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Discover music, creatures and cocktails: NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences (21+)

March 24, 2014 Attraction No Comments Email Email

After five momentous years, NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences remains San Francisco’s most popular cultural night spot.

Every Thursday night, the Academy transforms into a lively venue filled with provocative science, music, mingling, and cocktails, as visitors ages 21 and up get a chance to explore the museum from 6-10 pm.

Each week, NightLife features top DJs and/or live music representing San Francisco’s most popular collectives, parties, festivals and promoters including (((folkYEAH!))), Hard French, Icee Hot, Lights Down Low, New Wave City, Noise Pop, Outside Lands, Popscene SF, Slayers Club, Space Cowboys, Treasure Island Music Festival, and many others.

Bars throughout the museum feature inventive cocktails, beer, wine and food available for purchase. Visitors can explore the Academy’s exhibits—from the fish, snakes and other creatures in the aquarium, to the dioramas of African Hall—and attend planetarium shows and stargazing sessions on the living roof (when weather permits), all with a cocktail in hand.

In addition, each week includes engaging science programming and activities that introduce visitors to cutting-edge science in an informal, social environment. Programming highlights have included pop-up art galleries, science-themed comedy, sustainable seafood cooking demonstrations with local celebrity chefs, film screenings, performance art, robot demonstrations, chocolate tastings, and talks by filmmaker Jean-Michel Cousteau, adventurer David de Rothschild, astronaut Buzz Aldrin and other notable figures. Weekly event themes and details are available at

Since launching on February 12, 2009, NightLife has been named “Best Steamy Date Night” by 7×7 Magazine, “Best Place to Party Like it’s 1929” by San Francisco Magazine, and “Best Aquarium Turned Dance Floor” by SF Weekly, among other hip accolades.

NightLife VIP Tours offer visitors the opportunity for a more exclusive Thursday evening experience. Tickets ($59 per person) include admission to NightLife, a one-hour behind-the-scenes tour featuring the Academy’s renowned gem and mineral collection and interaction with Academy researchers in the lab, express entry into the building, an open bar in a reserved cocktail area prior to the tour, VIP access to the Rainforest, and a reserved pass for the 8:30 pm planetarium show.

NightLife Basics:

What: NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences (for adults ages 21+)
Featuring music, cutting-edge science, and food and cocktails available for purchase
When: Every Thursday, 6-10 pm
Where: California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco
Cost: $12 per person ($10 for Academy members)
Tickets: At the door or online at:

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