The California Academy of Sciences is home to an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum, and research and education programs, which engage people of all ages and backgrounds on two of the most important topics of our time: life and its sustainability. Admission to the Academy is: $34.95 for adults; $29.95 for youth ages 12 to 17, Seniors ages 65+, and students with valid ID; $24.95 for children ages 4 to 11; and free for children ages 3 and younger. Admission fees include all exhibits and shows. Hours are 9:30 am - 5:00 pm Monday - Saturday, and 11:00 am - 5:00 pm on Sunday. During peak periods, including some holiday weekends, extended hours may apply. Visit www.calacademy.org or call (415) 379-8000 for more.
See the Academy transformed into a wintry wonderland with the return of its annual holiday exhibit: ‘Tis the Season for Science
© California Academy of Sciences
‘Tis the Season for Science
Through January 8
The Academy’s annual holiday exhibit is back! Take a look at the holidays in a way you’ve never done before – through a “science lens.” Explore interactive displays about reindeer, including a reindeer UV vision simulation, and discover how reindeer fur protects these animals from the cold and how antlers grow. Stay tuned for special appearances by the famous Scuba Santa diving among the corals in the aquarium! This year, the Academy will be open every day during the holiday season.
‘Tis the Season for Science Daily Programs:
“P” is for Penguin
Through January 8 | Daily at 11 am
Find out why African penguins are perfectly suited to their rocky ocean homes during this jolly interactive program. Best for ages 10 and under.
Through January 8 | Daily at noon
Trace reindeers’ epic 3,000-mile migration through forests and tundra to discover why they roam and how they impact their far-flung habitat. Don’t forget to say hello to two of Santa’s four-footed helpers who have taken up residence at the Academy for the season.
Wild Winter Trivia
Through January 8 | Daily at 1 pm
Team up and explore the winter survival strategies of different animals with this friendly game-show-style trivia contest.
Lights of the North – and Live Snow Flurries
Through January 8 | Daily, every half hour
In this immersive digital dome, watch this short, kid friendly show exploring the science and beauty of aurora borealis. Step outside the theater to revel in delightful indoor snow flurries.
Festive Holiday Performances
November 25-27; December 11; December 17 through January 2 (except December 25)
Daily at noon and 2 pm
Join us for holiday themed performances including musical concerts, song and dance performances, magic shows, and the famous Tap Dancing Christmas Trees! For a schedule of performances, please visit calacademy.org/daily-calendar.
Benjamin Dean Astronomy Lecture
Truth and Beauty in Astronomy Visualization
Monday, December 5 | 7:30 pm
Dr. Frank Summers, Space Telescope Science Institute
As an astrophysicist, Dr. Summers often finds himself at odds between scientific exactness and artistic expression when it comes to creating astronomy visualizations. This talk will showcase compelling visuals of and describe techniques used in creating sequences for educational materials, planetarium shows and IMAX films. Come experience the transformation of Hubble images and data into cinematic sequences, with an emphasis on the compromises made and the flourishes enabled when paying homage to the twin ideals of truth and beauty. Reservations required. $12 members and seniors; $15 non-members.
Citizen Science Bioblitz at Heron’s Head Park
Saturday, December 3
Take a break from the holiday craziness to reconnect with science and nature at a San Francisco ecological treasure. The EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park has teamed with the California Academy of Sciences for a grassroots bioblitz, where citizens can explore and document native plants and a variety of thriving wildlife on 22 acres of wetland. Free; register online.
Ongoing Events at the California Academy of Sciences
Daily | Show times vary
Back by popular demand! Come see the Academy’s latest state-of-the-art, in-house produced show, Incoming!, on the planetarium’s all new projection system shown over a 75 foot screen. Incoming! is a wondrous journey of how asteroids and comets have collided with our planet throughout history, changing the course of life on Earth and shaping our world.
Family Nature Crafts
Saturdays | 10 am
Sundays | 11 am
Spark creativity with nature-inspired crafts for the whole family. December’s holiday themed crafts include reindeer antler headbands, upcycled ornaments, and colorful winter scratchers.
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