Explore the museum at night

NightLife: Art Lab 
Thursday, August 18, 6-10 pm
21+ with ID
Prices vary; planetarium passes $5

For guaranteed availability, we strongly recommend purchasing tickets in advance. Last rainforest entry is 7:30 pm. Proof of full vaccination OR negative test within 48 hours required; boosters and indoor masking strongly encouraged but not required. Learn more.

Unleash your inner artist and join us for an evening of creative exploration celebrating the myriad intersections of science and art. From amateur to expert, enthusiasts of art and nature can grab a paintbrush for hands-on activities and craft workshops, or sit back, observe, and learn at artist demos.

Featured programming:

  • Explore the creative process at a live drawing with Berkeley-based illustrator and muralist Nigel Sussman. Examine the artist’s style and technique—recognizable from murals throughout the Bay Area and beyond—and test his imagination with your own impromptu requests.
  • Experiment with petri dish art using quick-drying alcohol ink with the expert do-it-yourselfers from the Museum of Craft and Design. Create and take home a colorful “colony” to decorate your space with novel, biology-inspired artwork.
  • Listen in and discover how art and science collide in the world of zines with Tera Johnson of Two Photon Art. Dig into this creative form of science communication and its history of making science more accessible to communities.
  • Watch in awe as art comes to life in a live mural painting by SF’s Precita Eyes Muralists while they improvise an Academy-inspired mural.

A few don't-miss NightLife details:

  • To help keep staff and guests safe, proof of full COVID-19 vaccination OR a negative test result from within 48 hours of the event is required for entry, and boosters and indoor masking are strongly encouraged. Feeling under the weather? Please NightLife another time! View health and safety information here.
  • Last entry into the rainforest exhibit is 7:30 pm—our animals need their sleep.
  • Morrison Planetarium is now open at NightLife with 4 showtimes. To maximize staff and guest safety, planetarium passes are required and capacity is limited. Passes are available online in advance for an additional $5 while supplies last to reserve a seat at a 6:30, 7:30, 8:30, or 9:30 pm planetarium show. Please see our FAQs for more details. (Please note: A limited number of standby seats will be available for all showtimes as space allows on a first-come, first-served basis. Food and drink are not permitted inside the planetarium.)
  • Beverages are available at various bars throughout the building, but food must enjoyed outdoors or in the Academy Cafe only.
  • NightLife is for adults 21+ only. Photo ID required.
  • Still have Qs? See our FAQs here.


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Upcoming ticketed museum events

August 11th at 6:00 pm

Power down, turn up. You're now entering a phone-free zone with an experimental night dedicated to life offline.

August 18th at 6:00 pm

Join us for an evening dedicated to the inspiring intersections of science and art.

August 25th at 6:00 pm

From fossil-inspired Pokémon to classic games & a Super Smash Bros. tournament, this NightLife it’s Game On.

September 1st at 6:00 pm

Explore the Academy at night alongside nearly 40,000 live animals. For adults 21+.

Upcoming free virtual events

August 18th at 7:00 pm

How do animals navigate the world around them?