Stack of colorful books

Books are meant to be read, not banned. Relive the nostalgic memories of a classic book fair, while hearing from a spectrum of diverse literary voices, especially those who have been overlooked and excluded for far too long. We're committed to making these stories accessible to all. Because diversity isn't a choice— it's a fundamental part of life, literature, and even book fairs. Featuring Bay Area book sellers, Drag Story Hour, unexpected character cameos, and more.


Music - Bobby Cosmos & Sounds of Paradise
bobby cosmos

Sounds by Bobby Cosmos (Ritmos Tropicosmos) & Sounds of Paradise (Fuzz & Sway)

Check out Bobby Cosmos' exclusive NightLife playlist on the NightLife Spotify page

Programs - Live talk with Maggie Tokuda-Hall and Drag storytime with VERA!
maggie tokuda-hall

Storytelling & Censorship
African Hall
8:30 PM

  • Listen in on a fascinating talk with author Maggie Tokuda-Hall as she delves into the story of how her novels, The Mermaid, The Witch, and The Sea and Squad found their way onto the banned book list.

Drag Storytime
Science Today
8:00 PM

  • Get ready to gather 'round for a magical session of drag storytime hosted by the fabulous VERA!. Tune in and hear children's stories, read with flair and heart by VERA!.
Book Vendors & Activities - Museum of Craft & Design, The Game Parlour, and BOOKS!
books test

Book Fair
6 - 10 PM

Join the Museum of Craft and Design to design your very own bookmark and then find a book to put it in while exploring our book fair and meeting a variety of local booksellers and bibliophiles. Including:

  • Comix Experience- Established in 1989, Comix Experience has been faithfully providing the Bay Area with an eclectic collection of comics and graphic novels for over three decades.
  • Fabulosa Books- Located in the heart of the Castro, Fabulosa Books specializes in LGBTQ+ literature and proudly runs the BOOKS NOT BANS program, which lets customers buy books to send to LGBTQ+ organizations in places where LGBTQ+ affirming books are banned and villainized.
  • Marcus Books- The nation's oldest Black-owned independent bookstore, Marcus Books has become a literary and cultural hallmark that has hosted iconic authors including Toni Morrison, Rosa Parks, Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou, and more.
  • San Francisco Public Library (SFPL)- It’s a book-lovers dream: SFPL will be giving away free books all evening! Discover all of their offerings, from e-books to historical archives—you can even sign up to get your very own library card.
  • Sour Cherry Comics- San Francisco’s first lesbian-owned comic book store, with a focus on queer-centric comics, books, and graphic novels.

Curiosity Grove
6 - 10 PM

  • Exercise your brain with a variety of word games and puzzles, like Bananagrams, Upwords, and Scrabble, brought to you by our friends at Game Parlour.

Familiar Friends
7 - 9 PM

  • See your childhood faves come to life! Meet Clifford the Big Red Dog and tour the museum with The Friz from the Magic School Bus.
    • Meet the Friz on the Living Roof at 7pm or in the Philippine Coral Reef at 7:30pm
    • Clifford the Big Red Dog will be roaming, but should be fairly easy to spot…
Food - Chef Rob's Special Book Fair Menu
chef rob

At The Bars/Grab N go

  • Cheese & Charcuterie Box - $12
    • Spicy coppa. prosciutto. salami. cheddar & pepperjack cubes. grapes. everything cracker.

Pizza Station (in Cafe)

  • BBQ Chicken Pizza - $11
    • Red onion, pineapple, mozzarella, tomato sauce
  • Truffle Mac n Cheese - $12
    • Cavatappi, truffle bechamel, breadcrumbs

Grill (in Cafe)

  • Franks & Beans - $10
    • Baked beans, sliced grilled hotdog
  • Fish Sticks - $10
    • Breaded pollock, tartar sauce
  • Popcorn Chicken - $10
    • Chicken breast fritters, popcorn
  • Sloppy Joe Dog - $10
    • Niman ranch beef hotdog, ground beef, sweet tomato sauce, onion, cheese, sesame hotdog bun
  • Sloppy Joe - $16
    • Ground beef, sweet tomato sauce, onion, sesame acme bun
A few don't-miss NightLife details..


  • NightLife guests are no longer 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.
  • Please note: The rainforest will be closed for infrastructure maintenance during this event.
  • 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 be enjoyed outdoors or in the Academy Café only.
  • NightLife is for adults 21+ only. Valid, physical photo ID required.
  • Still have Qs? See our FAQs here.

Planetarium Shows

6:30 pm, 7:30 pm

Take a tour of the Universe with a sprinkling of the hottest news stories from astronomy and the space sciences!

8:30 pm, 9:30 pm

Where did the building blocks of life come from? Journey across space & time to explore how elements are made.

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Upcoming events

December 7th at 6:00 pm

Santa Claude is comin’ to town! Shop your heart away at our merry marketplace of gift-worthy treasures.

December 14th at 6:00 pm

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