Color Wheel

Explore the Academy through rose-colored glasses: Tonight we’re celebrating the wonderful world of color. Get your late-night science fix with rainbow-hued cocktails in hand while wandering among rainforest greens, aquarium blues, and coral pinks.

Music by DJ Sep


Color on the Reef
Science Today, East Pavilion
Grab a seat for a pop-up talk from one of the Academy’s own marine biologists, Raphael Ritson-Williams, who will show some of coral’s wildest colors.

Full Spectrum
Project Lab
6p - 10p

  • Learn about EnChroma glasses, which enable people with red-green colorblindness to see a broader range of clear, vibrant colors. Assess your color vision with a screening test, and then experience your surroundings in a new way: Borrow a pair of EnChroma glasses for a transformative view of the Academy or experience a color blind simulator.

  • Explore the world of polymorphism in raptors with experts from the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory.

  • Check out some of the specimens that have inspired scientific illustrator Rachel Diaz-Bastin’s colorful nudibranchs, Gouldian finches, and frogs.

  • Chat with Academy biologists Cristina Castillo and Susan MacWhorter about coral fluoresence and what it takes for a reef to stay healthy.

  • Learn how reef-dwelling fish use color for mimicry and survival with Academy Ichthyologist Stuart Willis.

  • Check out the Academy’s rainbow of colorful insect specimens, from beetles to butterflies, with Academy researchers Chris Grinter, Wade Lee, and Aaron Goodman.

Coral Reef Dive
Philippine Coral Reef
Catch an after hours dive show from the underwater biology team and learn more about all it takes to keep the world's deepest coral reef tank flourishing (and colorful).



  • 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.



  • Planetarium passes are required for the 7:30, 8:30, and 9:30 pm shows
  • Passes are $3 each and may be purchased online or at the ticket window. Since shows do sell out, we always recommend buying in advance.
  • The 6:30 pm live show is always free. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Please arrive at the planetarium 15 minutes before your ticketed showtime for seating. We run a tight spaceship!



  • A variety of food options are available at NightLife from 6:00-9:30 pm, including The Academy Cafe 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

How did our Solar System form and where do we look for evidence of its earliest days?

7:30 pm, 8:30 pm

Leave Planet Earth behind as you fly to the farthest reaches of the Universe! Narrated by Sigourney Weaver.

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

December 7th at 6:00 pm

Santa Claude is comin’ to town! Shop your heart away at our merry marketplace of gift-worthy treasures.

December 14th at 6:00 pm

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