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.
During the season of love, make a date with the Academy to see a new rainforest show in 3D, learn about extraterrestrial life, and have a sleepover with thousands of animals
New 3D show!
3D Earth: Rainforests
Opens February 5, 2016
Explore stunning views of the Peruvian Amazon rainforest like never before with 3D Earth: Rainforests, an all-new, live 3D show in the Academy’s Forum Theater. From towering canopies to the lush forest floor, follow Academy scientists as they explore the vast biodiversity within these rich, tropical environments. Along the way, don a pair of 3D glasses and march with a colony of leafcutter ants to see how these hardworking insects transport nutrients and turn over soil, hang from branches with a sloth to learn how its slow-moving lifestyle provides a habitat for algae and fungi, and take flight through treetops teeming with life. Real satellite imagery provides a new perspective on the impact of rainforests on Earth’s water, energy, and carbon cycles, illustrating the critical need to sustain these vital ecosystems that help to power our planet. Each show will feature a live presenter-led update where audiences can dive deeper into current rainforest research around the world, including exciting new discoveries and cutting-edge conservation work.
Benjamin Dean Astronomy Lecture
Calling the Cosmos: How to Talk with Extraterrestials
Monday February 22 | 7:30 pm
Dr. Douglas Vakoch, President, SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) International
For more than half a century, astronomers have pointed radio telescopes to the heavens, seeking scientific evidence for life beyond Earth. If we succeed in detecting a signal from another world, what should we say in response? Dr. Douglas Vakoch will take attendees on a journey through our solar system and beyond as he explores the Pioneer plaque and the Voyager recording that are carried on spacecraft launched by NASA, placed there on the unlikely chance that these spacecraft, now drifting aimlessly through the galaxy, will someday be intercepted by advanced civilizations – and how our transmitted messages might get a reply.
Members: $8, General $12, Seniors $10. Seating is limited and advanced ticketing is required. For additional lecture and workshop details, visit calacademy.org/lectures.
Penguins + Pajamas
Friday, February 12 Ages 5-17, with adult chaperone
Get ready for the “wildest” sleepover ever! Explore Academy exhibits after-hours and blast off into outer space at your own private planetarium show, then settle in for story time after snacking on milk and cookies. Before the lights go out, roll out your sleeping bag next to the African penguin exhibit, swaying kelp of the California Coast tank, or even at the Swamp window, face-to-face with Claude, the albino alligator.
$89 members, $109 non-members. Registration required. Visit calacademy.org/sleepovers for program details and registration.
Apply now! Become a Master Birder
San Francisco Master Birding Course
Beginning February 3 through December 2016
Led by Jack Dumbacher, Academy Curator of Ornithology and Mammalogy, in partnership with Golden Gate Audubon Society
The Master Birding Program is a yearlong, advanced class for 20 ambitious students in which they will enhance their birding and conservation skills. With a combination of monthly classes at the Academy and monthly field trips, students will get firsthand experience with the breadth of birds that occur in the Bay Area. Prior to taking the course, prospective students need to be able to identify California birds at an “intermediate level.” To successfully complete the program, students must commit to volunteer at least 100 hours with a Master Birding Course designated birding or conservation organization. Currently open for applications.
$600 Academy or Golden Gate Audubon Society members, $700 non-members
Ongoing Events at the California Academy of Sciences
Monday – Friday | 10:30 am
Junior Academy programs are designed to foster a curiosity about science and nature in the youngest Academy visitors! With age-appropriate programs created for toddlers and preschoolers, young learners participate in engaging, hands-on activities with the hope of sparking curiosity that will last through their school years and beyond.
Junior Academy is for toddlers (18-36 months) on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays; preschoolers on Thursdays and Fridays. Registration and program fees required.
Behind-the-Scenes Aquarium Tour
Daily | 1 pm
Sat & Sun | 10 am and 3 pm
Go behind the scenes to learn about the history of Steinhart Aquarium and how biologists care for the 38,000 animals—butterflies, fish, penguins, and even an albino alligator—that live in the building. Visit the food prep kitchen, see the complex water filtration system, and much more on an hour-long exclusive aquarium tour.
Reservations required and extra tour fee applies. Guests must be aged 8 or older to participate, and children must be accompanied by an adult. Each tour is limited to 14 guests.
Junior Scientist Adventure: Live Science Experience
Daily | 10:30 am
Ever wonder what science looks like and how it’s done? This fun event, part of the Academy’s Junior Scientist Adventure program, lets kids put on their thinking caps and check out live science experiments in action that encourage questions, guesses and fun!
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