Cast of Tyrannosaurus rex wears a mask in the Academy lobby

Even T. rex knows the rules: Mask up indoors, even if you're vaccinated. Thanks for helping keep your fellow science-lovers safe!

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A safe and fun visit is as easy as 1-2-3

As of June 15, 2021, local and state COVID-19 public health guidelines have changed, including lessened restrictions for physical distancing, mask-wearing, and building capacity.

However, in our effort to provide a safe and comfortable experience for all, we kindly ask all Academy guests ages 3 and up to continue wearing a mask indoors at all times, regardless of vaccination status, and to respect other guests' personal space while exploring the Academy.

Please note that as local and state public health guidelines continue to evolve, the Academy may adjust guidelines as appropriate. Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation, and we look forward to seeing you soon!

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1. Advance reservations required!

Illustration of smartphone with barcoded ticket

All guests, including members and donors, must reserve timed-entry tickets online in advance. Weekends often sell out early, so please reserve as far in advance as possible for the greatest availability.

Advance-purchase tickets enable safer, contactless entry into the Academy and help reduce crowding outside our main entrance. Tickets are available to reserve up to four weeks in advance. As always, the further in advance you buy, the more you’ll save.

Members, please note that you’ll need to log in first. For more information, see the "Ticketing" section in the FAQ.

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2. Science safely: Stay home if you’re sick and wear a mask indoors!

Illustration of person wearing mask

While many health and safety requirements have gone away, common courtesy is here to stay. Please complete a health self-screening before you head out and wear a mask indoors at all times.

If anyone in your party says “yes” to anything on the screening, please say “no” to visiting that day. If you need to reschedule your visit, we’re happy to help: Just send an email to info@calacademy.org.

Inside the Academy, everyone in your party ages 3 and up must wear a mask properly at all times, regardless of vaccination status, except when eating or drinking in the Academy Café. Failure to wear your mask properly over your nose and mouth while indoors may result in your removal from the museum.

For more information, view the "Masks and safety" section in the FAQ below.

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3. Reservations required for Morrison Planetarium!

Illustration of smartphone with barcoded ticket on screen

A limited quantity of reservations are available for planetarium shows. Please reserve as soon as you arrive.

To reserve a showtime for the planetarium, scan the QR code posted in the lobby with your phone as soon as you arrive. Please note that the quantity of reservations is limited for your safety and we regret that we cannot guarantee available reservations for planetarium shows.

For more information, view the "Exhibit reservations and updates" section in the FAQ below.

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More health and safety updates

Learn more about the changes we’ve made to building capacity, exhibit design, cleaning protocols, and air flow to further enhance everyone’s health, safety, and enjoyment.

  • A gradual return to full capacity Thanks to San Francisco’s high vaccination rate and minimal community spread of COVID-19, the Academy is ready to begin ramping up museum capacity over the next few weeks in alignment with local and state guidelines and internal science expertise. This means more ticket availability on peak days!
     
  • Reopening some exhibits and spaces Reservations for Osher Rainforest and the Shake House are no longer required, and we’re thrilled to announce that Naturalist Center and Curiosity Grove will reopen on July 1. We’ll keep you posted when we’re ready to reopen Discovery Tidepool and the Fog Room in Giants of Land and Sea.
     
  • Indoor and outdoor dining Delicious family-friendly fare is available for purchase in the Academy Café—and indoor seating is available! Please remember that eating and drinking are still only permitted in the Café and our outdoor spaces.
     
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfection We're cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces per CDC guidelines throughout the day, including exhibits, restrooms, railings, and seating areas. The entire building is cleaned and disinfected every evening after closing.
     
  • Increased air flow and filtration Our updated HVAC system keeps fresh air moving at all times. This includes purging outside air before and after guests enter certain spaces, reducing the use of recirculated air, and increasing filtration and the frequency of filter changes throughout the building.

View the Academy's Health and Safety Plan submitted to the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

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We look forward to your visit!

