orchid mantis

A large-scale model of a beautiful orchid mantis demonstrates her dazzling camouflage in the Display chamber. Photographer Mike O’Neill © Te Papa 2016


NightLife: Buggin' Out
Thursday, June 2, 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 required; boosters and indoor masking strongly encouraged but not required. Learn more.

Insects get a bad rap, but deserve awe and wonder! From pollinating plants to decomposing waste, insects are the foundation of the food web and crucial to thriving ecosystems. This NightLife, these hard-working, often overlooked critters take center stage as we highlight some of the world’s most fascinating bugs. Walk among butterflies in the Rainforest, peruse one-of-a-kind specimens, and delight in fantastical larger-than-life insect models in our latest exhibit: Bugs.

Sounds by STARFARI


Live Talks
Science Today

  • 7:30 PM - Flower Mantids: Friend or Faux?
    • Learn the freaky and fabulous feasting methods of a deceptive flower mimic in a live talk from Academy senior biologist, Spencer Rennerfeldt.
  • 8:30 PM - Ant-i-Social
    • Join entomology curator and Academy “Antman” Brian Fisher and artist Catherine Chalmers for a unique intersection of art and nature focused on language, ritual, and of course, ants.

Planet Bee
Wander Woods

  • 8 PM - Find out what it takes to successfully tend to a honeybee colony and get involved in the Planet Bee Citizen Science Project with a live talk from Dr. Jason Graham.
  • All Evening - Stop by to check out a live observation hive, chat with the experts from Planet Bee, and learn about the mating ritual of the queen (spoiler alert: she doesn’t use Bumble).

Buggin’ Out Showcase
6 - 10 PM

  • Get an up close look at some of the Academy's wildest specimens from our extensive Entomology collection.
  • Chat with Entomology Curator Brian Fisher and artist Catherine Chalmers about the importance of leafcutter ants and send a personal message to the Academy’s living colony in the Osher Rainforest.

A few don't-miss NightLife details:

  • To help keep staff and guests safe, proof of full COVID-19 vaccination 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, and masks must be worn properly at all times.)
  • 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.


Planetarium Shows

8:30 pm, 9:30 pm

Discover how a deeper understanding of Earth might help us spot other living worlds light-years away.

6:30 pm, 7:30 pm

Explore the immense scale of the known Universe in this live presentation that leaves Earth far behind.

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Upcoming ticketed museum events

July 7th at 6:00 pm

Calling all kaibigan: tropic like it’s hot for a night dedicated to Filipino arts, culture, and science.

July 14th at 6:00 pm

See what’s revealed once the sun goes down and explore the nocturnal side of the Academy. For adults 21+.

July 21st at 6:00 pm

Explore the multicultural—and multispecies—uses of ink. And hey, maybe even get a tattoo.

Upcoming free virtual events

July 7th at 7:00 pm

Hear from photographers whose incredible images reveal stories about the natural world.