The Academy is officially open to the public. We can't wait to see some humans! Please watch the video and read the important health and safety information below before reserving your tickets.

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4 steps for a safe and fun visit

The Academy’s top priority has always been the health and safety of our guests, staff, animals, and community. Since our closure, we’ve developed a reopening plan informed by local, state, and CDC public health guidelines, internal science expertise, and the latest COVID-19 research. By following the four steps below, you can enjoy safe science adventures at the Academy—while helping to slow the spread.

Thanks in advance for doing your part!

 

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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 in advance. 

Timed-entry tickets enable safer, contactless entry into the Academy while helping us monitor building capacity, which is limited to 25% of our pre-closure maximum. Tickets are available to reserve in 30-minute entry windows up to three weeks in advance. As always, the further in advance you buy, the more you’ll save.

See steps 2-4 below before reserving your tickets. 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. View the health self-screening questions before heading out!

Illustration of person with thermometer

If anyone in your party says “yes” to anything on the screening, please say “no” to visiting that day.

By staying home if you’re feeling sick, you’re keeping other guests—and the Academy staff that care for the animals you love—safe. If you need to reschedule your visit, we’re happy to help: Just send an email to info@calacademy.org.

View the screening questions (PDF).

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3. Remember the Three Ws!

Illustration of person wearing mask

Wear a mask: All guests ages 3 and up, as well as all Academy staff, must wear a mask at all times, inside and outside.

Masks are one of the most effective ways to prevent community spread of COVID-19—and they’re also required by law in San Francisco. Please have your mask on when you arrive at the Academy and wear it correctly at all times, except when actively eating or drinking, which is limited to our outdoor spaces.

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

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Illustration of handwashing

Wash your hands: Clean hands fight COVID-19! Practice good hand hygiene during your visit.

After touching exhibits and before eating, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer. Sanitizer dispensers will be placed throughout the Academy. Please avoid touching your face and giving handshakes, hugs, or high-fives.

For more information, view the "Hand hygiene" section in the FAQ below.

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Illustration of people practicing physical distancing

Watch your distance: Please maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet (or ⅗ of a Claude) between your party and other guests and Academy staff.

As a science-lover, we already know you're extra-courteous—but please go the extra 6 feet during your visit. In addition to physical distancing, please stay with your party and stay to the right whenever possible.

For more information, view the "Physical distancing" section in the FAQ below.

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4. Follow directional signage, floor decals, and staff instructions!

Illustration of footprints

We're serious about safety. Please take note of the blue safety signage installed throughout the Academy.

Keep an eye out for one-way signs, physical distancing floor decals, and reminders to frequently wash or sanitize your hands—and listen up for announcements over the PA system.

For more information, view the "Entry, capacity, and guest flow" section in the FAQ below.

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More ways we're keeping you safe

In addition to your partnership on the above, learn more about the changes we’ve made to building capacity, exhibit design, cleaning protocols, and air flow to further enhance everyone’s health and safety.

  • Reduced building capacity The Academy is limiting attendance to 25% of our capacity to promote physical distancing and reduce crowding. This means an extra-spacious Academy to explore, with more activations of outdoor spaces like the East Garden, West Garden, and Living Roof.
     
  • Closures of some exhibits and spaces Exhibits and spaces with a high degree of interactivity or where it’s hard to maintain physical distance will remain temporarily closed after the Academy reopens, including Morrison Planetarium, Naturalist Center, Curiosity Grove, and Discovery Tidepool. Additionally, some hands-on exhibit elements will be modified or disabled for your safety.
     
  • Reservations required for some exhibits Entry into Osher Rainforest and the Shake House is by reservation only to ensure sufficient physical distancing. Upon arrival at the Academy, guests will be able to scan a QR code to make a reservation.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Outdoor dining and pop-up programs Delicious, healthy, family-friendly fare is available for purchase in The Terrace Restaurant and seating has been moved outdoors to the West Garden so guests can enjoy physically distanced meals al fresco. We're also hosting more pop-up programs and demonstrations outdoors in the East Garden and on the Living Roof for safer spots to enjoy science.

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

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We can't wait to see you soon!

