The California Academy of Sciences is a worthwhile and intriguing tourist stop for the science lover as well as parents and youngsters. Founded in 1853, the California Academy of Sciences is one of the oldest scientific institutions in the West. The San Francisco-based museum's mission is to explore and explain the natural world. The Academy is a must-see San Francisco attraction for the San Francisco tourist and museum aficionado.
Come nose-to-beak with penguins and parrots, watch sharks and sting rays cruise beneath your feet, and feel the spray of the California coast. Fly to Mars (and beyond the Milky Way!) from the safety of your planetarium seat, take a virtual safari in African Hall, or climb into the canopy of a living rainforest. Face your fears—and an albino alligator—inside the Swamp, and meet scientists as they return from research expeditions around the world. From the depths of a Philippine coral reef to the outer reaches of the Universe, it's all inside the California Academy of Sciences.
NightLife @ The California Academy of Sciences
Every Thursday night, music, creatures and cocktails come together for NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences. Explore exhibits and aquarium displays while sipping creative cocktails, and let exotic animals from around the world transport you to the tropics, Tibet, and dozens of other remote destinations. Special planetarium shows will take you even farther afield. Each week features a live band or DJ, and a unique theme – from salsa dancing to sustainable seafood and beyond.
Thursdays 6-10pm, 21+
Museum Free Days
Free Day Changes
The Academy changed its free day policy to target additional working families, who were previously unable to come on the Wednesday free days. We hope that this change to quarterly weekend dates will allow a wider range of people to attend.
The free Sunday days for 2012 are:
February 5, 2012 June 3, 2012 September 16, 2012 December 9, 2012
San Francisco Neighborhood Free Days
Residents of San Francisco can enjoy free admission on a designated weekend each spring and fall, according to ZIP code. Click here for the 2012 SF Neighborhood Free Day schedule. Details
Admission to the Academy is on a first-come, first-served basis, and early arrival is recommended due to the likelihood of high demand. Please note that some visitors may experience a wait at the front entrance during peak times, and final entry to the museum on free days is 4 pm.