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A masked guest gazes at the enormous Philippine Coral Reef exhibit
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FAQ

Expand each category below for detailed information on our enhanced health and safety measures, ticketing and exhibit updates, and more.

Ticketing

Can I buy tickets at the door?
For the health and safety of all guests and staff, walkup ticket sales are not available, with the exception of for Museums for All patrons. We ask all other guests, including members, to make a reservation online at least one day in advance of their visit. This will help us manage guest flow inside the museum, minimize crowding at our main entrance, and reduce face-to-face interactions between guests and staff. Tickets will be available up to four weeks in advance, so we encourage guests to plan ahead as much as possible for the greatest availability of timeslots and the lowest prices.

As part of the Museums for All cooperative, the Academy will continue to offer $3 Daytime Admission tickets to EBT, WIC, Lifeline Pass, and Medi-Cal cardholders every day of the year. These tickets are not available online at this time; simply present your card at the ticket window to purchase your $3 tickets. Limit 4 per group per visit.

If you are unable to make a reservation online, please email us at info@calacademy.org.

How do I reserve tickets?
Here’s a preview of the public ticket reservation process (if you’re a member, please skip to the “Members” section below):

  1. Head to our Buy Tickets page and select your ticket. 
  2. Select your visit date. Click the first dropdown menu to select a visit date within the next 4 weeks. The Academy is open daily, Monday-Saturday, 9:30-5 pm, and Sunday, 11 am-5 pm. Members-only hours are Tuesday, 8:30-9:30 am and Sunday, 10-11 am. Tip: Weekdays are always quieter than weekends, and ticket prices are usually lower.
  3. Select your entry time. Click the second dropdown menu to select an available entry time. Entry times are listed in 30-minute timeslots. If you select a 10 am entry time, you will be able to enter the museum at any time between 10 am and 10:30 am. Please do not arrive before your timeslot, and note that late entries may not be accommodated.
  4. Select your ticket quantity. Indicate how many Adults (18-64), Youth (3-17), Students (18+ with ID), and Seniors (65+ with ID) are in your party. Children 2 and under always visit for free. 
  5. Click Add to Cart to proceed to checkout. After completing your purchase, you will receive your tickets via email as a PDF attachment. On the day of your visit, please be sure to have your ticket PDF ready for self-scanning, either on your smartphone (brightness all the way up, please!) or printed out.

Why do I have to choose a specific time of day to visit?
While local and state guidelines have recently increased or removed capacity limits for most indoor spaces, we’re keeping our timed-entry admission requirement in place until further notice. This will help us regulate guest flow while we gradually ramp up museum capacity, and may also encourage guests to visit during quieter times of day. Please note that there is no time limit for your visit, but the average guest visit is approximately three hours.

I’m a member. Do I still need to make a reservation?
Yes. Academy members also need to reserve their free timed-entry Daytime Admission tickets and discounted NightLife tickets in advance, including for entry during Member Hours. Click here to log in and reserve your tickets, and refer to the “Members” section of this FAQ for more details

Can I visit the Academy with a San Francisco CityPASS?
Yes! First, purchase CityPASS online for immediate, paperless delivery to your mobile device. Next, use the Academy reservation system to book your visit date and time. Learn more

Is Plan-Ahead Pricing still in effect?
Yes. The further in advance you buy, the more you’ll save on tickets. At this time, tickets are available to reserve up to four weeks in advance. Please note that ticket prices may vary depending on your entry time, with lower prices generally available later in the day. Learn more on our Plan-Ahead Pricing page.

Can I bring my class or youth group on a field trip?
We know how important Academy field trips are for your students—and for us! We plan to resume field trips in the fall 2021 semester. The school group application will become available in early fall; sign up for our Educator eNewsletter to get an announcement straight to your inbox! Summer camps or youth development programs can attend using our discounted pricing for Groups.