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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 updates, exhibit closures, 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 at this time, with the exception of 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 and capacity 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 three 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 make a reservation?
The process is the same as before, with one additional step of selecting an entry time along with a visit date. Here’s a preview of the process:

  1. Head to our Buy Tickets page and select your ticket. Currently, the only option is Daytime Admission.
  2. Select your visit date. Click the first dropdown menu to select a visit date within the next 3 weeks. The Academy will be open on our normal schedule, 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 between 10 am and 10:30 am. Please arrive as close to your entry time as possible as early or 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. Tip: For everyone’s health and safety, please only visit with people in your household.
  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 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?
To promote physical distancing, the Academy is limiting attendance to 25% of our normal maximum capacity. Timed-entry admission will help us manage capacity and regulate guest flow while also encouraging 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 will need to reserve their free timed-entry 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.

Is Plan-Ahead Pricing still in effect?
Yes. The further in advance you buy, the more you’ll save on tickets. 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 trip bookings once Bay Area school districts and youth-serving organizations encourage off-site excursions. We’ll ensure your class’s visit is as safe, educational, and fun as possible. Thank you for your patience! Learn more on our Plan a Field Trip page.

Can I bring a group?
If sufficient ticket quantities are available for your desired entry time, you are welcome to bring a group. Please note that your group should consist only of members of your own household as per local guidelines around safer social interactions. (This restriction does not apply if you’re part of an out-of-school time (OST) program.) Learn more on our Groups page.

Exhibit closures and reservations

Are all exhibits open?
Exhibits and spaces with a high degree of interactivity or where it’s hard to maintain physical distance will remain temporarily closed after the Academy reopens, including Morrison Planetarium, Naturalist Center, Curiosity Grove, Discovery Tidepool, and the fog room in Giants of Land and Sea. Because the planetarium is classified as an indoor movie theater, we’ll be able to reopen it when San Francisco enters Phase 12 of its reopening plan, and will reopen our other closed spaces as soon as we can safely do so. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work together to reduce risk and slow the spread of COVID-19.

Are there any changes to existing exhibits?
Some interactive elements within certain exhibits have been disabled or modified for your safety, and we encourage guests to avoid touching tank glass whenever possible. Exhibits, glass, railings, and other high-touch surfaces are cleaned and disinfected frequently throughout the day. It’s a great idea to wash or sanitize your hands after engaging with an exhibit.

Entry into Osher Rainforest and the Shake House earthquake simulator in Giants of Land and Sea is by free reservation in order to facilitate physical distancing. Upon arriving at the Academy, guests will be able to scan a QR code with their smartphone and select an entry time for those two exhibits. Please note that entry times are limited and your first choice may not be available.

Why do I need a reservation for the rainforest and Shake House?
Due to the unique layout and limited capacity of Osher Rainforest and the Shake House earthquake simulator, entry into these two exhibits is by timed reservation only. This will help us manage capacity, ensure physical distancing, and allow enough time for cleaning and disinfection between groups of guests.

How do I reserve a spot?
Reserving a spot in the rainforest or Shake House 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. Using your smartphone camera, scan the QR code of the exhibit you’d like to visit
  2. Tap the URL that appears
  3. On the webpage that opens up in your browser, select your desired entry time
  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 entry time, as well as a reminder five minutes before your reservation. Please be sure to arrive on time as we may not be able to accommodate latecomers.

There is no charge to make an exhibit reservation with your smartphone, but message and data rates may apply depending on your carrier. Need help making a reservation? Ask any Academy staff member for assistance.

What if there are no reservations available?
Reservations for Osher Rainforest and the Shake House are first-come, first-served, and there are a limited number of timeslots available per day. We regret that we can’t guarantee the availability of reservations during periods of high demand and recommend making your reservations as soon as you arrive for the greatest selection of available timeslots. To ensure all guests have the opportunity to explore the rainforest and Shake House, please only make reservations that you intend to keep!

Cleaning, disinfection, and HVAC

Will the Academy be 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. To further reduce risk, some hands-on exhibit elements are unavailable. 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. Please maintain physical distance 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?
While it is currently unknown the extent to which HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems play a role in the spread of COVID-19, 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 combination of reduced building capacity, required mask-wearing, hand-washing, and physical distancing, and the reduction of recirculated air in our indoor spaces will substantially reduce risk of community spread.

