NightLife: The Art of Nature


Big Picture Lounge
6 - 10 PM

  • Grab a cocktail and wander through the Academy’s newest exhibition BigPicture: Natural World Photography on its 10 year anniversary. Take in this year's most awe-inspiring moments caught on film in nature.

Felines & Forests
African Hall

  • At 7:30, 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.
  • At 8:30, Dive into the enchanting world of underwater kelp forest ecosystems with a talk and photography showcase from 2023 BigPicture “Aquatic Life” winner Kate Vylet.

P.S. I Love You
6 - 10 PM

  • 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.

Art Market
6 - 10 PM

And don’t miss 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.

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

July 18th at 6:00 pm

Explore the nocturnal side of the Academy and see what makes the museum at night different.

July 25th at 6:00 pm

Explore the Academy at night alongside nearly 60,000 live animals.

August 1st at 6:00 pm

We’re kicking off our music series with homegrown movement maker LaRussell & the surf rock sounds of 3LH.

August 8th at 6:00 pm

Be transported by the grunge punk stylings of Margaritas Podridas and psychedelic rock sounds of opener Fauxes.

August 15th at 6:00 pm

Underground rap pioneer MURS takes center stage, with an opening set from multifaceted hometown artist Z-Man.

August 22nd at 6:00 pm

We’re closing out NightLife Remix with the serene soul vibes of Madison McFerrin and opener Dani Offline.