carnivorous plant

In search of otherworldly species and hidden oddities? Look no further than the plant kingdom. Join us as we uncover the best kept secrets of the plant world, from the innovative ways flowers attract pollinators to the beguiling tricks carnivorous plants use to lure prey, we’ll unearth the unusual side of plant life.

Sounds by Mawkus


Deep Roots
African Hall

  • At 7:30 PM, Join postdoctoral researcher Megan Ruffley as she traces the evolution of plants back to the dawn of humankind and explores some surprising adaptations that have ensured their continued survival.
  • At 8:30 PM, Previously thought to be extinct, the Franciscan Manzanita made its miraculous return to the Presidio back in 2010. Hear the fascinating comeback story as told by local naturalist and restoration ecologist Michael Chasse.

Fertile Ground
6 - 10 PM

  • Get up-close and hands-on with the Conservatory of Flowers as they take you on a tour of some of the rarest tropical plants.
  • Discover how plants guide their pollinators and peruse specimens from Academy collections alongside the botany team.
  • Curious about cycads? Botany assistant Maia Jones will share everything there is to know about this ancient lineage of plants.


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, and masks must be worn properly at all times.)
  • Food and beverages are available for purchase in the Academy Café and West Garden Terrace including a variety of grab-and-go options, craft cocktails, and more. All food must be enjoyed outdoors.
  • 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

June 27th at 6:00 pm

Celebrate LGBTQ+ pride with a night dedicated to community, activism, and joy. Featuring drag by Oaklash.

July 11th at 6:00 pm

Gear up for the first ever NightLifeCon! Featuring all things anime, comics, and sci-fi.

July 18th at 6:00 pm

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

July 25th at 6:00 pm

Explore the Academy at night alongside nearly 60,000 live animals.

August 1st at 6:00 pm

We’re kicking off our music series with homegrown movement maker LaRussell & the surf rock sounds of 3LH.

August 8th at 6:00 pm

Be transported by the grunge punk stylings of Margaritas Podridas and psychedelic rock sounds of opener Fauxes.