California poppies with a blurred background of the beach and ocean

California knows how to party and it ain't no party like a biodiversity party! See for yourself and join us as we celebrate our favorite state in honor of California Biodiversity Day. Learn about the vibrant biodiversity that makes the Golden State so special from experts at the Academy and beyond.

Sounds by Mawkus

Check out Mawkus’ exclusive NightLife playlist on the NightLife Spotify page


Talk & Trivia: Biodiversity Edition
African Hall

  • At 7:30 PM, The term "biodiversity" floats around a lot in scientific circles, but how well do you know what it really means? And more importantly, why should it matter to us? Dig into these big questions and more in an engaging conversation with Dr. Sarah Jacobs, Academy Curator of Botany.
  • At 8:30 PM, Put your California knowledge to the test with trivia about the state’s wide array of iconic flora and fauna, hosted by Sydney Davenport, from the Academy’s Thriving California team.

Golden Nuggets
6 - 10 PM

  • From tarantulas to shore birds and newts, California is home to some compelling creatures. Find a few California natives around the Bay Area with a map illustrated by NightLife returner, Nigel Sussman. Bonus: Turn your map into a masterpiece and color it in at our coloring station.

The 12-Hour California Nature Extravaganza
Science Today

  • Tune in live at NightLife to celebrate California Biodiversity Day in a way no one ever has before. We’re embarking on a task almost as monumental as California nature itself: we’ve lined up nearly 50 nature experts and enthusiasts to help us read out the scientific names of as many groups of California plants, animals, and fungi as humanly possible…in 12 HOURS. (Yes, you read that right.)

California Curiosities
6 - 10 PM

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 and the Shake House 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

Come see what Academy researchers are up to in this live presentation

8:30 pm, 9:30 pm

Discover the beauty, variety, and vast complexity of our connections to the network of life that surrounds us.

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Upcoming events

September 28th at 6:00 pm

In honor of Steinhart Aquarium’s 100th anniversary, let's party like it’s 1923 & celebrate a century of wonder.

October 5th at 6:00 pm

See what happens when art and nature collide at this NightLife honoring 10 years of BigPicture.

October 12th at 6:00 pm

We’re closing out NightLife LIVE with grungy-synth sounds from Tanukichan & our soulful opener Lalin St. Juste.

October 19th at 6:00 pm

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

October 26th at 6:00 pm

One, two, NightLife’s comin’ for you. This Halloween, don’t sleep on NightLife.