California Academy of Sciences - Think It’s Just An Ordinary Museum? Think Again...

Step into one of the greenest buildings in the world, the California Academy of Sciences.
Located in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, across from the de Young Museum, it’s the World’s only Aquarium-Planetarium-Rainforest-Living Museum.
Have you ever asked yourself... how did life on Earth grow?

Or... how will we maintain our life on Earth?

The Academy offers a universe of possibilities all under one living roof with almost Zero-emission.

The Living Roof - features 1.7 million plants - with 9 species of California natives, including beach strawberries and miniature lupine.
In addition there are 7 dramatic hills that roll over the Academy's domed planetarium, rain forest, and aquarium exhibits.

An innovative solar canopy generates up to 10 percent of its energy.

Portholes let natural sunlight into the exhibits and also open and close for ventilation.

Want to see how the California Academy of Sciences explores, explains, and protects the natural world?

Then step inside and see what comes to life.

Discover a universe that will open your eyes like nothing you’ve ever seen.

Starting with...

  • Steinhart Aquarium - with about 38,000 living animals representing nearly 900 different species - including elegant moon jellies, expertly-camouflaged sea dragons, and a 165-pound giant sea bass. 

    Dive into the world’s deepest living coral reef display, where thousands of reef fish dart through a rainbow colored forest of coral.

    Explore some of the wildest courtship and mating strategies in the animal kingdom in the Animal Attraction.

    Watch the graceful seahorses floating effortlessly through the water. And learn how these adorable creatures are in trouble and what's being done to help them.
  • Eighteen beautiful tanks exhibit and explore the concept that nothing in life is more important than reproductive success.

    Do you wonder how and when limbless snakes find "love"?

    Well... when springtime arrives, it signals the beginning of the reproductive cycle for snakes and many other animals.

    Learn how they charm one another. Who nests and who doesn't. And find out which species lay eggs and which give birth to live young.
  • Morrison Planetarium - the largest all-digital dome in the world - a 75-foot diameter projection screen tilted at a 30 degree angle - where you’ll embark on a journey to the farthest reaches of the Universe - and gain an astronaut’s view of our home planet.

    Feel like you’re soaring through space... not just watching a movie.
  • Living 4-story Rainforest - Step inside a living 4-story rainforest of the world, where dripping water sets the beat for a symphony of croaking frogs and dozens of colorful songbirds.
    Each level showcases a different rainforest around the world - Borneo, Madagascar, Costa Rica and the Amazon.

    Meet chameleons from Madagascar. Climb into the tree-tops of Costa Rica to find free-flying birds and butterflies.

    Descend in a glass elevator into the flooded Amazon forest, where you’ll walk through an acrylic tunnel beneath piranhas and arapaima - one of the largest freshwater fish in the world - that swim overhead.
  • Kimball Museum of Natural History - take a virtual safari through Africa. Visit the remote islands of Madagascar and the Galápagos.

    The Academy's African Penguins live in a fascinating social colony. Their relationships - who’s mating with who... family squabbles and so on -- are always fun to see... especially during meal time.

    Watch the birds dip and dive, strut and show off in their tank at the end of African Hall as a biologist dons a wet suit and hands out vitamin-stuffed herring and capelin.

What Extraordinary Events Unfold at the California Academy of Sciences at night?

Imagine dining with damsel fish, dancing beneath a blue whale and relaxing with a cocktail by the coral reef.

Every Thursday night - from 6:00 - 10:00pm - music, creatures and cocktails come together for Night Life at the California Academy of Sciences... just for adults ages 21 and over.

You must provide a valid ID before you can enter.
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.

California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, CA

Special planetarium shows take you even farther afield.
Each week look forward to a live band or DJ, and a unique theme.
Enjoy a one-hour behind-the-scenes tour that gives you a closer look at the unique native species of California's largest living roof. A private viewing of the Academy's renowned gem and mineral collection. And interaction with the Academy’s researchers.
In addition to the tour... receive VIP access to the Rainforests of the World exhibit... reserved planetarium show seats... and an open bar and hors d'oeuvres in a reserved cocktail area prior to the tour.

Every Sunday at 6:00pm - explore the Academy and its world class exhibits after it is closed to the public.

Enjoy a delicious three course dinner designed by renowned chef and restaurateur Loretta Keller in The Moss Room.
Start with a wine reception. Take a one-hour private tour of the Academy. And then sit down with your party for a special dinner in The Moss Room.
This after-hours tour is unlike anything else in San Francisco... great for celebrating birthdays or anniversaries... entertaining guests... special occasions... or simply spending a relaxing evening with family and friends.
Want to find out more... about either the Thursday event or Sunday event? 

Then simply go online at, or call 415.379.8000 for ticket information and any other related details.

We’re just touching the California Academy of Sciences’ surface...

Check out the Human Odyssey and the Giant Tortoise from the Galapagos Islands. Ask about the Academy sleepovers... and so much more.
Imagine getting up close and personal with sharks and rays and live birds of prey. And even the sweet side of DNA. Oh dear... didn’t mean to sound like a poem of rhymes.

Anyway... the Academy is always changing... always evolving. Just ask ‘em!

Excited! Okay... let’s go!

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