Urban Nature

It’s a jungle out there—and it’s as close as your very own urban backyard! This week, NightLife examines the wild landscape of city living.


99% Unseen Podcast
(African Hall)
Catch a live taping of the 99% Invisible podcast featuring Nathanael Johnson, award-winning author of UNSEEN CITY, in conversation with host Roman Mars, followed by a live Q&A and book signing. In his soon-to-be-released book, Johnson explores the many undiscovered wonders of urban wildlife and the ways that wild things have shaped the design of our cities and our homes.

Citizen Science Today
(East Pavilion)
6:00 - 10:00pm,
Learn about programs built to protect and preserve nature in Urban environments and how you can take part.

  • Meet the Academy’s Citizen Science team as they share discoveries made during local bioblitzes and show off the super accessible technologies used to document biodiversity locally and around the globe.
  • Nature in the City discusses creatures thriving in urban environments.
  • SF Botanical Garden brings green specimens we pass by every day.
  • Friends of the Urban Forest will explain the importance of neighborhood trees and sidewalk gardens to the overall health of the city.

The Birds and The Bees
(Project Lab)
6:00 - 10:00pm,
 Learn how to keep nature alive in the city by planting trees, supporting birds and keeping bees from the following environmental stewards who do it everyday. Plus, taste some sweet fresh SF grown honeycomb!

And learn about the insects that live inside urban homes (even yours!) with Academy entomologist Misha Leong

Run Wild
(The Piazza)
6:00 - 10:00pm, 
Music in the Piazza by Run The Length Of Your Wildness DJs (Cherushii and Roche)

A variety of food options are available at NightLife from 6:00-9:30 pm, including The Academy Cafe, The Terrace located in the West Garden, 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.

6:00-7:45 pm, Osher Rainforest—explore a lush, four-story rainforest that's teeming with life.

6:00-10:00 pm, Discover a world of dazzling live animals and shimmering scientific specimens in Color of Life

Please note: Planetarium seating is limited . Admission is available to NightLife guests on a first-come, first-served basis. No passes required. We recommend arriving 20 minutes prior to showtime.

​Special programs and lectures may have limited seating and admission will be made available to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis.


Planetarium Shows

6:30 pm

Academy scientist Michelle Trautwein will talk about the animals we live most closely with—face mites!

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