Can I bring a group?
If sufficient ticket quantities are available for your desired entry time, you are welcome to purchase tickets for up to 12 members of your group. Learn more on our Groups page.

Masks and safety

Do I still have to wear a mask to visit?
Yes. For the safety of all guests (including unvaccinated children under 12) as well as our staff, the Academy will continue to require masks indoors for all guests ages 3 and up, as well as all Academy staff, volunteers, contractors, and partners, regardless of vaccination status. Masks are no longer required in our outdoor spaces. Please ensure everyone in your party brings their own mask. If you do not have a mask (or need a quick gift idea), you may purchase a colorful, custom-designed mask at the Academy Store for $12.99 ($9.99 for youth sizes).

What kind of mask can I wear?
Not all masks are created equal! Please ensure your mask:

  • Is made with at least two layers of breathable material (consider wearing a disposable mask under your cloth mask if you are in doubt)
  • Is able to fully cover your nose and mouth and secure under your chin
  • Is snug but comfortable against the side of your face
  • Is securable with ties or ear loops
  • Isn’t made of mesh or porous or transparent material
  • Isn’t equipped with one-way air valves or vents

What's the proper way to wear a mask?
Masks are only effective if they're worn snugly and securely over the nose and mouth—not on your neck, forehead, or chin! For your safety and the safety of everyone around you, please ensure you wear your mask properly at all times while inside the Academy. Failure to keep your mask on properly may result in your removal from the museum.   

What if I can’t wear a mask for health reasons?
If you are unable to wear a mask due to a medical condition or disability, please email us at info@calacademy.org at least 48 hours before your visit so we can discuss alternative options with you.

I'm fully vaccinated. Do I still have to wear a mask while visiting the Academy?
Yes. At this time, the Academy is still requiring all guests ages 3 and up to wear a mask indoors. Given the high number of guests under 12 who are therefore not yet eligible to be vaccinated, continuing our mask requirement is the best way to provide a safe, healthy environment for guests of all ages, as well as Academy staff. Need some fresh air? Head out to the East or West Garden or Living Roof: As of June 15, masks will not be required in the Academy’s outdoor spaces.

What if I see someone who’s not wearing a mask or wearing one improperly?
Please do not approach or confront anyone you suspect may be violating any health and safety rules. Simply keep your distance and notify a staff member. Thank you for keeping yourself and others safe!

Please visit the CDC’s website for additional mask resources and information.

Do I still need to practice physical distancing during my visit?
6 feet: no. Common courtesy: yes! With the relaxing of physical distancing requirements in California that took effect on June 15, the Academy is no longer requiring guests to maintain a physical distance of 6 feet (2 meters) from other parties. However, please remember that not everyone is vaccinated, and comfort levels vary from person to person. By respecting the personal space of your fellow guests, a safer, stress-free visit is within reach.

What if someone is getting too close for comfort?
Please do not approach or confront anyone you suspect may be violating any health and safety rules. Simply keep your distance and notify a staff member. Thank you for keeping yourself and others safe!

How often should I wash or sanitize my hands?
Maintaining good hand hygiene is an important tactic in the fight against COVID-19. A good rule of thumb is to wash or sanitize your hands

  • before entering the Academy
  • before eating
  • after touching door handles, banisters, railings, elevator buttons, glass, or other high-touch surfaces while moving between exhibits
  • after using the restroom or changing diapers
  • after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching your face
  • after eating
  • after exiting the Academy

Please also be sure to encourage good hand hygiene with your children while at the museum—and lend a hand if necessary!

Where can I wash or sanitize my hands?
Hand sanitizer stations have been placed in prominent locations throughout the Academy so you’ll never be too far from clean hands. Additionally, there are restrooms on every floor where you can wash up with soap and water.

