Learn more about purchasing, renewing, or gifting a membership—and how to enjoy your membership to its fullest once you're part of the California Academy of Sciences family.
Can I reserve planetarium passes ahead of time?
While we don't offer planetarium reservations, we do provide free, members-only passes for all shows (just pick them up upon arrival). We also offer members-only planetarium shows for which passes are not required. Members-only planetarium shows take place during members’ hours, every Tuesday and Sunday morning.
Can members purchase discounted general admission tickets?
Unfortunately, we aren't able to offer our members discounted admission tickets at this time, but we're thrilled when members make regular use of their guest admission privileges.
Do you offer reciprocal memberships with other museums?
We currently do not offer reciprocal memberships, but your California Academy of Sciences membership grants access to all public programs and exhibits, including our four-story rainforest, aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum—all under one living roof.
Can my ticketed guests enter the members-only line with me?
Absolutely! Our priority members’ entrance is for you and your guests.
Is the members-only line always available?
It sure is—even on scheduled free days.
Does my membership allow free admission to Nightlife?
Members receive discounted admission to NightLife, paying just $12 per ticket for themselves and up to eight guests. Additionally, all members of your party are encouraged to use the express members' entrance, providing a speedy entry into these very special Thursday-night events, featuring science, cocktails, and music. (For guests 21 and over.)
Can I buy a gift membership?
Yes, you can! Memberships are the perfect gift for all sorts of special occasions, from birthdays to holidays and thank-yous. Gift memberships can be purchased online or by calling (800) 794-7576.
How do I purchase a gift membership for someone?
There are four ways to purchase a gift membership:
1. You may print and fill out the membership application.
Mail the completed application to:
California Academy of Sciences
c/o Membership Department
55 Music Concourse Drive
San Francisco, CA 94118
You can also email your completed application to firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Visit http://www.calacademy.org/gift-memberships and click on the orange “Purchase a gift membership” button.
3. Call our Contact Center at 1-800-794-7576 to speak with a representative and order by phone.
4. If you need your gift today, visit the Academy and stop by the Service Desk. A sales representative will assist you with purchasing a gift membership or gift voucher on site.
Is there a way to gift a membership to an unknown recipient?
Gift membership vouchers can be purchased for unspecified recipients.
How can I redeem/activate the voucher?
Your gift recipient can fill out the back of the voucher and bring it to the Academy. Your gift recipient will receive immediate access to the Academy with a membership day pass. Permanent membership cards will be mailed to your recipient within 2–3 weeks. The voucher can also be mailed to the address shown on the card for redemption.
What is the difference between a gift voucher and a personalized gift membership?
A gift voucher works much like a gift card. Your recipient can bring the voucher to the Academy to redeem their membership. Vouchers are valid one year from date of purchase. The membership is active on the date the voucher is redeemed by your gift recipient. A personalized gift membership creates an Academy membership in the recipient’s name that is active on the purchase date. Your gift recipient will receive a membership card in their name.
Is the membership active on the date that I purchase the gift?
Personalized gift memberships are active on the purchase date. Gift Membership Vouchers are valid on the day they are redeemed by the gift recipient.
I can’t find or lost my voucher, what can I do?
Unfortunately, vouchers are treated like cash and cannot be replaced if lost or stolen. Vouchers need to be presented to Academy staff in order for the membership to be activated.
Can I print this voucher?
No, vouchers cannot be printed at home at this time. Vouchers purchased online or over the phone will be mailed. Only vouchers purchased at the Academy can be made available to the purchaser on the purchase date.
Is there something I can print at home that I can present to my recipient while I wait to receive the voucher/personalized membership?
Not at this time, but feel free to let the recipient know about your gift! If the Gift Membership is personalized, the recipient may get day passes printed at the service desk before receiving their membership card.
Can I apply my voucher towards my current membership to renew?
Yes. Please mail in the voucher to the address shown on the card, or call 1-800-794-7576.
Can I upgrade from a voucher redemption?
Yes, you can upgrade from a voucher at the Academy’s Service Desk.
Can my recipient visit the Academy before receiving their membership cards?
