The California Academy of Sciences is situated in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. It is a gorgeous building and one of the only places in the world where you can see so many things in one location. For the average visitor, it provides an aquarium, planetarium and natural history museum all in one location.

The Academy is open daily for general visits but it also provides a host of other opportunities. One that is popular with the 21+ crowd is called NightLife and it happens every Thursday. Adult visitors can enjoy all the exhibits plus cocktails and music all evening. This is a huge bonus to those who don’t want to share the exhibits with kids of all ages. The Academy also offers a variety of classes and workshops for its members. There’s even opportunities for guests to spend the night inside the Academy and get to see what the animals do at night.

Participants can buy one ticket–$12 for CAS members, $15 for non-members–or a “season pass” to NightLife events.

In addition to being a great place to visit, the Academy is an important academic institution as well. The Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability is working to understand how to sustain life on Earth. They are looking at the evolution and interconnectedness of ecosystems in hopes to understand how we can keep them alive in the future. The Academy employs over 100 scientists and has a collection of nearly 46 million specimens.

 The Academy also works hard to engage the next generation of scientists and increase environmental awareness. The Academy hosts a variety of workshops, facilitates field trips and provides a variety of materials for classrooms. When in San Francisco, check out this great place and know you’re helping support science and the environment for the next generation.

Photo: Anton_Ivanov /

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