Explore the museum at night

NightLife: IRL
Thursday, August 11, 6-10 pm
21+ with ID
Prices vary; planetarium passes $5

For guaranteed availability, we strongly recommend purchasing tickets in advance. Last rainforest entry is 7:30 pm. Proof of full vaccination OR negative test within 48 hours required; boosters and indoor masking strongly encouraged but not required. Learn more.

Get ready to drop out of the digital world as NightLife goes phone-free*.

*Please note: NightLife will ask every guest to temporarily unplug and place their phone in a small Yondr pouch during this event. Guests will maintain possession of their phone at all times and there will be several “unlock” stations set up around the museum for easy phone access.

Sounds by DJ ‘66 & DJ Zeke spinning only vintage Jamaican vinyl

Featured Cocktails:

  • Liquid Sunshine – Vodka and Light Rum Infused Oranges, Orange Juice
  • Street Lights on Cosmo – Vodka, Cranberry Juice, Lime Juice, Triple Sec, Simple Syrup


Sounds of the Sea
Philippine Coral Reef
8:30 - 9:30 PM

  • Experience a concert without the pressure of posting, featuring a string duo from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music performing live in front of the iconic Philippine Coral Reef.

Family Game Night
Curiosity Grove
6 - 10 PM

  • Pull up a chair with San Francisco’s own The Game Parlour and play a variety of tabletop games including Codenames, Bananagrams, Jenga, Battleship, and other familiar favorites.

Friends on Film
6 - 10 PM

  • “No phones” ≠ “no pics”. Make some magnetic memories with a roaming, human photo booth from the Museum of Craft and Design, where you can snap a photo and pop it into your own customizable magnetic frame.

Free Play
6 - 10 PM

  • Check out a selection of rare and themed pinball machines from Pacific Pinball Museum. Pick your favorite and enjoy this vintage pastime from yesteryear for an IRL #ThrowbackThursday.

*Please note: NightLife will ask every guest to temporarily unplug by placing their phone in a small Yondr pouch during this event. Guests will maintain possession of their phone at all times and there will be several “unlock” stations set up around the museum for easy phone access.

A few don't-miss NightLife details:

  • To help keep staff and guests safe, proof of full COVID-19 vaccination OR a negative test result from within 48 hours of the event is required for entry, and boosters and indoor masking are strongly encouraged. Feeling under the weather? Please NightLife another time! View health and safety information here.
  • Last entry into the rainforest exhibit is 7:30 pm—our animals need their sleep.
  • Morrison Planetarium is now open at NightLife with 4 showtimes. To maximize staff and guest safety, planetarium passes are required and capacity is limited. Passes are available online in advance for an additional $5 while supplies last to reserve a seat at a 6:30, 7:30, 8:30, or 9:30 pm planetarium show. Please see our FAQs for more details. (Please note: A limited number of standby seats will be available for all showtimes as space allows on a first-come, first-served basis. Food and drink are not permitted inside the planetarium.)
  • Beverages are available at various bars throughout the building, but food must enjoyed outdoors or in the Academy Cafe only.
  • NightLife is for adults 21+ only. Photo ID required.
  • Still have Qs? See our FAQs here.


Planetarium Shows

8:30 pm, 9:30 pm

Discover how a deeper understanding of Earth might help us spot other living worlds light-years away.

6:30 pm, 7:30 pm

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

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Upcoming ticketed museum events

October 6th at 6:00 pm

Bird is the word! Flock over to NightLife for beers and birds in honor of this Oktoberfest tradition.

October 13th at 6:00 pm

Touch, smell, hear, taste, and feel your way through the museum for a night that just makes sense.

October 20th at 6:00 pm

Explore the nocturnal side of the Academy and see what makes the museum at night different. For adults 21+.

October 27th at 6:00 pm

We’re dying to have you back at our annual Halloween bash for a spine-tingling night dead-icated to science!

November 3rd at 6:00 pm

Lil’ NightLife, Big Vibes. Join us for an evening devoted to all the small things— from microbes to tiny homes.

November 10th at 6:00 pm

Spice up your Thursday night and take your tastebuds for a ride at our hottest NightLife yet.

Upcoming free virtual events

October 6th at 7:00 pm

What live everywhere there’s water, are invisible to the naked eye, and are essential to life on Earth? Diatoms!

October 20th at 7:00 pm

We’re throwing a mini-festival celebrating the ground beneath your feet.