coral reef

Plan ahead and save! Buy online at least one day in advance to lock in the lowest price on NightLife tickets. For more information, see our Plan-Ahead Pricing FAQ.

NightLife is 21+ with ID. Last entry to rainforest dome is at 7:45 pm. Planetarium passes available for purchase online.

You’re invited to have the time of your life at NightLife’s inaugural prom! This year’s theme is “Under the Sea,” so come dressed up and ready to celebrate World Oceans Day and the beauty and wonder of coral reefs.

Coral Reef Dive
Philippine Coral Reef
6:30 PM

  • Watch as a diver suits up in scuba gear and plunges into one of the world’s deepest living coral reef exhibits. Outfitted with an underwater microphone, the diver will answer all of your reef-related questions.

Submerged Silent Disco
Water Planet
7:00 - 10:00 PM
Head down to the aquarium and throw on a pair of headphones to show off your high school-era dance moves in a silent disco DJ’d by King Most and powered by HUSHconcerts.

Popup Talks: Ebb Tide
Nature Now

  • At 7:00 PM, find out how researchers are “Diving Deeper” with Hudson Pinheiro, Hope for Reefs Postdoctoral Fellow.
  • At 7:30 PM, check out “The Climate Crisis” with Hayley Carter, Senior Science Officer with the Ocean Science Trust.
  • At 8:30 PM, listen to “Coral Stories of a Changing Sea” with Carina Fish, PhD Candidate at UC Davis.
  • At 9:00 PM, see just how deep your knowledge goes and win tickets to come back to NightLife with a round of Under The Sea Trivia with Allison Fritts-Penniman, marine biologist.

Live Talk: Beyond The Reef
African Hall
8:00 PM

Sustainable Snacks: Pacific Catch
Science Today
All Evening

  • Try some delicious samples from Pacific Catch and learn about their commitment to responsible sourcing and sustainable seafood.

VR Experience: A Drop in the Ocean*
All Evening

  • Explore the ocean from a plankton's perspective in the Academy's brand new VR installation "Drop in the Ocean". *This experience is not included in the General Admission price.

Under The Sea Showcase
Project Lab
All Evening

  • Get a small taste of the incredible diversity found in coral reefs and view specimens Academy scientists have collected from their many research trips into the field, including nudibranchs, fish, sea biscuits, and more. Plus, learn about how remote-controlled and bio-inspired designed robots can assist marine expeditions with Dr. Hannah Stuart, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at UC Berkeley.



  • Last entry for the 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 craft cocktail—there are multiple bars throughout the museum.
  • Special programs and lectures may have limited seating and admission will be 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

Learn what we’re doing at the Academy to help protect coral reefs and what you can do, too!

7:30 pm, 8:30 pm

Embark on a journey into the hidden world of coral reefs.

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 NightLife Events

July 25th at 6:00 pm

Be the first to see the Academy’s sixth annual BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition exhibit.

August 1st at 6:00 pm

Explore the cutting-edge and eco-friendly ways that transportation is rapidly evolving. Presented by Cruise.

August 8th at 6:00 pm

The Marías perform at our 2nd installment of NightLife LIVE, in Partnership with Outside Lands Music Festival.

August 15th at 6:00 pm

Tune out of the digital world and join us for an experimental night dedicated to life in the analog.