Plan ahead and save! Buy online at least one day in advance to lock in the lowest price on NightLife tickets. For more information, see our Plan-Ahead Pricing FAQ.

NightLife is 21+ with ID. Last entry to rainforest dome is at 7:45 pm. Planetarium passes available for purchase online. Member discount applied after login.

Celebrate one of life’s most classic combos—coffee and chocolate—in a tribute to two of the Bay Area’s favorite ways to get buzzed.

Music by Jamie Jams


Live Talks: Spilling The Beans
African Hall

  • At 7:30 PM, Catch a short talk from UC Berkeley’s Michael Alberto Gomez, plant and microbial biologist, on a plan to use CRISPR to make cacao plants resistant to the diseases that plague them.

  • At 8:30 PM, Learn the secrets of small-batch, bean-to-bar chocolate with a live talk from Christine Keating, Lead Chocolate Educator at Dandelion Chocolate.

Experience: Beloved Brew
6 - 10 PM

Experience: Taste of Chocolate
Project Lab
6 - 10 PM

Experience: Cafecito y Cubilete 
6 - 10 PM

  • Take part in an interactive installation in the form of a mobile cart where you'll be offered un cafecito and invited to play a Cuban dice game.



  • Last entry for the Rainforest dome is at 7:45 pm. Please note: drinks are not allowed inside the Rainforest exhibit.
  • Thirsty? Each bar area features a unique seasonal craft cocktail—there are multiple bars throughout the museum.
  • Special programs and lectures may have limited seating and admission will be available to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis.



  • Planetarium passes are required for the 7:30, 8:30, and 9:30 pm shows.
  • Passes are $5 each and may be purchased online or at the ticket window. Since shows do sell out, we always recommend buying in advance.
  • The 6:30 pm live show is always free. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Please arrive at the planetarium 15 minutes before your ticketed showtime for seating. We run a tight spaceship!



  • A variety of food options are available at NightLife from 6:00-9:30 pm, including The Academy Cafe and The Academy Cafe Food Cart located in the front lobby.
  • Enjoy a different fresh seasonal "craft on draft" cocktail at each NightLife bar area designed by our resident mixologist Shane McKnight!

All bars accept cash and credit cards.



Planetarium Shows

6:30 pm

Explore what Academy researchers are doing behind the scenes in this live Planetarium show.

7:30 pm, 8:30 pm

Journey through our solar system, guided by Tom Hanks.

9:30 pm

Explore the immense scale of the known Universe in this live presentation that leaves Earth far behind.

Upcoming NightLife Events

October 1st at 7:00 pm

Sharktoberfest celebrates two annual events dear to our hearts: the return of white sharks and a salute to beer.