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WHAT IS THE CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES?
If you’re looking for a museum that has a little of everything, this is the perfect place to visit.
After all, this is the only place in the world with an aquarium, planetarium, rainforest, and natural history museum all in one location.
As the name implies, the California Academy of Sciences focuses on several different branches of science, providing fantastic exhibits on a variety of popular subjects ranging from biology to astronomy and more.
This museum is located in Golden Gate Park, making it easily accessible and close to many other notable landmarks in San Francisco.
The price of admission fluctuates depending on which day you choose to visit. Tickets will typically be at their most expensive on weekends and on short notice.
For the lowest possible admission price, make sure to purchase tickets at least two weeks in advance.
The following prices reflect some of the lowest cost tickets available when you buy them ahead of time.
General Admission Prices
NOTE: General admission is also included with multiple tourist passes. Check our discounts section for more details.
In this section, we will cover each of the discount opportunities available for tickets to the California Academy of Sciences, including tourist passes, combo packages, and other deals.
Tourist Attraction Discount Passes
If you’re planning to visit a lot of notable locations while you’re in San Francisco, a tourist pass could easily help you save a lot of money on several popular activities.
The California Academy of Sciences is included in several different tourist passes.
Depending on which pass you choose, you could save anywhere from 15% – 50% or more off general admission prices.
Some of these services provide access to dozens of attractions over the course of 1, 2, 3, or 5 days. Others offer a specific selection of activities for one flat price.
There is also a build-your-own pass which essentially works as a basic discount service – all you have to do is purchase a ticket for two separate tours or attractions in order to get 20% off for each!
Check this list of additional attractions included with these passes for other locations you plan to visit so that you can save even more money on tickets:
de Young Museum
Aquarium of the Bay
Ripley’s Believe it or Not
Walt Disney Family Museum
San Francisco Zoo & Gardens
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
If you are interested in even a few of these activities, using a tourist pass to pay for admission to all of them could save you a lot of money.
Here are the various pass options and the savings you can expect:
Similarly, if you hold a library card at certain Bay Area libraries, you may be eligible for the Discover & Go program which allows you to “check out” a pass which is good for museum admission for one adult and one youth.
Anyone with a valid military ID or proof of service is eligible to receive $3 off daytime admission to the California Academy of Sciences.
In order to receive this discount, you must present your ID at the ticket window.
This offer is currently available only for active-duty military personnel and does not apply to family, dependents or friends.
If all else fails, you can always check discount sites such as Groupon and Living Social to see if they are currently offering any special deals on admission to the California Academy of Sciences.
In addition to any deal currently available, they also frequently offer coupon codes for up to 20% off popular local activities and attractions such as this museum.
Make sure to check the top and bottom of each discount site for banners that may include a coupon code that you can use to save even more money off general admission prices.
EXHIBITS AND ACTIVITIES
In this section, we will cover some of the most popular exhibits available at the California Academy of Sciences.
We will also provide information about some of the most popular activities and events at this museum.
Penguins + Pajamas Sleepovers
Spend a night at the museum during these special sleepover events.
Participants will enjoy an overnight stay in an exhibit area such as the flooded forest tunnel or Philippine Coral Reef.
Each ticket includes access to the Rainforest until 8 pm, a live animal presentation, planetarium shows, late-night snacks and breakfast in the morning, as well as admission to the museum on the next day.
Availability is very limited, so you should purchase admission well ahead of time to make sure you can take part in the Penguins + Pajamas Sleepover.
Every Thursday night, this event allows visitors to enter the museum from 6 pm – 10 pm.
In addition to all the different exhibits you can see, there will also be music and cocktails available at the Academy Cafe and food cart.
Each NightLife event has a special theme, with some focusing on notable attractions in the museum and others inviting live musical guests to perform at the California Academy of Arts.
This activity is only available for 4 hours, so ticket prices are usually much more affordable. NightLife is only available to adults who are 21 and older.