California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Drive
Photo by Jeffery Cross, AFAR Media
Sun 11am - 5pm
Mon - Sat 9:30am - 5pm
California Academy of SciencesEven parents will agree that Renzo Piano’s breathtaking California Academy of Sciences is best experienced without the strollers and school groups that mob the place by day. Sure, the kids deserve their time with Claude the albino alligator, but grown-ups need their clownfish fix, too. Thankfully, Thursday nights from 6pm to 10pm are reserved for the big kids at the Academy (as in, 21 and up), when the world-class science museum and research institution becomes the most educational nightclub in the city. There are DJs, full bars, and lighting levels that are scientifically proven to make you look your best. But even with all the kids at home, this popular night can get crowded. Snag a VIP tour ticket, bypass the general admission line, and head straight to a private reception where light bites and complimentary cocktails will be waiting. You’ll then be whisked away to a private viewing of the Vault—where the Academy’s sparkliest gems and minerals are stored for safekeeping. Finally, you can spend some time stargazing: The VIP tour comes with a reserved seat for the popular planetarium show. But before you go, make sure to visit the living roof to see actual stars and take in what really makes the Academy after dark so special.