Steinhart Aquarium 100

Esteemed guests, gather 'round! The Steinhart Aquarium is about to hit the big 1-0-0! To celebrate this dazzling milestone, we're turning back the clock and partying like it's 1923. So dust off those fedoras and shimmy into your flapper dresses because we're embarking on a grand voyage to the roaring twenties. Inside our sea speakeasy, you can dance the Charleston to live jazz, solve "The Case of Butterball the Missing Manatee," and much more! Let loose and bask in a century of aquatic wonder and scientific innovation. It’ll be the cat’s pajamas (or shall we say the shark’s pajamas).

Featuring special era-themed performances by the Kev Choice Ensemble


The Razzle Dazzle
7pm, 8pm, and 9pm (30 minute sets)

Lace up those dancin' shoes and cut a rug as Oakland’s very own Kev Choice Ensemble sets the mood just right. Known for performing globally with artists like Ms. Lauryn Hill, Goapele, and Too $hort (to name a few) Kev Choice Ensemble is stepping outside their norm of hip hop and modern jazz to transport you back to an era when Charleston was king, and the speakeasies were hoppin'.

Century of the Steinhart
African Hall
8:00 PM

  • Dive into scintillating sea tales and famous firsts as Senior Director of Steinhart Aquarium, Bart Shepherd packs 100 years of history into just 30 minutes!

The Case of the Missing Manatee
Location Unknown! (Start in the lobby)
6 - 9 PM

  • Listen up, gumshoes! We've got a hot case on our hands: Butterball the Manatee has gone missing, and we need your help to find him. Roam the museum's halls while following the trail of clues in your quest to track down one of Steinhart's most beloved historical residents. It's a mystery that needs cracking, and we're counting on you!

The Boardwalk
Grand Hall
6 - 9 PM

  • Head to Curiosity Grove and grab a pencil or a brush for another edition of Unlocked Art Lab with Tiffany Bozic, where an assortment of fascinating undersea specimens from Steinhart’s collections provide the artistic inspiration you need to create a masterpiece.
  • Illustrator and muralist Nigel Sussman is back at NightLife to draw your very own 1920s “jazz-imal.” Simply request your favorite sea animal and instrument combo and Nigel will bring your creation to life on the spot!
  • Take your own 1920s portrait at the photobooth with Snap Yourself!

Secret Cove
Aquarium Level

  • At 7:30 PM, Marvel in the beauty of the world’s deepest indoor living coral reef with a special NightLife live dive program featuring an Academy presenter.
  • All Evening - Sneak on down to our Aquarium Speakeasy bar featuring exquisite custom cocktails to wet your whistle.

Little Bites & Libations

Food is available for purchase at the Academy Café and cocktails are available at bars located throughout the museum.

  • Fitzgerald Fried Ravioli - Four cheese ravioli battered and fried topped with pomodoro, parmesan, and basil
  • Al Capone's Spaghetti & Meatballs - All beef meatballs over spaghetti, with pomodoro, parmesan, and basil
  • Josephine Baker Box - Delectable tuna and cucumber tea sandwich served with a deviled egg

Specialty Cocktails

  • Apple Pie Moonshine - WhistlePig Piggyback Whiskey, apple juice, cinnamon syrup, lemon juice
  • Bee's Knees - Tito's Handmade Vodka, lemon, honey syrup
  • Habañero Margarita - Fiero Habañero Tequila, Lime, Mango
  • Passionfruit Daiquiri - Denizen Aged White Rum, lime, passionfruit

​​Cocktails handcrafted by Denizen Rum, Fiero Tequila, Tito's Handmade Vodka, and WhistlePig Whiskey, the official liquor of NightLife.

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.
  • Please note: The rainforest will be closed for infrastructure maintenance during this event.
  • 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, 8:30 pm, 9:30 pm

Dive into the fascinating world of coral reefs in the Academy's award-winning, all-digital planetarium show.

Get NightLife emails

Delightful NightLife news, delivered weekly.

Upcoming events

May 30th at 6:00 pm

Calling all creatures of the night! Explore the Academy's nocturnal side. Sounds by: DJ Mark Maiden.

June 6th at 6:00 pm

We’re bringing the spice at our hottest event of the year. Hear from spicy savants, sample fiery foods, & more.

June 13th at 6:00 pm

Honor Black contributions to global dance with a special Juneteenth edition of the Make History dance battle.

June 20th at 6:00 pm

Inked is back at NightLife! Explore the wonders of ink from cephalopods to live tattoos–yes, the real kind!

June 27th at 6:00 pm

Celebrate the LGBTQ+ community with a night dedicated to community, activism & joy. Featuring drag by Oaklash.