A festive, outdoor experience explores the science of the season with live reindeer, snow flurries, and holiday decorations starting November 20, 2020.
SAN FRANCISCO (November 9, 2020) — Make way for reindeer! Starting Friday, November 20, revel in the wintery atmosphere of ‘Tis the Season for Science, an annual holiday tradition in the heart of Golden Gate Park. Venture to the Academy’s East Garden to meet two hoofed holiday visitors, Cookie and Peppermint, and learn how this antlered duo is uniquely equipped to migrate vast distances. Reindeer have remarkable adaptations—from hollow hairs for warmth to feet that act like snowshoes—that allow them to thrive in frigid environments.
While outside, delight in festive decorations and imagine you’re in the Arctic as artificial snow falls overhead. For extra holiday cheer, enjoy cookies and hot cocoa available for purchase from the Academy Café or Terrace Restaurant. Join us in this winter wonderland to celebrate the sights, sounds, and science of the season!
The Academy is open 365 days a year. Holiday hours are 10 am – 3 pm on November 26 (Thanksgiving Day) and 11 am – 5 pm on December 25 (Christmas Day). Winter Academy highlights are below:
- A pair of live reindeer will take up residence in the museum’s East Garden through January 3, 2021.
- Outdoor snow flurries will fall twice an hour accompanied by holiday music.
- Inspired by the northern lights, festive lighting will cast a warm, magical glow over the East Garden when the sun sets.
- Hot cocoa and cookies will be available for purchase in the Academy’s Café or Terrace Restaurant.
- For fresh views of otherworldly landscapes, visit BigPicture in the Piazza, a spectacular showcase of 49 winning images from the Academy’s annual nature, wildlife, and conservation photography competition.
- To escape the winter chill, reserve your time (once you’ve arrived at the Academy) for a walk through the tropical Osher Rainforest, or tour the Steinhart Aquarium for a visit to our new Venom exhibit or iconic Philippine Coral Reef.
- Can’t visit us in person this winter? Connect through Academy @ Home and stay curious—all for free, all the time.
The California Academy of Sciences is a renowned scientific and educational institution dedicated to exploring, explaining, and sustaining life. Based in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, it is home to a world-class aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum, as well as innovative programs in scientific research and education—all under one living roof. When opened, our hours are 9:30 am - 5:00 pm Monday - Saturday, and 11:00 am - 5:00 pm on Sunday. Admission includes all exhibits, programs, and shows. For reopening information and daily ticket prices, please visit www.calacademy.org or call (415) 379-8000 for more information.