Visitors explore the Living Roof during NightLife.
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Dear NightLife VIP Tour guests: The health and safety of our guests, staff, partners, and community always come first. In response to the latest coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines from local and state public health authorities, the Academy is currently temporarily closed to the public, and NightLife events and tours have been postponed. We apologize for the inconvenience and look forward to welcoming you back to the museum when it is safe to do so.

Learn more about the Academy's response to COVID-19, and explore how you can enjoy Academy science from home.

Looking for an exclusive experience during our weekly NightLife event? Join us on a NightLife VIP Tour! Enjoy a 30-minute private reception with cocktails (first two are on us!) and light bites before setting out on a behind-the-scenes tour. NightLife VIP Tour guests also enjoy reserved planetarium seats. Upgrade today!

Every Thursday night, the Academy transforms into San Francisco's most popular cultural night spot—a lively venue filled with provocative science, music, creatures, and cocktails—as visitors ages 21 and older get a chance to explore the museum after dark. Each weekly installment features something new and different.

What's Included

Each NightLife VIP Tour ticket includes event admission and:

  • Express entry into the Academy and rainforest exhibit
  • 30-minute private reception and two complimentary cocktails per guest
  • Complimentary light bites
  • A 45-minute behind-the-scenes tour with a stop inside our private gem vault
  • Interactions with Academy researchers in the Project Lab
  • A reserved planetarium pass
  • 10% discount to the Café and retail stores

Ticket price:

  • Ticket prices vary by date—buy in advance for the best deal! Explore our Plan-Ahead Pricing calendar to see the next six months of NightLife VIP Tour prices   
  • Group rates available for 10 or more guests; discount applied after adding tickets to cart

VIP Lounge and Tour duration: 1 hour and 15 minutes; NightLife event ends at 10 pm

Please note: Guests must be 21 years of age or older; ID is required for entry. Nightlife VIP Tours have a capacity of 50 guests for the 6-7:15 pm time slot and 25 guests for the 6:45-8 pm time slot. The 6:45 time slot may not always be available at each Nightlife event.

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VIP Tour Schedule

6–7:15 pm

  • Arrive at 6 pm and enter through the Membership entrance. Meet at VIP check-in inside the lobby to receive your tour badge and further instructions
  • Drinks and snacks begin at 6 pm
  • Tour leaves promptly at 6:30 pm
  • Redeem reserved planetarium passes at 8:30 pm (show ends at approximately 9:05 pm)
  • Dinner is available for purchase at the Academy Café post-tour

6:45–8 pm

  • Arrive 6–6:45 pm and enter through the Membership entrance. Meet at VIP check-in inside the lobby to receive your tour badge and further instructions
  • Drinks and snacks begin at 6:45 pm
  • Tour leaves promptly at 7:15 pm
  • Redeem reserved planetarium passes at 9:30 pm (show ends at approximately 10:05 pm)
  • Dinner is available for purchase at the Academy Café post-tour

Additional notes: The two complimentary drinks are available only prior to the tour for guests’ designated time slot. Those attending the 6:45 time slot may enter the museum at 6 pm, but must wait until 6:45 to have access to the VIP Tour area.

​Parking: Because parking can be difficult on busy days, we strongly encourage public transportation or drop-off. Please allow plenty of extra time for traffic, parking, and arrival.

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A 50% nonrefundable deposit is due at the time of booking to reserve group tickets of 10 or more. Your total balance is due 30 days prior to your tour date. If you are booking a tour within 30 days of your tour date, full payment is due at the time of booking. Cancellations occurring 30 days or more prior to tour date will receive a full refund minus the deposit.

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Contact Us
Have questions about the Academy? We're here to help.  
(415) 379-8000
Rent a Private Lounge
The NightLife Private Lounge is your exclusive oasis amid the action, featuring catering, bar service, and early access to the wildest event in town. Contact our Facility Rentals team for more information.       
(415) 379-5499