Only recipients of personalized gift memberships may visit before they receive their membership cards. Please call 1-800-794-7576 to speak with a service representative about your membership number. Once you receive your membership number, please bring a photo id and membership number to the Membership Service Desk. You will receive a day pass and can visit the Academy while you wait for your membership cards to arrive by mail. Gift voucher recipients must redeem their voucher before visiting the Academy.
How does guest admission work? Is it a one-time opportunity?
Guest admission is included with each membership category, but you must accompany the cardholder to receive free admission. Members in the Senior and Individual Category are allowed to bring one guest with every visit. Family Plus and Associate members are allowed to bring two guests with every visit.
I’m a member, but I want to bring in one more guest than my membership allows for one time; how can I bring my additional guest?
That is no problem; your guests can accompany you to the Membership kiosk to purchase admission tickets. You may also purchase extra tickets online your guests can use the member entrance with you.
Is the child of the guest included under the guest pass?
Children of the named members on the account qualify for free admission with the Family and above levels. Children 3 and under are free regardless of your member level. A child’s ticket is required for entry if your guests whose names are not on the account are bringing in their children.
Why doesn't my card list an expiration date?
In an effort to be more environmentally friendly, our membership cards aren't printed with expiration dates. As long as you stay active as a member, you can use the same card year after year. We can also reactivate your old cards, or print you a day pass should you forget your card on the day of your visit. Moving forward, we plan to offer the option of digital membership cards, as befitting the greenest museum in the world.
How many cards will I receive?
Senior, Individual, and Teacher memberships are presented with a single membership card, which grants entry for you and a guest on each visit—no extra ticket is needed. A Family, Family Plus, or Associate membership is required to receive at least two cards bearing different names.
I paid for a membership but haven't received my card(s)—when should I expect to?
It generally takes three weeks for memberships to be processed and cards sent out. Should you wish to visit the Academy sooner, no problem! Just stop by our on-site Service Desk and they'll happily print you a day pass.
I misplaced my card—how do I gain entry?
Please bring your photo ID to our on-site Service Desk (located at the main entrance) for temporary day passes that you can use right away. If your card is permanently lost, please call the membership hotline at (800) 794-7576 and we'll help to replace them. To help the Academy conserve resources, remember to retain your membership card as long as your membership is active. Should you need to replace a lost or stolen card (or make a name change), a small, $5 fee will be assessed.
Do I need to present my membership card for free admission?
Yes! Please present your membership card (or proof of online membership purchase) at the members' entrance along with a photo ID. If you joined by mail or phone but haven't yet received your membership card, please call (415) 379-8298 to verify that your membership has been processed then stop by our Service Desk upon arrival for a temporary day pass.
I plan to visit the Academy soon—what’s the fastest way to sign up and go in?
The fastest ways to sign up for and use a new membership are online and in person. Signing up online allows you to print your confirmation and use it as a temporary pass until your permanent card(s) arrive; signing up at our on-site Service Desk also gives you a temporary day pass to use right away. Please expect signing up in person to take 5 to 15 minutes.
I just purchased my membership online/over the phone. How can I get into the museum before my cards arrive?
When you purchase a membership online or over the phone, we email you a temporary pass along with your confirmation. If that wasn't received—or if you simply forget to bring your pass on the day of your visit—just check in at the Service Desk (at the Academy's entrance) with a valid photo ID and pick up a temporary day pass.
I prefer to not sign up for things online, and I'm not in a hurry. What are my other options?
Simply call us at (800) 794-7576.
Can I apply general admission ticket purchases toward an Academy membership?
What a great idea! The cost of general admission ticket(s) can absolutely be applied to an Academy membership, but must be done on the same day you visit, and no later than a half-hour before closing. NightLife tickets can also be applied toward memberships, if done on the day of the event and no later than 9:30 p.m.
Here's how it works: The value of up to two purchased adult tickets may be applied to any individual membership product. The value of two purchased adult tickets, plus the value of all purchased children’s tickets, may be applied to any family membership. Admission tickets that are purchased as part of a group visit (or that are otherwise discounted in any way) cannot be applied to an Academy membership.
Does the Academy participate in a matching gift program?