Health self-screening

How is the Academy screening 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 will be asked to verbally and truthfully 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. Do you currently have or have you in the past 24 hours had any one of the following symptoms which is new or not explained by another reason: fever at or above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius), chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, sore throat, unusual weakness or fatigue, loss of smell or taste, muscle aches, headache, runny nose different from your allergies, or diarrhea?
  2. Have you had close contact with anyone in the last 14 days at home or in the community who has been confirmed to have COVID-19? Close contacts include people in your home, sex partners, or people who you take care of or who take care of you. It also includes people who were within 6 feet of you for more than 10 minutes while they were not wearing a mask, or with whom you had contact with their body fluids or secretions while you were not wearing a mask or sufficient protective equipment.
  3. Within the past 10 days, have you been diagnosed or tested positive for COVID-19?

Will there be 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 after reopening will continue to do so, while those whose work requires them to be in the building—such as animal care biologists, engineering staff, and custodial staff—are subject to the same daily health self-screening as guests. These staff members also practice physical distancing in all back-of-house areas and follow rigorous safety protocols to protect guests, animals, and each another.

Entry, capacity, and guest flow

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 will not be available for sale at the museum. You may purchase (or reserve, for members) your tickets up to 3 weeks before your visit—and the further in advance you buy, the more you’ll save. 
  • Arrive as close to your ticketed entry time as possible. 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 may arrive at any time within this period. 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 scanning, either printed out or displayed on your smartphone—brightness all the way up, please! For safer, contactless entry, guests will scan their own tickets before entry.
  • A staff member will ask each guest to verbally confirm their answers to three health self-screening questions just prior to entry. All responses will be kept confidential and will not be recorded. If anyone in your party can answer “yes” to any of the screening 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 will not be available. Timed-entry tickets are available up to three 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.

Has building capacity been reduced?
The Academy is open at 25% of our normal, pre-closure maximum capacity per local and state guidelines to promote physical distancing and reduce crowding. This means a healthier, safer, extra-spacious Academy to explore! (Please note that capacity guidelines may change as health and safety recommendations continue to evolve.)

How is capacity being 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 increment. 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 is the Academy ensuring guests move through the building safely?
In addition to limiting attendance, requiring masks, and promoting physical distancing, we’ve established some new “rules of the road” to help guests navigate the museum with plenty of (masked) breathing room. This includes:

  1. Regulating the quantity and pace of guests through certain spaces to promote physical distancing
  2. Creating clearly marked one-way paths through areas like the Amazon Flooded Forest Tunnel and Academy Store
  3. Installing prominent signage, floor decals, and other visual aids to remind guests to stay 6 feet apart at all times

We’ll also need your help to keep traffic moving smoothly and safely. During your visit, please remember to:

  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.
Masks

Do I have to wear a mask to visit?
Yes. Wearing a mask is one of our “Three Ws” (wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance) because it’s an easy, affordable, effective way to keep your droplets to yourself and slow the spread of COVID-19. Masks are required for all guests ages 3 and up, as well as all Academy staff, volunteers, contractors, and partners, and must be worn at all times except when actively eating or drinking. 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
  • 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

Also, remember that your mask isn’t a substitute for physical distancing. Even with masks on, you must keep at least 6 feet of distance between your party and other guests and staff at all times.

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 at the Academy.  

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.

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 calmly notify a staff member. Thank you for keeping yourself and others safe!

For more information on why masks are important and how to make them, wear them, and clean them, visit CDC.gov.

Hand hygiene

How often should I wash or sanitize my hands?
Maintaining good hand hygiene is a critically important tactic in the fight against COVID-19, which is why it’s one of our “Three Ws:” wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance. 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
  • after exploring each exhibit
  • after using the restroom or changing diapers
  • after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching your face
  • 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 will I be able to wash or sanitize my hands?
Hand sanitizer dispensers 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.

Learn more about the importance of hand hygiene at CDC.gov.

Physical distancing

What is physical distancing and why is it important?
Physical distancing, also known as social distancing, is the practice of maintaining at least 6 feet (or 2 meters) of separation between you and other humans not in your immediate household or social bubble. “Watch your distance” is one of our “Three Ws” (wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance) because it’s an easy, effective way to prevent community spread of COVID-19.

For the health and safety of everyone around you, please remember to watch your distance and stay at least 6 feet away from others at all times during your Academy visit, including while waiting in any lines, exploring exhibits and viewing animals, ordering food, or shopping at the Academy Store.

