• Guests tour the wet collections stacks and examine preserved animal speciemens
    From the specimen collections deep under the museum...
  • Stunning gem and mineral specimens on display in the gem vault--on view only for tour guests
    To the mysterious gem vault that's closed to the public...
  • An Academy scientist displays a preserved football fish in the wet collections
    Strange and wonderful surprises await tour guests...
  • On a tour, guests are able to explore the entire Living Roof.
    (As well as a little fresh air.)
  • An aerial photo of a tour guide explaining the origin of the T. rex cast in the lobby to a group of guests
    Go behind the scenes for an unforgettable Academy experience!

See the Academy in a whole new light—or with the lights out!—on one of our action-packed tours or Penguins+Pajamas sleepovers.

Academy Behind-the-Scenes Tours

A boy poses with a wall-full of mammal skulls and antlers

Explore the secrets of the world's greenest museum on this one-hour tour. Examine rare specimens in our collections, be dazzled in our private gem vault, and head off the beaten track atop our living roof.
Learn more.


Aquarium Behind-the-Scenes Tours

A tour guide explaining the Academy's complex aquarium water filtration system

Channel your inner marine biologist on this one-hour tour and learn how we maintain the world’s deepest indoor coral reef, mix millions of gallons of seawater each day, and tantalize Claude’s tastebuds.
Learn more.


NightLife VIP Tour

NightLife VIP tour guests get a tour of the planetarium

Elevate your NightLife experience. Enjoy a private reception, complimentary cocktails and bites, reserved planetarium passes, a behind-the-scenes tour, and more.
Learn more.

  • $59 per guest ($64 for NightLife Premier)
  • Group rates available for parties of 10 or more
  • Thursdays, 6-7:30 pm or 6:45-8:15 pm
  • For guests 21+ with ID

Animal Encounter

A guest uses the gentle two-finger touch to pet a coiled python

Treat yourself to a meet-and-greet with one of our beloved education animals that's rarely seen on the public floor.
Learn more.

  • $175 for up to four guests ($140 members) plus general admission
  • Includes choice of Academy or Aquarium Behind-the-Scenes Tour
  • Offered Tuesday-Sunday; 14-day advance booking required
  • For ages 8 and up

Penguins+Pajamas Sleepovers

A family gets cozy for the night in front of a gigantic aquarium exhibit.

Sleep under the sea stars at this family favorite. Your nocturnal adventure includes live animal demos, private planetarium shows, after-hours exhibit access—and the magic of drifting off to dreamland alongside our African penguins.
Learn more.

  • $119 per guest ($99 members)
  • For ages 5 and up; adult chaperones required