Should I bring my own hand sanitizer?
While there is plenty of sanitizer available at the Academy, you are welcome to bring your own. The CDC recommends hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Entry, capacity, and guest flow

Will the Academy's capacity be increased on June 15?
With the announcement that San Francisco will follow California’s guidelines around relaxing capacity and distancing requirements starting June 15, the Academy is pleased to begin gradually increasing capacity in the building over the coming weeks. At this time, we will continue operating at a limited capacity to provide a comfortable, fun, and educational experience for all. As always, we’re closely following the science and adhering to local, state, and CDC guidelines to protect the health and safety of our staff, guests, and community. For the latest updates on Academy safety guidelines and operations, please continue checking our website.

How do guests enter the Academy?
Guests still enter the Academy at our main entrance at 55 Music Concourse Drive, but additional health and safety measures are in place to protect guests and staff. Please take note of the following for a safe, speedy entry:

  • Timed-entry tickets must be reserved in advance. Tickets are not available for sale at the museum. You may purchase (or reserve, for members) your tickets up to 4 weeks before your visit—and the further in advance you buy, the more you’ll save. 
  • Arrive within your 30-minute entry timeslot. Please avoid arriving early to minimize crowding at the main entrance. Your ticketed entry time marks the beginning of your 30-minute entry timeslot, and you will not be permitted to enter early if you arrive early. If you arrive after your entry timeslot, we’ll do our best to accommodate you, but admission cannot be guaranteed. Please ensure all members of your party ages 3 and up are wearing masks upon arrival.
  • Please have your tickets ready for self-scanning, either printed out or displayed on your smartphone—brightness all the way up, please! Guests will scan their own tickets to minimize face-to-face interaction with staff.
  • Just prior to entry, confirm your answers to the health-screening questions that you reviewed before purchasing your tickets online. If anyone in your party can answer “yes” to any of the questions on the day of your visit, we will help you to reschedule your visit for a later date.
  • Please sanitize your hands before entry. We’re doing our best to keep germs outside!
  • No re-entry after exiting. For your safety, we’re no longer offering re-entry hand stamps. If you wish to re-enter after exiting, you will need to purchase a new ticket.

Can I buy tickets at the door?
At this time, all tickets must be reserved online in advance and walkup sales are not available. Timed-entry tickets are available up to four weeks in advance, and we encourage guests to plan ahead as much as possible for the greatest availability of entry timeslots and the lowest prices. As part of the Museums for All cooperative, the Academy will continue to offer $3 Daytime Admission tickets to EBT, WIC, Lifeline Pass, and Medi-Cal cardholders every day of the year. These tickets are not available online at this time; simply present your card at the ticket window to purchase your $3 tickets. Limit 4 per group per visit.

How is capacity monitored?
All guests, including members, are required to reserve timed-entry tickets in advance, with entry times offered in 30-minute timeslots and a limited number of tickets available for each timeslot. This approach encourages guests to space out visits throughout the day and allows Academy staff to accurately estimate occupancy at any given time.

Is there a time limit for Academy visits?
Take your time! While the average guest stays for about three hours, you are welcome to enjoy the Academy safely for as long as you like. Become a member to support science and enjoy unlimited admission year-round.

How will the Academy ensure guests experience the museum safely?
For the safety of all guests (including unvaccinated children under 12) as well as our staff, we require masks to be worn indoors by all humans ages 3 and up regardless of vaccination status. We’d also like to remind all guests that a little common courtesy goes a long way:

  1. Be patient. Academy staff may ask you to wait for other groups to exit before entering certain spaces.
  2. Limit lingering. Channel your inner fish and keep it moving through the museum to help reduce “schooling” in front of exhibits.
  3. Be polite and stay to the right. Please yield to faster groups and let people pass on your left whenever possible.
  4. Resist the urge to run. We know it’ll be hard for kids to contain their excitement, but please do your best to encourage little ones to slow down indoors. Outdoor play is encouraged in the East and West Gardens!
Exhibit reservations and updates

Is the planetarium open?
Yes! Morrison Planetarium is open daily, with 4-6 shows per day on weekdays and 6-7 on weekends. To maximize staff and guest safety, reservations are required and capacity is limited. While we are gradually increasing capacity inside the dome, demand is still greater than supply at this time, and we regret that not all guests may be able to enjoy a show during their visit. For the best chance to secure a reservation, please scan the QR code in the lobby to make your reservation as soon as you arrive at the museum. If no time slots are available, please try again later as additional reservations are often released hourly throughout the day depending on the number of tickets still available for scheduled showtimes. Need help? Ask any staff member for assistance. We appreciate your patience and understanding, and we look forward to increasing planetarium capacity this summer in accordance with local, state, and CDC guidelines.

