55 Music Concourse Dr.
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco CA
Regular Hours:


9:30 am – 5:00 pm


11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Members' Hours:


8:30 – 9:30 am


10:00 – 11:00 am

The Academy will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

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Brilliant!Science: Brain Power

Brilliant!Science: Brain Power

Expand your mind with Brilliant!Science: Brain Power, June 13–21. This nine-day festival explores the fascinating world of neuroscience, from the innovative tools and techniques used to map the human brain to the roots of animal intelligence and basics of brain nutrition.

Festival Overview

The human brain is a marvelously complex center of sensation, perception, emotion, and higher-level thinking. It’s the foundation of what and who we are, and of how we behave. Using the latest tools and state-of-the-art techniques, scientists continue to untangle the brain’s many mysteries and discover structures responsible for the brain’s countless incredible functions. Join us to learn more about these modern efforts to map the brain, as well as discoveries in animal intelligence, how nutrition influences brain function, whether “brain games” actually work, and much more.

Programs and Events

Sleepover at the California Academy of Sciences

Penguins & Pajamas Sleepover

Friday, June 13, 6:00 pm – 8:00 am (next day)

Explore the museum at night and have fun putting your brain-power to work. Solve mind-boggling puzzles, marvel at the stars in a late-night planetarium show, and participate in the 2014 Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge. Learn about everything from brains to biology with interactive programs, live demos, and hands-on activities.

For children ages 5+ and their adult chaperones. To purchase tickets (and for additional information), please visit www.calacademy.org/sleepovers.

Trivia participants

Trivia Night by Brainstormer

Tuesday, June 17, 7:00–9:00 pm | Infusion Lounge

Celebrate brain science and the opening of the Academy’s new Skulls exhibit with a fun night of pub trivia. Brainstormer hosts team-based trivia challenges at pubs throughout the Bay Area, and their events serve up a wealth of knowledge, prizes, and fun. This edition takes place at Infusion Lounge—a nightlife destination in downtown San Francisco known for excellent food and cocktails. Bring some friends, a thirst for knowledge, and that trivia-savvy thing inside your skull.

Reservations: No reservations required, but number of teams is limited. Infusion Lounge is located at 124 Ellis Street in San Francisco.


SF Nerd Nite

Stem Cells, Skulls, and Evolution: What, If Anything, Is a Quck?

Wednesday, June 18, 8:00 pm | Rickshaw Stop

Speaker: Rich Schneider, Professor and Director, Lab for Development and Evolutionary Skeletal Biology, UCSF

Rich Schneider’s fascination with skulls runs deep. He published his first scientific paper on the evolution and development of skulls in domestic dogs and wild canids when he was still an undergraduate. Dozens of papers (and a couple of degrees) later, he’s turned his focus to the cellular and molecular level of human skull development—in search of the triggers and mechanisms that control this complex process. Schneider will discuss his fascinating research and discoveries at June’s Nerd Nite SF. Held monthly in more than 70 cities around the globe, Nerd Nite is where science nerds take the stage to deliver fun and informative presentations, while audience-nerds drink along.

Reservations: $8, all ages. For tickets, please visit www.sf.nerdnite.com as early as two weeks before the event. Rickshaw Stop is located at 155 Fell Street, San Francisco. Doors open at 7:00 pm.


Brain Power NightLife (ages 21+)

Thursday, June 19, 6:00–10:00 pm | Throughout the museum

A new, after-hours science adventure unfolds every Thursday night at the Academy. On June 19, immerse yourself in cerebral science through hands-on activities, interactive installations, entertaining lectures, and a special planetarium showing of Neurodome. Gain a new perspective on brains and neuroscience with friends and cocktails—only at NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences.

Reservations: Ages 21+. Members, $10; adults, $12. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.


