NightLife Dazzles: Cal Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Sciences, located in Golden Gate Park, features a full aquarium, a newly-built planetarium, and a glass-encased micro-rainforest with a running river and all of the world’s ecosystems.  In the after hours of every Thursday night, the museum becomes a venue for NightLife—a  science-filled, boozy affair for the city’s 21+ crowd.

Every NightLife showcases a different theme and schedules different activities for its guests, but the best part is that while regular day tickets to the Academy are priced at $29.95 ($24.95 for students), NightLife tickets will only set you back $12. The event starts at 6 p.m. and ends at 10 p.m., and the whole museum is still yours to explore until about 9:00 p.m.

Jackie Kashian (right) of the podcast, the Dork Forest, sits with guest comedians Todd Glass, Ron Funches, and Janet Varney. (Photo Courtesy of Tommy Lau)
Jackie Kashian (right) of the podcast, the Dork Forest, sits with guest comedians Todd Glass, Ron Funches, and Janet Varney. (Photo Courtesy of Tommy Lau)

I attended last Thursday’s NightLife when Sketchfest was hosting a slew of comedic talent for the night’s entertainment.  Among many other comedians, I watched Last Comic Standing’s Todd Glass have some fun with the audience.  The main comedy show was packed—seats ran out pretty quickly, but with enough standing space to easily maneuver to and from the bar. Different rooms in the museum showcased comic sketches of various nature-related topics. In between shows I still had plenty of time to mill about, cocktail in hand, to soak up the permanent museum installations.

Patrons also got the a chance to dance to some DJ’d pop synth on the top floor, pose for a free Cubist portrait of themselves, or cozy up to Claude the albino Alligator. It was a Thursday night well spent. The atmosphere was relaxed yet upbeat, the performers had me laughing, and it was hard to be unimpressed in a building as beautiful as the museum.

The Academy comes up with new themes each week, and the events usually draw a respectable crowd.  If you’re looking for a lot to do on a little dime, I highly recommend checking out the California Academy of Science’s upcoming NightLife event.  Schedules of the evening’s activities can always be found on the museum’s website at, so be on the lookout for themes that pique your interest!

One thought on “NightLife Dazzles: Cal Academy of Sciences

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