NightLife: Lunar Underground

This event is sold out online! Please note: we have a limited quantity of tickets set aside at the ticket window for walk-up guests, while supplies last.

So you’re looking for a different kind of Lunar New Year party. You know, the kind where you can play mahjong, get a tattoo, and wander through a bustling night market. You in? Join the celebration and welcome the year of the rabbit and cat the NightLife way.

Sounds by DJs Chungtech, Just Drue, Oui Boogie, and YiuYiu in the Coral Reef

Check out the Lunar Underground DJs’ exclusive NightLife playlist on Spotify


G'Ma's MJ Lounge
African Hall
6 - 10 PM

  • Did someone say kong? We’re busting out the mahjong tables but be warned: This won’t be your grandma’s mahjong night (unless your grandma plays after-hours at a science museum, cocktail in hand — in which case, can you invite her?). Hosted by our friends at Baba’s House, grab a drink and a seat and pick your lucky tiles for free play and mahjong tutorials all night long.

NightLife Tattoo Shop
Curiosity Grove
6 - 10 PM

  • Celebrate Lunar New Year with a lasting memento— real tattoos (yep, the permanent kind). While spots to get inked are limited, partygoers can look on all night as a lucky few memorialize the year with a Lunar New Year inspired tattoo.
  • 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, Vié Lu, Susan Shao, and Hyesu Jung. Please note: there will be limited slots. Client selection will be up to the discretion of each artist.

LED Lion Dance Remix

  • At 8:30 PM, Glow big or go home. The dancers at LionDanceME are upping the ante on a Lunar New Year tradition with the ultimate LED lion dance performance.

Night Market
6 - 10 PM

A few don't-miss NightLife details:

  • Effective September 16, NightLife guests will no longer be 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 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

6:30 pm, 7:30 pm

Find out what the Apollo astronauts found on the lunar surface, and why we may want to go back.

8:30 pm, 9:30 pm

Asteroids, comets, and the hard-hitting stories of our cosmic origins

Get NightLife emails

Delightful NightLife news, delivered weekly.

Upcoming ticketed museum events

February 9th at 6:00 pm

Explore the Academy at night alongside nearly 40,000 live animals.

February 16th at 6:00 pm

Live music + live science is always a win—get your fill of both at the official Noise Pop Music Fest pre-party.

February 23rd at 6:00 pm

Do androids dream of electric penguins? Expand your mind with a night of futuristic art and science.

March 2nd at 6:00 pm

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

March 9th at 6:00 pm

They broke rules, stereotypes, & glass ceilings. Meet the fearless scientists who challenged the status quo.

March 16th at 6:00 pm

Explore the nocturnal side of the Academy and see what makes the museum at night different.