Cal Academy Offers Free Weekends

School's just about back in session so now's a good time to get an up-close and personal education on all things natural -- from the ocean to outer space.

The California Academy of Sciences offers a place to do just that and, starting in September, San Francisco residents have chance to explore its newly-rebuilt site for free.

As part of the Academy's "Neighborhood Free Days" promotion, each neighborhood, defined by zip codes, will have two opportunities to visit for free over a three-day weekend beginning on Sept. 11.

"The Academy has been a part of the San Francisco community since 1853, and we want to open it to locals who have been supportive for many decades," said spokeswoman Helen Taylor. "Science education is fundamental to our mission and we want to make sure that the Academy is available to any and  all who wish to come."

The Academy, which boasts itself as "the only place on the planet with an aquarium, a planetarium,a natural history museum and a 4-story rainforest all under one roof"  doubled the number of free days this year following its reopening at Golden Gate Park in 2008. The first series ran from May 1 to June 14.

 Bay City News contributed to this report.

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