Time lapse shot of Academy guests exploring African Hall
0

Plan-Ahead Pricing allows you to get the best deal on tickets when you purchase further in advance. It also allows you to see when we anticipate the museum being busiest during more popular periods and when it will be quietest if you prefer to have more room to roam.

0

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about how to save when you buy online in advance.

What is Plan-Ahead Pricing?

The Academy launched Plan-Ahead Pricing in May 2019 to give our guests the opportunity to get the best deal on tickets when purchased in advance. Ticket prices vary by date and entry time based on a number of variables, including demand and time of year, offering guests the ability to choose a visit date and time that works best for their schedule and budget.  

Does Plan-Ahead Pricing apply to all Academy tickets, including tours and special events?

Any Academy tickets that include admission can be purchased with Plan-Ahead Pricing, including Daytime Admission, NightLife, and NightLife VIP Experience. VIP Tours offered during daytime museum hours do not include admission and therefore have a set price.

How are admission prices determined and why do they change daily?

Similar to other cultural organizations, prices are determined based on a number of key factors. For Daytime Admission, this includes expected attendance, popular holidays and weekends, and new exhibit offerings. For NightLife, this includes events with live performances and our most popular annual events. In general, for busier periods with higher estimated attendance, prices will reflect high demand. For quieter attendance days prices will be lower. Prices also tend to be lower in the afternoon.

How far in advance do I need to buy my ticket in order to save?

Tickets purchased by at least midnight prior to the visit date will always be less expensive than tickets purchased on the day of your visit. On average, guests who purchase at least three days in advance save $3-5 per ticket or more—and the further in advance you buy, the more you are likely to save!

Please note: While you're no longer required to purchase tickets online in advance, we still strongly recommend buying at least one day in advance for guaranteed availability on busy days and the best possible prices.

If I’m buying my tickets on the same day as my visit, will I save by buying online?

Tickets purchased on the same day as your visit will be the same price whether you buy online before you arrive or at the ticket window.

Please note: While you're no longer required to purchase tickets online in advance, we still strongly recommend buying at least one day in advance for guaranteed availability on busy days and the best possible prices.

What is included in a Daytime Admission ticket?

A Daytime Admission ticket grants you access to everything the Academy has to offer, including the aquarium, planetarium, rainforest, natural history museum, and living roof. This also includes all other exhibits and daily programs. 

What is included in a NightLife ticket?

NightLife tickets also grant access to all exhibits except the planetarium, plus music and special programming each week. Planetarium passes may be purchased online in advance for $5, and cocktails and food are available for purchase onsite. Please note that NightLife is for adults 21+. 

Please note: While you're no longer required to purchase tickets online in advance, we still strongly recommend buying at least one day in advance for guaranteed availability on busy days and the best possible prices.

Does this pricing structure impact the cost of an Academy membership?

Plan-Ahead Pricing does not impact the price of Academy memberships, though an annual membership is always the best value. Please note that your Daytime Admission tickets can be applied towards the cost of a membership at any point during your visit. To learn more and find the membership level that’s right for you, check out our membership comparison chart.

Can I still buy a ticket when I get to the Academy?

While we no longer require guests to purchase tickets online in advance, it is strongly recommended. By purchasing at least one day in advance of your visit, you can enjoy guaranteed availability, especially on busy days like weekends and holidays, as well as the best possible prices.

What options does the Academy offer for free and reduced admission?

The Academy is proud to offer a number of free and reduced admission programs to make the museum more accessible to all. For a list of ways to visit for free or at a reduced rate, click here.

Contact us
Questions or comments about Plan-Ahead Pricing? We're here to help, 8 am–5 pm daily.
(415) 379-8000