Member Tickets: $12
Non-Member Tickets: $15
Ages 21+, ID required for entry.

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

In the aquarium, enjoy nighttime dive shows in our Philippine Coral Reef tank, learn about Claude the albino alligator during a special Swamp Talk, then gaze at the stars (never mind that SF fog!) with a “Throwback Thursday” repertoire of Morrison Planetarium’s classic shows.

From the biologists who help care for 38,000 live animals to the researchers studying little-known ecosystems on expeditions around the world, there’s no better way to experience the Academy than a curated tour highlighting our insiders’ favorite things.

This week, see what gets Academy Curator, Lauren Esposito excited and what she thinks is just about the greatest thing inside the wall of the Academy.

Plus, view scientific specimens from our research collections and hear the fascinating stories behind them from the Academy’s Ant  Lab and invertebrates researcher Kelly Markello.

Enjoy NightLife’s newest food and drink experience, Adult Chemistry, featuring specially curated menus by The Terrace and beverage pairings that range from whiskey to wine. Each tasting offers new and creative ways to expand your palette. Up this week: the science of bubbles and bites that pair best with champagne and sparkling wine.
Adult Chemistry tasting ticket price: $18

Music by DJ King Most in the Piazza



  • 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.



  • Planetarium passes are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Early event arrival is strongly recommended due to limited capacity and high demand for passes.



  • A variety of food options are available at NightLife from 6:00-9:30 pm, including The Academy Cafe, The Terrace, 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

7:30 pm, 8:30 pm

Explore two of today’s greatest cosmic mysteries—dark matter and dark energy!

6:30 pm

Our Planetarium presenter will guide you on an exploration of planets and moons that run hot & cold!

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Upcoming NightLife Events

January 26th at 6:00 pm

Check out the best of the Academy with behind the scenes science in the world's greenest museum.

February 2nd at 6:00 pm

Kick off your Lunar New Year with lion dancers, masked performers, and more!

February 9th at 6:00 pm

Kick off the 25th annual Noise Pop Festival with live performances, plus sound-inspired science. 

February 16th at 6:00 pm

Hear from local beer and spirit masters as NightLife partners with SF Beer Week for a refreshing event.

NightLife is supported by the Koret Foundation.

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