smoke pattern

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

Music by MOM DJs

Get some inspiration for your summer grilling and sink your teeth into a night of sweet, spicy, and smoky food and drink.


Smoked Traditions
(African Hall)

Head to African Hall to learn more about the different traditions of using smoke to cook food.

  • 7:00pm - Join 4505 Burgers & BBQ as their expert smokers talk about the art (and science) of a nose-to-tail pig roast.
  • 8:00pm - Learn a few creative ways to roast veggies and define the properties of smoke with the chef of The Perennial, one of San Francisco’s most forward-thinking restaurants when it comes to sustainable eating.
  • 9:00pm - Learn the tradition of Argentinian Gaucho BBQ from Pampa BBQ.

Culture of Smoke
(Science Today)

Meet the owners of Berkeley's Saul's Deli and learn about the Jewish history of smoked fish and beef, get the heads up on how-to do it at home and maybe try a little for yourself!

Taste Bud Science
(Project Lab)
6:00 - 10:00pm

Ever wonder why your favorites foods make you feel the way they do? Let the experts at the Stanford Neurosciences Institute tell you all about taste receptors and your brain on food. Then learn about the evolutionary anthropology of our ancestral grill masters with the Department of Anthropology at Berkeley.



  • 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.



  • 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

Academy scientist, Brian Fisher, and his colleagues explore sustainable nutrition in the form of edible insects.

7:30 pm, 8:30 pm

Embark on a journey into the hidden world of coral reefs

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Upcoming NightLife Events

April 4th at 6:00 pm

Unlock the mysteries of terroir with a night of sipping, smelling, and exploring the science of coffee and wine.

April 11th at 6:00 pm

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

April 18th at 6:00 pm

We asked, you chose: goats. Join us for a “viewers’ choice” GOAT NightLife, celebrating goats and the G.O.A.Ts.