Night at the Museum(s)

One of the best parts about returning to California has been the ongoing adventure of exploring San Francisco as an adult. Because I left the Bay Area at 17, I didn’t have the opportunity to pop into the city to meet friends for whiskey at Rickhouse or Soul Night at the Elbo Room. But one of the most delightful surprises about this new (for me) San Francisco is that many of my favorite childhood spots also cater to adults–many of whom, like me, are probably eager to rekindle a dash of youthful nostalgia. In particular, San Francisco’s two flagship science museums–the California Academy of Sciences and the Exploratorium–host a wide variety of events for older crowds.

At the Academy of Sciences, you can get your groove on every Thursday evening at NightLife, a 21+ event featuring DJs, cocktails, science demonstrations, and talks by scientists and researchers.

Academy of Sciences living roof

Academy of Sciences rainforest dome

And at the Exploratorium After Dark (18+), held every first Thursday, you can enjoy drinks, film screenings, art installations, and the museum’s famous hands-on science exhibits. (The Exploratorium is open late every Thursday for adults, but After Dark is only held once a month.) The Exploratorium also hosts an eclectic series of talks and performances by innovative researchers and artists.


California Academy of Sciences

55 Music Concourse Drive
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA 94118

NightLife (21+): Every Thursday 6-10 pm. Tickets $12 ($10 for museum members); available online.


Pier 15 (Embarcadero at Green St)
San Francisco, CA 94111

Open every Thursday evening 6-10pm for adults 18+

After Dark: First Thursdays 6-10pm; Tickets $15 ($10 for museum members); available online.

One comment

  1. Isabelle says:

    I’d heard a lot about Cal Academy night events but hadn’t looked into Exploratorium’s until your post. Thanks for sharing!

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