NightLife: Hella

YAAAAY AREAAAA! This NightLife, we’re hella juiced to honor our favorite place: The Bay. Come through and celebrate the region’s famed and far-reaching legacy, from hip-hop history to homegrown fashion favorites and more. Featuring special programming from KQED.

Pass the aux and tune into the NightLife team's HELLA mixtape on the NightLife Spotify page.


Slaps Only

  • 6 - 9 PM - Get giggin’ with an opening DJ set from Oakland-based musician and producer Drew Banga.
  • 9 - 10 PM - Close out the night with a very special set from legendary West Coast producer DJ.Fresh.

Run It Back
African Hall

  • 7:30 PM - Take a train back in time with a live talk from East Bay Yesterday about the Bay’s historic Keys System of public transit.
  • 8:30 PM - Join Pendarvis Harshaw, host of KQED's Rightnowish, for a peek into his new series all about the hyphy movement, and how it helped him and others navigate generational trauma.

Bay Curious Trivia
Science Today
7:00, 7:30, 8:00, 8:30, & 9:00 PM

  • Why is San Francisco built on a foundation of old ships? And did the word “hella” really originate in the East Bay? Answer these and more as you test your Bay Area knowledge with trivia hosted by KQED’s Bay Curious.

Good Looks
6 - 10 PM

Piece by Piece
Curiosity Grove
6 - 9 PM

Smacks Only
Academy Cafe
6 - 9:30 PM
Chef Rob is cookin' up...

  • Hella Peachy Proscuitto Pizza - yellow peaches, prosciutto ham, balsamic glaze, mozzarella, tomato sauce
  • Hella Stuffed Nachos - tricolor corn tortilla chips, nacho cheese sauce, black beans, guacamole, pico de gallo, pickled red onions, sour cream
  • Hella Fresh Salmon Toast - acme baguette, avocado, tomato, sautéed red onion, smoked salmon, microgreens
  • Hella Mission Tacos - corn tortillas, chicken tinga, green cabbage, pico de gallo, sour cream, cilantro
  • Hella Big Banh Mi - Dutch crunch hoagie, kewpie mayo, soy chicken, pickled carrots and red onions, sliced jalapeños, cilantro

Signature Cocktails
Available at all bars

  • The Chase - Vodka, Blue Curacao, Lemon Simple Syrup
  • Ghost Ride The Whip - Hennessy, Lemon, Simple Syrup, Triple Sec, Peach
  • Hyphy Juice - Rum, Midori, Pineapple, Lime, Angostura Bitters
  • Thizz - Tequila, Lime, Agave, Blood Orange
  • Gassed Up - Whiskey, Banana, Simple Syrup, Chocolate Bitters


A few don't-miss NightLife details:

  • NightLife guests are no longer required to provide proof of full vaccination or a recent negative test. We still strongly encourage all guests to stay up-to-date on their vaccinations, and to mask up indoors. As always, if you’re 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 be enjoyed outdoors or in the Academy Café only.
  • NightLife is for adults 21+ only. Valid, physical photo ID required.
  • Still have Qs? See our FAQs here.


Planetarium Shows

6:30 pm, 7:30 pm

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

8:30 pm, 9:30 pm

Excite your senses with a visually stunning planetarium show that explores the seismic science of our world.

Get NightLife emails

Delightful NightLife news, delivered weekly.

Upcoming events

September 28th at 6:00 pm

In honor of Steinhart Aquarium’s 100th anniversary, let's party like it’s 1923 & celebrate a century of wonder.

October 5th at 6:00 pm

See what happens when art and nature collide at this NightLife honoring 10 years of BigPicture.

October 12th at 6:00 pm

We’re closing out NightLife LIVE with grungy-synth sounds from Tanukichan & our soulful opener Lalin St. Juste.

October 19th at 6:00 pm

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

October 26th at 6:00 pm

One, two, NightLife’s comin’ for you. This Halloween, don’t sleep on NightLife.

November 2nd at 6:00 pm

Once a year the living & dead reunite. Join us in honoring departed souls in celebration of Día de los Muertos.