Please note: Planetarium shows may not be appropriate for children under 7, and we regret that we cannot permit any child under 4. Food and drink are not permitted inside the planetarium, and masks must be worn properly at all times.

When are planetarium showtimes?
We are currently screening 4-6 shows per day during the week and 6-7 shows per day on weekends. Please note that our planetarium schedule is subject to change—view our Daily Calendar for the latest showtime information. Reservations are required for all shows and are available on a first-come, first-served basis upon your arrival at the museum. Scan the QR code in the lobby as soon as you arrive to reserve your showtime. If no time slots are available, please try again later as additional reservations are often released hourly throughout the day depending on the number of tickets still available for scheduled showtimes. Due to a limited quantity of reservations, we regret that not all guests interested in attending a planetarium show may be able to secure a reservation during their visit.

What health and safety protocols are in place in the planetarium?
Staff and guest safety in the planetarium is our top priority. Capacity within the dome is reduced and a limited number of reservations are available per show. During every show, guests must keep their masks on at all times, and food and drink are strictly prohibited. After every show, our custodial staff will clean and disinfect all high-touch surfaces, including handrails and armrests.

Will the planetarium be open during NightLife?
The planetarium will remain closed during NightLife events until later this summer. We look forward to welcoming you back to the dome after dark soon!

What’s the latest on exhibit reopenings?
We’re working hard to get the Naturalist Center and Curiosity Grove safe and ready for guests—and are thrilled to announce that these two spaces will reopen on July 1! Some exhibits and spaces will remain temporarily closed until further notice, including Discovery Tidepool. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding!

Why do I need a reservation for the planetarium?
While reservations are no longer needed for entry into Osher Rainforest and the Shake House earthquake simulator, capacity is still reduced in Morrison Planetarium, and reservations are still required at this time. Upon arriving at the Academy, guests will be invited to scan a QR code with their smartphone and select an available showtime for the planetarium.

Please note that reservations are limited and we regret that not all guests may be able to enjoy a show during their visit. Scan the QR code in the lobby as soon as you arrive to reserve your showtime. If no time slots are available, please try again later as additional reservations are often released hourly throughout the day depending on the number of tickets still available for scheduled showtimes. We look forward to increasing capacity over the coming weeks.

What if there are no reservations available?
Reservations for Morrison Planetarium are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and there are a limited number of reservations available per day for your safety. We regret that we can’t guarantee the availability of reservations during periods of high demand, especially weekends and holidays, and recommend making your reservations as soon as you arrive for the greatest selection of available showtimes. Scan the QR code in the lobby as soon as you arrive to reserve your showtime. If no time slots are available, please try again later as additional reservations are often released hourly throughout the day depending on the number of tickets still available for scheduled showtimes. Please help us maximize availability by only making reservations that you can keep, and canceling if you can’t make it. We look forward to increasing capacity over the coming weeks!

Academy members and donors enjoy priority reservation access at the time of booking—and the freedom to visit all year long. Join today for as low as $99/year.

How do I reserve a showtime?
Reserving a showtime in the planetarium is fast and free with your smartphone. When you get to the Academy, keep an eye out for lobby signage with QR codes. Then:

  1. Aim your smartphone camera or QR code reader app at the QR code posted in the lobby, planetarium kiosk, or planetarium entrance
  2. Tap the URL that appears
  3. On the webpage that opens up in your browser, select Morrison Planetarium and your desired showtime
  4. Enter your name, phone number, and size of your party (maximum 8) and confirm your reservation

You’ll receive a text message confirming your reservation and showtime, as well as a reminder ten minutes before showtime. Please be sure to arrive on time as we are not able to accommodate late arrivals.

