The California Academy of Sciences is home to an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum, and research and education programs, which engage people of allages 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.orgor call (415) 379-8000 for more.
It’s the start of the holiday season with the return of ‘Tis the Season for Science, plus a look at the newly revamped Morrison Planetarium
© California Academy of Sciences
‘Tis the Season for Science
Opens November 23
The Academy’s popular seasonal exhibit is back with a bevvy of holiday science fun including snow flurries, jolly holiday performances, a giant “Snowman Theater,” and our famous live reindeer display! This hands-on exhibit features interactive stations that teach visitors about the fascinating adaptations of reindeer as well as other holiday-related science facts. Back by popular demand—the Tap Dancing Christmas Trees make their grand, tap-tastic return to the Piazza! They are part of a packed lineup of live performers, including carolers, musicians, theater groups, and more.
Discover Selam—a new display opening November 2
In 2006, Dr. Zeray Alemseged made an indelible mark in the field of anthropology when he reported finding the nearly complete fossilized remains of a 3.3 million-year-old Australopithecus afarensis child in his native country of Ethiopia. Known as the “world’s oldest child,” it is the most complete skeleton of a human ancestor discovered to date. Now, visitors to the Academy can learn more about the child named “Selam” (which means “peace” in several Ethiopian languages) in this diorama—and why her remains have unlocked many clues leading to a greater understanding of human and pre-human evolution. Hint: pay a visit to Selam before or after the daily penguin feedings at 10:30 am and 3 pm in African Hall!
Benjamin Dean Astronomy Lecture
Who Cares about Particle Physics?
Monday, November 7 | 7:30 pm
Dr. Pauline Gagnon, Indiana University, and CERN
What is dark matter? This discussion will help make sense of the Higgs boson (an elementary particle in the Standard Model of particle physics), the Large Hadron Collider and CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics. Dr. Gagnon explains in simple terms the latest discoveries from CERN and shows how the theoretical model called the Standard Model describes the basic constituents of matter. The discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012 brought in the last missing piece of the model, but it is still incomplete. It only describes visible matter (that is, everything we see in stars and galaxies), but leaves out dark matter, a mysterious type of matter five times more prevalent but still completely unknown. She will show how current experiments at CERN and elsewhere are trying to find out what dark matter is and which theory lies beyond the Standard Model. Reservations required. $12 members and seniors, $15 non-members.
Gems and Minerals Unearthed
Third Floor Gallery
Explore the Academy’s extensive, renowned gems and minerals collection in a whole new way. Gems and Minerals Unearthed features nearly 400 dazzling geological specimens in this fresh new display. From amethyst and azurite and silver and jade, marvel at the enormous diversity of colors, textures and chemical properties found in pieces both raw and refined. A number of the specimens are “touchable"—making this exhibit a hands-on learning experience.
Ongoing Events at the California Academy of Sciences
Mystery Skull Theater
Piazza 11 am weekdays | 11:30 am
Saturday and Sunday
Become a skull science sleuth during this exciting, interactive “live” theater program. Follow a colorful character and use clues to investigate the fascinating mystery of a skull.
Morrison Planetarium Showings
We asked, you answered! The Morrison Planetarium reopens late October with a brand new facelift, and the Academy polled visitors on which two planetarium shows they would like to see in the newly revamped theater. The winners: Dark Universe and Life: A Cosmic Story.
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