Go big this week as NightLife gets really, really small to discover the wonderful world of the microscopic. Learn about the latest cutting-edge advances in exploring and explaining the science of small.

Microscopes, Microbes & Mycology
(Project Lab)
6:00 -10:00pm, 
Join some of the Bay Area’s cutting-edge labs in checking out teeny-tiny things, including:

  • Novozymes - a local company developing sustainable products and bio-enzymes
  • Brittney Nguyen, UC Berekeley - DNA of microorganisms
  • PrakashLab & Foldscope - Scanning Electron Microscope and Foldscope; a portable origami microscope
  • Merritt Microscopy - mushrooms and more, under the microscope!
  • San Francisco Microscopical Society - Peek through the microscope to get a close up look
  • UCSF’s Turnbaugh Lab - Microbiome

Eureka Comedy Podcast
(African Hall)
7:30 & 8:30,
For a change of scope, get ready for big laughs with Eureka Comedy Science Show, an interactive show featuring scientists from Indie Bio.

Indie Bio
6:00 - 10:00pm,
Look to the future with Indie Bio, the world’s largest biotech accelerator, and some of the exciting, promising young companies they’ve helped fund including:

  • Animal Biome - Microbiome sequencing and treatments for dogs and cats
  • Finless Foods - Growing fish meat from stem cells to save the oceans
  • The Not Co - Plant-based dairy products made by combining ingredients on the molecular level
  • Sugarlogix - Creating sugars with pre-biotic functions 

​Insect Exploration
West Garden
​6:00 - 10:00pm,
Put on your amateur entomologist hat and head outside to the garden to explore the amazing world of insects with Save Nature (and maybe even hold a few!).

Music by DJ Bobby McCole (of Pyramid Records)



  • 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.



  • Planetarium passes are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Early event arrival is strongly recommended due to limited capacity and high demand for passes.



  • 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

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

Journey through the San Andreas fault, delve into Earth's core & explore the seismic science of earthquakes.

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Upcoming events

May 30th at 6:00 pm

Calling all creatures of the night! Explore the Academy's nocturnal side. Sounds by: DJ Mark Maiden.

June 6th at 6:00 pm

We’re bringing the spice at our hottest event of the year. Hear from spicy savants, sample fiery foods, & more.

June 13th at 6:00 pm

Honor Black contributions to global dance with a special Juneteenth edition of the Make History dance battle.

June 20th at 6:00 pm

Inked is back at NightLife! Explore the wonders of ink from cephalopods to live tattoos–yes, the real kind!

June 27th at 6:00 pm

Celebrate the LGBTQ+ community with a night dedicated to community, activism & joy. Featuring drag by Oaklash.