San Francisco boasts a world-class museum scene, but many visitors don’t realize that some of the city’s top museums come alive at night. At regular after-hours events, adult travelers can mingle over cocktails and get a new perspective on exhibits, all without the daytime crowds. Here’s what you need to know to attend.
California Academy of Sciences NightLife
Every Thursday night the Cal Academy hosts NightLife, a ticketed adults-only event featuring special exhibits, themed cocktails, guest DJs, and live performances. Explore topics ranging from health to the environment and wander the science museum’s aquarium, planetarium, 4-story rainforest, and natural history exhibits.
Exploratorium After Dark
The Exploratorium’s Thursday night event makes for an educational night out on the town. Art-making, science, and technology are the focus, with music and a cash bar adding to the fun. Check out the hands-on exhibits and museum theater at this ticketed event, then take in the Exploratorium’s waterfront views, set on the Embarcadero facing the bay.
Friday Nights at the de Young
The de Young Museum offers free after-hours events combining lectures, demos, and discussions with local artists alongside music, dancing, and socializing on select seasonal Friday nights. Gain insight into the creative process and access to both special exhibitions and the museum’s observation tower.