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.

Music

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.

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Upcoming ticketed museum events

September 23rd at 6:00 pm

Explore the nocturnal side of the Academy and see what makes the museum at night different.

September 30th at 6:00 pm

Come together and connect with the Bay’s AAPI community in an evening of music, storytelling, and fashion.

October 7th at 6:00 pm

Explore the Academy at night alongside nearly 40,000 live animals. For adults 21+.

Upcoming free virtual events

October 7th at 7:00 pm

Fire is essential to forest life—hear from experts tending fires and ensuring a more resilient California.