Sounds by Sick James


Pretty In Ink
African Hall

  • At 7:30 PM, Catch a live talk from Squid Empire author Danna Staaf as she reveals everything there is to know about giant squids and of course, their ink.
  • At 8:30 PM, Learn about tebori—a centuries-old tattoo tradition inspired by Japanese art and lore—from Taki Ryudaibori Kitamura of San Jose-based studio State of Grace Tattoo, and enjoy a live demo of the technique by artist Horitomo (please note, this program may contain partial nudity).

NightLife Tattoo Shop
Curiosity Grove
6 - 10 PM

  • Watch as tattoo artists Dr. Christine Liu,Yazmeen Norwood, and Arlene Yap combine their knowledge of neuroscience and medical illustration with their passion for body art at our first ever LIVE tattoo pop-up!
  • Need some time to think before you ink? We’ve got you covered with temporary tattoos designed by local illustrator and muralist Nigel Sussman.

Cephalopod Sketches
6 - 10 PM

  • Start your tattoo artist apprenticeship at the Museum of Craft and Design’s “Cuttle Flash” workshop, where you’ll have an opportunity to hand paint tattoo flash designs with real cuttlefish ink.

*For more details about getting tattooed at NightLife (including flash sheets and pricing), be sure to check out the artists’ individual Instagram pages: Dr. Christine Liu, Yazmeen Norwood, and Arlene Yap. Please note: there will be limited slots. Client selection will be up to the discretion of each artist.

A few don't-miss NightLife details:

  • To help keep staff and guests safe, proof of full COVID-19 vaccination is required for entry, and boosters and indoor masking are strongly encouraged. Feeling under the weather? Please NightLife another time! View health and safety information here.
  • Last entry into the rainforest exhibit is 7:30 pm—our animals need their sleep.
  • 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 enjoyed outdoors or in the Academy Cafe only.
  • NightLife is for adults 21+ only. Photo ID required.
  • Still have Qs? See our FAQs here.



Planetarium Shows

8:30 pm, 9:30 pm

Discover how a deeper understanding of Earth might help us spot other living worlds light-years away.

6:30 pm, 7:30 pm

Explore the immense scale of the known Universe in this live presentation that leaves Earth far behind.

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Upcoming events

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.

November 2nd at 6:00 pm

Once a year the living & dead reunite. Join us in honoring departed souls in celebration of Día de los Muertos.