San Francisco (March 4, 2021) — Celebrate spring with a safe science adventure! The California Academy of Sciences will be reopening to the public on March 17, with special advance access for members only on March 15 and 16. Advance reservations will be required for all guests and will be available online beginning March 10.

While local and state guidelines allow indoor museums to reopen at 25% capacity, the Academy will reopen at 20% capacity to allow even more space to promote physical distancing and reduce crowding. This means a healthier, safer, extra-spacious Academy to explore! Masks will be required for guests ages 3 and up, enhanced cleaning protocols will be in effect, and physical distancing will be enforced. The Academy also adheres to the “Three Ws:” Wear a mask, Wash your hands, Watch your distance.

“We are thrilled to welcome back visitors this month” says Academy Executive Director Scott Sampson, PhD. “The community's ongoing support during our closure has kept our spirits full even when the museum was empty. Now, we're working hard to safely reopen our doors so you can focus on having fun while staying connected with science. Your visit directly supports our animals, our research, our people, and our mission. We can’t wait to see you soon!”

The Academy—part of the San Francisco community for 167 years—deeply values its local supporters, and the health and safety of its staff, visitors, and Bay Area neighbors remain top priority. The institution’s reopening plan reflects its high bar for inspiring guest experiences alongside the latest research-backed safety recommendations from the state of California, the San Francisco Department of Public Health, the CDC, and the Academy’s own internal science advisors including Chief of Science and world-class virologist Shannon Bennett, PhD.

The latest details about the Academy’s extensive health and safety updates and new museum procedures are available online. Read on to hear about new exhibits awaiting your next visit, and for a few notable changes to old favorites.

Exciting new offerings:

  • Visit the light-filled Piazza to celebrate dazzling nature photography from around the world with BigPicture, featuring 49 unforgettable winning images from our annual competition.
  • Head downstairs to explore our new aquarium exhibit Venom: Fangs, Stingers, and Spines, where more than a dozen often-feared yet biologically important species use deadly venom to capture prey and defend against predators.
  • Grab an outdoor table to fill up on delicious, locally sourced food from the Academy Café (with touchless transactions!), and marvel at springtime views from our Living Roof.

Notable changes to old favorites:

  • For your safety, Morrison Planetarium, Naturalist Center, Curiosity Grove, and Discovery Tidepool will remain temporarily closed. Even though Morrison Planetarium is temporarily closed, guests can still view our newest planetarium show, Big Astronomy, online from home. Explore Chile’s epic mountaintop observatories and the people that keep them running every Wednesday at 11:30 am PT via YouTube until Morrison Planetarium reopens.
  • To manage capacity and promote physical distancing, free reservations are required for Osher Rainforest and the Shake House earthquake simulator. Scan the QR code with your phone in the lobby to reserve a timeslot for these popular exhibits upon your arrival.

Visit our reopening page for more details on ticket reservations, health and safety, and more.

About the California Academy of Sciences

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.

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