Journey to Your Brain

Friday, June 20, 7:00 pm | Morrison Planetarium

Speakers: Jonathan Fisher, Founder and Director of Neurodome and Patrick McPike, Technical Director / Visualization Engineer, Adler Planetarium

Join us in Morrison Planetarium—the largest all-digital dome in the world—as we travel from deep space to the inner workings of the human brain. See how new technology is changing the way scientists view the brain, allowing us to explore a world almost impossible to imagine. From witnessing sparks of electrical activity in individual neurons to sailing down neural pathways that support consciousness, emotions, and complex thought, Journey to Your Brain explores the fundamental mechanisms of brain function—and what it means to be human.

Reservations: Members, $12; general, $15. Advance ticketing required due to limited seating. Tickets can be purchased online at the links below or by calling (877) 227-1831.

Member ticketing
Non-member ticketing


Brain Power Family Festival

Saturday, June 21, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm | the Piazza

Festival performers:

Brainy Tunes with Ira Marlowe

Wake up your brain and get your body moving with a performance by Ira Marlowe! Brainy Tunes wants to create the best kids’ music on Earth. By writing songs that are smart, funny, melodic, and challenging, Brainy Tunes makes music that both kids and adults want to hear again and again.

Festival participants:

Alzheimer’s Association of Northern CA & Northern NV

Learn how your brain transmits messages, and how to promote healthy living and aging with the Alzheimer’s Association. Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association advances research to end Alzheimer's and dementia while enhancing care for those living with the disease.

American Heart/American Stroke Association – Greater Bay Area

Are you able to recognize the signs and symptoms of a stroke? Learn these signs and symptoms—and more—with the American Heart/American Stroke Association.

Brain Health Center

Find out how to keep your brain healthy with the California Pacific Medical Center’s Brain Health Center. The Brain Health Center is an innovative collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California to provide patient care, education and research in the area of memory loss.


Challenge your brain to create interesting shapes with a system of interlocking, geometric pieces. As you play with ITSPHUN puzzles, you’ll gain a repertoire of skills, tricks, and combinations that can be used to build increasingly complex structures. Warning: Playing with patterns and symmetry can be addictive!


Test out Lumosity, and see how you can stretch your brain by doing what just feels like games. Lumosity's groundbreaking program is based on extensive research in the field of neuroplasticity, with several studies published on the program’s ability to improve key abilities such as working memory, visual attention, and executive function in people of different ages and from different backgrounds.


Borrowing data visualization technology from the field of astronomy, Neurodome will create engaging visualizations that depict high-resolution imagery of the brain’s neural circuitry while preserving a larger scale anatomical perspective.

Services for Brain Injury

How would you communicate without words? Practice non-verbal communication and see a small part of what life might be like after a brain injury.


Autism Spectrum Studies with Project Common Ground

Learn about the neuroscience of play, and its vital role in nourishing the brain of children on the autism spectrum.

Celsius and Beyond

Celsius and Beyond is a boutique science enrichment program in San Francisco where scientists teach children in grades K-9. The program focuses on science that is intriguing to children such as surgery, forensics, endangered species, chemical reactions, neuroscience and more.


Kizoom makes award-winning apps that help kids recognize and realize the power of their own brains. Their showpiece app, Brain Jump—designed by teachers and neuroscientists—uses kid-friendly stories and games to convey the powerful idea that our brains grow and get stronger when we take on challenges.

Krubitzer Lab

Meet scientists from the Laboratory of Evolutionary Neurobiology at UC Davis, and learn more about brains.

Museum of Children's Arts

Activate the creative side of your brain by making brain art with MOCHA!

Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge

Sign up for the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge, and prevent summer brain drain!

Stanford Camarillo Lab

How do helmets help reduce brain injury? What are the forces related with concussions? Explore modern head trauma detection through a series of (harmless) hands-on activities.

Stanford Hospitals & Clinics

Have you ever wanted to how your eyes move? With the Stanford Hospitals & Clinics eye-tracking equipment, you can watch human eyes in motion!

UCSF Brain Lab

Learn more about human and animal brains, and get the opportunity to touch a brain.

Museum Hours


Monday - Saturday

9:30 am - 5:00 pm


11:00 am - 5:00 pm

Tickets can be purchased up to an hour before closing.

The Academy is closed Thanksgiving and Christmas.



55 Music Concourse Drive
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 379-8000


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