Starfish tank

Members: $12; Non-Members: $15
New! Planetarium Pass Reservations: $3 (more info)
21+ with ID


Music by DJ Jamie Jams

NightLife celebrates the best of the Academy with an evening of after-hours science inside the greenest museum on the planet.


Brainstormer Trivia
(African Hall)
7:00, 8:00 & 9:00pm
Put your noggin—and everything you’ve learned at the Academy—to the test with science-inspired trivia from Brainstormer.

Coral Reef Dive Show
(Coral Reef Tank)

Enjoy a nighttime dive show in our Philippine Coral Reef tank to learn more about the beauty found under the waves and what we can do to protect it. 

Slime, Scales & Skin
(Project Lab)
6:00 - 10:00pm

Learn about the fascinating world of herps—that would be amphibians, reptiles, and caecilians—with a display of specimens from the Academy’s herpetology collection

Adult Chemistry: Savage & Cooke Distillery
(The Terrace Bar & Restaurant)
Tastings from 6:00 - 9:30pm
Talks at 7:30 & 8:30pm

Want science you can eat and drink? Head outside to The Terrace Restaurant & Bar for its monthly “Adult Chemistry” pairings event—this month, they’re featuring Savage & Cooke, a new distillery located on the historic Mare Island near American Canyon. Owner Dave Phinney will talk about the science of the distillery’s approach to its range of brown spirits, including two tequilas, a bourbon, and a whiskey—and you’ll get to taste them all.



  • 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.



  • With Planetarium Pass Reservations, you can select your showtime in advance and guarantee your seat under the stars. $3; optional, but recommended. Available online only.
  • Free passes will still be available onsite at the Planetarium kiosk on a first-come, first-served basis. Arrive early for your best chance to obtain a free pass.



  • A variety of food options are available at NightLife from 6:00-9:30 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.


Planetarium Shows

6:30 pm

Join us for a tour of the night sky, with a reptilian twist!

7:30 pm, 8:30 pm

Twist and turn through alien worlds and lose yourself in mesmerizing forms, colors, and music.

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Upcoming NightLife Events

July 26th at 6:00 pm

Ogle our annual nature photography exhibit before it opens—and then meet some of the winning photographers IRL.

August 2nd at 6:00 pm

For those who can’t stand the heat, NightLife brings the desert to you with a focus on these wide open spaces.

August 9th at 6:00 pm

NightLife LIVE 2018 music series—performances by Elohim + Caleborate, Presented by Outside Lands Music Festival.

August 16th at 6:00 pm

Join us and a few of our furry friends for a night all about Animal behavior.