There is no charge to make a reservation with your smartphone, but message and data rates may apply depending on your carrier. If no time slots are available, please try again later as additional reservations are often released hourly throughout the day depending on the number of tickets still available for scheduled showtimes.Need help making a reservation? Ask any Academy staff member for assistance.

NightLife and events

What can I expect at NightLife?
We’ve made some adjustments to in-person NightLife events to help keep guests safe. At this time, NightLife capacity is limited and timed-entry tickets are required. While expanded programming and capacity ramp back up, NightLife is only on select Thursdays—view upcoming events here. As always, all guests must be 21+ with ID to attend. For those unable to attend in person, the Academy will continue to offer its free virtual NightSchool programs—informal online "classes" with an eclectic mix of science and culture—streaming live (and available as recordings afterwards) on the Academy’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Will all exhibits be open during NightLife?
Several exhibits will remain temporarily closed during NightLife until further notice, including Morrison Planetarium and Discovery Tidepool. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to ramp up the opening of these popular exhibits for our NightLife guests.

Do I need to make a reservation for the rainforest and Shake House?
As of June 19, we are no longer requiring reservations for Osher Rainforest or the Shake House during daytime or NightLife visits. Simply walk up and enjoy! Please note, however, that the last entry into the rainforest is 7:45 pm—our animals need their sleep!

When will the planetarium reopen for NightLife?
Please note Morrison Planetarium is currently closed for NightLife guests until later this summer. Sign up for NightLife email updates and stay tuned for dome details.

What dining options will be available during NightLife?
Food and beverages are available for purchase in the Academy Café and West Garden​ from 6-9:30 pm and include ​a variety of grab-and-go options, craft cocktails​, and more​.

Will I be able to eat and drink inside?
Yes, but only in the Academy Café! No space inside? Head out to the West Garden or East Garden for abundant outdoor seating. If you’re eating in the Café, please keep your mask on at all times except when actively eating or drinking.

Can I re-enter the event after exiting?
For your safety, we’re no longer offering re-entry hand stamps. If you wish to re-enter after exiting, you will need to purchase a new NightLife ticket.

Are there still public programs and demonstrations during the day?
Yes! However, to minimize crowding inside the museum, we are not currently scheduling public programs and demonstrations at specific times. Instead, we will continue to present “pop-up” programs where Academy staff will host spontaneous, exciting, educational mini-programs throughout the day on every floor, in the East and West Gardens, and on our Living Roof.

Are VIP Tours available?
Yes! Book a VIP Tour to explore the secrets of the Academy as you spend 45-minutes behind the scenes learning more about how the museum works—and what it takes to house nearly 46 million specimens. (Please note: Tour includes stairs and unpaved paths.) For ages 8 and up. Members, your discount will be applied after login.

Please note that the VIP Tour ticket price does not include Daytime Admission. You will have the opportunity to add a VIP Tour to your order when reserving your tickets online.

When will Dean Astronomy Lectures start back up again?
We are happy to announce that our Dean Lecture series has returned virtually. To register for lectures in August and beyond, please check out our Dean Lectures page and Morrison Planetarium's Facebook page for upcoming livestreamed programs, stargazing resources, and more.

When will Penguins+Pajamas Sleepovers start back up again?
We’re hoping to resume sleepovers later this year. Please visit our Penguins+Pajamas Sleepovers page for the most up-to-date info.

Cleaning, disinfection, and HVAC

Is the Academy cleaning and disinfecting more frequently?
Yes. High-touch surfaces like exhibits, restrooms, railings, and seating areas are cleaned and disinfected frequently throughout the day per CDC guidelines, and the entire building is cleaned and disinfected every evening after closing. While the risk of contracting COVID-19 from a contaminated surface—also known as fomite transmission—is thought to be extremely low, we’re doing everything we can to keep our guests, staff, and community safe.

