• Tommy Guerrero playing guitar
    Tommy Guerrero
  • Photo of Ritmos Tropicosmos at sunset
    Ritmos Tropicosmos
  • NightLife LIVE lineup

Sounds by Motown on Mondays


The Show
West Garden

  • 7:30 - 8:10 PM - Kick off the night with some heavy tropical rhythms from Oakland’s only psychedelic cumbia band, Ritmos Tropicosmos.
  • 8:30 - 9:45 PM - Grab a spot to check out the funk-soul sounds of the legendary Tommy Guerrero.

Music presented by Noise Pop

Deep Cuts
Coral Reef (Aquarium)
7 - 9 PM

  • Take the plunge and join the Spencer Hoefert Trio for a one-of-a-kind performance in front of one of the deepest and largest living coral displays in the world.

Music presented by Mellow Sessions

The Shop
6 - 10 PM

Art Party
6 - 10 PM

Festival Fashion
Curiosity Grove
6 - 10 PM

  • Make your festival memories last with a customized wristband or dreamy flower crown with materials and help from Museum of Craft and Design.



Jam out to musicians across genres from indie pop to hip hop and funk to bossa nova at our crowd favorite outdoor summer concert series. From July to October, every second Thursday night will feature a different NightLife LIVE lineup of music, art, and science.

We’re transforming the Academy into the ultimate eclectic music venue where you can groove to a spectrum of artists alongside our iconic exhibits (aquarium and chill anyone?). Catch live outdoor performances on the West Garden stage, explore an art show and artist market featuring local artists curated by Helvella Art, experience Mellow Sessions’ jazz-fusion melodies next to our 25 ft deep Philippine Coral Reef, and more.

Catch the 2023 series on July 13, August 10, September 14, and October 12. Co-presented by Noise Pop and Another Planet in collaboration with Outside Lands.

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.
  • 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 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, 8:30 pm, 9:30 pm

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

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Upcoming events

April 25th at 6:00 pm

Attention Earthlings: our planet's calling & it's time to answer. Join us for a night of community & activism.

May 2nd at 6:00 pm

Feel the beat of connection through the power of musical instruments.

May 9th at 6:00 pm

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

May 16th at 6:00 pm

Carnaval is taking over! Join the party and celebrate Latin American, Caribbean & Afrodiasporic cultures.

May 23rd at 6:00 pm

Why is California so special? Find out at the grand opening of our newest exhibit, California: State of Nature.

May 30th at 6:00 pm

Calling all creatures of the night: explore the nocturnal side of the Academy at NightLife and see what's rev