• The front entrance of the California Academy of Sciences under a clear, blue sky
    The Academy is the Bay Area's home for science.
  • A boy and his mom examine flowers in the Color of Life exhibit.
    Hands-on exhibits inspire guests of all ages.
  • A young girl examines a pink sea star in our Discovery Tide Pool exhibit
    Get up close and personal with real ocean animals.
  • An Academy docent shares some collection specimens with a group of guests of different ages and backgrounds
    Friendly, knowledgeable docents bring science to life.
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The Academy welcomes over 330,000 guests each year through our free and reduced admission programs—because we believe world-class science should be available to everyone. From free field trips for all San Francisco students to $3 admission for EBT, WIC, and Medi-Cal cardholders, we're proud to open our doors to open more minds.

Please note: Some of the free and reduced admission opportunities below have been modified or are temporarily unavailable due to capacity limitations and box office safety restrictions. We apologize for any inconvenience. For questions, please browse the FAQ on our reopening page or email us at info@calacademy.org.

Savings year-round

  • Plan-ahead Pricing: All tickets must be purchased online in advance, and ticket prices vary by date and entry time. Plan ahead and save up to $5 per ticket when you buy at least one day in advance of your visit! Learn more
     
  • Free for 2 and under: All children age 2 and under enjoy free Daytime Admission to the Academy, everyday.
     
  • Membership: Annual memberships start at just $99—or $6 a month—meaning an entire year of unlimited Academy adventures pays for itself in 2-3 visits.
     
  • Sustainable transportation discount: Get $3 off Daytime Admission when you walk, bike, or take public transit to the Academy. View our Getting Here page to plan your trip. Temporarily unavailable due to capacity limitations and box office safety restrictions.
     
  • Military discount: Active-duty military personnel receive $3 off Daytime Admission with valid military ID or proof of service (e.g., VA card or DD-214) at the ticket window. Temporarily unavailable due to capacity limitations and box office safety restrictions.
     
  • NightLife: Experience the nocturnal side of the Academy for a lot less—and save $1 or more when you buy at least a day in advance. NightLife is currently on hiatus. Tune in to Virtual NightLife from home!
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Affordable access programs

Audience inside Morrison Planetarium

Please check with your local health and human services agency to see if you qualify for the programs below.

  • EBT/WIC/Medi-Cal Benefit: As part of the Museums for All cooperative, the Academy offers $3 Daytime Admission tickets to EBT, WIC, Lifeline Pass, and Medi-Cal cardholders every day of the year. Please present your card at the ticket window to purchase your $3 tickets. At this time, Museums for All tickets are not available online and must be purchased at the Academy ticket window. Limit 4 per group per visit. Not valid for special events or NightLife.
     
  • Community Access Ticket Service (CATS): CATS provides cultural experiences and museum visits to places like the Academy to tens of thousands of people who otherwise could not afford to visit through partnerships with social service organizations like Boys and Girls Clubs, Salvation Army, YMCA, and more.
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For Northern California residents

Mother and son looking at exhibit
  • San Francisco Neighborhood Free Weekends: All San Francisco residents receive free admission to the Academy on select weekends every year. Find your zip code and plan your visit! Temporarily unavailable due to capacity limitations and box office safety restrictions.
     
  • Discover & Go: Library cardholders 14 and older can check out passes good for free Academy admission at participating libraries from San Francisco to Sacramento. Select your library system and log in, or contact your local branch for details. Temporarily unavailable due to capacity limitations and box office safety restrictions.
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For school groups

  • School and Youth Field Trips: All pre-K–12 school groups from the City and County of San Francisco receive free admission to the Academy, and all other California school groups receive a discounted group rate. Temporarily unavailable due to capacity limitations and box office safety restrictions.
     
  • Rock Program: The Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Enhanced Museum Visits Program supports field trips for grades 2-5 in San Francisco. Free transportation, admission, and educational materials are all provided by this program. Temporarily unavailable due to capacity limitations and box office safety restrictions.
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Contact us
Have questions about the Academy? We're here to help.  
(415) 379-8000