Starfish tank

Members: $12; Non-Members: $15
New! Planetarium Pass Reservations: $3 (more info)
21+ with ID


Music by DJ Loco

Calling all citizen scientists! NightLife Spotlight celebrates the kick-off of the City Nature Challenge, when San Francisco will compete with 60 cities worldwide to make the most observations in nature.


Seeing Science for Yourself
(Project Lab & Swamp)
6:00 - 10:00pm
-----> Learn the tips and tricks of the observation trade with the social media app of choice for citizen scientists​ iNaturalist and talk to Academy researchers about their citizen science research.

  • Trent Pearce - Spiders in the city
  • Backyard Biodiversity Project - a group of scientists specializing in ants who want to help you discover (and grow to love!) your resident insect communities.
  • Presidio Trust - Presidio Biodiversity
  • California Center for Natural History
  • Bay Area Open Space Council
  • UC Botanical Garden
  • SF Department of the Environment
  • Nature in the City
  • One Tam
  • Sequoia Audubon
  • Sean Edgerton
  • Science Clubs Bolivia/Clubes de Ciência Bolivia

Field Stories
(African Hall)

California Academy of Sciences researchers presents it's own panel based on the popular Moth Radio series where researchers will gather 'round to share stories of their adventures & misadventures out in the field.

Unlocked Art Lab
(East Pavilion)

Get inspired by fascinating specimens from our scientific collections during a watercolor workshop with Tiffany Bozic, an artist whose colorful work depicts surreal nature-inspired scenes. 

Adult Chemistry: CaliCraft Sparkling Ales
(The Terrace Bar & Restaurant)
Tastings from 6:00 - 9:30pm, Talks at 7:30 & 8:30pm

​Head outside to The Terrace Restaurant & Bar for our monthly tasting event, Adult Chemistry. Learn about the science of bubbles while savoring Calicraft Brewing’s sparkling ales—beers using traditional wine yeast or aged in wine barrels—paired with small bites.

Tastings of 3 Calicraft Ales - $18, Paired dishes are extra.

Coral Reef Dive Show
(Coral Reef)

​Check out a Dive show and learn more about what it takes to keep one of the largest Coral Reef tanks thriving from our scuba experts.


  • Hurry! Last entry for our Rainforest dome is at 7:45 pm. Please note: drinks are not allowed inside the Rainforest exhibit.
  • Thirsty? Each bar area features a unique seasonal cocktail—there are multiple bars throughout the museum.
  • Special programs and lectures may have limited seating and admission will also be made available to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis.



  • With Planetarium Pass Reservations, you can select your showtime in advance and guarantee your seat under the stars. $3; optional, but recommended. Available online only.
  • Free passes will still be available onsite at the Planetarium kiosk on a first-come, first-served basis. Arrive early for your best chance to obtain a free pass.



  • Earthquake exhibit is closed in preparation for an all new exhibit.

*Please note—the Shake House will return in June with an all new look and feel!



  • A variety of food options are available at NightLife from 6:00-9:30 pm, including The Academy Cafe, The Terrace Bar and Restaurant, and The Academy Cafe Food Cart located in the front lobby.
  • Enjoy a different fresh seasonal "craft on draft" cocktail at each NightLife bar area designed by our resident mixologist Shane McKnight!

All bars accept cash and credit cards.


Planetarium Shows

6:30 pm

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

7:30 pm, 8:30 pm

Twist and turn through alien worlds and lose yourself in mesmerizing forms, colors, and music.

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Upcoming NightLife Events

May 3rd at 6:00 pm

Explore the future of art and technology with programming by MUTEK.SF.

May 17th at 6:00 pm

Feed your brain and body this week as NightLife explores the fascinating world of human health and wellness.

May 24th at 6:00 pm

Tonight, NightLife pays tribute to Ray "Bones" Bandar with insider views into his world renowned bone collection

May 31st at 6:00 pm

NightLife shines a spotlight on Academy researchers, collections and more!