NightLife on Elm Street

One, two, NightLife’s comin’ for you. This Halloween, don’t sleep on NightLife because we're summoning all the creatures of the night for one of our favorite times of the year. Brace yourself for spine-chilling drag performances by Oaklash, scary stories, costumes, and more.

Get in the spirit and come dressed to impress! Costumes are highly encouraged and welcomed.

  • Please note: Any weapons and full face Halloween masks are not allowed. Let’s keep those ghoulish grins visible!

Sounds by Anthony Dragons

Check out Anthony Dragons' exclusive NightLife playlist on the NightLife Spotify page


NightLife on Elm Street
West Garden

  • 8:30 - 9:30 PM - The Bay Area’s first and only drag and queer performance festival Oaklash is back and bringing 1980s Halloween slasher realness. Get ready for sickeningly spooky drag performances and bewitching music.

Paranormal Activity
East Garden
8:00 PM

  • Gather round: We’re telling ghost stories. East Bay filmmaker Ying Liu from Amazon Prime’s The Haunted Bay recounts the creepiest moments they've experienced while filming ghost investigations in some of San Francisco's most historic places.

Little Shop of Horrors
6 - 10 PM

The Craft
Science Today
6 - 10 PM

The Menu

Food is available for purchase at the Academy Café and cocktails are available at bars located throughout the museum.

  • Freddy Kruegar Fingers - Three beef meatball skewers wrapped in prosciutto, served with marinara sauce 
  • Bleeding Burger - Niman Ranch all beef hamburger patty fully cooked and drizzled with a "bloody" chipotle aioli 
  • Spaghetti Spiders - All beef franks impaled with squid ink spaghetti, served with marinara sauce and parmesan cheese 

​​Cocktails handcrafted by Denizen Rum, Fiero Tequila, Tito's Handmade Vodka, and WhistlePig Whiskey, the official liquor of NightLife.

A few don't-miss NightLife details:

  • NightLife guests are no longer required to provide proof of full vaccination or a recent negative test. We still strongly encourage all guests to stay up-to-date on their vaccinations, and to mask up indoors. As always, if you’re feeling under the weather, please NightLife another time. View health and safety information here.
  • Please note: The rainforest will be closed for infrastructure maintenance during this event.
  • 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 be enjoyed outdoors or in the Academy Café only.
  • NightLife is for adults 21+ only. Valid, physical photo ID required.
  • Still have Qs? See our FAQs here.


Planetarium Shows

6:30 pm, 7:30 pm

Explore the night sky in this live presentation

Dark Universe title slide
8:30 pm, 9:30 pm

Explore two of today's greatest cosmic mysteries—dark matter and dark energy. Narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson.

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Upcoming events

May 23rd at 6:00 pm

Why is California so special? Find out at the opening of our newest exhibition, California: State of Nature.

May 30th at 6:00 pm

Calling all creatures of the night! Explore the Academy's nocturnal side. Sounds by: DJ Mark Maiden.

June 6th at 6:00 pm

We’re bringing the spice at our hottest event of the year. Hear from spicy savants, sample fiery foods, & more.

June 13th at 6:00 pm

Honor Black contributions to global dance with a special Juneteenth edition of the Make History dance battle.

June 20th at 6:00 pm

Inked is back at NightLife! Explore the wonders of ink from cephalopods to live tattoos–yes, the real kind!

June 27th at 6:00 pm

Celebrate the LGBTQ+ community with a night dedicated to community, activism & joy. Featuring drag by Oaklash.