We do! Many employers sponsor matching gift programs and will match charitable contributions made by their employees. Check with your employer for more information—if your membership qualifies, it's an excellent chance to double your gift to the Academy.
I recently upgraded, but my expiration date stayed the same.
When upgrading, you pay only the difference between your current and new membership level, and your expiration date remains the same. If your renewal date is approaching, you may choose to renew-and-upgrade early, which will extend your expiration date for one full year. Once your upgrade is complete, your upgraded membership benefits will be active immediately.
How do I upgrade?
Upgrades can be done in-person or over the phone.
When does my membership expire?
We have launched My Membership Portal, a way to give you instant access to your account information. You can also email the Membership department at email@example.com or call us at (800) 794-7576. We'll be happy to answer any and all questions about your Academy membership. In the portal, you can also find your ID number, edit your address, and update your email address.
Where can I find my membership ID number?
Your membership ID number appears several places: on the back of your membership card, on any temporary day pass under the bar code in the My Membership Portal, and on your acknowledgment and renewal letters. You can also email the Membership Department at firstname.lastname@example.org, call our Call Center at (800) 794-7576, or visit the Service Desk at the front of the museum to speak to a representative for further assistance.
Where can I edit my address and update my email?
You may email the Membership Department at email@example.com, call our Call Center at (800) 794-7576, change your information in the My Membership Portal, or visit our front Service Desk when next at the Academy.
What is “My Membership Portal”?
My Membership Portal gives you an easy way to check your:
- Membership expiration date,
- Update personal contact information,
- Purchase member discounted tickets and
- Review membership sales history
- Experience an Academy Membership in a new way
Creating a My Membership Portal account takes less than a minute and provides a portal into the Academy that gives you instant access to your membership information and benefits.
How do I know if I have a My Membership account?
The My Membership Portal account is a fairly new feature on the Academy website. You will only have a My Membership Portal account if you have previously created one on the Academy website. To create a My Membership Portal account, click the “Create An Account” link on the left hand side of the My Membership Account Portal Login page, enter the primary email address you would like to use for your account, choose a password and you have created an account.
How can I update My Membership contact information and email address to ensure I receive special member offers and updates?
Visit the Account Information link tab in your “My Membership Portal” account to update your postal or email address. Updating your contact information and email address is fast and easy and guarantees that you will always be informed of the latest member offers and discounts.
Can I use My Membership to order member-discounted tickets to Nightlife, events, tours, workshops and lectures?
Yes! Your “My Membership Portal” account is a quick and easy portal to order member-discounted tickets and view your past purchase history. Login to your “My Membership Portal” account and use the Member Discounted Tickets link to purchase new tickets or Order History link to see all recent events you’ve ordered over the web.
I’ve forgotten my password and/or username, what do I do?
A “forgot password” button is located underneath the password field of your my Membership Account Login. You will be instructed to fill in the email address that is associated with your My Membership Portal Account and will receive an email with instructions on how to create a new password. For more additional account help please call (415) 379-8098.
What is the Annual Membership Subscription?
The Annual Membership Subscription is a convenient and green way to ensure continuous access to Academy membership benefits. Your membership is renewed on an annual basis using the credit card provided. Before the renewal is charged, the Academy will email a renewal notice and you may opt not to renew at that time by notifying the Academy.
How do I enroll in the Annual Membership Subscription?
You can enroll in the Annual Membership Subscription at membership purchase or renewal time by choosing the “Annual Membership Subscription” option when purchasing or renewing a membership online, through the Contact Center, at Front of House, or by contacting the Academy at (415) 379-8098 and requesting to enroll in the program. One month before your membership is due to expire, you will receive an email notification that your credit card on file will be charged for the next year of membership at the current membership level.
How do I cancel participation in the Annual Membership Subscription?
You can cancel participation in the Annual Membership Subscription by contacting the Academy at 415-379-8098 and your membership will not be renewed automatically once the current membership expires.
Tuesday: 8:30 – 9:30 am
Sunday: 10 – 11 am
Your guest(s) are also welcome during members-only hours—please purchase additional tickets as necessary.
Find your expiration date or update your address—and access valuable member discounts.