How often are restrooms cleaned?
Restrooms are checked hourly and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected twice daily, and hand dryers have been removed and replaced with paper towels. Please maintain a courteous distance from other guests inside restrooms, keep your mask on (yes, even inside the stall!), and wash and dry your hands thoroughly before exiting.

I’m a little worried about recirculated air. Is it safe to be indoors?
The Academy follows ASHRAE’s (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers) CDC-aligned recommendations for HVAC operations, including:

  • Reducing the use of recirculated air and using 100% outside air whenever possible
  • Purging of spaces with outside air before and after occupancy
  • Securing windows that negatively impact central HVAC airflow
  • Use of MERV-13 air filters with an increase in changing frequency
  • Use of portable high-efficiency air filters in some back-of-house areas
  • Use of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) in some areas

While safety can never be guaranteed in any public space, we believe that the Academy’s pre-entry health self-screening, mask requirement, and reduction of recirculated air in our indoor spaces will substantially reduce risk of community spread.

Health self-screening

How does the Academy screen guests for COVID-19?
For everyone’s health and safety, guests who have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms within 24 hours of their visit, have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 10 days of their visit, or have had close contact with anyone who has tested positive within 14 days of their visit will not be permitted to enter the Academy.

All guests are required to review important health and safety information before purchasing tickets online, and are asked to confirm their responses to a confidential health self-screening before being permitted to enter the museum. If you or anyone in your party can answer “yes” to any of the three questions on the screening, you will not be permitted to enter the Academy and will be invited to reschedule your visit for another day. Academy staff will be available to help you select another visit date.

Pre-visit health self-screening (view PDF):

  1. In the last 24 hours, including today, have you had ANY of the symptoms below, that is new or not explained by another condition?

    —fever (100.4°F/38°C or greater)
    —chills or shivering
    —cough, sore throat
    —shortness of breath, difficulty breathing
    —feeling unusually weak or fatigued
    —loss of taste or smell
    —muscle or body aches
    —headache
    —vomiting or diarrhea, nausea
     

  2. In the past 10 days, have you been diagnosed with COVID-19 or had a test confirming you have the virus?
     
  3. In the past 10-14 days, have you had “close contact” with anyone who has COVID-19, during their contagious period? “Close contact” includes:

    —being within 6 feet of them for a total of 15 minutes or more in a 24-hour period
    —having direct contact with their bodily fluids (coughed or sneezed on you or shared food utensils)
    —living or staying overnight with them
    —having physical or intimate contact, including hugging and kissing
    —taking care of them, or having them take care of you

Are there temperature checks at the door?
At this time, the Academy has no plans to conduct temperature checks at the door in order to detect guests with fevers. While fevers over 100.4ºF are a common symptom of COVID-19, the consistent accuracy of infrared thermal temperature scanners and their effectiveness as a means of reducing community spread has not been established.

What precautions is the Academy taking to protect its staff?
Academy staff who can work remotely will continue to do so, while those whose work requires them to be in the building—such as animal care biologists, engineering staff, guest experience, security, and custodial staff—will be subject to the same daily health self-screening as guests. These staff members also continue to remain masked in all back-of-house areas and follow rigorous safety protocols to protect guests, animals, and each other.

Members

How do I reserve my member tickets?
Reserving your free member tickets online is easy. Here’s how:

  1. Log in to your account or create one if you haven’t yet.
    Need help with logging in or creating an account? View the “Account management” FAQ here.
  2. Select an available entry time from the dropdown menu.
    The system defaults to today’s date; to select a different date, use the second dropdown menu.
  3. Select the amount of Adults and Youth in your party using the quantity dropdowns.
    The amount of free tickets you can reserve is based on your membership level.
  4. Proceed to checkout.

