NightLife is throwing a party of prehistoric proportions guaranteed to bring out the paleontologist in everyone. Take to the skies with some of the largest animals to ever fly! To celebrate the opening of Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs, we’re going way way back in time.


Paleontology Project Lab
(Project Lab)
6:00 - 10:00pm,
 Learn all about paleontology and Pre-historic life with different groups from around the Bay Area:

  • Check out some incredible specimens from University of California Museum of Paleontology—who has the largest paleontological collection of any university museum in the world.
  • ​Learn about ancient food production and social change with Dr. Maureece Levin, postdoctoral fellow at the Stanford Archaeology Center.
  • Guess what pre-historic ancestors ate with the Leakey Foundation
  • Visit with University of California's King Lab to learn more about the pre-historic unicellular life form, the Choanoflagellates.​

Pterosaurs - Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs
(The Forum, 2nd level)
6:00 -10:00pm,
Get an exclusive first sneak peek at our new exhibit "Pterosaurs: Flight in The Age of Dinosaurs." Check out fossils, real skeletons, and life sized replicas of Earth's first flying vertebrates.

Fossil Crafts
6:00 - 9:30pm,
 What happens when you put a microbiologist, a 45-million-year-old yeast preserved in amber from Myanmar, and beer lovers together? You get beer made with that prehistoric yeast, conjured up by Schubros Brewery

Plus, make your own fossil with the Academy's resident craft expert Julia Jane Moore.

Pterosaurs and their Environment
(East Pavilion)

Hear informative talks about the prehistoric environment:

  • 7:30pm - Mysteries of the Ancient West  
  • 8:00pm - Forest in the time of Pterosaurs w/ Nathalie Nagalingum

Music by DJ Jamie Jams.



  • 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 available on a first-come, first-served basis. Early event arrival is strongly recommended due to limited capacity and high demand for passes.



  • A variety of food options are available at NightLife from 6:00-9:30 pm, including The Academy Cafe, The Terrace, 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, 7:30 pm

Take a tour of the Universe with a sprinkling of the hottest news stories from astronomy and the space sciences!

8:30 pm, 9:30 pm

Narrated by George Takei, Incoming! explores the past, present, and future of our Solar System.

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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.