How is the Academy enforcing physical distancing rules?
From physical-distancing decals on the floor to frequent announcements over our PA system to eye-catching signage throughout the museum, guests will never be too far from friendly reminders to watch their distance. Should the need arise, Academy staff will be on hand to politely remind guests to maintain physical distancing.

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 calmly notify a staff member. Thank you for keeping yourself and others safe!

Learn more about the importance of physical distancing at CDC.gov.

Members

I'm a member! Why do I need to reserve tickets?
Timed-entry tickets help us keep guests, staff, and animals safe by making it easier to monitor capacity and promote physical distancing throughout the Academy. We know this is a new requirement for members and donors, and are grateful for your support and understanding. If you have any questions about reserving tickets after reviewing the instructions below, please don't hesitate to contact us at membership@calacademy.org or 800-794-7576. We look forward to seeing you soon!

How do I reserve my member tickets?
Member tickets will be reservable beginning October 5, and you'll be able to reserve up to three weeks in advance. 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.
  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 a PDF attachment. On the day of your visit, please be sure to have your ticket PDF ready for 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

Due to the Academy’s reduced capacity, a limited quantity of tickets are available for each timeslot, so please reserve only the tickets you know you’ll use!

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 will 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 three weeks in advance for the greatest availability.

Events and programs

Are there still public programs and demonstrations during the day?
Yes! However, to discourage gatherings and promote physical distancing inside the museum, we are no longer scheduling public programs and demonstrations at specific times. Instead, we have shifted to a “pop-up” model where Academy staff host physically distanced, 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? How safe are they?
Yes! We are offering an all-new 45-minute VIP Tour for ages 4 and up where guests will head off the beaten track atop the Academy's lush 2.5-acre living roof to encounter native wildflowers in bloom, enjoy eye-popping views, and learn about the building’s impressive feats of green engineering. The tour also includes VIP entrance to Osher Rainforest and the Shake House earthquake simulator as well as 10% off shopping and dining. About 95% of the tour takes place outside, and tour groups are limited to six guests. Masks and physical distancing are required at all times, and all high-touch surfaces along the tour route are disinfected between groups.

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 NightLife start back up again?
We hope to resume Thursday NightLife events (21+) in January 2021. Subscribe to NightLife email updates and follow us on Twitter for the latest. While we prepare to welcome you back to NightLife (in person) as soon as possible, you can join our livestreams on Thursday evenings! During Virtual NightLife events, we’ll bring you an eclectic mix of science, music, and art, and when NightSchool is in session, we’ll take deeper dives into a single science-related theme. Streaming Thursdays at 7 pm PT on the Academy’s YouTube channel and Facebook page. Recordings of all livestreams are also available on our YouTube channel.

When will Dean Astronomy Lectures start back up again?
We’re hoping to resume our Dean Lecture series in January 2021. In the meantime, check out Morrison Planetarium on our website and Facebook for livestreamed programs, stargazing resources, and more.

When will Penguins+Pajamas Sleepovers start back up again?
We’re hoping to resume sleepovers in 2021. Please visit our Penguins+Pajamas Sleepovers page for the most up-to-date info.

Dining, shopping, and amenities

What dining options are available?
The Terrace Restaurant is open 9 am–4 pm daily, serving family-friendly favorites in a variety of grab-and-go options, as well as Andytown Coffee drinks. To maximize health and safety, diners follow a one-way route through the food service area, tables, condiment stations, and food prep areas are disinfected regularly, plexiglass partitions are installed at all points of sale, and all seating has been moved outdoors and placed six feet apart in our West Garden. We look forward to resuming indoor dining at the Academy Café soon.

Can I eat inside?
For your safety, all food and drink must be consumed outside in the East Garden or West Garden. We’ve added more tables and chairs for your comfort and convenience, which are cleaned and disinfected regularly. Please keep your mask on except when actively eating or drinking, and limit each table or bench to one party.

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. Extra seating is available, and all tables are placed at least six feet apart.

Is the Academy Store open?
Yes, the Academy Store is open! Please note that hours may vary. For your safety, guests will be assisted by store associates to minimize contact with merchandise.

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?
Manual water fountains have been disabled for your safety, but automatic, contactless water bottle filling stations are available, so we encourage guests to bring reusable water bottles. Water is also available for sale in The Terrace Restaurant.

Are elevators available?
Yes, but we ask that guests use the stairs whenever possible to reserve elevators for those who need them. One group per elevator, please.

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.

Are wheelchairs available?
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.

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