After you complete your order, check your inbox for two emails: One is your receipt, the other contains your tickets as scannable QR codes in the body of the email. On the day of your visit, please be sure to have your ticket QR codes ready for self-scanning, either on your smartphone (brightness all the way up, please!) or printed out.

How many free tickets can I reserve?
The amount of free tickets you can reserve per order is based on your membership level:

  • Individual and Hive Single: 1 Adult ticket
  • Individual Plus, Senior, Teacher, Hive Double, and Eastwood Associate: 2 Adult tickets
  • Family, Community Value, and Lifetime: 2 Adult, 4 Youth tickets
  • Family Plus and Associate: 6 Adult, 4 Youth tickets
  • All Donor Circle levels: 8 Adult, 6 Youth tickets

While the Academy’s capacity is ramping up over the coming weeks, please only reserve tickets you know you’ll use, and email info@calacademy.org if you can’t make your reservation!

How often can I reserve my member tickets?
Members can make a maximum of one order per day to ensure enough entry timeslots are available for other members and guests.

Do members still enter at the same place?
Yes, members still enter at the Academy’s main entrance at 55 Music Concourse Drive.

Are there still weekly Member Hours?
Yes! As always, the Academy is open to members-only every Tuesday morning from 8:30-9:30 am and Sunday morning from 10-11 am. Member Hours are a great time to visit since our animals are most active in the morning—and other humans are not! Reserve your Member Hour tickets up to four weeks in advance for the greatest availability.

How do I reserve member NightLife tickets?
Visit the NightLife page, select an event you'd like to attend, and add tickets to your cart. When prompted, log in to your account, and your member discount will be applied automatically before checkout.

Your membership team is here to help. Questions? Drop us a line at membership@calacademy.org and we'll respond as fast as we can.

Dining, shopping, and amenities

What dining options are available?
The Academy Café is open 9 am-4 pm daily, serving family-friendly favorites in a variety of options, as well as Andytown Coffee drinks. Indoor seating is available, as are outdoor tables and benches in our West Garden.

Can I eat inside?
Yes, but only in the Academy Café! Please note that indoor dining capacity is limited and tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis. No space inside? Head out to the West Garden for plenty of seating. If you’re eating in the Café, please keep your mask on at all times except when actively eating or drinking.

Can guests bring their own food?
Guests are welcome to bring their own food and non-alcoholic beverages. Please head to the East Garden to consume items brought from home.

Is the Academy Store open?
Yes! The Academy Store is open daily, although hours may vary. 

Is cash accepted?
Cash is accepted at all points of sale inside the Academy except locker rental, but cashless payments are preferred whenever possible. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.

Are water fountains available?
Yes! As of June 15, ourwater fountains and bottle refill stations are now available for your use. Water is also available for sale at the Academy Café.

Are elevators in service?
Yes, elevators are in service. For the comfort of other guests, please maintain a courteous distance when using elevators.

Are lockers available? How often are they cleaned?
Yes, lockers are located just off the main lobby and are available for rent for $5 per day for standard-size lockers and $8 per day for family-size lockers. Lockers are checked frequently and cleaned and disinfected daily. Payment for lockers is by credit card only.

Will I be able to rent a wheelchair?
Yes, wheelchairs are available for guests to use during their visit. Please see a Guest Experience staff member in the Lobby for assistance when you arrive. Wheelchairs are cleaned and disinfected after every use.

Please note

The enhanced health and safety measures described above are intended to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19, but this risk cannot be completely eliminated at the Academy or any other public space. Anyone visiting the Academy acknowledges that they do so at their own risk, and agrees to comply with all posted health and safety rules and staff instructions. The Academy reserves the right to ask any guest who fails to follow health and safety rules or staff instructions to leave the premises. Thank you for your help and your understanding. We’re all in this together!

For more information, please view the Assumption of Risk and Waiver for Entry.

Can't visit quite yet but want to support the museum you love? Make a donation or become a member today.