California Academy of Sciences Thursday NightLife Admission

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Culture & history Entry tickets Wheelchair accessible Eco Certified Things to do for adults Nature & adventure Family-friendly activities Safaris & wildlife activities Art & Museums Nature & Panorama Museums & exhibitions Shows & musicals Zoos Zoos & aquariums Marine Life

Calling all creatures of the night: explore the nocturnal side of the Academy with science, music, creatures, and cocktails. Culture grows in the dark—Thursday nights at the Academy.


  • Enjoy music, creatures, cocktails, every Thursday night at this 21+ only event
  • Explore hands-on exhibits and enjoy a diverse range of programs
  • Groove to San Francisco's best DJs and performers
  • Experience unique thought-provoking themes each month


Explore the nocturnal side of the California Academy of Sciences, the only place on Earth with an aquarium, planetarium, rainforest, and natural history museum. Experience these exhibits and more during Thursday’s festive 21+ only NightLife event, and sip on wine, beer, or a unique specialty cocktail available for purchase at bars throughout the museum. Get the party started with cool science and new unique themes every month. With live DJs, bars, ambiance lighting, and nearly 60,000 live animals (including familiar faces like Claude, our alligator with albinism), the night is sure to be wild. Meet the newest African penguin chicks, Pogo and Ozzie and the rest of the colony of playful penguins in Tusher African Hall. Catch the latest immersive show in the 75-foot planetarium, taking you on a spectacular journey to the far reaches of the universe, featuring different themes at varying times throughout the night. Step inside a lush, four-story rainforest teeming with life—from free-flying birds to exotic reptiles, amphibians, and more.


Entrance to the California Academy of Sciences NightLife event Entrance to all current exhibits, including the rainforest, aquarium, and planetarium (planetarium seats are subject to availability)

Important Information

  • You must be 21 years or older with valid, physical photo ID to attend NightLife
  • Last entry into the rainforest dome is at 7:30 PM. Please note: The rainforest will be closed for infrastructure maintenance from 8/21/23-11/17/23.
  • Planetarium passes are required for planetarium shows during NightLife. Reserve your planetarium show passes (additional $5) in advance at or by scanning the QR code in the lobby as soon as you arrive. Please note that reservations are first-come, first-served
  • All food and drink must be enjoyed in the Café or outdoors
  • NightLife is open every Thursday from 6:00 PM-10:00 PM. Visit to see weekly themes.

Easy cancellation

Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund


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