NightLife: The Art of Nature

At this NightLife, Mother Nature takes center stage as our ultimate muse. See what happens when art and nature collide as we celebrate 10 years of our BigPicture: Natural World Photography exhibit.

Featured events:

  • Dive into the enchanting world of underwater kelp forest ecosystems with a talk and photography showcase from 2023 BigPicture “Aquatic Life” winner Kate Vylet.
  • In a special Planetarium presentation featuring live music by Fire and Grace, neuroscientist Indre Viskontas will take you on a journey through this years’ winning BigPicture photos, sharing the impact evocative imagery has on us, our minds, and the world at large. If you love what you see, you can purchase the new book: Seeing It All: Women Photographers Expose Our Planet, a stunning collection of photography and essays highlighting the work of 11 remarkable female photographers—all award-winners and jurors of BigPicture.
  • Join us for the debut of Tales of the Urban Wild: A Puma's Journey, a graphic novel by conservation scientist Dr. Tiffany Yap and artist Meital Smith. Dr. Yap and Academy carnivore ecologist Dr. Christine Wilkinson reveal the power of art to drive conversations about human coexistence with wildlife, inclusivity in science, and the heartfelt compassion found within conservation storytelling.
  • Roses are red, violets are blue, without Mother Nature, this rhyme would not hold true! Join the Museum of Craft and Design to channel your inner romantic and write your very own love letter to Mother Nature on uniquely textured stationery from the age-old practice of plant rubbing – the art of creating impressions by rubbing crayons over paper stacked on foliage.
  • Take a piece of art home with you from a nature-themed art market featuring:

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

8:30 pm, 9:30 pm

One Sky Project is five short films exploring cultural and indigenous astronomy perspectives.

6:30 pm, 7:30 pm

Award-winning wildlife images through the mind's eye, accompanied by live music in a one-night-only performance.

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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.