Come out in your Space Suits and get straight up spacey this week as NightLife celebrates cosmo-pioneer Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space.

Space Exploration Talks
(African Hall)
7:00pm -
Hear from Yonatan Winetraub, cofounder of Space IL, who will talk about his nonprofit organization’s goals to land the first Israeli spacecraft on the Moon and win the Google Lunar XPRIZE.

7:30pm - Learn about the future of space exploration as Wonderfest presents talks from several pioneering scientists in the field. First, catch the SETI Institute's Dr. Pascal Lee as he presents “Mission to Mars: The First Human Journeys to the Red Planet.”

8:30pm - Get an update about the possibilities of human exploration in space from Dr. Christopher P. McKay of NASA Ames Research Center.

Space Cowboys DJ set
(Piazza & Coral Reef)
6:00 - 10:00pm,
Groove to an out-of-this-world live DJ set by Space Cowboys, a sonically-inspired SF collective and Burning Man favorite.

Space Inspired Science
6:00 - 10:00pm,
Learn about Ninkasi Brewing Company’s Ground Control beer, made with brewer’s yeast that’s been to outer space (and back)*. Then, talk with experts at the Astronomical Society about what you're seeing when you look up. Plus, you can test your space travel literacy with Berkeley Space Science Lab's Space Jeopardy game. 

*Ground control beer will be available for purchase at select bars throughout the museum.

New Discoveries
(Project Lab)
6:00 - 10:00pm,
 At the Project Lab, learn more about the NASA Kepler Mission, designed to survey the Milky Way and discover new habitable planets. The mission’s Jean-Pierre Harrison will also share stories about his wife, Dr. Kalpana Chawla, one of the astronauts who died in the Space Shuttle Columbia accident, and bring some of her photos, medals, and flight gear. Plus, chat with astro-aficionados from Sonoma County’s Robert Ferguson Observatory.




  • 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 – 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.

Learn about the future of space exploration as Wonderfest presents several pioneering scientists in the field. 


Planetarium Shows

6:30 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:30 pm

Explore the odyssey of human spaceflight

9:30 pm

Immerse yourself in a race to return to the Moon 40 years after the historic Apollo landings.

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Upcoming events

June 27th at 6:00 pm

Celebrate LGBTQ+ pride with a night dedicated to community, activism, and joy. Featuring drag by Oaklash.

July 11th at 6:00 pm

Gear up for the first ever NightLifeCon! Featuring all things anime, comics, and sci-fi.

July 18th at 6:00 pm

Explore the nocturnal side of the Academy and see what makes the museum at night different.

July 25th at 6:00 pm

Explore the Academy at night alongside nearly 60,000 live animals.

August 1st at 6:00 pm

We’re kicking off our music series with homegrown movement maker LaRussell & the surf rock sounds of 3LH.

August 8th at 6:00 pm

Be transported by the grunge punk stylings of Margaritas Podridas and psychedelic rock sounds of opener Fauxes.